German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: The Zeitschriften-Dienst was a weekly newsletter for magazine editors during the Third Reich. It was supposed to be confidential. Editors were to keep it locked away, and use it to help guide them in their duties. Its companion was the Deutscher Wochendienst, which provided more detailed material to supplement the advice in the ZD. This is a translation of most of an issue from mid-September 1942, just before the newsletter expects a victory announcement about Stalingrad.

Each section had a numerical heading. In some cases, both publications had the same numbered section, in which case the Wochendienst would provide more details. Sometimes, a numerical heading would be found only in one of the two. For general information about the ZD, see Robert Young, “‘Not this way please!’ Regulating the Press in Nazi Germany,” Journalism Quarterly (1987), 787-792.

The source: Zeitschriften-Dienst, 18 September 1942.

Strictly confidential — Not for publication


Issue 176/45 — 18 September 1942— Numbers 7556 - 7593

7556: The situation

The battle for Stalingrad is nearing its successful conclusion. Once the OKW announces the victory, magazines will naturally treat the event in a worthy manner, giving Stalingrad the strategic and economic significance it deserves.

We will also emphasize the most recent blows against enemy shipping, praising the results of a catastrophic series of attacks by our U-boats.

In discussing English-Soviet relations, one can note that Churchill’s subordination to Stalin was in vain, since the Moscow press emphasized every point in the discussions in which there were differences of opinion. The “friendship” between Churchill and Roosevelt is also shown by several recent developments to which we will refer. First is Harridge’s proposal, probably inspired by the White House, to make Roosevelt the chief of all English-speaking people. And Globe Reuter reports that British subjects “who serve for 90 days in the military will have the chance to become American citizens.” Coming after recent reports from New York that American soldiers will be settled in Australia, it becomes very clear that Roosevelt intends the dissolution of the empire.

The founding of the German-Indian Society should provide an opportunity to cover the traditional efforts to investigate Indian culture, and make the broad public familiar with India and the problems of its battle for freedom.

In connection with the situation in India, Egypt, Palestine, and Iraq, conditions in Iran (see 7558) should be given more attention than before.


7557: Labor policy in the USA

The Deutscher Wochendienst carries a piece for editors which deals above all with the two major American labor organizations, their relations with English unions, and their position on communism and the so-called unions in the Soviet Union.

Themes of the Day

7558: The British and Soviets in Iran

The advance of German troops in the Caucasus is beginning to have psychological effects in neighboring Iran. The brutal imperialism of the Soviets, British, and Americans is particularly crass here. In magazines, we want to stress the will for freedom of the Iranian people, which over its long and eventful history has always proven itself, and emphasize that the current miseries of the Iranian people are the result of the treaty forced upon them by the Soviets and British, with the resulting ruthless exploitation of the country. Just as in India and Egypt, in Iraq and Palestine, in Iran, a tortured people is acting in self-defense and fighting against the same enemies as Germany. It wants a free, independent, and self-reliant state. In our discussions, we want to avoid suggesting that the Iranian question could lead to a breach between London and Moscow. Do not discuss the Treaty of Saadabad, or make any political or military predictions. The Deutscher Wochendienst provides material and proposals for sections on politics, economics, and culture.

7559: Three years of construction in the Generalgouvernement

The Führer’s order of 12.10.1939 created the Generalgouvernement. The third anniversary of his decree gives magazines an opportunity to consider the German constructive work that has since occurred. The Deutscher Wochendienst provides many suggestions for articles. The goal is to show how, under the influence of German leadership, the former Polish political trouble spot has become a productive community between the German leadership and the local population. Today, the Generalgouvernement is in a position to fulfill its task as the door from Europe to the East. The following themes should be avoided: railway construction plans, rationalization measures, resettlement of Jews, the location and capacity of important factories in the Generalgouvernement.

7560: European youth organizations

During 14-18 September, the European Youth Federation will be founded, the purpose of which is the cooperation of European youth. The Deutscher Wochendienst provides suggestions for covering the European youth organizations that are part of the European Youth Federation. This is of particular political importance at the moment, and should be covered by as many magazines as possible. All articles should stress the decisive importance that the camaraderie at the front in the battles in the East has for future European cooperation. It must also be emphasized that the European Youth Federation joins together the best and most constructive forces of Europe’s youth, who are working and fighting for a new Europe. In this regard, the first cultural gatherings of European youth, to be held this summer in Weimar and Florence, should also be considered as evidence of common European cultural efforts by Europe’s youth. The understandable leadership claims of German and Italian youth organizations should not be stressed too strongly. The European Youth Federation should under no circumstances be termed the “European Youth Congress.” The ceremonial events should receive less attention than the practical results.

7561: English coal shortages

That has consistently been reported in a hard-hitting manner by the German trade press, but it can also provide the basis for a thorough story on this important branch of the British war economy. The Deutscher Wochendienst provides information and suggestions. The goal of magazine articles must be to portray the production decline and the poor state of Britain’s coal industry as an example of the general failure of the British war economy, and as further proof of the loss of Britain’s formerly strong claim to leadership. The theme offers the opportunity to show the impact of the earlier neglect of the coal industry on other branches of the economy, the poor coordination of Britain’s war economy, the prevalence of private interests against the community’s good, the social misery of miners, etc. However, we warn against over-hasty conclusions and excessive language in covering the English coal industry, in dealing with strikes and labor difficulties in British coal mines, and on speculations about the English coal industry after the war. Detailed comparisons between the British and continental coal industries should be avoided, since some of the results of coal shortages visible in England are also to be seen in several of the continental states.


7563: Adolf Bartels

Adolf Bartel’s 80th birthday should be an occasion for all magazines to honor his unique personality, his uncompromising battle, and his works that become essential for the National Socialist worldview. The Deutscher Wochendienst provides considerable material. We particularly recommend the material on Adolf Bartel’s pioneering work in literary history and above all in the area of race. Given those accomplishments, his literary work may be somewhat in the background, although his accomplishments in that area are also significant. His exemplary personal courage should also be emphasized, which allowed him to hold firmly to his goals, despite the attitude of his generation. It is important to correct the widespread view of Bartel’s opponents that he made “errors.” Of 9,000 poets and authors, he misidentified only 18 as belonging to the wrong race, even though it was formerly very difficult to determine ancestry. We do not want to discuss purely religious themes raised in Adolf Bartel’s writing.

7564: World impact of German tropical medicine

The Deutscher Wochendienst recommends that magazines cover the 25th anniversary of the discovery of Germanins (Bayer 505) in October, using it as an occasion to honor major German achievements in combating tropical illnesses. Good suggestions are given for the politics, economics, medicine, biology, culture, and entertainment sections, with references to the relevant important literature. The point should be made that successful colonization in the modern sense was only possible after the success of German tropical medicine. We want to stress that several of the most famous German physicians dedicated themselves to tropical medicine (Robert Koch, Theodor Bilharz). Other points to emphasize are the achievements of German tropical hygiene, the cooperation between the German pharmaceutical industry and tropical medicine, and the usefulness of German tropical research, made available to doctors throughout the world by the Hamburg Tropical Institute. The advances of German tropical medicine have also been useful for our soldiers in Africa and the Soviet Union. We want to avoid discussing possible future German colonial work and English contributions to tropical medicine.

Among ourselves

7567: Relativity theory and “Jewish physics”

Several recent books and magazines have covered the Theory of Relativity and what has become known as quantum mechanics (the newest direction of atomic physics) under the rubric “Jewish physics.” First, so-called quantum mechanics has no methodological relationship to the Theory of Relativity, and has been developed primarily by Aryan, German scientists such as Heisenberg and Jordan. Einstein has even rejected the theory of quantum mechanics. Polemics against quantum theory must now be stopped. And the Theory of Relativity, which wide circles consider a typical product of the Jewish spirit, is not that closely linked to the Jew Einstein as Einstein and his Jewish promoters always claim. The Deutscher Wochendienst traces the historical development of the principle of relativity from Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton to the present, and shows the major role German mathematicians played in developing the principle of relativity. Einstein simply took the ideas developed by Ernst Mach and Henri Poincairé and put them in today’s form. Furthermore, the Theory of Relativity, which by the way is still not in final form, does not have the revolutionary significance Einstein once claimed. We will not deal with the theme in general interest magazines. When the trade press finds it necessary to mention or discuss the Theory of Relativity, however, the fact should always be emphasized that the open questions of classical mechanics developed from the work of Gentile scientists, and that classical mechanics is still valid.


7573: Culturally significant events in October/November 1942

There is a column of these that I am not translating.

7574: Events that should receive good coverage

a) The 1942/43 season of the German Theater in Prague.

b) The announcement of the House of German Art on the Great German Art Exhibition 1943.

c) The article on the Caucasus, released by the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories.

7575: Announcements, directives and publications that should not be covered

a) The press notice in the Deutsche Handelsdienst on the new regulations on shoe rationing.

b) The article “Speaking Bavarian Banned” from the Münchener Zeitung of 8.9.1942. The entire theme “dialect in film” should be avoided.

c) The article “Falange und Heer” in Das Reich.

d) A somewhat tangled directive on the metal industry.

e) Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Ipsen’s article “Das Reich in Verfassung.” published in the Brüsseler Zeitung.

f) All work by the author Dr. Joseph Pietsch of Breslau (pseudonym: C. Flam).

g) The article on price decreases in the electrical industry in the Völkischer Beobachter, 9.9.

h) The article in the Straßburger Neuesten Nachrichten of 9.9. on “Penal resettlements in the Reich.”

i) The article “Building the Administrative Apparatus in the Occupied Eastern Territories” by Dr. Labs, published in the Rheinisch-Westfälischen Zeitung of 11.9.

j) The report “Successful Battle against Typhoid Fever” in the Völkischer Beobachter. It deals with Prof. Morell’s discovery of a way to combat lice. The article should not be further reprinted, to avoid the suggestion that a typhoid epidemic has broken out.

7576: Japan-China

The Japanese are not fighting against the “Chinese,” who are after all largely their allies and under their protection, but rather against Chaing-Kai-sheck, an ally of the Soviets and Anglo-Americans, and an opponent of Nanking China and the new order in Asia.

7577: The Cossack question

Speculations about the future of the Cossacks are unwished for.

7578: Life in Italy

German magazines should carry more news on life in Italy.

7579: Italian workers in Germany

Discussions about Italian workers in Germany should not also consider other foreign workers in Germany, but rather the two groups should be kept separate.

7580: Labor service in France

The news on the introduction of compulsory labor service in France should not be commented on in detail, since this may have certain consequences for the recruitment of labor for Germany.

7581: Pre-military training

At the request of the Reich Youth Leadership and the Supreme S.A. Leadership, the term “pre-military education” should be used only for the military training of the Hitler Youth. S.A. military training should be termed “extra-military.”

7582: Propaganda Company reports

The directive that PK company reports come with a choice of headlines does not mean that magazines may write their own headlines. If by error a PK report comes with only one headline, magazines may choose another, but they must chose carefully. Cuts in the reports may only be made in a way that will enable the writer to recognize that his work has been handled carefully.

7583: IG-Farben stock

My financial vocabulary does not quite make sense of this one.

7584: The inventor of synthetic rubber

Prof. Fritz Hartmann, not Professor Karl Andreas Hoffman, is the inventor of synthetic rubber (see 7482). Professor Karl Andreas Hoffmann, who died recently, was at the Technical University in Charlottenburg, whereas Professor Fritz Hoffmann was first a chemist at IG Farben in Leverkusen, then professor at the Technical University in Breslau.

7585: Air General Christiansen

The leader of the NS Flying Corps, General of the Airmen Christiansen, was born on 12.12.1879 (Not on 12.12.1897, as erroneously stated in Nr. 7521 of the Deutscher Wochendienst).

7586: The 65th birthday of Dr. jour. Eberhard Bruck

He is emeritus professor of Roman law at the University of Bonn. His birthday on 15.11.1942 should not be mentioned.

7587: New Berlin film Fahrt ins Abenteur.

It may be reported on.

7588: Tobis Film Die Entlassung

The film premiered in Stettin, but magazines should not mention it until approval is received.

7589: International Forestry Central

Reports on the sixth committee meeting of the International Forestry Central in Vienna, and the establishment of an “International Commission for Evaluating Wood,” must follow the DNB dispatch.

7590: International Film Arts Show

There will shortly be a DNB dispatch on the award winners.

7591: Journalist passport

Do not carry the releases about the possible introduction of a passport for journalists.

7592: Sugar beet leaves

Do not report on supposed plans to make sugar beet leaves suitable for human consumption.

7593: Price policies

Reporting on further price reductions should gradually cease.

[Page copyright © 2004 by Randall L. Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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