Background: Hitlerís birthday was turned into a major German holiday between 1933 and 1945. Goebbels gave an annual speech on the eve of the event, all of which are available in the Goebbels section of the GPA. Party branches throughout the country were expected to organize their own ceremonies. Die neue Gemeinschaft, the party monthly for those engaged in organizing ceremonies, published material in advance to help propagandists carry out their responsibilities. This material was provided in 1942. It includes quotations, suggestions for a sample speech, poems, and more. This kind of material is important since it was the model for thousands of meetings held throughout the country.
The source: Die neue Gemeinschaft 8 (April 1942).
Many thousands of you are behind me,
And you are I and I am you.
I have no thoughts
That do not dwell in your hearts.
And when I form words, I know none
That are not at one with your will.
For I am you and you are I,
And we all believe, Germany, in you!
Baldur von Schirach
I entered political life with the burning desire to destroy German party life and replace it with a German peopleís community.
National Socialism is no doctrine of laziness, but rather a doctrine of struggle, no doctrine of happiness or chance, rather a doctrine of work, a doctrine of struggle, and thus a doctrine of sacrifice. We behaved that way before the war. It has been no different this year, and it will stay the same in the future.
Even if we perish, Germany must live. Even if fate defeats us individually, Germany must live. And if we must accept privation and sorrow, Germany must exist in spite of privation and sorrow.
Nothing great in this world is given to people. Everything must be fought for bitterly. The rise of a people, too, does not simply happen; it too must be fought for.
But the problem should not be merely a logical consequence of this tendency.We should not ask what we should do tomorrow or the next day, rather the leadership of the movement must look decades into the future. Immortal, ethical, imperishable ideas should also shine as brightly for people in distant centuries.
If you believe that you must be free, then recognize that nothing will give you freedom but your own sword.
My entire life to my last breath has one goal: To make Germany free, healthy, and happy once more.
No power has the right or the strength to determine the path of a people that does not seek this and this only: A strong Reich, a proud people, so large and so strong that each German once again can affirm: I am a German, and I am proud to be so.
The Führer on 31.7.1937 in Breslau
Since the day I began my political life I have had but one goal: Winning back the freedom of the German nation, building the strength and power of our Reich, overcoming the domestic fragmentation of our people, removing the barriers abroad, and ensuring its economic and political independence.
The Führerís response to Roosevelt in the Reichstag, 28 April 1939
I have once again put on that uniform that is to me the holiest and most precious. I will take it off only after victory, or I will no longer live!
As a National Socialist and German soldier, I begin this battle with a strong heart. My whole life has been nothing other than a battle for my people, for its resurrection, for Germany. This battle is an affirmation of faith in this people. I have never learned one word: Capitulation!
The Führer on 1.9.1939
We will do whatever is in our strength to resist our enemies. A spirit has arisen in this land that the world has never conquered! A faithful sense of community has seized our people! No people in the world will take from us what we gained after so long a detour of domestic strife, and that makes us so proud over against other peoples. In the age of Jewish-capitalist rule by money, status and class, the National Socialist peopleís state stands as an unshakeable monument of social justice and clear reason. It will survive not only this war, but the coming millennium!
An empire will collapse. Mr. Churchill may believe it will be Germany, but I know that it will be England!
Adolf Hitler, 30.1.1942
If Providence preserves me, my pride will be to return to the great work of peace that I still intend! But because I believe that Providence wants this battle to be fought according to its mysterious will, I ask only that Providence entrust me with the burden of this struggle. I want to carry it and will not shy from any responsibility. I want to accept at any time what comes. I want to carry any responsibility, as I have carried it in the past.
Today I feel myself to be only the first musketeer of the Reich.
Adolf Hitler, 30.1.1942
What was then only a party program has today become the thesis of a new and better world in the making.
Headquarters, 24 February 1942 Adolf Hitler
The Führerís birthday is a holiday of the German people that is already deeply rooted in the consciousness of the whole people.
Because of the Führerís connection to the Wehrmacht as Supreme Commander, it will have a military tone. This will come to expression through military ceremonies, especially after the war by the large traditional Führer parade.
Ever since the period of struggle, this day was the particular responsibility of the Gau, county, and local group organizations.
On the day before (Sunday, 19 April), ten-year-olds will be received into the German boys’ organization or the girls’ organization.
This ceremony is not only the responsibility of the groups themselves, but of the whole population, particularly the parents.
The swearing in of political leaders and so on formerly occurred on 19 April. The whole population, not only the party and its subsidiaries and affiliated organizations, also participated.
The oath-taking will not take place this year.
20 April 1942 is a working day, a day of labor for Führer and people.
In the evening, the party will bring together all formations, organizations, and citizens for a ceremony.
Where local circumstances make it necessary, a Sunday morning or evening ceremony may held instead.
This issue provides quotations from the Führerís writing and speeches so that he can speak to us himself.
The Führerís words are organized according to the chronological development of our movement, the German people, and the Greater German Reich, whose bearer and creator the Führer is.
There are three sections. The first covers the beginning of the Führerís political career and his battle for the soul of the German people up to the seizure of power on 30 January 1933.
The second section covers the Führerís battle for the unity of the German people in todayís Greater Germany.
The third section includes the most important events in the battle for the freedom of the Reich.
There is no need for us to attempt to praise his deeds, for our words could never equal the occasion. The Führerís great accomplishments and successes speak to us powerfully enough by themselves.
This issue provides material, guidelines, proposals and examples for celebrating the Führerís birthday suitable for every situation in the Gaue, counties and local groups.
For additional material, see Die neue Gemeinschaft, Issue 51, March 1941.
Ceremonies on the occasion of the Führerís birthday must obviously be conducted in an especially dignified manner. But we must also keep in mind that it is hardly the Führerís wish, nor appropriate given the seriousness of the war, to conduct elaborate festivities.
The party wants to express its deep connection to the Führer, to say thank you, and renew its loyalty: Führer command, we will follow you!
Our ceremonies must also be in keeping with the times. We are in the midst of a battle for the very existence of the German people.
Adolf Hitler the statesman and military leader is at the head of this battle as Führer!
The address of the party leader is at the center of the ceremony, which speaks to the battle between two worlds, to the greatness of the age, and to the coming final victory.
The room in which the ceremony for the Führerís birthday is held must be carefully prepared.
The decorations must be simple, but dignified.
If possible, the center should be a bust of the Führer, decorated with flowers and greenery.
The size of the bust must correspond to the size of the room.
If no bust of the Führer is available, decorate the room with swastika flags or through an artistically appropriate eagle or picture of the Führer.
Do not have a lot of symbols!
These proposals for music include a selection of musical pieces ranging from the simplest to the harder.
The spoken texts should be read by selected speakers who are able to read the Führerís affirmations in a dignified and simple manner, without excessive emotion, genuinely and truly. No theatrics, but simplicity.
If possible, have a good choir or singing group.
The HJ or the BDM should always be used.
The editor of the Neue Gemeinschaft has it easy as he sits behind his famous desk in Berlin and works out proposals and examples for ceremonies. He does not see the practical difficulties, and forgets that in rural areas no symphony orchestras are available, in fact, that in some areas there are no musical groups available at all, or no trained speakers, or rooms are lacking, etc.
That at least is what some political leaders out there may think as they consider the proposals in the Neue Gemeinschaft.
That is not the case.
He who carefully reads the suggested ceremonies in the Neue Gemeinschaft will see that all situations are considered.
We bill begin with the simplest proposals which will fit the overwhelming majority of local situations. The theme is: Be simple, but not primitive.
The Neue Gemeinschaft staff all have practical political experience, and are never theoretical. We make practical proposals from experience. One example:
How can a rural group which has no musical resources available celebrate the Führerís birthday?
The political leader, the propaganda leader and the cultural leader (and one party member may hold all three positions) will have looked through the proper issue of the Neue Gemeinschaft in advance and decided which sample program suits the local conditions.
Then it is time to make assignments and prepare for the ceremony. Readers are found, older Hitler Youth, SA or SS men. If there is a piano and someone who can play it, the music is found and practiced. If there is no instrument, the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls or a school choir rehearse the music. The party leader prepares his speech.
The program is rehearsed several times until everything goes without a hitch.
The simplest methods are then used to arrange and decorate the room. Usually this will be a room in a restaurant.
Reminders of other organizations must be removed from this room. Existing paper garlands are removed, brewery posters and similar “decorations” are taken down, along with all other distracting elements.
After a thorough cleaning, the room is prepared for the ceremony.
A podium is selected. The platform is decorated with a bust of the Führer or with flags. If there is no platform, use the sides of the room. The podium is the center of attention, and should be appropriately decorated.
The appropriate number of chairs are arranged.
Once these preparations are finished, the whole ceremony is rehearsed again by all those involved.
The citizens have taken their seats.
No late-comers are admitted. The choir of Hitler Youth and League of German Girls has taken its place. Each participant has been given the texts of the songs. The ceremony begins:
1. Entrance of the flags: Fanfare or drum rolls of the Young Boys or a song: “Raise our Flags...”
2. The audience sings: “A Young Nation Rises...” ... W. Altendorf (There is no harm if someone stands up and says: “We will now sing together the song ... The piano will play the melody, the choir will sing the first verse.”)
3. Speaker (Speaks extemporaneously or reads plainly and simply, of course no “play acting”). First Speaker: “The Führerís Birthplace” from Mein Kampf
4. The choir sings “Nothing Can Rob Us” ... H. Spitta, or the piano plays a melody.
5. Second Speaker: ...an unknown soldier was taken to the hospital.... First Speaker: ...and decided to become a politician... from Mein Kampf.
6. Fanfare or drum roll.
7. Second Speaker: The Führer on the struggle for the unity and freedom of the German people. First speaker: The Führer on the battle for the Reich. [See above for this material.]
8. Song (as above): ... The earth creates the new: ... H. Spitta
9. Speech by the party leader (It is not necessary for the party leaderís pride to write his own speech or to speak extemporaneously. The speech provided in this issue can simply be read. But the speaker must be familiar with the material in the speech, and must have practiced it a number of times. Here. too, the rule is to be plain and simple, true and genuine.)
10. Fanfare or drum roll.
11. Second speaker: “Oath to the Führer” ... Soldier Gerhard Schumann
12. Song: “Germany, Holy Word” ... G. Blumensaat (This can also be sung by the audience, but it is better to have the choir sing alone or have the melody played on the piano.)
131, The party leader concludes the ceremony with a greeting to the Führer: “We great our Führer, the first soldier of the Greater German Reich, with our battle cry: ‘Adolf Hitler! Sieg-Heil...!’”
14. The audience sings the national anthem and the Horst Wessel Song.
15. The flags withdraw (fanfare, drum roll, or the next verse of the song “Raise our Flags....”)
The ceremony is finished!
[Six variants of this program follow, which are suitable for ceremonies from the most basic to the most elaborate.]
[Page copyright © 2001 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]
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