The Obersalzberg
Speech
By: Adolf Hitler
Alexis Terry
1st Block
April 11th 2013
• Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische
Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP).
• Hitler was the chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945
• Hitler was dictator of Germany from 1934 to 1945.
• Hitler was a decorated war veteran of World War I.
• Hitler Joined German Workers Party in 1919 and became leader of
the NSDAP in 1921.
• In 1923 a failed attempt at a coup d'état known as the Beer Hall
Putsch resulted in Hitler's Imprisonment.
Background
• Subject: In the address given by Hitler he talks of the upcoming invasion of
Poland and what must and will be done to achieve his vision of a perfect
world.
•
Examples:
•
•
•
“I have given the command and I shall shoot everyone who utters one word of
criticism, for the goal to be obtained in the war is not that of reaching certain lines
but of physically demolishing the opponent. And so for the present only in the East
I have put my death-head formations' in place with the command relentlessly and
without compassion to send into death any and every man women and children of
Polish origin and language”
“Poland will be depopulated and settled with Germans.”
“Then there will begin the dawn of the German rule of the earth”.
SOAPSTone
• Occasion- The speech was given on August 22, 1939 to
Wehrmacht commanders at his Obersalzberg home a
week before the German Nazi invasion of Poland.
SOAPSTone
• Audience- The audience of this speech was the
Wehrmacht commanders.
SOAPSTone
• Purpose- This speech was given to encourage and motivate those present to help
him carry out his mission at achieving a “perfect world”. He was also, in a way,
saying join him or be annihilated along with the rest of those he deems unfit to
live in his perfect world, because he talks a lot about how weak some of his
enemies are and how they aren't anything to be concerned with.
• Examples:
• “As for the rest, gentlemen, the fate of Russia will be exactly the same as I am now going
through with in the case of Poland. After Stalin's death-he is a very sick man-we will break
the Soviet Union. Then there will begin the dawn of the German rule of the earth”.
• “The little States cannot scare me. After Kemal's death Turkey is governed by cretins and
half idiots. Carol of Romania is through and through the corrupt slave of his sexual
instincts. The King of Belgium and the Nordic kings are soft jumping jacks who are
dependent upon the good digestions of their over-eating and tired peoples.”
• “We shall have to take into the bargain the defection of Japan. I save Japan a full year's
time. The Emperor is a counterpart to the last Czar - weak, cowardly, undecided.”
SOAPSTone
• Speaker- The speaker of this speech is Adolf Hitler.
SOAPSTone
• Tone- The tone of this speech can be interpreted two ways:
• If just reading the speech and not taking into count what he is talking of
and what he as a person did or achieved so to speak in his lifetime the
tone is Powerful and Encouraging, but also has a dark undertone.
• Examples:
• “Let us think as "gentlemen" and let us see in these peoples at best
lacquered half maniacs who are anxious to experience the whip”.
• “The opportunity is as favorable as never before”
• If going into reading the speech with the information of all that Hitler
did while alive the tone becomes more Horrific and Sickening.
SOAPSTone
• “Poland will be depopulated and settled with Germans. My pact with
the Poles was merely conceived of as a gaining of time. As for the
rest, gentlemen, the fate of Russia will be exactly the same as I am
now going through with in the case of Poland. After Stalin's death-he
is a very sick man-we will break the Soviet Union. Then there will
begin the dawn of the German rule of the earth”.
• This is basically saying how he plans to eliminate the Polish and
populate Poland with Germans. Also he states his pact with the poles
was simply a means to gain time, and that the Russians fate will be
the same as Poland as soon as Stalin is out of the picture, which wont
be long.
Analysis – Paraphrase
• “Our strength lies in our quickness and in our brutality; Genghis Khan
has sent millions of women and children into death knowingly and with a
light heart. History sees in him only the great founder of States. As to
what the weak Western European civilization asserts about me, that is of
no account. I have given the command and I shall shoot everyone who
utters one word of criticism, for the goal to be obtained in the war is not
that of reaching certain lines but of physically demolishing the
opponent”. What this is saying is that their quickness and disregard for
the annihilation of human beings is their greatest assets. Genghis Khanwho was the emperor of the Mongol Empire- knowingly allowed women
and children to be slaughtered but all the world sees of him is his role in
the foundation in the states. And for what Western Europe says about me,
that is non important. I have given my command and will shoot anyone
one who has anything to say that is of unflattering nature, for the goal of
the war is not to claim certain territories but to eliminate all those unfit to
live in the same space as me and breath the same air as me.
Analysis- Paraphrase
• “Decision to attack Poland was arrived at in spring. Originally there
was fear that because of the political constellation we would have to
strike at the same time against England, France, Russia and Poland.
This risk too we should have had to take. Goring had demonstrated to
us that his Four-Year Plan is a failure and that we are at the end of
our strength, if we do not achieve victory in a coming war”. What
this is stating is that deciding to attack Poland was something that
they were almost afraid of because Hitler felt that to attack Poland
was to attack a lot of Europe, or almost attack Europe as a whole.
That is something they should have had to do if push came to shove.
It had been shown that a four- year approach is a failure and that they
could not wait much longer for their strengths would have been
coming to an end if this war was a failure.
Analysis- Paraphrase
• “So in a few weeks hence I shall stretch out my hand to Stalin at the
common German-Russian frontier and with him undertake to redistribute the world”.
• This is the basic message of the whole speech : re-distributing the world. Hitler
was saying to his followers that over the next months they would be taking
these steps to create a world where they rule and where they are the superior
and not the inferior.
Major Premise/
Theme/Main Idea
• In his speech Hitler tries to gain credibility by stating that there are
only three great statesmen in the world, Stalin, Mussolini. and
Himself.
• Examples
• “After all there are only three great statesmen in the world, Stalin, I
and Mussolini”.
• He also tries to add to his credibility by putting down others who
could be considered great leaders.
• “Mussolini is the weakest, for he has been able to break the power
neither of the crown nor of the Church”
Ethos
• Hitler uses Pathos to make his audience feel like they deserve to have
a German rule of the earth and that there is absolutely nothing wrong
with that. He tries to make it seem like this is all perfectly normal.
• Examples
• “For you, gentlemen, fame and honor are beginning as they have not
since centuries”.
Pathos
• Hitler tries to make logical sense of demolishing the Polish people
by stating that Genghis Khan defeated and killed many people, with a
light heart, and is now seen as a great statesman. In addition, Hitler
brings up the point that there was an Armenian genocide- between 1
and 1.5 million Armenians were murdered by the Turkish
government under the Ottoman Empire - but nobody cares or talks
of that today.
• Examples:
• “Who after all is today speaking about the destruction of the
Armenians”?
• “Genghis Khan has sent millions of women and children into death
knowingly and with a light heart”.
Logos
• “Originally there was fear that because of the political constellation
we would have to strike at the same time against England, France,
Russia and Poland. This risk too we should have had to take. Goring
had demonstrated to us that his Four-Year Plan is a failure and that
we are at the end of our strength, if we do not achieve victory in a
coming war”.
• By using we instead of I Hitler makes his audience feel like they are
as much apart of this as he is and that they will reap the same benefits
that he will. This we makes it seem as if they are all in it together and
are all making the decisions together.
Repetition
• “For you, gentlemen, fame and honor are beginning as they have not
since centuries. Be hard, be without mercy, act more quickly and
brutally than the others. The citizens of Western Europe must tremble
with horror. That is the most human way of conducting a war. For it
scares the others off.”
• For these men who choose to follow behind me fame and honor are
beginning because not in centuries has the world seen such a display
of power or the total creation of a new and pure race as we are going
to demonstrate. Be ruthless and with out the mercy of others and do
quickly what all others will not. The citizens of Western Europe must
be shown that we are not ones to be messed with and paralyzed with
absolute horror by the force of our terror. This is the only way of
conducting a war because it eliminates all room for opposition.
Phrasing / Meaning
• “Whether the world believes it is quite indifferent, the world believes
only in success”.
• This is just saying that to get anyone to follow behind them or see that this is
actually happening and we are not all talk they must succeed. Their actions will
speak far louder than their words ever could. So it doesn’t really matter if the rest
of the world all rally's together to support at first.
• “Let us think as "gentlemen" and let us see in these peoples at best
lacquered half maniacs who are anxious to experience the whip”.
• In this line he is speaking of how they need to separate themselves from
all the others around them who are at best half maniacs anxious for
someone to take charge and lead them.
• “The attack upon and the destruction of Poland begins Saturday early”.
• I felt that this was a powerful line because he just comes out and states it
plain and simple the attack on Poland begins on Saturday like this
happens everyday.
Powerful Lines
• “For you, gentlemen, fame and honor…”, “Let us think as
"gentlemen" …”. These snippets use Verbal Irony because there is
nothing Gentlemanly about what they are attempting to do. This
makes the audience feel think that Hitler is trying to convince his
followers that there is nothing wrong or out of character with what
they are doing. These snippets also use Repetition of the word
Gentlemen.
Literary Devices Used
• The invasion of Poland led to the outbreak of World War II in
Europe.
• In 1941 German Forces and their allies occupied most of Europe and
North Africa, under Hitler's rule.
• In 1943 Germany had been forced into the defensive and suffered a
series of escalating defeats.
• During the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long time
partner Eva Braun.
• On April 30th 1945, less than two days later, they both committed
suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army.
To Follow
Questions