Christmas with Hitler

What was Christmas like with Hitler?

The answer comes from a Michigan communications professor, who's created a disturbing web collection showing the Third Reich's attempt to convert the holiday into military propaganda. But Christmas of 2008 also finds authentic reminders of the Nazi era turning up on eBay and YouTube. The question is uncomfortable, inappropriate — and morbidly fascinating. And fortunately, some comedians on YouTube have supplied the last word.

Randall Bytwerk teaches communications at Calvin College, and his web exhibit of Nazi propaganda offers an actual glimpse of the murderous dictator at Christmastime.

"Hitler had thousands of Autobahn workers as his guests in the Berlin Sportpalast at Christmas 1938," explains an upbeat pamphlet called Everybody's Hitler!. "Note the Christmas trees... Hitler's enemies lie when they say that Christmas has been abolished in Germany." (After invading France, the Nazis were assuring its Alsace province that der Führer still celebrated the holiday.)

Another photo shows a decorated tree behind a festive Christmas dinner for Hitler and his soldiers. The blitzkrieg isn't mentioned, but the site does remind us that later — of course — the pamphlet was translated into Dutch.

Professor Bytwerk shows that during the Nazi regime, Hitler's culture department continued producing a Christmas booklet with magical stories, festive songs, and lavish illustrations. (The 1944 edition was 200 pages long.) Several pages quoted the fanatical Christmas Eve speeches of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
On this evening we will think of the Führer, who is also everywhere present this evening wherever Germans gather... The flag and the Reich shall remain pure and unscathed when the great hour of victory comes.

Like Santa Claus, Hitler is everywhere — and he probably sees you when you're sleeping, and knows when you're awake. The book even includes an apparent Christmas card from der Fürhrer himself displaying a red flower with an inspiring Christmas quote: "All nature is a gigantic struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak."

Another site actually shows Santa paying a visit on Nazi officers and their girlfriends in Christmas of 1944.

But the Nazis ultimately had an insidious agenda for the holiday, and Hitler's propaganda department could show Bill O'Reilly what a real war on Christmas looks like. "The Nazis were out to transform Christmas from a Christian holiday to a celebration of the family in a National Socialist context," writes professor Bytwerk. In 1943 the Nazis released a 64-page pamphlet for Advent which never mentions Jesus. A drawing of lonely soldiers is captioned:
Through your bravery, you give us at home a lovely Christmas season. Each child, as he sees the candle's glow and sings the songs, thinks of you, full of thanks.

The most disturbing entry is a Christmas story about three men lost in the woods — a king, a soldier, and a wood-cutter. Bright stars light a poor woman's hut where she holds her newborn child. She advises her visitors that children fulfill the promise of the future, and the three visitors offer him gifts. "Nazi propaganda intended to remove as much of the Christian content of Christmas as possible," writes professor Bytwerk, "turning it into a family festival with German racial overtones."

There's a page for each day of the month, but each entry is intensely secular, like a sample children's letter to a soldier on the front. ("Mother is already baking for the soldier's package... We think of you so often, especially when we hear the news on the radio...") One YouTube user has even found a clip of a documentary showing Goebbels' Hitler Youth propaganda for Christmas of 1942.

More than 65 years later, it's still a painful subject, and in 2006 the German magazine Spiegel uncovered a bizarre incident:
Germans shopping for Christmas trinkets have been shocked recently to discover row upon row of Santa Clauses looking to all the world as if they are giving the Hitler salute — right arm, straight as an arrow, raised skyward. Never mind that St. Nick is carrying a bag of toys and wearing a silly red hat complete with a white pom-pom. Shoppers were sure — these Santas were Nazis.

It's still possible to buy Nazi artifacts on eBay, including Nazi-era coins and stamps — but not in every country. "This item cannot be sold in Germany, Italy, France, or Austria," reads one page description, "as stated in Ebay Rules." But the web has found more than one way to remember a dark moment in world history. In fact, 2008 ends with Hitler starring in his very own humiliating meme.

There's at least half a dozen videos on YouTube swapping in silly subtitles for Hitler's dialogue in an intense movie called Downfall. The original film chronicled Hitler's final 12 days in a bunker in Berlin, receiving bad news from subordinates as his military crumbles.

But now web wise guys have the dictator ranting insanely over trivial slights — poor attendance at Burning Man, the subprime mortgage crisis, getting his avatar banned from World of Warcraft, or struggling to upgrade Windows Vista. Inevitably, last week someone appropriated the meme to show Hitler complaining about the cost of buying Christmas presents.

"Those of you that think I am being unreasonably cheap better leave now..." a furious Hitler warns his staff.

Magically, the footage has been re-titled again and again, forcing Hitler to endure every possible insult of fate, and this latest video shows him being slowly bankrupted at Christmastime — by requests for iPads and 3DTVs.

See Also:
A Christmas Conspiracy
Christmas 2.0: Subverting the Holidays with YouTube
Death at Christmas
Five Awful Thanksgivings in History

14 thoughts to “Christmas with Hitler”

  1. So how many centuries is it gonna be before people stop whining and moaning about Hitler? Give it a rest already.

  2. For over Sixty years the World has been “guilt tripped” and milked of “reparations” by the SAME people who invented the very crimes of which they complain. Now they piously proclaim their desire for “peace, peace”, as they parade these rules around their places of worship, and KISS the scrolls on which these odious “rules” are codified.

    It was the Israelites that introduced to the world, and codified in their religion, Bigotry, Genocide, everything CRIMINAL that they now condemn in the Nazis
    The Nazis called themselves “superior” people. The CHOSEN People of GOD do not like the competition.
    The Nazis stole property from their victims.
    Aside from stealing ALL of Palestine, as well documented in the Torah(the 1st 5 books of the Bible) “for a place to live”,
    which they are repeating today, and the Nazis copied and called “growth room” how about ……..
    Exodus c.3 v.22
    Exodus c.11 v.2
    Exodus c.12 v.35-36 (obviously “Thou SHALT NOT STEAL” does not apply to NON-Jews.)

    The Nazis killed their own crippled and crazy.
    Numbers c.5 v.2-4 “putting them out of camp” means go die in the desert

    The Nazis killed homosexuals and sexual “deviants” …………..
    Leviticus c.20 v.13 well, really the whole chapter

    The Nazis killed those who dissented from the “party line” ……………..
    Exodus c.32 v.27
    Numbers c.11 v.1-2
    Numbers c.16 all
    Numbers c.21 v.5-6
    Numbers v.26 v.10

    The Nazis held themselves apart from other people……………….
    NO “diversity”, NO “integration”:
    Numbers v25 v.4-8
    Deuteronomy c.14 v.2

    The jews complain that Nazis demonized those they did not like, calling them perverts, parasites, unclean …..
    The Jews today call YOU “Gentile, GOYIM, Shiska” pejorative names equal to “the ‘N'” word.
    Demonizing, DEHUMANIZATION, is commonly used in order to justify killing people.
    The entire Torah/Books of Moses is a dehumanization of all NON-israelites.
    Accusing others of deviant sexuality, unclean practices, worshiping the “wrong” god, eating the “wrong” food.
    HATE codified in the Bible.

    FINALLY, the BIG evil ………..
    The Nazis engaged in GENOCIDE, deliberately killing men, women and children… because of their difference:
    After DEhumanizing the Native People of Palestine, the Israelites introduced GENOCIDE to the World:
    Numbers c.21 v.03 Canaanites
    Numbers c.21 v.24 Amorites
    Numbers c.21 v.33 Bashan
    Numbers c.31 all Midianites
    Numbers c.32 v. more Amorites
    Deuteronomy c.2 v.34 People of Heshbon
    Deuteronomy c.3 v.6 really the whole chapter. threescore cities
    Joshua c.12 A list of victims of Israeli GENOCIDE
    Where are THEIR “holocaust” Memorials!

    Genocide codified in their religion:
    Numbers c.33 v.31-34
    Deuteronomy c.7 v.2
    Deuteronomy c.12 v.28-30
    Deuteronomy c.20 v.11-16

    Terrorism codified in their religion:
    Deuteronomy c.2 v.2
    Deuteronomy c.7 v.16

    BURNING FLESH is “A sweet savor unto the Lord” – JUST A FEW of MANY MANY examples
    Exodus c.29 v.18, 25, 41&42
    Leviticus c.1 v.17
    Leviticus c.2 v.2&&9&12
    Leviticus c.3 v.5

    Now some will say “Oh, the Bible is not FACT, it is allegory or whatever.”
    To which I answer, FINE, then so is the portion where God supposedly “gave” Israel the land of Palestine.
    You cannot deny one verse, then use the next verse as justification to murder and steal land from People.

    For millenia the Jews have WAILED about their abject slavery under “Torturous, Inhumane”
    conditions in Egypt. As a matter of fact, their wailing is the same as their wailing
    about the “Torturous, Inhumane” treatment by the Nazis.
    How is it that “impoverished, abject slaves” have lambs to slaughter, flocks and herds?
    Exodus c.12 v.21
    Exodus c.12 v.32&38
    Exodus c.35 v.22-23
    How is it that “abject impoverished slaves” have neighbors with GOLD and SILVER and JEWELS to LOAN to these “slaves”
    Exodus c.3 v.22
    Exodus c.11 v.2
    Exodus c.12 v.35-36

  3. 5 big hit hollywood movies out for Xmas–all about bad nazies.When will the jews stop.You’d never see a hollywood movie about the zionist treatment of palestinians or a movie made of the USS Liberty attacks or the control of the Nazie party and media.It is a fact that WWI WWII were instigated by Jews for the homeland for Jews. If only the millions dead could come back alive and haunt the Jews. Jews have control of the West world ‘s media—nothing will change,Hitler’s men Jewish–sad affairs and now they are wrecking America :^(

  4. I don’t even know where to begin.

    First, I’m certain no Allied nation mentioned their soldiers at Christmastime during the war. Hell, nothing like that’s even happened here during the last few years! A nod to soldiers fighting away from home at Christmas is old hat, not some insidious Nazi plot. Get real.

    Second, even if there WERE such a plan, which there was not, the Christian content of Christmas is just about zero, despite the name. Aside from a passing mention of Jesus being born, everything else about it is pagan European or American, from the pagan tree, lights, feasting, gifts, and date (Winter solstice) to Santa Claus, who’s largely an invention of the frigging Coca-Cola corporation.

    And for God’s sake, it’s the fucking ROMAN salute. Not the Hitler salute, unless he magically travelled backwards 2000 years in time to instruct Caesars in its use. It was around long long long before Hitler (for example, Mussolini introduced it in Italy some 11 years before Hitler was elected in Germany). You know, there actually WAS history before the last century and a half! God, this is why the terrorists hate you.

  5. ‘murderous dicator’


    Even if Hitler was ‘murderous’ – and personally I consider this adjective to be an outrageous defamation – Churchill and his fellow glee bombers were far, far worse.

    Churchill, not Hitler, is the greatest war criminal in modern European history.

  6. George in Toronto , you might first reasearch why you unwittingly designate Christmas “x-mas” so unconsciously.

    By the way, I just watched a small town Canadian Christmas parade. Of course they call itn a Santa Claus parade. I guess they got some complaints. Anyway, Santa came along in a military jeep. You see a lot of this kind of thing in the West. More than some people want to admit. Well, they admit it, if its someone else they’re pointing at.

  7. I’m more concerned about what the “Christians” did with Christmas. It hasn’t been the same since the 4th century. Those Romans disguised all of their pagan winter solstice traditions with a bunch of Christian hooplah and look what we have had in the last hundred years: anyone from Hitler to George Bush trying to spread holiday cheer for thier own ends.

    What would the Flying Spaghetti Monster say about all this?

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