75 Years Ago: Hitler’s Phony Plea for Peace


On Oct. 6, 1939, Adolf Hitler returned from touring the trampled city of Warsaw to address the Reichstag. He was ready to do something surprising: ask the world for peace.

Except that his peace speech — delivered 75 years ago on Monday — was far from peaceful. As TIME noted in its coverage of the event, Hitler spent about 60 of the 80 minutes speaking about other things. And, when he finally moved on to the subject, the oratory was, unsurprisingly, full of untruths.

Here’s what TIME reported in the Oct. 16 issue:

The Polish victory came first on Speaker Hitler’s list, accompanied by three bare-faced lies. Lie No. 1: “A state of no less than 36,000,000 inhabitants took up arms against us. Their arms were far-reaching, and their confidence in their ability to crush Germany knew no bounds.” Lie No. 2: In spite of the “violations and insults which…

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