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Axis Leaders
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What the Leaders Were Saying

The following are quotations from major Axis leaders. These statements teach us a great deal about what the Axis powers were thinking, what strategies they were using and what ideologies they followed and promoted.

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German Chancellor Adolf Hitler


“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach. ”

-- From Mein Kampf

January 30, 1939
“The German people in its whole character is not warlike, but rather soldierly, that is, while they do not want war, they are not frightened by the thoughts of it."

-- The Reichstag Speech

March 1941
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness.

-- To conference of senior officers of Wehrmacht

January 1942
“I don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities ... my feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behavior of American society reveals that it's half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold together?”

-- Remarks recorded by Martin Bormann, published in Hitler's Table Talk (1953)

January 30, 1942
"This arch-liar today shows that Britain never was in a position to wage war alone. This gabbler, this drunkard Churchill. And then his accomplice in the White House, this mad fool."

-- Speech in Berlin on the ninth anniversary of his rise to power

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Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini


December 11, 1941
"Tomorrow, the Tripartite Pact will become an instrument of just peace between the peoples. Italians! Once more arise and be worthy of this historical hour! We shall win."

-- Speech declaring war on the United States

December 2, 1942
“It is my conviction that in time of war, when the cannon speaks with its powerful voice, the less we speak the better. ”

-- Speech to The Chamber of Fasci And Corporations

April 28, 1945
"Shoot me in the chest."

-- Final Words to those who would execute him

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Japanese Emperor Hirohito


Note: Hirohito's speech surrendering at the end of WWII was the first time an emperor of Japan spoke to the public. These quotations come from that speech, given on August 15, 1945.

After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.

The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.

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Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.

See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.

The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!

The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.

Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.

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