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Hitler's plans for genocide: a speech from 1939

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1416

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On August 22, 1939, Adolf Hitler gave a secret speech to his top military advisers, outlining his plans for German settlement of Poland. The speech so shocked his audience that a copy was smuggled out to the British embassy. What follows is the transcript, now in the files of the Foreign Office in London.1

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.

Since the autumn of 1938 and since I have realised that Japan will not go with us unconditionally and that Mussolini is endangered by that nitwit of a King (and that) treacherous scoundrel of a Crown Prince, I decided to go with Stalin, I and Mussolini. Mussolini is the weakest, for he has been able to break the power neither of the crown nor of the Church. Stalin and I are the only ones who visualise the future. So in …

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