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:
If TIME readers flipped to page 45, as suggested by the parenthetical about “restricted aerial warfare,” they would find a tale of the slaughter of Polish civilians.
The speech continued, this magazine reported, with a discussion of good relations with Britain and France, and Hitler’s hope that the nations of Europe could settle on a peace — but only a peace in which German demands would be met.
And, despite the ostensibly peaceful nature of the speech, Hitler couldn’t resist ending on an ultimatum: “If, however, the opinions of Messrs. Churchill and his followers should prevail,” TIME reported him saying, “this statement will have been my last.”
Read the full report on Hitler’s Oct. 6, 1939, speech here, in TIME‘s archives: The Last Statement