German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: This article from Der Angriffwas published after the second round of the German presidential elections on 10 April 1932. Although Hitler lost to Hindenburg, the Nazi vote total increased significantly from the initial round and Goebbels made things look even better. The article is dated 11 March 1932.

The source: “Die Welle steigt” Wetterleuchten. Aufsätze aus der Kampfzeit (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1939), pp. 276-290.

The Rising Tide

by Joseph Goebbels

One has to keep in mind what our opponents wanted on 10 April to understand the greatness of the battle fought yesterday. Their laudable goal was to completely destroy Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist movement. The second blow must hit, they boasted, and the third will fall on 24 April [the date of the Prussian election]. They set the date for the parliamentary election for fourteen days after the second round of the presidential election because they anticipated we would be depressed after the expected defeat that would cripple the party’s strength, making it the defenseless victim of its enemies. The glory of being undefeated was to be torn from us. Demagogy, they said, must be stabbed in its heart.

And now? They weep by the waters of Babylon. They did not succeed! Not only did the National Socialist movement successfully withstand the onslaught of power, money, the press, parties, and lies, it drove through the wall that had been built around it and and stormed with breathtaking speed into the surrounding territory. In four weeks our vote increased by two million, and during these four weeks we were hampered by the Easter pause. We got as many votes as the bourgeois splinter parties who still name ministers in the Reich and Prussia. That is the people’s answer. Where we had to be silent because we were prevented from speaking, where Hitler was tied to the martyr pole of emergency decrees, where our newspapers were banned, where one denied us free speech, there the people exercised its right at the ballot box, using its healthy instincts to restore Germany’s political decency.

Pity the Red class candidate Thälmann, who sought the German presidency but was left in the lurch by his own Red cohorts. Now the big-mouthed communists are standing in the unemployment line and have become much quieter and more modest. Their loud cries of Bolshevist revolution sound hollow and tasteless. What else is there for them to do but wearily hold on to their last positions, already almost abandoned, with dagger and pistol?

And what does the DNVP [German National People’s Party] have to say, and what about the Stahlhelm’s political strategists? They never tired of saying that they would never bow to a National Socialist party candidate. During the decisive election weeks they maintained a provocative silence, showing no camaraderie. They gave us the cold shoulder. Their party did not know where to go or what to do, longing for a national unity candidate. Their voters showed them. They rejected the irresponsible slogan of passive resistance. The overwhelming majority gave their vote to the candidate of national opposition, Adolf Hitler.

Our deepest sympathy. They did not understand the signs of the times. They ignored the clear will of national Germany, practicing tactical tricks with the false cleverness that Clausewitz found hateful and contemptible while the National Socialist awakening continued unabated.

There is no stopping us now. Once again, and more strongly, the dams they built against our advancing flood will collapse. Now any resistance will only increase our strength and enhance our fighting spirit.

They condemned us to three weeks of silence. It was useless. They flooded us with an ocean of lies and slanders; they set Red terror against us on the streets; on poster pillars they portrayed us as hangmen and hangmen’s assistants. People passed by shaking their heads and smiling grimly, thought about it, and yesterday gave them the appropriate answer.

They used the radio for themselves alone. That was consistent with their “knightly style” that gave their opponent a stick while they used the sword of governmental power. They still did not reach their goal.

For a year they peddled the theory that the human resources that could be won by National Socialist agitation were exhausted and, therefore, the curve of our growth would be halted. We punished their lies. We broke out of the iron boycott they wanted to hold us in and now National Socialism is racing forward unhindered, almost without opposition, on the battleground of German politics.

Should the Jews in the editorial offices of the Karl Liebknecht House [the Communist Party headquarters in Berlin] dare to maintain yet again that Berlin remains Red, Berlin workers will answer with threatening, mocking laughter. Hitler is the slogan in the Reich capital. With one blow we have become the strongest party in Berlin. We won two hundred thousand votes in four weeks, almost wiping out the reactionary camp and giving the KPD a destructive blow.

They wanted to kill us in this election, but it became a gracious gift that will be the springboard for our seizure of power. Two weeks before the Prussian election, fate repaid our work, effort, worry, and sacrifice with our most triumphant electoral victory since 14 September 1930. It no longer does any good to scream about treason and treachery, about chaos and civil war, to seize documents from our offices, to transport our S.A. men to Moabit [a Berlin prison] and shut down their headquarters. Each S.A. and S.S. man knows: slavery will last only a little while longer. We will grit our teeth for fourteen days. We do not want to sleep, we do not want to spare the party, we will empty our pockets of the last penny to finance our struggle. We do not have time to be weary.

Now begins the assault on Prussia. It will and must end with the collapse of the black-red coalition. We will throw the Center Party and Social Democracy out. They may yet torture and torment us for a little while, slander and persecute us, flood us with money and lies: our eagle has already spread its wings, ready to fly high. The movement will exhibit a masterpiece of agitation and compelling mass education during the coming two weeks. On 24 April we will reap the rewards.

You, however, party members, S.A. and S.S. men, be proud of this victory. It was not given to you. You earned it the hard way with sweat and effort and worry, and sometimes with blood. You have no cause to hide your light under a bushel. Only the riffraff are humble.

Once again march through the streets of Berlin as upright as ever, as confident of victory as before, and anyone, whether friend or foe, must be able to read your mind and see in your eyes what you are thinking:

No one can stop us!

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