Monday, December 22, 2008
Hitler looking at a Christmas tree. The facing page has these words from Goebbels's 1941 Christmas Eve speech: "On this evening we will think of the Führer, who is also everywhere present this evening wherever Germans gather, and place ourselves in the service of the fatherland. At the end of the war, it shall be greater, lovelier, and more impressive. It should be the proud and free homeland for us all. We promise the Führer that in this hour he can rely on his people at the front, at home, and in the world. He leads us. We follow him. Without the shadow of a doubt, we follow him, bearing the flag and the Reich. The flag and the Reich shall remain pure and unscathed when the great hour of victory comes."
From Deutsche Kriegsweihnacht
Background: During the war years, the Culture Department of the Reichspropagandaleitung of the Nazi Party, its central propaganda office, produced a book of material each Christmas for those both at home and at the front. It appeared in large editions from 1941-1944. This edition has 200 pages of stories, letters, songs, and illustrations. There is no hint whatsoever of the Christian nature of the holiday, made somewhat easier by the German word for Christmas: Weihnacht. The material presents a picture of German soldiers standing bravely at the front, while their confident wives and children rest secure at home, ready to make any sacrifice for final victory.
All this from the excellent German Propaganda Archive.