German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: The Illustrierter Beobachter was the Nazi Party’s weekly illustrated newspaper. The issues here are a sample of those published between 1934 and 1943, including two special editions from 1939 and 1940 purporting to show that England and France were responsible for starting the war. As time goes on, I may translate more material. For now, I summarize the contents of each issue, and in three instances provide links to a page with some of the visual material. Another GPA page has more IB covers with Hitler.

The Illustrierter Beobachter: 1934-1943

Issue Date: 11 August 1934

Contents: The cover shows the just deceased Reich President Hindenburg. The first pages are photographs of him at various stages of life. That is followed by articles on a gliding competition, a tennis match, the city of Amberg, some fiction, and a back cover of Spaniards taking their siestas.


Issue Date: 4 July 1935

Contents: The cover shows the Emperor of Ethiopia test-firing a machine gun. The first interior story has photos of motorized military units. This is followed by a story of Hitler visiting those wounded at an industrial accident in Reinsdorf. In Munich, Hitler attends the ground breaking ceremony for a new art gallery, and also the opening of a new stretch of the Autobahn. This is followed by a photo essay of Goebbels speaking. Other stories show a Japanese ceremony for the war dead and sailors cleaning a cruiser.


Issue Date: 11 July 1935

Contents: The cover shows a new German two-man tank. The first interior story shows Hitler at various public appearances. The next story shows the new tanks shown on the cover in action. After more pictures of Hitler, a story discusses the life of Portuguese women. Most of the rest of the issue is fiction.


Issue Date: 18 July 1935

Contents: The cover shows an army officer with SS officer Sepp Dietrich at military maneuvers. The first interior article shows Hitler at those maneuvers. The next article shows S.A. men in action. There is also a fiction section.


Issue Date: 20 February 1936

Contents: The cover shows Hitler with the first German medal winners at the 1936 winter Olympic Games. Most of the rest of the issue consists of Olympic coverage.


Issue Date: 5 January 1939

Contents: The cover shows Heinrich Himmler on the 10th anniversary of his appointment as Reichführer SS. An interior article shows details of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Cover This is a special edition titled “England’s Guilt,” published shortly after the outbreak of the war. Samples of its content are available on a separate page. It also includes an article by Goebbels titled “England’s Guilt.”
Cover This was the special edition titled “France’s Guilt,” claiming that France was just as guilty as England for the war. It was published in 1940. Samples of the content are available on a separate page.

Issue Date: 21 January 1943

Contents: The battle of Stalingrad was nearly over, but the issue does not mention it. The cover shows mountain troops in action. An interior article titled “That is Heroism” describes how a soldier on the eastern front destroyed three Soviet tanks. Another article discusses women support staff in the East.

Last edited: 11 September 2023

[Page copyright © 1999 by Randall L. Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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