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from the beginning
Viasat History

Adolf Hitler

German dictator from 1933 to 1945. Initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. Closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Adolf Hitler

German dictator from 1933 to 1945. Initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. Closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

German civil aircraft—which had already received orders to fly to East Prussia over the sea in order to avoid incidents—merely shows that the Polish Government are no longer in control of the soldiery which they have themselves stirred up. Since yesterday Danzig has been blockaded by Polish troops, a situation unendurable in itself. In these circumstances no one can say what the next hour may bring. I can only assure you that there is a definite limit beyond which I can in no circumstances retreat.

In conclusion I can assure you, Duce, that in a similar situation I should have complete understanding for Italy and that in any such case you could be sure of my attitude from the outset.


  1. Germany has never sought conflicts with England and has never interfered in English interests. On the contrary, she has for years endeavored—although unfortunately in vain—to win England’s friendship. On this account she assumed in a wide area of Europe voluntary limitations of her own interests which from a national-political point of view it would otherwise have been very difficult to tolerate.
  2. The German Reich, however, like every other State, possesses certain definite interests which it is impossible to renounce. These do not extend beyond the limits of the necessities imposed by earlier German history and conditioned by vital economic prerequisites. Some of these questions held and still hold a significance both of a national-political and of a psychological character which no German Government is able to ignore.


I thank you for the letter. I hope that the German-Soviet non-aggression pact will bring about a decided turn for the better in the political relations between our countries.

The peoples of our countries need peaceful relations with each other. The assent of the German Government to the conclusion of a non-aggression pact provides the foundation for eliminating the political tension and for the establishment of peace and collaboration between our countries.


1) I sincerely welcome the signing of the new German-Soviet Commercial Agreement as the first step in the re-shaping of German-Soviet relations.

2) The conclusion of a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union means to me the establishment of German policy for a long time. Germany thereby resumes a political course that was beneficial to both States during bygone centuries. The Government of the Reich are therefore resolved in such a case to accept all the consequences of such a far-reaching change.


The readiness of the Kremlin to reshape its relations with Germany, which became apparent after the departure of Litvinov, has become ever stronger in the last few weeks and has now made it possible for me, after a preliminary clarification, to send my Foreign Minister to Moscow for the conclusion of a treaty which is the most extensive non-aggression pact in existence and the text of which has been made public. The pact is unconditional and includes also the obligation for consultation on all questions affecting Russia and Germany. Over and above that, however, I must tell you, Duce, that, through the agreements, the most benevolent attitude on the part of Russia in case of any conflict is assured, and, above all, that the possibility of intervention by Rumania in such a conflict no longer exists!

The difficulties in the way of any peaceful discussions in the present state of tension are, however, obvious, and the longer that tension is maintained, the harder it will be for reason to prevail. These difficulties, however, might be mitigated if not removed, provided that there could for an initial period be a truce on both sides, and indeed on all sides, to press polemics and to all incitement. See more

Essentially all depends on me, on my existence, because of my political talents. Furthermore, the fact that probably no one will ever again have the confidence of the whole German people as I have. There will probably never again in the future be a man with more authority than I have. My existence is therefore a factor of great value. But I can be eliminated at any time by a criminal or a lunatic. See more

Celebrates the 25th anniversary of entry into First World War

Central problem is Poland. Must be carried through at all costs. Attack possible with violation Belgian-Dutch neutrality.

Success, political or military, cannot be had without taking risks. As opponents, only a matter of England—apart from Poland herself—with France towed in her wake.

England, unlike in 1914, will not allow herself to blunder into a war lasting for years. Talk of England wanting a long war discounted. No Government will make a long war their primary aim. England, knowing war, is well aware that she stands to lose in a war, and that even a victorious war would not make up for the cost of such a war. See more

I am firmly convinced that neither England nor France will enter into a general war.

The second meeting with Hitler is briefer, and, I would say, more concise. Even in his gestures, the man reveals more than yesterday his imminent will to action. Our welcome is cordial but well contained on both sides.

I report to the Duce at the Palazzo Venezia. And, in addition to reporting to him what happened, I make known also my own judgment of the situation as well as of the men involved and of events. I return to Rome completely disgusted with the Germans, with their leader, with their way of doing things. See more

Everything is the fault of the English. The Polish direly need to be taught a lesson. The democracies are inferior to Germany. They will not fight.

I retain my steadfast conviction that the western democracies will not risk unleashing a full-fledged general war.

If I must lead Germany into war then I would rather do it today than tomorrow.  I will not lead it the way Wilhelm II did; he let pangs of conscience keep him from throwing in his armed forces completely. I will fight to the very last.

I do not harbor any romantic aims.  I have no wish to rule.  Above all I want nothing from the West; nothing today and nothing tomorrow.  I desire nothing from the thickly settled regions of the world ... All of the notions that are ascribed to me by other people are inventions.  However, I must have a free hand in the east.  To repeat: it is a question of grain and timber, which I can find only outside of Europe.

is attending a performance of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni at the Salzburg music festival
Meeting with the Danzig Gauleiter