Hitler sees crisis in 1944; warning to Germans grim
London, England (AP) – (Dec. 31)
Adolf Hitler, in a grim New Year’s message to the German people today, offered them only hope of dogged resistance for their very lives and, anticipating invasion from the west, boasted that wherever they landed, the Allies would receive an appropriate welcome.
In a long written message distributed by DNB to German newspapers and recorded from a Berlin broadcast by the Associated Press, Hitler again sounded the German propaganda note that:
In this war there will be no victors and losers, but merely survivors and annihilated.
A separate New Year Order of the Day to the Army called 1943 “a second year of great crisis” initiated by the Russian winter offensive of 1941-42.
In this message, Hitler announced that “the apparent slackening of the U-boat war is based only on one single technical invention of our enemies” and added:
We are not only about to remove it, but we are convinced that we shall succeed in this within a short period.
He did not disclose what the new Allied invention was.
Even as the Russians, in one of their greatest victories of the war, were driving toward pre-war Poland’s borders and drawing near Romania’s frontiers, Hitler said:
A Napoleonic catastrophe seemed imminent for the German front, yet we were able to master the situation.
The Russian front had also been weakened because of the Allied threat in the West, he said.
Garrisoning of positions that are absolutely essential for the defense of Europe demanded a shift in the balance of services in the rear and of traffic installations, a process that went on at the expense of the East.
Many reinforcements destined for the East have now been tied down and must assist in protecting the rest of the European living space. This is a cause of many worries and sufferings for you, my comrades at the Eastern Front.
Germany, he said, was fighting with a “fanatical hatred,” and was inspired by the old biblical saying:
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
To the home front, he promised that “retaliation will come” for the Allied bombings.
He blamed setbacks on “Italian treason” and the breach of faith of French admirals and generals which permitted Allied landings in North Africa, but he claimed that “the balancing of our forces is now achieved.”
His dominant theme in the long message was that times were heard but that worse was to come if Germany lost.
Hitler had a propaganda message for the British – that Britain had now lost the balance-of-power position and was at the mercy of her allies, Russia and America.
The year 1943 “brought us our heaviest reverses,” Hitler admitted, but he also contended that after more than four years of war, the German Reich had not lost one square kilometer of its soil.
Discussing what he called the attempt of Britain and the United States to destroy Europe and Germany with Bolshevism, and discipline the German nation through the “Moscow garrotters,” Hitler said:
The necessity of preserving Europe against the Bolshevist danger depends exclusively on the existence of one dominating continental power.
Other Nazi Party leaders also issued New Year messages.
Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister, said:
Nobody who has even lived through 1943, the most difficult year of war, will ever forget it.
We have suffered setbacks and had to shoulder too great burdens, but they have not been decisive.