Our people look on the defeat of our men at Stalingrad with revulsion. The ingenious strategy of our Great War corporal1 has hounded three hundred thousand German men senselessly and irresponsibly to death and ruin. Führer, we thank you!2
Turmoil is fermenting among the German people: are we to further entrust the fate of our armies to a dilettante? Are we to sacrifice what is left of our German youth to the basest power-grabbing instincts of a party clique? No more!
The day of reckoning has come, the reckoning of Germany’s youth with the most heinous tyranny that our people has ever endured. In the name of all German youth we demand from Adolf Hitler’s state the return of our personal freedom, that treasure which Germans hold most dear, and which he has taken from us in the most wretched of ways.
We have grown up in a state which ruthlessly gags all freedom of expression. The Hitler Youth, the SA, and the SS have tried to homogenise, radicalise and anaesthetise us in the most fruitful of our formative years. ‘Ideological Education’ is the term they use for their contemptible method of suffocating burgeoning independent thought and self-esteem with a fog of empty rhetoric. The Nazi elite, who could not be any more diabolical or narrow-minded, groom their future party bigwigs in the Ordensburgen3 to become godless, shameless, unscrupulous, exploitative, murderous scoundrels, the blind and brainless entourage of the Führer. We, ‘Workers of the Mind’,4 would be fully justified in smashing this new ruling class. Student leaders and aspiring Gauleiters5 reprimand front-line soldiers like schoolboys, Gauleiters insult the honour of our female students with lewd jokes. Women studying at Munich University have given a dignified response to the assault on their honour, and their male counterparts have come out in support of them and are standing firm. This is a first step in the fight for our free self-determination, without which spiritual values cannot be forged. We are grateful to the brave students who are lighting the way!
For us there is only one slogan: fight against the party! Get out of the party structures which stifle our political expression! Get out of the lecture halls of the SS and senior leaders and party sycophants! Our goal is true scholarship and real freedom of the mind! There is no threat that can deter us, not even the closure of our universities. It is the duty of each and every one of us to fight for our future, our freedom and honour in a political system conscious of its own moral responsibility.
Freedom and honour! For ten long years, Hitler and his cronies have trivialised, distorted, and bled dry these two glorious German words to the point of disgust, as only dilettantes know how, casting a nation’s highest ideals before swine. They have shown well enough what freedom and honour mean to them during the ten years in which they have destroyed all material and spiritual freedom, all moral substance of the German people. Even the most dull-witted German has had his eyes opened by the terrible bloodbath, which, in the name of the freedom and honour of the German nation, they have unleashed upon Europe, and unleash anew each day. The German name will remain forever tarnished unless finally the German youth stands up, pursues both revenge and atonement, smites our tormentors, and founds a new intellectual Europe. Students! The German people look to us! The responsibility is ours: just as the power of the spirit broke the Napoleonic terror in 1813, so too will it break the terror of the National Socialists in 1943.
To the east, Berezina6 and Stalingrad have gone up in flames, the dead of Stalingrad beseech us!
‘Rise up, my people, the beacons are aflame!’7
Our people are on the verge of breaking free from National Socialism’s enslavement of Europe in this new spiritual dawn of freedom and honour!
1 This is a mocking reference to Adolf Hitler, who had been a corporal during the First World War.
2 ‘Führer, wir danken dir’: a slogan used at Nazi rallies and in propaganda. Here it is used sarcastically.
3 ‘Ordensburgen’: training schools for the future Nazi elite.
4 Arbeiter des Geistes’: a reference to a term used in Nazi propaganda to refer to intellectuals/students.
5 ‘Gauleiter’: an official in charge of a district in the Third Reich.
6 After the retreat of Napoleon’s Grande Armée following their defeat in Moscow in October 1914 where they suffered many losses, they crossed over the Berezina river.
7 This quotation is taken from the patriotic poem ‘Soldatenlied’ (‘Soldier’s Song’), written by the poet and solider Theodor Körner during the German Campaign of 1813.
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