Background: The Zeitschriften-Dienst was a weekly newsletter for magazine editors during the Third Reich, first published in 1939. What follows comes from its supplement, the Deutscher Wochendienst, which went into more detail on some matters. It is the first of a late 1944 series of guidelines for magazine editors in handling the “Jewish Question.” Even though most of the mass slaughter of the Jews had already occurred, magazine editors are told to say that Germany had dealt with the Jews in a legal and reasonable way.
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: “Hinweise für die antijüdische Pressearbeit,” Deutscher Wochendienst, 25 August 1944, pp. 14-15.
Strictly confidential — Not for publication
Guidelines for Anti-Jewish Press Work
As before, anti-Jewish work in the press is in the forefront of our political efforts. It is therefore all the more important that language guidelines in this area be followed strictly, and that all tastelessness and platitudes be avoided, as they can only weaken the necessary concentrated impact and harm our efforts.
Thus the term “anti-Semitism” constantly shows up when opposition to the Jews is meant. One must remember that using this term can harm our relations with non-Jewish Semites in the Arab world which are particularly important for us. In the future, avoid the words “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Semitic,” replacing them with expressions like “opposition to the Jews,” “enmity against the Jews,” “anti-Judaism,” “hostile to the Jews,” or “anti-Jewish.”
It is also entirely false to use the term “pogrom” to refer to the fully justified defensive measures that the peoples betrayed by the Jews are using to defend themselves against Jewish demands and insolence. Jewish agitation has understood how to use “pogrom horror stories” to arouse the world’s pity for the “innocent, persecuted” Jews, and to call all the justifiable and moderate measures against Jewish parasitism “pogroms” (devastation), particularly with regards to National Socialist Germany. Since the Jewish problem in Germany has been solved not through blind racial hatred, but rather through consistently carried out legal measures, the term “pogrom” is entirely inappropriate.
In this regard, we advise that it is also inappropriate to speak of “Jewish revenge.” That might lead those circles without a firm worldview to conclude that, as the enemy maintains, we have earned or deserved this “revenge” because of our cruel treatment of the Jewry, since in general revenge presumes a previous injustice. We should therefore speak only of Jewish plans for destruction. We should demonstrate that regardless of whether Jewry was treated well or ill by its host peoples, it was always a dangerous element, ever on the attack, and that our measures were necessary self-defense. We should constantly show that Jewry has always attempted to subvert our people from both within and without, and would have succeeded had we not put a stop to it, and that its final attempt was to try to destroy us through the war it unleashed.
Our propaganda can also suffer through using Jewish sources without putting then into a form suitable for our propaganda. Using (Jewish) citations from the enemy can be especially dangerous when long passages are used, or when an essay from a Jewish newspaper is carried without the necessary commentary. A brief introduction or a few sentences are hardly sufficient commentary. Enemy citations are very important in attacking the Jewish nature and their methods, but we must always remember that they are only a means to an end, which is supporting our arguments, which must always come to expression in an elevated and clear manner. – It is tasteless to occasionally find enemy citations attributed to “prominent Jewish personalities,” since positive references to Jews are entirely uncalled for. Avoid contradictory phrases like “French Jew” (instead, a Jew in or from France) or a “blood Romanian” (instead, Romanian; there are no Jewish Romanians).
As important as it is to focus on the essential elements of the Jewish question, it remains important to provide a change from the standard Jewish topics, using new or unfamiliar materials to keep reader interest. This not only maintains the persuasive force of our magazines, but increases it. Platitudes and cliches (for example, “the notorious Jew XY”) not only weary and confuse the reader, they raise doubts in his mind about the quality of his magazine. With regards to reviews of anti-Jewish books, we refer to our advice in A 415.
The Zeitschriften-Dienst and the Deutscher Wochendienst will publish additional advice and suggestions alongside our regular material, and ask for lively cooperation from editors.
Go to the 1933-1945 Page.
Go to the German Propaganda Archive Home Page.