Friday, December 2, 2011

Propagandizing German Women in 1941

I have a lot of instructional material on the site, directives aimed not at the public, but at propagandists.  Today I am adding instructions for leaders of Nazi women’s groups from September 1941. This was three months after the invasion of the Soviet Union had begun.  The first item works to build morale for coming difficult days.  The second section deals with sexual relations with foreigners.  Relations with Jews, of course, were prohibited. However, there was a range of other groups, and an interesting gender difference.  It was OK for men to have relationships with racially-related foreigners such as the Dutch or Scandinavians. If they married, their wives would join the German racial community.  Women, however, were not to have such relationships, since even though their partners might be “racially desirable,” the women would likely move to their husbands’ countries and thus be lost to Germany, which “needed every German.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Building Confidence in German Victory (August 1943)

Today I’m adding the last in my current supply of issues of the Redner-Schnellinformation, irregular bulletins issued to Nazi speakers by the Reichspropagandaleitung.  Earlier in 1943, the Nazis had suffered defeats at Stalingrad and in North Africa.  The news in August 1943 had not gotten better.  Germans were understandably wondering how Germany could still win the war.

This issue tells speakers to be optimistic, to tell their audiences that Germany had every requirement for victory on its side.  However, it was remarkably vague about what that might mean.

Friday, September 30, 2011

On Cuts in the German Meat Ration (1943)

Of late I’ve been adding material intended for the guidance of Nazi speakers.  Today’s item is from May 1943, and explains the necessity for a cut in the meat ration.  This was a delicate matter to present to the public.  The Nazis used a variety of methods.  First, the issue was mentioned in newspaper articles.  Then the party’s speaker corps presented the case directly to audiences throughout Germany.

It is also interesting to consider the context.  Speaker directives both preceding and following this one dealt with a major anti-Semitic propaganda campaign that was going on in May 1943.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Issues of the Wochenspruch der NSDAP

The GPA has a page on the Wochenspruch der NSDAPa weekly poster with quotations intended to be inspiring.  They were posted in public places throughout Germany. According to Nazi sources, about 500,000 were issued each week. After about mid-1940, they were issued by the Reichspropagandaleitung, the Nazi Party’s propaganda office.  Before that, many were issued by the individual Gau propaganda offices, which makes tracking them rather difficult. The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek in Leipzig, for example, has only scattered holdings of the early issues.

A collector often provides me with scans of ones I have not seen before.  Today, I am adding four new ones to the page.  The most interesting is this one:

It has a particularly nasty anti-Semitic text (translated on the page — look for the one dated December 12, 1938 from Gau Saarpfalz).

I have three issues of the Wochenspruch for sale should you be interested.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nazi Speaker Advice on the Importance of Oil

Today I’m adding advice to Nazi speakers that quotes an article by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes on the threat of the Axis dominating world oil supplies, and thereby winning the war.  It was a standard Nazi propaganda tactic — realizing that the German public did not entirely believe Nazi propaganda, the propaganda system looked for other ways of persuading people that Germany’s chances for victory were good.  It’s interesting to compare this directive with the one issued a month earlier that I added a few days back ordering speakers not to suggest in any way that victory was near.  This one is consistent — it suggests victory will happen, but makes no promises of how soon.

Icke’s article was published in the 15 August 1942 issue of Collier’s. 

The Nazis had no easy way to get current American periodicals.  I assume this one was secured in a neutral country like Spain or Portugal, which explains why the issue is dated six weeks after Ickes’s article appeared  in the U.S.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Don't Build False Optimism (August 1942)

Today I’m adding another issue of the Redner-Schnellinformation issued by the Nazi Party’s Reichspropagandaleitung. It went to the party’s corps of speakers throughout the country. This one dates to August 1942, the last point at which from the Nazi perspective the war was going well. The summer offensive had gained a lot of territory, and the public was longing for an end to the war that year.  Speakers were ordered to avoid encouraging that thought in any way.  It was far better to announce victories once they had actually been won rather than to build false hopes that, when dashed, would damage morale.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Speech by Gauleiter Robert Wagner (29 March 1939)

I’ve been working on a project that has me wandering through German newspapers, and occasionally encounter speeches by Nazi Gauleiter, for which I have a small but growing page on the GPA.  Yesterday I came across a late-March 1939 speech by Robert Wagner, Gauleiter of Baden.  It was delivered just after Hitler had taken over Bohemia, Moravia, and the Memel District (although he had claimed the previous September that the Sudetenland was “my last territorial demand in Europe”).  It displays the height of Nazi confidence in Hitler — he seemed completely irresistible. Wagner basically tells his audience that Germany is going to do what it wants, despite the “lies” that the rest of the world may spread about a Germany that is only after its rights.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bildbericht der Woche (1939)

The Bildbericht der Woche was a weekly film strip issued by the Nazi Party’s propaganda office, the Reichspropagandaleitung.  It was intended for use in the countryside or neighborhood meetings where people were less likely to attend a movie theater to see the weekly newsreel.  About 1575 copies were produced each week in 1941.

This is #12, issued in late March of 1939 just after Hitler had taken over the rest of Czechoslovakia and bullied Lithuania into returning the Memel district, which had been lost under the Treaty of Versailles.  The speaker presenting the show would have had a text to read explaining each picture, which I unfortunately do not have.  Should you be able to identify any of the pictures more precisely than I have been able to do, kindly let me know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1938 Nazi Editorial Cartoon on the USA

After the Munich Agreement that turned over the Sudetenland to Germany, the U.S. grew increasingly worried about Germany.  The German side generally reacted vehemently to any criticism from abroad. This editorial cartoon appeared in the Wiener Neueste Nachrichten of 29 October 1938.

The caption loosely translates as “Clean up your own mess!”  A Jewish looking figure from the U.S. is about to dispatch a message to Europe, only to find a broom sent from Europe to clean up America’s problems.  The items in the mess are Chicago (gangsters), strike, corruption, bribery, a communist bomb, unemployment, and sacks of money.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Speech by Gauleiter Robert Wagner (1938)

I’ve not been adding much to the GPA lately, given other projects.  Today, however, while looking for something else I came across a 1938 speech by Gauleiter Robert Wagner (Baden), delivered to a party gathering in 1938.  I’m slowing building a page of speeches by the various Gauleiter, so I took the time to translate this one.

Gauleiter Robert Wagner

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rare Book by Leni Riefenstahl for Sale

Every so often I decide it’s time to sell something so as to be able to buy other things.  Today, I’m adding Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 book Hinter den Kulissen des Reichparteitag-Films (“Behind the Scenes at the Reich Party Rally Film”), published in 1935.  It is a soft-cover book of 104 pages with numerous photographs and what is purportedly Riefenstahl’s text (she later claimed she had not written it).  It is rarely offered for sale.

It even has a slip inserted with a note from Adolf Hitler praising the book:

 If you are interested in Riefenstahl, this is a book you will want to have. Take a look at my German Propaganda Book Shop for the details.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1937 Poster on Naval Affairs

The Reichsbund Deutscher Seegeltung was a Nazi organization that worked to build public support for the German navy and commercial fleet. This poster uses the standard slogan “Seafaring is Necessary!” in announcing a lottery, the profits of which would go to supporting the organization.  I thank a visitor to the site for providing this poster that I have added to the poster page.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A 1932 Nazi Pamphlet for the Communists

I’m continuing to add early Nazi propaganda material to the site.  Today, I add a translation of The Bolshevist Swindle, a pamphlet published early in 1932 that was directed to the communists. It takes most German communists to be honest but deluded workers, and tries to prove that Stalin’s policies in the Soviet Union are worse than those of any Western capitalism.  At about the same time, a pamphlet by the same author titled The Sensationalist Newspapers Lie!  was released that was directed at the Socialists.

There are other pamphlets from the period on the GPA as well, including several published during the March and April 1932 presidential elections.  They demonstrate how serious the Nazis were in adapting their appeals to reach the most disparate audiences.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nazi Pamphlet “Hitler to Brüning” (December 1931)

I’m gradually adding translations of material from before 1933.  Today, I’m posting an interesting pamphlet titled Hitler to Brüning. It’s the text of Hitler’s response to Chancellor Brüning’s emergency decree of early December 1931, which among other things banned political uniforms, meetings, and insignia.  Brüning at the time lacked a parliamentary majority and was maintained in power by Reich President Hindenburg, who under the Weimar Constitution had the authority to permit that.

It is an interesting example of Hitler’s rhetorical style — and was at the time persuasive not only to his Nazi followers, but probably to many others as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Miscellaneous Nazi Speaker Directives (May 1942)

 Today I am adding a May 1942 set of Nazi speaker directives covering an interesting range of topics.  One deals with foreign press reports that could be used in speeches. Another directive orders speakers to use the word “propaganda” only for German efforts to influence opinion. The enemy efforts are “agitation.” This is the last of these for a while, since I’ve gone through what I have at hand.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nazi Speaker Information on Wendell Willkie

I’ve had a bit of extra time the last two days, so I’ve translated another example of the material intended for Nazi speakers.  This one is from November 1942, and mines a speech by Wendell Willkie (who had run against Roosevelt in 1940) for evidence to use in speeches attacking the Allies. It also spends some time on submarine warfare, which at the time was one of the few bright spots from the Nazi perspective.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Advice to Nazi Speakers on the Invasion of the Soviet Union

As a rhetorician, I'm particularly interested in Nazi oratory.  Today I’m adding another page of advice sent to Nazi speakers, who addressed meetings throughout the country.  This material was released in September 1941, and gives speakers directions on how to handle the unexpectedly stubborn resistance on the part of the Soviet Union. The article basically says that it is the result of the primitive thinking of those in the Soviet Union and effective propaganda on the part of the communist government.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Fabricated Hitler Quotation

Although there is no shortage of quotations from Nazi sources that demonstrate its evil, people occasionally invent quotations that sound like what they think the Nazis would say to support a point.  I have a page on false Nazi quotations that looks into such matters.

Today I’m adding a quotation found in more than 1,700,000 web pages and a fair number of books.  Hitler is alleged to have said: “What luck for rulers that men do not think.” I’m not absolutely certain is it a fabrication, but I’m almost sure.  It isn’t in Mein Kampf, nor the published edition of Hitler’s speeches.  No one I can find who cites it provide a source. One book cited by several others provides the quotation, but no source.

But it sounds like what people think Hitler would have said, so it keeps spreading.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

German Foreign Office Propaganda from 1941

In the convoluted system of Nazi propaganda, all sorts of people and offices produced propaganda, sometimes to the considerable annoyance of Joseph Goebbels. One interesting outlet was the Deutsche diplomatisch-politsche Korrespondenz, something of a mimeographed press release that was a semi-official  service of the German Foreign Office.  It was intended primarily for the press.   I’m adding translations of three of the issues from 1941.  The first, dated 10 October 1941, earned the wrath of Joseph Goebbels, since it claimed that the campaign in Russia was essentially over and that Russia had collapsed.  That turned out not to be entirely accurate.  Goebbels would have preferred to hold back claims of complete victory until complete victory had been attained.  The second is a completely misguided analysis of British politics.  The third was issued after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but before Hitler’s declaration of war on 11 December.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Youth Talk by Walter Groß (1935)

I recently bought two pamphlets with radio talks for the youth  by Walter Groß, head of the Nazi Party’s Racial Policy Office.  The first I added about a week ago.  Now I’m adding the second, Blood is Holy, delivered a year later (1935). Like the first, it is an effort to translate Nazi racial theory into language understandable by children.

There was a great deal of Nazi material on this topic.  The best book on the subject is Claudia Koonz’s The Nazi Conscience.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Ministry of Propaganda in 1942

A year or so back, I bought a stack of Signal, a bi-monthly illustrated propaganda magazine the Nazis issued in about two dozen languages.  The stack was missing one issue I particularly wanted from August 1942 — a story on Goebbels’s  Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment.  Just recently, I managed to secure the missing issue, and have added it to the GPA. It’s most interesting for a variety of pictures, two of which are below.

This a device that allowed Goebbels to interrupt all German radio programming to make an announcement.

Every day at 11:00 a.m., Goebbels held a conference with top propagandists.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Radio Talk for German Youth on Race (1934)

Dr. Walter Groß was the head of the Nazi Party’s Racial Policy Office.  I’m adding the text of a 1934 radio address to the German youth, which was widely reprinted. There is no mention of the Jews in this talk; it only outlines the basics of Nazi racial thinking. He committed suicide at the end of World War II under the justified apprehension that the victorious Allies would not take well to the work he had done.

The picture is taken from Wikipedia, which took it from the German Bundesarchiv.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gauleiter Hugo Jury Article (1939)

After the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938, the Gau system was established, and the governmental structure was reorganized.  As part of my slowly growing page on speeches and articles by the various Nazi Gauleiter, I’m adding a 1939 article by Hugo Jury that discusses his plans for Gau Niederdonau. The article is translated from ANNO, a project to digitize Austrian newspapers.

Gauleiter Hugo Jury

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Hitler Youth Training Material

I’ve added three more covers of Die Kameradschaft, the bimonthly for leaders of Hitler Youth Groups. These  are excellent examples of what Nazism wanted to inculcate in the youth. If you’re a grad student looking for a dissertation topic, there’s one in here, I think.

This 1936 issue is titled “Race is Fate,” and has a variety of material aimed at teaching kids Nazi racial theory.

And this one has to do with the evils of Bolshevism.

Gauleiter Eigruber’s Economic Plans

As part of my slowly growing section of material by Nazi Gauleiter, I’ve added a 1939 article by Gauleiter August Eigruber of Oberdonau (Upper Danube) on economic policy. Eigruber was executed in 1947 for crimes against humanity.

Gauleiter August Eigruber

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nazi Films

I have not had any films on the site before, both because I do not have them in my collection and because the bandwidth requirements can be high.  However, there are many films from the period available on places like or YouTube.

To help those interested get started, I am adding a page with several embedded videos.  They include excerpts from Nazi propaganda films of the 1927 and 1929 Nuremberg rallies, an edition of Panorama, a late-war series of color features, and a 1943 newsreel.

Anyone interested will have no difficulty finding more.