Background: When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in June
1941, they encountered a propaganda windfall. Conditions in the Soviet
Union were often deplorable by German standards. In January 1942, the
Nazis published a 60-page booklet titled German Soldiers in the Soviet
Union: Letters from the East. It consisted mostly of excerpts from
letters from soldiers reporting on conditions they encountered. The letters,
of course, were carefully selected, but soldiers had credibility, and
the booklet surely had an impact. Germans who read it, even if they had
doubts about Adolf Hitler, were likely to conclude that National Socialism
was surely preferable to Bolshevism. The book is divided into 9 chapters.
I here translate several sections from each chapter. Wolfgang Diewerge,
the author, produced at least five other Nazi anti-Semitic pamphlets.
The booklet, by the way, used the same cover drawing as the 1942
catalog for an exhibition on the Soviet Union, available elsewhere
on the German Propaganda Archive.
The source: Wolfgang Diewerge, Deutsche Soldaten sehen die
Sowjet-Union. Feldpostbriefe aus dem Osten (Berlin: Wilhelm Limpert-Verlag,
German Soldiers in the
Letters from the East
and Back Covers
The book begins with the following quotation from Goebbels:
“Lying enemy propaganda never tires of accusing us of
giving the German people a false or incomplete picture of the
battles in the East. They are best refuted by letters from our
German Soldiers as Witnesses
The homeland hears about events at the front in an unbelievably
short time. German radio often brings reports in the evening
of deeds of arms that occurred only a few hours earlier, and
the German newsreel includes pictures brought by air directly
from the battlefields. The German people have almost direct contact
with the accomplishments of their soldiers through the words,
pictures, and reporting of modern news media. Past generations
could not feel so closely bound to their family members.
Still, the best and most personal source of news in war is
and remains the letter. That which the husband or son, the brother,
or the bridegroom puts on paper during a brief rest is not only
longed for and treasured news from a beloved and irreplaceable
person, but also a testimony and a report from one heart to another,
one that speaks the right language. During World War I, the letters
from the soldiers in field gray recorded the experiences and
the integrity of determined fighters who were willing to give
their all. During this war, too, millions of German soldiers have
reported their powerful experiences. Every family carefully preserves
these letters. In party local groups, within National Socialist
organizations and in factories, these letters from comrades are
passed from hand to hand as eyewitness reports of upright German
This pamphlet is a random sample of such letters. They were
sent to us by citizens of every class and region. Many of them
included this note: “As I read this letter, I thought that
others had to read it, too.”
Yes, that is true! There are millions of German citizens who
do not have that direct contact with the front. They need to
read these letters. They all deal with a theme that is particularly
relevant today for the entire German people: What does the Soviet
Union really look like?
Sometimes people think the Führer’s propagandists exaggerate,
though actual events have proven that what they say is less
than the full truth. One thinks of the role of the Jews in unleashing
this war or the horrors Poland committed against ethnic Germans.
Some citizens who complained then about exaggerated reports of
persecution and suffering today complain about 60,000 graves,
victims of Polish murderers!
But the most convincing proof of the difference between what was said
and reality is clear from the revelations about Bolshevism. This unmasking
is particularly important, because millions of German citizens put their
faith in the lying words of Jewish-communists. They were told that within
the borders of the Soviet Union there was “the workers’ paradise,
the true home of the workers of the world.” When National Socialist
newspapers and books spoke of the social betrayal in the Soviet Union,
or of the horrible mass murders, the misery of children, the hopeless
poverty of the entire population, some doubted these well-founded and
carefully considered statements.
Now there are millions of reliable witnesses in the middle
of this “worker’s paradise.” They cannot be doubted.
They are not traveling along carefully prepared streets, nor
can Intourist guide them through a carefully selected factory.
They must march meter by meter through the country. They fight
for each village and each city, they see face-to-face the people
who were for nearly 25 years the objects of Bolshevist domination.
Now these German soldiers write to their dear ones at home.
They write what they have experienced an hour before. The letters
are not always literary masterpieces. But they are as genuine
as the men who wrote them.
Some soldiers do not conceal the fact that they were not always
National Socialists. There are even letter writers who faced
legal penalties for their support for communism in the past.
Nearly all of them remember the communist phrases and doctrines
of the System Era [before 1933]. They did not march into the Soviet Union expecting to find everything
bad, but rather they were eager to see how things really were in
the land of Lenin and Stalin. They reported what they saw, often
in hastily written letters.
These letters are lined up here like a company on the front.
They are not on parade, but rather ready for battle. Some soldiers
and some letters are large or small, broad or narrow, intelligent
or less so, sparse or enthusiastic. We see in the newsreels the
faces of marching soldiers who greet us, sometimes tired and
exhausted, always however with a clear, confident look and in
the firm conviction that they are in the service of a good cause.
These letters are the same.
They are only a small part of the enormous material available.
There will certainly be some citizens who say: “We have
received better and more interesting letters. That is fine. We
can agree. We have chosen only letters that were clearly written
with no expectation of later publication, letters that give an
idea of what has impressed our soldiers.
Those Germans who read these letters, and those who wrote
them, ask the question: “What would have happened to our
women, mothers and children if the Bolshevist tanks and murderers
had overrun our homeland?”
Surely many more reports of the Führer’s great campaigns
will reach the public. Even now the whole nation is waiting for
the hour when the secrets can be revealed and the deeds of those
made clear who today are unknown heroes.
None of those later reports will surpass the immediacy of
these simple soldiers’ letters, which are being published even
as the fighting army is in the midst of bloody battles on the
wide plains of the East. Perhaps some of the letter writers will
read this small book in the hospital. Perhaps one or two say
their last words in these letters.
That is why these letters move us so deeply. They demonstrate
that this decisive battle did not come from the lust for power
or conquest, from political vanity or excessive fanaticism. That
is what our enemies say. But these letters show that the culture
of Germany and of Europe hang on this battle. It will decide
whether subhuman Bolshevism destroys all that which is noble
and holy to Germans, or whether the German soldier and his brave
allies will build the foundation of a new era of peace and freedom.
The soldiers whose letters here reach the public believe,
along with all their comrades, in the necessity of the struggle
and in the certainty of victory. Who can be less confident than
these men who not only stared the world enemy Bolshevism in the
eye, but also defeated it wherever they encountered it!
These letters touch on every aspect of life. Everything that
concerns soldiers has been set on paper. Naturally the purely
personal and family matters have been edited out, as have military
details that could be of use to the enemy. We were able to select
only the most interesting sections of letters. In each case,
the name of the sender and his military address is given, often
also the address of the receiver. That should bring pleasure
to the writer who sees his words in print. It should also make
it impossible for doubters to question the genuineness of the
The Worker’s Paradise
The most frequent theme in the letters is a discussion of
the “Soviet Paradise.” Communist agitators spread this
idea for years to the masses of Europe. Moscow claimed it was
“a hell for exploiters and a paradise for workers.”
The words of German soldiers are a blow to the face of the Bolshevist
Worse than Hell
Lieutenant Otto Deissenroth, Military Post
Number 12 827D writes to local group leader Kemmel in Altenau
In the East, 30.7.1941
Dear Comrade Karl !
I write this letter from the desolation of a Ukrainian forest village,
40 kilometers from Kiev, which we hope to capture in a few days. The fruitful
land of the Ukraine is all around us, but 20 years of Bolshevist mismanagement
have brought it to ruin. The poverty, misery, and filth we have seen and
experienced in the past weeks is indescribable. You back home cannot imagine
the terrible results of Bolshevism in this fruitful land. Everything that
we formerly read in newspapers and books pales in the face of terrible
reality. Our eyes look in vain for some sign of construction, for a trace
of progress, for a bit of culture. We yearn for the sight of a clean house,
an orderly street, a few tended gardens, a few trees! Wherever we look
there is filth, decay, desolation, misery, death, and suffering! Everywhere
we see the ghost of Bolshevism in the tortured look of farmers, the blank
stares of captives, the hundreds of murdered people, the farm houses,
desolate buildings, and ruined houses. I sometimes think it is all
the work of the devil. The land was rich when it was inhabited by German,
Ukrainian, Czech, and Polish farmers. Then Bolshevism came, and with it
enormous misery. Everything that was prosperous or cultured was killed
or burned. I spoke with dozens of people whose family members, fathers,
husbands, brothers and sons perished somewhere in Murmansk, Siberia or
the icy north. Thousands died during the great famine, particularly in
1932-1933. Thousands more ended up in prisons and jails. The misery of
those freed from Bolshevism is indescribable. Any free expression was
prohibited, any movement banned. Everything in nature that was beautiful,
good, and free was destroyed. Everything created by God was exterminated!
They took the blessing from the land and the soul from the people. They
reduced them to the level of animals, impotent, miserable enslaved animals
with no hope of life who did not know if they would be alive tomorrow,
who lived from hand to mouth, and were happy only when someone killed
them. Hell can be no worse that this “Soviet paradise.” There
is no hope of salvation. What Bolshevism has done to humanity is a sin
against God, a crime one cannot begin to understand. Every German who
formerly thought Bolshevism was a worthy idea and who threatened we National
Socialists with death and bloodshed only because we didn’t believe in
this nonsense should be ashamed! We were right! We are all shaken and
moved as we face this misery, this suffering, this hopeless Bolshevist
life. They stole everything from these people except the very air they
breathed. The land they inherited from their fathers became a collective,
the property of the state, and they became slaves worse than those of
the darkest Middle Ages in Germany. They had a tiny plot of land of their
own, and even that was heavily taxed. They had to report to the collective’s
commissars each morning, work the whole day, even Sunday, with no free
time. They belonged to the state. They were supposedly paid, but rarely
saw the money. They got 33 kopeks a day, about a third of a mark. They
owned no plow, no spade, no wagon, no yoke. Everything supposedly belonged
to everyone, everything belonged to the state. The Jews and party bigwigs
lived in prosperity, the farmers had only hunger, misery, work, and death.
No one felt himself responsible for the soil, no one felt the love we
Germans have for our homeland, for soil that is ours. The knowledge
of blood and soil had died out. I spoke with 30-year-olds who did not
understand the concept of property. They had been educated in Soviet schools.
That explains why they had no sense of culture, no need for it. Their
homes are empty, cold and desolate, much poorer than in Poland. No pictures,
no flowers break the desolation. The art of cooking also disappeared,
given the food shortages. The daily diet consists of milk and bread, along
with a bit of honey and a few potatoes. When one see this dismal poverty,
one is reminded that these Bolshevist animals wanted to bring culture
to us industrious, clean and creative Germans. How God has blessed us!
How justified is the Führer’s claim to European leadership! The poorest
German village is a pearl in comparison to these ruined Russian villages.
Sometimes as I face the thousands of murdered people that we found in
the cities and villages, and in the numerous occasions where we found
women and children wailing over the corpses of their family members, or
when they asked us to free their men who had been hauled off just before
we arrived, I see the Führer before me. He saved an enslaved and
raped humanity, giving it once more divine freedom and the blessing of
a worthy existence. The last and deepest reason for this war is to restore
the natural and godly order. It is a battle against slavery, against Bolshevist
insanity. I am proud, deeply proud, that I may fight against this Bolshevist
monster, fighting once again the enemy I fought to destroy during the
hard years of struggle in Germany. I am proud of the wounds I suffered
during the election battles in Germany, and I am proud of my new wounds,
and of the medal that I now wear. It is as if the people here are awakening
from a deep sleep. They cannot yet believe in their new freedom; they
do not know where to begin. They sit down and wait for orders. Now they
have them: “Go back to work, harvest the fields, now you have your
own home.” That is what all the posters say, and one sees the masses
at work in the fields. Man and nature are free again, God has his place
once more, his eternal order has been restored. We National Socialist
soldiers of Adolf Hitler have restored the godly order, though some call
us heathens. That is the way life is. And what did those who spoke about
God do? Ask them!”
[The chapter has 23 more excerpts
Houses and Roads
The housing question was a favorite theme of Bolshevist agitation
in Europe. They made vehement attacks on workers’ housing. Regardless
of economic conditions, they demanded a room for every German.
So-called communist artists portrayed the misery and ill-health
of overpopulated workers’ districts.
The Soviet Union had 25 years to realize this point in their
program. They had the raw materials and workers, as their armaments
program demonstrated. Nothing stood in the way of establishing
“paradise” in their corner of the world.
But with the exception of the Jews and party bigwigs, the
soldiers write that everyone in the Soviet Union lives “worse
than the animals” do by us.
[There are seven excerpts from letters.
Here are two of them]
Staff Sergeant Kurt Hummel, Military Post Number
L 31 605 Lg Pa. Paris, to his local group
Northern Russia, 12 August 1941
Bolshevist conditions are indescribable. I had never imagined
that such misery was possible. People here know nothing about
electric lights, radio, newspapers, and the like. One can’t call
what they live in houses. There are only shanties with rotten
straw roofs. Huge neglected fields lay around. We haven’t yet
found even a small shop. This is what people call the Soviet
paradise. I wish the few outsiders who still remain in Germany
could be shipped here. There is misery wherever one looks. One
has to see it to realize how beautiful Germany is.
The Main Roads are like Paths
Soldier Heinrich Stähr tells his work
mates at the Hamburg Hochbahn A. G. about conditions frequently
mentioned in other letters as well:
The roads. We in the infantry are probably the best judge
of good and bad roads, since we have to march for kilometer after
kilometer on them. Here too the Soviets haven’t lifted a finger.
The main roads are no better than field paths. Believe me, my
dear comrades, the soldiers have had many a justifiable curse
after marching 40 or 50 kilometers on such a road. Besides, it
is 30-35 degrees C. in the shade, and huge clouds of dust make
it almost impossible to breathe. Swamps, forests, and bad roads
make military action unpleasant, but we keep moving forward.
Rule by Bigwigs and
The Soviet Union was in fact a paradise for one group: the
Jews. Even at times when for foreign policy reasons Jews were
less evident in the government or when they ruled through straw
men, the Jews were always visible in the middle and lower levels
of the administration. During the whole period of the red dictatorship,
they were the beneficiaries. This was clearest in the small nations
that the Soviet Union was using to prepare for its attack on
the Greater German Reich after the outbreak of Churchill’s war,
above all in the Baltic states.
Aside from their unlimited desire for money, their dirty behavior
and their perverse thirst for revenge, our soldiers above all
encountered Jews as the sadistic organizers of mass murders and
atrocities. Many details have to be eliminated, since they cannot
be printed in Germany. But this will be an idea of what was the
routine day, and even more at night, in the dungeons of the Jewish
[Here are two of the four letter
The Jew was a Bloodsucker
Medical corporal Paul Lenz, Military Post Number
7 14 628 Posen, to the local group of the NSDAP, Arneburg:
Only a Jew can be a Bolshevist; for these bloodsuckers there
is nothing better to be, for there is then nothing to stop them.
Wherever one spits there is a Jew, whether in a city or a village.
As far as I know (we asked the people, wanting to know the truth)
not a single Jew every worked in the workers’ paradise. Even
the littlest bloodsucker had a post with big privileges. He lived
in the best buildings, if one can call them buildings. The real
workers lived in small buildings, or better, in animal stalls,
just like day laborers in old Russia. It makes no difference
whether one is in a village or in a city like Minsk with over
300,000 inhabitants, the stalls are everywhere. Even before the
war, most workers knew nothing but hunger, misery, and slavery.
Some may be interested to know that there were theaters, operas,
etc., even big buildings for them, but only those with money
got in, and they were the bloodsuckers and their lackeys.
Only the Jew Lived Well
Soldier Reinold Mahnke, Military Post Number
02 179 to Supervisor Borrmann at the Otto Kloss Company in Hamburg:
Dünaberg, 8 Aug. 1941
Dear Hermann, You have to have seen what people called the
Bolshevist Paradise! It is poor, Hermann, incredibly poor. Only
Jews and functionaries lived well. The people didn’t earn
enough to buy a pair of socks or anything like that. They earned
1 ruble a day, about 10 German pfennig, and that for a full day’s
work. Only the Jews lived well. Each city is about 40% Jewish.
The Jews and Bolshevists hauled every Latvian who was still
around out of his house before the Germans arrived. They stole
the valuables, doused the houses with gasoline, and set them on
fire. The Latvians who did not want to go with the Bolshevists
had their hands and feet cut off, their tongue slit, and then
were left behind. They nailed men and even children to the walls.
These are things we have seen.
If these criminals had reached our country, they would have
torn us apart. That is clear. But the Latvians did take their
The comrades from the Kloss factory should come here and see
what 25 years of communism have done. There is only poverty,
misery, and more misery. Old sod huts, a cow and a pig, that
is all they have. In Germany people talked about how good the
workers here had it.
Germans in general, and German soldiers in particular, do
not take revenge on defenseless opponents, or even torture them.
The opposite is the case. The danger is that German generosity
will too quickly lead us to forget our victorious position, and
presume our own decent attitudes and behavior on the part of
the enemy, whether soldier or civilian.
That is why news of atrocities that our enemies commit against
Germans or the civilians under their rule are often greeted with
a certain skepticism. One doesn’t not believe others can do what
one is oneself incapable of doing. We remember that reports of
the bestial brutalities committed by Poles against ethnic Germans,
especially in Bromberg, were thought to be exaggerated. Meanwhile,
the German people have learned the truth.
But every bloody and sadistic butchery in human history is
thrown into the shadows by that which German soldiers have already
seen with their own eyes in the Soviet Union. As they themselves
write, they will never forget it until they die!
We must not forget that these atrocities are incompetent work
in the eyes of leading Bolshevists. Soldiers and commissars lacked
the time during their retreats to use the bestial methods of
GPU murder to torture their victims to the last. When those in
the Kremlin read the atrocity reports in this booklet, they will
be pleased that only a small part of their terrible crimes have
become known to the civilized world.
Still, the dim rays of light that have reached Bolshevism’s
torture chambers have revealed such frightening pictures that
we are deeply shaken as we read these reports.
[Here are 4 of 9 accounts]
Soldier Fred Fallnbigl to his Parents in Salzburg,
I wrote in my last two letters about Russian atrocities, and
could fill volumes more.
But a bit more from the Soviet Paradise. I’ll especially tell
you about things that happened in Lemberg-Tarnopol and Tromborla.
Tromborla is due south of Tarnopol. I saw the prisons in Lemberg,
and saw things that struck me deeply. There were men with their
ears and noses cut off, etc. They had nailed children alive by
their hands and feet to the wall, butchering them. The blood
was ankle deep. It didn’t make any difference if they were alive
or dead. They doused the piles of bodies with gasoline and set
them on fire. The stench was terrible. I saw similar things in
Tarnopol and Tromborla. In T. seven Ukrainians were hauled out
of their beds after the Germans had arrived. The next morning
their bodies were found in the woods, beaten until they were
unrecognizable. I have seen all of this myself, they are not
matters I heard about. Feel free to tell them to others, particularly
those who may still think well of the Soviet Union.
I always think how fortunate we are that this scourge of humanity
never made it to our country. I don’t think that even years of
preparation would make Germans capable of such atrocities.
Sergeant Paul Rubelt, Military Post Number 34 539 F, to
Miss Grete Egger, Lebring 71, Steiermark:
I was in Lemberg yesterday and saw a bloodbath. It was terrible.
Many had their skin stripped off, men were castrated, their eyes
poked out, arms or legs chopped off. Some were nailed to the
wall, 30-40 were sealed into a small room and suffocated. About
650 people in this area must have died in such ways. The stench
can be endured only if one smokes a cigarette and keeps a handkerchief
over one’s nose. The Jews did most of it. Now they have to dig
the graves. The culprits will be shot. Many already died because
of the stench. In this city they even opened graves and defiled
the corpses. It is terrible. One can hardly believe that such
Orphans Nailed to the Wall and Slaughtered
NCO K. Suffner, Military Post Number 08 070
to his work mates
There was a gray cloud over Lemberg as we arrived. The stench
was scarcely tolerable. The Russians had been thrown out of the
city after a hard battle. Two hours later I found the source
of the stench. The Bolshevists and Jews bestially murdered 12,000
Germans and Ukrainians. I saw pregnant women hanging by their
feet in the GPU’s prison. They had slit the noses, ears, eyes,
fingers, hands and arms and legs of other women. Some even had
their hearts cut out. 300 orphans between the ages of 2 and 17
had been nailed to the wall and butchered. After they were done
with the torture, they threw the people, most of whom were still
alive, into a 3 meter deep pile in the basement, doused them
with gasoline, and lit them on fire. It was terrible! We could
not believe that shave suffered
if Bolshevism had reached us. The complainers and know-it-alls
that we still have in the Reich should see this. Then they would
know what pure Bolshevism looks like. They would fall to their
knees and thank the Führer for saving Germany from such
things. I and many other German soldiers have seen this. We all
thank the Führer that he let us see the Bolshevist “paradise.”
We swear to extirpate this plague root and branch.
Since I have some time today, I thought it my duty to write
this so that my work mates at home can read it. We soldiers at
the front have seen this with our own eyes. We will be able to
tell a lot more later.
We are fighting until final victory.
Lieutenant Lorenz Wächter to a Political
Leader in Neunkirchen:
...I really can’t describe what we saw in Lemberg. It is much, much worse
that the German newspapers were able to describe. One has to have seen
it. Even the stench of corpses, noticeable a long way outside the prison
walls, was enough to make one ill. And the scene itself. Hundreds of murdered
men, women, and children, hideously mutilated. Men had their eyes poked
out, a pastor with his belly slit open and the body of a slaughtered baby
stuffed in. I could tell you worse stories, but even these upset me, and
I’m used to such things by now.
Want to Do with Grumblers
In the midst of all these experiences, observations and facts,
nearly every soldier’s letter expresses the wish that the complainers
and know-it-alls should see what they have seen! Everyone who
has not yet understood the greatness of our age and the significance
of this greatest of all battles should see it for himself for
a week. Countless millions of our people do their duty and sacrifice
in good spirits. They accept the inconveniences of the war cheerfully.
But even the most willing occasionally tire of the necessary
burdens of everyday life during war. These soldiers’ letters
are good medicine in such moments. The facts German soldiers
report home prove that there is no comparison between the war-related
inconveniences we endure and the terrible conditions of perpetual
misery that prevail even during “peace” in the Soviet
Union. All the soldiers at the front wish that every German who
even for a moment loses his energy and enthusiasm would have
the chance to gain a personal impression of a country that despite
the greatest natural resources and despite 25 years of uninterrupted
rule by a government has the worse conditions in the world, conditions
that can only be compared with the very worst English colonies.
Looking into this abyss will banish all discontent.
[Here are 2 of 5 excerpts]
Every Critic of Our Efforts Should be Sent Here
Soldier Walter Sperath writes to the [NSDAP] county office
Everything I have seen of the so-called workers’ paradise
is everything but lovely. One should send every citizen who even
slightly criticizes our efforts here. He would thank the Führer
and the movement that these conditions are not found in our fatherland.
Animals by us live in better conditions than the people here.
Our successes so far have been great, and we will not stop until
we have rooted out this evil root and branch, which will be a
blessing for European culture and humanity.
The People’s Eyes are Being Opened
NCO Alfred Rothe, Military Post Number 27 643
to his Wife in Kostermannsfeld, Burgstr. 5:
....even without the war, the people here were impoverished
and exhausted. Only the bigwigs lived well in palaces. Now the
people’s eyes are being opened. Anyone in Germany who still does
not believe in communism’s terrible crimes should see for himself,
and listen to the people. Happy Germany, as I always say.
Berlin was once a communist fortress, and there were also supposedly
impregnable Red bastions in Hamburg, Saxony, the Ruhr, and Munich. There
were some in the ranks of German communism who honestly believed in
the blessings of Bolshevism. They were ready to serve as Moscow’s Foreign
Legion and deny their German fatherland to build a life of dignity and
beauty for the working class of the whole world.
Adolf Hitler’s powerful idea has long driven criminal communist thinking
from the minds of every normal person in Germany. Among the millions of
German soldiers who are now fighting as loyal followers of the Führer
in Russia, there are certainly some who can remember some of the promises
made by the Bolshevist traitors to the working class.
These citizens are the ones most shocked by what they see in the Soviet
Union. Many a letter writer to his wife, his local group leader, or
his S.A. leader mentions that he was formerly a communist. I mention
one who served 2 1/2 years in prison, but now volunteered for the army
even though he has seven children. He wants to atone for his sins. Now
he writes back home as one who is fully converted.
We have omitted the names of some writers, since we were not sure whether
a brave soldier doing his duty would want thousands of strangers to read
that he was once a communist. We have the originals. Anyone who doubts
the genuineness of these letters can receive the names and address of
the writers, if he has good reason.
The Führer spoke from the hearts of these soldiers when
he said of the Soviet Union on 3 October 1941:
“It is a country that our soldiers are coming to know after
25 years of Bolshevism. This I know: Anyone who went there with even
the slightest sympathy for communism, even in the most idealistic sense,
is cured. You can be sure of that.”
[3 of 9 Excerpts]
The Soviet Union is Absolutely Miserable
Flyer W. M., Res.-Lazarett Salzlwedel to his Cell
I have seen the “wonderful workers’ paradise” in
the Soviet Union with all its terrible misery, and wish that
those who thought differently could spend a few weeks here to
see and experience what we have. The misery and horror of Bolshevism
I hope that volunteering for our proud army may atone for
my earlier sins, and that when I am back home, you, dear party
member, will accept me as an honest person. In that hope, I send
you my warmest greetings.
signed W. M.
Earlier Fans of the Soviet Union are Quickly Cured
Corporal Otto Kien, Military Post Number 18,
756, to the Factory Leadership t the Conrad Scholtz Factory.
Russia, 8 August 1941
Anyone who earlier had different opinions of the Soviet Union
is quickly cured of them here. The poverty is terrible. Not even
the farmers have anything to eat. They beg from us. There are
lice and filth everywhere. One has to be careful one doesn’t
get them from the inhabitants.
These people don’t know anything else. They sit in their huts and remove
lice from each other. They don’t mind if anyone watches. I’ve had my fill
of this workers’ paradise. We’ll be glad to be out of here. In the past
we saw pictures of malnourished children. They were not exaggerated. One
can’t believe it if one hasn’t been here.
Worse than we Imagined
Corporal J. F., Military Post Number 26,280
to his Local Group
In the Field, 3.8.41
What we have seen of the so-called Soviet paradise is worse than we ever
imagined. Anyone back home who still has any doubts should come here.
All his doubts will disappear. Everywhere we go, the people are happy
to be freed from Bolshevism, and looks to the future with confidence.
We soldiers can say to those back home that he [Hitler] saved Germany and all of Europe from the Red Army. The battle is hard,
but we know what we are fighting for, and, confident of the Führer,
we will win. In the hopes of a victorious return,
Corporal J. F.
Most Beautiful Homeland
No one has greater right to evaluate a country than the soldier
who is ready to give his life for it. We know that German soldiers
would fight and die for Germany, even if it were the poorest
and most wretched land on earth.
In the Communist-Bolshevist “paradise,” however,
the German soldier learned what Germany really means. “An
employed man in Germany lives better than a lord in comparison
to a Bolshevist worker,” one letter said, and we know that
many Communists who fled to the Soviet Union would prefer to
spend a long time in a German prison than live in Bolshevist
The letters are all a proud and confident affirmation of the
Greater German Fatherland.
Germany the Most Beautiful Country in the Whole Wide World!
Corporal Karl Prox to County Propaganda Leader
In the East, 12.8.1941
We have hard weeks behind us, and are proud of our success
against the Soviet foe. We now have time to recover from our
I am proud to be a German, and to be a member of our wonderful
army. Greet everyone back home. I am a long way away. Tell them
that Germany is the most beautiful, cultivated country in the
whole world. Everyone should be happy to be a German and serve
a Führer like Adolf Hitler.
[There are two other excerpts]
Thanks to the
Some Germans on 22 June 1941 were not aware of the enormous
danger threatening the Reich. Soldiers facing the enemy were
the first to realize it. They are the best judges of the terrible
misfortune that the Führer saved Germany and Europe from.
Nearly every letter expresses deep thanks to the Führer.
The Führer Saw the Danger in Time
Soldier P. Woock, Military Post Number 33,
817, to his comrades at home:
Whatever it may cost, it is good that the Führer saw
the danger in time. The battle had to come. Germany, what would
have happened to you if this bestial stupid horde had poured
into our homeland? We have all sworn allegiance to Adolf Hitler,
and we must fulfill it for our own good, wherever we may be.
[There are two other excerpts]
[The pamphlet ends with the following
These letters close with affirmations of loyalty to the Führer,
and attacks on the murderous Jewish-Bolshevist swindle. We could
give only a small selection of the thinking of German soldiers
in this pamphlet, but these eyewitness accounts are so persuasive
and frightening in their truthfulness that no one can ignore
Mr. Churchill, these are your Bolshevist allies for which
you ask English churches to pray, and for whom English workers
should forge new weapons! This is the culture of those you are
protecting, Mr. Roosevelt. You want to save the world from “Nazi
barbarians” with their help. With their help you are supposedly
fighting for freedom and justice for smaller countries. And that,
Mr. Stalin, is the judgment of millions of men on your Bolshevist
policies, men whom you hoped to recruit as cannon fodder for
the Bolshevist world revolution.
Things in the Soviet Union are far worse and terrifying than
National Socialism ever claimed. The Soviet Jews hermetically
sealed off their terrorized nation from the rest of the world.
Even experts and enemies of Bolshevist doctrine could not form
a true picture of the real events in the area ruled by Bolshevism.
Even the fantasies of the most fanatic opponents of Bolshevism
could not reach the true hopeless of the situation, revealed
here in letters from German citizens at the front.
German soldiers saw the Soviet Union! They will never forget
what they have seen. Never again will anyone in Europe dare to
apologize, much less defend, Bolshevism and the results of its
There are few families in Germany today that do not have a
relative, and therefore an eyewitness of Bolshevism. These letters
already circulate within families and factories, villages, and
party local groups. Now they reach millions who are working for
victory, giving them a broader picture of the experiences and
impressions of their brothers and sons.
No one will put this pamphlet down without being deeply moved. His thoughts
will then turn to the Führer, the man who in the midst of Germany’s
deepest disgrace was the first to recognize and oppose the communist enemy.
The few units of the SA and the SS that opposed the Bolshevist-Jewish
enemy when Moscow’s terror still prevailed in the streets of our great
cities, when Red revolution threatened whole states and provinces of the
Reich, and Moscow’s Foreign Legion murdered German men on German soil,
now have the whole German people with them. The enormous columns of German
regiments and divisions are striking Bolshevism deep in Russia. At the
right time and with careful forethought, the Führer, side by side
with all the awakened European nations, gave the command to save the West.
The decision was difficult, the scale of the struggle vast, and the results
Everyone today can see that the order given on 22 June 1941 was the greatest
decision in Europe’s life. The Bolshevist armies that today are being
destroyed by the blows of the German army, blows from which they will
never recover, were ready to attack Europe. Despite the treaties, the
Bolshevist leaders were ready to attack when the hour was right. The presumed
state of workers and soldiers had secret agreements with the plutocracies
and capitalism. They were preparing the way for World Jewry to take over
If Stalin’s tanks and planes had crossed our borders, it would
have been the end of everything noble and beautiful in the world.
Europe would have been filled with enslaved masses like the prisoners
our soldiers find today in the East. A whole part of the world
would have fallen into filth and misery if Adolf Hitler had not
at the last moment intervened to forever eliminate the criminal
We may not forget it. Moscow’s criminals are praised as heroes
and defenders of culture every day by the English and American
press. People in London and New York pray for these animals in
human form, and thousands of Jewish editors, speakers, and radio
announcers are at work recruiting American youth to shed their
blood for these subhumans.
This lying and decaying world of plutocracy along with its
Bolshevist allies may not and will not win. No sacrifice is too
great in comparison to what is at risk, and what victory will
bring us in the future.
The letters from our soldiers during these decisive months
will always be a testimony to our just cause. They are unique
historical documents. Their significance is expressed by these
words Propaganda Minister Dr. Goebbels, which we remind readers
of in conclusion:
“One has to realize what would have happened if the
Führer had not seen the danger of Bolshevism, and what is
at risk. Our soldiers are witnesses of Moscow’s plans. They have
seen with their own eyes Bolshevism’s plans to destroy Germany
and Europe. They have had direct experience with the Soviet System
and have been able to form a true picture of conditions in the
paradise of workers and farmers. One must realize the significance
of these facts for the future. Just as there was no debate in
Germany about the Jewish Question after the Polish campaign,
now there will be no debate about Bolshevism. This fiery struggle
is more than a campaign or a war. It is an historic battle of
fate in the broadest sense of the term.”
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