German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: A Sprechabend was a regular part of the Nazi meeting system. Unlike mass meetings, these were evenings at which people (primarily party members) were to discuss the Nazi approach to issues and events. The material here was provided to those who would lead such discussions.

The source: “Grundsätzliche Vorbemerkung zum Sprechabenddienst des Hauptschulungsamtes,” Sprechabenddienst, März/April 1944.

Fundamental Principle for Evening Discussion Meetings

The purpose of a Sprechabend is to ensure lively political activity in our local groups in the smaller cells.

A Sprechabend must be lively — that is its first task. It does this not by demanding that the individual party member sit and listen to a speech, but rather by providing him with the opportunity to participate, to speak, to question, to answer, but also to disagree and correct. That is both the strength of the Sprechabend, but also its political danger. One must master the challenge. Our Sprechabend is in the center of daily life! That means it deals with all the concerns and problems of life!

The Sprechabend department of a central party office such as the Main Education Office (Hauptschulungsamt) can handle only a part of the job: those problems that are a matter of national policy, as well as those that deal with fundamental matters of our worldview. Here, we can deal only with matters of some general interest for the entire Reich.

There are also problems and concerns that result from the particular conditions of the Gau or the local area. The Gau education offices increasingly are taking this into account, and some have already developed their own Sprechabend departments that can concentrate on the particular Gau.

There is a third level as well. There are problems and concerns largely limited to a local group. Centrally prepared material can never deal with such issues. Here, the Sprechabend leader himself has the responsibility of dealing with local questions in an appropriate and tactically correct way.

Thus, the Sprechabend service of the Main Education Office can provide only a limited amount of material appropriate for a Sprechabend. There can be no plan or rigid formula. Upon occasion, exemplary material prepared by the Gau Sprechabend departments will be printed here when appropriate for the entire Reich.

The primary purpose of the material is to prepare political leaders entrusted with the leadership of a Sprechabend to carry out their tasks of worldview education and practical organization in a way consistent with stated policies.

[Page copyright © 2005 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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