Lothrop Stoddard – Interview with Dr. Joseph Goebbels

Theodore Lothrop Stoddard
(29.06.1883 – 01.05.1950)

Another noteworthy point is that the Government made no attempt to ease the people into the war by tactful stages. Quite the reverse. Nazi spokesmen tell you frankly that they cracked down hard from the start and made things just about as tough as the civilian population could bear. Indeed, they say that severe rationing of food and clothing from the very beginning was done not merely to avert present waste and ensure future supplies; it was done also to make people realize that they were in a life-and-death struggle for which no sacrifice was too great.

This was stiff medicine for a people as stunned, depressed, and jittery as the Germans certainly were during the first two months of the war. I do not recall any other Government which has prescribed a course of treatment so drastic, under similar circumstances. Flag-waving and assorted heroics are the orthodox formula.

I was therefore deeply interested to discuss this original method with the man who carried it out. He was no less a person than Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, head of the vast propaganda machine which is perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Third Reich.

This lithe, brunet Rhinelander, with his agile mind, cynical humor, and telling gestures, is an excellent person to interview. He is mentally on his toes every instant, and he is full of what the journalist calls „good lines.“ He got one of them off early in our conversation when he stigmatized the British blockade of Germany by exclaiming: „It’s high time that forty million people stopped dictating to eighty million when they should have a cup of coffee!“ As Dr. Goebbels warmed to his subject, his words flowed with the smoothness of a well-oiled machine.

„Mr. Minister,“ I began, broaching the subject uppermost in my mind, „the thing that strikes me most since I’ve been in Germany this time is the great difference between the popular mood now and in the last war. No hurrahs, parades, bands, and flowers like in 1914.“

„That’s right,“ he shot back quickly, „and the reason is very simple. In 1914 the German people didn’t know what it was all about. They had no clear war aim. Some French iron mines! A bit of Belgium! _Gott strafe England_! Slogans and phrases! That’s no way to wage a war. And our rulers then couldn’t make them understand. They were an aristocratic caste, out of touch with the people.“

„And now?“ I put in.

„Now?“ he countered. „We National Socialists are men of the people. We know how our fellow-citizens think and how to make them understand. But, really, the British have done it for us. They’ve given us our war aim by forcing the war on us.“

„Meaning what?“ I asked.

„Meaning this,“ he replied. „We made it clear to the British that we didn’t want to disturb their empire. We carefully kept our hands off sore spots like India and Ireland. Why, we even offered to give them a military guarantee of their empire’s integrity. But we made it clear that, in return, they were to keep their hands off our sphere of interest–Central Europe. Well, they wouldn’t have it that way. They’re trying to crush us. So, this time, every German knows what it’s all about.“

„And that’s why they’re so quiet about it?“ I asked.

„Exactly,“ nodded Dr. Goebbels with a quick smile. „We Germans don’t like this war. We think it’s needless–silly. But, since England feels that way, we see it’s got to be gone through with. The average German feels like a man with a chronic toothache–the sooner it’s out, the better. And he doesn’t need brass bands and flowers to get it over with. That’s where our aristocrats went wrong last time. They forgot old Bismarck’s saying that hurrah-patriotism isn’t like pickled herring that you can put up in barrels and store away for years. Listen! If I wanted to get the German people emotionally steamed up, I could do it in twenty-four hours. But they don’t need it–they don’t want it.“

„Then, psychologically–“ I began.

Dr. Goebbels cut in with a sweeping gesture. „Psychologically,“ he answered, „we are way ahead. Last time, I admit, it was very different. Then, at the crucial moment, both France and England produced great men–Clemenceau and Lloyd George, both men of the people. If we on our side could have produced a Bismarck or a Hitler, we should have won. This time, we have the right men and the others haven’t. We National Socialists understand profoundly that it is the human being who counts–not just material resources. England is socially unsound. She is a colossus with feet of clay. Furthermore, England has a negative, defensive war aim. This time, it’s the British who talk in vague phrases like ‘aggression.’ What does it mean to Tommy in the trenches to tell him he’s fighting ‘aggressors’?“

„Would you mind enlarging on that a bit, Mr. Minister?“ I asked.

„Certainly not,“ he answered. „The more you examine British war aims, the more negative they appear. The English admit they have nothing tangible to get out of this war but that they have a lot to lose. We, on the other hand, have very little to lose and a lot to win. Here we Germans are–eighty million of us, all together. And right next to us is our sphere of influence in Central Europe–everything under one roof. Sooner or later, we massed Germans are bound to get what we need. The British, on the contrary, are spread all over the map. They draw their resources from the four corners of the earth. Their empire is too dispersed, too artificial. They’re bound to lose in the long run.“

„Then the British Empire–“ I began.

„Please understand,“ broke in Dr. Goebbels. „We had no designs upon it. We showed this clearly when we made the naval treaty with England limiting our fleet to one-third their size. In face of that fact, any responsible German who might have meditated an attack upon the British Empire would have been guilty of criminal madness. It is only now, when England forces us to a life-and-death struggle, that we hit back in every possible manner. All we asked was that England regard us, too, as a great nation with its own special sphere. After all, nations should be treated on their merits, for what they are. Live and let live was our motto toward England. It is the British who would not have it that way.“

„The English,“ I remarked, „seem to believe that this is a struggle between democracy and dictatorship.“

„Dictatorship!“ shot back Dr. Goebbels scornfully. „Isn’t the National Socialist Party essentially the German people? Aren’t its leaders men of the people? How silly to imagine that this can be what the English call dictatorship! What we today have in Germany is not a dictatorship but rather a political discipline forced upon us by the pressure of circumstances. However, since we have it, why shouldn’t we take advantage of the fact?“

„Just what do you mean by that, Mr. Minister?“ I queried.

„I’ll give you an example,“ answered Dr. Goebbels. „Take the difference between the way we and the English handle radio. We don’t let our people listen to foreign broadcasts; the English do. Why should we permit our people to be disturbed by foreign propaganda? Of course we broadcast in English, and the English people are legally permitted to listen in. I understand lots of them do. And can you imagine what is one of the chief discussions about it across the Channel? It is, whether our German announcer has an Oxford or a Cambridge accent! In my opinion, when a people in the midst of a life-and-death struggle indulge in such frivolous arguments, it doesn’t look well for them.“

„Then, Mr. Minister,“ I asked, „you don’t think there is much likelihood that history will repeat itself?“

Dr. Goebbels’ dark eyes lighted. „History never repeats itself,“ he exclaimed with a sweeping gesture.

„History is like a spiral–and we believe that, since the last war, we have made an ascending turn while Britain has made a descending one. Today, we have a national unity, discipline, and leadership vastly superior to that of 1914, and even more superior to anything which England has as yet produced. The rightful claims of the German people were thwarted a generation ago. They cannot be denied a second time.“

So saying, the world-famous Minister of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda rose briskly from his chair and gave me a vigorous handshake. One last look at the slim, dynamic figure and his spacious office hung with historic portraits, and the interview was over. I had got „the dope,“ all right, from headquarters. And the more one studies the text of that interview, the more revealing it becomes–in many ways! It certainly was propaganda of the Goebbels brand.

Celebrations in the Life of the SS Family

Download PDF File

This publication explains the meaning of the various celebrations and provides guidance to the SS family on how to celebrate them in the right spirit. Through reading this booklet, every SS Man and SS Woman should come to a deeper understanding of these celebrations. This booklet should be especially useful to the SS Woman, as most of the preparations will fall to her.

Knowledge of the customs of our forefathers gives us inner peace; keeping to these customs gives us direction and strength.

Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons (1723)

Violin: Julia Fischer,
Conductor: Kenneth Sillito
Performance: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Director: Rhodri Huw
Filmed in: The National Botanic Garden of Wales, July 2011

Concerto No.1 in E major, Op.8, RV 269, „La primavera“ (Spring) [00:26]
i. Allegro
ii. Largo e pianissimo sempre
iii. Allegro pastorale

Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.8, RV 315, „L’estate“ (Summer) [09:44]
i.Allegro non molto
ii. Adagio e piano — Presto e forte
iii. Presto

Concerto No.3 in F major, Op.8, RV 293, „L’autunno“ (Autumn) [19:50]
i. Allegro
ii. Adagio molto
iii. Allegro

Concerto No.4 in F minor, Op.8, RV 297, „L’inverno“ (Winter) [29:55]
i. Allegro non molto
ii. Largo
iii. Allegro

Adolf Hitler – speech at the laying of the cornerstone for the House of German Tourism on Potsdamer Strasse in Berlin

June 14, 1938

Once more we National Socialists cannot leave the resolution of such important issues, which we today can already anticipate, to posterity. It has always been our principle to approach such problems ourselves and to resolve them ourselves! It is for this reason that the newly constructed roads were not built for the years 1938, 1939, or even 1940. Rather they were constructed to account for the gigantic increase in flow of traffic certain for the coming decades, indeed for the coming centuries.

Yes, it is at this time-now that we can more easily deal with these issues- that we see to avoiding in Berlin the traffic problems we are witnessing today in many another metropolis. One day posterity will judge what many perhaps cannot comprehend today as a beneficial decision and its implementation as a most fortunate occurrence.

And so we are building not only great traffic circles in this city, but also we are constructing two great veins of traffic flowing through Berlin: one in the East-West direction and one in the North-South direction.

Parts of the East-West axis are already under construction and, in all likelihood, they will be opened for traffic within a few months’ time.

Completing the corresponding connection to the East will be a task for the coming years. And today, in a sense, we find ourselves placing the cornerstone for the North-South axis at this location as well. These great sections will later be connected to the great Reichsautobahn ring. In the future, they will lead the motorist from outlying areas directly into the heart of the city of Berlin. Again both stretches are not planned for the year 1940, but for centuries to come. For I believe in an eternal Germany, and hence 1 believe in its capital! I believe that just as we today are grateful to those men who three hundred years ago planned and brought to life the Unter den Linden Avenue, posterity will be grateful to us three hundred years from now! With this road system, we will find a generous solution for the suburban fast train traffic which no doubt will remain the primary means of transportation for the masses. Millions of people already utilize these trains to go to work each day and people will use them increasingly in the future. Thus this problem, too, has found a most generous solution for the immediate future.

There is yet another consideration which compels us to carry through this project: we want to introduce a planned order into cultural construction. My Volksgenossen, all which will be built here within the next ten, fifteen or twenty years, would be built in any event. However, as experience has shown, everyone would build precisely as he wished and where he wished to build.

With this plan, all these construction projects will be synchronized, planned and more correctly carried through. Furthermore, buildings and constructions designed to bring benefit to the inner city, but which were consistently postponed, will he built. [-] Just imagine where it would lead if everyone-the Reich, the Land, the Movement, the community, economy, trade, industry, etc.-built as he pleased in such a city, choosing a spot somewhere and putting up his house there. That could only lead to complete chaos. It is here that I intervened and led construction in this city into more orderly avenues! And on this foundation the new Berlin will be built! In addition, there is the necessity to create new residential areas and to link these tip to the suburban fast train system that leads into the city. For the first time in over one hundred and fifty years, methodical order will be restored to the appearance of the city of Berlin! And thus it is a day of great pride for me as I lay the cornerstone to the first building in this city, a building that owes its existence to the new planned order.

The Haus des deutschen Fremdenverkehrs justly deserves to be the first in a series of new buildings in the inner city of Berlin. After all, everything we are building here today will one day lead to an immense increase in foreigners visiting Germany. The mighty structures we are erecting in the Reich today will pay off in the end as Germany increasingly becomes the center for tourism we imagine. The world will come to see us and will above all want to ascertain that this Germany is indeed a stronghold of European culture and human civilization. [-] I am placing this cornerstone for the remodeling of the Haus des deutschen Fremdenverkehrs in Berlin, and hence I order commencement of the restructuring work for Greater Berlin!