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PROBLEMS IN THE DOCUMENTARY RECORD
A WORLD FUTURE FUND STUDY IN DOCUMENTARY HISTORY
Adolf Hitler was one of the most important figures of the twentieth century and a man whose political power derived directly from his extraordinary abilities as a public speaker. Hitler was also the lynchpin of the Third Reich. Without Hitler there would never have been a Nazi State. Despite this universally recognized fact, however, complete copies of Hitler's speeches remain difficult to find in German and nearly impossible to find in English translation. This reality greatly hinders our ability to better understand the nature of the Third Reich as a totalitarian political system.
In this short report we point out some of the problems that currently exist in both German and English collections of Hitler's speeches.
We also suggest some reliable sources to which researchers can refer. (We do not claim that this report is not a comprehensive overview of all the available sources.)
Here are some complete speeches by Hitler in the German and English that we have assembled. The original German is very important since many German ideological terms such as "volk" do not translate directly into English.
Click here to read our report on the documentation of Hitler's speeches at the Nuremberg Party Day rallies.
1) BEFORE HITLER CAME TO POWER: THE YEARS 1905-1932GERMAN
At present two collections of Hitler's writings and speeches are recommended for the years before Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. To our knowledge, these collections include all of the published historical documentation as it pertains to Hitler's political career during the Weimar Republic. These are not collections of excerpts.
2) AFTER HITLER COMES TO POWER: THE FLAWED COLLECTION OF MAX DOMARUS
The most widely used reference source for Hitler's speeches is
Unfortunately, however, the Domarus volumes suffer from several significant deficiencies.
Contrary to what most people think this is not a complete collection of complete speeches. Some speeches are mere excerpts. Others are missing altogether. Even worse is the fact the confused editorial structure of the book. It is often hard to see where speeches begin and end, and Domarus insists on inserting his comments in the middle of speeches. The main value of the book is that it is a good list of Hitler's speeches and footnotes for those speech listings.
The English translation is a particular problem being of very poor quality.
3) SOURCES OF COMPLETE SPEECHES PUBLISHED BY THE NAZIS THEMSELVESGERMAN
For German-speakers complete versions of Hitler's speeches may be found in the following official publications of the Nazi regime:
Organizations wishing to order microfilm of the VB or publications like the SS Schwartze Korps can do so via Mikropress.
The official press of the Nazi Party periodically published collections of Hitler's speeches as well. These were printed under a variety of titles and in multiple editions. Here is a select list of some of these publications:
4) EXCERPTED SOURCES IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION ENGLISH
Adequate English language sources are very difficult to find. At the moment they are confined to collections of excerpts. Readers of these sources should be warned that the quality of these translations is often poor.
5) SPEECHES ONLINE
There are a number of sites that have copies of Hitler's speeches online. A key problem here is that many of these "speeches" are in fact not the complete text but excerpts, and this fact is not explained or noted.
If you want the complete text of some of his key speeches check our list here. English and German originals are included.