Lot 2043

A nine-page manuscript by Hitler to his speech to graduated Wehrmacht officers on 18 January 1939 in the Reich Chancellery

German Historical Collectibles from 1919 onwards | A83r | Live auction | 608 Lots

Hammer price € 34,000

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Nine lined pages size A4, each folded in the middle, the edges knocked, the top with perforation where the sheets were torn from a notepad, each with traces of a paperclip on the upper left, the first and last page with additional traces of rust from the clip. The first two and a half pages with handwritten notes by Hitler in black ink, some parts underlined and some highlighted in red indelible pencil, from the middle of the third page onwards in red indelible pencil, the fourth and fifth page alternating in red and blue indelible pencil, from the sixth page onwards until the end in blue indelible pencil. On the upper right Hitler’s handwritten pagination in all three types of pencil.
The first page with third-hand inscription "18. Jan. 1939. Lt. Empfang Reichskanzlei" in pencil on the upper left.
Hitler first explains the (tr.) "purpose of this evening" and outlines his expectations to the officers (tr. "1. That they train young German men to become soldiers, i.e. fighters"), talks about (tr.) "loyalty – honour – courage - bravery", contrasts the advantages of optimism (tr. "eternal soldier's virtue [.] strength that moves mountains – the miracle of victory") with the disadvantages of pessimism (tr. "defeatism – disgrace of downfall"), demands of them to have faith (tr.) "in the great future of Germany" in order to protect the German people. After digressing to other countries he dwells on World War I and Germany's past (tr. "inner decay – territorial fragmentation – Napoleon – Bismarck – wrong social development – world war – problem of Jews – edification"), calls the development between 1919 and 1939 (tr.) "a miracle" and explains (tr.) "my faith! [.] The Party as guarantor of the German community – the Wehrmacht as an instrument of power". Furthermore: (tr.) "My aim: first Wehrmacht of the world – my will: commitment to the German future – your commitment: preparing for the struggle". He encourages the officers (tr. "Be proud of your task") and winds up by saying (tr.) "For my path is difficult [.] – at the end, however, there is always Germany".
On 18 January 1939, Hitler invited the new officers of army, Luftwaffe and navy to a reception in Berlin, followed by a visit to, and dinner at, the New Reich Chancellery. The exact wording of the speech has not survived, only an official notice that, among other things, states (tr.) "In an elaborate speech held in the Mosaic Hall of the New Reich Chancellery the Führer spoke to his lieutenants about the duties and tasks of the German officers in the Wehrmacht of Greater Germany".
Cf. Domarus, Hitler - Reden 1932 bis 1945, volume 3, page 1039.
This first reception of young officers would also be the last one due to the outbreak of World War II.
Of utmost rarity.

Condition: II - III Questions about the lot?

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The auction includes 608 lots and starts on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 at 10 am (CET). Lot no. 2001 - 2608. The pre-sale viewing will take place from Oct. 18 - 21 Oct., 2020 from 2 to 6 pm (CET). However, the number of participants for both auction and viewing is limited due to Covid-19 restrictions and requires an appointment. Bring your favourite breathing mask! Prior to any visit please check our website - we'll update it as soon as the situation changes.