Merry Christmas for 2020!

And a Happy New Year from ARPLAN

This year’s Christmas article is a little longer than usual. Normally for Christmas I will post some seasonal verse, or a few holiday-related extracts from various National Socialist sources – in other words, something light and easily-read, in keeping with the relaxed demeanor people like to adopt this time of year (myself included). This year, however, I felt it better to post a full-length article for the holiday (although still not a particularly long one), a means of trying to make up for the slight sparseness in content which has occurred recently as a consequence of my heavy focus on the Rudolf Jung translation. I did not translate the following article myself, but rather transcribed it Rabinbach’s and Gilman’s Third Reich Sourcebook, a mammoth collection of writings related to National Socialism, in particular to its 1933-45 period. The article is a 1937 piece by NSDAP functionary Hannes Kremer, and originally appeared in the journal Die neue Gemeinschaft (“The New Community”), a Party publication specifically directed towards the ideological examination of Germany’s cultural events, holiday celebrations, and leisure activities. Kremer’s article discusses the best way for the NSDAP to approach the politicization of “inherited” holiday traditions like Christmas; he also offers a critique of some of the ham-fisted means other National Socialists have employed in trying to ‘Nazify’ German holidays, such as shoehorning Nordic ritual or overt NS propaganda tropes into traditional Christmas ceremonies. Particularly interesting is that Kremer never once mentions Christ directly in his writing, and even seems to exhibit an opposition to those “religious fanatics” who would prefer keeping Christmas’s focus on Christian ideals rather than politics. For many of those in the Party, what mattered most about Christmas was not Christ or His message, but the ‘Germanness’ of the national traditions which had grown up around the holiday, and how shared participation in them could foster a sense of  togetherness, acceptance, and belonging across the dividing lines of class, estate, and denomination. 

New Meanings for “Inherited” Customs?
By Hannes Kremer

First published in Die neue Gemeinschaft, vol. 3, 1937.

In our efforts to deepen National Socialist forms of behavior in the area of rituals and ceremonies, we have two main tasks. On the one hand, we must create new customs to accommodate new ideas, and on the other hand, it is necessary to adjust those customs that have grown out of the people to the “new community of the Germans,” which means giving these inherited customs a new content consistent with the people’s community [Volksgemeinschaft].

That is clear when we look at the annual calendar. First, there are the political holidays that regularly remind the people of the political achievements of the National Socialist movement during its battle for the Third Reich, along with its great idealistic motives. (30 January, 1 May, 9 November. Themes: battle, work, sacrifice).

Here it is a question of creating new customs to suit the new political worldview governing the daily organization of our Volk today, customs that will also enable later generations to be reminded of those forces of instinct, emotion, and spirit that have been recognised as so critical in our struggle for existence and for the security of the people’s community (to cite just a few of those forces: courage, bravery, affirmation of life, awareness of duty). Continue reading

Merry Christmas for 2019!

And a Happy New Year from ARPLAN

Vorweihnachten_Ausgabe_1943

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. Continue reading