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 May 1943, after the final German defeat in Africa. Particularly interesting is the injunction at the end to avoid all references to Stalingrad.
The source: “Zum Ende des Kampfes in Tunesien,” Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 61, 18 May 1943.
Speaker Express Information
The End of the Battle in Tunisia
In the immediate future, our propagandists and speakers will have to give particular attention to the now finished battles in Tunisia The strategic aims of the campaign, which have been covered in the press and radio for a long time, should be stressed. The main goal is to avoid depressed morale because of the outcome. That would be unjust to the soldiers of our Afrika Korps who, aware of their difficult task, fought with willingness to sacrifice and bravery that will forever go down in history as a great feat of German military prowess and German strategic leadership.
The following points need to be considered:
Our speakers should above all speak of the heroic struggle and brilliant military achievements of our African forces. Each German people’s comrade, each man and each woman, and particularly our German youth can be proud that even the enemy, whether willingly or not, has to grant that German and Italian soldiers have fought with a strength and bravery beyond their comprehension. For example, an internal report noted that as a German military band marched to a POW camp, it played German marches and National Socialist songs. According to another report, all German prisoners remain convinced of the final victory of German weapons, and openly say so. We can be proud of the men of the Afrika Korps. We therefore have no right to hang our heads, for those who stopped fighting did not surrender until they were forced to by superior forces, but only after they had no ammunition left.
Speakers should make these facts particularly clear, so that the audience will understand their obligation to be as courageous and fearless as they work here in the homeland. They must be willing to sacrifice, to bear any burden, following the brave example of the men of the Afrika Korps, who fulfilled their duty to the end. They bore their fate, confident in the coming great final victory.
How much more, then, must we do our duty in faith and confidence, for we all are under the same law, but also share the same faithful confidence in the coming German victory.
Under no circumstances may speakers make comparisons between the heroic battles in Tunis and Biseta and Stalingrad. There is no basis for that, either in the general situation or in individual details. Any such comparison is, therefore, to be avoided.
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