Public meetings were indispensable to the Nazis’ rise to power, and the new government continued to rely on them to marshal support for its policies and plans for the future. They took place in every town and neighborhood and were also hosted by businesses and social groups. The Propaganda Ministry attended to every organizational detail, down to the arrangement of the furniture and props in the meeting halls, and a concerted effort was made to recruit and train effective public speakers. The Ministry also published a bimonthly journal indicating the topics and talking points it wanted its speakers to discuss.
Occasionally there would be a slide show (Lichtbildvortrag). Speakers were then given printed information about each slide:
Goebbels’ ministry (Reichspropagandaleitung) was not the only government office to sponsor public talks and discussions. This “Speaker Information” pamphlet was published by Robert Ley’s German Labor Front. This curious document explains that:
The world is ruled by the Jew, the father of lies… No serious historian today can avoid the conclusion that this Second World War against the German people is clear proof of absolute Jewish world domination. Germany’s battle with the Jews is a battle of life and death. Jewish world domination will be broken by Adolf Hitler and the German people whom he leads! Divine grace has allowed us to live and fight under this unique man…
The speaker’s holiest and most urgent duty is to take Germans beyond the [disheartening] effects of the War to an understanding of the greater issues at stake. The total commitment of the individual [to the war effort] demands knowledge and unshakable faith. The political leader, and to a large degree the speaker, is responsible for that.
Large public rallies featuring high ranking officials were also held to celebrate the Party’s achievements and stir enthusiasm for new government initiatives. Perhaps the most notorious of these took place on the evening of Kristallnacht (9-10 Nov 1938), the nationwide pogrom that began the Final Solution. This broadside was posted in Munich the day after:
Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels has announced:
“The legitimate and understandable outrage of the German people at the cowardly Jewish murder of a German diplomat in Paris was aired extensively last night. In many cities and towns of the Reich, reprisals were carried out against Jewish buildings and businesses.
“We now make a strict request to the entire population to immediately refrain from all further demonstrations and actions of any kind against the Jews. The final answer to the Jewish crime in Paris will be through
legislation, i.e. the legal regulation of Jewry.”
Fellow Countrymen! Ladies!
Here too in Munich, World Jewry got the answer it deserved!
The synagogue is burned down!
Jewish shops are closed!
Insolent Jews have been arrested!
Munich National Socialists demonstrate
against World Jewry
and their black and red allies
for the freedom and security
of the nation and every German in the world.
Speakers: District Leader
and [twen]ty Party spokesmen