German Propaganda Archive Calvin College

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Background: This is the propaganda plan for Gau Weser-Ems for Spring 1942. It was prepared by the Reichspropagandaleitung office in Berlin, and distributed to regional (Gau) propaganda offices around the country, who then passed it on in their propaganda newsletters. It is an example of what propagandists at the local level were being told to do. Particularly interesting is the emphasis on face-to-face activity. Propagandists are instructed to show complete confidence in victory to those they meet.

The source: “ALLES NUR FÜR DEN SIEG, DER SIEG ALLEIN ENTSCHEIDET!”, Monatsblätter der Gaupropagandaleitung Weser-Ems der NSDAP. , 7 (1942), #3, pp. 18-19.


Everything for Victory,

Only Victory Is Important!”


 

Propaganda Plan for the Coming Months

The longer the war lasts, the greater the demands on the German people. It is therefore necessary to prepare the German people through the corresponding propaganda and educational activity. The following guidelines and directives provide the goals and directions for propaganda work in the coming weeks.

The Purpose

The coming months will bring spiritual and material burdens for the German people as a whole and for each individual. The goal, therefore, of our propaganda activity is to strengthen the spiritual and moral powers of resistance of the people so that it can bear the burdens without great difficulty. Only when every member of the public has realized that this war will determine the future of the German people, and therefore also his own fate, will the people be at the highest level of battle-readiness and resistance.

Victory will be won not only on the battlefield, but also in the hearts of the men and women of the whole German people.

The inevitable difficulties may not be ignored, for our enemy is working to use them to spread poor attitudes, unrest, and even splits in the people.

The enemy’s last hope is to split the German people from its leadership and to disunify them. They believe that they can once again do what they did in 1918. Their “last hope” that they can use the same means to win that they used in 1918 is the main reason why they do not see that they cannot win this war. That means that their efforts to use the old methods to reach their goals will intensify, not diminish.

Their increased efforts at spiritual warfare and moral splintering must meet our stronger and more determined defenses, and that on the part of the entire nation.

We must therefore radically root out everything that might inflame the people and encourage difficulties of any kind. Everyone must be convinced of one thing only: The victory of German weapons! There cannot be a single citizen who is not from deepest conviction ready to set aside all his personal desires to serve the cause of victory.

As the Führer said to our enemies:

“You may be sure of this: Today you are facing a different Germany than the Germany of the past. You are now facing the Germany of Frederick the Great.”

The homeland must prove the truth of his statement. No one can stand to the side. Everyone must know and think each day:

Everything for victory, only victory is important!”

Content

The Reichspropagandaleiter [Goebbels] has said:

“Everything that serves victory is important for the war effort. Everything that hinders victory, or even slows it down, is a crime against the security of the nation.”

This sets the main direction of our efforts. More than ever before, the home front must show heroic traits. Everyone’s slogan must be:

Fight until the enemy is defeated!

The following guidelines should be followed:

1. Honesty and Firmness: In presenting the war situation, false optimism is to be avoided. Of course, our complete confidence in victory should be expressed, but no one may be led to hope that final victory can happen without great additional exertions and deprivations, or that the worst is over and that things will be easier from here on. Even if we win major new military successes, citizens should not be led to believe that they can reduce their exertions.

2. Extent and Significance of the War: Many citizens still do not realize the size and extent of the current conflict. This war will finally provide the German people with a secure future, a future in which they will no longer be among the have-nots of the world. Rather, they will have sufficient space and food for all, room for each to develop his abilities. Our socialist will must be realized! Our enemies, especially World Jewry, are doing all they can to stop us.

The hour of decision for the life of our nation has come!

The Reichspropagandaleiter put the extent and dimension of the conflict in these words:

“This war is not only a widespread, gigantic battle for our national honor and prestige, it is a battle for the most basic needs of our people, for space,work, food, for a human existence, for an end to eternal crises.”

A war with such high goals demands from us our full energy, our complete resolve, our total determination, and an absolute readiness to sacrifice.

3. The Goal of our Enemies: Our enemies are willing to do anything. The Führer has said:

“Once they tried to starve democratic Germany; today they want to exterminate the National Socialist nation!”

Our enemies have stated this goal often enough. When every citizen is fully clear that this war will determine not only his status, perhaps even his life, but also the future of his children, he will be willing to give his full effort for victory. Thus our enemy’s goals should be constantly repeated, with appropriate documentation. The misery that followed the Treaty of Versailles makes clear what will happen if we lose!

4. Final Victory is Certain: All the prerequisites for our victory are at hand. The present situation is much more favorable than that of the World War. Our problems of that war, such as France’s traditional position as a continental base for England, have been solved. The Balkans are no longer a danger for us. The Soviet Union has lost its decisive offensive power, and two great powers that opposed us during the World War, Italy and Japan, now are fighting on our side. Their economic and military power is joined with ours. The present situation, then, in comparison to the World War, has changed entirely in our favor.

The German people further has a leadership better than it has ever had before! Its readiness to do everything necessary has been shown many times already.

Since a united people stands behind the leadership, a people determined and willing to accept any deprivations and sacrifices, the last hope of our enemy will collapse and victory will inevitably fall to us.

Means and Methods

The Reichspropagandaleitung provides propaganda material such as the Poster of the Week, posters, weekly pictures, slide shows, weekly picture reports, etc. In addition, the Gau- and county propaganda leaders must find other means and methods.

Face-to-face propaganda is one of the most valuable methods in local groups. Personal activity by members of the party and its divisions must be greatly increased.

1. Face-to-Face Propaganda: All political leaders, SA men, and members of other organizations are to be systematically trained in face-to-face propaganda. Meetings for political leaders and SA men must be held to train them. Above all, it must be made clear to them that they have an obligation to be committed National Socialists and followers of the Führer wherever they are. They must combat any false ideas, particularly in personal contacts with other citizens.

What these men need to know about political events they can easily learn from the newspapers, the radio, and the material provided by the RPL (Sonderdienst and the Propagandaparole), and above all from the articles of the Reichspropagandaleiter. It is not critical that they know every detail of the situation or of political events, but rather they must display complete conviction that there is no alternative but victory for the German people, and that everything must be done for it, above all that the full efforts of each individual are required.

During the period when we were struggling for power, most members and even most political leaders did not know exactly when we would seize power and what we would do thereafter, but all were firmly convinced that we would reach our goal and did everything they could to achieve it. Back then, political leaders and SA men certainly could not have given the details of how we would solve the numerous problems Germany faced, but each National Socialist was convinced that we would solve them. Each party member saw but a single goal, the seizure of power, and was willing to sacrifice all to reach it, including his job and family. Every citizen today must be taught to have the same heroic attitude.

That requires steady and constant work. This is best done by the men trained for it, political leaders, members of the SA, the SS, the NSKK, who are known as active followers of the Führer.

2. Membership Meetings: In coming weeks, every local group will hold a membership meeting. These should be carefully prepared. Party members should be reminded of their duties as National Socialists and as fighters in a united political struggle.

Party leaders will receive a directive on this.

Public Meetings

Political leaders and SA men will be prepared for their work during meetings for them. Large public meetings will speak to the public as a whole.

These large meetings must be the high points of our propaganda activity in the area. They must be carefully prepared to ensure mass attendance. The dates are to be worked out between the counties and the Gaupropagandaleitung’s department of “Active Propaganda.” The members of the Gau Ring for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda will provide support.

 

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