German Propaganda Archive Calvin University

line Background: The Parole der Woche was a weekly Nazi poster, a sort of wall newspaper, dealing with significant propaganda themes. It began in 1936 and continued until at least 1943.

The source: “Die ‘Parole der Woche’,” Unser Wille und Weg, January 1940, pp. 6-8.

The Parole der Woche

During the 1936 Reichstag campaign, the Reichspropagandaleitung presented the public with the Parole der Woche for the first time. The new propaganda method was designed to present particular aspects of the election campaign to the public in a new way. Alongside the pictures and texts in leaflets, pamphlets, brochures, etc., the new wall newspaper was intended to present both pictures and words in carefully chosen ways to get across what needed to be handled.

However, the Parole der Woche was not intended only for occasions such as the election, but as the name suggests it was also intended to treat particular themes after the March 1936 campaign in suitable ways. Besides treating major events that marked a particular week, the Parole der Woche was also intended to keep certain matters constantly before the eyes of its readers.

The distribution that the new wall newspaper has had in past years and its evaluation by propaganda offices shows that the Parole der Woche has today become an essential propaganda method for the movement.

It was created at a time of particular political tension and particular events and was directed toward them. Today, too, it has particular importance. However, it must be said that the importance of the Parole der Woche for propaganda is not everywhere recognized. True, as already mentioned, it had broad distribution, but all opportunities have not been exhausted.

There may be no place in the Reich were at appropriate intervals the party does not hold a meeting at which the speaker treats the political events and happenings of the day, as well as the needs of the moment, nor may there be a place where German radio news does not reach, nor our press. In the same way, there may be no place in the Reich not reached by the Parole der Woche. In other words: there may be no village in the Greater German Reich not reached by the Parole der Woche. The frequent response that there is no money is not acceptable. First, the cost is not high, and second a capable propagandist can find ways to save in other areas, if necessary. The text, pictures, and layout of the Parole der Woche are not absolutely relevant only to a particular week. It does not lose its effect after the week in which it was issued. Areas that cannot afford the newspaper can use older issues. Where a subscription is possible, it should be done, since there are various ways to use older issues. When a subscription is not possible, older issues should be exchanged and posted rather than giving up entirely on this method of propaganda.

Poster Examples

Although numerous local groups do subscribe to the Parole der Woche, some do not properly use the wall newspaper. For example, it is possible, and not only in larger areas, to post several issues. The suggestion in the previous paragraph is relevant here. The newest issue can be posted in one place. After a week it can be posted in a different place, replaced by the new issue. The Parole der Woche can move from one place to another several times. The means it has to be carefully handled, appropriately displayed, and protected as much as possible from the weather. Railway stations and post offices are particularly suitable. Propagandists should know that the Deutsche Reichsbahn and the Reich Post Office have ordered railway stations and post offices to allow the Parole der Woche to be posted. If this has not yet happened, it is the duty of the local propaganda offices to arrange with the railway station or post office to permit this. Both locations are particularly suitable since they are widely frequented by the public.

If this is true for mid-sized and smaller areas, it is particularly true for larger areas and big cities. Here, too, the Parole der Woche is used too little. Mostly, the issue is posted for a week, then thrown away and replaced by the new issue. Since the Parole der Woche should be seen by all people’s comrades. such a procedure is incorrect. Here, too, it should be used as much as possible. “Outdated” issues should be used as long as their condition permits. Every city has empty shops with show windows in which, with permission of the owner, new issues can be displayed each week. Particularly today, they should be at the entrance or in the common rooms of large factories, or anywhere that a large circle of people’s comrades will be able to see them, e.g., restaurants, theatre lobbies, movie theaters, etc.

Poster Example

Obviously, wall newspapers should not be used if their content is no longer relevant. And since a wall newspaper is a kind of visiting card for those offices where they are displayed, torn and battered issues should either be repaired, if that is possible, or otherwise be destroyed rather than leave them hanging in poor condition.

The important thing, as already noted, is that they should be used to the full extent possible.

In recent weeks the Zentralverlag der NSDAP has begun issuing a greatly reduced version, a leaflet form of the Parole der Woche. These, too, can be used in many ways.

Propagandists must be sure to use the wall newspaper. It is clear that where the newspaper is visible and well-placed, it does not lack impact. Often one can see groups of people carefully reading it, which is why it was created. Its brief text is powerful and memorable. The pictures intensify that effect.

Propagandists, be sure that the Parole der Woche can be found every place in your district where people gather. Do not discard old issues, but rather use them for as long as possible. Look for places to display it! It will support your work and provide excellent education for people’s comrades. Promote the wall newspaper with your comrades so that an ever increasing circulation will find new and better ways to display it.

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