German Propaganda Archive Calvin College

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Background: As the war situation worsened, the Nazi propaganda apparatus returned to earlier methods of propaganda that had been successful during the struggle for power. One of these was the evening discussion meeting (Sprechabend), where party members came together to discuss a variety of issues. This document provides guidelines for holding such meetings in Gau Sachsen. These were small meetings, from a several people to perhaps a dozen or so. They, in turn, were to use what they learned in conversations with friends and work mates. For further material on the theme, see guidelines for discussion evenings issued by the Reichspropagandaleitung.

The source: Informationsdienst für die Zellensprechabende im November 1944, issued by the Gauleitung der NSDAP Sachsen together with the Gaupropagandaamt and the Gauschulungsamt.


Information Service for Cell Discussion Evenings

November 1944


May the German nation never forget that the hardness
of a people is never tested when the leadership has visible
successes, but rather during the hour of apparent failures.
Adolf Hitler

The Situation

Militarily:

During the month of October the German people withstood the test. While this Information Service was in press, there were storms on all fronts. The goal of German defense is, as before, to prevent deep incursions by our enemy into Reich territory. The loss of Finland led to changes in the Baltic front. The enemy suffered enormous losses as we withdrew.

The battles in East Asia show that Japan still has its full fighting strength and that our enemies must also be prepared for heavy fighting in this theater of the war. German armaments production is in full motion. Once our measures for a total war effort in our armaments industry take effect, it will be possible to give a more precise summary of the military situation.

Political:

Since Churchill was unable to fulfill his promise to defeat Germany in October, many political and military questions apparently made a meeting with Stalin necessary. Churchill’s bitter hatred does not stop him from making agreements about Europe with Stalin, i.e., Bolshevism, that would mean Germany’s death. It is striking that America was not part of this conference. The NSDAP has recognized the danger of Bolshevism since its beginning. That danger is now evident in Finland, Romania,Bulgaria, Italy, France, and Belgium.

A group of communists once asked Lenin the question: “What is communist morality?” Lenin answered: “murder, destruction, shattering everything if it serves the revolution. On the other hand, stroke a person on his head and tell him he is Alexander the Great, if that best serves the revolution.”

Churchill was treated in Moscow as if he were Alexander the Great. The Führer’s saying that he who gives himself to Bolshevism will be devoured by it will also prove true in England.

We know that earlier rulers of old Russia, insofar as they were Germany’s enemies, acted according to Peter the Great’s principle: “A forest that is not completely cut down grows back.” Germany must, therefore, be wiped out or else it will grow back again. Added to that is Bolshevist lack of conscience and the brutality of a Stalin. One summer evening he said to several of his friends: “To prepare a blow to a victim to the last detail, to enjoy pitiless revenge, then go to sleep. There is nothing more beautiful in this world.”

We do not need to wonder to Bolshevism has shown not the least regard for Finland, Poland, Romania, and the other peoples. Germany will be stamped out and crushed.

Anglo-American hatred and arrogance have already decided to throw Germany along with the other European peoples to Bolshevism to be devoured. Let no one deceive himself. The American Soldateska is no better than the Bolshevist horde. During the last war British agitation funds succeeded in inculcating a burning hatred of Germany in the American public within a few weeks. Today all Jewish drive for power is concentrated in New York. Enemy agitation has made sure that anything German is persecuted with the worst dirty methods. The result is blind hatred on the part of Anglo-American soldiers. We want to protect Germany from these horrors by joining closely with the Führer and fighting on the knife’s edge for Germany’s freedom.

Educational Foundations

“If our will is so strong that in cannot be overcome by anything, then our will and our German steel will overcome everything and win.” Adolf Hitler on 1.9.1939

Against the enemy’s will to destroy us, we set our tough and bitter will. The enemy may storm against our borders with superior masses and matériel, but we fight for a better idea and will continue the battle until its victorious conclusion.

We know what will happen to us if we become weak. We look to the peoples of states that were until recently allied with us, how they were betrayed by their leadership and given over to Bolshevism.

“War shows whether an individual and a whole people has a great thought, a central idea, that is strong enough to withstand enmity and hatred. The individual and the people will face a choice: do they want to take up the battle for freedom, life, and history, or do they refuse to act and perish.” Kurt Eggers

That great thought, that central idea, is lacking in these people and their leadership. Our people will not succumb to the storm of the enemy and their threats, for we know what we are fighting for. Adolf Hitler gave our people the National Socialist worldview, an idea that is worth fighting and dying for. We know that all life is struggle and we affirm the life law of battle.

“He who wants to live fights, and he who will not fight in this world of eternal struggle does not deserve to live.” Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

We know that to reach the Reich we strive for, one where social justice prevails, we must fight a world full of enemies. Battle leads to a life in which our highest values are honor, loyalty, sacrifice, and freedom. We know that if the Americans plunged into our Reich, our lot would be no better than under the Bolshevists. These plutocratic warmongers know only the ideas of the Jews, of destroying all ideals and enslaving humanity.

This battle is a battle of worldviews.

He who wants to destroy and steal a German’s highest values hits nerve, takes his very life away. In times of the greatest danger, the people’s soul breaks out with elemental force to defend against the death blow, to defend itself. This spiritual power is greater than any numerical and material superiority. Readiness increases to the highest degree. What does the life of an individual mean when the holy life of the people is threatened! He gives his life to win life. Superhuman things will be done and the word “impossible” is not heard. We are fighting this battle with everything we have. We must become hard, we must hate because we love our people. In a time when our enemies are using every method to destroy us, any sentimentality must be torn from our hearts. We will win if each German uses his whole will and entire strength. Life is hard; it knows nothing of “humanity.” The law of life is that only the strong survive. We are the stronger if we are the harder. He who believes that he can hide in a comfortable corner commits a crime against out people. He who still believes that he can stand aside is a traitor. Each individual must be ready to sacrifice his life for our people. Each life finds its fulfillment. To die fighting for people and fatherland his the highest end. The steel-crowned crosses of our fallen heroes are memorials for coming generations. They, too, will be ready to sacrifice their lives. Only so will Germany be eternal.

Information for cell discussion evenings for November 1944 is provided by the Reichsorganisationsleiter der NSDAP — Hauptschulungsamt — in cooperation with the Reichspropagandaleitung der NSDAP — Chef der Propagandastabes. The following slogans to be handled in the discussion evenings have been published in a Sprachabend-Eildienst.

  • Slogan Nr. 24: Certainty of victory at the decisive hour.
  • Slogan Nr. 25: Assuring the food supply is a question of attitude.
  • Information Nr. 1: Traitors, deserters, and Jews at Seidlitz in Moscow.
  • Information Nr. 2: (only for discussion meeting leaders) The truth about German prisoners of war in the Soviet system.

The Sprechabend-Eildienst is already in the hands of the local groups. Guidelines for using the material are in the Information Service for Cell Discussion Evenings in October 1944.

Guidelines for Conducting a Cell Discussion Evening

The discussion evening is intended for conversation, as its name suggests. The discussion reveals the problems that should be dealt with according to fundamental National Socialist principles. He who understands these fundamental principles is in the position to conduct a discussion evening even without a propaganda speaker or educational speaker. Many local group leaders or cell leaders are under the false idea that an evening must always have a speaker. The opposite is the case: Real life prevails in a cell or local group only when as many party members as possible ask questions and participate in the debate.

A discussion evening is something like a town meeting, in which everything is brought up that needs to be discussed. The town council joins in the discussion.

The leader of the discussion evening, of course, must have a political goal for each evening. It is good for the leader of a discussion evening to mention in advance the theme to be treated to several party members and ask these to bring along supporting material. Such supporting material can be letters from soldiers that describe conditions at the front. From these letters he can then shift to the military-political situation.

Or perhaps a woman within the cell or local group has been convicted of having an abortion. The sentence can be announced, it can be talked about, and then a transition made to political questions about population policy.

Bolshevism: Recently a large number of former Marxist functionaries were arrested. This theme is particularly appropriate. There are many who have not entirely understood this. We all know that Marxism has a finely woven web that covers the whole world, Germany not excepted. It is always better to watch and investigate a former Marxist for a few weeks that to allow secret Putschists to run about. He who is innocent will be released.

Jewish Problem: Someone talks about a problem he once had with Jews, or a bible verse is read that shows the Jews want world domination, and that the former view protected Jewry since each Jew could be baptized.

Another example: A woman or girl has had sexual relations with a foreigner. That can be officially announced and talked about. Many will be able to speak about things that they have seen. From there one can talk in general about questions regarding foreigners. Basically, sexual relations with foreign countries is prohibited. However, in conclusion one can explain which peoples can be seen as racially related.

Often it will be the case that a solution cannot be found during a discussion evening, since no one is there who can answer the question. In this case a party member will be delegated to pursue the question with an expert in the Kreisleitung so that there is a basic for discussion at the next discussion evening.

Questions on women in the labor force: Open discussion about individuals in question who refuse. One can hear the opinion of other party members. Often factual misunderstandings about individual people’s comrades can be clarified.

In short, things that are not particularly confidential and secret all belong at a discussion evening.

After discussing various matters, one must get to the real theme. You receive enough material that can be used:

  • Evening discussion information
  • Propaganda directives
  • Oral slogan (the most recent oral slogan is to be covered in each discussion evening)
  • Particularly interesting newspaper articles, as much as possible from newspapers that are not widely read in the respective local group so that there is always something new
  • Reading an interesting chapter from a book...

In conclusion I stress again that the discussion evening leader must not do all the talking. One party comrade reads a letter, asks a question, or reports on a certain event of experience, after which a discussion must result that leads to some theme. And the theme does not have to be stubbornly adhered to, since it often turns out that another theme is more interesting that the one chosen.

The discussion evening must be carried out even if the attendance is very small; when only a few are present, they are filled with a particularly close sense of belonging that they will see as dependability.

Where a discussion evening has a good turnout, it is always good to begin with a lively song. That, too, brings a fresh spirit to the community. Where possible, accompany the song with a piano. People must have the feeling a such evenings that they belong to a team. At times with serious news, e.g. from the fronts, attendance must not lag because many begin do doubt, but rather this team must be so strong that especially at such times people come to the discussion evening to meet with others who share their sentiments, to discuss things with each other, and return home with a feeling of the strength of the community. In local groups that follow these principles, the party membership is firm and reliable, as countless examples prove. During the struggle for power it was always true that after hard days we drew even closer together and felt almost like brothers. The party has given proof that it can give strength to the German people. But this can flow only with the block, the cell, and the local group grow into a spiritually powerful community.

Advice from the Gau Propaganda office

What will the Anglo-Americans bring?

People’s comrades often have the false impression that the Americans are more moderate than the Bolshevists. That means that our propaganda about Anglo-American depravity must be strengthened. Recently an exchanged prisoner who spent a year in various hospitals in North America, in the East, South, and West, told me that American depravity cannot be exaggerated. The hate agitation, the agitation films, and the filthy literature are filled with such depravity that the German sense of shame would never be able to write or speak about them.

That is how Anglo-American soldiers behave. Where Anglo-American occupation occurs, a wave of persecution of others follows. Farmers, workers, and civil servants are arrested. One gives Bolshevism a free hand. Murder and shootings are the order of the day. American soldiers behave in a swinish manner, no better than the Bolshevist Soldateska. Spiritual Bolshevism already prevails in American agitation in the press, film, and books. That proves clearly that Bolshevism rules and that behind the plutocratic form of government of the Anglo-Americans, the Jew stands with his Old Testament hatred.

The Reichspropagandaleiter has ordered that education about the Anglo-Americans is to be greatly intensified. The German press and radio will carry sufficient material for National Socialist propagandists.

Above all it should be stressed that Italy has been plagued by starvation for over a year since its occupation. The bubonic plague is raging in Algeria. Queen Wilhelmina announced starvation in a speech for Holland. France is facing a terrible winter. There is no gas or electricity, or at most for a half hour or an hour a day in Paris. Parisian citizens received only three sacks of coal for the entire winter. As a result, Bolshevism is constantly growing stronger. If these developments continue, and that seems probable, Stalin will not need to send the Soviet army into Western Europe to bring about Bolshevism. The only way to keep such things from happening is Germany is to apply our hardest will to resist that must enable the homeland to devote all possible strength to armaments.

The chaps resulting from Bolshevist or Anglo-American occupation, even if only in parts of Germany, would be vastly greater than in France, for Germany is more thickly populated. The Anglo-Americans have neither the ability nor the will to provide sufficiently for the population, nor to build as smoothly functioning an organization as the German Reich Farmers Estate. The result of an Anglo-American occupation would be the deportation of men to Siberia, separated from the women. The children, according to the above-mentioned exchange prisoner from the USA, would be taken from their mothers at the age of three and raised abroad.

Jewish agitation and American arrogance has succeeded in inciting whole peoples such that we can expect mercy neither from the Bolshevists nor the Anglo-Americans.

The false conclusion that it would be better under the Anglo-Americans than the Bolshevists would be even more dangerous if it became part of the political opinion of the German population. Such an opinion, therefore, is to be opposed by positive opinion formation in all local groups, membership meetings, discussion evenings, and other meetings.

Language Rule for the Volkssturm

Terms such as partisans or similar negative terms may never be used in our propaganda. Under the present conditions, the German people is gathering its whole defensive strength, which is an enormous and previously untouched reserve. The reserves that remain in the homeland will be gathered into the Volkssturm by order of the Führer. The task of the Volkssturm is to use its abilities unconditionally to make life for our enemies on German soil impossible.

To prevent misunderstandings about members of the Volkssturm, terms such as partisans, guerillas, or terrorists are not to be used. The members of the Volkssturm are combatants under international law and are to be designated as such.

The German Volkssturm shows the unshakable will of the German people not to surrender its freedom under any circumstances. It is the only foundation for our future. The strength that is mobilized through it is enormous and will present our enemy with insoluble problems. The Volksturm is a multiplication of the previous Wehrmacht in the Reich. If the enemy attempts to drive into this or that place in the interior of the Reich, this force will grow with each kilometer. The enemy will hardly be in the position even with its industry and economy to send as rapidly and as many 16- to 60-year-olds to attack Germany as we will be able to gather with lightning speed in the event of acute danger in the Volkssturm. That is where the great military value and meaning of the National Socialist Volkssturm is to be seen.

Now the task is to organize, train, and lead the companies and battalions. Our meetings must especially emphasize the growing strength of our Wehrmacht as a result of the Volksturm in the event of approaching danger.

Some understood the Reichsführer SS’s speech to mean that we should attack the enemy with flails and scythes, as the Army of Liberation was told to do in 1813. These critics do not note that in the same breath the Reichsführer mentioned that the Volkssturm be trained and equipped with infantry and anti-tank weapons. Here, too, the goal is to make life as difficult as possible for the enemy if he succeeds in entering German territory here or of there. He has to pause for breath, requisition food or bring it in, rest, repair machines and weapons. The goal is to make every movement difficult and hinder any recuperation. Each building must be defended with every means and using every art of war.— That and that only is how the Reichsführer SS’s words are to be understood. It is also good for everyone to participate enthusiastically in training to become a good shot and a good fighter. Men with the right spirit, when they have a weapon in their hands, will be a fighting force the enemy cannot overcome,

The situation of the German people today is no worse than it was in 1939. In fact, one can say that it is significantly worse for the enemy, for he faces the fanatic resistance of a German people that is fighting for its life. Back then, some of our armies were still being formed and others were not fully equipped, but they faced a world of enemies. With the force of the German attack, the German Wehrmacht fought battles that won us five full years of time. This gain of time is so great that even today we stand at the North Cape, on the borders of East Prussia and the West, in the General Gouvernment, in the Hungarian plains, and in Italy. The enemy has suffered great and irreplaceable losses in matériel. The enemy has fought for five full years and suffered the greatest losses, but has been unable to defeat the Reich. We have succeed in what seemed impossible in 1939, and with the second great use of the strength of the German people we will succeed in defending what we set out to do: Away with the Treaty of Versailles, which enslaved the German people and led to its collapse, unification of all tribes in a Greater German Reich, securing the food supply of the German people, and a final victory of German arms, against which the hate of the enemy will break.

 

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