Background: The Nazi Party had a significant role in responding to Allied bombing attacks on Germany. The party often had low public standing, and articles like this one were intended to build its credibility. Die Auslese was a monthly periodical carrying articles from many sources, something of a German Reader’s Digest.
The source: “Die Partei überwinden den Terror,” Die Auslese, July 1944 (reprinted from the Deutsche Illustrierte, 23 May 1944).
The Party Overcomes Terror
by Hans Uhle
The degenerate war of Anglo-American terror rages over the cities and villages of Germany, hoping to force the homeland, the backbone and source of strength of the fighting front, into a shameful capitulation like that of November 1918. The homeland itself has become the front in the hardest sense of the word. For many months the population of the cities suffering bombing terror has lived in a way that differs outwardly, perhaps, from the infantry at the front, but not inwardly. They are constantly on watch, waiting for the signal “They are coming!” The air raid warnings call the men and women of the homeland to determined resistance at their battle stations, just as soldiers take up their weapons. Each air raid cellar today is a battle station against thousand-fold murder and fire. Iron will and the hardest determination are the only weapons available in this battle against those Anglo-American air Huns who escape flak and night fighters to drop their death- and destruction- bringing loads on our cities....
The party stands in the front lines of resistance in this battle against terror. This is its greatest and hardest test, and never has it been clear and more evident that it is a popular movement in the truest sense of this important word. No one today doubts any longer that this war of terror against the civilian population, against women and children, the old and the ill, would be impossible without the party. During the brief years of peace, some saw the party’s efforts merely as “organization.” Today, it has proved itself a well-planned, beneficial community of fighting men and women who, in addition to full days at their jobs, are wiling to sacrifice all their strength for the good of the community, proving it countless times through their actions. Many a one who once shook his head in pity about the block warden, seeing him as a door-to-door salesman, has long since come to see him as a selfless helper in this hard and difficult time, one who gives his life and possessions in voluntary service to help the people’s comrades on his block as much as possible. Our people’s community today looks with confidence to the NSDAP local group as the center in the battle against terror. The local group has earned this great confidence and it is genuine, not a matter of empty words.
The organization of the party’s battle against Anglo-American terror resembles that of a general staff, consisting of various divisional staffs just as the front has a variety of fighting units. Although the form of the degenerate war of terror has no precedent to provide the hundreds of years of experiences of the modern military, this organization has been perfected to the last detail in a very short time. The party today, with all of its subsidiaries and affiliated organizations, is a powerful force against which the enemy’s attacks are in vain, regardless of how much he intensifies his terror and unleashes his Old Testament hatred.
The party watches over Germany. Proof that this is not merely symbolic is evident from a survey of the party’s command posts before a terror attack. Long before the sirens wail over a city, everything has been done in these command posts to effectively combat terror. The Gauleitung has passed on information about incoming enemy aircraft received from the Luftwaffe to all offices and given them orders to be prepared. The Gauleitung is the general staff of the city’s civil defense, directing the whole efforts based on tested and proved experience. It has a broad view of the whole front of the city being attacked and takes care that the worst hit areas receive the fastest and comprehensive assistance. This prevents random dispersal of defensive measures that would render them entirely ineffective.
The Gauleitung receives information about damage and losses from terror attacks from the county command posts, the division staffs of civil defense. Reports reach the county command posts from the front lines, the NSDAP local groups. Just as immediate responsibility at the front rests with the commanders of the individual units, so it is in the battle against bombing terror. The local group leader, together with the men and women of the party and its affiliates and subordinate organizations must hold the front, whatever the cost.
The defensive will of the population units at the local group command post. During a terror attack the most tested “old warriors” of the nights of terror await their orders, which often are carried out under heavy bombardment. They go to where human lives are most in danger. Couriers from the cells bring news and request urgent assistance. The telephone rings constantly — the only sound permitted — begging all too often for help. Available reserves in the cells are reported to the local group leader. A motorcycle driver stands ready to bring the local group leader to all damaged areas of his local group as soon as the terror attack is over.
Immediately after the last bomb falls, the local group begins the difficult task of providing every possible form of assistance. The art of improvisation has been perfected to the highest degree, since not infrequently the very resources that have been established to fight terror have been more or less seriously hit. It is not enough to rescue the trapped, put out fires, salvage household goods. Those people affected by terror must receive immediate and comprehensive care. For those who are the center of the party’s concern lodging and meals must be found, often under what seem hopeless conditions. The party, however, always succeeds. Above all, it is hardly possible to record the achievements of the NS-Frauenschaft. He who has had a roll and cup of coffee after long hours of fighting terror will be forever thankful to these women.
Meanwhile, the men of the party stand tirelessly in burning buildings, pass pails of water hand-to-hand, swing picks and axes at burning balconies and roofs. Men, women, and children haul furniture and household goods from burning buildings. The fire department’s “heavy weapons” cannot be used everywhere at the same time. Just as in the forward trenches the anonymous infantryman fights, so the nameless party member, often enough alone, depends on his strength and abilities against the raging flames. The word “impossible” does not apply to his desperate battle against murder and fire. He cannot give up, he cannot grow weary. He has proven often enough that he puts the good of the community above his own. The image of his comrades at the front is always before him, whose home or hard-won possessions he may be protecting.
He obviously sacrifices his free time. His “days off” from the terror war are for collecting furniture and household goods, to mend roofs, to clean up all sorts of things. After an attack, the local group is the source of all assistance. Only the local group leader is able can evaluate all of the results of a terror attack in his area, and only he can provide whatever real immediate assistance is possible. For those people’s comrades in areas unaffected by terror, the large-scale efforts of the party, its affiliates, and subordinate organizations may seem the most significant — the supply trains and field kitchens, the major resettlement measures. They may be assured, however, that just as the infantry bears the brunt of the hardest battles, so also in the homeland the smallest and most forward unit, the local group, is the backbone of resistance needed to overcome terror. It is always guided by the proud words the Führer had for his party at the last Reich Party Rally: “Just as during the long years of struggle for power in Germany I could rely blindly on you, so also — I know — Germany and I can rely on you today!”
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