Gaupropagandaleiter Waldemar Vogt, recorded by Domarus, Hitler, Vol. I; see also Rauschning, Voice of Destruction, and Frank, Im Angesicht des Galgens. Hitler also made a similar remark to Chamberlain in Berchtesgaden: see Michael Freund, Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges in Dokumenten, Vol. I. In his 22nd August 1939 speech to the commanders of the Wehrmacht, Hitler gave this as a reason for his determination to force a confrontation:
'My own personality and that of Mussolini. Essentially it depends on me, on my existence by virtue of my political abilities. Also the fact that no man will again have the trust of the whole German people to the extent that I do. In the future there will never again be a man who has more authority than I. Thus my existence is a fact of great importance. But I can at any time be eliminated by a murderer, an idiot.' (see Freund, 'Geschichte', Vol. III).
It can generally be accepted that the reference to an untimely death was also, at least in part, a tactical consideration; the remark was intended to underline his arguments. At the same time, in a verbal reference about this to the author, Albert Speer remarked that possible tactical motives were doubtless interspersed with a real fear of death. From 1938 onward this was, as Speer also observed, more and more evident.
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