Background: This article is dated 6 July 1941. The German offensive in the East had been underway for two weeks. Goebbels claims that Germany attacked the Soviet Union to save Western civilization. I believe this article was published in the Völkischer Beobachter, the Nazy party’s daily newspaper, but I have not checked. It was not published in Das Reich, where his articles usually appeared after 1940.
The source is Die Zeit ohne Beispiel (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1941), a collection of Goebbels’s speeches and writings from January 1939 to September 1941.
The Veil Falls
Hundreds of thousands of young German soldiers have been crossing our eastern border and marching through the famed “workers’ and peasants’ paradise.” Had National Socialism not been victorious, many of them would today be members of the League of Red Fighters, readers of the Red Flag, and singers of adoring hymns to the “workers’ fatherland.” At the end of their meeting they would have praised “wise Stalin,” “the leader of the world revolution” and the “bringer of earthly happiness.” A London newspaper wrote a few days ago that the danger of the eastern campaign for Germany was that our young men might be infected as they came into direct contact with Bolshevism. We must prepare that newspaper for a disappointment. Our solders are indeed experiencing first hand what people call Bolshevism. First, however, National Socialists are immune from any infection by the intellectual and spiritual disease that Moscow preaches, and second they are learning not only the theory of Bolshevism, but also its practice. The result of the acquaintance will be distressing both for Moscow and London.
The Soviet Union knew what it was doing when it sealed itself off from the rest of the world from its earliest days. No matter how socialist it declared itself in its programs and proclamations, it dared not do what National Socialist Germany, for example, did hundreds of thousands of times: to send its own farmers and workers on their own ships to distant countries, where they could on the one hand enjoy and admire the beauties of these lands, but also compare conditions there with those in their own land. They learned to love their people and fatherland, with its order, cleanliness and social justice. Bolshevism could maintain its social illusion only because its deceived population lacked any opportunity for comparison. When one has lived for 25 years in a dark cellar, a kerosene lamp looks like the sun, and for those who were citizens for twenty-five years of the so-called Soviet Union, the most dreadful hovel seemed a palace and a piece of bread the food of the gods, since he heard every day that those in non-Bolshevist countries did not get anything to eat at all. Moscow was a world to itself. An insidious mixture of dogmatic party doctrine, clever Jews and greedy state capitalists rode the conglomerate of peoples that made up the Soviet Union. Those who could remember pre-Bolshevist times, even if by hearsay, were slaughtered. Since they did not see or visit other countries, it was easy to deceive the drugged citizens that the Soviet Union was a paradise instead of the hell it was in reality. It was one of the biggest and cleverest cases of popular deception in all of human history.
Shortly after our National Socialist revolution, a number of communists who had fled Germany after committing political crimes returned, saying they would rather be in a German prison than so-called free citizens in the so-called Soviet Union. Our soldiers marching into the East now can see with their own eyes what these victims of Bolshevist seduction experienced. The veil is falling. The mystery with which Bolshevism so gladly (and with good reason) surrounded itself is surrendering its secrets. Moscow is being revealed.
We hear about it in the tales of officers who are sent from the front to Berlin for a day. We read it in countless letters from soldiers that reach the homeland. Rarely has an army begun its victorious march into an enemy land with such curiosity, and probably never has what they actually saw been so much worse than their worst expectations. It is simply indescribable. Bolshevism is being revealed as a disgusting mixture of phrases and poverty, of stubborn doctrine and a complete lack of constructive thinking, of splendid socialist phases and the most distressing social decay. It is mass betrayal in the truest sense of the word.
What was supposedly going to infect our soldiers has had the opposite effect. Perhaps an occasional soldier previously thought National Socialist teaching about Bolshevism was a bit exaggerated. He finds that reality is even worse. The same thing happened with his comrades, who as they marched into the ghettos of Poland like Litzmannstadt, Krakow, and Warsaw realized not only the accuracy, but also the pressing necessity of our anti-Semitic views. When they returned home, they reproached us for understating the dangers. Our soldiers in the East will have the same opinions of Bolshevism when they return.
It is outrageous that this spiritual infection wanted to conquer Europe, indeed the entire world. It would be like a cholera patient who maintained that he alone was healthy, and that it was his right and duty to infect those whose health he saw as sickness, in order to make them as healthy as he.
It is no accident that the question of Bolshevism is being discussed just as all this is being revealed. A wave of awakening is rolling through Europe. The peoples who have maintained a healthy core are setting aside their various differences and spontaneously heading to the Eastern Front. Mr. Churchill, meanwhile, is hurrying to seal the international alliance between democracy and plutocracy, despite the cynical orgies over the past 25 years in the so-called worker’ paradise. Things that belong together should be together. We have no doubt that the Jewish band that Mr. Churchill surrounds himself with has made it easy for him to find his way to the Kremlin. The wise Stalin can be pleased; the more the peoples of the Soviet Union learn about the horrors of his regime, the louder the admiration he receives from the plutocratic newspapers on Fleet Street. They are astonished at his courage and steadfastness, comparing him to Mr. Churchill himself, flooding him with waterfalls of praise. We have nothing to add. We only hope to use our best efforts to reach even the last person susceptible to Bolshevism with the truth about the abyss before which he stands.
The OKW reports that in the Minsk area 20,000 Bolshevist soldiers deserted to the German lines after shooting their political commissars. 52,000 new deserters were announced today. This is more than a symptom. It is a sign to the Jewish-terrorist ruling class of Bolshevism that its end is near. It seeks in vain to turn the tide. Listeners to German radio programs in the Russian language, even those who merely pick up a German leaflet, are executed. The cowardly band of liars in the Kremlin seems to sense that its end is near. Moscow newspapers are full of bloodthirsty attacks on those spreading panic and rumors, defeatists, and fifth columnists. The style reminds us of the days just before our takeover in the Reich, when the class-conscious proletariat was warned against attending our meetings. They were afraid of the truth then as now. They watch in horror as their finely woven web of lies is torn apart and the ground on which they stand begins to shake. World history will be their world court.
We sent a commission of doctors, jurists, journalists, and radio people to Lemberg. They returned with drawn faces. What they saw there cannot be described. Our newspapers have printed only a portion of the dreadful things that happened under Bolshevism. We have pictures of murdered Ukrainians that we refuse to release to the public, since we fear that viewers would lose all faith in humanity. Given the usual methods of execution, it is practically an act of grace when a bestial soldier rips open the womb of a Ukrainian woman and nails the embryo to the wall. The human eye is not strong enough to see a long series of such photographs. It is hell on earth. The teaching that led to all of this cannot exist in a world in which we wish to live. It must be wiped out.
We know that Mr. Churchill and his cowardly but well-paid journalists will trivialize or ignore our proofs. He sees what he wants to see, and does not see what fails to please him. But that will not hinder us from making our charges before the world. The war that we are waging against Bolshevism is a war of moral humanity against spiritual rottenness, against the decline of public morals, against spiritual and physical terror, against criminal policies whose makers sit on mountains of corpses in order to see whom their next victim will be.
They were preparing to plunge into the heart of Europe. Human imagination is insufficient to picture what would have happened if their animal hordes had flooded into Germany and the West. The Führer’s order to the army on the night of 22 June was an act of historic magnitude. It will probably prove to be the critical decision of the war. The soldiers obeying his order are the saviors of European culture and civilization, saving it from a threat from the political underworld. Germany’s sons once again are defending not only their own land, but also the whole civilized world. Schooled firmly in the teaching of National Socialism, they storm eastward, tearing the veil of history’s greatest deception, and giving their own people and the world the opportunity to see what is, and what will come.
They hold in their hands a torch that will keep the light of humanity from going out.
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Go to the German Propaganda Archive Home Page.