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 in late January 1943. Goebbels and the propaganda leadership knew that the battle of Stalingrad was lost (the surviving German forces surrendered on 2 February 1943), a disaster for which the German population was not prepared. For the first time it was clear that Germany could lose the war. This directive was part of a series of measures to intensify the war effort, culminating in Goebbels’s “total war speech” of 18 February 1943.
The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 50, 30 January 1943.
Speaker Express Information
The following propaganda directives are announced for the Law on Compulsory War Service:
The war that our enemies forced on us is becoming increasingly total. For our people it is a mater of life or death.
The demand of the hour, therefore, is that every last people’s comrade works together for the war effort. Now that heavy burdens are being placed on the shoulder of our people, all must do their share.
The greater the burdens of the war become, the more we must share them. The only goal now is to use all our strength to win final victory. Until now, we have lived a life in the homeland that in no way suggests that we have been waging bitter war for three-and-a-half years, with the exception of those areas suffering under enemy air attacks. In the East we are fighting a system that has intensified and perfected the totalization of war with barbaric cruelty. We will be able to survive the assault of Bolshevism only when we use our own potential to the fullest possible degree. The more radically and totally we wage war, the sooner we will reach its victorious end.
It is necessary to observe these psychological principles:
The measures are soley the result of the extraordinary demands by the war effort on all our lives. It is obvious to the nation that if the future of our people demands our full strength, each must do his share. It would be unthinkable if a people’s comrade did not understand this or thought he could have a good conscience over against the front were he to attempt to escape such a basic duty of thanks owed to the front.
The law on compulsory war service and the measures to mobilize further strengths in the war effort will find great support from our people if they are presented properly. These people’s comrades will do their duty loyally and conscientiously. We will not need compulsion. If, however, there are evil-minded element that ignore these arguments, the leadership at the proper time will not hesitate to resort to ruthless measures to force them to do their duty.
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