Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Book on Erich Retzlaff

A while back I provided some images for an exhibition on German photographer
Erich Retzlaff, active during the Nazi era.  That book on the exhibition has just appeared, and should be interesting for anyone interested in photography during the Third Reich.

The author is Christopher Webster van Tonder, and the book is published by Aberystwyth University’s School of Art.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Celebration of Hitler’s Takeover in the USA

In the course of gathering material on my main interests curious things sometimes show up.  This is the program for an event organized by the German consulate in New York City on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of Hitler’s takeover of power.                  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Goebbels on the Political Situation (August 1931)

Before Hitler’s takeover in 1933 Joseph Goebbels wrote a monthly essay for Unser Wille und Weg, the party periodical for propagandists, that outlined the Nazi take on current events.  Today I add his essay from August 1931, an interesting period.  There were no national elections that year, and there was frustration within the Party since things seemed to be moving slowly.  Goebbels laid out the propaganda line that the party was following.

He makes the claim that Germany would long-since have collapsed had it not been for the restraint of the Nazi Party.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A 1938 Painting of Adolf Hitler Surfaces

One of the benefits of my work is that people frequently write me asking for information about something in their possession.  One of the most interesting of those comes from a woman whose father, a B-17 pilot, found this remarkable painting while visiting the bombed-out remains of the beer hall in Munich where Hitler had held many of his early meetings.  I have added it to the page of Nazi paintings of Hitler.

I am not familiar with the artist, one F. Thiele.  I welcome information from anyone who know more about the artist or this painting.

Friday, August 30, 2013

More on “Yankee Beetles” in the GDR

The GPA has material from a 1950 East German pamphlet accusing the United States of dumping potato beetles on the GDR.

The BBC recently did an interesting story on the topic, including interviews with people who were East Germans at the time and who found themselves in the fields with the unpleasant task of plucking potato beetles from the undersides of leaves.  They were rather dubious about the charge, they recall.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

International Ethnic Mush (1941)

I particularly like to add ephemera to the GPA — pamphlets and other items that were produced in large numbers, but not intended to grace library shelves for coming generations.  Today’s addition is a remarkable pamphlet titled International Ethnic Mush or United National States of Europe?  It was published in the first half of 1941 by Robert Ley, head of the Nazi labor organization and a person unsavory even by Nazi standards.

The print run was 2,000,000, and I assume it was widely distributed.  It is filled with crude anti-Semitism and a fair amount of Germanic pride.  Ley tells his readers that they are the master race that has earned the right to rule Europe.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Julius Streicher Speech: 31 October 1939

Today I’m adding what was probably Julius Streicher’s last major speech, delivered on 31 October 1939.  He was in considerable difficulty at the time, and was shortly afterward exiled to his country estate outside Nuremberg.

World War II was in its “phony war” stage.  Poland was defeated, but little was happening on the battlefields.  Streicher includes his usual anti-Semitic arguments and encourages his audience to have faith in Hitler.

New Site on Anti-Semitic Propaganda

An interesting new site on German propaganda includes a wide range of images of anti-Semitic material from 1930-1945.  It’s based on the remarkable collection of material held by the site’s owner.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bytwerk Book Unbanned in China

Back in August 2012 I reported that my book Bending Spines: The Propagandas of Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic had been banned on the Chinese mainland, although it remained available in Hong Kong.  A visitor to the blog tells me that the ban has been lifted and the book is now available. I'd appreciate reports from other Chinese readers.  His note follows:
“I just bought and read the Chinese translation of your book. I understand why the Chinese mainland government wants to ban the book, but now the book is available again. 
There are some interesting points in the book that reminds me of what the Chinese government has done in the past (specifically before and during the Cultural Revolution), but many statements don't apply any more. 
There is still a propaganda department in the Chinese Communist Party, but right now cultural diversity is at its peak since the founding of PRC (which is not really a achievement). The Internet has greatly changed the lives of the Chinese people. Though the government has a strict Internet censorship policy, the effect remain limited since there are so many people online. The great fire wall also banned many foreign sites, but we can still visit those banned sites using VPN or other methods, and Internet censorship will face a bigger challenge when IPv6 become more and more popular.”
 I’d appreciate reports from other Chinese readers.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Digitized Nazi Propaganda Sources

I am sometimes asked to include the German originals on the site.  That would be a lot of extra work, and I am primarily aiming the site at those who cannot read German or at scholars who will be able to secure the original materials should they be needed.

However, increasing amounts of relevant material are appearing on-line.  The Austrians are digitizing long runs of newspapers.  Various Nazi periodicals are available. I often find books digitized.

To help people find such sources, I am beginning a new page that provides links to digitized Nazi propaganda material. I am including only scans from originals.  Places like have considerable material that has either been typed from the originals or scanned by OCR methods — and these are not always dependable.

I am sure there is a great deal more than I have listed — and more will keep coming.  I’ll welcome suggestions for additions.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Building Nazi Party Credibility in 1944

Recently I’ve been adding material from 1944, late in the war.  Today’s addition is an essay on the Nazi Party’s efforts to deal with the results of Allied bombing.  The party had less popularity than it wanted — articles like this were an effort to persuade people that the party was engaged in valuable work.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Building Faith in German Victory (1944)

Until Stalingrad, it was reasonable for the average German to believe in ultimate German victory.  Propaganda’s job was relatively easy.  After February 1943, the job was harder.  Today I am adding material from mid-1944 intended for use in Sprechabende, or evening discussion meetings.   These were organized primarily for members of the Nazi Party and were intended to boost their faith, but also to provide them with material they could use in talking with their fellow citizens.  The article is titled: “Now More than Ever: We Believe in Victory!

It outlines the military, economic, political, and worldview arguments party members could use in talking with their fellow citizens.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Anti-Semitic Material for Girls (1944)

Although most Jews had already been killed by February 1944, the Nazi continued their anti-Semitic propaganda.  Today I am adding training material to be used in meetings with girls.  Although most  girls would have had no direct experience with Jews, they are told that Jews remain a deadly threat to Germany.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A 1927 Nazi Caricature: Killing Jews with Poison Gas

In Mein Kampf, Hitler writes that Germany would not have lost World War I if 12,000 - 15,000 “Hebrew corruptors of the people” had been killed with poison gas.

There were not a lot of such suggestions in Nazi propaganda before 1933 of killing Jews en masse, but Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer did run occasional cartoons like this one that I am today adding to the page on pre-1933 cartoons from Der Stürmer.

A Nazi is pumping poison gas into a tunnel beneath an oak tree representing Germany. Dead Jewish rats are strewn about.  The caption: “When the vermin are dead, the German oak will flourish.”

Monday, March 4, 2013

2000 Years of German Culture (1937)

1937 was a big year for art in Munich.  The new Munich art gallery opened, at which annual displays of approved Nazi art were held until 1944.  And there was a festival titled “Two Thousand Years of German Culture.”

Today I add six color photographs of the event, taken from the party’s monthly art magazine, Die Kunst im Dritten Reich.