That Germany is a "besieged fortress" with its population facing a desperate struggle for existence was the statement made by Robert Ley at the closing session of the fifth convention of the German Labor Front of which he is leader.
Although the speech was delivered Friday, it was so frankly and bluntly worded that it was held up by the Ministry of Propaganda and its text not made public until today.
The virtual admission that Germany is on the verge of economic collapse was made by Mr. Ley, who said that such a situation was "due to the cold war Jews abroad are conducting to destroy the Reich by boycotting German goods."
But for the Jews, Mr. Ley declared, Germany would not be playing an important role in international affairs. He complained that "Jews are hampering us, are doing their best to minimize our importance and are spreading atrocity stories against us all over the world. The happier our people are, the more lies the Jews spread about us. They’ve started a boycott against us which is nothing less than a cold war to humiliate our nation. Our only answer to that can be that the German nation hopes for nothing from abroad.
Making the analogy between Germany and a "besieged fortress", Mr. Ley declared:
"The situation in which our country finds itself is so serious that there’s no need to fool ourselves on the actual state of affairs and to conceal it by means of artificial enthusiasm. The German people must know the truth. They must tell it now not with feminine sobs, but in the manner of man to man."
Mr. Ley disclosed that the country has hardly an gold reserves left, that there is a forty per cent shortage in clothing as well as in certain foodstuffs and that foreign exchange coverage is extremely limited.
He further revealed that had Germany used its credits to alleviate the food shortage, there would have been a minimum of 4,500,000 persons added to the unemployed lists because of the lack of raw materials which are now being bought instead of food.
"It is for these developments," Mr. Ley concluded, "that the Jews have been waiting, but we will never capitulate."
He announced that German housewives will shortly be asked to dispense entirely with butter fats and will be taught to cook without fats.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.