Friday, April 27, 2012

Dealing with the the Soviet Union (1939 and 1941)

I’ve been working at the German National Library in Leipzig this week, adding a burst of material as those those who follow this blog will have noticed.  Today I add two items from the Zeitschriften-Dienst.  This was a weekly newsletter that went to all magazine editors with material to incorporate into their publications.

First, there are guidelines from August 1939 when the German-Soviet agreements shocked the world and prepared the way for Hitler’s attack on Poland. This was a remarkable shift in German policy, which throughout the previous years had argued that Bolshevism was a great threat to the world. The material focuses on the economic benefits to Germany of the alliance and tells journalists to avoid all ideological matters.

Second is the directive from June 1941. Now the emphasis is on the great ideological differences between the two totalitarian states. The invasion started well from the Nazi perspective, and at the end of the article editors are told to remember that the invasion of the Soviet Union is a phase in the greater war against England. Things turned out a bit differently.

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