German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: I have a peculiar fondness for Fritz Reinhardt. My first published scholarly essay included a mention of his efforts to build the Rednerschule red NSDAP that trained about 6,000 Nazi speakers through correspondence courses in the years before 1933. This 48-page pamphlet was issued shortly before the 14 September 1930 Reichstag elections. It provided material for speakers to use throughout Germany and is a good example of what the Nazis were saying at that crucial time. In that election, the NSDAP went from a tiny party to the second largest party in the Reichstag, with 107 seats.

The details are complicated, and if you are interested I'd recommend at the least reading the Wikipedia article on the Young Plan. It is more than I want to translate in full (and my strength is not economic terminology), but I provide a portion of it to give an indication of Nazi rhetoric during the period.

The source: Fritz Reinhardt, Die rote Pest (Herrsching am Ammersee: Verlag Fritz Reinhardt, August 1930).

The Red Plague

by Fritz Reinhardt

A. Confessions

1. The social policy of social democracy is ineffective

The Social Democratic Labor Minister Bissell said in the Reichstag on 5 February 1929 (Stenographic Record of Reichstag Sessions, p. 1036)

“As much as we are persuaded of the necessity of these measures to lessen the problem of unemployment, we also know that unemployment cannot be eliminated by social policy alone.”

The Social Democratic Labor Minister could give no clearer confession of the failed Social Democratic efforts. He confesses to the public that unemployment cannot be eliminated “by social policy alone.” He means, naturally, social policy in the Social Democratic sense, meaning efforts to improve the condition of industrial workers while ignoring the needs of the nation. He means social policy that does not have a national foundation, and confesses that such Socialist social policy is built on sand.

CoverSocialism is only a facade as long it is not in accord with the concept “national.” Just as “nationalism” is built on sand if it does not rest on absolute social justice, “socialism” is built on sand if it is not based on national thinking. There is no true nationalism without a social foundation, and no true socialism without a national foundation. Socialism and nationalism are not opposites that are mutually exclusive, but are rather one and the same. Nationalism and socialism are the spirit of the people’s community. That is what we National Socialists call the spirit of the people’s community. That is the thinking of one who wants absolute social justice in relations between people’s comrades, and to whom the nation stands above everything else.

The weal and woe of the individual professions and the weal and woe of the individual people’s comrade is never determined by the weal and woe of those professions beyond German borders, but rather only by the weal and woe of the people’s community within which the individual professions and the individual people’s comrade find themselves. The people’s community, the people as such— the nation — is the only source from which can come in natural ways the prosperity of the individual professions and of the individual people’s comrade. It is thus necessary that each people’s comrade who wishes things to go well for himself has the absolute duty to care for the whole of the people above all — the nation —; the nation is the only foundation from which the drive for improvements in the individual professions and the individual person can be realized. He who refuses to put the nation above all else denies himself. The people — the nation — that is what I am. I am a very small member of the whole of the people  — the nation — and it can never go well for me in the long term if as a small part of the whole I am a member of a badly governed, declining nation. That is what the Social Democratic Labor Minister Wissell let slip in the Reichstag on 5 February 1929 when he said in a careless moment what we have put in bold above. Wissell openly admitted that a party whose leaders on other occasions said that “they recognize no fatherland called Germany” and that the Social Democratic Party “recognizes no obligations to country and nation, but rather only to the proletariat class,” lacks what is necessary to eliminate the economic and social misery in which our people finds itself.

2. Comprehensive measures can only result if the policies of social democracy are rejected.

The Social Democratic Labor Minister Wissell also said in the Reichstag on 5 February1929 after the sentence in bold above (StB of the Reichstag Sessions, p. 1036):

“It (the misery) is the result of our entire political and economic situation, and comprehensive improvement can result only through a change in this situation.”

In this statement, the Social Democratic Labor Minister stressed what we National Socialists have been hammering into the heads of our people’s comrades every day for ten years. “It is the result of our entire political and economic situation, and comprehensive improvement can result only through a change in this situation.” Correct! The situation can only be changed by a fundamental change in the political and economic situation, which for the past twelve years Social Democracy has imposed on productive Germany.

The Social Democratic Labor Minister Wissell could not have expressed more clearly the nonsense of Social Democratic theory and praxis.

3. The present state is the result of decades of Social Democratic efforts.

If we point out the misery that social democratic policies have brought us, one or the other proponent of social democratic nonsense mutters:

“Well, if we lived in a Social Democratic state we would not suffer such misery because we proletarians know what to do, but we still live in a bourgeois state. We can expect an improvement on conditions only after more people’s comrades vote Social Democratic than in the past so that the influence of Social Democracy on our situation is greater.”

The answer to this excuse, signs of embarrassment and a conscious attempt to mislead, comes from one of the oldest leaders of Social Democracy. This is the Jew Eduard Bernstein! He recently celebrated his 80th birthday. His influence in Social Democracy reaches back to the middle of the last century. He is one of the founders of Social Democratic doctrine and knows what he is talking about. He knows better than younger people what the goals of Social Democracy are, which he has fought for for sixty years. This old Social Democratic leader wrote in an article in Vorwärts, #11, 7 March 1929, titled “We and the State.” There we read the following illuminating statement:

“To tell workers that the German republic is a bourgeois state is to lead them astray in a fateful way.”

“To tell workers that the German republic is a bourgeois state is to lead them astray in a fateful way.” What does that mean? That means that the realization of seventy years of striving for Social Democracy is not in the future, but rather that we have already had a decade to enjoy Social Democratic ideals, and that each Social Democrat who thinks that the Social Democratic state is in the future is lying.

We want to remember that sentence by old Social Democratic leader Bernstein and the confession of Labor Minister Wiesel, and want to be sure that we constantly remind the members of the Social Democratic Party of these statements. We want to encourage the misled masses of Social Democracy over and over again to think about these statements and ask themselves if they are actually on the path on which they think they are. We will prove again and again that “Social Democracy”means denying our people, and that he who favors Social Democracy is denying his people and himself.

4. Many foreign policy dreams that never came to pass, and some hopes that were never fulfilled.

In his Easter message in 1929 titled ‘Easter 1929” (published in the Münchner Beobachter #72, 30/31 March 1929), Social Democratic Reichstag President Paul Loebe said:

“From the standpoint of reasonable politicians, it must be said that many foreign policy dreams never came to pass, and some hopes were never fulfilled... Those are disappointments, and if reasonable politicians cannot bring things to the paths they think proper, the mood does not warm up — icy coldness in foreign policy.”

That is the mess into which the trumpets of 1924 faded. Then—1924—Vorwärts wrote of the dawn of the dollar sun in the west. Vorwärts wrote of a “great success of Social Democratic policy˘” that the Dawes Plan showed. The Social Democratic headquarters issued mass leaflets that praised their policy as straightforward, consistent, and far-sighted. Today, that straightforwardness, consistency, and farsightedness reflect disappointment and icy coldness. That is what Herr Loebe admits.

5. An invaluable confession by Paul Loebe. Hammer it into the brains of all Social Democrats!

The Social Democratic Reichstag President Paul Loebe said in his 1929 Easter message titled “Easter 1929,” published in Nr. 72 of the Münchner Post of 30/31 March 1929:

“A reasonable solution to the reparations question in Paris cold break the ice, a solution that reduced Germany’s annual tribute payments significantly and would give us more resources for alleviating our own poverty — for building homes for those living in crowded conditions, for increasing disability benefits, for the maintenance and improvement of support for the unemployed. The tribute demands close all doors. If they are not significantly reduced, the economic crisis cannot be eliminated, nor social welfare guaranteed and improved.”

A “reasonable” solution to the reparations question? 1929? Then the Dawes Plan which social democracy praised in Vorwärts of 30 August 1924 as an “enormous success of social democratic policies and as a “policy of directness, consistency, and far-sightedness” must have been an “unreasonable” solution!

During the first five years of the Dawes Plan, Germany paid 8 billion RM, or an average of 1.6 billion RM annually. Under the Young Plan the average was two billion annually, with an additional one-and-a-half billion for interest and commissions. Such interest payments and commissions are what we borrowed during the first five years of the Dawes Plan from foreign individuals and private companies to advance the successful Social Democratic Dawes policies. These figures demonstrate clearly that the “resources for alleviating our own poverty” about which Herr Loebe speaks, and the capacity for “building homes for those living in crowded conditions, for increasing disability benefits, for the maintenance and improvement of support for the unemployed, etc.,” has decreased and that, therefore, “solving the reparations question” has become still more “unreasonable.”

We would have had the resources if Germany had insisted on keeping the transfer protective clause (Transferschutzbestimmung) — which would have preserved resources. That, however, was rendered void by accepting the Young Plan under Social Democratic leadership. If in the current election campaign the Social Democrats speak of “social reactionaries” that they are battling, and of “preserving social achievements, etc.,” that is shameless swindle. For example: In the five Dawes years Germany has on average paid 1.6 billion in Dawes payments and 400 to 500 billion RM in interest and commissions, in total about 2 billion. Under the Young Plan Germany is paying an average of 2 billion, and already 1.5 to 2 billion for interest and commissions. That is around four billion. This increasing total leads to the bitter conclusion that the resources for reducing our own poverty are significantly less, and that they will become even smaller as the annual sums for interest and commissions rise, meaning support for the unemployed and for social assistance is not guaranteed.

Why have the resources decreased, why will they continue to decrease, and why is social welfare not guaranteed? Leading Social Democrat Paul Loebe admitted why in his Easter 1929 message: Because tribute demands close all doors. And who praised the Dawes Plan as a success of its policies? Social Democracy! Who is responsible for the housing shortage and all the other problems? Who is responsible for the fact that resources are insufficient to reduce the misery that cries out to heaven? Social Democracy! The “Social Democratic policy of directness, consistency, and far-sightedness,” which the central committee of the Social Democratic Party proclaimed to the population in a leaflet distributed by the millions in November 1924, prior to the 7 December 1924 Reichstag election (Vorwärtsdruckerei und Verlagsanstalt Paul Singer u. Co,. Berlin, Lindenstraße ).

We are in an election campaign. Social Democracy is directing its strongest efforts against the National Socialists. Every home in Germany has already received a two-page leaflet with the headline:


The Social Democratic Battle against the Swastika Plague.”

And what are its contents? Empty chatter and claptrap, old wives’ tales, crude lies and slander!” That is the way Social Democracy fights its battles. They have nothing intellectual or factual to bring against National Socialists. We need to confront this stupid desperate chatter and claptrap from Social Democracy with the bitter truth. We need to tear the masks from the faces of this party’s leaders and ensure that the party’s neck is broken, not least by those who have believed for decades that Social Democracy was based on truth and integrity, but who now see more from day to day that they have been lied to and betrayed.

6. Resources for social policy will be determined by the Young Plan. Admissions by Paul Loebe and W. Eggerts.

The Social Democratic Reichstag President Paul Loebe said in his 1929 Easter message titled “Easter 1929,” published in Nr. 72 of the Münchner Post of 30/31 March 1929:

“Only after we know the results from Paris will the party be able to decide what can be done with the available resources.”

Here Paul Loebe clearly admits that the welfare of the productive German people does not come before everything else, but rather that freedom of action is constrained by the lawgivers’s acceptance of the Young Plan, which Social Democracy called a “great advance,” a “happy solution,” etc. It is shameless fraud when Social Democracy today pretends that it can do nothing more for the masses standing behind them because the resistance of other groups in society is too strong. No less than Paul Loebe has said that the Young Plan has reduced resources available for social policy.

W. Eggert, member of the board of the Allgemeine Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund, spoke in the great hall of the union headquarters in Hamburg in August 1929. The report is available in the Social Democratic Hamburger Echo, #229 of 20 August 1929. The first paragraph of the report contains the following admission:

“It is understandable that the unions have a great interest in the Young Plan. Its economic impact will be decisive for many years, and the unions will have to adjust not only their entire pay and wage demands, but will also have to reckon with the Young Plan in all other areas.”

The union officially admits that the Young Plan is the reason for mass unemployment and low pay, and that social programs will collapse.

7. Otto Wels at the party conference in Magdeburg in May 1929.

Otto Wels, the first secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, gave a speech at the Social Democratic Party’s conference in Magdeburg in May 1929, as reported in Vorwärts, Nr. 242, of 27 May 1929. Among other things Wels said:

“We must accept the fact, which cannot be changed by any party decision, that a significant part of the work and production of the German people will not serve the common good of our own country, but rather must flow for decades to reparations creditors.”

We have this to say: We would not be dealing with those facts if Germany had not accepted the Young Plan, but instead had insisted on maintaining the transfer protective clause (Transferschutzbestimmung) contained in the Dawes Plan. The Young Plan, which Social Democracy greeted with such enthusiasm, is the cause that eliminated the way to escape that fact. If the resources for maintaining life in Germany are so low, it is primarily the fault of Social Democracy’s policy. The leading Social Democrat Loebe admitted that in his Easter 1929 message, as did the First Secretary of the Social Democratic Party at the Social Democratic Party conference in Magdeburg. If Social Democracy had not in word and print almost gone into raptures about the Young Plan, but rather had decided at the party conference in Magdeburg to oppose the Young Plan and preserved the transfer protective clause (Transferschutzbestimmung), then that part of “the work and production of the German people that will not serve the common good of our own country” would be significantly less, limited to the interest and commissions for foreign loans between 1924 and 1929.

The next pages deal with the impossibility of increasing wages under existing economic conditions, mass unemployment, election lies, the various false promises about the Young Plan, and so on. There are lots of details, supported by quotations from Social Democratic leaders. The final section:

52. Is a revision of the Young Plan possible?

Often after we have revealed the facts in brutal detail someone says:

“The Young Plan will be revised sooner or later; there is a clause that expressly deals with the case in which Germany is unable to pay.”

Our answer is: The first sentence of the Young Plan states:

“We here transmit to the governments concerned with the Geneva decision and the Reparations Commission our proposals for a complete and final resolution of the reparations problem.”

The official text of the Young Plan states that it is the final resolution.

Finally, we can let Vorwärts speak. In Number 43 of 26 January 1930 there is an article titled “The complete and final resolution of the reparations problem.” There we read:

“Germany does not have the right to determine its ability to pay and reject the demands of the new plan. Under the plan it is the task of a ‘special committee’ to examine the situation.”

The task of this ‘special committee’, according to section 121 of the young Plan, is to decide

“which measures should in its view be implemented under the present plan.”

By accepting this condition, Germany obligated itself to accept unconditionally whatever measures are demanded by the agents of the hyenas of world finance. A study of the words, conditions, and methods of the Young Plan shows that the “special committee” in the foreseeable future can demand:

  1. Lowering wages and salaries in Germany,
  2. Reducing social insurance.
  3. Reducing expenditures for cultural purposes,
  4. Shutting certain industrial enterprises,
  5. Emigration of unemployed to countries and regions determined by the Tribute Bank.

In accepting the Young Plan Germany has obligated itself to implement measures that the “special committee” of the Tribute Bank decides to further enable the implementation of the Young Plan. These measures will lead from the bitter necessity of the words, conditions, and methods of the Young Plan to the facts outlined in 1-5 above.

That working Germany will be forced into miserable conditions was admitted by Vorwärts in Nr. 277 of 16 June 1929 in an article titled “Functions and Advantage of the Reparations Bank:”

“Is there the danger that Germany under some circumstances might find all these powers (all the major financial powers of the world. Rdt.) arrayed against it? Yes, if Germany makes an attempt to escape fulfilling its obligations. That is a guarantee for the creditors involved in the the commercialization of reparations debts.”

The “attempt” to escape the obligations was termed by the Berliner Tageblatt in Nr, 32 of 19 January 1930 as “sheer insanity of an economic or finance-political nature.”

This organization established under the Young Plan was praised in the same article in Vorwärts as a “happy idea”; one must “accept” the “purely capitalist spirit” created by “powerful international capitalist organizations.” Thus Social Democracy explicitly agrees with the measures outlined in 1-5 above: lowering wages, reducing social insurance, reducing support for cultural purposes, closing certain factories, and exporting the unemployed.

A more brutal enslavement of working Germany cannot be imagined. Escaping this enslavement is possibly only by a complete change in Germany’s governmental system including our entire political and economic situation. It does not require a new war, but rather only the joining together of all Germans in a united and strong will to again give Germany some power. Only the National Socialist German Workers’ party is able to organize such a will to the benefit of our people.

It is the only party with the ability to change the fate of our people! He who favors such a change in the fate of our people has only one choice on 14 September 1930. That list has the number


[German parties were listed on the ballot in order of their votes in the previous election.]

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