The Speech of Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg regarding the "Battle between Creation and Destruction" at the N.S.D.A.P. Congress at Nuremberg, 8 September 1937

[translation from the German by Allen Knechtmann]

Alfred Rosenberg When the first fighters for National Socialism congregated under Adolf Hitler, in all of them, as well as in those arriving later, the feeling was overwhelming that after 1918 we were living not in the midst of one revolution among many others, but rather that we found ourselves in a decisive historical turning point. This basic instinct perhaps may not have been clear consciousness, but the fact that it existed decided the great test of character in which the German people found itself involved. Under the frightening pressure of hunger, poverty, and the shameful Versailles Dictate another people might well have been destroyed. Germany, however, found within itself those strengths to transform within a short span of time of fifteen years the deepest collapse into a great renaissance. I believe that was possible, apart from other conditions, because in the judgment and in the behavior of the National Socialist movement the internal veracity vis-a-vis the actualities of life has been decisive in the history of our struggle.

We have looked fate in the eye, not wanting to console ourselves with cowardly platitudes that things would get better with time, that the social and political stress would ease under the direction of democratic statesmen, and that a "balance" would surely come in a few years.

It became increasingly clear to us that Germany found itself, as earlier did the states of antiquity, in the midst of a change which meant life or doom.

Accordingly, the National Socialist movement devoted itself to a courageous examination of the facts. It ascertained, and in increasing measure it became the awareness of the German nation, that the helplessness and that the signs of decay were becoming evident everywhere: in political, social, cultural areas and that of general world view as well. And this one examination led necessarily to the investigation of the conditions and causes which enabled this decay. And here, regarding the diagnosis of the present, began the great, decisive, historical mission of National Socialism. It had to say to itself upon reviewing various conditions that, viewed socially, the economic individualism of the last century and a half had been fertile soil for all those who had been oppressed for generations by its repercussions, and who became the troops handed over to the voice of chaos. National Socialism emphasized distancing itself in these conditions from political groupings which, while apparently separated in world view from the Marxist movement, nonetheless served as its political auxiliaries, and indeed originated from the same rejection of a strong blood-conditioned national tradition just as Jewish Marxism did. Thus arose the seemingly monstrous connection between the Center and Marxism, which, driven by the same ideas of inferiority, took up a natural battlefront against the German Reich. And just as in looking behind the groupings emerging as power bases, so must the National Socialist assessment look not only into the development of the last decades, but of the last centuries.

And the National Socialists had to say to themselves that if a salvation from this frightful spiritual and political situation was still possible, it could only be achieved on the basis of a character which elicited the courage, if necessary, to rest its cause on thin air.

We said to ourselves that, viewed for the duration in such decisive days of destiny, a movement which really wanted to be great would not only have to distance itself from all previous political parties, but also had to established in spirit and in character from new. That means that it had to originate from a world view which had its center of origin outside of the ideologies of its opponents. So many battles of world history have ended with the military victory of one side which eventually had to suffer a decisive defeat, because it glimpsed in its enemy the bearer of its own world view. Thus did a Duke of Alba conquer the papal armies and yet go forth and kiss the Pope's foot. Thus, in more recent times, could the German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg write in his memoirs after the war that Germany would have been unable to give any password which could have answered the challenge of the Western powers. That means: a chancellor who was called to lead the German people in its most difficult days of destiny, did not believe any longer in the form and content of the German Reich defended by him, and in any case was doubtful of finding the life-saving character in the struggle against the enemy. He was, therefore, spiritually more at home in the democracies than in Germany.

From this point of view we will be able to grasp correctly the historical situation of our days. Once the French Revolution of 1789 smashed an old, moribund regime and prepared to conquer Europe with its armies. Against this democratic revolt was formed the so-called Holy Alliance of the monarchies. In dangerous moments this alliance did indeed hold together, only to resume again at the first opportunity the old animosities of the various sovereigns. But in the camp of the Alliance itself there were enthusiastic adherents of the French Revolution, and many fortresses fell not by conquest, but rather because their defenders at heart considered the French Army as the bearer of those ideas which they themselves recognized as their own.

This development continued for decades. From the unstructured democratic idea (not to be confused with those nationalist movements which before 1789 wrung their rights out of the sovereigns) arose upon the growth of the populations, upon the arising of the world cities, upon the strengthening of the Jewish elements a loosening of all formative forces. The World War and its consequences shook all the nations to their foundations, and the Bolshevik world revolt rose up as the menacing flame of destruction for all those who still wanted to see.

And, considered world historically, Democracy today stands just as internally helpless before Bolshevism as the Holy Alliance once stood before the Democratic Revolution.

Pitifully short-sighted and frightened like rabbits before the rattlesnake the so-called democracies gaze upon the Bolshevik world-wide conflagration. They cannot fight any more effectively against Bolshevism than the Holy Alliance could against the French Revolution, because Bolshevism in many ways stems from the final consequences of their own ideologies.

Against an attacking, concentrated force the democratic loss of control must be characteristically and politically unfit for taming the forces of the era.

The slogan "neither Bolshevism nor Fascism" is the shortest formula for internal lack of security. The behavior of so many democracies before the Bolshevik world danger is not a sign of a cautious superiority, as some would have us believe, but rather the external sign of an internal inadequacy in viewing honestly in general the problems of our era. The great issue of destiny which was placed before us in 1919, now confronts all of Europe, the entire world; because Bolshevism is akin to a germ which, borne from its pestilential epicenter throughout the world by the wind, causes decay and subversion everywhere the peoples no longer possess the power of resistance. And if today countless witnesses of European national cultures in the east and southeast of Europe have succumbed, if the best blood of two peoples has already been led to the brink of extirpation [Ausrottung], that is the horrible allegory of precisely how peoples can be destroyed [untergehen]. Peoples do not die in one day, rather the process of destruction lasts for decades, perhaps even for hundreds of years.

Ancient Rome did not die in a few weeks, but instead even had a resurgence in its power of state when its folkish powers of creativity had already long since died and it brought people from its colonies in order to awaken the appearance of additional power. And so today the European peoples, even if their statesmen do not wish to recognize it, are fighting for their existence, and the coming decades will decide whether our old continent is still strong enough to defend the cultural forms of traditions and to create new forms of life capable of resistance for our century. Thus do coherent forces struggle against bloody chaos, creative work against enigmatic and uncreative demagogy, a will to the reordering of existence against the system of parasitical crusting over of our life.

But from the battle for power of our epoch two ever clearer poles project in which these two tendencies have found their most visible representation. On the one side stands National Socialism, in its impetus as protector not only of German grand history and worth -- on a common front with the world views related to it of other peoples --, but also as the protector of Europe as such, and on the other side Bolshevism as the embodiment of all destructive inclinations, of all hateful instincts against grand form and great worth. That is a fact of our present time, and even though short-sighted statesmen have protested against this fact, the rhythm of the forces is stronger than these protests of a few would-be great men of our day. It is frankly grotesque when from one side it is demanded that Europe must not solidify into a formation of blocs, when such a formation of blocs against Europe is already bloodily at work! And it is even more grotesque when these same statesmen summon the "great democracies" to defend the so-called achievements of the liberal era, whereby they obviously do not even realize that that already means a summons to form a bloc.

Once Rome found itself confronted by a dangerous Syrian pestilential epicenter in the Mediterranean. Carthage was at that time a center where the totality of the vanguard of Asia had ensconced itself and was emanating its corrosive forces against Rome. The uncompromising nature of the Roman state succeeded in extirpating a few of these advanced posts. Rome performed a cultural deed of the first rank, but it could no longer avoid the biological consequences of its large empire, because the actual founders and bearers of its state, considered on the basis of blood, had already become too weak. National Socialism has similarly struck down for the German Reich this same Syrian-Jewish corrosion and thus for the first time in world history has drawn biological consequences from political victory as the single possibility of a political victory not being able to be transformed into a racial defeat. The statesmen and so-called thinkers who believe they have to mock these consequences of National Socialism thereby are not showing a spiritual superiority, but rather only their lack of historical-biological insight and also their lack of greatness of character.

In what frightful way the extirpation of a humanity still imbued with the sense of being European is being carried out by the Jewish leadership of the Soviet Union may be shown with a single example:

The Soviet Union prides itself on having fulfilled in the course of these years two great canal projects: the White Sea Canal and the Moscow-Volga Canal. These great constructions were carried out by political prisoners who were combined with criminals. From the entire Soviet Union the good representatives of Russiandom which had not yet been forced under the yoke of the Bolshevik system and the remainder of the peoples of the Soviet Empire languishing under the Red imperialism of Moscow were driven together and sent into serfdom: in the European part for the construction of the great canals, for the erection of munitions factories, in the East, above all else, for the construction of railroad tracks which lay outside the range of Japanese guns, for the purpose of making easier a mobilization in the Far East against Japan. On this Baikal railroad labored some 800,000 criminals and political prisoners from the Ukraine, the Caucasus region and the Cossack areas, thus removed as far as possible from their homeland, often in temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees centigrade below zero. In the forced labor camps along the White Sea Canal 300,000 prisoners were killed in inhumane conditions, dying in the course of the work years and then being replaced by new prisoners and exiles consecrated for death, not seldom drawn from the German colonies. A former collaborator who was forced to labor in these Soviet camps and later was able to flee, estimates as an expert for the entire Soviet Union the number of political enemies of the Jewish blood regiment sentenced to forced labor and exile at well over five million souls. The construction of this White Sea Canal in the past years cost hundreds of thousands of human lives!

In utter contempt of this hideous extirpation, the Central Committee of the Comintern announced (Moscow Pravda of 8 September 1936) that the White Sea Canal had been built "with hands and spades." And the Central Committee of the Red Army (Krasnaya Zevsdaof 29 April 1937) named these atrocities against mankind, never before seen in all of world history, as a powerful victory of "socialist humanity!"

This extirpation in the name of socialism and the liberation of the workers was driven above all else by the former Jewish head of the Cheka, Yagoda. This man devised a cleverly thought out system of blackmail, in which some prisoners who still disposed of things of value, were promised easier treatment in return for handing over their last perhaps hidden pieces of jewelry. This extorted wealth was then sent abroad by this Jew Yagoda with the help of his accomplices, which elicited the envy of the scoundrels not part of the scam, who forced him to desist. The immediate subordinate of this criminal Jew was another Jew by the name of Moses Berman, who was charged with the administration of the forced labor camps of the entire Soviet Union.

With sadistic cruelty this Berman drove prisoners from all over the Soviet Union into the tundra of Asia and to the White Sea or let them waste away in Siberian concentration camps.

His deputy was the Jew Solomon Firmin. And thus continues the rape of the decent Russian forces still remaining and the members of all the other peoples of the Soviet Union in a cruelty quite unparalleled in world history.

That we are dealing here the product of the most perverse Jewish instinct and also with a political plan at that, many Jewish confessions have already shown, which in the past year we have indeed brought to the attention of the world. But from this point I must refer to an expression which perhaps many of the bourgeois would characterize as nonsense if they were not lying prostrate before us at the moment of Jewish triumph of black on white. This concerns the work appearing in New York entitled Now and Forever, a dialogue between the Jewish writer Samuel Roth and the Zionist politician Israel Zangwill. [1] Israel Zangwill wrote an introduction to the work, and the book itself is dedicated to the current rector of the Jewish University in Jerusalem. The two Hebrews chat about the Jews and their future, in which the writer Roth expresses the following:

"In the meantime we Jews (in Russia) have won our freedom and taken splendid revenge. Oh, it has paid to suffer pogroms. The regime which has persecuted us is now blowing in the dust of oblivion. Where we once were the oppressed and persecuted, today we are the proud and ruthless persecutors." [2] In further discussion (pages 136-142) the two Jews go into raptures that some day the time would come when in Europe the highest would be cast down to the lowest, and where the head is today would lie the feet and "where the heart of Europe was, there will be its liver."

Shivers of decay will shroud Europe. Over every European city will lie the yellow atmosphere of an insidious cancer.

The Jews would live dispersed in the world as before. Even in America Jewry would have to reckon with anti-Semitism, but they were to be hopeful about it.

"Have I not observed," says Roth, "that our people has spread its sphere of influence across the entire land? City by city we have developed our influence more and more. But in the main that we could do because we have been involved from the very beginning, even in the city of Detroit, which is the capital of American anti-Semitism."

And after the prophecy that the British imperium would collapse, the real plan of Zionism in Palestine is revealed. The two Jews dream -- and I stress that Israel Zangwill is a leading personality of World Jewry -- that the Jews would break out to the southeast, to India, to China. The Jewish state in Palestine obviously is supposed to be the springboard for that, and so hopes the author of the book in question at the end, that some day a man would appear as the leader of an undertaking of vengeance against Europe. He would dispatch men who would carry vials filled with poison in their clothes and spread incurable diseases in Europe.

And in the state of euphoria of this prophecy Roth declares: "The life of the European peoples will so to speak flow out of them, through the mouth and eyes and skin in streams of rotten blood.

"In Russia only infants and ignoramuses will be spared -- the rest will form immense cemeteries out of Moscow and Petrograd.

"Out of Poland and the Ukraine he will make a howling wilderness, and all women in these lands will be raped, just as they are killed, in commemoration of that which once happened against a defenseless people in their midst. The docks in Danzig will pour out rotten blood.

"Out of Belgium and Germany he (the avenger) will make such a slaughterhouse that it will be necessary to build new and higher dykes around Holland. Through France he will sweep like a fire through a cornfield."

This work shows what Satanic hate burns in men who so to speak go through life as well-mannered citizens of the North American Union. This hate is so great that it dares in the feeling of triumphal certainty to reveal itself publicly in the form of the printed word and, if I may add, that similar Jews within the so-called great democracies seem to be externally and securely assimilated and well-mannered, but internally are driven by the same anti-European instincts as Israel Zangwill and his Jewish companion, who have dedicated this work, as already mentioned, to the Zionist rector of the Jerusalem University.

If one consciously sets these frightful things before himself, he will grasp the complete degeneracy of character of those politicians who have recognized neither Bolshevism nor the bearer of the pestilence, or, if they have indeed recognized it, do not want to admit it out of fear of the most horrifying facts of life.

It is a further sign for the serious situation of Europe that in the course of this attitude the political leaders of the democracies not only capitulated, but also that they document their infirmity in carrying out that which was designated as their life mission, the protection of culture and religion.

The churches have nowhere been able to summon the peoples to perform a liberating act against bloody, atheistic Bolshevism. Over and above that, church leaders are even ready to find Christian ideals in Bolshevism.

From the pulpit the Deacon of Canterbury [3] declared that he is endeavoring to instruct the lords in Moscow that they have "a true religion," which lies "along the same line as the Christian religion" . . . And he was attacked [4] for making these unbelievable remarks, he wrote in the organ of England's salon Bolsheviks [5] that it would be a mistake to deny that in Spain and Russia among many things which were to be regretted there were nonetheless many elements which were apparently Christian in origin. Those allegedly are the efforts to replace the profit motive with the service motive in economic affairs, "to give every citizen equal security and to eliminate the barriers of class and race." Behind these ideas from Russia are supposed to be individualism and universalism, which certainly are not un-Christian, and in Central Europe they are attacked because they are supposedly Christian! And the deacon adds: "I desire that these ideals will come to England and, where God is willing, find recognition in peaceful ways, not forced." Here a church leader is advocating therefore before the entire world that which in other states destroys churches and burns priests. The height of demagogy, though, is surmounted when the deacon declares that we National Socialists are battling Bolshevism on account of its Christian contents! By the way, he is then obligated to explain how church burnings and the murders of priests could be introduced in England in peaceful ways.

A very well-known Roman Catholic writer in Germany [6] has outlined in a large work, Der Vatikan als Thron der Welt, [7] the position of his church, which he explains as follows:

"He (the Anti-Christ) lives in the form of Bolshevism with the gesture of deliverance, and in the form of Fascism as the state worship of a heathen manner. The Roman Catholic Church must stand implacably true to its essence against this second gesture of the Anti-Christ, as it does to radical socialism. Because there is a will to mankind, here only a will to power."

And from Evangelical Church circles in Germany he has brought forward the following echo:

"The reports leave no room for doubt that the new enemy (neo-paganism) is no less dangerous than the old (the atheist movement) . . ." [8]

If one inquires after the causes of this frightful mental confusion, so can he only assume the following: These representatives of the spiritual powers of the past indeed despise Marxism, but they do not pursue it to the same lengths as they do National Socialism, because in liberalism, free masonry and Marxism they perceive an opponent which evinces no profound formative forces. They desire to approve of a state which protects their incomes, wards off burglars, punishes criminals and creates secure connection possibilities for their trips and conferences.

But they do not want to have a state which is the bearer of a world view in which an entire people has shaped itself for the protection of its own. They are therefore not attacking the new movement from the standpoint of Christian belief, but rather putting a value on things only from the standpoint of their dominance within the nation.

In the struggle for a reordering of life the National Socialist movement has again given to a strife-torn, unbelieving people a belief in itself and with that the feeling for its labor in this world. Every one of us, right where he stands, is borne today by the recognition that his labor does not merely depict a material activity, but rather that it fits in somehow and somewhere in the total labor of all Germans. The symbols of the new inner attitude of the German people which arise in accordance with the will of the F�hrer here in Nuremberg, in Munich and everywhere in Germany are the signs of this grand, new power oriented inwardly to millions of individuals -- and it is precisely that which so many representatives of the spiritual past do not want to have! They therefore desire in many of their representatives not only to harm the new political state, but also once again to destroy for the German nation the hard won belief in a life's work! We desire to pronounce it here and now. This battling against the belief in our life's work seems to us just as criminal as the Judeo-Marxist sabotage of the world. The attitude of the bearers of this struggle seems to us as more than short-sighted. They had the great opportunity of placing their labor at the disposal of Adolf Hitler for the building of a new state and of marching with him, and with him of extirpating Bolshevik atheism. They have missed this opportunity, and if such chances of world history are not recognized or not wanted to be recognized, then the judgment of fate has been passed. The National Socialist movement, which without them has achieved victory and without them has imbued the Germans with a deep sense of labor, it accordingly cannot entrust those who have proven themselves unfit in the battle against chaos or who have to some degree arranged themselves on that side, which once helped to contribute to the immediate destruction of the German Reich, with political issues, let alone the entire spiritual education of the German nation.

If I have said from the beginning that the National Socialist movement not only examined the formative-destructive facts of our life, but also the conditions which made these things possible, then we stand today at a point which demands from us exactly the same internal truthfulness we once had to summon up in the realm of internal politics. Before the forum of this congress of the National Socialist movement we must accordingly declare that if representatives of religion and culture in other states and in the name of other institutions are combatting not only the world-destroying Bolshevik movement, but also are directing themselves against us as the preservers of European tradition, then they are cooperating with those conditions and causes which are preparing the decline of the peoples.

And if some day, as the Deacon of Canterbury hopes, Bolshevism, which he designates as a Christian idea, should really come to England, then after the destruction of this state, after a few hundred years, a historical writer will have to ascertain that not only the immediate torch-bearer is to blame for this collapse, but also, above all else, those who held the gates of the Reich open for the dedicated, hate-filled destroyers of the form and content of our Europe.

If we place this party congress in the realm of creative work, so we of necessity see the opposite pole of this creative will at work. A labor, directed by the state, can be a representation of a new feeling of life for millions. Another so-called labor, also led by the state, however, often evinces itself in a form of inhuman slavery.

If in Germany the roads of Adolf Hitler come into existence, then that is a sign of new creation and will to beauty. If the massive walls of the stadium and the congress hall [9] rise up here in Nuremberg in the coming years, they are the symbols of the highest self-esteem of a nation and the portrayal of an unbounded power of labor.

On the other hand, if in the Bolshevik state under the leadership of Moses Berman, Solomon Firin and their ilk the canals to the White Sea and to the Volga and the eastern railroads come into existence, then their implementation is a sign that a people has sunk into the most wretched slavery which can only find its equivalent in the ancient states in Asia. Every kilometer of these canals and railroads is marked by thousands of starved and murdered political opponents who were filled with rage against the slave masters in Moscow or who were merely suspected of not idolizing the destroyers of their homeland. This one example already shows how insolently that comparison of Germany and the Soviet Union on the part of the Oxford Church Congress has been. The masters who resort to these sorts of revolutions obviously lack any understanding for the things of this world, and proven here before all the nations that in their current state of constitution are unfit to lecture humanity about reform or salvation.

And if we go deeper, so will we upon consideration of spiritual prerequisites hit upon an internal legitimacy in the contrasting conditions in Germany and in the Soviet Union. The liberal world view and its bastard child, Marxism, result from the rootless individual. They believe in being able to unite these individuals, either through parliamentary elections or through compulsory measures -- be it in a democratic "society," be it in a proletarian mass of millions. Accordingly they must strive to suppress everything outstanding and they must destroy everyone and everything which protests against this extirpation of personality. Where they are politically, absolutely dominant they have done just this. What the blood dictator in Moscow pronounces in the way of death sentences on his own adherents in ever increasing numbers is simply the consequence of an internal law of a subhuman idea, that every independence of personality, creation and genuine labor must be suppressed.

That is why at the end of the doctrine of individualism and the worship of the mass there is always a tyrant. Exactly opposite, National Socialism operates from the assumption that the great creative achievements of world history always bear the stamp of a certain personality. But this personality is not an individual divorced from blood, home and historical destiny, but rather an incorporation, a crowning of a national tradition. Personality and people accordingly stand in organic correlation. And at its head therefore stands not a tyrant, but instead a leader.

Seen in this way, National Socialism and Bolshevism, labor and chaos, content and demagogy stand lethally opposed to one another; also it shown here how senseless and dumb it is to make a comparison in the sense of an alleged similarity in view of both of these valuations of life. Thus work is not for us slavery and also not mindless activity for its own sake, but rather labor for the one as well as for the entire nation is the true harmony between idea and deed. An idea on its own, which is not examined by the deed, can, as so often seem to be the case, become dangerous. An activity in and of itself without the achievement of the idea is mere vegetating. Only both together and both examining each other can result in the total, genuine creation, labor and building amongst which we stand today.

In years past we have celebrated our victory over the defeated enemy power. We have become aware that the unbounded will to this victory was the secret power which permitted us to bear all sacrifice. From this great struggle for power we have entered the era of the realization of the idea.

If previously the struggle was the great factor of selection of the National Socialist movement, then today it has become labor.

Labor, which every one of us has to perform in his place, which then stands as an achievement of one sort or another and likewise finds esteem with others, as one must himself have respect before every achievement of some other person in Germany. And that becomes the basis of everything visible which means labor and cooperation for us. From the World War the combat soldier brought home the experience of camaraderie under fire. The most magnificent thing which National Socialism calls its own is likewise the camaraderie of a fourteen-year struggle. From this camaraderie of battle springs the camaraderie of labor.

Conscious of this, we see beyond everyday worries and believe that this legacy of our struggle portrays forever the great, binding element for all National Socialists, a shrine which must not be violated by us. Every National Socialist has to obligate himself that if should some day err from the correct path, then he has to make it good again through redoubled camaraderie, and if he should see a comrade stumbling, then he must jump to his assistance. Only when he does that can he even hope that upon a mistake on his part a comradely hand of assistance will be extended to him. That has nothing to do with sentimental talk, but rather the cultivation of a creative force of life which we all require, which have fought for honorably and which we want to carry on as the bequest for the coming generations. The cooperation between a strong instinct and a bright awareness, of an internal veracity vis-a-vis the destiny of our time can only be accomplished in comradely labor.

That is a worth to which we must tend in the consciousness that it is the mission of National Socialism which much earlier we already have felt, have forthrightly developed for the blessing of Germany, Europe and the world.



[1] Appeared in 1925. See Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte Jahrg. 9 (1938), 41-55 and 151-165, as well as G. Leibbrandt, J�dische Weltpolitik in Selbstzeugnissen (M�nchen 1938), 10-53.

[2] Translator's note: Rosenberg read this passage translated into German. It has been re-translated back into English, and accordingly may not match the original English text. This caveat also applies to subsequent passages cited by Rosenberg.

[3] Dr. Hewlett Johnson; he delivered this sermon on 18 April 1937 in the cathedral at Canterbury (V�lkischer Beobachter of 20 April 1937).

[4] In the Morning Post.

[5] The News Chronicle.

[6] Joseph Bernhart.

[7] Leipzig 1930, 389. The title of his book translates into English as The Vatican as Throne of the World.

[8] Das Evangelische Deutschland Jahrg. 1935, 284 (11 August 1935).

[9] The F�hrer laid the cornerstone of the stadium on 9 September 1937, and that of the congress hall on 11 September 1935.
English translation copyright 2001 by James Allen Knechtmann. All rights reserved; no reproduction in part or in whole is permitted without prior written permission of the translator.

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