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.”

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