German Propaganda Archive Calvin College


Background: The Nazi Party depended heavily on speakers to get its message across. Those speakers needed to be informed. The following is a translation of instructions to speakers issued in February 1942. The situation on the Eastern Front is still grim, but little hint is given of its seriousness. The war situation, speakers are told, is looking very good. There are also instructions on avoiding excessive optimism and a preview of a coming propaganda campaign to encourage greater courtesy.

The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 25, 14 February 1942.

Guidelines on the Military Situation

1. The Current Situation

a) The war fronts.

The arrival of extraordinarily unfavorable fall weather and the following hard winter forced operations on the Eastern Front in other directions. This led to many false opinions and to exaggerated and even untrue rumors about the war situation. The situation has clarified, and any statements about dangerous conditions at the front are intentionally malicious and an unconscionable danger to our spiritual powers of resistance. They are to be energetically refuted. That also applies to claims of serious defeats, major enemy breakthroughs, and heavy losses made by those who think they know about extraordinary winter damage to the troops. When it is time to speak openly about this chapter without endangering our strategic interests the Führer will do so, as he has always done, in order to once again put an end to insolent lying enemy propaganda.

The previous winter battle in the East has clearly proven that our troops are unstoppable fighters not only in storm attacks, but also in stubborn defense. Even occasional local incursions that did not threaten the front, made by our Bolshevist enemy with enormously superior numbers, did not change that. One may remember what the Führer said in his speech on 30 January:

“We were forced on the defensive not by the Russians, but by temperatures of 38, 40, 42, and even 45 degrees below zero.”

He further said:

“I can tell you that the soldier at the front has not lost his feeling of being far superior to the Russians. To compare them in any way would be an insult.”

Where the overall strategic plan required an energetic defense against the enemy or the recapture of territory, our solders accomplished the task with admirable fighting strength and unshakable will to victory, despite the terrible winter conditions.

However, one thing must be made clear: Any consideration of the current situation requires a composite view of all the war theaters and of overall developments. Not the Eastern theatre, not North Africa, the Near East, East Asia, or the world’s oceans are decisive individually. Only a complete overview provides the proper perspective and the resulting opportunities. Each must recognize after such an overview that our enemies’ situation is extraordinarily bad, and our prospects of victory are unshaken.

Above all, one must focus not only on the situation at the moment, but rather consider the various phases of this war. Remember where we were in the winter of 1939-1940. Poland was defeated, but the question of overcoming the threat from the West was fully unresolved. Everyone was worried about the Maginot Line. France and England had not yet begun battle. They had world-wide reserves at their disposal. Each was nervous about what would happen at the decisive hour, for no one had any idea of the Führer’s strategy.

Then came the campaign in Norway, followed shortly by the still unbelievable, but historically factual, victory in the West. France was eliminated as an enemy and England driven from the Continent. All eyes then turned to new dangers, thinking of the intrigues of British policy in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and Africa. When these problems found their historical solution through the incomparable victories of our Wehrmacht in Serbia, Greece, Crete, and North Africa, the enormous new threat from the East grew. Today this danger, too, can be said to be practically resolved. Although the final battle has not been fought, it looks today as if Bolshevism and its masses of people and material are no longer a serious threat for Germany and Europe. Our Wehrmacht’s blows were too heavy and too destructive in the great battles of encirclement of Bialystock, Minsk, Smolensk, Gomel, Kiev, Wjasma, and Briansk.

After the much feared entrance of America [note that this use of “America” violates the linguistic guidelines in the immediately prior edition] into the war, Japan’s energetic blows left even the most anxious beer hall strategists with little respect for the American military. Japan has proven to be so strong an ally that all the news from the wide East-Asian theatre fills us all with proud satisfaction and joyful respect for our brave allies. England and America, on the other hand, are experiencing hopeless defeats and devastating losses that will handicap their strategic planning.

b) The domestic situation

Our domestic situation forces us to extraordinary exertions. The near future will require even more cutbacks by our German people while demanding at the same time increased productivity. It is, however, in no a situation that will influence the course of the war.

When the Jewish-plutocratic-Bolshevist conspiracy moved against Germany’s rise, our enemies believed firmly that as in the World War we would face growing domestic challenges from year to year that would finally result in our domestic collapse. Instead of that, the Führer’s brilliant military abilities planned for a necessary increase in economic capacity after several years of war. We currently face a bottleneck that is naturally unavoidable before this plan is effective, but it must be overcome if we want to use this time to enjoy the benefits of our previous victories.

The vast industrial and agricultural regions that we have secured in Europe, in part conquered by our Wehrmacht and in part the result of the Führer’s reordering policies, will be useful to us in the foreseeable future. For the present, we must get through the period until the military and economic organization of these regions is completed. If reductions temporarily come, each people’s comrade should know that these measures are of limited duration. Perhaps already in 1943, but with certainty later, they will entirely resolve the problem because the continuing development of the war will allow us to enjoy the fruits of all previous victories.

The situation is different for our enemies. England can already calculate when its last ton of shipping will be gone. The total of sinkings has already exceeded 15,000,000 tons. The British have no way to find new production facilities or new supplies anywhere in the world. The opposite is the case. Important raw materials in East Asia and the South Seas are irretrievably lost. America itself is in the greatest difficulty and will be increasingly less able to help, entirely aside from the fact that Roosevelt’s obvious long-term goal is to inherit as much as possible after the collapse of the British Empire.

Our situation, on the other hand, is determined by close cooperation with the European community of fate. The blockade, the basest weapon of Jewish plutocracy, is becoming less effective from month to month because the productive capacity of our strategic and economic territory is growing. We do have to wait for that to happen. Since it is certain, all the increased demands for labor we face and all new reductions that will be demanded of us in coming months will need to be accepted as a necessary contribution of the homeland to victory, and must be borne bravely.

Our soldiers at the front, and particularly our soldiers in the East, have a right to demand firm will from us. They have borne more in the past months than anyone in the homeland. They have stood watch in temperatures of 40, 42, 45 and more degrees below zero under icy conditions and in the deepest snow. Russian winter conditions often meant they were on short rations. There can, therefore, be no one in the homeland who does not accept strongly and willingly the tests of this time. After this time comes German victory. All worries and difficulties will be quickly forgotten. Today, our people’s comrades should remember that they would prefer to live a year or two under the greatest difficulties that to be murdered by Bolshevism in two years or so. That may sound crass, but it is always better to adjust to hard times and be surprised by more favorable developments than to take things too lightly and then collapse spiritually when disappointed.

2. No excessive optimism!

The entire people is persuaded that after winter ends the Eastern front will begin to move again and a decision will be reached that will complete the victories over Bolshevism of the past year. Expectations with regards to other fronts, particularly Africa, are also high.

There is a danger that such thinking will lead to excessive optimism, which is dangerous under the circumstances. It is urgent, therefore, not to encourage such optimism in coming meetings.

British propaganda has made a practice of setting strategic goals, offensive plans, and victory deadlines for us, which when not achieved put the English in a position to claim their own victories and successes. Churchill’s lying propaganda developed the term “Blitzkrieg,” which the British use to define German operations that last for a long time as failures. They use that to raise their prestige, which has suffered greatly from their continuing defeats.

Currently Churchill is using the same tactics with respect to the battles in Libya. He impudently maintains that Rommel is planning an attack on the Suez Canal. He hopes it will be possible for him to argue, in the event that our Afrika Korps counterattacks in a different way, that Britain was able to frustrate Rommel’s original plan.

It would be very inappropriate if our speakers were to display exuberant optimism and careless prophecies proclaiming similar goals. Just recently a speaker got a lot of applause when he announced that we would soon see Rommel’s allied army no longer stopped by the Nile. Such statements are politically unwise. They are made without any positive knowledge of our strategic plans and can only bring our speaker corps into discredit with the people. And besides that, there is a danger that British propaganda could one day even use such statements by overly optimistic speakers.

Our Führer gave us the best example of how to handle the prospects of the coming summer in his speech in Berlin on 30 January. He said:

“I do not know how this year will end. No one can say whether the war will end. But I know one thing: Wherever the enemy appears, we will attack him again this year, just as before. It will again be a year of great victories!”

These words affirm all our expectations. But nowhere are there dates, geographic locations, goals, or the like. That is also how each speaker must behave before the people. Our statements are supported by firm confidence in victory and constantly repeat the demand for the total efforts of all our people’s comrades for victory. Never, however, may we make bombastic predictions or overly optimistic pronouncements, and also we may never trivialize the enemy. The latter would only insult the great achievements of our soldiers.

3. The homeland should be worthy of the front.

The result of the January 1942 Gau street collection for the Winter Relief totaled 37,210,766.43 RM, the greatest amount so for. That is RM 15,150,388.58 higher than contributions in the previous year, an increase of 68.60%.

A total of 69,659,688 items were donated to the wool, fur, and winter clothing drive for our soldiers. Even with the most conservative estimate of the value of these items, they had a total value of nearly 500,000,000 RM, almost half a billion.

One need only consider these deeds of a strong homeland willing to make sacrifices in order to realize that our people’s mental attitude, spiritual strength, and openheartedness cannot be surpassed by any of our enemies’ peoples. The recognition of our Führer in his speech of 30 January brought proud satisfaction for each German:

“Behind this front stands today a German homeland that is worthy of it.”

And also:

“Others may speak of democracy: That is true democracy!”

The homeland proves through its behavior that the what the Führer said of the front is also true of it:

“Of one thing they (our enemies) may be certain: They face a different Germany today than the Germany of before; once again they face the Germany of Frederick the Great!”

The Führer’s words, however, are an high obligation for the homeland in coming days, when the increasing hardness of the war and the growing demands for production will put it to constant new tests. The ideal of a German life is not in the quiet contemplation of past achievements, but rather exclusively in the continuing readiness to tirelessly fulfill one’s duty. In the future, that must guide the work and achievements of the homeland.

There are people who are annoyed that it is always being said that the homeland’s achievements can never equal the sacrifices and privations, the hardships and exertions that the front endures for our security. However, that statement is entirely correct. How can a 10-, 11- or 12-hour workday in a factory, an office, or anywhere else be compared with the constant readiness for battle, for example, of our soldiers on the Eastern Front? There, unlike in factories, workplaces, offices, laboratories, and design studios there is no heating. They live at temperatures we have never experienced, or if so only a few of us have, and for short periods. They have to stand watch in such weather for hours, sleep ready for battle, fight, storm, march, or travel in trucks or sleds to bring supplies, always having to risk their lives. Often enough because of weather conditions, they do not receive timely or sufficient munitions or food. A warm meal is something special. Then there are the spiritual strains, long separations from those far away at home, primitive housing in areas devastated by the war, the uncivilized world of Bolshevism. The homeland knows none of that.

Of course each death is a terrible blow of fate for those back in the homeland. The loss of a dear family member is a sacrifice in the truest sense of the word, as are the losses of life and property in the areas endangered by the air war. No one in our people will think these sacrifices less than those at the front.

However, when speaking of the work demanded of us that serves the great needs of our battle of fate, no one should compare himself with our soldiers. It is no doubt possible to achieve some production increases in the homeland if we compare our daily work with the hard military life of absolute devotion and iron fulfillment of duty.

The front demands that of all of us, and does so with complete justice given its unique accomplishments and privations.

4} More Courtesy

Besides propaganda to prepare for harder living conditions with regards to supplies and labor, coming weeks will also promote more courtesy and consideration. No more needs to be said about how necessary that is. Behavior in public transportation, trains, streetcars, offices, shops, restaurants, even at home, often displays such frictions that it is urgently necessary to remind everyone that today we all share the same problems, the same shortages, the same increased demands.

Just as the call for working more applies to everyone, so does the call for greater consideration for each other. Remind people that work is easier when one is not bitter, but rather displays a cheerful spirit. A good mood at work gives productive strength and joy. That results primarily from an awareness of firm camaraderie.

This camaraderie is the basis for the irresistible unity of our soldiers at the front. Each knows that he must do his duty in battle. But each knows that his comrades around him live according to the same law, and this thousand-fold independent fulfillment of duty leads to the tremendous success of the front both in attack and defense. When they are not in battle, there is no selfishness and no crankiness. If such things surface, the community finds educational methods so that unity is quickly restored.

The same must happen in the homeland. That will never be possible to the extent it is with men who live and fight under fully similar conditions. However, an awareness of the common battle of fate that all must survive and the knowledge that all have the same worries and the same duties should build bridges leading to a camaraderie that will eliminate thoughtlessness over against others, all frictions in getting along with each other, and, even more, all spiteful dealings. That, too, will help lead to victory.


[Page copyright © 2016 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

Go to the 1933-1945 Page.

Go to the German Propaganda Home Page.