German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: This page contains translations and illustrations from an elementary school reading textbook from Bremen. I am including only the illustrations and texts that have a strong propaganda aspect. Parts of a similar reader are also available.

The source: Meine Fibel — Ein Geschichtenbuch für die kleinen Bremer (Bremen: Fritz Gansberg, 1940).

My Reader

Hitler Youth

The Hitler Youth marches.
Otto is with them.
He has his new boots on.
They are the best of all.

Otto, why are you limping?
Are you worn out?
Oh dear, his feet hurt!
But he grits his teeth.

Two good comrades
help him along
with some white ointment.
Soon his feet will be healthy again.

It rains for the entire night,
but the boys do not know it.
They are in a warm tent,
and sleep on soft straw.

There is a lot of fun in camp.
Look at the sack race!
They hop like frogs.
Otto is the best at it.
He wins a chocolate lady bug.

They also play tug-of-war.
Pull, pull, they cry.
One has fallen on his face
and the others have won.

That’s what the Hitler Youth say
when they are back home.
I want to be one of them, too
When I am bigger.


And the girls in the BDM
also take wonderful trips,
and there is always a lot of fun
in their hostels.

17. The S.A. Marches

Tromp, tromp, tromp! Tromp, tromp, tromp! Boom, boom, boom! The men in brown uniforms are marching, with their flag flying. Hansi cannot see anything, since so many people are standing along the street. What can he do? “Hansi, Hansi, come here!” other children call. They are standing on a big box where the street cleaners keep clean sand. Frieda helps Hansi up. Now he can see well! But the box has an uneven surface. The children cannot stay on top. They all fall off. But they can hear the wonderful music for a long time. Tromp, tromp, tromp! Boom, boom, boom!

35. Old Newspapers

“Mommy, the Hitler Youth is collecting old materials!” Hansi shouts as he runs into the house. — “Well, OK, boy, you know where the old newspapers are. Bring two armloads down. I can’t help at the moment” I have to finish father’s shirt.” Then mother hears a crash on the steps. Oh dear, the steps are covered with old newspapers from top to bottom. They fell out of the boy’s arms. They gather them up quickly, and mother ties them together with twine. But as Hansi gets to the street, the HJ is already gone.

And did mother leave the iron plugged in? Is father’s shirt singed? Oh, it’s OK, she unplugged it.

36. The Little Soldier

The soldiers came back from their field exercise, and the boys came to meet them. Hansi was there, too. But his short legs were not able to keep up. He could no longer hear the music, and the foot soldiers were past, too. Now the last truck came along. Two soldiers sat in back. They looked at the little boy and laughed. And what do you think happened? One jumped down and lifted Hansi up. Now he sat between them.


All the people along the street were surprised. “That is certainly the littlest solder in the entire Wehrmacht!” they said. And the big boys said: “If only we could sit there!” Hansi rode along to the base. It was the best day of his life.

41. To Nuremberg

Otto woke up in the middle of the night. His father bent down and stroked him saying: “Be a good boy, Otto! I’ll be back soon! You can stay in bed!” The father has one strap of his pack over his shoulder, and his coat under an arm. He goes downstairs. Otto cannot stay in bed any longer. He gets up and dresses quickly. “Hey boy, are you coming along?” father asks. — “Yes, father, I’m going along to the station!” — “Otto, you know better than that. In the middle of the night?” mother shouts. Father gives him a piece of chocolate. “Stay here, boy!” — “Else can have it! I want to come along!” Father is pleased. And Otto was happy to see the many happy S.A. men in the long train. “Father, We’ll all come to get you!” he cries. “Oh, I can hardly wait!”

42. The Enemy

They all sat in the castle, behind high walls of sand. Two cannons faced outward, and the flag fluttered in the wind. But no enemy came, which meant that there was no fun! Then Otto shouted: “The enemy is already here! don’t you see him?” Right, the enemy had softly crept right up to the wall of sand! It was rising against it!


It was water, that was the enemy! The castle was in the middle of the water, and the water kept climbing! The boys quickly grabbed the cannons and the flag, and waded through the water to land. Soon the waves destroyed the fine castle. The water had been victorious, the big ocean, the North Sea.

43. The Departure

The time came for mother to leave for the beautiful vacation resort, where the birds sing and the flowers bloom. The car was at the door, and father took the suitcases down. But mother did not come. She sat by the children’s bed and cried. “I can’t leave them alone! Who were take care of them when father goes to work? I will stay home!” That’s what she said.

The front door opened. Who was it? A friendly nurse in brown came in and said: “These are the two children? I will take them to the NSV [the Nazi social welfare organization] kindergarten each day, where they will have a good time.” — Mother dried her tears, and as father said “The train won’t wait,” she kissed her dear children. She shook hands with the nurse, and happily went to the station with father.

[Page copyright © 2009 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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