And a Happy New Year from ARPLAN
For this year’s Christmas article ARPLAN offers something fairly concise – a small editorial and a brief poem taken from two separate issues of Die Brücke [The Bridge], a German-language journal founded at the German Consulate in Sydney, Australia in November 1933. Die Brücke was a co-creation of the ‘League of Germans in Australia and New Zealand’ and the ‘German-Australian Chamber of Commerce’, intended to act as a cultural propaganda journal which targeted auslandsdeutsche (ethnic Germans living abroad) in Oceania with articles and artwork which would help foster their sense of ‘Germanness’, their familiarity with National Socialist ideology, and their appreciation for the achievements of the New Germany. The editorial and poem below are suitably Christmas-themed, one accenting the ethnic and racial interconnectedness of Germans all over the world and the other offering a martial depiction of an ‘SA Christmas’. The ‘1930’ date included in the title of the latter is likely an oblique reference to SA-martyr Horst Wessel, who was murdered in that year.
The Blue Christmas Candle
First published in Die Brücke, 26 December 1936
For some years now in Germany, Austria, and many countries where Germans have settled, even as far as the most remote districts of tropical South America, it has been customary to light a blue candle on the Christmas tree. Blue is the color of loyalty. Thus it happened that the tiny blue candle, which burns at the time of the Winter solstice and the ringing in of the New Year, has become a symbol of the bond uniting all Germans in the world. The Germans in the Reich, gathered around the Christmas tree in the stillness of the Holy Night, are thinking of their far away brethren, who often have to struggle hard to maintain their nationality. The Germans abroad on the other hand feel, when gazing at the blue light, that they are not forgotten, that the Fatherland appreciates and understands their struggles. They feel themselves united to all other Germans in the days of Advent and at Christmastide particularly. On this the most German of all feasts, the small blue candle is creating a community, from which no one is excluded who professes to be a German. The blue light should burn in the home of every German family and remind each family member that their union around the Christmas tree is but an expression of the close bond uniting people of German descent and blood all over the world.
An SA Christmas 1930
First published in Die Brücke, 11 January 1936
Comrades, let us celebrate Christmas!
Place the golden lights on the tree!
To-day the light of joy,
To-morrow the light of death,
For murder is around us at Christmas time!
Comrades, let us by the candlelight
See strong faith in each others’ wakeful eyes!
Germany grows like a tree in our hearts –
It will flourish, though we all pass away…
Comrades, let us sing songs!
One day after long affliction
The bell of Christ’s true peace will ring…
To-day the light of death,
To-morrow the light of joy –
When none will blaspheme Christmas any more!