German Propaganda Archive Calvin College

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Background: The Nazi Party depended heavily on speakers to get its message across. Those speakers needed to be informed. The following is a translation of instructions to speakers issued in November 1941.

The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 22, First Half of November, 1941.


Guidelines on POWs and Stock Speculation


1. Relations with Prisoners of War

Despite the guidelines given in meetings and the press about relations with prisoners of war, certain events show that on the one hand not all people’s comrades have been reached, and that on the other hand the German mentality makes it necessary to constantly repeat this material.

The Reichspropagandaleiter has therefore ordered that the matter be handled in every meeting.

Besides noting that improper relations will be punished, it is particularly important to deal with “feelings of sympathy.”

Such arguments are: captured enemies must be treated “chivalrously,” with no “revenge.” Prisoners of war only “obeyed orders.”

Counterarguments: Refer to how German prisoners were treated by the enemy. The behavior of the enemy and of individuals — during the occupation of the Rhine. The peaceful civilian population was treated in the most brutal ways.

Germany treats its prisoners decently, but familiarity with individuals is not only dishonorable and lacking in dignity, but is also treasonous.

The French have no special status in this regard, even given German-French negotiations and relationships. We have an armistice with France. Compare France’s behavior of German prisoners of war during the armistice of 1918/19 and even after the Versailles “peace treaty.”

2. War profits in the Stock Market

From the beginning we National Socialists argued that no one may be allowed to enrich himself during war. As a result, the state and party have always taken prompt action when problems developed to rule out the possibility of war profits.

Just as during the period of strong competition there have been speculative developments with armaments stocks, which were immediately opposed. This had the result that since the end of September of this year, the Berlin stock exchange has dropped by about 15%. This fact can be mentioned in meetings with the comment that steps have been taken to ensure that in the future unjustified stock price increases will not occur.

 

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