Background: The following essay provides a rather comprehensive
summary of the state of NSDAP propaganda just before the beginning of
World War II. It is a report on a training course for party propagandists
held from 24-26 April 1939.
The source: “1. Lehrgang der Gau- und Kreispropagandaleiter
der NSDAP.,” Unser Wille und Weg, 9 (1939), pp. 124-139.
First Course for Gau
Propaganda Leaders of the
The first course for Gau and county (Kreis) propaganda
leaders was held from 24 to 26 April at the Ordensburg Vogelsang in the
Eifel region. Participants included officials from the Reichspropagandaleitung
[the party propaganda central office] led by staff leader
Comrade Hugo Fischer, the Gau and county propaganda leaders,
the leaders of the Departments of Active Propaganda, Culture, Film, and
Radio, as well as the leader of the Gau Ring for National Socialist
Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment.
After the introduction by staff leader party comrade Fisher, the following
speakers addressed the gathering:
Monday, 24 April 1939
Reichsamtsleiter Walter Schulze, head of the Department for
Active Propaganda, spoke on:
Propaganda: A Matter of the Heart, not of the Understanding!
It may seem unnecessary today, six years after the seizure of power,
to discuss the theme “Is propaganda still necessary?” Still,
I begin my speech today with it:
Example Nr. 1: It is not all that long ago that a “comrade”
wrote the following letter to the Reichspropagandaleitung:
As of today I have been elected as propaganda leader of the local group
of the NSDAP. In order to follow the directives of the Reichsleitung,
Example Nr. 2 (February 1939):
A bookkeeper for a governmental women’s clinic called the party leader
responsible for his building and requested a rebuke. To understand his
request, here is the background:
The government women’s clinic, to legitimize itself from the NSDAP’s
standpoint, had a picture of the Führer only in the director’s office.
The party leader, when informed of the situation, called the bookkeeper
and ordered him to buy about 210 Führer pictures which in number
and size would correspond to the number of crucifixes in the building.
That’s the background. Now for the bookkeeper’ rather amusing problem. He had ordered the first 26 Führer pictures, and now
was being criticized. His superior demanded that he explain in writing
“whether acquiring Führer pictures for rooms in the government
women’s clinic is absolutely necessary.”
Example Nr. 3 (17 January 1939):
A miner wrote in primitive, but perhaps because of that easily understandable,
German to the Reichspropagandaleitung, asking if one could help
him establish whether his 14-year-old son was a Mischling, that
is, a half-Jew. He included several items, including a picture of the
lad (?) and the notarized attestation of a doctor, which had the following
amusing phrasing which we here provide in full:
Hans ... from ..., Beethoven Street 43, born on 9. 12. 23 was examined
by me today. The foreskin is fully present. He has not been circumcised.
Signed, Dr. ...
Name of town, 17. January 1939”
There followed an official seal.
These three examples, which could certainly be supplemented by a number
of similar cases, are enough to show how necessary propaganda still is
But that is not the reason a propagandist should take up his work for
the Führer’s movement, but rather from the conviction that it was, is
and will remain his duty “to open and win the hearts of the last
German citizen for Adolf Hitler and his idea.” I emphasize the “heart,”
for if we had been able to get the idea across, the above three people
would have understood us and would today be National Socialists in the
truest sense of the word.
We see ourselves as propagandists of the Führer in the service of
his movement. Our area of service is: the propaganda of the NSDAP.
I want to stress these words: “It [propaganda]
was, is and remains, and indeed in its unshakable nature that developed
during the struggle for power.” By that I mean first, that we will
continue to do everything that put us in a position to help the Führer
take over the Reich, and second to eliminate everything today that dulls
the sharpness of our weapons.
On the first point, let me give several examples. “In the beginning
was the word.” This sentence, made vivid to the entire people by
the painting of Comrade Professor
Hoyer, fills thousands of speakers today with pride. They are
called to stand alongside the Führer in the midst of the people and
proclaim his word and his idea. They serve the movement today as they
have always served it. They are as willing as ever to sacrifice their
time, their strength and health, their money, their spare time, their
household duties, and their family lives.
They stand before the people not only at the high points of National
Socialism, during referendums, or the return of Austria, the Sudetenland,
or Memel to the Reich. Since 1933 they have beaten the drums again and
again, until even the last German heard the call of the Führer.
We know of no other time in history and no other nation on earth that
can claim such a fanatical army of proclaimers of an idea. For the first
time ever, National Socialism has built a shock troop that went to the
very front, conquered the territory, and now dominates it. The leaders
of this army know that the conquest can be held only by using the same
means that were used it making it. The movement won the battle lacking
nearly every technology of propaganda. It is clear that National Socialism
conquered the hearts of the people only with heart, and that for the proclaimers
of his idea the following is true:
“The mouth speaks because the heart is full.”
Let us now go with the speaker to his arena, the meeting. The speaker
has the right to expect that National Socialist meetings and mass meetings
today be the same as they were during the struggle for power. That means
that the meeting chairman has not only the duty to guarantee a good attendance
using all the tested methods of the struggle for power, but also to be
sure that each meeting has the proper National Socialist fighting spirit.
First of all, it is not enough to place a good advertisement for the
meeting in the press. Rather, just as before the many-sided appeal of
propaganda must reach everyone in order to achieve a true people’s community
by full attendance at each National Socialist event. That requires leaflets,
posters on telephone poles and elsewhere, word-of-mouth propaganda, the
timely involvement of party divisions and affiliated organizations and,
not least, flyers in every family’s mailbox, whether printed or mimeographed.
The propaganda wardens of the German Workers Front and the block leaders
must see to it that the meeting is announced in all suitable places in
factories and bulletin boards of the party. The party’s propaganda leaders
must regularly encourage this. It is clear that such broad and comprehensive
propaganda for the meetings and mass meetings of the party will build
the unified image of the party, its divisions and affiliated organizations.
Experienced propagandists will have no difficulty avoiding forbidden
methods, such as ordering whole factories to attend or filling the hall
with party formations, etc.
We also need to focus our attention on the meeting halls themselves.
The primary command is this:
“The meeting rooms of the party must be consistent with the dignity
of the movement and the purity of its idea.”
In the past we have eliminated the Kitsch that now and again
appeared. As a healthy body eliminates that which is unhealthy, the National
Socialist movement has eliminated the excesses of 1933.
For twenty years, it has proven to be best to depend on the speaker for
the effect of the meeting. Here, too, it is clear that we must resist
attempts to turn our meetings into ceremonies. That does not of course
mean that music or a choir cannot contribute usefully to a meeting. To
the contrary, they can help to set the mood that will help the speaker
to give the best that he has: his whole heart. Evening after evening,
power streams from the hearts of the speakers into the veins of the people,
and lets them experience the Führer and his work, and thus celebrate
National Socialism in the best sense.
[Note from the editor: In our next issue, we will carry further remarks
of the head of the Department for Active Propaganda, Walter Schulze,
on the slide show system of the NSDAP and other areas of activity of
Reichsamtsleiter Walter Tießler, Head of the Reich Ring
for National Socialist Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment on:
The Reich Ring for National Socialist Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment
as an Instrument of the Propaganda Leader
If we are to understand the work of the Reich Ring for National Socialist
Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment, along with its Gau, county.
and local group subsidiaries, we must keep in mind its development and
the reasons it was established.
After the seizure of power, we knew that all areas of party activity,
propaganda included, were very decentralized. The various subsidiaries
and affiliated organizations of the party, as well as other German organizations
with propaganda offices, largely did not see the necessity to follow the
party’s propaganda directives, but rather wanted to go their own way wherever
possible. The result was that not only were different problems handled
at the same time, they were handled in different ways. That inevitably
produces uncertainty and mistrust on the part of the population. We can
still see the results of this fragmented propaganda today in the most
varied areas of our ideological and national life.
I do not want to mention difficulties with the churches here, but rather
content myself with this example. I was asked by a rather important office
of a Gau how it could be possible that SS-Men were allowed only
to marry girls with blond hair and blue eyes! When I replied that there
was no such rule, I was informed that there was indeed a rule under which
such girls had to be racially unobjectionable, which surely meant that
they must have blond hair and blue eyes!
To end this fragmentation, the Assistant to the Führer issued a
ruling in 1934 that laid out who was responsible for the various areas.
The Reichspropagandaleiter was obviously responsible for propaganda.
The Reichspropagandaleitung was given the responsibility of establishing
a way to ensure the unity of propaganda, of leading the individual propaganda
offices. At first, it attempted to meet the task through the existing
department of “Active Propaganda.” When the head of “Active
Propaganda” determined that the job was too big to be handled by
his department and that a special office within the Reichspropagandaleitung
was necessary, the Reichspropagandaleiter
[Goebbels] established the Reich Ring for National Socialist
Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment, along with its Gau, county,
and local rings.
At first, the propaganda rings consisted of liaisons from party propaganda
offices at the Reich, Gau, county, and local group levels. As “liaisons
of organizations,” representatives from other organizations were
also added. At first we limited participation to leading organizations,
but later we saw that it was necessary to include other associations,
to include a liaison even from the most insignificant group. Gau
Greater Berlin was the first to show the way, though Gau Bayerische-Ostmark
began almost simultaneously. This proved that a unified leadership of
every last association was necessary not only in large cities, but also
in more rural Gaue.
The organization of the propaganda rings was extraordinarily difficult,
since at first they had no clear organizational structure. As this problem
became increasingly clear, the Gau propaganda leaders asked that
the Gau and county rings have the same organizational structure
as other main departments already had. At the request of the Reichspropagandaleiter,
the Assistant to the Führer then declared the Gau and county
rings main departments. The local group propaganda leader was responsible
for local group rings in smaller groups, with a special political leader
taking responsibility only in larger local groups. The importance of establishing
the authority of the Gau, county, and local group rings is shown
by the difficulties in leading all the propaganda offices in the party’s
subsidiaries, affiliated organizations, and other organizations. We could
regularly see that not all offices were exactly eager to follow the party
leadership. In each case it is important to guarantee the unity of propaganda
and to be sure that the work is consistent at every level from the Reich
down to the local group. This becomes still clearer when we consider the
individual tasks that flow out of the general responsibility to secure
the unity of propaganda.
If a task is to be organized, it is necessary to organize the people
who will carry it out. For this reason, it is necessary to continually
organize the propagandists. This happens in personal meetings, but also
at meetings of the Gau, county, and local group propaganda rings,
through which the comradely cooperation of propagandists is encouraged.
That requires that the leaders of the Gau, county, and local group
rings speak to important meetings of propagandists of the various organizations
and always remind them that the work of each individual organization has
meaning only when it fits into the larger propaganda plan of the NSDAP.
In courses lasting several days for the propagandists of the party’s
subsidiaries and affiliated organizations, as well as those from other
organizations, the propaganda work is organized in a unified way. We did
not begin this simultaneously in every Gau, but rather first gathered
the experiences of Gau East Prussia. Alongside this organizational
work, directives, and guidelines affecting the whole propaganda strategy
are given, as well as those specific to individual Gaue, which are carried
by Gau or county newsletters. To ensure proper organization of
propaganda actions, it is necessary that details both of content and scheduling
be reported to the relevant Reich, Gau, county, or local group ring.
The content must be examined to see if it is consistent with the general
propaganda plan, or whether it must be changed or postponed. With regards
to scheduling, it must be emphasized that there are a few Gaue
under the mistaken impression that offices other than the propaganda office
can change a schedule. The decision as to whether a meeting is necessary
or not must be made on the basis of the morale of the population. It is
solely a matter of propaganda to determine the necessity of a meeting
and to establish the schedule.
With regards to propaganda as a whole, it is necessary to guide the activities
of the individual organizations, e.g. large campaigns such as winter relief,
elections, national holidays, the Four Year Plan, etc. Amtsleiter
comrade Fischer has decided that, in order to guarantee the unified activities
of the Gau, county, and local group rings in the production of brochures,
books, etc., and to avoid their misuse, the use of Gau rings for
national campaigns can be approved only by himself or the Reich Ring.
Naturally, the Reich Ring will support the work of the individual offices
The role of membership and professional gatherings should not be underestimated
as a way of organizing some parts of the population. Particular issues
can be discussed, but there is also the opportunity to reach particular
groups with particular questions and to deal with problems associated
with a particular profession.
Association and professional publications are another way to assist overall
propaganda goals. This must be constantly evaluated from a propaganda
point of view. Furthermore, articles can be provided to the association
or professional press on important occasions such as elections, the Four
Year Plan, etc. This helps ensure that every last citizen is informed
on important questions.
It is obvious that brochures and posters must be examined to be sure
they are consistent with the goals of propaganda. For this reason, all
printed matter must first be approved by the responsible propaganda leader
to be sure that the material is appropriate from the standpoint of propaganda,
or whether it may in fact be unnecessary. In summary, the Gau,
county, or local group propaganda rings give the relevant propaganda leader
an instrument by which he can organize all propaganda in a unified way
and use all propaganda offices and means of the party’s subsidiaries and
affiliated organizations and other organizations. It gives him a way to
reach every last citizen with propaganda. It is also clear that a propaganda
ring leader can be effective only when his authority is clear both in
an organizational and personal sense. It is not enough that the propaganda
ring leader receives the necessary authority through his position in the
whole propaganda system; propaganda leaders must also ensure that each
organization knows and understands that the propaganda ring leader is
its representative for all questions of propaganda from the party’s subsidiaries,
affiliated organizations, and other organizations. A propaganda leader
will be able to fulfill his important duties if he is able to organize
and lead in a unified way every organization from the biggest society
to the smallest club. A leader of a propaganda ring must possess not only
abilities as a propagandist, but also the ability to achieve his goals
more through cooperation than discipline. Only after he determines that
a representative of a given organization cannot be lead because he is
unwilling to be lead should he resort to discipline. Then it is necessary
to act resolutely in the interests of the party, without worrying about
his popularity. Our goal is not to be popular or unpopular, but rather it
is to tirelessly and fully do our duty: To secure the primacy of the party
in the area of propaganda, which also means to guarantee the unity of
State Secretary Syrup from the Ministry of Labor spoke on:
Current Labor Questions
State Secretary Syrup began with an overview of the labor field, which
far surpasses that of any other nation. The Reich has 40 million workers,
over against 22 million in England and France, 18 million in Poland, and
2.5 million in Belgium. As large as the tasks we face are, we must remember
that this enormous labor force is Germany’s wealth. The Reich before 1933
squandered this resource and tried to explain its failure with the excuse
that these millions of unemployed workers about 25 million in Europe
and the USA, with Germany in the lead were the result of the world
economic crisis. This same Reich that because of the world economic crisis
was unable to employ these millions of unemployed was nonetheless able
to find 28 million RM to spend on absolutely unproductive unemployment
The speaker went on to prove how false the assertion was that the world
economic crisis was responsible for unemployment. Despite the continuing
world economic crisis, Adolf Hitler was able to eliminate unemployment.
This achievement was possible only because of the activities of National
Socialism and the power of our worldview. Our idea was assisted by financial
policies of the state, which spent 5 or 6 billion RM to build the economy.
This was possible only because the government acted without regard for
short-term results. Germany broke with liberal thinking and saw that the
long-term results would justify the expenses.
State Secretary Syrup said that it had been necessary to devote special
resources to areas with a particularly high unemployment rate, for example,
Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, etc. To eliminate unemployment in these areas,
it had been necessary to prohibit people from moving into these areas,
for example. Other difficulties resulted from the age differentials among
the unemployed and the preference of employees to hire younger workers.
The seriousness of this problem is demonstrated by the fact that during
a given period, two-thirds of the 18-30 year old unemployed found jobs,
but only a third of older workers. By reviewing hiring practices in factories,
among other measures, as well as military service on the part of younger
workers, the problem was largely alleviated. These measures meant that
by 1936 the slogan “to each a job” could be replaced by the
slogan “to each his job,” as suggested by the Führer at
the beginning of the campaign. In light of today’s shortage of skilled
workers and the major demands of the Four Year Plan, the need to increase
Germany’s security, etc., that needs once more to be changed. Today it
is no longer to give each the job he wants, but rather to give each the job
that he is best able to do. This means that some workers must return to
former jobs. State Secretary Syrup stressed how important it is to guide
occupational choices of the youth, particularly with regards to skilled
trades. After dealing with questions of manpower use, State Secretary
Syrup went on to discuss job changes, particularly in view of the shortage
of skilled labor. He explained the necessity of regulations restricting
job changes in certain occupations. Job changes not only cause the loss
of valuable work time, but unsettle other employees and reduce production.
The need for such regulations to control the labor force and to ensure
peace and security is proven by the serious labor shortages. There are
300,000 job openings in agriculture, 600,000 in commerce, and 300,000 in
the medical system.
The pressing shortage of labor in important branches of the economy endangers
numerous smaller firms, which guarantee neither sufficient financial return
nor the full use of the employees. A further source of workers not yet
used but available is the 2 to 2 1/2 million daughters of our people who
so far are not employed. The women’s service year is a first step in this
direction. Some suggest that we should persuade Germans living outside
our borders to return to Germany as a way of finding more workers. State
Secretary Syrup said that the conditions for such a return did not presently
exist, and that these racial comrades are German pioneers abroad who are
important supporters of our exports.
A further important question is how to stem the flight from the countryside.
State Secretary Syrup said that a major reason for this was the rural
population itself, which encouraged family members to take up other occupations.
The seriousness of this migration is shows by the fact that alongside
the 2 million farm workers who have left agriculture for other occupations,
4.5 million farmers’ sons and daughters have left their farms and sought
other occupations. This fact demonstrates the necessity of measures to
stop the migration. Naturally, there are other problems causing this migration
that need to be solved. One method to reduce the problem, State Secretary
Syrup suggested, is to increase mechanization, which requires a reduction
in prices for equipment and energy, etc., as well as changes in social
structures and relationships.
Tuesday, 25 April 1939
Reichsamtsleiter Neumann, head of the Department of Film in
the RPL, spoke on
The Film Work of the Party
He began with a discussion of the value of film in propaganda. He first
discussed the film propaganda during the First World War of Jews who had
left Germany. He showed how this filthy Jewish work had caused hatred
and dislike of the German people throughout the world both during and
after the World War. Bolshevist Russia also used film in propaganda
for its revolutionary idea. We can easily enough recall their work from
the period of the System [before 1933]
when we think, for example, of the film “Battleship Potemkin.”
Comrade Neumann also mentioned that the film system of Bolshevist Moscow
also was an example of the extermination of the intelligentsia under terror.
Comrade Neumann next discussed the necessity for National Socialist leadership
in the area of film. He mentioned in particular the role of the state
film offices in educating the people, in influencing both their taste
and their will, so that they will accept National Socialist policies and
production leadership. Direct political propaganda is less significant
here than influencing culture, education and entertainment. The influence
of film on the people is demonstrated by the fact that 45 million people,
among them 13 million children, attended the various Gau film shows
of the NSDAP.
Comrade Neumann then discussed the reasons why the party has so far produced
few films. He concluded that the party’s film work should primarily promote
particularly good films produced by private companies. This also allows
greater influence on those firms. The speaker concluded with an appeal
to strengthen film propaganda in the Gaue and counties and to make
them a means of propaganda that can at any time serve the community.
Reichsamtsleiter Kriegler, Head of the Radio Department of the
RPL, spoke on:
The Radio Work of the NSDAP
Comrade Kriegler showed the significance of the party’s radio work for
political leadership, world view education, and the whole National Socialist
life and building program of our era by tracing the development of the
radio offices of the party during the struggle for power. He noted that
even many party members failed to see the necessity of the radio warden
organization. It was vital during the NSDAP’s struggle for power to create
an organization that could handle the technical details of mass meetings,
as well as to protect and maintain that equipment. At that time our enemies
controlled the government, and obviously had no interest in making such
a propagandistically valuable tool available to our leadership. The organization
the party built meant that, once we were in power, we had the expert,
technical and artistic ability to use this propaganda apparatus. The listener
organization that our radio wardens built was also an important legal
means we could use to call a listener strike, a method that gained us
the respect of the radio’s leaders of the time.
After the seizure of power, we had a trained radio warden corps that
was ready from the beginning to participate in many propaganda campaigns
and political measures of the party and state.
The speaker then talked about the wishes of many Gaue and regions
for more radio stations, and said that propagandists must not forget that
there are world agreements on frequencies that are hotly debated at international
conferences. Germany has a rather favorable number of frequencies at its
disposal, and therefore has an interest in not upsetting international
agreements by constantly asking for new ones.
The necessity to reach all regions and groups of the country by radio,
free of interference from outside, has led to the development of wired
radio. This new technical development makes radio independent of the airwaves
and enables programming to be carried by cables that cannot be interfered
with by foreign jamming. This system is being built throughout the country,
and is already available in many Gaue.
Related to this is the construction of public loudspeakers and community
radio. The public loudspeakers are limited to larger cities, but community
radios will be extended to even the smallest area, giving the Führer
and his associates the opportunity to reach the people at any time. To
reach this goal, each radio leader must see it as his task to be a middleman
between audience and station, helping the German radio to find an ever
increasing audience.The regular campaigns by the Radio Department of the
RPL to provide radio receivers to poor citizens help to reach this goal.
In 1938, for example, there were 1,755,000 new listeners. An additional
156,811 new listeners came from German Austria. There are already 846,466
small receivers, and 400,062 people’s receivers were sold during the same
period. Radio office heads also have many tasks in advising and helping
landlords and renters, as well as providing help with antennas.
In conclusion, comrade Kriegler gave a brief overview of the major new
tasks for the party’s radio offices. He mentioned above all television,
which is already being tested in the Reich.
Ministerialdirektor Lange from the Ministry of Economics spoke
National Socialist Taxation and Financial Policy
Party comrade Lange stressed at the beginning of his remarks that the
National Socialist state viewed money only as a means to an end. Money
is only a medium of exchange, for which we expect something in return.
This is particularly clear from National Socialist finance policy from
1933 to 1935. The Reich pumped billions of marks into the German economy
to build employment. Such a policy would necessarily have led to inflation
in a liberal state, but that did not happen in a National Socialist controlled
state because these billions were transformed into accomplishments.
The sensitivity with which the economy reacts to each influence from
outside or to changes requires extreme caution. Changes must be slow and
well thought out. That explains why, for example, the German Reichsbank
remained anchored in old financial thinking until its reorganization.
The result were that the activities of the capital market frequently moved
against the needs of the community without the necessary planning and
goals. That sometimes resulted in expenditures that sometimes were that
did not help savings or planning. That led, among other things, to surpluses
in the so-called Locklöhne, which necessarily led to disruptions
in the economy. Party Comrade Lohne stated that the Reichsbank may not
carry out its own financial policies, but rather must serve the common good.
No one but the Führer determines the main political policies, which
finance and the economy as a whole must follow. The new Minister of Economics
and President of the Reich Bank, Party Comrade Funk, will do that. With
his appointment, the German central bank, the Reich Bank, has become an
instrument serving National Socialist policies.
Such a transformation does not happen without opposition both at home
and abroad, which means the party membership has the responsibility to
explain and help in the implementation of National Socialist principles.
The propagandist must follow these guidelines in his educational work:
- For us, gold is not a measure of the value of money. Our foundation
is German labor and confidence in the Führer.
- The relationship between money and goods must be balanced. In other
words, the value of money is determined only by what is produced.
- Given the economic reorganization, it is clear that the individual
cannot think only of his own good. All economic activity must be organized
and led in a way that serves the needs of the community. The Four Year
Plan is an example.
Moving to that theme, party comrade Lange spoke of the necessity to guarantee
the materials essential for our nation, such as fuel, Buna, new raw materials,
etc. He went on the discuss the viability of these materials, which is
sometimes questioned. There can be no question of viability, since if
the world does not supply Germany with these essential materials, we are
forced to procure them ourselves, in which case the market price has no
significance for us. These new materials not only free Germany from dependence
on other countries, but also have the advantage that they can be manufactured
in ways suitable for a wide range of end uses. This alone makes new materials
superior to the old natural products.
The speaker emphasized that the state has no intention of establishing
a monopoly in the production and use of the new materials. This process
is entirely the responsibility of private enterprise. This does not mean
that the National Socialist state favors the independence of the economy.
If such is attempted or if the economy is unwilling to do what needs to
be done, it is ready to react energetically, as the example of the Hermann
Göring Works demonstrates. Such a policy is entirely consistent with
the National Socialist outlook, which believes that politics governs the
economy, that politics, not economics, determines the fate of the nation.
The importance of this principle in the economy is clear from the fact
that in 1938 the available contracts far exceeded the production capacity.
The economy, which only a few years ago was in weak condition, now needs
guidance to meet the demands placed on it.
Guiding production is not a problem of money, merely a question of organization.
An essential requirement for such guidance is stability. This stability
cannot be threatened by offering excessive wages to attract workers .
In summary, party comrade Lohne said that National Socialist economic
policy rests on three pillars: raw materials, work force, and financial
capacity. Careful guidance in these three areas will avoid difficulties.
In this regard, the incorporation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and Bohemia
and Moravia has not been a burden, but rather a positive gain.
A further goal of National Socialist economic policy has to do with the
stock market. Just as the work force and labor policy have been freed
from liberal profit seeking, so too the money and credit markets in the
National Socialist state have been freed from uses that are interested
only in profit. Money and its use, too, must serve the community, not the
greed of the individual.
Ministerialdirektor Lange explained that through controls on the capital
market, the means necessity to build low income housing have been guaranteed.
National Socialist financial policy assures everyone that the financial
and economic policies of the Reich are secure, and that inflation, a betrayal
of the people, a theft of their work and accomplishments, will not occur.
That is a sure result of Hitler’s way, will, and actions.
Staatsraat Willy Börger, Ministerialdirektor in
the Reich Ministry of Labor, spoke on:
From Practice to the Idea:
What We Need to Do
Party comrade Börger began by noting that a great idea can never
be extinguished by shedding the blood of its adherents, but rather than shed
blood only gives it renewed life.. History shows that such an idea can
be defeated only by a stronger and better idea. Our task is therefore
to strengthen and deepen this new and powerful idea in the German people,
an idea that has overcome all others. One of the most important aspects
of this effort concerns the German youth. We must bring them under our
influence and make them immune to attempts to reach them with foreign
and divisive ideas. How easily such a foreign idea can take root in a
people is showed by the common phrase “the poor Jews,” which
has its origins in the thinking of the churches.
Party comrade Börger discussed questions of good and evil. For us
good is always what is good for the people. The good must always be clear,
for as we have always said, “to be German means to be clear.”
In dealing with the enemies of our world view and their teaching, party
comrade Börger outlined the goals of the National Socialist worldview.
Both today and in the future, our goal is to see to it that each individual
is increasingly aware of the people and its thought, that he sees himself
as links in an eternal chain, as a bearer of future generations. He should
be proud of his position and learn the history and life of his people.
He should not bother about things that do not concern him and have no
significance for him. He should be brought out of the confusion that has
developed over the decades from the conflicting teachings of religion
and Marxism. Only through constant repetition of his own nature will the
German person be converted to a way of thinking that was previously foreign
to him. Our faith and will for the Führer must grow through our work
to an understanding of our Germanness. Then our idea will be the only
idea and Germany will be eternal.
The high point of the day was the speech of the Special Representative
of the Führer for the Supervision of the Entire Spiritual and Worldview
Education of the NSDAP, Reichsleiter Party comrade Alfred Rosenberg
Worldview Problems of our Day
Party comrade Rosenberg began his speech with a discussion of the tasks
of education and propaganda. Education has the responsibility to form
the will and the idea, independent of existing conditions. Propaganda’s
task is mobilize the forces, deal with current issues, and deepen the idea.
In discussing worldviews, party comrade Rosenberg observed that the pre-war
generations probably had worldviews. They lacked a defining experience
of the kind that the World War was for the National Socialist worldview.
The National Socialist worldview has caused a world struggle that many
peoples feel today. We must distinguish between questions that only concern
the German people, and those that involve the rest of the world. We do
not have a desire to transplant parts of our worldview to other nations.
We have no wish for a National Socialist federation of nations, which
would then require a kind of church council to determine what true National
Socialism is. On the other hand, questions about the Jews, Free Masonry,
and democracy are things that also concern other nations.
The propaganda that the rest of the world directs against Germany is
the result of the thinking of the world’s leading men. They owe their
positions to the democratic system and will perish if it perishes. They
fight against us because they fear that they will be defeated and be forced
to resign. party comrade Rosenberg gave an historical overview of the
movement of Europe’s center. For 400 years, Europe’s western nations represented
it to the rest of the world. Today, as was the case 1000 years ago in
the time of the great German emperors, Germany once again leads Europe.
The might that once stretched from the Baltic Sea to Sicily has been restored
by National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy.
Once again Germany is defending Europe against the attack of the East.
This gives our struggle a German significance and a European mission.
Some may think that given the last 400 years of German history, Germany
is not a politically significant nation, but rather a nation of philosophers,
inventors, etc. But one must recall that German history is far longer
than these 400 years. Party comrade Rosenberg emphasized the necessity
of making this fact clear in education and propaganda to the German people.
It is necessary to do so, for Germans are only in the position to accomplish
great things and give full energy to the struggle when they understand
the inner meaning of the struggle and of their actions.
Mussolini once said that without Rome, Christianity would have remained
a Syrian sect. Without German strength, Christianity would have remained
confined to the Mediterranean Sea.
We know today that the old world is dying and that we are seeing the
struggle for a new world. In the past the German people conducted worldview
struggles with great intensity. The same is happening today. We are witnesses
that what we have already done is beginning to happen elsewhere as well.
In discussing our worldview, party comrade Rosenberg observed that it
is no mere theory, but rather proved its strength and character in our fourteen-year
struggle for power. Our struggle today is a continuation. Our faith gives
us strength for battle. This faith must become the will and living faith
of the entire German people. To do that is the task of the movement.
The National Socialist worldview is an attitude, an attitude that must
show a courageous face to the outside, but domestically be infused with
camaraderie. If the people are to continue to believe in the National
Socialist movement, the movement must maintain and guard this camaraderie
and pass it on to the future. The struggle behind us is unique. Future
generations will be spared such a struggle. It must be replaced by a firm
attitude, which can only be tested in every day life. Our task is to reawaken
the old values of courage and pride in our people, and to do all that
we see as necessary.
In conclusion, party comrade Rosenberg noted that world history today
must be rewritten, and that we will do the rewriting. It would be a mistake
to delegate the task to the teachers and professors who wrote previous
histories, for they grew up under the old world and were educated in it.
The 2000 year old Christian age is dying and a new National Socialist
world under Adolf Hitler is being born. The youth are growing up in this
new world. Our task is to serve these ideas and to lead the struggle.
Then we will be able to look confidently into the future.
Wednesday, 26 April 1939
Reichsamtsleiter Geiger, Head of the Reich Propaganda Office of the German
Labor Front, spoke on:
The German Labor Front
Party comrade Geiger began by stressing the necessity of the absolute
unity of the party and its members. This will only be possible if the
movement becomes more and more like a holy order. The absolute security
and existence of the nation is assured only as long as the movement affirms
such a position. The correctness of the policy was clearly shown during
the struggle for power, which there were only two rules for National Socialists.
One was “The Führer is always right.” The other was “The
enemy is lying.” These two principles and the unity of will were
the foundation of the movement’s later victory. History too provides many
examples of movements that were defeated by their opponents only after
they had lost absolute internal unity.
Frederick the Great established two orders: the German officer corps
and the German civil service. Both followed the order principle of absolute
duty. To these orders that lasted for centuries and accomplished great
deeds. Adolf Hitler added the order of camaraderie. The movement now has
the duty to practice this order principle of camaraderie given us by the
Führer. That rules out any possible internal dissent within the
party. Party members, and political leaders especially, must be models
of behavior and sacrifice to other citizens.
Party comrade Geiger then turned to his area. If one understands the
concept “creative person,” one understands the German Labor
Front. Germany today is once again a national community. This is the work
of the worker Adolf Hitler, a man through whose belief in the German worker
gave that worker renewed faith in Germany. The German worker kept his
faith despite constant betrayals, despite the efforts not only of his
leaders but also of the foolish attitude of certain circles which stood
aside from the German people, and always did his best for his people.
The Führer’s measures in the most varied areas should above all deepen
the pleasure of the German worker in his work in building the new state.
Reichsamtsleiter Motz, head of the Department of Agricultural
Policy, spoke on
Current Issues in Agricultural Policy
Party comrade Motz began with an overview of the significance of guaranteeing
our food supplies for the development and political freedom of the German
people. He showed how Reich minister party comrade Dr. Darré had
decided on radical measures to free German agricultural policy from the
liberal past. The establishment of the Reich Food Estate and the development
of a market system for agricultural products was absolutely necessary.
The German people has grown in number and expectations, requiring more
foodstuffs which have been secured through the production battle. The
battle required leadership and guidance, which has been provided by the
Reich Food Estate. How superior the party’s leadership of agricultural
production is to the old liberal system is shown by the production battle.
For German farmers, increasing production is uneconomic, since increasing
the fertility of the soil requires additional work and labor, which is
not repaid by the results. The result is that our agricultural economy
has serious problems, the worst of which is the flight from the land.
The migration means overwork for German farmers, especially farm women,
resulting in dangers to their health as well as to a reduction in agricultural
production that may endanger the nation. National Socialism considers
it necessary to use all available means to deal with this problem. It
is essential to lead the farming population in a clear, but sensitive
manner. This is the job of the party. The Reich Food Estate’s task is
to guide the entire German food production system with the same strong
and broad leadership.
An essential support for the rural population is to secure the proper
understanding for them on the part of the city and industrial population.
They must understand the currently unavoidable shortages in certain areas,
and accept them calmly, as befits a politically mature nation.
On the question of guaranteeing Germany’s good supply in the future,
the speaker discussed the differences between England and Germany in the
matter of territorial acquisition. While England has adopted a policy
of world conquest without any agricultural need, but rather for reasons of
economic greed that resulted in the destruction of its own farming population,
Germany sees its long term security as requiring territory beyond its
present borders for living space and agricultural production. The National
Socialist state considers it essential to keep the German farmer economically
strong and socially secure, for only such a strong agricultural population
can guarantee the continuation of our blood and ensure our agricultural
independence from the larger world in case of necessity.
Reich Organization Leader Dr. Ley:
We and the Others
Party comrade Dr. Ley referred to the continuing disorder in the rest
of the world, which shows itself in alarming headlines every day and in
useless conferences, comparing it to the absolute order and security of
life in Germany and Italy, where decisions of great importance are being
made. The reason for the contrast is that the Führer has given us
clear aims, a clear direction, and self-confidence. That is impossible
in the democracies, and explains their constant insecurity. The scope
of this insecurity is demonstrated by England’s recent introduction of
universal military service. Never before in a time of peace has England
felt it necessary to take such an action, which shows its nervousness.
In the United States, a radio show about the appearance of men from Mars
is sufficient to cause panic-stricken flight from the cities. If one seeks
the reason for the uncertainty, one sees that the fear of the spreading
authoritarian idea is used by the Jews to mobilize their satellites, which
include the entire black-red-gold Internationale. Germany knows that it
can approach this battle with quiet assurance and confidence in ultimate
The Reich Organization Leader went on to show the nature of the worldview
struggle of our day and the contradictions between our ideas and those
of others with numerous clear examples.
After discussing the Jewish world enemy, the Reich Organization Leader
concluded his remarks with a discussion of the territorial question. The
German people need more land. No amount of work, no sermons, no organization
like “Kraft durch Freude,” no pride in our army, can eliminate
our territorial inadequacy. As long as this situation remains, the danger
of a revival of Marxist ideas exists. Every meeting must include an appeal
for more territory. Germany’s colonies were such territories. They were
senselessly stolen from us, and it is a matter of German honor to get
them back. Germany does not want pressure or destroy other nations, but
it needs more territory. When other nations claim that the world has already
been carved up, the answer must be that England does not have rights to
the entire world. The German people must hear this over and over again.
Just as the idea gave us strength during the periods of struggle and construction,
today it is essential to strengthen the idea in the entire people. Strengthening
the idea means overcoming all human weaknesses. This educational work
is the duty of the party.
At the conclusion of the course, Reichspropagandaleiter Dr.
Goebbels gave a programmatic speech on:
The Nature of Propaganda
The Reichspropagandaleiter began with the frequently expressed
viewpoint that today, since the party has seized state power and the people
are National Socialist, propaganda is no longer necessary. Such a view
is not only false, it shows that its adherents have no understanding of
the nature of propaganda. Propaganda has not only a right to exist, it
has a need to exist. Its task is to keep the people persuaded, and to
mold coming generations. This shows the difference between propaganda
and people’s enlightenment. Propaganda is a revolutionary-political concept.
People’s enlightenment limits itself to informing the people in a more
factual way about existing necessities and questions.
National Socialism created propaganda in its present form as an instrument
of politics. Dr. Goebbels went on to discuss the results of propaganda’s
absence in Germany, particularly during the World War, as well as the
decisive role propaganda had in enemy countries. The same is true of a
nation’s domestic life. A movement seeking power can hold that power only
when it uses the same means to preserve its power that it used to gain
it. He therefore who doubts the need for National Socialist propaganda
doubts the right of the National Socialist idea to exist.
A further reason for the necessity of propaganda, according to Party
Comrade Dr. Goebbels is that it must be tailored to the understanding
and receptivity of the people. Some maintain that it is increasingly necessary
to increase the intellectual level of our propaganda, particularly speeches.
On the contrary, our meetings are intended for the entire people and must
therefore be put in a form that everyone can understand. It is not the
goal of the speaker to speak to only a part of the audience. One only
needs to think of the churches, whose preachers largely speak in a way
understandable by all. The task of propaganda is not to complicate things,
but to simplify them. It should not present many problems, but rather only
a few that can be put in a clear way to the people. Dr. Goebbels used
the example of our battle against the Young Plan. The movement then did
not deal with every detail of the treaty, but rather focused on particular
points and used them to show the people clearly its dangers. The people
are not interested in details, but rather want to see the results in brief
and clear form.
The speaker pointed out the differences between a speech and a lecture.
The speaker has the duty of speaking clearly and plainly to the people,
without raising problems, etc. A lecture is something else. Its audience
knows that it will hear a discussion of intellectual issues and will have
to think about them.
Simplification means further that propaganda must focus on the essential
and leave aside the nonessentials.
We must continue to use both now and in the future those means of propaganda
that proved their value during the struggle for power. We must naturally
keep from falling into routine. Our propaganda must achieve its goals
though fighting work, which means that tasks being repeated must be approached
as if they were being done for the first time.
Speakers should not rely too heavily on technical methods. A microphone
is not necessary in a small room. The fighting character of our meetings
requires that we speak to the people extemporaneously. Only in that way
can the contact between speaker and listener be created which will allow
the speaker to speak from his heart to the hearts of the listeners.
The Reichspropagandaleiter then turned to the attitude of the
rest of the world to the new Germany, and the resulting propaganda tasks.
If the world is against Germany and shows no understanding for the nature
and needs of the German people, propaganda must seize the world’s ear
and combat boycotts and encirclements.
In conclusion, party comrade Dr. Goebbels discussed some internal propaganda
So ended the first course for Gau and county propaganda leaders.
The participating propagandists received a wealth of new material and
encouragement, which they will transform into practical work once they
are back home.
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