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FDR Arsenal of democracy

Film | Accession Number: 1992.259.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0447 | Film ID: 403

Universal Newsreel, Vol. 12, No. 941. Release date, 12/29/1940.
"Roosevelt Warns of Danger to US if Nazis Win War" FDR speaking to camera, CU & VCU, seated at microphone.
"If Great Britain goes down, the Axis powers will control the continents of Europe and Asia and Africa and Australasia, and the high seas. And they will be in a position to bring enormous military and naval resources against this hemisphere. It is no exaggeration to say that all of us in the Americas would be living at the point of a gun.

Analyze for yourselves the future of two other places, even nearer to Germany, if the Nazis won. Could Ireland hold out? Would Irish freedom be permitted as an amazing exception in an unfree world? Or the Islands of the Azores, which still fly the flag of little Portugal, after five centuries. We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at the price of total surrender.

The people of Europe who are defending themselves do not ask us to do their fighting. They ask us for the implements of war: the planes, the tanks, the guns, the freighters, which will enable them to fight for their liberty and our security. There is no demand for sending an American expeditionary force outside our own border. There is no intention by any member of your government to send such a force.

The nation expects our defence industries to continue operation without interruption by strikes or lockout. We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us, this is an emergency as serious as war itself. There will be no bottlenecks in our determination to aid Great Britain. No dictator, no combination of dictators will weaken that determination by threats of how they will construe that determination. I believe that the Axis powers are not going to win this war. I base that belief on the latest and the best information."

Event:  12/29/1940
Washington, DC, United States
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:02:37
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