Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A 1940 Nazi Parlor Game

I’ve added a page on Do You Know That?, a 1940 Nazi parlor game.

It was intended to teach people dates in German history, some in the past, some more contemporary and with heavy propaganda content.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Anti-Semitic Poster from the November 1932 Election

While looking through Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer for something else, I came across this poster from the November 1932 Reichstag election.

It translates loosely as “Get rid of misery, get rid of the Jews.”   I’ll added it to the pre-1933 poster page.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Goebbels on International High Finance (1928)

I’m adding a 1928 article by Joseph Goebbels titled “The World Enemy.” Usually that phrase meant the Jews in Nazi rhetoric, but in this case Goebbels doesn’t make that explicit.  He argues that the forces of world finance are at the brink of destroying Germany.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Boys the Nazis Didn’t Like

I’m adding an interesting article from Morgen, the Nazi magazine for boys under twelve, later titled Der Pimpf.  Titled “Hey, You There,” It is addressed to those who were not eager to join the Hitler Youth organization.

The wrong sort of boy from the Nazi perspective

This was shortly after the Hitler Youth had replaced all other youth organizations as the result of legislation.

The issue’s cover

“Real boys,” the Nazis suggested, belonged in the rough and tumble Hitler Youth.  They weren’t mama’s boys or the favorites of maiden aunts.

Wochenspruch Pages Updated

I’ve updated my pages on the Wochenspruch der NSDAP, the weekly poster with inspiring quotations issued by the Reichspropagandaleitung.

I now have posted all of the images available to me.  There are  some images I don’t have, and I am far from having a complete set of texts.  I have almost everything after 1940, but am missing many from the years 1937-1939.

If you can help me to fill the gaps, I’d appreciate it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dealing with Former Nazis in the Soviet Zone (1946)

Both parts of Germany had a problem after the war — what to do with former Nazis.  Dealing with the major figures was easy enough, but what about the millions who had been members of the party or its subsidiaries?  To punish all of them equally would have caused major problems.

East Germany was not yet a separate state and the Communists had not forced the Socialists to merge with them.  This material was issued early in 1946 by the Communist Party of Germany to provide its propagandists with information on how to deal with the situation.

Basically, the argument was to distinguish between activist and nominal members and supporters of the Nazi system.  Those millions who had been part of the Nazi organization but had committed no crimes were to be given an opportunity to prove that they had left Nazism behind.

This was one of a series of such pamphlets.   I include a list at the end of the page for those interested.  This is the only one I have a copy of.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nazism and Cities

Lyric Hughes Hale has an interesting piece in the Huffington Post titled “The Global Politics of Cities” which uses the German Propaganda Archive to discuss the role of cities.  She notes that Mao Zedong and Hitler both saw cities as places of depravity. She uses an educational poster from the GPA showing the deleterious effects of a growing urban population.

She concludes:
“My bottom line: urbanization is a political process. Most of us are urbanites, and for most of us, urbanization has meant modernization and economic progress. But have we reached a new plateau, a place where we have reached the limits of the economic benefits of urban growth? How will the politics of cities evolve?”

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Books on Julius Streicher

To my surprise, it took along time to get a biography of Julius Streicher.  My dissertation on him was finished in 1975 and appeared in book form in 1983, with a second somewhat expanded edition in 2001.  It has sold well over the years and is the only English-language book on Streicher that remains in print.

Since I am a rhetorician, however,  I was interested more in the content of Streicher’s propaganda than in his biography, but since there was so little in English I did give two chapters of biographical material.  It was rather thin, and as a graduate student at the time I was only able to manage about a month in the German archives.  I missed some useful sources and other valuable sources surfaced after I completed the book.

Dennis E. Schowalter’s Little Man, What Now? Der Stürmer in der Weimar Republic is a fine book that appeared in 1982, but as the title suggests covers only the period before 1933.

There is also William P. Varga’s The Number One Nazi Jew-Baiter (New York: Carlton Press,  1981).  It was originally his 1974 dissertation at Ohio State.  Like my book, he did not have access to a variety of useful sources.

After that there was a long silence. Streicher was the most prominent Nazi leader who lacked a full biography.  There were books and articles that covered aspects of Streicher’s career, but the kinds of books one can find about Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, and other Nazi leaders were missing.

That situation has now been remedied.  First came Franco Ruault, who completed an enormous dissertation at the University of Innsbruck in 2006.  It was published in two parts totaling over 950 pages:

“Neuschöpfer des deutschen Volkes”.  Julius Streicher im Kampf gegen “Rassenschande” (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2006)

and Tödliche Maskaraden. Julius Streicher und die “Lösung der Judenfrage” (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2009).

It’s hard to know what to say about Ruault’s project.  It’s not a biography, although it has biographical elements, and it’s not really a study of Der Stürmer and its propaganda, although it does cover some of that.  Ruault is interested in patriarchy and sexuality.  The prose is sometimes obtuse — although I have difficulties reading similar material in English so it just may be my denseness.  His books aren’t the place to start if you are interested in Streicher.

Then there is Ralph Keyser's Der Stürmer: Instrument de l'idéologie nazie, une analyse des caricatures d'intoxication (L’Harmattan, 2012).  This looks to be more a study of the Stürmer’s contents than a biography, but since I don’t read French I cannot say much about it.

I’ve just finished reading the book I’m surprised did not get written years ago: Daniel Roos’s Julius Streicher und “Der Stürmer” 1923-1945 (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2014).  

It’s based on his 2013 dissertation at the University of Würzburg. It is a fine piece of work. I learned a lot.  Roos had access to a much wider range of sources than I did back in the mid-1970s.  He does a good job of laying out Streicher’s biography and also of analyzing the anti-Semitic content of Der Stürmer.  It is well-written.

At over 500 pages, Roos’s book does suffer from the weakness of dissertation writers, which is to include everything one finds.  The book would have been better, perhaps, were it one hundred pages shorter.  Still, this is where to start if you are interested in Julius Streicher, assuming you read German.  Otherwise, you can always read my book.

Monday, August 18, 2014

German Propaganda Archive URL Changes

For technical reasons, Calvin College is moving the German Propaganda Archive pages on its server to a new URL.

Page requests for the old URLs will automatically be transferred to the new URL, but if you can easily update links you have to the site I’d appreciate your doing so.

All links to old pages are of the form: or

All the new URLs begin with this string:

The filename remains the same.

If you don’t do anything, the links will still work, but I’d like to get Google indexing the new URLs as soon as possible.

This does not apply to URLs that begin

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nazi Cartoon on the Jehovah’s Witnesses

  The Nazis didn’t like the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a variety of reasons.  In this 1935 cartoon from Die Brennessel, one Jew says to another: “At least we are still the ‘Chosen People’ for the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’.”  Die Brennessel  was the weekly Nazi humor magazine, although it wasn’t all that funny.

Other material from Die Brennesssel is available on the GPA.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Goebbels Worries about Germans Who Don’t Want to Fight to the End

Today I add the penultimate of Joseph Goebbels’s weekly articles for Das Reich.  It was mid-April, and despite constant calls to fight to the end, Germans in the West were all too eager to surrender to the advancing British and American forces.  The worst came on 1 March 1945, when the citizens of Goebbels’s hometown of Rheydt easily accepted American troops.  This article is titled “Risking One’s Own Life.” Goebbels argues that only a few spineless Germans accept enemy occupation, while the good ones fight to the end.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Neues Deutschland after the Wende

Just after the fall of East Germany I wrote a paper about Neues Deutschland’s transition from the subservient organ of the East German state to a newspaper that was a trying to adjust to dramatically new conditions.  It was one of the few things I’ve written that I could not find a home for and it has been sitting in my files for twenty years.  It is by now decidedly dated, but for those interested in the period it may have some interest.

The essay is titled “Neues Deutschland after the Wende.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Remarks by Gauleiter Eigruber in August 1943

I’ve got a slowly developing page of speeches and essays by the various Nazi Gauleiter.  Today I’m adding some 1943 remarks to local group leaders by August Eigruber, Gauleiter of Oberdonau.

This is based on a newspaper article that reports some of his remarks, where were intended to encourage local group leaders to further efforts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nazi Posters from Early 1941

While looking through early 1941 issues of Unser Wille und Weg (the Nazi monthly for propagandists) for another reason I came across black and white photographs of three posters that I've added to the poster section of the GPA.

This could be used by local party groups to advertise political meetings.

This also served the same purpose.  It was part of a campaign that had soldiers on leave speak to audiences about their experiences at the front.

This was a nationally-distributed poster promoting unity between the front and the homeland.

All three posters were probably in color (and the bottom one certainly was). 

Despite the strains of the war effort, which had led many formerly engaged in making propaganda to join the military, propaganda activity remained intense.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wochenspruch der NSDAP

I have hundreds of examples of the Wochenspruch der NSDAP on the site.  This was a weekly poster with inspiring quotations issued between 1937 and 1944.  Before 1940, many were issued by the Gauleitungen, afterwards (mostly) by the Reichspropagandaleitung.  My page is the most complete collection available, but it is not complete.   New ones surface every now and then.

Just yesterday I found confirmation that the final issue (which I have not seen) was #15/1944.  The image is courtesy of MAR Historical.

I, and others, are attempting to find as many of these as we can.  Should you have ones not on my site, I’d appreciate hearing about them.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

An Anti-Semitic Poster from 1932

A friend of the site provides me with this interesting image that I have added to the poster page:

Death to Marxism
Join Us!

It probably was issued for one of Reichstag elections of 1932, since the snake has the three-arrow symbol of the “Iron Front,” an anti-Nazi coalition established in December.  It could also be from the Prussian elections that year.  It looks to be something produced by a regional party organization, since posters produced by the Reichspropagandaleitung were generally more polished.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Letters to Adolf Hitler

A variety of German archival material ended up in Russia after World War II. Henrik Eberle’s Letters to Hitler (Malden, MA: Polity, 2012), based primarily on material in the Moscow archive, is an example.  It is an edited and condensed version of a book originally published in Germany in 2007.  The book includes a wide range of letters to Hitler.

The book also recommends the German Propaganda Archive (p. 202) as a good site for those wanting further information.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gauleiter Hugo Jury is Optimistic (December 1943)

I have a slowly growing page on speeches and essays by Nazi Gauleiter, the party’s regional chieftains. Today I’m adding Christmas-Day 1943 essay by Hugo Jury, Gauleiter of Niederdonau.  1943 had been a disastrous year for the Nazis, but Jury attempts to put the best face on the situation, suggesting that things were going to get better.

Monday, March 10, 2014

German Press Coverage of Stalingrad

If there was a turning point of World War II in Europe, it was the Battle of Stalingrad.  Before that battle, the average German had every reason to believe that the war was going well.  Afterward, there were two long years of retreat.

After Hitler confidently announced that Stalingrad was almost entirely in German hands on 9 November 1942, the Soviets attacked and quickly surrounded the German forces around Stalingrad.  That went unreported in the German press. The Soviet attacks themselves were covered — but Germans were not told how successful those attacks had been.

In December, Stalingrad almost disappeared from the German press.  There was substantial press coverage of the Eastern Front that acknowledged that heavy defensive battles were in progress, but that coverage suggested that Germany was defending its gains of the summer and preparing for renewed offensives in the summer.

Much press coverage focussed on submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, which was at the time going very well (that would shortly cease to be the case).  Beginning in January, the press began to prepare Germany for grim news.

A January 1943 Sketch

I’m adding a page of translations from the Volks-Zeitung, a Viennese newspaper, covering December 1942 through early February 1943.  It follows the trajectory of news reporting on Stalingrad.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nazi Uses of the Word “Nazi”

Every now and then someone claims that the Nazis never used the word “Nazi” to refer to themselves.  This is simply untrue.  They did not use the term often, but I’ve come across a variety of references over the years.  Here are eight examples (in the original German). If the source is on the GPA I’ve included a link.  The posting below this one has a ninth example.  Since the Nazis kept that pamphlet in print until at least 1931, they can’t have objected to the use of the term too much...
  1. “Mit großem Stimmaufwand und viel Tintenverschwendung verkündeten die roten Volksbeglücker, die Nazis sind Reaktionäre.”  Source: Heinz Franke, Die Journaille lügt!  (1932)
  2. “Aber wir Nazis werden immer sehr schnell einig, da wir an solche Fragen mit gesundem Menschenverstand herangehen.”  Goebbels Diaries, entry for 15 March 1933.
  3.  “Er [Streicher] ist ein Original, aber ein richtiger Nazi.”  Goebbels Diaries, entry for 26 March 1939.
  4. “(Ich freue mich eigentlich über jenes Gerücht, das ich höre. Gibt es doch für einen Redner keine besser Gelegenheit, ‘abzurechnen.’ Dies Wort hat für uns Nazi-Redner seinen eigenen, besonderen Reiz.)” Source: Kurt Rittweger, Der unbekannte Redner der Partei (Tagebuchskizzen eines Redners) (Munich: J. B. Linde, 1939), p. 27.
  5. “ den Betrieben bekamen die jungen Nazis allmählich die Oberhand….”  Source: Die Kieler Hitlerjugend, p. 14.
  6. “Für uns Frankfurter Nazis  knüpft sich an den Namen die Erinnerung an einen der heißesten Kämpfe im politischen Ringen um die Macht.” Source: Adalbert Giebel,  So kämpften wir! Schilderungen aus der Kampfzeit der NSDAP. im Gau Hessen Nassau, p. 38.
  7. “Gewiß haben die alten Nazis von der Kampfzeit her ein dickes Fell, und sie sind nicht prüde, es kann sie auch nicht so leicht etwas unterwerfen.”  Source: “Das Gerücht,” Der Hoheitsträger, September 1943, pp. 3-8.
  8. “Der alte Nazi nickt und denkt einen Augenblick zurück. Wie war es doch, als seine Ortsgruppe aus wenigen Männern bestand, die als hoffnungslose Irre galten?”  Der Sprechabenddienst, March/April 1944, p. 15.  This was a publication for party propagandists. 
I could give more examples, but the range is sufficient to demonstrate that the term “Nazi” was used by the Nazis.

The Nazi-Sozi: A Goebbels Pamphlet from 1926

I’ve been rather remiss in adding to the GPA for the past several months, given other things going on.  Today, I’m adding an early effort by Joseph Goebbels titled The Nazi-Sozi.  It first appeared in 1926, before Hitler sent him to Berlin.

It takes the form of a dialogue between Goebbels and a rather dense German who has difficulty understanding what the Nazis are about.
It’s a good look at early Nazi thinking.