Background: Walter Tießler was an early Nazi who held a variety of positions in the propaganda apparatus before and after the Nazis took power. In this essay, published in the party’s monthly for political leaders, he previews the winter 1937/38 propaganda campaign of the Reichspropagandaleitung, the party’s office for propaganda.
The source: Reichsamtsleiter Thießler, “Der Winterfeldzug der Reichspropagandaleitung,” Der Hoheitsträger1 (November 1937), pp. 26-27. The name should be “Tießler.”
by Walter Tießler
Since 1935, the Reichspropagandaleitung has laid out directives for the annual winter work in the “winter campaign.” This article outlines the practical and technical aspects of the propaganda campaign. Furthermore, the winter campaign provides the intellectual framework for propaganda in each six month winter period. This foundation is built upon the directives and guidelines provided to the entire party by the speeches at each Reich party rally. This guarantees that the guidelines from the Reich party rally are really put into practice. Implementing the directives from the speeches at the Reich party rally also provides visible evidence that the party provides intellectual leadership in propaganda, and that it realizing in practice the principle directives given by the Führer for all areas of the life of the German people.
In providing verbatim citations from the Führer and his closest associates, alongside its explanations, materials, and directives, the Reichspropagandaleitung is providing propagandists with the most important material one can imagine. Furthermore, the Führer’s directives and arguments are best given by the Führer himself. It would be pointless to take that which is already in the best possible form and rearrange it just so that it is rearranged. If the Reichspropagandaleitung limits itself to organizing this material for specific purposes and providing necessary propaganda directives, every party member and propagandist will understand this obvious restraint on the part of the Reichspropagandaleitung, and will approve. Better than words, the Reichspropagandaleitung’s restraint provides a model of discipline. Such discipline can and must be shown by all other propaganda offices, which must strictly follow the guidelines for the winter campaign. That does not mean that all propaganda offices and propagandists will use exactly the same words.
The winter campaign lays out the overall framework for propaganda in the relevant six month winter period, which individual propaganda offices and propagandists can carry out in particular cases.
This campaign is comprehensive and broad enough so that all propaganda offices will find the guidelines and material relevant to their particular areas, enabling them, as in the past two winter campaigns, to proceed not only in a disciplined way, but also so as to be able to conduct their propaganda activities within the overall framework of the winter campaign.
The first winter campaign in 1935 followed the theme:
“The Führer is the party — the party is Germany.”
The theme of the second campaign was:
“We are building the foundation of eternal Germany.”
The totality of the third winter campaign of 1937 followed the theme laid out by the Deputy Führer at the most recent Reich party rally:
“Work mastered fate, work will master fate.”
It is clear that when we discuss the successes and goals of our national labors, we do not forget the opponent of our National Socialist construction efforts. The first goal of the winter campaign, therefore, is outlined by the Führer’s statements in Nuremberg:
“The world is in a state of rising tensions.”
There are two subpoints. Under
Point I: Bolshevism and Jewry,
the methods and dangers of the opponent are made clear. In
Point II: Europe and the Spanish Question,
the immediate effects of our opponent are made clear.
The theme for the second part is outlined by these words from the opening speech to the party rally by the Deputy Führer:
“We are filled with pride at the achievements the German people have made under the banner of National Socialism.”
Point I: Economic successes,
including all of the economic and agricultural achievements which we have made during the past four and a half years.
Point II: Political successes,
such as the transformation of the social order and the equality of German workers in factories and in the people’s community. Then there are the enormous economic and educational successes of the NSV, the work of the Women’s League, and the successes so far in population policy and the racial question. The most visible signs of our political success can be summarized in the three main points that the Führer himself named as the greatest achievements of the past four and a half years, namely the tearing up of the Treaty of Versailles, the re-gained freedom of the German people, and the protection of German freedom by our own army.
Each party member, and each propagandist in particular, has recognized over the past four and a half years how important it is to repeatedly stress these great political and economic achievements. Nonetheless, this necessity needs to be stressed once again.
Explaining the National Socialist miracle in itself cannot show the meaning and value of our work, however. For this reason, the words of the Reichspropagandaleiter at the past Reich party rally are the theme for the third part of the winter campaign:
“As agents of this task we can never say that we are finished, but rather such a task always demands new duties and new obligations.”
To achieve the next goal that we must meet in the future, we must take on tasks that cannot be solved in the coming six months, but still depend on us doing our duty during this winter period. The third part of our efforts involves
preventing our idea from being corrupted or improperly applied,
along with stressing the idea that the NSDAP is our political and spiritual home and the spiritual leader of Germany.
The critical importance of the party in realizing National Socialism is the foundation for camaraderie within the party itself. In living this camaraderie within the party, we provide a model of unity for the whole people. Here, too, maintaining and protecting the unity of the German people, whether in the people’s community or the factories, is a continuing task for us. Obviously, this task requires us to deal with the complainers and fault-finders who always attempt to disrupt that unity.
Following the Führer’s directives, we want to focus on conceited resistance on the part of some people today, which comes from an inability to give up habits that no longer are appropriate for our day. We must demand that these people, too, follow the example of the Führer, who models idealism for us, and therefore demands it from every people’s comrade. German women, above all, follow the Führer’s call, ensuring as German mothers that this Germany will truly last for eternity. And the sacrifices of German women who are married to our political fighters should and must be a shining example in this regard. The German woman also has the most important tasks in realizing the Four Year Plan, which requires our particular attention. Given the role of the German woman in achieving the Four Year Plan, we must demand of each people’s comrade that he give his full efforts to achieving the goals of the Four Year Plan during the coming winter. During the winter, regular directive will be provided to propagandists on the immediate tasks of the agents of the Four Year Plan.
As all propagandists work to carry out the tasks of the winter campaign, it is obvious that, as in every winter, we present the importance and significance of the Winter Relief program in fresh ways. In this matter, we want to pay particular attention to the words of party comrade Hilgenfeldt, which express not only the deepest meaning of our efforts in the Winter Relief program, but rather also the meaning of our community efforts as a whole:
“The rights of the members of the people’s community can never be greater than their duties to the people itself.”
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