Background: The Zeitschriften-Dienst was a weekly newsletter
for magazine editors during the Third Reich, first published in 1939.
It was supposed to be confidential. Editors were to keep it locked away,
and use it to help guide them in their duties. Here, I translate individual
items from a variety of issues between 1941 and 1944 that struck my interest,
including items on the American Indians, Hitler’s birthday, encouraging
more children, the Katyn Forest massacre, the fifth year of war, and the
use of the word “gag.”
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, Various issues.
Strictly confidential — Not for publication
from the Zeitschriften-Dienst
5414 [26 September 1941]: Politischer Zitatendienst
5482 [10 October 1941]:
The Germans? — “Exterminate them like the Indians!”
Nearly every day editors find it necessary to write on a contemporary political theme. It is not always easy to find appropriate material to persuasively present a position. Files are often only an emergency source and looking through them often takes a lot of time, especially when other sources are lacking.
Walter Koerber and Dr. Hans Zugschwert, experts in the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, are issuing the new Politischer Zitatendienst, an information service consisting of current citations from speeches, statements, interviews, the press and radio, diplomatic documents, proclamations, and literature and history for editors of newspapers and magazines, editors, politicians, training leaders, and speakers.
The Politischer Zitatendienst appears twice each month in the form of DIN A6 sized index cards. A new organizational system makes an index — which can never be kept current — unnecessary and brings relevant material immediately to hand. The Politischer Zitatendienst is, therefore, an essential tool for each editor.
The cost is RM 3 each month, postage included. It can be ordered from Dr. Ernst Dröscher-Verlag, Berlin NW 7, Dorotheenstr. 34, phone Berlin 11 16 53. [Copies of this are hard to find, although Stanford University’s Hoover Institution has a run.]
Why this is important:
Roosevelt and USA propaganda are attempting to give the impression
that by supporting England, the USA is defending human freedom, that
it is the natural protector of smaller peoples against “rape”
by the Germans, that it is the center of freedom, where there are no
“inferior races.” It must be shown that, as the result of
its democratic corruption, the USA has been incapable for centuries
of governing foreign peoples, or even of treating them decently. The
example of the Indians is especially suited for this purpose.
Why it is current:
The Jew Theodor N. Kaufmann [sic]
has stated in his book Germany Must Perish that “the
disappearance of the German people would leave no greater gap than the
disappearance of the Indians in North America. The most important parts
of that book come from Roosevelt himself. The theme thus comes from
official sources in North America. Given the expansion of the USA into
the British West Indies, its refusal to give up the Philippines, and
its plans to expand in the Pacific, it is appropriate to point out the
complete moral inability of the USA to rule native peoples or other
races. This will also support and strengthen Japanese polemics against
the USA. Each mention of the mistreatment of national groups or racial
discrimination against groups within the USA, if cleverly and indirectly
done, can help to weaken the ties that hold this state together, which
is made up of the most varied elements, and to encourage tensions that
will make the USA unsure of what to do.
Emphasize: The English policies toward the Indians in America
were the worst of all — The Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch,
the Swedes, and even the Russians in Alaska treated the natives more
humanely. The English committed terrible mass slaughters in Ireland
in the seventeenth century. They saw themselves as the “children
of Israel,” and wanted to exterminate, not just convert (like the
Spanish). After independence, the USA made many treaties with the Indians
— and broke all of them. The total dishonesty and untrustworthiness
of USA policies, evidenced by 350 broken treaties, must be emphasized.
Whenever White settlers wanted to settle in lands solemnly given to
the Indians, the USA government forced the Indians to move, although
it knew it was unjust, in order not to lose votes for the ruling party.
The policy of justice, proclaimed by President Grant, went back to the
German Karl Schurz. It was soon disregarded by corrupt politicians.
A large part of the USA’s land was gained from the Indians not by conquest,
but by betrayal, land swindle, and alcohol sales (particularly by Jewish
firms). The overwhelming number of Indians today is impoverished because
the land solemnly promised to them has been taken without compensation,
or because the government has withheld that compensation. It is hypocrisy
to speak of the Indians as the “wards of the nation,” given
the bestial brutality of USA troops against the last small Indian rebellions
of the past century (Wounded Knee massacre).
Avoid: Untrue leather-stocking tales. — The impression
that the crimes against the Indians were shared by all the “Whites”
— There were always Whites who protested against the shameful
deeds of corrupt politicians, against land sharks and swindlers, but
they did not accomplish anything. — Unfavorable comparisons with
the Spanish (note instead: In areas colonized by the Spanish, the Indians
survived, because the authority of the Spanish king hindered their destruction,
while in the USA the almost defenseless tribes were left at the mercy
of the settlers to gain votes.) — The impression that the Indians
could again play some kind of a political role. — Portraying the
Indians as “inferior” or “savages” (their leading
traits [bravery, seriousness, trustworthiness], their honest efforts
to become civilized, constantly interrupted by actions against the tribes,
should be carefully mentioned, without exaggeration [There are today
Indian doctors and lawyers in the USA. Influential men are proud to
have Indian blood. This must not be presented as racially harmful, as
just such people in the USA, when reminded of the oppression and injustice,
might have their consciousness of blood awakened, and might become useful
opponents of the Jewish democracy in the USA]).
[The rest of the article suggests dozens
of article topics to exploit this theme.]
5649 [7 November 1941]: Coverage of Foreign Writers: The Deutscher Wochendienst provides the names of all foreign writers who are worthy of particular attention by the German press. The list will be continually updated.
5967 [2 January 1942]: What is happening with those in Germany who are suffering from mental and nervous illnesses? The wildest rumors have recently spread through enemy propaganda, and also domestically, about the way government offices treat those with severe mental and nervous illnesses, which have unsettled many people’s comrades. It is therefore an important task, above all for magazines for soldiers and families, to provide effective information on this topic. This must naturally be done inconspicuously and without any sensationalism. We want to avoid direct polemics against enemy claims. The best approach is to stress the exemplary research and medical care in Germany. The Deutsche Wochendienst provides suitable material, discussing the work of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Research Institute for Brain Research at Buch near Berlin and the Psychriatric Research Institute in Munich. The Deutsche Wochendienst further provides information on the treatment of schizophrenia and operations to remove brain tunors. The treatment of so-called brain seizures is also discussed. It provides supporting material and gives names of appropriate
6152 [6 February 1942]: Strengthening the Home Front:The Führer’s major speech of 30 January of this year has given the guidlines to the press about its future work. Without making a direct connection to the present, recall epochs or personalities who reached their great goal through iron determination, even when a world of enemies and obstacles rose up to divert them from their goal or to destroy them. The Deutsche Wochendienst provides examples for all magazines of personalities whose lives are exemplary. Those people who overcame serious reverses but overcame them through great determination are especially suitable. Consider Bismarck’s conduct during the siege of Paris in 1870, Lettow-Vorbeck’s [commander of German forces in Africa] endurance during the World War, Mussolini’s conduct during the sanctions, Alfred Krupp’s entire life, but also the lives of Clara Schumann and the physician Franziska Tiburtius [one of the first two women physicians in Imperial Germany]. These are people whose lives provide the foundation of the kind of work that is now desired. We stress again that direct references to the present are unnecessary, indeed undesirable. contacts from Dept. ZP, Hauptreferant Wissenschaft (Dr. Kurzel), Berlin W 8, Friedrichstrasse 68.
6153 [6 February 1942]: Pan-Slavism: As you know, the theme of Pan-Slavism is not wanted in the German press.
6204 [13 February 1942]: Jewish Question: Articles about the details of the treatment of the Jewish question in the eastern territories are not desired.
6272 [27 February 1942: Politics in Pictures:Some editors are not yet fully aware of the political impact of pictures. For example, some pictures of Churchill are not carefully chosen and diminish the political effect that editors wish their magazines to have. The Deutsche Wochendienst deals with this qustion, which has a critical part in political propaganda.
6312 [27 February 1942]: Nothing is to be said about the Jewish question in the occupied eastern territories. This includes official announcements in German newspapers in the eastern territories.
6488 [27 March 1942]: The Führer’s
birthday: The best way for German magazines to cover the Führer’s birthday
is to present the Führer as the first soldier of the Greater German
Reich. The corresponding articles and pictures must fit the seriousness
and greatness of the time, dignified and free from any bathos. The Führer’s
speeches during the war provide enough material for the planned articles.
The magazines’ own material can follow the motto expressed by the Führer
in his speech on 1 September 1939: “I want now to be nothing other
than the first soldier of the German Reich.” The best way to conclude
an article — in a way appropriate for the particular readership
— is to note that the German worker, the German farmer, the German
woman, just like the soldier, is doing everything in his power to contribute
to the victory of Greater Germany. That will be the best present the
nation can give the Führer on his birthday.
6704 [1 May 1942]: Foreign Workers in German Magazines: Articles discussing this theme must accept the fact that the employment of a large number of foreign workers is an absolute necessity for the German war economy. Any other concerns are secondary. Therefore, avoid anything that might diminish the willingness to work of foreigners employed in Germany, or reduce the willingness of neighboring states to send further workers to Germany. For example, avoid any productivity comparisons between German and foreign workers, or any degrading comments. There is no reason to glorify their accomplishments in Germany, since Germans now as before carry the main burden in the homeland. Reports on free time activities of foreign workers are not appropriate in the German press, for example. Factual reports on factory supervisors, social workers, legal advisors, camp leaders, etc., regarding practical matters of foreign labor must obviously continue as before. That is very important, since the more responsible men are informed about these matters, the fewer difficulties there will be. The work of the DAF with foreign workers can also be considered. All articles must proceed from the fact that although the presence of millions of foreigners in the Reich is not ideal, it is a necessity of war that deserves factual and reasonable treatment.
6752 [8 May 1942]: Do not
misuse the concept of “Propaganda”
8210 [15 January 1943]: More
children! A propaganda duty for all German magazine
Various articles in the recent past make it necessary to remind people
that the concept of “propaganda” may be used only in a positive
sense, and only for propaganda from Germany.
It is unacceptable that one regularly sees concepts like “propaganda
lies,” “propaganda mill,” etc., which diminish the value
of our concept of “propaganda.”
We recommend that you use terms like “agitation” or “incitement”
when referring to enemy attempts to influence public opinion.
It is important for editors to examine incoming manuscripts carefully,
since, of course, freelancers do not receive confidential advice in
Given the long absence of a great number of men from the homeland,
the limited number of leaves, and other difficulties, the birth rate
last year declined. This decline was due not only to circumstances,
but to a natural decline as the result of a smaller generation of child-bearing
age due to the First World War.
It is therefore necessary to use every method to encourage an increase
in the birth rate, and to foster the wish for children. This necessary
propaganda may not, of course, ever be too insistent, but it must be
compelling. German magazines must make a conscious effort to support
this campaign this year. Families with many children must be the center
of attention, both in word and pictures. Stories, anecdotes, novels,
novellas, and notices must always cleverly make the joy in children,
and indeed in many children, a theme. Feature articles, for example,
can point out the joy a soldier home on leave has when he sees his child
for the first time. Interesting biographical sketches can cover the
lives of great Germans who were the 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th or 12th child
of their families. Stories can tell of how children receive the name
of fallen family members, thereby providing consolation. A short novella
might show the consolation a mother receives in seeing the child of
her fallen son, and how her love for this child helps her overcome her
loss. The point must be made repeatedly that those who have children
are immortal. There are no limits here to what editors may do. Skill
and imagination must be used. For example, in pictures, do not portray
“mother and child,” but rather a “mother and many children.”
Occasionally, one can report on women who already have a number of children,
or who did not have children, and who now choose to have a child, and
have one, to provide a replacement to the Führer and the people
for someone who has fallen.
Finally, particularly in trade publications, the point can be made
that children who are born today will have a better life and more opportunities
in a Reich that is growing so powerfully. In the future, they will not
be a burden for their parents, but rather a great help.
8353 [13 February 1943]: The Defensive Battle in the East
The significance and nature of the defensive battle in the East is falsely understood by many readers. Magazine need to show that the defensive battles of the past two winters are to be seen as just as much a step to final victory as offensive battles. We must take the reader beyond the outward appearance of a defensive battle and focus his attention on inner connections, making the role of defensive battles in the whole military developments of our age clear. Things to emphasize include the active element in a defensive battle and the benefits that a superior governmental and military leadership can achieve in political and strategic planning of battles. One can also consider the morale factor, readiness, willingness to sacrifice, bravery, determination, and endurance not only at the front, but also in the homeland. Make reference here to the Führer’s proclamation and the speech of 30 January as well as the new measures to intensify the total war effort. Each article must make clear that the morale of German troops will overcome the enemy’s matériel. It must also be said that a defensive victory develops more slowly than an offensive victory, which is easier for the public to understand given large numbers of prisoners and territorial gains. Obviously avoid unsettling family members in the homeland by overemphasizing the difficulties, privations, and losses that a defensive battle brings for the individual solider and the troops. The Deutscher Wochendienst provides themes and suggestions for articles on the military, technology, transportation, history, and entertainment, and references the most important literature.
8712 [22 April 1943]: Judah
wants to murder Europe’s people
9092 [16 July 1943]: Yankee
The Jewish-Bolshevist mass murder of 12,000 Polish officers in the
forest of Katyn and the disappearance of more than a million and a
half other inhabitants of the former eastern Polish territories provides
the occasion for a broad treatment of Jewish murders and plans for murder,
as outlined in 8560. To this end, the “ZD” provides numerous
statements by the Jews themselves about the Jewish will to destroy all
The Jewish statements should be used to show that the Jewish mass murder
in Katyn is not an isolated Jewish crime against Poland, but rather it is
the intentional continuation of Jewish policies toward all Gentiles.
The fate that befell the Polish officer corps will fall on all European
peoples without exception, if we do not succeed in defeating Bolshevism
and stopping Stalin from carrying out the orders he has from Jewry.
The mass murder at Katyn clearly shows that the plans Jews have announced
to destroy their enemies are not the product of the fantasies of Jewish
opponents, but rather of an absolute desire for destruction. These plans
actually exist, and the Jews work to realize them when they have the
power. Magazines should emphasize that these Jewish statements do not
come only from Jewish Bolshevists, but rather that Jewry in the entire world
is responsible for the crime of Katyn. If the government, press and
radio in England and the USA are silent about the mass murder at Katyn,
or try to make ridiculous explanations, we will say that they are cooperating
with the Jewish murderers. The truth of this is shown by the fact that
the English and American publics have heard the plans for extermination
developed by the Moscow Jew Ilja Ehrenburg, with no contradiction from
their side. We want to avoid leading the German people to feel pity
for the Polish people because of Katyn. Without saying it directly,
we want to be clear that it is Poland’s fault that the Jews used it
to begin this war. In Katyn, the Polish officer corps and a large part
of the chauvinistic Polish intelligentsia received their reward for
The plans surfacing in the USA about “educating the German people”
after the war, and the bombing attacks on German cultural monuments,
which are the result of an inferiority complex, give us grounds to encourage
magazines to write about the cultural abyss that the North American
people are kept in by their plutocratic ruling class. It must be made
clear that an “American century” would be a cultural and political
catastrophe for Europe, not only an economic catastrophe.
In treating this topic, make clear that the cultural values that the
USA does have are the result of immigration from Europe. It did not
develop its own culture, but rather the level of culture is sinking as a
result of the jewdification of the ruling class, particularly as a result
of Jewish influences on the press, radio, theater and film. From a cultural
standpoint, the American people is a victim of the plutocrats and the
In treating this theme, do not make the North American people responsible
for the decline in culture. The reason is much more a leadership consciously
hostile to culture.
The North American thinks in abstract categories. He holds to an irrational
belief in democracy, moralism, idealism, freedom, etc. He is essentially
dogmatic. Contradictions in the general worldview: The land of freedom
has no room for freedom of thought, true freedom of the press, etc.
— The average American puts less importance than most Europeans
on whether what he reads or writes is true. That makes him very susceptible
to any kind of agitation. He has a mass of prejudices that he clothes
in slogans, and holds to firmly. He thinks in telegraphic style, has
limited powers of judgment, and focuses his attention on his immediate
area. The Middle West, for example, rejects any ties to Europe. The
eastern states have close ties to England. The western states are interested
in the Pacific.
These facts provide starting points for dealing with the theme. Further
material and suggestions are available in the Deutsche Wochenpost.
9259 [27 August 1943]: Themes
on the 5th year of war (3 September 1943)
In reviewing the past four years of war, and in looking to the fifth,
the following points should be considered:
1. The German people is fighting in this war for its national ethnic
existence, as so often in the past. The enemy this time wants actually
to rob the German people of its existence and wipe it out as a people.
We have the responsibility in the struggle to all coming generations,
as well at to the generations before us who fought for the future
of out people.
2. What we face today has been faced by very many previous generations
before us. Today, German cities and homesteads are in soot and ashes,
but in the past, too, German cities and villages have been destroyed.
We are not the only ones who have had to bear these things. Our fathers
and forefathers had to fight the same battles. They were victorious,
and built a new and richer life from the ruins. A people’s destroyed
material possessions can be quickly replaced. If the national freedom
of a people is lost, however, all the material possibilities for each
individual are also lost.
3. We have had enormous victories, but also several setbacks, in
this war that was forced on us by our opponents. From any perspective,
our victories are far greater than the temporary setbacks. They are
the foundation for the final victory, and are sufficient to ensure
it. We need only hold on to what we have already gained with hardness
4. The tests we now endure are tests of character for the German
people. If we survive these tests of character, we will thereby have
given the proof that we are up to the leadership tasks we have before
us. No other people in the world will be able to say to our generation
that they were braver, harder, or more determined. We are now entering
the decisive phase of the war. We have delivered hard blows already,
and the opponent is fighting desperately to avoid defeat. We will
meet the most recent attacks with hard determination. Our steadfastness
and our hardness, our bravery, our fanatic determination, guarantee
5. Our lines are not in Flanders, but on the Atlantic. Our lines
are not in Minsk, but at Leningrad, Orel, and Kharkov. We are not fighting
in Serbia any longer, but rather we dominate the Aegean Sea. All of Europe
is on our side, but the enemy has lost its sources of support in East
Asia. He has major problems, and knows that time is working for Germany,
not for him. He admits openly that the Soviets are being bled dry.
We know that Soviet agricultural production is a catastrophe, and
we know that England’s supply problems are enormous. In the war in
East Asia, our enemies have hardly made any progress in the last year.
The occupation of Sicily demanded great losses in shipping, material,
6. Their last hope is the moral collapse of the German people, since
they have seen that the German people cannot be defeated with weapons.
They have again turned to terror and lies. They hope bombs and lies
will wear down the German people, hoping to terrorize it as they once tried
to terrorize the National Socialist movement during our domestic battles.
Then the Jewish battle cry was “Clobber the Nazis wherever you
meet them.” Today, the Jewish battle cry is “Clobber the
German, wherever you meet him.” The National Socialist movement
did not collapse under such terror, nor will the German people fall
victim to Jewish terror.
7. As revenge came then, so it will come this time. Victory is at
the end of the struggle.
8. With the firm determination to master whatever fate may bring,
filled with the responsibility we bear to the past and future of our
people, certain of the final victory that will come from the battles
we have won in the past years of the war, we enter the fifth year
These points should be made by German magazines on the anniversary
of the beginning of the war on 3 September in compelling and effective
9262 [13 August 1943]: The Negro Problem in the USA
9766 [22 December 1943]: Copyright
Recently it has been clear that Roosevelt is attempting to gain the support of the Negro peoples of the USA‘s East and South. Jewry is also attempting to use the Negro question in the USA for its purposes. Furthermore, Negro riots in Detroit and Harlem as well as intensified Bolshevist propaganda among the Negroes give occasion for articles on the Negro problem in the USA. The Deutsche Wochendienst provides a variety of material on this theme. Articles must make clear that Negroes in the USA are the victims of the complete inability of democracy to organize the relationships between the various races. The Negro problem can be used as an example to show that the USA is not the much-praised land of freedom and equality. The preferred race there are the Jews, followed by the English-born population. After them come immigrants from Northern and Central Europe, then the Latin peoples, Indians, and Orientals, and last of all the Negroes. It is important also to note there is in the USA mass instinct, mass brutality, and the wish to uses the Negroes as cheap labor.
The word “colored” may not be used, above all not for the members of East Asian peoples. Nor may the Jews be called white. They are — incorrectly — seen as fully white in the USA< but they carry a significant element of Negro blood.
A3 [10 March 1944]: The Israelite
conception of religion. On the unfruitfulness of the Jewish spirit
We still cannot do without a copyright notice in certain cases. Readers
sometimes ask why, in the fifth year of war, an English copyright notice
is still found in German works. As a result of these protests, the Reich
Chamber of Literature recently informed its members that they no longer
need to state “Copyright by,” but rather can use the abbreviated
notice “Copr.,” along with the year and the name of the publisher.
Please use this also in the case of novels which are printed under copyright.
In many countries of the world, the Jews still enjoy the undeserved
credit for being “God’s people” or the “promised people,”
and are seen as the first proponents of monotheism. In reality, they
borrowed important parts of their religion, and took over parts of the
religions of the ancient Middle East. German magazines have an important
propaganda task here in opposing the idea of the Jews as “God’s
ancient people.” Many of the most appealing aspects of the Bible,
it must be pointed out, were either borrowed, or were part of the general
Middle Eastern belief system. The Deutscher Wochendienst provides magazines with important advice on this theme. It must be pointed
out that the origin and development of Jewry’s “religion”
can only be understood in the framework of ancient Middle Eastern spiritual
life, and that the history of Israel cannot be separated from the spiritual
history of the Middle East in general. The information in the Deutscher
Wochendienst on how the Jews transformed ancient myths into criminal
tales is of particular propaganda value, since in this regard ancient
Israel was morally inferior to other Middle Eastern religions of the
period. It would be wrong in the regard to discuss confessional differences
and issues, as if the ancient people of Israel were significantly different
from Jewry today, or as if Jewry first developed during the Babylonian
Captivity or during Ezra’s period. We also do not want to call the Jewish
idol IHWH (the old theological way of saying Jehovah, more recently
Jahwe) the Lord God, nor compare it with the belief in God of more decent
A132 [6 April 1944]: Stalin
The person of Stalin may from now on not be the center of stories or
commentaries about Bolshevism. The name Stalin in the future should
be mentioned only when it has to do with matters with which he is personally
A179 [21 April 1944]: “Gag”
Magazines are asked to eliminate the film expression “gag,”
which was adopted from American and English.
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