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Himmler's October 4, 1943 Posen Speech
The IMT's Translation, in English

The following is the IMT's translation of a portion of a speech by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler to a group of SS Gruppenführer, on October 4th, in the city of Posen, in what is now Poland. The IMT's translation is probably based on written notes of the speech, rather than the recording, and so has minor deviations from Nizkor's translation. The IMT has also made translation errors (most notably putting the phrase "the Jewish people are being exterminated" into the future tense).

For more information, see the Himmler's October 4th, 1943 Posen Speech Index.

Nizkor's translation of this text, which adheres more closely to Himmler's spoken words, is also available.

Cited in Skeptic magazine, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 49, as "Himmler Poznan Speech, Original German document and the National Archives translation -- PS Series 1919, pp. 64-67. English Translation."

I also want to refer here very frankly to a very difficult matter. We can now very openly talk about this among ourselves, and yet we will never discuss this publicly. Just as we did not hesitate on June 30, 1934, to perform our duty as ordered and put comrades who had failed up against the wall and execute them, we also never spoke about it, nor will we ever speak about it. Let us thank God that we had within us enough self-evidence fortitude never to discuss it among us, and we never talked about it. Every one of us was horrified, and yet every one clearly understood that we would do it next time, when the order is given and when it becomes necessary.

I am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, to the extermination of the Jewish people. This is something that is easily said: "The Jewish people will be exterminated," says every Party member, "this is very obvious, it is in our program -- elimination of the Jews, extermination, will do." And then they turn up, the brave 80 million Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. It is of course obvious that the others are pigs, but this particular one is a splendid Jew. But of all those who talk this way, none had observed it, none had endured it. Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when 500 lie there or when 1,000 are lined up. To have endured this and at the same time to have remained a decent person -- with exceptions due to human weaknesses -- had made us tough. This is an honor roll in our history which has never been and never will be put in writing, because we know how difficult it would be for us if we will had Jews as secret saboteurs, agitators and rabble rousers in every city, what with the bombings, with the burden and with the hardships of the war. If the Jews were still part of the German nation, we would most likely arrive now at the state we were at in 1916/17.

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March 9, 1999

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