German Propaganda Archive Calvin University

Background: By late 1944, the German economy was struggling to maintain the war effort. Many newspapers and magazines had been eliminated to save staff and resources, and the ones left appeared in briefer editions. This is a translation of most of the first two pages of the issue for 5 October 1944. The war was not going well, but the paper does its best to put a favorable spin on events.

The source: Berliner Morgenpost, 5 October 1944.

Berliner Morgenpost

Combined for the duration of the war with the Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger
Thursday, 5 October 1944

Mass Meeting of Fanatic German Will to Resistance

Dr. Goebbels: “The enemy’s destructive desires make us even harder and more determined to fight

The Reich Minister speaks to workers in a city in Western Germany near the front

Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels has made a visit to parts of Western Germany threatened by the enemy, during which he met with the relevant Gauleiter to discuss the total war effort and pressing problems of civil defense in the western regions. Afterwards, Dr. Goebbels visited the headquarters of Field Marshall Model, the commander of an army group in the west. The minister received a thorough report of conditions on the front in the west. In late afternoon, Dr. Goebbels spoke to thousands of German workers at a factory in a city near the front, some of whom had only just returned to their machines and work benches after helping to construct defenses along the Reich’s western border.

The mass meeting was characterized by a fanatic spirit of resistance, and the determined will of the men and women of the border district to defend their endangered homeland and to forge weapons for the brave fighting divisions, despite the enemy’s threats and bombing terror. Their goal is to eliminate the threat and finally break the enemy’s attack on the border of the Reich.

This mass meeting near the front was a demonstration of the unbroken German will to never listen to the enemy’s slogans, and to defend the homeland bravely, fearlessly, and loyally.

Each building a fortress

Dr. Goebbels, to the stormy applause of the meeting, stated that every building will be a fortress, should the enemy, who so far has succeeded in occupying only tiny pieces of German territory, occasionally succeed here or there in entering the fatherland’s territory. A wall of bodies, both young and old, would rise up to stop the enemy. Now that he has reached the borders of the Reich, the enemy is coming to the very painful realization that it is one thing to conquer Paris or Bucharest, quite another thing to conquer Königsberg or Cologne. In the past, our soldiers fought on foreign or on enemy soil. Now, everyone from the marshall to the anonymous soldier knows that retreat means giving up German territory.

In such a case, Dr. Goebbels proclaimed, the enemy will have to realize that a fanatic population is in front of and behind him, which will require powerful forces to control, and which will give him no opportunity to exploit whatever successes he may have.

To the applause of the masses, the minister stated that the brave fighting divisions, which are constantly being strengthened, and which are receiving ever better weapons from the homeland, know how to resist the danger threatening from the west. One may not forget, Dr. Goebbels said, that the enemy now faces incomparably more difficult conditions than was the case several weeks ago in the western invasion areas.

Dr. Goebbels praised the heroic battles of the German Atlantic fortresses, whose brave resistance won time for the German leadership to organize new units and fresh reserves, and to build up and strengthen Germany’s western defenses.

Factors that conserve our strength

We enjoy the enormous advantage of short communication lines, which allow us to respond to gaps in the line relatively quickly, and to rapidly transfer operative reserves to threatened positions. We are also freed of the constant need to deal with the terrorists and partisans we faced in the enemy’s territory.

As yet another advantage, Dr. Goebbels noted the fact that we are no longer forced to maintain large and expensive forces behind our lines.

The enemy’s hopes destroyed

In his further remarks. the minister observed that the goals and methods of our enemies were aimed at organizing a general assault of enormous strength on our borders, in order to win a rapid, and above all inexpensive, victory.

For a variety of reasons, the enemy today is in a great hurry. Roosevelt, who is up for re-election, would be happy to see a victory in Europe, and Churchill, too, has no time to lose. He knows that, given a total lack of real war aims, the English people is tired of the war, whereas such war-weariness is nowhere to be found among the German people, which sees its national existence and the further survival of the Reich as being at stake.

The Anglo-Americans have begun to see that there is no hope of overcoming German resistance, and that they face a hard, long, and extraordinarily costly war of attrition. German resistance will toughen, and the Volksgrenadier divisions now forming will soon make a major contribution to building a strong German defense in the west.

The minister stated that certain unpleasant events during the critical days of the German withdrawal from France could not be denied. It was also true, however, that it was primarily those behind the lines who were not entirely up to the situation. Dr. Goebbels stated that, based on his own observations, morale was not only absolutely intact, but that our troops display a truly passionate spirit of combat.

The defensive positions have proven themselves

Dr. Goebbels highly praised the masterful improvised efforts of those along our western borders. 185,000 Hitler Youth and tens of thousands of workers built defensive positions that have already proven themselves. Their efforts, often at the risk of their lives, have contributed to the resulting stabilization of the front.

Dr. Goebbels stated that he was speaking on behalf of the Führer when he expressed the thanks of the entire German people to all the hundreds of thousands who, both in the east and the west, courageously labored on these defenses. The minister, along with the crowd in the factory hall, remembered those who had died in fulfillment of their duty to the fatherland.

The total war effort continues

Dr. Goebbels observed that the first positive results of our total war measures were becoming evident. The German people can see the significance and benefits of the duties, restrictions, and sacrifices that he has demanded in recent weeks. The success of our recovery efforts are purely a problem of organization, just as our coming victory is only a matter of endurance and winning time until new weapons and numerous new divisions are ready for offensive purposes and uses.

Improving our fighters

This is particularly true, the minister continued, with regard to our air defenses. When the enemy loses the ability to use his fighter and bomber units because of bad weather, one can no longer speak of Anglo-American superiority on the ground. Therefore, our leadership is putting particular emphasis on strengthening our fighter forces. There is good reason to expect that, in the not too distant future, we will catch up to the enemy’s air superiority.

The minister then spoke of the serious mistakes and illusions the enemy has fallen into underestimating not only our military strength, but also our morale. Roosevelt believed that the Reich would collapse as soon as the Anglo-Americans crossed the German border. But in fact, Roosevelt’s hopes were in vain. Our fanaticism has grown and our defenses are stronger. Today, there is a strong defensive line from Holland to the Swiss border.

We are, Dr. Goebbels said, hardly over the worst, and we must expect the heaviest burdens. However, no one speaks any longer of a “pleasant stroll through Germany” or of “a little shooting” before the war ends. The success at Arnhem shows, as an English newspaper said, that German troops fight as well as they ever did.

The plans for destruction will fail

The Anglo-American have made a fundamental mistake in thinking they could win any sympathy at all from our people.

It makes no difference at all if the Americans destroy our tools, machines, and factories, or the Bolshevists transport these things along with our workers to Siberia. We could expect mercy from neither of our opponents,were we to fall into their hands.

In this connection, Dr. Goebbels spoke of plans of hatred and revenge, which are of truly Old Testament proportions. The USA Jew Morgenthau has worked out plans that literally propose to turn the industrial land of Germany into a potato field. The audience responded with vehement shouts as Dr. Goebbels passionately dealt with our enemies.

The high point of the speech was a reckoning with General Eisenhower, the supreme Allied commander. He believed that he could make big promises to the German people and German workers what would weaken their resistance, this after his armies were unable to break into the Reich, exploit the land, and enslave its inhabitants. With passion, Dr. Goebbels rejected the shameless arrogance of this renegade, who in one of his proclamations called on all Germans to follow immediately, and without question, all orders of the so-called military administration.

80 million say no

Stormy applause followed the minister’s statement that the German people do not obey any old American general, rather Adolf Hitler alone. The enemy may have the foolish hope that that it can reduce our resistance and our unbreakable fighting spirit by calls for capitulation, but 80 million people, both from the threatened west and the entire German people, will demonstrate their firm attitude by shouting “No” and “Never.” This spirit fills every decent German to the east and west, the north and south.

“The destructive will of our enemy only makes us stronger and more determined to fight,” Dr. Goebbels said, to the stormy applause of the audience. His fanatic affirmation was supported a thousand-fold by the audience: “We will work until our hands are bloody, we will fight to the last breath, before we lay down our weapons to trust the enemy even for a moment, for that would mean that all the sacrifices and labors we had made over the years in fighting for our freedom and for the future of our people would have been in vain.”

Dr. Goebbels concluded with remarks as “spokesman for the people, but also as a representative of my homeland along the Rhine.” To the enthusiastic applause from the audience, he said that “he felt more obligated than ever before to pledge to the nation, and to proclaim to the world, that we will defend this area like a fortress, with all that we are and all that we have. We will bear anything except the yoke of our enemies, and we will do anything except prove untrue to our worldview, and thereby to ourselves. Although heavy burdens and steep paths may be before us, we know that, in the end, the Führer will also overcome these dangers. Victory will be ours if we rise to the demand of the day: fight, work, and stand firm!”

The Enemy Fears Stagnation along the Fronts

Efforts to keep the front moving — Successful defensive efforts on the western front

The current British and American attacks on the western front are aimed at getting the front moving again. This is also the reason for the air attacks on western Germany. Our troops, however, have proven strong enough to resist the recent strong attacks. The enemy’s offensive strength is wasted in fruitless attacks. Along the northern sections of the western front, with its fortifications, or along the natural defensives of the southern sections in the Vogenes, our troops have reduced major enemy offensives to limited local attacks. The enemy’s troop movements show that he is hoping for decisive action in the Netherlands, in the area around Aachen and Metz, and in the western Vogenes.

The two northern attacks are efforts to re-open the door to the Dutch plains that was closed at Arnhem. The attacks on Metz and Salzburgen are aimed at the Saar, and in the south the enemy hopes to reach the Vogenes ridges before winter hinders his efforts to reach the upper Rhine River.

Whether or not the enemy keeps up his pressure depends on his evaluation of his ability to ovecome his continuing supply difficulties. Our troops succeeded in destroying the Atlantic harbors, which the enemy captured only after a bloody struggle, and in destroying the French road system. Despite enormous repair efforts, those facilities are still not sufficient to supply the enemy’s needs.

The enemy command, therefore, constantly tells the Anglo-American public not to expect rapid success. The eastern front will be able to move only when the enemy breaks through the western defenses, or goes around their flank.

However, the first 24 hours of the new attack near Aachen proved that the North American forces were too weak to secure the hoped-for success. After the first attack, the offensive collapsed into isolated assaults at company strength. Everywhere, the attacking North American infantry encountered heavy fire. Individual tanks that broke through were destroyed by our soldiers with anti-tank guns and bazookas, or by our anti-tank units with artillery.

After the first attack failed, the enemy threw in further troops on 3 October, which lengthened the front. The enemy made numerous salients between the Maastricht hills and the west side of Aachen, but was only able to hold its position along the Aachen–Geilenkirchen railroad, which despite substantial efforts the enemy was unable to enlarge.

The fight for minimal advantage, which is supposed to advance the enemy’s attack on the lower Rhine River area, was recently characterized by Montgomery, with genuine British brutality, as a “meat grinding phase.” In this, he openly admitted the heavy losses that have already been suffered, as well as those yet to come.

His phrase will apply even more to the hard fighting between Metz and Doubs. The areas around Salzungen, the west side of the Parron Forest, the forested hills on both sides of the Mortange and Bologne rivers, and the hills east of Ornon are drenched with the blood of fallen North American soldiers. The progress of the enemy, however, is hardly worth mentioning.

To the south as well as to the north of the western front, regardless of whether the enemy makes a major attack or local assaults, he meets our fighting soldiers who are filled with unshakable self-confidence.

Farewell to Gauleiter Bürckel

Party ceremony with a eulogy by Reichsleiter Rosenberg

Saarbrücken, 4 October

On Tuesday evening, all of Germany took leave of Josef Bürckel through a moving and elevating memorial ceremony of the party. Reichsleiter Rosenberg represented the Führer. Reichsleiter Dr. Ley, Fiehler, Baldur von Schirach, the now most-senior Gauleiter Murr and Gauleiter Sprenger, Sauckel, Wahl, and Dr. Scheel were also present, along with along with neighboring Gauleiter Florian and Simon. Along with representatives from the leadership corps of the party, state, and Wehrmacht, Stabschef Schepmann of the S.A. was present.

The Gauleiter’s coffin rested on the flower-strewn platform, surrounded by black pillars and the flags of the Gau. The honor guard consisted of leaders of the party and the Wehrmacht. While Beethoven’s Coriolanus Overture was played, the Führer’s massive wreath of red roses and white chrysanthemums was carried in by two S.S. men. The family entered, greeted silently by the gathering. The Gauleiter’s wife was accompanied by Reichsleiter Rosenberg.

After the last chord had sounded, Reichsleiter Rosenberg, as the Führer’s representative, delivered a memorial address.

The Reichsleiter reviewed Gauleiter Bürkel’s life and said:

Josef Bürckel was a devoted nationalist and a passionate socialist. In all of his life, he symbolized the unity that, from the standpoint of our worldview, reflects outwardly that great inner experience, that great idea, for which we fought.

Reichsleiter Rosenberg concluded: “The Führer has authorized me, party comrade Bürckel, to express to you his thanks for your complete loyalty to him and to the movement. More than ever before, the Führer remembers the loyal support of one of his oldest fellow fighters, who never grew weary during the years of struggle, who always followed the Führer and his banner. In particular recognition of this exemplary National Socialist life, and as a continuing reminder for coming generations, the Führer awards you, Joseph Bürckel, the highest level of the German Order with Swords. This will be a symbol of your beloved Gau, and of your loyalty to the whole National Socialist movement.

We now take leave of you. the flags of the Greater German Reich will flutter over your grave, and the soldiers of the German people will pass by you as they march west, where they will protect German territory and realize what you gave your whole life for, along with the great loyalty of your heart.”

After these parting words to the deceased Gauleiter, Reichsleiter Rosenberg presented, at the Führer’s instruction, the German Order with Swords. Alfred Rosenberg then placed the Führer’s wreath on the Gauleiter’s coffin.

The party ceremony ended with the moving second movement of Beethoven’s Eroica. On Wednesday morning, the mortal remains of Gauleiter Bürckel were laid to rest in his native soil of the Neustadt cemetery.

Strong pressure near Antwerp continues

From the Führer’s Headquarters, 4 October. The Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht reports:

Strong pressure from the First Canadian Army near Antwerp and along the Belgian-Dutch border continues north of Turnhout. Heavy battles are in progress.

North of Ninwegen and along the Maas, the English and North Americans are staging strong, and for them costly, attacks, but have been unable to break through due to tough resistance and strong counter-attacks by our soldiers and armored forces.

Only along the German-Dutch border south of Geilenkirchen were newly-arrived American divisions able to make limited local incursions into our position, after some give and take.

Over Holland and the Vogenes, German fighter planes made several attacks, and assisted ground troops by attacking low-flying enemy fighters

In the Parron Forest and the hills east of Spnal and Rémiremont, masses of American units continued attacks under heavy fire, but were only able to take individual villages and sections of forest.

At Dunkirk, there is a cease fire to allow the evacuation of the civilian population. There were isolated artillery attacks and local battles at our fortresses along the Atlantic coast.

Our infantry divisions in the Italian mountains resisted heavy attacks by American forces along a broad front.

In hard battles for individual hills, in part from new positions, they defeated all attempts by the enemy to break through. Along the Adriatic coast, attacking British companies were repulsed.

We are undertaking countermeasures against advancing Soviet forces along the Soviet-Rumanian border north of the Iron Gate, in the area north and northwest of Belgrade.

There is heavy fighting south of the major curve of the Danube. German and Hungarian troops carried out successful attacks west of Krad.

To the southwest of Großwardein, our tank forces repulsed Soviet infantry and tank units, destroying 24 tanks. Strong enemy attacks to the west of Thoreau and along the Maros were repulsed by our troops after insignificant gains.

In Ostbeskiden, heave attacks continue, above all on roads leading through the passes, particularly south of Dukla.

After repulsing Soviet attacks, and transferring all weapons and war material with the help of the navy, our forces evacuated their positions in the southern part of the island of Dägo.

In Finland, our troops, retreating to the north, reached their planned positions.

German naval vessels in the waters off northern Norway damaged three Soviet PT boats, one so seriously that it is presumed sunk.

North American bombers made a terror attack on Nuremberg, with overcast skies. Dwelling areas and cultural landmarks were damaged. Enemy terror bombers also attacked Cologne and the Rhineland.

During the past night, British bombers dropped bombs on Kassel and Aschaffenburg. Several dwellings in places in the south and southwest were damaged by random bombs or machine gun fire from enemy aircraft.

Anti-aircraft forces shot down 31 enemy planes, including 13 four-engine bombers.

“After all hope of outside help had vanished”

Warsaw uprising criticized

After the rebels in Warsaw had capitulated, exile premier Wikolajczyk issued a statement, which was distributed by Reuters. He said that, after 63 days, military operations had ceased after all resources had been exhausted and the occupying troops and civilian population were starving. For weeks, they had been without water, medical supplies, and necessities for thousands of wounded. He stated that attempts to break through failed after the Mokotow and Zolborz districts had fallen, and “after all hope of outside help had vanished.”

This statement demonstrates the tragedy of the betrayed and deserted Polish resistance fighters in Warsaw. “After all hope of outside help had vanished,” people realized that they had been encouraged by Moscow and London, neither of which provided any of the help they had promised.

The battle was, therefore, completely hopeless. The instigators restricted themselves to insulting the participants in the uprising, or on calling on them to hold out. Given their hopeless situation, the participants in the uprising could only view that as an insult.

Consistent with Moscow’s traditions, the insults continued after capitulation. It takes, however, enormous cynicism on Moscow’s part to demand that the participants in the uprising should have continued to fight, even though Moscow did not to anything at all to assist them. Instead, the Kremlin accused the Poles of lack of discipline and betrayal.

Moscow’s attitude is hardly surprising, since it is part of its policy of destroying anything not subservient to Soviet orders. Still, throughout the history of the way England and the Soviet Union treated their allies, this sentence regularly recurs: “After all hope of outside help had vanished.” Woe to the people that does not heard this terrible warning!

According to the plan of Teheran

Belgrade, 4 October

The Turkish newspaper Tasvira Ektiar writes:

The fact tat the Soviets completely control Rumania and Bulgaria, that they have postponed an armistice with Bulgaria, the fact that the Soviet flag flies over many areas of the Balkans, and finally, the fact that the Bulgarian prime minister stubbornly insists that Bulgaria will not give up its claims in Thrace and the Mediterranean, all these facts prove that events are following the agreement reached in Teheran.

One could make no greater political mistake than to conclude that the Allies will have a falling out about Finland, the Baltic states, Poland, Bulgaria, etc. One must rather assume that events are developing as planned at Teheran, and that there are no disagreements between the Allies.

Brief Items

Since March of this year, the Luftwaffe’s flak units have shot down 5,000 enemy airplanes. They have destroyed a total of 20,000 enemy planes since the war began.

“Building Film Sets.” The Academy of Visual Arts in Vienna has appointed set designer Gustav Abel to teach “film set building” (under the leadership of Prof. Birchan). This is the first time that the area has been taught at the university level.

150th anniversary of Rud. Ibach Sohn. In 1794, I. Adolf Ibach build his first piano in Beyenburg. The factory he founded was the beginning of the oldest German piano factory, now in existence for 150 years: Rud. Ibach Sohn. Over five generations, the firm, which soon moved to Wuppertal, passed from father to son. More than one hundred thousand pianos and grand pianos have found their way into the world since then. The firm has been headed by Adolf Ibach since 1940.

Director Gerdes victim of a terror attack. The director of the Bremen Theater, Curt Gerdes, fell victim to a terror attack. For many years, the deceased was director of the Bremen Theater, and was in charge of theater in Bremen. The German theater has lost in him a capable and valued theatrical leader.

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