German Propaganda Archive Calvin College


Background: The Nazi Party depended heavily on speakers to get its message across. Those speakers needed to be informed. This newsletter for speakers from June 1942 has a number of interesting instructions. How to deal with the fact that Soviet prisoners and civilians were proving to be good workers in Germany? How should they be treated? What are the Jews up to? These instructions were translated into thousands of speeches given throughout the country.

The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 35, 15 June 1942. The original is held by the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dortmund.

Advice to Speakers

I. How to treat Soviet workers in the Reich

A variety of observations give occasion to discuss the use of captured and civilian Soviets in the German war economy. Two principles should be emphasized:

a) “Eastern” workers should be able to work productively in German war production and agriculture. They must be fed and their needs met.

b) All Soviet workers, be they prisoners of war or civilians, are at least unfamiliar with and often even against us because of the political and spiritual training they received under Bolshevism. There is to be no contact between our people’s comrades and Soviet workers.

Unfortunately, typical German hyper-objectivism often influences judgments of Soviet workers. Our people’s comrades regularly make the mistake of judging foreigners by their own standards of feeling, experience, and thinking. They believe that foreigners see with the same eyes and receive the same impressions as we do. They believe that the hearts and souls of people from other races have the same perceptions that they are used to. They call that objective judgment. In reality it is stupidity, spiritually short-circuited thinking.

They think that since they feel unhappy abroad, they must have particular pity and concern for each foreigner here.

They believe that since the Soviets have been enslaved and oppressed by Bolshevism for decades, they have a “missionary task.” Growing closeness and then affection and similar harmful nonsense flow from such feelings.

It is, therefore, necessary to stress that any close contact is a severe crime against our German people because it endangers our security, opens our front to betrayal, and poses a serious threat to our victory through enemy sabotage and espionage.

1. Rewards for good work.

We must act strongly and clearly against recent instances of “objectivity” and false sympathy. Given effective work, there have been occasional rewards for workers, including food, tobacco, cigarettes, clothing, etc. This is never permissible.

In dealing with the Soviets, one may never forget what they would do to us were they the victors in our country. There would be no pity or sympathy from them because of good work or “objectivity,” no desire to do anything good for our people’s comrades. Our lot would only be the bloodiest terror, sadistic cruelties, and pitiless murder.

This knowledge must guide our relations with Soviets here, whether they be prisoners or civilians. Any additional support by employers of fellow workers will have the opposite effect from that intended. They will impudently and shamelessly exploit such generosity to our harm. People from the East have different spiritual values than our people. They see pity as weakness and become lazy and treacherous. Their productivity is always the result of continued pressure. They have no inner desire of their own will. Therefore, any consideration toward them is stupid and encourages laziness, treachery, and evil, since they will feel superior.

2. Is praise for Soviet skilled workers justified?

Repeatedly one hears praise for the speed and good work of Soviet skilled workers. This is not appropriate, especially if one compares their work to that of our German workers.

The Soviet worker has been turned into a drudge by the Bolshevist system so that his pace is indeed significantly increased and he works accurately at the tasks assigned. However, this is purely mechanical labor that requires no independent thinking or effort. They are not up to that.

Such mechanization of labor has turned Soviet skilled workers into machines who lack their own drive to work. An intellectual mastery of their work is fully impossible for them.

A German skilled worker is the intellectual master of his labor. Even the smallest production problem is for him a deep spiritual challenge that leads thousands of our workers to improve and perfect the process. Soviet workers cannot do that.

Their training is such that they can do their assigned technical tasks well and quickly. To see them as miracle workers or models is entirely false. A Soviet worker can never come close to equalling the intellectually-based creative ability of the German worker.

The Soviet worker must be measured by this standard. Anything else, whether in relations with him or in appreciation for him is an insult to our own working people’s comrades.

3. Do the Soviets have better equipment?

Sometimes Soviet workers call the machines they use in industry and agriculture “aged” and say that they have long used more modern and effective machinery. Similar statements are often confirmed by those on leave from the Eastern Front.

Regarding this: Such statements are accurate in individual cases. For the purposes of foreign propaganda, the Soviets have in a very few places built top-notch facilities. However, this applies only to measures that serve war production.

Although the Bolshevist system ruthlessly tormented the population, letting them rot, it spared no expense in preparing for the planned world revolution. In this way it build respectable weapons, in large amounts and of good quality. There was nothing left for the people. They were only the means to an end on the way to achieving their goal.

Second, this modern factories were not the product of the Soviet economy, but rather came exclusively from abroad, primarily from Germany. They have no right to boast about foreign intellectual property.

Any thoughtless chatter about Soviet labor being “superior” or their labor methods “advanced,” or conclusions about the “modernity of the Soviet Union” is a clear insult and must, therefore, be sharply condemned by all speakers and pitilessly criticized.

II. Human raw material?

In this regard, all speakers are instructed to avoid the expression “human raw material,” which has been often heard recently. Phrases like “the most important raw material today is a person” are to be strictly avoided. For the National Socialist, a person is not raw material, since he may not be valued according to the democratic concept of a “resource.” We can leave that to the plutocrats who send their precious little sons and daughters to boarding schools like Eton, Harwich, etc., but see all other productive people as plebeians. Or to the Jews, who cynically and crudely incite the peoples to bloody war, then earn richly from the human misery they have caused, sucking their very blood. That is also reserved for Stalin’s Jewish paradise. There, a terroristic Jewish clique cares nothing about people, but rather reduces the lives of millions to decay, ruin, and misery.

For us National Socialists, the person is holy because of his inherent racial worth and nature. Our brave soldiers, our devoted workers, our caring mothers, and our loving wives are never part of a mass, but rather always the reason for our battle, our labor, and our entire lives.

III. Senseless rumors about future cuts in rations.

Certain circles reveal their “political insight” by stupid talk that contributes to discord among our people. Those subversive forces seem to want to make a profession of influencing the great courage and calmness of our popular morale through continual grousing and making things look bad. These people know very well that they are harming German domestic morale through such chatter and apparently think that that is extraordinarily valuable work. It is doubtless valuable in the eyes of the enemy. We, however, want to see to it that such creatures increasingly disappear from our community, or at least stop talking.

Their current favorite theme is “coming reductions in rations.” They talk about unavoidable shortages in supplies, of meatless summer months, and other such nonsense.

All of these rumors are obviously inspired by our enemy. The German supply situation gives no cause for such prophecies. As far as we can currently see, at least up to the coming fall and a new harvest, no further cuts will be needed. As a result, no responsible office has spoken about such things, so that evil intentions are the only source of these rumors.

All propagandists and speakers are instructed to combat energetically such statements and chatter and point out how contemptible such nonsense is.

IV. The Jews worry about their fate.

A Reuters dispatch of 8 June from New York shows how much this war serves Jewish interests:

“The exiled leaders of Jewish communities from areas currently under the influence of the Axis powers have founded an association for the affairs of European Jews.

This association is to work out plans to assure Jewish rights for reconstruction after the war. The association has 75 members. Each represents Jews who have emigrated from Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.

A conference of leading Jews concluded that each coming armistice and each future postwar treaty must contain provisions abolishing all anti-Semitic measures. Furthermore, all Jewish refugees must have the right to return home and must get their property back, or be compensated for it. And there must be legal guarantees against any form of discrimination against the Jews.

This announcement needs no additional commentary. The speaker should strongly criticise this Jewish conspiracy against a reasonable peace in Europe.

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