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 October 1943 who would address women’s meetings.
The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 71, October 1943 (special edition).
The Women’s Meeting
For the current propaganda campaign involving meetings of the NS Frauenschaft, speakers are provided with the following themes.
1. In general, speakers at women’s meetings should not go into great detail on the increased difficulties of daily life that we face. If it is desirable because of shortages in the area and is requested by the leader of the local group, one or another negative matters can, of course, be treated.
The decisive thing, however, is that women today meet the demands for spiritual strength and a fighting attitude that all people’s comrades in the homeland must display.
2. We must absolutely deal with the frequent complaint that life has lost its meaning. This is mostly whining by older women with long and painful separations from their husband or son, and from younger women about the lack of joy in life.
Speakers should not insult and thunder against them, but rather calmly and factually discuss a German attitude toward life. It is psychologically correct to grant that the demands on our women are hard and difficult. However, the fact that thousands of our German women are doing their duty in exemplary ways obligates all the rest.
Millions of German woman are models of work and achievement, of sacrifice and devotion. Many thousands of younger and older women work bravely in the areas of the Reich threatened by the air war. The model these women set is proof of the fighting German nature. Who fails to display this attitude consciously or unconsciously reveals weakness that makes her contemptible in the eyes of all real German women.
3. Deal with complaints about the lessening purchasing power of money in the same way. In speaking to women, use a political argument. At this time it is not important to be able to buy what one’s heart desires. When a people is fighting for its very existence, when it is a matter of life or death, all personal interests fade. What we are not willing to sacrifice today, we will all have to sacrifice if we lose the war, and would have no change of winning it back. But what we give up today for victory we will gain back many-fold after a German peace.
In this connection it is important to stress the need to be economical. Normal conditions will return quickly after German victory. There will be opportunity for each German people’s comrade to satisfy increased needs. Anything that we save today assures the rapid increase in our social welfare. It is critical to reject the false opinion that our money has lost value because one can no longer buy anything. Limitation in the good supply is not a devaluation of money. The value of money remains the same. The fact that a series of articles can be bought today only at high prices is not a question of monetary devaluation, but rather a question of the sentiments and attitudes of some people today, whether buyers or sellers. Each real German woman will behave accordingly.
4. The core of each speech to women and its main content should be the contemporary situation. One question is particularly important: The danger of Bolshevism for our German life.
One still hears doubts that Bolshevism is really as dangerous as we have thought it to be in the past. Above all, one often hears the argument that women have to work just as hard today in Germany as we formerly said was typical in the Soviet Union.
To that we respond that there is enormous difference whether we are mobilizing our entire homeland for our battle with fate and only temporarily require women to work and achieve for victory along with the whole great front, or whether as under Bolshevism heavy physical labor is demanded of all women. Countless German soldiers are witnesses of how Bolshevism contemptibly disgraces the natural characteristics of women in the Soviet Union. The striking number of young women aged before their time in the USSR, the ruthless exploitation that begins at the earliest age, the lack of facilities for physical care, and the spiritual decline in industrial regions documents Bolshevist crimes against women. That would be our fate for all time if we do not win.
The decisive threat our women face from the Bolshevism danger is doubtless the question of marriage and motherhood. The necessities of war mean that thousands of German women are separated from their men for months and years, but they should remember that a lost war would make this eternal. Millions of women in the Soviet Union suffer terrible misery, since their men are forced laborers, deportees, or have been hauled off without cause and not been seen for years. They must accept the fact that they will never see them again. Millions of mothers in the Soviet Union have lost their children, kidnapped by the Soviets or forced into serving the political system, estranged from the parents’ homes. Our soldiers in the East have encountered thousands upon thousands of vagabond children who have lost their parents and their homeland, and now are condemned to life on the streets, in the vast forests, subject to the weather, starvation, and moral decay.
Such a fate would affect all of us, for the Bolshevists have no interest and no reason to respect the feelings, traditions, or social principles of the German people. The leading Jews behind Bolshevism would use the laws of the Soviet system to impose their Old Testament hatred against the advanced Germans.
German victory will protect us all against such a future. To gain victory, no sacrifice, no privation, not even any personal sorrow or fate is too great or too difficult.
5. For countless women, the consequences of the air war are the heaviest burden today. In the endangered areas, our women of every age have proven themselves as brave as our men at the front.
However, it is easier to find the personal courage to bear and survive a temporary crisis than a longer lasting challenge or personal loss. That is shown by the sometimes loud complaints from those who have been resettled.
Our speakers must emphasis the obligation for mutual consideration. Speak to both those who have been resettled and those who provide housing for them. Both must be told with great seriousness that it is today critical to show a compassionate understanding for the difficult situation that the war brings, for a balancing of needs and the creation of a harmonious community. How that happens depends on local conditions. The speaker should talk with the local political local group, NSV and Frauenschaft leaders.
It is also appropriate to mention that unnecessary travel should be avoided in the interest of the needs of the front.
6. Women who are forced to wait a long time in line today can make a positive contribution in their conversations and opinions that can be an important contribution to the general picture of strong attitude and unbreakable fighting spirit that is confident of victory.
We do not need here to list all the various negative chattering and rumors that women are responsible for. Depending on information from local party leaders and group leaders, speakers can decide what pressing questions and idle talk need to be addressed. Above all, it is important to remind women of their particular responsibility with respect to the attitudes they express at such a time.
The same is true with regards to the question of brave letters to the front. Stress above all that for soldiers at the front, letters are the mirror of whether the homeland supports them. We know from many sources that the fighting front has great courage, strong confidence, and an absolute will for victory. The duty of everyone in the homeland is to give the same picture of strong confidence to our fighting troops, who have to bear the heaviest burdens, in letters and messages. Each fighting soldier must always have the justified faith that he can fully and entirely depend on the homeland to be behind him.
As a final point, remember again that in meeting for our women, the political question of our life and battle must be in the foreground.
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