German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


How They Lie

Cover: H. Groth, Berlin

All Rights Reserved

Copyright ©1939 by Nibelungen-Verlag, GmbH., Berlin W9

Printed: Buch und Tiefdruck Gesellschaft GmbH., Berlin SW68

Must the politician lie?

Each one of us asks this question when we hear the lies and horror stories that Germany’s enemies spread throughout the world through the press or radio.

Obviously a politician cannot wear his heart on his sleeve when he is working for the success of his country. Only hypocrites and innocent dreamers would demand that he speak openly about his plans. Just as a businessman does not divulge his secrets to his rival, so also in politics, with even greater justification, much must remain a secret.

But there is an immense difference between discretion in business and the rude slander of rivals in one’s private life.

For example, what would you say if a colleague of yours, whom you regarded as a rival and who disliked you, were to spread the rumor that your household is in disorder, that you murder small children and rape defenseless women? Rest assured that in our country such a person would soon be behind bars.

But the international politicians and journalists who slander entire peoples in a shameless manner not only run around freely, they impudently put on airs as the saviors of human culture. No lie is too crude for them, no slander too vulgar — they understand their craft.

Even in World War I they knew how to incite hate with the help of atrocity propaganda. We all recall those daily lies of the “German barbarian” who, “like a wild beast rages over the earth and destroys everything in hate and the fury of annihilation, who tortures children and delights in the tears of mothers,” as a foreign paper once wrote.

In war, man stands against man. Each serves the fatherland in his own way, and no soldier will deny the knightly convictions of a noble opponent. Today, however, a cowardly gang of professional agitators daily invents new lies and pictures from the safety of their desks.


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[Preliminary translation by Katherine Lynch. Final page copyright ©2000 by Randall L. Bytwerk. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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