Friday, June 30, 2023

An interesting example of Nazi propaganda in the US in 1933

In May 1933, some American newspapers published a letter, ostensibly from a patriotic German citizen upset at how the media was covering Germany's oppression of Jews:

 As a resident in Germany one is at a loss to understand, how it is possible that in America and England a crop of lies about alleged Jew baiting in Germany can spring up without the slightest foundation of truth. Worse still, such atrocity tales about our pretended maltreatment of Jews, as reported in some American newspapers, actually are believed by their readers....
When a change of government in the United States takes place, we understand, many appointees of the outgoing administration have to make room for partisans of the new government. ...Among the suspected German officials of the former administration —justly suspected, as has been proved—were a number of Jews who now must -go with the other dismissals. With the tenacity of their race, however, these Jews have left no stone unturned to wreak their vengeance upon our new government. hoping. thus to regain their influence and jobs. Because Germany under its present national government sternly discourages such designs, those malcontents have instigated in the United States and in England a slanderous propaganda campaign about alleged pogroms, tortures or other pretended maltreatment of Jews in this country. 

The malcontents, by instigation of a world boycott of German goods, hope to increase unemployment in our Fatherland, thereby fostering. discontent and sedition in order to pave the way for their confederates in Moscow. This Jewish press campaign is a menace, which not only concerns Germany, its ulti-mate issue bears upon the destinies of every civilized nation. Should it succeed; Moscow may yet rule the world. 

Not if the German government .can prevent it! Therefore Germany considers herself justified in resorting to retaliatory -measures. against certain Jews in this country, if their anti-German campaign and threatened economic boycott is not stopped. Already motor lorries and auto buses are carrying inflammatory posters proclaiming: "Judea declares war on Germany." Can you blame us for hitting back? 

 The letter segues from "We don't mistreat Jews" to "Jews are a real menace to the world" to "Can you blame us if we attack Jews?" 

A couple of newspaper editors dug a little deeper into this letter. It had been sent out by a New York advertising agency. 

In other words, it was a propaganda ploy by Nazi Germany, at the same time it was denying attacking Jews in other venues - and while it was, in fact, attacking Jews. For all we know, Heinrich Weitzel never existed, although no doubt there were Nazi loyalists who would have been happy to be the face of this campaign. 

The Nazis knew that there was a strong undercurrent of antisemitism in America in the 1930s, and they were not ready to confront the Western powers yet. So they used antisemitism to deny antisemitism, knowing that no matter how absurd the claims are, many people predisposed to hate Jews will happily swallow any falsehood that could justify their hate.

Which we see today with the anti-Israel crowd, all the time. Facts are optional - as long as the story fits with the hate of the target audience, it will be believed and repeated. Give bigots something to grab onto (the Khazar theory, or that Neturei Karta represents Jews) and they will adopt the lies with the passion of religious faith. That is what was happening here. 

The most chilling part of this letter is part that I did not reproduce above. It said that the Nazi government, by getting rid of Jewish/Bolshevik government officials, saved Europe from a....holocaust.


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