Background: This article is dated 12 January 1941. Goebbels accuses Churchill of using the “big lie” technique. Goebbels preferred to tell the truth (or at least the part of it that was useful) to outright lies in propaganda, but was quite capable of doing what he accuses Churchill of doing when necessary.
The source: “Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik,” Die Zeit ohne Beispiel (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1941), pp. 364-369.
by Joseph Goebbels
There is no point to debating Mr. Churchill about English ship losses or the damage caused by German air attacks. He follows the time-honored British policy of admitting only that which is impossible to deny, then cutting it in half, while at the same time doubling or tripling the enemy’s losses. This balances the accounts. The astonishing thing is that Mr. Churchill, a genuine John Bull, holds to his lies, and in fact repeats them until he himself believes them. That is an old English trick. Mr. Churchill does not need to perfect it, as it is one of the familiar tactics of British politics, known to the entire world. They made good use of the trick during the World War, with the difference that world opinion believed it then, which cannot be said today. That is because at the end of the World War British plutocracy believed that Germany would never recover. In part from indifference, but also in part from boastfulness, they made the mistake of telling the world the tricks they had used to defeat the Reich. In the memoirs written by British statesmen, Mr. Churchill in particular, one could see that the London plutocrats had no problem lying to high heaven during the war. They were even proud of fooling Germany in so easy and clever a fashion. They revealed their methods. They are not believable any longer. We only need to refer to the World War and note that the same men are determining English news policy as did from 1914 to 1918, and everything becomes clear.
That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not, as a rule, reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
That applies to the dramatic events now taking place at sea and in the air. Despite his own knowledge and the facts, Mr. Churchill keeps saying that England is in a good position, and he is not in any way influenced by contrary facts. The Royal Air Force has pulverized Hamburg, destroyed every railroad station in Berlin, and left German war production in ruins, all the while never hitting a clinic, hospital, orphanage, old people’s home, or any kind of civilian target at all. The German Luftwaffe, on the other hand, has never been particularly interested in military or industrial targets. It is instead magnetically drawn to churches, schools, institutions for homeless children, and workers’ homes. They particularly like embassies, consulates, or American businesses. They fly randomly over English cities until they have found such a target, then dive down and drop their bombs. They want to drive the USA into the war. If perchance the German Luftwaffe manages to bomb an industrial city like Cardiff, Reuters reports: “Unknown airplanes attacked something or another somehow, somewhere. The damage is still unclear, but no military or industrial targets were hit. Further details will follow.” The world public can wait for the details until the war is over. Should the neutral press somehow manage to report serious damage despite English censorship, the king sets to work to attack the world’s tear ducts. He personally visits the damaged city. English workers are there to cheer enthusiastically. They seem to have nothing better to do than to plant the Union Jack in the midst of the still smoking ruins, or to dance the Lambeth Walk in the middle of the blackened walls, and to cheer the king as he goes on his way. This will apparently continue until not a single stone in England is left standing on another, and the long-awaited moment to begin the glorious English offensive against the accursed German devil arrives. It all moves His Majesty to the degree that he takes £200 from his vest pocket (about 2000 Reich marks) and puts it in the poor box. His Majesty’s visit ends with a visit to a harbor, where the king watches a ship being unloaded. Reuters happily announces the cargo is American frozen meat, which proves first that Atlantic ship traffic is functioning normally, and second that His Majesty is in good physical and mental condition, despite the seriousness of the situation.
How different we Germans are! If the Führer does not speak, it is proof that he is uncertain and sees no way out. If he does speak, one can conclude that the situation in the Reich is catastrophic and people desperately need reassurance. If he does not speak of a rapid victory, it is because he does not believe in it. If he does speak of it, he is just trying to confuse the world. If he meets with the Ducé, it means there is a rift in the Axis. If he does not meet, it is because the rift is too deep to repair. If he visits the troops, he is fleeing the situation at home. If he does not, it is, of course, because he is afraid of the soldiers. In England, people give three cheers when fat and meat rations are reduced. In Germany, that would naturally lead to a revolution. In England, snow and ice speed up the passenger and freight system, but in Germany they throw it into total chaos. German methods of warfare are contemptible and foolish, but one is not embarrassed to imitate them. English methods are exemplary, humane, liberal, and advanced, but they do not work, they have no success, and are therefore quietly dropped. When we announced a few years back that we preferred cannons to butter, all England protested. Now, however, the English have eaten the butter, while we have the cannons. They now have to follow the same principle through which we built our army, but that does not change the fact that these methods are dumb, short-sighted, narrow-minded, and shallow because they were invented by National Socialism. There is no point to talking with the English. As long as Mr. Churchill is at the helm, John Bull will win every time. What a pity that it always loses the offensive.
Mr. Churchill recently strolled through the ruins of the City of London after a major German Luftwaffe attack. Reuters naturally reported that the public applauded him energetically and shouted “Good old Winston! Keep it up!” When one asked him about peace, he answered: “After we have won!” One could find that impressive, if one did not know him better. But we know him. We know it is all a front, that he sees no way out, and that he is so far into his criminal policies that there is no way back any longer. He looks strong, but has nothing left, and can only hope for a miracle.
There will not be a miracle. Luck is always on the side of him who has earned it, and history in the end has always sided with those fighting for high ideals who are not willing to give up. Mr. Churchill is not such an idealist. He represents a rotten and corrupt world. He is a man of the 18th century who drapes himself with the symbols of the 19th century, hoping thereby to win the battles of the 20th century. This is a world of unlimited individual profiteering at the cost of other people and nations. It has been replaced in Europe by new ways of building nations. The future is theirs. A believing, sacrificing youth is gathered under its banners. This youth will win not only because it is well armed; it will win because it is young, because it represents a revolution, because it has mobilized powerful and dynamic forces that can no longer be resisted. The wheel of history can not be held back, not even by Mr. Churchill. In his more rational moments, he probably realizes that he is fighting for a lost cause, that his time is past, that he has no hope of catching up.
He is in fact one of those people who always wants evil, but nonetheless does good. He gave our revolution the decisive final push. Were it not for him, it probably would have taken much more time to reach completion than it now will. In the end, we really have to thank him. Because of him, we will need only as many months to reach our goal as we otherwise would have needed in years, or even decades.
There is no point in trying to convince him of that. He belongs to those stubborn people who can only be convinced by the facts. Let us bring about those facts.
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