Friday, April 22, 2016

A 1932 Nazi Pamphlet

I particularly like to add ephermera to the site, items that may have had mass distribution at the time but have largely disappeared.

Today I’m adding a pamphlet from the first round of the 1932 German presidential election, titled Adolf Hitler: German Worker and Front Soldier.  It was issued by the party’s propaganda office in Munich and surely had an enormous distribution.

It gives a brief biography and attempts to demonstrate Hitler’s leadership by a variety of examples. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Gauleiter Eigruber's Final Appeals (April 1945)

Those marvelous Austrians in charge of ANNO who are putting the full runs of newspapers on-line have just gotten to adding 1945.  That gives me the chance to add the four  final speeches by Gauleiter Eigruber, the first a speech on 10 April 1945, then on  15 April 1945, then on 20 April 1945, and finally an appeal on about  26 April 1945.  They urge people to hold out until the end. They didn’t have to wait long for that end to come.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Lot of New Material on the Nazi Speaker System

I have a particular interest in the lower levels of the Nazi propaganda system.  A significant part of that was the speaker corp that delivered the Nazi message to people throughout Germany.  These speakers needed to be informed  — and kept from saying the wrong things.

Today I’m adding a dozen or so editions of the Redner-Schnellinformation, an irregular publication for speakers. Some are from the beginning of the crisis on the Eastern Front.  Others deal with how to treat foreign leaders, how to present Rommel’s victories in Africa, or what to say to women.

This material was done in haste, often in response to immediate events.  Mistakes sometimes occur.  For example, in #24 (4 January 1942) speakers are instructed:
We have a political interest in distinguishing clearly and intentionally that part of the American continent, namely North America, that is waging war against us from the other countries of the American continent. Avoid, therefore, speaking of America as the enemy, but rather always heed the fact that our enemy is not all of America, but rather onlyNorth America or the United States of North America, or the USA. Speakers should be sure to clearly distinguish these terms.

Issue #26 (21 February 1942) followed these instructions.  However, they were forgotten by issue #28 (14 March 1942), in which there is this passage:
Given the continuing attempts through using reports of German losses in the East, through lying reports of vast armaments capacity in America, through political agitation in the occupied territories and in the neutral world, etc., they try to create the impression that they have not been affected by the results of the war and that we have no chance of final victory. 
I also added two essays by Joseph Goebbels from Das Reich that speakers were instructed to use as the basis of their speeches: “What is Sacrifice” and “A Word to All.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Goebbels Compares Russian Tanks to Hannibal's Elephants

During the last months of the Third Reich there was abundant evidence that the war was lost.  Still, Germans kept fighting to the very bitter end.  Goebbels’s weekly articles in Das Reich are particularly interesting.  He wasn’t stupid.  He knew the war was lost, and he didn’t have good arguments any longer.  About all he could do was argue that the Allies would destroy Germany, so Germans might as well go down fighting, and that since military situations had changed in the past, they would in April 1945, too.

This article, titled History as a Teacher,  makes an interesting comparison between Hannibal’s elephants and Russian tanks.  After all, the elephants terrorized those who encountered them, yet Rome won in the end.  So, too, would tanks be overcome.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Battle of Bougainville: A Second Pearl Harbor (December 1943)

German press reports about the war in Europe were influenced by the requirements of propaganda, but generally had a reasonable relationship to reality.  The Pacific was a different matter.  There the Germans had to depend on Japanese accounts — and those were often wildly exaggerated.

The December 1943 article I’m posting today claims enormous, and almost entirely false, American losses in the Battle for Bougainville.  Since the military news in Europe was grim from the German perspective, it was surely encouraging to believe that, at least in the Pacific, the Axis was enjoying one victory after another.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Nazi Uses of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”

Holocaust and Genocide Studies just published my article “Believing in ‘Inner Truth’: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Nazi Propaganda, 1933-1945.” Here’s the abstract:
Although most leading Nazis realized that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a spurious document, they found it useful in promoting belief in the international Jewish conspiracy of which they were already convinced. Authorship and other details were irrelevant, they averred, if the book expressed “inner truth.”
The GPA includes the introduction to a Nazi edition of the Protocols.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Allied World War II Leaflets

The German Propaganda Archive focuses on material from the German side, but now and again I come across interesting related material worth noting.  The George C. Marshall Foundation has just put up a collection of Allied leaflets from World War II.

An Example

The site has images and translations.  Definitely worth a look.