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Hitler’s Speech at the Putsch Trial (February 1924)

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The army which we have formed grows from day to day; it grows more rapidly from hour to hour. Even now I have the proud hope that one day the hour will come when these untrained [wild] bands will grow to battalions, the battalions to regiments and the regiments to divisions, when the old cockade will be raised from the mire, when the old banners will once again wave before us: and the reconciliation will come in that eternal last Court of Judgment, the Court of God, before which we are ready to take our stand. Then from our bones, from our graves, will sound the voice of that tribunal which alone has the right to sit in judgment upon us. For, gentlemen, it is not you who pronounce judgment upon us, it is the external Court of History which will make its pronouncement upon the charge which is brought against us. The verdict that you will pass I know. But that Court will not ask of us, ‘Did you commit high treason or did you not?’ That Court will judge us as Germans who wanted the best for their people and their fatherland, who wished to fight and to die. You may pronounce us guilty a thousand times, but the Goddess who presides over the Eternal Court of History will with a smile tear in pieces the charge of the Public Prosecutor and the verdict of this court. For she acquits us.

Source of English translation: Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham, eds., Nazism 1919-1945, Vol. 1, The Rise to Power 1919-1934. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998, pp. 34-35.

Source of original German text: Der Hitler-Prozeß vor dem Volksgericht in München. Part Two. Munich, 1924, pp. 88-91; reprinted in Albrecht Tyrell, ed., Führer Befiehl…Selbstzeugnisse aus der »Kampfzeit« der NSDAP. Dokumentation und Analyse. Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1969, pp. 64-67.

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