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 June 1942, a year into the Russian campaign. It is an interesting review of the war situation, telling speakers to focus on current successes. They should not look back on the difficult winter, nor arouse concerns about the second winter campaign that would come.

The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Lieferung 37, 15 June 1942.

Current Events, Casualties in the East


I. The current situation.

  1. The Empire is dying, but Churchill remains.
  2. The British “defensive offensive” on a “fluid front.”
  3. A reminder: Speakers are not prophets.

II. Casualties after a year of battle in the East.

III. The winter battles in the East should no longer be part of our speeches.

I. The Current Situation

a) The Empire is dying, but Churchill remains.

In the last issue of the Redner-Schnellinformation (Nr. 36), the section titled “Churchill’s Crisis” instructed speakers not to use a possible personnel change in the British cabinet as an occasion to arouse hopes. Since then debates in the British parliament went as we expected: Churchill stays. The British reasoning for keeping Churchill is along the lines England broadcast to America: “Victories need no explanation, and defeats cannot be wiped away by them.”

Our commentaries will emphasize this line: “The Empire is lost, but the English get to keep their Churchill.” That is fine with us, since Churchill is a pleasant enemy for us. He is the best guarantee of future British defeats.

The ways England uses to console itself about its continuing defeats is shown in another radio broadcast to America, which said: “Perhaps only defeats can give us the spirit that leads to victory.” Our reply is that over the long run nothing succeeds like success. Wars have never yet been won by defeats, but always by victories.

b) The British “defensive offensive” on a “fluid front.”

We’ve had enough of the crazy twists that the British use to conceal their defeats by transforming them into “encouraging” events, which Church calls “victorious retreats.” Their latest “discovery,” however, takes the cake. The British call their retreat from Libya, past Sollum, Marsa-Matruk, El Daba and El Alamein, “a fluid battle and a defensive offensive.” Churchill has to understand the mentality of his people to know what complete nonsense he can offer the English. It is doubtful that he can deceive the world with such nonsense. We and our allies, however, are thankful for the contribution British statesmanship makes to our general good cheer in hard times.

c) A reminder: Speakers are not prophets.

The OKW, radio, and press will say what is to be said about the capture of Sevastopol and the offensives in the central and southern sectors that began on 30 June. It is clear to any knowledgable observer that all the current campaigns, both in the East and Egypt, are of great significance for the future.

Under no circumstance should our speakers use these developments to make prophecies. Discussions of offensive operations and the political results of our military operations in public discussion should always be consistent with treatments in the press and radio. All speakers have to maintain strict discipline in this regard.

This gives an opportunity to criticize something we have often seen recently. Speakers at public and membership meetings have repeatedly made predictions about coming events. For example, there have been predictions about expected offensives, the thrusts of the same, the final goal of military operations, political results, and so on. One talks about a Ural border, another about new defensive lines in the eastern part of European Russia. A third calls for a drive into the near East, and there are other such clever prophecies. They claim that these are only their private opinions.

In must be emphasized that no party speaker, whether in public or membership meetings, can present a private opinion. He must follow exclusively the guidelines of the Reichspropagandaleitung. Only these guidelines are binding. Personal opinions may be guided only by confidential information included in the Sonderdienst or in training letters. The extent to which problems are dealt with in public is determined only by the Reichpropagandaleitung’s advice in Redner-Schnellinformation and in instructions to speakers from Gau propaganda offices.

Each speaker must understand that audiences at meetings and mass meetings see him as an authorized representative of the party. Personal opinions can cause great political damage. Most such statements result from an irresponsible desire for effect and applause. Such things are not the speaker’s goal. The public has a great desire to hear about plans, aims, and goals, and to be able to discuss them, but the speaker’s first task is to lead our people’s comrades to quiet, firm, blind confidence in the Führer and his decisions. That does not result from spreading secrets to be used in cheap political chatter, but rather only through constant reminders of the duties that each individual today must fulfill.

We know the great goals of our battle with fate: freedom, justice, and prosperity, a rational political, economic, and social order in a Europe freed from Brish-plutocratic domination and Jewish exploitation. This is the view we always must present. We will reach it by action, not chattering. That action is evident in battle and work. It is ennobled by the sacrifice, devotion, and loyal fulfillment of duty on the part of all German men and women. This is the spirit to which all speakers are to lead our German people in this great age, maintaining and strengthening the will that will lead to victory.

II. Casualties after a Year of Battle in the East

The Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht provided a report on 2 July 1942 on casualties on the Eastern Front:

“Between 22 June 1941 and 21 June 1942, casualties on the Eastern Front were: 271,612 officers, NCOs, and soldiers died in loyal fulfillment of their duty. The number of missing during the same period was 65,730.

Given the hardness of the battle, it must be assumed that a substantial part of them will not return.”

There are individuals who doubt these figures. They maintain that losses were “significantly higher” and give all sorts of reasons. One relies on presumably “reliable sources.” That is the latest euphemism for British radio. Others base their figures on their “intelligence,” while others depend on relatives, acquaintances, and trustworthy friends “who were there” and are thus reliable witnesses.

Our speakers must energetically combat such dangerous chatter. The following provides an overview of reasons why all attempts to raise doubts about the OKW reports are entirely unjustified and unfounded.

a) The OKW report is completely reliable since it is based entirely on reports from the various units of our Wehrmacht. These units cannot give false loss statistics, since that would have consequences in pay and supplies. Imagine that a regiment reported fewer losses than it actually had. The necessary result would be disorder in the entire payment and supply situation.

And no unit leader has an interest in over-reporting his losses, for the troops assigned to him have changing tasks. He would have to be given replacements and soon would have more men than he was supposed to have. Given the careful administration of the German Wehrmacht, such a thing is impossible.

b) How can it be that some such ideas depend on information from soldiers on leave or wounded soldiers? There is an entirely reasonable explanation for that. The individual soldier knows only his section of the front. It is entirely possible that a unit, a company, a battalion, or a regiment suffers particularly heavy losses during a battle. A soldier from this unit may perhaps know that a neighboring segment of the front also saw heavy battles and applies his experiences to the neighboring units. That, however, is entirely wrong. It can easily be the case that the battle was very different on that section of the front because of better terrain, more effective defensive forces, stronger support from bombers, tanks, artillery, or the like. As a result, the battle may have been entirely different on that part of the front and there may have been hardly any casualties. The situation is different everywhere, and it is simply impossible to draw conclusions about the state of the the 2,000-kilometer long Eastern Front on the basis of the stories of one soldier.

c) Most objections against our casualty figures, however, doubtlessly come from those creatures who always want to “inform” themselves from enemy sources because they want to be “objective.” They think themselves wonderfully smart. By listening to both sides, they can be “impartial” and from the depths of their supposed intelligence draw fine conclusions. In fact, they are intellectually impoverished creatures lacking any character. They have learned nothing from the First World War, when the British systematically broke the spiritual strength of the German people through malicious, crude, cynical, lying “propaganda” that appealed to the fanatic objectivism of good-natured Germans.

The British, the Americans, and the Soviets want nothing different with their current agitation. Today, in fact, this agitation is their last hope, with which they hope to win the war they have lost on all fronts, following the example of 1918.

The enemy knows our tendency to be soft. He knows that the emotional depths of our German people’s comrades easily makes room for everything that touches the feelings. That is especially true of the emotion that quickly surfaces when something touches our heart.

What could touch our hearts more deeply than news of the “terrible blood sacrifice” of our battle. The enemy bases his entirely unfounded claims about heavy German losses on that and hopes such reports will have a subversive effect.

If our “fanatic objectivists” would even once use their clear understanding of humanity, they would have to admit that a defeated enemy is not in a position to know anything about our losses. To do that he would have to be able to see behind our lines. Since he sees his safety in constant “glorious retreats,” he cannot do that. All his statements, therefore, are mere conjectural agitation. He who accepts such enemy claims and bases his thinking on them is stupid, displaying a filthy and subversive attitude toward our people and our concerns. All such statements are to be energetically rejected.

d) Finally, one can say that our official Wehrmacht reports over the past three years of the war have been accepted throughout the world as being absolutely true. Our reports gained this respect by being consistently truthful. The enemy knows that and is using every available means to undermine confidence in German news throughout the world. He therefore eagerly welcomes all voices of doubt within Germany. Any doubt about OKW reports is thus treason to our foreign interests. Each German people’s comrades must always remember that.

No one may doubt the OWK reports. That would be a betrayal of our front. Anyone who is guilty of such a crime must be called to account without pity in the interests of our fighting soldiers.

All speakers, therefore, must energetically oppose such statements.

III. The winter battles in the East should no longer be part of our speeches.

Fanfares on Greater German Radio have repeatedly announced major and significant events in the Eastern Theater during recent weeks. For example, there was the major victor at Kharkov and the capture of Sevastopol, the strongest fortress in the world, which concluded the conquest of the Crimea. Furthermore, there was the victory at the Volchov pocket, the new and increasing successes in the south of the front, the crossing of the Don and the capture of Voronezh. And there are the unique successes of our Luftwaffe and U-boats in the northern Arctic Sea, which have hit the British, North Americans, and Soviets equally hard and destroyed an entire convoy of 38 ships that was carrying masses of armaments.

Given these rapid developments is is entirely unnecessary to look back on the events of last winter in our meetings. The heroic struggle of those indescribably difficult months has passed into history. It proved one thing, namely the extraordinary spiritual and physical strength of will of our soldiers. Everything that opposes us must and will fail against this inner strength , which has its origin in the revolutionary spirit of National Socialism.

We face no ideas in our plutocratic enemies, only a dying world. The only thing that keeps them going is the idee fixe that their comfortable position as the “lord and beneficiary of all peoples and values” may never change. This idee fixe leads them to deny even the law of constant natural movement and development of all life.

In Bolshevism we face a stubborn attitude and will filled with Jewish criminal instincts. It was whipped into broad masses of the people through a revolution, but has created no searching and creative spirit in the masses, but is based exclusively on the most bloody terror.

Therefore, we do not face “brave Soviets,” as is sometimes claimed, but only bitter, stolid, fully machine-like creatures who lack all judgment. They are not trained to think and judge for themselves, but only to act under the pressure of a system that controls everything. They have lost all that is human. We must always keep this in mind when evaluating the enemy in the East.

That does not take away the fact that the battle in the East is particularly difficult; indeed, that is why it is so. It is also why the extraordinary achievements of our soldiers during the past winter and in the current summer battles are beyond any doubt, surpassing by far all models of the past.

That does not mean that we present the actions of the Bolshevist masses as heroic. This quality of free men does not exist in them, only the terrible and for us incomprehensible rejection of everything that is human. They are unreasoning animals, blindly obedient tools of their mostly Jewish commissars, thoughtless parroters of revolutionary phrases they do not understand, trained to hostility against everything German who have become fighting robots. Against them, only deep fervent readiness for action can avail. Our German soldiers and also our allied fighters demonstrate this daily and hourly through their splendid successes.

If the current war situation, a matter of our life or death, leads to the necessity of a second winter campaign in the East, it is psychologically wrong to arouse fears for the future by continuing to discuss the conditions of the past winter. We can all be sure that a new winter campaign will find us well prepared based on the rich experiences that we were able to gather. Our soldiers know that very well, and one finds no worries with them. Therefore, we in the homeland have no reason at all to be uneasy about coming days. Thousands and thousands of our German people’s comrades have worked to ensure that our soldier in the East will lack nothing in winter. That is true for weapons, clothing, housing, and supplies.

Therefore, our meetings with our people’s comrades should focus on current events. We leave the future to the Führer. He will lead us to German victory!


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