Background: The Zeitschriften-Dienst was a weekly newsletter for magazine editors during the Third Reich. It was supposed to be confidential. Editors were to keep it locked away, and use it to help guide them in their duties. Its companion was the Deutscher Wochendienst, which provided more detailed material to supplement the advice in the ZD. This is a full translation of an issue from early June 1944, just after D-Day. There are references to supplementary material published in the Wochendienst, which I am not translating.
Each section had a numerical heading. In some cases, both publications had the same numbered section, in which case the Wochendienst would provide more details. Sometimes, a numerical heading would be found only in one of the two. For general information about the ZD, see Robert Young, “‘Not this way please!’ Regulating the Press in Nazi Germany,” Journalism Quarterly (1987), 787-792.
The source: Zeitschriften-Dienst, 9 June 1944.
Strictly confidential — Not for publication
Issue 266/135 — 9 June 1944 — Numbers A 337 - A 374
A 337: Main themes for the week
The political and military situation centers on the attack of the Anglo-Americans along the English Channel, which had been expected for months. And the long attempts by the Anglo-Americans to cut off and surround German troops in southern Italy is yet to be accomplished. There our enemies have paid a huge price in blood without any strategically important gains, and now must supply a city of two million people [the Allies had just marched into Rome]. This is particularly unpleasant for them, as they have already completely failed to supply Naples and Palermo with adequate food. And Rome will be a particularly unpleasant political burden for them. The political witch’s cauldron that the English have found brought them different results than expected in Naples will heat up even more in Rome. They had hoped to be in Rome a year ago. Their entrance into the city, which we voluntarily evacuated to protect its priceless cultural treasures, offers no strategic benefits any longer.
Since our opponent’s offensive in Italy has brought no decisive success, at Moscow’s order they have now begun an Atlantic offensive. The Bolshevists are holding their positions in the east, waiting to see what happens. They face a well-prepared German-Rumanian defensive position, which has been strengthened in places. The world’s attention is thus focused on the Atlantic coast, after the enemy has used all his agitation abilities to announce a Blitz invasion. Its beginning is relatively modest. So far, it does not suggest a truly large-scale invasion, although there may still be further attacks and landing attempts. So far, however, the enterprise has gained only a small amount of ground at an extraordinarily high cost. The enemy’s parachute landings, which were on a relatively large scale, have all failed and the divisions that landed have been destroyed. According to the first reports by English troops, the German defense has been strong. English war correspondents report that Anglo-American troops face a true hell.
Although we may be calm and confident after the first few days, as we look into the future it is not the time to be overly optimistic, for our opponent knows that there is more at stake than this particular landing. He will make every effort to succeed, and the battle can only grow harder.
In general, we are well prepared for events to the east, south, and west. We expect a general storm, and we know how to meet it. The slogan therefore is: Be serious, ready for everything, confident in our battle-readiness. This must be the general tone for German magazines in the coming days.
As to the political significance of the invasion, this may be said: Its beginning at this time and on France’s northern coast is in no way motivated by purely military reasons. To the contrary — after Roosevelt said that the date of the invasion was set in Teheran — it is clear that the governments in London and Washington are making their military decisions according to political considerations dictated from Moscow.
German daily newspapers have already dealt with this in headlines and commentaries. The duty of magazines, less bound by the events of the moment, is to put these facts in the proper light.
It seems as if the Jews behind the scenes of the conspiracy against Europe are now attempting to draw the peoples into a final destructive attack. It is thus only proper to relate the invasion to the mentality and world-wide poison centers of the Jews. And it is not wrong to remember that Jewish policies have always failed when they took a really big risk. The Jew is only crafty. He lacks real intelligence, as is proven by the countless miserable defeats that he has had to endure since ancient times and the middle ages in all countries of the world. It is correct, then, when we point out the war guilt of World Jewry (see A 339) to also note the permanent political lack of success of the Jewish spirit when over the course of history it confronts a truly determined people defending itself against Jewish attack.
Of course, at those moment of the German people’s greatest exertion, we will point out the resources and character strengths it has that will enable it to master the enemy. Our item “Confidence in victory at the decisive hour” (A 338) give ideas and materials.
Themes of the Day
A 338: Confidence in victory at the decisive hour
The beginning of the invasion in the west is proof that the western plutocrats are only following the orders of Moscow in opening a second front, even though they have only to expect the greatest bloodshed. For the German people, this enemy step is indeed an hour calling for the greatest energy and exertion both for the man at the front and the worker at home, but it is also a moment of clear and determined confidence in victory. It is obvious that the battles in the west could perhaps bring about the war’s decisive turn in our favor. — It is therefore the right moment to present the German people with the knowledge of the enormous potential that it has, using every conceivable means of propaganda. Everything pertaining to ideals, military virtue, and organization favors us; only a number of practical material factors stand against us. — We must first remember that German leadership is the best in the world because it plans and acts in an entirely uniform manner. That is true politically, militarily, and economically. The German people possesses the psychological strengths to master the tasks fate has given to it. The main virtues of the German are courage, bravery, devotion, and the willingness to sacrifice. Even the enemy recognizes that the German is the best soldier in the world. The most recent events have proven that his quality is evident even when he is numerically the inferior. — German weapons are the best there are. Given the international character of modern technology, it is true that the enemy also has good weapons, and that he sometimes has a certain advantage for a time in one area or another. However, German technology always succeeds in catching up, if not surpassing. Attempts to hamper our armaments industry by air attacks have failed. Where shortages of critical war materials threaten, German science has found substitutes which are often better than the original materials. — The school of National Socialism has so strengthened the people’s spiritual abilities to resist that enemy agitation finds no opening. We therefore can and will win if we grasp the greatness of our task, if we understand the signs of the times, and seize the numerous opportunities.
A 339: The war guilt of World Jewry
German magazines must constantly carry anti-Jewish articles — that is the most important domestic task of the German press today. The most recent issue of the Deutscher Wochendienst carries an article titled “The War Guilt of World Jewry,” with the goal of making clear to the magazine reader that this war was begun by Jewry, and that it is conducted in Jewry’s interests. There are other factors — England’s desire to always fight the strongest power on the Continent, North American colonial imperialism, international Bolshevism — but we may never overlook the primary guilt of World Jewry. It must be said with total clarity that the Jewish people strives to drive other peoples into war against us, attempting to gain world domination through war and revolution. The evidence for the Jewish causes of World War I was somewhat limited, but this time they have openly admitted that they wanted and caused the war. The article in the Deutscher Wochendienst provides material on the general attitude of Jewry to war, on Jewry and the background to World War I, on Jews after World War I, and finally on the increase in Jewish war agitation after the National Socialist seizure of power.
A 340: Werner Peiner
Werner Peiner is one of those contemporary German artists who, because of their major artistic achievements and their direction-giving work, must be given a particularly prominent position. The name Werner Peiner is closely bound to the major public buildings of our day, and represents a new turn in the monumentality of our age. The Deutscher Wochendienst carries an article on Werner Peiner that will provide background for extensive articles on this artist’s work. Werner Peiner’s contributions to the training of future artists, in his role as teacher and director of the Hermann-Göring School (under the sponsorship of the Reich Marshall), must be particularly stressed. It must further be mentioned that the artist is one of the first practical defenders of community work in the visual arts. In considering Werner Peiner’s tapestries, it must be mentioned that he has made a major contribution to the revival of this old art form. His significance in landscape and in symbolic forms must not be forgotten, particularly in regards to Peiner’s work in the public buildings of the National Socialist state — above all the 8 tapestries in the Reich Chancellery that depict the important battles of the German people. Under no circumstances may a magazine article mention the geographic location of the Hermann-Göring School.
A 344: Women flak assistants
Growing numbers of German women and girls are now being used as flak assistants in the war areas in the homeland. Before, coverage of this was banned, but now magazines may take up the topic. It should not be promotional in nature, but rather have an instructional and informative manner, which is important under current conditions. The topic may not be dealt with in detail, but rather only in the form of reports after watching them in action. Magazines must deal with the topic, since there are many questions that will arise that can best be answered in magazines. It must be pointed out with the greatest possible tact that conditions today force us to alter our principles somewhat. It can also be pointed out that the Führer’s directive specifically exempts women from manning machine guns and anti-aircraft guns. We do not expect to have women firing guns, as is done in the enemy states. Thus, phrases line “women soldiers” should be avoided, since the flak assistants are not soldiers. They are employees of the Luftwaffe, but not members of the military. In comparisons, the term “women gunners” should be avoided. The use of women flak assistants is to free male personnel for the front and to build new military units. This, however, may not be mentioned by magazines. It is particularly important to stress that everything is being done for the safety of the women, despite the unavoidable military conditions. Cooperation with the Reich Women’s Office is the best guarantee of this. To deal with the recurring moral concerns, one may point out that the Luftwaffe is deeply concerned about the protection of women’s honor, and that their segregated living conditions offer unique opportunities for influencing women. Comparisons to other war-related women’s units may not be drawn, to avoid certain inappropriate issues generally stemming from enemy agitation. It can be pointed out that the previous use of women flak assistants has proved itself. The enthusiasm and energy with which the women and girls approached the task must be particularly noted. The task of magazines must be to increase this readiness even more. All articles must be approved by the censorship office of the Luftwaffe at the OKW (Telephone 11 00 14, Extension 3015).
A 349: Neutral shipping losses
The DNB dispatch on the OKW statement on neutral ships that have been lost or severely damaged by Anglo-American naval and air forces between 1 January 1943 and May 1944 should be given good attention.
A 350: “Wallonian Rex Movement”
Given recent examples, we ask editors, when it is necessary to write of Leon Degrelle and his Rex movement, to refer him as the leader of the “Wallonian Rex Movement.” Avoid expressions like Leon Degrelle, “the leader of the Belgian renewal movement” or “the Belgian leader and war hero.”
A 351: Tungsten negotiations between the enemy and Portugal
You are reminded of earlier directives and requested not to carry the United Press report on the state of the Allied negotiations with Portugal about tungsten.
A 352: Articles about leading men
Magazines are reminded that any kind of article on leading men of the party, state, etc. — regarding anniversaries or birthdays — may only be printed with the prior approval of the Reich Propaganda Office or the Gau Press Office.
A 353: “Theodore Herzel and Zionism” (see A 313)
Series of photographs on this theme are available from the Weltbildarchiv, the Scherl Picture Service, and the International Photo Service in Berlin. The Press Photograph Central also has series in sufficient number.
A 354: “How do we protect the harvest against terror flyers?”
This notice, published in #23 of the NS-Landpost, should not be carried, nor should the measures being used to protect the harvest be discussed in any form.
A 355: “Holy Earth”
We ask you to give good play to the article titled “Holy Earth,” as carried in Das nationalsozialistische Volkskultur, #3 of 20.5.44.
A 356: “Cultural Ceremonies”
We remind you of directive A 328, which states that the term Feierstunde may be used only for ceremonies conducted by the party. For example, it is not to be used for Sunday events organized by the NS Society “Kraft durch Freude.”
A 357: Dialects and accents
Given several instances, we remind you that all articles about dialects and accents are unwished for.
A 358: Wolfgang Foerster (see A 319)
A picture of Wolfgang Foerster is available from the Archiv der Kriegsgeschichtlichen Forschungsanstalt des Heeres in Potsdam.
A 359: Heinrich Zille
The 15th anniversary of the death of the painter Heinrich Zille may be covered by German magazines. We advise, however, avoiding detailed accounts of his life. It would also be incorrect to describe his effect as an expression of German nature. It is better to characterize him as a gifted artist who succeeded in putting certain characters on paper, particularly Berliners.
A 360: Film ratings
The UFA film “Träumerei” and the Berlin film Die Zaubergeige have received the rating “artistically valuable,” along with the Tobis film Der Verteidiger hat das Wort.
A 361: Available for articles
The Bavaria film Das Gesetz der Liebe, the Vienna film Uli and Maei, as well as the Vienna culture film Kinderkrankheiten, Kinder dichten einen Welt, Heimat am Meer and the UFA cultural film Böcke und Geißen may be discussed.
A 362: The Secret Bride
Nothing, either in word or picture, should be carried about the Prague film Die heimlichen Bräute, as alterations are being made.
A 363: “A Fine Day”
The UFA film Ein toller Tag may be covered. [The next sentence is garbled in the original.]
A 364: “2 Years of Berlin Film”
The article by Otto Heinz Jahn titled “2 Years of Berlin Film,” released by the DKD on 6.6.44, may not be carried under any circumstances.
A 365: Historical themes
Given recent instances, we remind magazines that historical discussions and maps must be checked for absolute accuracy, insofar as they deal with border or related questions.
A 366: Women flak assistants with the Luftwaffe
In the current issue of the Deutscher Wochendienst, we advise editors on “women flak assistants with the Luftwaffe.” (See A 344). However, the release of this topic has been postponed for several days, and reports may be carried only after they have been authorized.
A 367: Ministerial directive on deliveries
This directive is sufficiently technical such that I’m not sure of a good translation.
A 368: Regulations on norms for wooden windows
Regulation #1, published in the Deutscher Rechtsanzeiger, on norms for wood windows of the Special Commission 13 in Wood Building and Wood Barracks of the Main Commission for construction is not to be carried by magazines.
A 369: Standardization of screws
Again, a bit more technical than I can easily translate.
A 370: “Honoring Labor”
A Reich Labor Service exhibition titled “Honoring Labor” will open in Prague on 26.6.1944. We ask magazines to give it good coverage. Its location in Prague may be mentioned only after it has opened.
A 371: Bayreuth Festival
For your information, the Bayreuth Festival will be held from 17.7 to 9.8. Abendroth and Furtwängler will direct the Meistersinger.
A 372: “Amazing Animals of Our Day”
This article by Dr. Raoul Francé may not be carried.
A 373: “Preview of the Nietzsche Year 1944”
We ask magazines not to use the article by Dr. Hans Hartmann, as it has the wrong tone.
A 374: Professor Max Ferdinand Scheler
Since Prof. Max Ferdinand Scheler (born 1874, died 1928) is a Jewish Mischling, first degree, magazines may no longer quote him.
Go to the 1933-1945 Page.
Go to the German Propaganda Archive Home Page.