German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: The Nazis had been waiting nervously for the invasion of Europe from the west. D-Day came on 6 June 1944. This is Goebbels’ first response in Das Reich. He is in good form, suggesting that the Russians and the Jews are the only ones who will benefit from the Normandy invasion.

The source: “Die Hintergründe der Invasion,” Das Reich, 18 June 1944, pp. 1-2.

The Background of the Invasion

by Joseph Goebbels

The invasion of the European coast by the Western powers is the central military event of the summer. It deserves our first attention in considering the overall war situation. It would be a mistake to attempt at this point an evaluation of the enemy’s goals and the political and military prospects resulting from them. It is too early for that yet. Things are still in motion. Neither side has a clear advantage, nor is that to be expected in the present situation. It was clear from the start that the Western Powers would make a stronger attack on the Atlantic Wall than they did at Dieppe. This time, both attackers and defenders know that it is all or nothing. London and Washington did not leave a back door open this time. It took some violence to the facts, but the enemy could say of Dieppe that it was no more than an attempt at carrying out a raid along the Channel coast. That is not possible this time.

We and our opponents are committed. The clash of weapons on the French Atlantic Coast is also a clash of spirit and outlook. The fact that it took the English and Americans so long to begin the adventure is a sign that they know as well as we do what it means. And not only we and they: it is clear to all of Europe, indeed to the whole world. It has been made sufficiently clear that Churchill and Roosevelt undertook the invasion only after ceaseless pressure from the Kremlin, pressure that bordered on extortion. Stalin, as we have often said, has a long arm. The piles of human corpses that the enemy has heaped up on the Channel coast serve only Bolshevism. The best the English and Americans can hope for is to weaken the German army to the degree that it will not be able to maintain its struggle against the Soviet Union. But if they succeed, they will have bled to such an extent that they will not be able to defend Europe against the arrival of Bolshevism. This is the political background against which the military drama of the invasion is occurring.

Things are exactly the opposite of the way British-American plutocracy wanted them to be. They had hoped to see the German army and the Red army bleed themselves dry while they looked on. The Anglo-American attack in the West has transformed the situation. No one denies the fact that English and American casualties in the battles on the French coast have been intolerably high. Even on the first day of the invasion, they were so dreadfully high that the London and New York war correspondents who were there sent back cries of horror. The English press tried to play down or conceal the facts, apparently at the behest of the government. The American public, however, protested the sugar-coated coverage that stood in glaring contrast to the true situation. The world agrees that England and the USA are suffering casualties that they cannot long tolerate without endangering their position in the world.

Stalin has every reason to watch the goings on with satisfaction. It has long been no secret that the foolish and shortsighted policies of its prime minister have made England dependent on the favor of Bolshevism. It previously had at least some military reserves that could be used to defend its vital interests, but these are slowly but surely being devoured by the hellish battle along the Atlantic. Not much will remain. One has to ask if England can survive this undertaking, even if it technically is victorious, something that is not at all sure. Does that which it may gain bear any reasonable relation to the costs? The answer is a clear no.

It is impossible to give the public a clear and accurate picture of the military situation in the West at present. The political balance of power, on the other hand, is clear. Even at the beginning of the invasion, the London Times asked if there was any way to justify the sacrifices that England and the USA were making, particularly in view of their grand war aims. The question remains unanswered. The British people seem to be discussing it more intensively than the British press. The great public excitement England and the USA hoped the invasion would cause, in any event, has not come to pass. The bells did not ring for an hour, nor were there confetti parades in New York. The English see long hospital trains rolling into the interior. They speak more eloquently than the empty headlines in the papers that the Jews responsible for this bloodbath are using to excuse themselves.

While mounds of dead British and American soldiers are piling up along the west coast of Europe, the English press reports that profits are piling upon the London stock exchange. Wildly gesticulating speculators and profiteers are jumping about in their excitement. They have every reason, since the hour of Big Business has come with the great battles along the Atlantic Wall. Stock prices leapt up, and profits of a billion marks were made in a single day. The prize question: Since nothing comes from nothing, who won this billion and who lost it? We presume the poor English soldier fighting for his life in the awful bloodbath in the west did not suddenly make his fortune on the stock exchange. He will return from the war just as poor, if not much poorer, as he went into it. The only ones richer will be the men behind the scenes at the Jewish hate newspapers, those who guide the program of hatred and annihilation directed against the German people, the profiteers and patrons, draft-dodgers and speculators, who make good business out of patriotism and build their capitalist towers atop mounds of soldiers’ corpses. Their supreme patron and profiteer is Winston Churchill. He is the guilty one. He embodies plutocratic reaction. He has the full responsibility for the vast misfortune that this war has brought upon the world, and now is heading toward his own people with giant steps.

The victims of world plutocracy are marching on. They come from distant Canada, a nation that could easily support thirty or even fifty million additional people if its leaders served their nation rather than world plutocracy. They are the sons of the vast American continent almost bursting with wealth and riches, but in which normally a third of the population goes hungry because plutocracy wants it that way and because it puts business above the good of the working masses. They come from England, whose corrupt ruling class rules over a world empire in which millions of people starve despite adequate resources because the Lords and Money Jews speak of civilization in newspapers and churches, but otherwise serve only the god of money. They cannot allow a nation on an awakening continent to build a society based on new, more noble and moral principles. Thus the farmers’ sons from the USA and Canada and the miners’ sons from Wales die in front of German machine guns while the Jews on the London stock exchange foam at the mouth to get those rising stocks.

Meanwhile, as Mr. Roosevelt recently told the nation, he retired to his bedroom to write a prayer to read over the radio. What does one say? One has to ask oneself if one even belongs in a world in which such grotesque and awful things happen. They pray hypocritical, self-satisfied prayers for victory to a god of business whom they have created in their own image, and expect that he will help them enslave a part of the world that is attempting to live modestly from its own resources. This they cannot tolerate, out of greed and envy. Blood must flow in streams, English, American, and also German mothers and children must weep, the earth must open up to receive the innocent victims of this terrible tragedy. Where is their an escape from the confusion of feelings and facts, and where is the solution to this riddle within a riddle?

We are the only ones who have the answer. We saw it all coming. We know that it cannot be otherwise, that we must plow through this inferno until the light of day is suddenly visible at its end. It would be a fatal error for the German people to believe that this gigantic battle in the west of our continent was an easy and safe undertaking that could or would change the balance of the war through a quick miracle. We are facing two world powers. Neither has failed to make the preparations it hopes will overcome us and bring success. Our soldiers too are making great sacrifices. They are displaying bravery and heroism in these days and weeks that may not surpass all that has gone before in this war, but certainly equal it. We are at the gravest and most serious point of the war. Ignoring the threat to our nation’s life would be more than cynical. We need not be afraid, but neither may we be overconfident. The war is not over yet, nor is there any sign that it will be over today or tomorrow. We must grit our teeth and work through its thorns and thickets. That is the only way we will bring it to an end.

The critical arenas of this war are not found in any single direction. They will shift from here to there, without changing the fundamental nature of the war. We are fighting for our lives both to the east and to the west. Our soldiers above all must know that. They will not waver, nor lose their nerve even for a moment in the midst of this modern technical war. They have a duty to the homeland that has endured the terrible suffering of the air war for month after month. The homeland never thought of doing anything that would weaken our soldiers. The war reaches from the front to the homeland and back again, and no one who lives in peace today can be sure that he will not tomorrow face a hail of bombs and shells. Everyone is fighting for the whole cause. Solders must realize that the nation is watching as they do their duty. It is never easy to risk one’s life, but a nation that lacks enough men, and if necessary women and children, who are prepared to do that is near the end of its history.

Who can believe that of the German people? Our soldiers in the west are fighting as well as their fathers did in 1917 and 1918. They will not flinch or fail. In contrast to those days, they know that today they have a homeland that is worthy of their bravery. The homeland raises its suffering hand as a blessing for its sons who defend it with their bodies. The path to the Reich is over their dead bodies. The nation looks calmly to coming events. It knows that its fate and its life are in good hands.

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