German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: The following essay was published in the Nazi monthly for propagandists. It shows in a satirical way some of the problems Nazi propaganda faced before 1933.

The source: Wille und Weg, 1 (1931), pp. 252-253

How I Treat a Local Group Leader

F. Eckthaser

When the Gau or county has obligated me to speak for a local group, it is not necessary for me to write the local group leader informing him when I will arrive. The local group leader is intelligent enough to find out somehow when and how I’ll get there. He’ll be cross with me if I tell him everything. He’d also be annoyed if I tell him what I like to speak about. I leave it to him to choose the topic. If he choose a topic I can’t handle, he certainly shouldn’t complain if I don’t stick to it. In order to avoid unnecessarily bothering the local group leader, I always try to arrive at the meeting hall a few minutes before it begins. The local group leader will certainly find me there and will be pleased that I am so punctual, even too punctual (since meetings always begin a half hour later than announced). Besides, if I came early the local group leader would have to be bothered to talk to me about what the audience thinks and what they want to hear. I like to save local group leaders the trouble. If I see that the meeting is poorly attended, I console the local group leader by telling him that my recent meetings have all been poorly attended and I have therefore waived my fee, but that today I can’t do that because I don’t have any money left.

In order not to overburden the few in the audience, I give a short but sharp speech. I tear everything apart and bitch and complain. How we plan to construct the Third Reich and how we will master the social and economic conditions, well, the local group leader will certainly have told his people that already. Besides, they’ll see how it is done when the Third Reich arrives. Above all it is necessary to tell a lot of jokes so that the listeners can laugh heartily. The local group leader will certainly laugh, too, and won’t feel so bad about the new deficit. In my conclusion I won’t say anything about contributing to the party or advertising the party press. And I won’t say anything about joining the S.A. or the party. The people know that already. Besides, the local group leader can do that. He’s always happy to be able to say something.

If I stay with the local group leader, I have a lot of time to help him reorganize his group. I have so much experience that I can use my visit to change the whole inner workings of the group to suit my tastes. Local group leaders in the provinces don’t understand very much, so they are pleased when I help out.

If I am staying at the local group leader’s home, I try to arrive after mealtime so that I don’t disturb the normal routine. The local group leader’s wife will surely be happy if I eat by myself.

When I leave, the local group leader will be delighted if I ask him to write his Gau newspaper to report on the success of the meetings I spoke at. In that way everybody will hear about his group.

That is the way I make myself popular with local group leaders.

[Translation copyright © 1997 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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