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 January 1942. It came at a particularly interesting time. Only three months before, German propaganda had announced that the Soviet Union was defeated. Then came winter. Suddenly, the news was bad on all fronts. Not only had the German offensive been stopped cold, it was going to be necessary to cut food and coal rations.

Speakers were the party’s first line propagandists. This issue tells them how to deal with these challenging topics, and also provides interesting guidelines on words they should use and words they should avoid.

The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 24, 4 January 1942.


Guidelines on the War, Cuts in Food Rations, and Language Choice


1. The battle against faintheartedness — Strengthening the will of the homeland

In some places one can see that individual people’s comrades, in the face of the unavoidable difficulties of the age, do not have the courageous and strong-willed attitude that must absolutely be demanded of them. The battle of fate puts our people under hard laws. The German people still remembers the World War and the subsequent difficult years of domestic German decay. The battle raging since 1939 is not to be seen as a new war, but rather it is actually the continuation of the battle of world-ruling Jews and plutocrats against the German nation that began in 1914. That explains the particular difficulties appearing during the current end phase of this decades-long struggle,

In 1919 we were an entirely defeated people, humiliated before the entire world.

In 1923, other nations saw us as the world’s beggar after the Jews and plutocrats used inflation to take our last life strength.

In 1932 Germany was seen as a completely defeated country ruled by domestic party hacks who always followed the orders of the Jews and plutocrats, and who could never stand in the way of British intrigues throughout the world.

The life of our German people was weakened by millions in poverty, by starvation and privation. Only in 1933 under Adolf Hitler’s strong leadership did it begin to build a new order. In seven years the National Socialist government raised it from its deepest degradation to its greatest power. The unavoidable difficulties that we have to accept are of no significance when we consider the miracle of the short time in which our German fatherland built the foundation for its fateful battle for today and the future, that enabled us during two years of war to defeat the enemies sent against us by the Jews and plutocrats, and to win victory after victory.

On the other hand, there is a danger that our extraordinary successes during these two years of battle will cause the home front to lose the necessary understanding for the fateful nature of this battle and for the unavoidable challenges it brings. If today there are calls for giving things up and for reductions, that is the obvious price we must pay for our battle for freedom. To become weak because of some difficulties would be an unforgivable lack of military bearing and loyalty over against the Fuhrer and our victorious soldiers, whose accomplishments and daily privations are not in the least comparable to what we in the homeland have to bear.

Our primary task, therefore, must be to make the homeland stronger and harder. Each complaint about necessary reductions is disloyalty to our Wehrmacht. It is, therefore, wrong to deny the present difficulties or to trivialize them by promising quick solutions. To the contrary, we have to ensure that each German people’s comrade clearly understands the demands of the age and that he makes them the law of his life, his behavior, and his thinking. The homeland owes that to the front.

On the other hand, we have no reason to paint the war situation black. What we gained at the front over the past years is so great and so decisive for the outcome of the war that no temporary stagnation, such is currently caused by winter in the East, can change the victorious outcome of the war.

The current war situation must be in the center of the whole view of events. Speakers must pay strict attention to these points:

The theme of the war’s end may not be discussed. The war will end when plutocracy is defeated and Germany has won.

In particular, it must be stressed that our current situation is different than that of the World War.

  1. Italy, once our enemy, now is our firm partner in reordering Europe.
  2. Japan, too, is not our enemy, but rather our ally against the same powers that have sworn to destroy us, and has quickly shattered the vital war assumptions and hopes for the future of North America and Britain.
  3. Both great powers are missing from the enemy’s side, and add to the size of our power bloc. Their change of sides is doubly to our advantage.
  4. The Polish state that appeared only in 1917 and since 1919 was in the service of the plutocratic powers, constantly threatening war against Germany, is totally shattered. All former Polish territory now serves only German interests.
  5. Holland, Flanders, Belgium, and France are not our enemies as they were in the World War, but rather are under German control and work for us.
  6. We are not fighting in the Balkans, but rather that whole area with all its economic resources is at our disposal. Rumania and Bulgaria are our allies in the battle against plutocracy and Bolshevism.
  7. The entire European coast is under German control. The most important parts of the Mediterranean coast have been secured by the Axis.
  8. The peoples of Europe have recognized that all former agitation against Germany was false and deceitful, serving only to advance the political and economic dictatorship of England and World Jewry. That is why they fight today on our side against the forces of destruction and decline that have joined together to destroy Europe through the Jewish-plutocratic-Bolshevist alliance.

Then there is Germany’s leadership by Adolf Hitler. It has secured the homeland against a hunger blockade, created the strongest military in the world, built an economy that works only for victory, and built all the prerequisites for victory through strong party leadership in the homeland. Our enemies have no hope left and our victory is certain.

2. The domestic situation

Given the preceding comments, the following matters require clear and honest treatment in public, in meetings, and in general oral propaganda.

a) Productivity and expectations in the new Eastern territories.

Some speakers in recent months have said things about agricultural production in the new Eastern territories that lead people to expect a visible easing of the domestic German food supply. This is entirely false. It is a strict guideline to avoid careless prophesies that will arouse hopes than later cannot be fulfilled, which will necessarily lead to an unsettling decline of the general popular mood.

The fact is that Bolshevist mismanagement, above all the collective system, greatly reduced the productivity of former Soviet Russia, including the Ukraine.The following figures provide the best proof. The harvest figures are from 1937, in quintals per hectare:

  Germany Soviet Union
Wheat 22.6 10.7
Rye 16.6 12.x
Barley 21.2 11.5
Oats 20.8 12.4
Potatoes 191.5 ??
?? ?? ??

[I missed some parts of the table in my digital photo]

It will take long and systematic work to raise the productivity of the neglected soil and the ruined livestock of the new Eastern territories so that they can provide visible relief to the food supply of all of Europe.

It should further be noted that the new fighting community of the European nations is obviously also a community that obligates us to provide emergency food assistance, insofar as it is necessary for our allies.

We can assume, for example, that there will be a reduction in the bread ration in February, since Finland needs our support. The reduction will be 250 grams, meaning that there will only be 2,000 grams per week. Special rations will presumably not be affected. The necessity of this cut to aid Finland is because practically every able-bodied man between 16 and 60 is in the military, which naturally has a big impact on agriculture. In view of the general sympathy for the heroic Finns, our assistance in their need must be understood by all people’s comrades.

We will have noticeable agricultural benefits from the new land we administer in the East only after the conclusion of the decisive battle and the defeat of the Bolshevist enemy. Only then will the necessary administrative work be possible. We can, therefore, expect useful harvests only in 1943, while for 1942 we can only anticipate help that will make further reductions unnecessary.

As another example, even today in the occupied Eastern regions there is unthreshed grain that cannot be used because of a lack of machinery and fuel. Sometimes troops must be supplied with grain from Germany, even though they are stationed near Soviet stocks which they are unable to use.

All of these conditions, which in their details are obviously strictly confidential, make it necessary to prohibit speakers from making any prophesies, since they have no idea about the possibility of fulfillment. If the administration in the occupied territories succeeds in providing significant food supplies for the Reich, the resulting loosening of food supplies will instantly cause so much joy and delight that there will be an immediate strengthening of the attitude of all people’s comrades. Unrealized promises, on the other hand, will only cause aggravation that will bring the speaker himself discredit.

b. Potato Supply.

The 1941 harvest was impacted by unfavorable weather conditions in Germany. Spring was almost four weeks late and winter came at least three weeks early. Despite that, we have sufficient potato supplies on hand. However, the Wehrmacht’s need increased from 800,000 tons in the first year of war to 3,300,000 tons in the third year of the war. The Wehrmacht has not been able to support itself in the East, since both the war and the criminal Bolshevist system hindered that. The homeland had to help out with extra supplies. Besides that, the heavy demands by the Wehrmacht for transportation sometimes means that domestic shipments cannot be made when needed.

c) Textiles.

The situation in the textiles market is tight, but not unsatisfactory. The textile industry had proven in the past summer that it is up to the demands of the time. It met the extraordinarily increased demands of the Wehrmacht and also provided the necessary rationed products for home consumption. The supply of textiles rose by 8.2% between the end of December 1940 and summer 1941. In late November and early December 1941, supplies were released that led to a larger supply in the shops. All textiles necessary to meet the third Reich clothing ration are assured. The needs, both in shops and manufacturing, have been fully met. There is no need to buy immediately to avoid future shortages. Fears of this kind can be completely rejected. On the other hand, warn against unnecessary purchases, since here, too, the textile needs of the Wehrmacht have to have absolute priority, and purchases made from fear unfavorably affect the supply.

d) Coal

Coal is not only necessary for heading or for industry and transportation, but also here in Germany is an important raw material for manufacturing numerous other products. The widespread opinion that the coal supply is inexhaustible is false. Mining it requires hard and arduous labor and here, too, there is a shortage of hands, as in all other branches of the economy of our German fatherland.

The Reichbahn also requires more coal as a result of the enormous increase in its operating region, including the occupied territories.

Third, it must be remembered that England formerly supplied Europe with large amounts of coal that is now lacking, so we must supply what is necessary for the economies of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, in Italy and the Balkans. However, we must also remember that the economics of all these countries are working for our victory, so we have a great interest in supporting their industrial production with our coal supplies.

All this means that it is necessary to use supplies of fuel economically and cautiously. Users cannot be supplied with all the coal they want. They must be helped to understand the necessities we face.

We can say that there is enough for all really necessary purposes. However, we do have to expect some reasonable reductions, and our people’s comrades have to be willing to accept the greatest possible reductions in unnecessary heating and limitations in the hot water supply.

3). Juvenile delinquency among our German youth

Recently attempts have been made to spread false impressions and rumors about the youth, their attitudes, and their external appearance as a way of arousing opposition to the educational work of the HJ, as well as its claim to provide education.

The Reichsjugendführung has thoroughly investigated this question and reports that all claims of a demoralized youth are completely unjustified, and must be rejected as malicious attacks against the HJ, and ultimately against the party and National Socialist educational principles.

Statistics on youth criminality clearly prove that there has been a declining trend in youth offenses, which has continued into the war. In any event, under the conditions of the war there is no reason to speak of a “worrisome development.” Above all, it can be clearly shown that there are far more youthful offenses committed by those outside the HJ than by those youth who are part of the HJ.

Wherever such rumors and opinions surface, speakers should make the following points clearly and directly:

  1. The HJ education in community spirit, sacrifice, and service to the community are the best guarantee that those young people who need particular support in their character development will find it in the camaraderie of the Hitler Youth. Mention that the HJ does not select the youth, but rather must include all boys and girls of our people. It is impossible to determine if there are asocial tendencies in ten-year-olds. These can only be recognized over a long period of educational influence. As is known, those exhibiting defective character trails are expelled from the community of the HJ.
  2. The essential requirement for building a youth with proper attitudes and behavior is adult models. Some aspects of the present war conditions do not have a good influence on the youth. For example, if the youth are to learn loyalty to the people’s community and a love of truth, they may not have bad examples in their parents, relatives, and acquaintances with respect to rationing. Parents who hoard food should not be surprised if their children incline toward dishonesty and behavior that harms the community.

All attacks on the youth are to be rejected as covert hostility against the party. Mention in particular that the value of HJ education is shown by the proud fact that over 90% of HJ leaders are fighting at the front.

More information on this question was provided in the Mitteilungsblatt des Amtes Rednerwesen special edition of 17 October 1941.

4. Language guidelines

Political requirement demands that we work to eliminate certain expressions that have already come into general use, thereby preventing domestic or foreign enemies of our new order from using such expressions as a basis for their political slogans and goals.

It may also be necessary to protect vital interests of our people or our Wehrmacht by reserving certain terms for use with respect to actual accomplishments. Therefore, here is a series of terms that speakers either may not use or that should be changed.

a) German propaganda Interests

Sacrifice! Reichsleiter and Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels’s article in Das Reich of Sunday, 27 December, titled “What is Sacrifice” makes clear that real sacrifice should be spoken of only in the rarest cases with regards to the homeland. Our soldiers make a sacrifice. They serve under the most severe winter conditions in the East, in a primitive land in which they fight and stand watch under difficult conditions, and in which they daily and hourly risk their lives for the homeland.

In contrast, privations and restrictions, donations to the Winter Relief, and the homeland’s gifts to the front are not to be called sacrifices. Therefore, speakers are to stop using the term “sacrifice” to refer to these matters.

Ostmark? — Altreich? The general term “Ostmark” for the seven Reich Gaue to the southeast of the Reich, as well as the expression “Altreich,” have no political justification any longer. They may only be necessary occasionally for statistical purposes. They are a danger for the development of a sense of unity for our German people. They must, therefore, finally disappear from our vocabulary.

Each National Socialist must guard against forces that wish to disrupt our racial-historical thinking by making permanent past divisions in our people as a way of promoting their particular special interests. The frequent excuse that keeping such terms is necessary “to protect valuable tribal characteristics” is merely a cover. There is no room in Adolf Hitler’s Reich to preserve artificially such outdated divisive sentiments and contradictions. Such contradictions and divisions as “Prussianism,” Bavarianism,” “Austrianism.” “Catholic South,” and “Protestant North” are, therefore, to be energetically rejected as malicious damage to German ethnic and national unity.

Today’s strong, binding, and obligating consciousness of common blood, which gives us a common sense strength of accomplishment and strength of character stands above all the past historical developments and relgious divisions that separated us in the past. The Führer gave us this knowledge, out of which grew the Reich. It will be the fulfillment of the ancient German longing for the greater German community to finally become a nation. This greater German Reich is the foundation of our German future. Therefore, passionately representing the idea of the Reich against all particularistic concepts of the past is the first and most pleasant obligation for all party speakers and propagandists.

Slavic? Various ethnic groups that today live in the Greater German Reich are primarily of Germanic origin, but are said in the press and publications to be Slavic. These peoples themselves, the Slavs and Croats, do not want to be Slavic, and are not such. The term Slav is not a racial concept, but rather stems from national-ethnic attitudes.

Promoting the use of this term is, therefore, politically unwise, since some enemy forces among these peoples attempt to use the concept of Slav as a basis for political subversion against the Reich community (e.g., with terms such as “All-Slavism,” Pan-Slavism,” etc.).

This term, therefore, is to be permanently removed from our vocabulary.

America? We have a political interest in distinguishing clearly and intentionally that part of the American continent, namely North America, that is waging war against us from the other countries of the American continent. Avoid, therefore, speaking of America as the enemy, but rather always heed the fact that our enemy is not all of America, but rather only North America or the United States of North America, or the USA. Speakers should be sure to clearly distinguish these terms.

Far East? The term “Far East” is a term used by the British Empire. British plutocracy distinguishes its world-wide possessions by using the terms “Near East,” “India,” and the “Far East.”

Our Japanese ally’s goal is to free East Asia from British and American influence. They see their task as uniting all East Asian peoples into a great political community of life and economics.

We are interested in supporting this through propaganda by eliminating the British concept of the “Far East” from our vocabulary. The area in Asia parallel to our political interests is East Asia, not the “Far East.”

b) Defense against enemy propaganda.

Terms in British propaganda. The British are using every means to make the term “RAF” (Royal Air Force) a term feared throughout the world. In the areas of the Reich threatened from the air, the British have repeatedly dropped leaflets with the slogan “Airmail from the RAF.” In all articles and speeches, in all news reports, the British never speak of the British air force, but rather always of the “RAF.”

We have an interest in combatting this British effort, and forbid our speakers and propagandists to use the term “RAF.” Wherever the air war is spoken of, we only use the term “British air force” when referring to British flyers.

Another British propaganda concept is the “Battle of the Atlantic.” Churchill himself invented the term and it has become part of the vocabulary in most countries in the world. The British use this term to refer to all events involving the German naval and Luftwaffe blockade, regardless of where they occur on the oceans. The British are not interested in whether the destructive battles occurred in the North Sea, the English Channel, the Atlantic, or the Mediterranean. That has the danger of resulting in a false picture of German sea and air attacks against British shipping. The term for us is “the battle to destroy British supply shipping.” Thus, the term “Battle of the Atlantic” is to be strictly avoided.

Terms in Bolshevist propaganda.

The Soviet Union has introduced the term “partisans” into the world’s vocabulary. This word in Russian suggests a heroic defensive battle of the whole of the people against an enemy. The Soviets have used all possible methods of propaganda throughout the world to present the partisan war against German soldiers as such a heroic battle.

From the perspective of Jewish-Bolshevist revolutionary methods of fighting, such guerrilla warfare may be seen as the heroic sacrifice of the individual for Jewish power interests. According to established international law, however, any participation by civilians in a battle during war is criminal. Therefore, the term “partisan” is forbidden in the German vocabulary. In discussing such happenings in the East, our speakers should speak only of “Bolshevist criminal rabble,” “snipers,” and “murder bands.”

Repeatedly, Bolshevist prestige buildings in the Soviet Union, offices of the Soviet state of the Bolshevist party are called “party buildings” in speech and print. For us in Germany, the term “party” refers only to the “National Socialist German Workers’ Party.” Buildings that serve public welfare, national development, and all other buildings that serve the community exist only in National Socialist Germany. Bolshevism has fortresses built by its enslaved people. Therefore, the term “party” for Bolshevism and “party buildings” for official Soviet buildings should no longer be used by us in Germany.

Finally, you are reminded that words like “Red army,” “Red Rule,” etc., are not permitted in the German vocabulary. This directive comes from the Führer. In the past years of domestic German decay, thousands of German people’s comrades belonged to the “Red” movements and organizations. Most were driven by idealism that was used for agitation and misdirection by elements lacking a conscience. These people’s comrades never ceased to be good Germans in their heart and will. They should not today be reminded by such expressions of their time of political confusion.

Millions of German people’s comrades are experiencing as soldiers in the East what the Soviet regime means: the destruction of culture and civilization. They see and realize that Bolshevism reality has nothing to do with their earlier idealistic dreams. They have learned to hate and despite the Bolshevism that they experience today. The terms “Bolshevists” and “Soviets” include everything that makes these people passionate representatives of German order, German culture, and German nature. Comparing Bolshevism with their former concept of a “Red” party would be an insult for these workers and soldiers.

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