Over fourteen years have passed since that unhappy
day when the German people, blinded by promises made by those at home
and abroad, forgot the highest values of our past, of the Reich, of
its honor and its freedom, and thereby lost everything. Since those
days of treason, the Almighty has withdrawn his blessing from our nation.
Discord and hatred have moved in. Filled with the deepest distress,
millions of the best German men and women from all walks of life see
the unity of the nation disintegrating in a welter of egotistical political
opinions, economic interests, and ideological conflicts.
As so often in our history, Germany, since the day the revolution broke
out, presents a picture of heartbreaking disunity. We did not receive
the equality and fraternity which was promised us; instead we lost our
freedom. The breakdown of the unity of mind and will of our nation at
home was followed by the collapse of its political position abroad.
We have a burning conviction that the German people in 1914 went into
the great battle without any thought of personal guilt and weighed down
only by the burden of having to defend the Reich from attack, to defend
the freedom and material existence of the German people. In the appalling
fate that has dogged us since November 1918 we see the consequence of
our inward collapse. But the rest of the world is no less shaken by
great crises. The historical balance of power, which at one time contributed
not a little to the understanding of the necessity for solidarity among
the nations, with all the economic advantages resulting therefrom, has
The delusion that some are the conquerors and others the conquered destroys
the trust between nations and thereby also destroys the world economy.
But the misery of our people is terrible! The starving industrial proletariat
have become unemployed in their millions, while the whole middle and
artisan class have been made paupers. If the German farmer is also involved
in this collapse we shall be faced with a catastrophe of vast proportions.
For in that case, there will collapse not only a Reich, but also a 2000-year-old
inheritance of the highest works of human culture and civilization.
All around us are symptoms portending this breakdown. With an unparalleled
effort of will and of brute force the Communist method of madness is
trying as a last resort to poison and undermine an inwardly shaken and
uprooted nation. They seek to drive it towards an epoch which would
correspond even less to the promises of the Communist speakers of today
than did the epoch now drawing to a close to the promises of the same
emissaries in November 1918.
Starting with the family, and including all notions of honor and loyalty,
nation and fatherland, culture and economy, even the eternal foundations
of our morals and our faith - nothing is spared by this negative, totally
destructive ideology. Fourteen years of Marxism have undermined Germany.
One year of Bolshevism would destroy German. The richer and most beautiful
areas of world civilization would be transformed into chaos and a heap
of ruins. Even the misery of the past decade and a half could not be
compared with the affliction of a Europe in whose heart the red flag
of destruction had been planted. The thousands of injured, the countless
dead which this battle has already cost Germany may stand as a presage
of the disaster.
In these hours of overwhelming concern for the existence and the future
of the German nation, the venerable World War leader [Hindenburg] appealed
to us men of the nationalist parties and associations to fight under
him again as once we did at the front, but now loyally united for the
salvation of the Reich at home. The revered President of the Reich having
with such generosity joined hands with us in a common pledge, we nationalist
leaders would vow before God, our conscience and our people that we
shall doggedly and with determination fulfil the mission entrusted to
us as the National Government.
It is an appalling inheritance which we are taking over.
The task before us is the most difficult which has faced German statesmen
in living memory. But we all have unbounded confidence, for we believe
in our nation and in its eternal values. Farmers, workers, and the middle
class must unite to contribute the bricks wherewith to build the new
The National Government will therefore regard it as its first and supreme
task to restore to the German people unity of mind and will. It will
preserve and defend the foundations on which the strength of our nation
rests. It will take under its firm protection Christianity as the basis
of our morality, and the family as the nucleus of our nation and our
state. Standing above estates and classes, it will bring back to our
people the consciousness of its racial and political unity and the obligations
arising therefrom. It wishes to base the education of German youth on
respect for our great past and pride in our old traditions. It will
therefore declare merciless war on spiritual, political and cultural
nihilism. Germany must not and will not sink into Communist anarchy.
In place of our turbulent instincts, it will make national discipline
govern our life. In the process it will take into account all the institutions
which are the true safeguards of the strength and power of our nation.
The National Government will carry out the great task of reorganizing
our national economy with two big Four-Year Plans:
saving the German farmer so that the nation's food supply and thus the
life of the nation shall be secured.
Saving the German worker by a massive and comprehensive attack on unemployment.
In fourteen years the November parties have ruined the German farmer.
In fourteen years they created an army of millions of unemployed.
The National Government will carry out the following plan with iron
resolution and dogged perseverance.
Within four years the German farmer must be saved from pauperism.
Within four years unemployment must be completely overcome.
Parallel with this, there emerge the prerequisites for the recovery
of the economy.
The National Government will combine this gigantic project of restoring
our economy with the task of putting the administration and the finances
of the Reich, the states, and the commune on a sound basis.
Only by doing this can the idea of preserving the Reich as a federation
acquire flesh and blood.
The idea of labor service and of settlement policy are among the main
pillars of this programme.
Our concern to provide daily bread will be equally a concern for the
fulfilment of the responsibilities of society to those who are old and
The best safeguard against any experiment which might endanger the currency
lies in economical administration, the promotion of work, and the preservation
of agriculture, as well as in the use of individual initiative.
In foreign policy, the National Government will see its highest mission
in the preservation of our people's right to an independent life and
in the regaining thereby of their freedom. The determination of this
Government to put an end to the chaotic conditions in Germany is a step
towards the integration into the community of nations of a state having
equal status and therefore equal rights with the rest. In so doing,
the Government is aware if its great obligation to support, as the Government
of a free and equal nation, that maintenance and consolidation of peace
which the world needs today more than ever before.
May all others understand our position and so help to ensure that this
sincere desire for the welfare of Europe and of the whole world shall
Despite our love for our Army as the bearer of our arms and the symbol
of our great past, we should be happy if the world, by restricting its
armaments, made unnecessary any increase in our own weapons.
But if Germany is to experience this political and economic revival
and conscientiously to fuits duties towards other nations, a decisive
act is required:
We must overcome the demoralization of Germany by the Communists.
We, men of this Government, feel to German history for the reconstitution
of a proper national body so that we may finally overcome the insanity
of class and class warfare. We do not recognize classes, but only the
German people, its millions of farmers, citizens and workers who together
will either overcome this time of distress or succumb to it.
With resolution and fidelity to our oath, seeing the powerlessness of
the present Reichstag to shoulder the task we advocate, we wish to commit
it to the whole German people.
We therefore appeal now to the German people to sign this act of mutual
The Government of the National Uprising wishes to set to work, and it
It has not for fourteen years brought ruin to the German nation; it
wants to lead it to the summit.
It is determined to make amends in four years for the liabilities of
But it cannot subject the work of reconstruction to the will of those
who were responsible for the breakdown.
The Marxist parties and their followers had fourteen years to prove
The result is a heap of ruins.
Now, German people, give us four years and then judge us.
Let us begin, loyal to the command of the Field-Marshal. May Almighty
God favour our work, shape our will in the right way, bless our vision
and bless us with the trust of our people. We have no desire to fight
for ourselves; only for Germany.