Background: The Zeitschriften-Dienst was a weekly newsletter
for magazine editors during the Third Reich, first published in 1939.
These guidelines were published
just after the August 1939 non-aggression treaty with the Soviet Union
was signed. There were two sorts of guidelines: those to be used if appropriate
for the magazine, and a much smaller number that were to be used by every
magazine regardless of topic. This was in the latter category. All magazines
were expected somehow to address the matter. Since the range of magazines
included everything from popular weeklies to special journals for watchmakers
and gardeners, some had more difficulty than others. The basic argument
is that the agreement is good economics. Of course, the secret annex
to the German-Soviet treaty that set out the partition of Poland was
Two years later, the Zeitschriften-Deinst issued instructions
on how to deal with the 22 June 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, the
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: “Das Hauptthema: Erneuerung der deutsch-russischen
Zeitschriften-Dienst, Nr. 17 (26 August 1939), pp. 5-6.
of German-Russian Friendship
Topic: German-Russian Realpolitik
Why of current interest?
The German-Soviet Russian non aggression pact — The German Soviet
Russian economic treaty.
Historic change in German foreign policy, domestically a brilliant
act by the Führer that will promote Germany’s rights. — Internationally,
stress its significance for peace in Europe. Additionally, confidence
in England is completely shaken. Gently persuade small countries of
the necessity of friendly relations with Germany.
Emphasize: A decisive event. Shock effect on those trying to encircle
Germany, happy response from the German people. In historical discussions,
focus on the Bismarck era, not as much on the post-war period. No objection
to the terms “Soviet Union, Soviet-Russian, USSR.” “Russia” can also
be used again, particularly in historically-oriented articles. Sympathetic,
Avoid: Any discussion of worldview matters (at the moment of no significance,
the internal system of other countries is not our concern). No Schadenfreude or
overemphasis that “we are now breathing more easily.” No forced justifications.
No discussion of commercial statistics out of context (particularly
comparisons between the time before and after 1933). No discussion
of the length of the negotiations.
Themes and Guidelines:
The Führer destroys England’s attempts at encirclement and interference.
— Lloyd George recently said in the House of Commons: “Encirclement
policies without Russia have no political and military value.” —
Devastating defeat for English trouble making. — English balance
of power policy outdated. — A fundamental change in European politics
brought about by Hitler. — Liberation of Europe from the yoke of
British interference. — The Continent will determine its own fate.
— German Continental policy: Hitler clarifies the confusion caused
by England, constructive German policies for peace once again historically
demonstrated! — The democracies talk, the Führer acts. — The Führer’s
speech in Wilhelmshaven on 1 April 1939: “Germany will not remain
inactive against new efforts to encircle it.” — Sensational change
in Europe: The German and Russian peoples have come together again.
Refer to traditional German-Russian friendship. Hundreds of years
old, and diplomatic cooperation between Germany and Russia is fruitful
for both sides and for Europe as a whole. — Alexander I and Frederick
the Great. — Germany and Russia in the Wars of Liberation against
Napoleon. — Bismarck’s Russian policy and its continuation by Adolf
Hitler. The mutual assurance treaty and its non-renewal. Berlin Treaty
of 1926. — German-Soviet conflicts always result from interference
by the Western powers. — German-Soviet Realpolitik, both
sides wish for natural German-Russian cooperation. — Not a tactical
action for the moment, but a true historic change. — The Führer in Mein
Kampf: The art of foreign policy and of statesmen is to find
common interests between peoples who then can work together. —
Trusting and serious negotiations in Moscow — A game with cards openly
on the table. — Europe faces new facts.
New German-Russian relations provide new possibilities for European
policy. — An impact on relations with Turkey, which has a treaty
of friendship with Moscow? — New situation in the Mediterranean.
— New thinking on the part of neutrals (Oslo Conference: Caution!).
— Germany and Italy in complete agreement. — Italy’s 1933 treaty
with Moscow of non-aggression, friendship, and neutrality. — Pravda: “...in
a time of tense political relations, the economic agreement will
relax the atmosphere and means ... a step toward a complete change
in political relations between Germany and Soviet Russia.”
German-Russian economic cooperation will be fruitful only over the
long run. — The prerequisite for building economic relations is
provided by a relaxation of political tensions. — The agreement means
a significant broadening of mutual exchange of goods. — The numbers
in the treaty are minimum numbers! Commerce will benefit both and
all sides. German-Russian credit and currency exchange. — Decline
in German-Soviet commerce in recent years an unnatural situation.
Germany and Russia complement each other in the most natural and
best ways. Russia is rich in raw materials and Germany in high quality
industry. — Soviet Russian plans for investment and their partial
implementation (as yet insufficient production and quality) mean
a long-term great need for high quality industrial products, technical
facilities, etc. — Germany’s need for Russian export goods almost
unlimited: 170 million Russians and 80 million Germans offer each
side markets with unlimited opportunities. — Good experiences with
the German-Russian export credits.
The development of trade (1100 million RM in 1931, for example)
gives an indication of future developments. Significance for the
German food supply: Main exports from Germany are machines, ferrous
alloys, electrical products, iron goods, chemical products; main
imports to Germany are building wood and lumber, bulk timber, fuel
and lubricating oil, pelts, veneer and plywood, phosphates tobacco.
— Main industrial regions and harbors in the Soviet Union. —Russia
is a great power with regard to raw materials. — Russian black coal
reserves according to Statistische Uebersicht des Reichskohlenrates 1.083
billion tons. — Russian oil reserves 3.877 billion tons = 53% of
total world reserves (other sources give 13.5%, so be careful in
giving figures!). — Iron ore reserves in Russia about 10 billion
tons. — Also very large reserves of manganese, chromium, gold, and
platinum, considerable reserves of iron ore and copper. Russia leads
the world in the production of flax and hemp. — Increasing industrialization
and growth in population of 20 million since 1914 have significantly
increased the domestic demand for raw materials. — Russian grain
exports before the war were 40% of total exports, today only 10%
to 12%. — The significance of high quality German industrial products
for the Soviet-Russian economy. — Soviet attendance at the eastern
trade fair. — 90% of Russian exports today go overseas. — Good prospects
for German merchant shipping. — Lumber transport on the White and
Reich Propaganda Ministry, Minister-Rat Fritsche (contact through
Room 24): 11 00 14. — Foreign Office (Contact Kleinlein): 11 00 13.
— Ministry of Economics (contact Oberregierungsrat Rechenberg):
16 43 51.
Bismarck, Gedanken und Errinnerungen, Friedrich Stieve, Deutschland
und Europa 1890-1914, Verlag für Kulturpolitik, Berlin, —
A. Sanders, Um die Gestaltung Europas, Hoheneichenverlag,
Munich, — Walther Paul, Weltkampf um Rohstoffe, Wilhelm
[Page copyright © 2012 by Randall L. Bytwerk.
No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on
the 1933-1945 Page.
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