Background: The German defeat at Stalingrad in early 1943 had
clear effects on the Nazi propaganda campaign. For the first time, propaganda
had to consider seriously the fact that Germans were beginning to wonder
if Germany would lose the war. These are the directives put out by the
party’s Central Propaganda Office (Reichspropagandaleitung)
shortly after the defeat at Stalingrad that outline the propaganda
campaign. The plan was received by a range of people involved in organizing
and presenting Nazi propaganda, and is an interesting example of the
propaganda system’s response to a major crisis. The plan is dated two
days after Goebbels’s
total war speech, which set the tone for post-Stalingrad German propaganda.
The campaign ran through the end of March, at which point Goebbels instructed
the press to drop it, lest the public get bored by constant repetition
of the same themes.
The source: “Anweisung für antibolshewistische Propaganda-Aktion,”
20 February 1943. The document is the work of the Main Office (Hauptamt)
for Propaganda. The original is at the Bundesarchiv Berlin (signature
Directive for the Anti-Bolshevist
A. Basic Guidelines
The war forced upon us by our enemies has reached its decisive stage.
Everyone today realizes that in the final analysis this is an historic
struggle between National Socialism and Bolshevism. The fateful question
the German people, and all of Europe, face is:
VICTORY OR BOLSHEVIST CHAOS!
Consistent with this slogan, the task of propaganda is to make the
facts and their consequences clear to the German people, and also
to the other peoples. For the time being, propaganda against the plutocratic
Western powers will be secondary to the propaganda against Bolshevism.
In conjunction with our anti-Bolshevist arguments, these opponents,
Churchill and Roosevelt above all, are to be presented as accomplices
and toadies of Bolshevism. Bolshevism is the main enemy we have to
fight against, which is the most radical expression of the Jewish
drive for world domination.
To make plain the nature of Bolshevism, its aims, its methods and
the results of its brutal use of power, we will mobilize all our defensive
capacities and the full willingness of all people’s comrades to carry
this war through to a victorious conclusion, come what may. Under
“Europe wins with Germany or sinks into Bolshevist
we will unite all of Europe’s healthy strengths into a great anti-Bolshevist
The entire propaganda against Bolshevism should be guided by the
following fundamental points:
1. The battle against the Bolshevist system.
Our battle is directed entirely against the Bolshevist
system, not the Eastern peoples, not against pan-Slavism and not against
Russia’s political and national unity. We fight Bolshevism as a
destructive Jewish idea that, were it to reach its goal, would bring
vast misery and the complete destruction of all cultural values. In
short, it would bring chaos.
2. Our battle against Bolshevism is a defensive war.
Bolshevism’s goal is world conquest and world revolution
as the core of its political program, and it has pursued this goal
consistently from the beginning. A fundamental part of the Bolshevist
program is to lead the world into tumult and revolution in order
to weaken the peoples and make them easy victims of Jewish-Bolshevist
domination. Stalin wanted to use the tactic in this war, too. Only
because the Führer clearly saw Bolshevism’s goal and acted
just before the Bolshevist leaders did has Germany, and indeed
all of Europe, been protected from the threat of Bolshevist attack.
We are fighting a defensive war for the life and freedom of the
German people, and ultimately for the other peoples of Europe as
3. Bolshevism is the same as it always was.
Our propaganda should prove that Bolshevism’s goals
and methods are the same as they always were. One cannot speak of
a transformation or change in Bolshevist practices. The results
of Bolshevist rule would be just as terrible today as in the first
days of the Bolshevist revolution or in the years after when they
ruled the Eastern peoples, or what their rule has most recently
shown in various areas of Europe. We will focus primarily on the
past (robbery, murder, plundering, forced deportations, confiscation
of property, depopulation of whole areas, the atrocities of the
Bolshevist army, etc., in Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, the
Ukraine, Bessarabia, etc.)
4. Only Germany can defeat Bolshevism and save Europe.
We must show clearly that only the German military is in a position
to successfully resist the gigantic Bolshevist war machine, and
that only it has the strength to defeat the Bolshevist enemy. Neither
England nor America, nor any other power, can stop Europe from falling
under Bolshevist control if the German military is defeated. They
could not stop it, and would also not want to. The most recent statements
by leading English and American politicians make this fact ever
5. Bolshevist rule would affect everyone.
The fate that would befall the German people, each person without
exception, under Bolshevism must be made clear. As the Führer
said in his proclamation, the lot of millions of Germans would be
the hardest and most miserable slave labor in the Siberian tundra.
The wretched existence of millions of working people in the Soviet
Union, the ruthless system of forced labor, and the horrible conditions
in the forced labor camps speak clearly and make brutally clear
what the fate of our working people would be.
6. Only a total war will lead to victory.
Like us, our Bolshevist opponent has recognized that this is a
matter of life and death. It therefore conducts the war in a brutal
and hard manner. The full hardness of the enemy is shown by its
ability to keep the millions of people it ruled living in abysmal
social conditions and terrible privation for a quarter of a century
while it built up its powerful offensive force that it intended
to use against us. The Bolshevist rulers are waging a total war
in every regard. They have no regard for human, cultural, or economic
matters, but rather they consider only what is of value for their
infernal war machine. The only conclusion we can draw in the face
of what would happen to our people in the event of a Bolshevist
victory is that we must be just as hard and determined in mobilizing
everything for total war.
7. Our thanks to the Führer.
The ultimate conclusion of this propaganda action must be the absolute
affirmation of the whole people to the Führer. The Führer
alone led the NSDAP to power ten years ago, and thus built a protective
wall against the Bolshevist danger that year by year grew more dangerous
for Germany and for Europe. The Führer alone had the genius
to see the imminent threat of a Bolshevist attack and prevented
it through his heroic decision, thus sparing our people from infinite
misery, sorrow, and horror. The Führer created the German military,
the sword that alone is able to defeat Bolshevism.
“We will win because Adolf Hitler leads
This slogan must be the logical conclusion of this action.
The thanks that we owe the Führer for saving our people is
so great that we can never repay him. The least that he can demand
of us is a faith in him that can be shaken by nothing, regardless
of what happens, a faith that will flow like a river of power through
our people and lead to victory. We owe him absolute allegiance.
More than ever, everyone’s slogan must be:
“Führer command, we will obey!”
B. Technical details
a) All party speakers will receive detailed directives in the usual
way that will briefly outline the fundamentals of the propaganda
action. This information will be sent by the Reichspropagandaleitung
to the Gau offices, and passed on by them to Gau
and county speakers.
b) Speaker meetings are to be organized in every Gau in
which the Gau propaganda leader will review the basic directives
of the action for the speakers. The Reichspropagandaleitung
will send a Reichsredner [one
of the party’s elite corps of speakers] to each
meeting. They will have participated in a meeting in Berlin on 15-16
February. These speakers will provide further guidelines for participants.
Speakers should then immediately inform the Amt Rednerwesen
in Munich of their availability. It will then assign speakers.
a) The current meeting action will focus exclusively on the anti-Bolshevist
slogans. Every Gau in addition is to prepare and carry
out a major meeting campaign. The general theme of the meeting campaign
is to be
“Victory or Bolshevist Chaos!”
The theme can be phrased in different ways over the
course of the campaign.
b) Particular effort should go into organizing factory meetings
using the best speakers that are available. We have discussed this
with the leadership of the German Labor Front. It will inform its
a) The showcase material being prepared by the German Propaganda
Studio and sent to the Gau offices will focus on anti-Bolshevist
propaganda. They have already received, or will shortly receive,
the first one with the theme: “What we faced.” The Gau
propaganda leader should give this showcase material his close
attention and be sure that it is used well.
4.) Posters, stickers and banners
a) The Gaue
will first receive a poster
by Mjölnir with the theme “Victory
.” Further posters are in preparation and
will be sent to the Gaue
When hanging the posters, be sure that their effectiveness
is not reduced by other posters. The Central Office for Politically
Important Poster Actions has been informed, and instructed to reserve
areas for these posters.
b) It is further planned to provide the Gau propaganda
offices with text banners, small posters, and stickers to post in public
transportation and in publicly available offices (police, post offices,
ration card offices, economic offices, labor offices, etc.). The Gau
propaganda leaders have already received appropriate instructions
to work out a careful plan for their effective use in the above-mentioned
places so that the material can be used immediately. The railway will
receive appropriate material from us centrally.
c) Appropriate slogans should also be put on the outsides
of trams, postal vehicles, etc. We are checking to see if stencils
can be prepared to produce such slogans. Further information will
a.) The “Picture of Week” will focus in coming weeks
almost exclusively on anti-Bolshevist photo material, and will appear
with a significantly larger print run. As in the past, these will
be sent to the local groups. The Gau propaganda offices
should send appropriate directives ordering that all party showcases
be available for displaying the “Picture of the Week,”
as well as the small text posters and banners. The Central Propaganda
Ring Office will issue instructions for the action to the divisions
and affiliated organizations.
b.) The Gau propaganda offices will shortly
receive a current “Picture Report on Current Events” to
use in the propaganda action. This will have 40-50 slides that will
require about three quarters of an hour. The speaker will have about
a half an hour after that to discuss the political situation and the
need for the measures for the successful conclusion of the war with
Bolshevism. This slide show will above all be useful in smaller communities.
The Gau propaganda offices should inform the Main Office
for Propaganda immediately as to how many copies of the picture
report they will need.
The Gau propaganda offices must immediately make preparations
for all the actions and measures discussed above and, of course, use
their own initiative to develop broad propaganda action against
Bolshevism in their area. Above all, be sure to provide the reports
called for in the plan.
[Page copyright © 2004 by Randall Bytwerk.
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