German Propaganda Archive Calvin College

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Background: Der Schulungsbrief was the Nazi Party’s monthly for political education. It attempted to present Nazi ideology in a way understandable to the masses. Party block wardens encouraged every household to subscribe. These are thirteen issues from 1942-1944, the years the balance of the war clearly shifted. In January 1942, it was possible for a German to think the war could be won. By April 1944, it was hard to believe that things were going well. The covers are thumbnails.

The source: Der Schulungsbrief, 1942-1944


The Schulungsbrief in 1942-1944

 
January/February/March 1942. The cover shows a German soldier attacking the Bolshevist dragon, with the caption: “The Reich and Europe are winning.” The lead article by Robert Ley begins: “Like all creatures, a human being has to follow the laws of nature. The National Socialist principle that humanity is divided into races, and that the races vary in their nature, abilities, and accomplishments, is an accepted fact everywhere, despite all the Jewish attempts to deny it.” Another article blames Jews for Germany’s defeat in World War I, and includes a graphic cartoon of a Jewish hand stabbing a German soldier in the back.

 
April/May/June 1942. The cover is captioned: “Battle and labor — brothers in victory.” The lead article encourages working for victory. Another article deals with Nazi plans for the European economy.

 
July/August 1942. The cover caption: “With plow and sword to victory.” Most of the issue deals with Nazi views on agriculture, including a long piece on German settlements in the east. A major article finds fault with the United States. It concludes: “The abyss to which Roosevelt’s mistakes have led is becoming only gradually clear to the average American. The crisis of Americanism first appeared at the end of Hoover’s term in a surprising manner, and has been concealed since only through constant emergency measures. Nothing will be able to stop it from encompassing all of American life, and sweeping it over a Niagara Falls.”

 
September/October 1942. The cover caption: “Life demands battle.” The lead article, titled “Europe’s Fateful Battle in the East,” deals with the war in Russia. Another article praises German soldiers.

 
November/December 1942. The cover and lead article have the same title: “Victory of Racial Strength.” The next article deals with European racial thinking. Several pages of art illustrate the theme. Another article finds little good about the American “melting pot,” and yet another article claims the Soviet Union is a racial mish-mash.

 
January/February 1943. The cover caption translates as “Work leads us to victory.” The issue opens with a quotation by Hitler: “This is war of money against labor, capital against the peoples, the forces of Reaction against those of human progress. And labor, and thus the peoples, and thus progress will win! All of Jewry’s support cannot stop it.” The lead article by Robert Ley is titled “Our Work Makes Us Free.” Another article argues that Germans have a better attitude toward work than the enemy side. Photos show Germans working in the east and problems in the USA. An article claims that most good things in the USA are the result of the labor of German immigrants. The final article is on labor holidays and ceremonies, focusing on May Day and the Harvest Festival.

 
March/April 1943. The cover caption is “Forward to Victory.” The opening quotation from Hitler is: “Woman was always not only the life companion, but also the labor companion, of the man. There is no struggle for a man that is not also a struggle for the woman, and there is no struggle for the woman that is not also a struggle for the man. We know no rights for men and no rights for women, rather we know but one right for both sexes, which is also the duty to live together for the nation, to work and to fight.” The lead article finds the situation of women far better in Germany than it is in America or elsewhere in Europe. There is a piece on the history of the German housewife. Another article looks at German achievements in America. The final article looks at the war in the east.
 

 
May/June 1943.  The cover caption is: “Our battle.” The opening article, titled “The Great Experience,” begins: “Our whole domestic life faces the need to increase its work for the war. This goal affects the personal lives of millions of people. The whole people will have to come to terms with changes and shortages, which given the situation can no longer be avoided in civilian life.” The next article claims the United States is anything but a peaceful country. The series on Germans in America continues. The final article claims the Jews are behind the attack on Europe.

 
 July/August 1943. The cover translates as “The People at Work.” The first article is titled “A Great Age — Great Accomplishments.” Two articles review European history. An article records a soldier’s wedding. Other articles look at food rationing, the causes of the war, and the influence of Jews in the USA.

 
September/October 1943. The cover shows a party member standing by a woman and her children who have been bombed out of their home. Enemy planes crash, and a hand rises from the flames. The first article is titled “The Call of Freedom.” It concludes: “This we know: Our victory will open the way for a more beautiful and happier Germany with National Socialist justice, and for a proud and blessed Europe! No one will take victory from us, for justice and freedom, human dignity and the strength of the future are on our side. We must only remain true to ourselves and true to the call of true freedom!” The next article covers Germany’s social achievements. There is a letter from a soldier in the east to his wife, a story of bravery in an air raid shelter, and a piece about agriculture.

 
November/December 1943.  The cover shows a mother and her children, bound by love to the soldier at the front. The lead article is titled “Life and Battle.” The next article discusses German morale. An article discusses a sixteen year old girl who won a medal for bravery when she and others were trapped in the basement of a bombed building for two days. The final item answers this comment: “We have treated the Jews so badly that we should not be surprised if we are treated in the same way.”

 
January-February 1944.  The cover shows a sculpture of the head of a wounded solder by Arno Breker, a leading Nazi artist. The lead interior article is on the role of the S.A. Albert Speer has an article titled “Our Superiority Will Win the Battle against the Masses.” Another article considers Allied bombing, making the claim that those who had been bombed out of their homes are “the avant-garde of German revenge.” A question/answer column claims that German savings are secure, that the Allies want to starve German women and children, and that Jews are cowardly parasites.

 
March-April 1944.  The cover shows a mother caring for her children. The lead article by Robert Ley is titled “Our Most Valuable Possession: The People’s Community.” Alfred Rosenberg has a piece titled “The War Criminal Churchill.”

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