Das Reich (newspaper)

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Das Reich (German: The Reich[1]) was a weekly newspaper founded by Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of the Third Reich, in May 1940.[2] It was published by Deutscher Verlag.

German soldier reading "Das Reich", Russian Front, 1941

History[edit]

‘’Das Reich’’ was mainly the creation of Rudolf Sparing, Rolf Rienhardt and Max Amann.[3]

Aside from a weekly editorial, Goebbels was not involved in the publication.[4] Most, but not all, of his articles after 1940 appeared in it.[5]

When Allied forces landed in Italy, and Mussolini was briefly deposed, Goebbels decided not to write an editorial.[6]

Contents[edit]

The paper contained news reports, essays on various subjects, book reviews, and an editorial written by Goebbels.[7] Some of the content was written by foreign authors.[8] With the exception of Goebbels’ editorial, Das Reich did not share the tone of other Nazi publications.[9]

Among other topics, it covered the uncertain casualty lists from Stalingrad,[10] distinguished between German and Allied invasions to suggest the latter would be unsuccessful,[11] discussed the bombing raids[12] and the V-1[13] deplored American culture,[14] portrays American morale as poor (though not suggesting they would give up because of it),[15] and finally declared that Berlin would fight to the end.[16]

Goebbels's editorials covered a wide range of topics. His first bragged of the accomplishments of Nazi Germany, which was then conquering France.[17] He spoke with continuing confidence as France fell, of the opportunities the "plutocracies" had missed for peace.[18] Later he issued vitrolic anti-Semitic articles,[19][20][21][22] argued against listening to enemy propaganda.[23] encouraged them for total war[24] declared England bound to lose the war,[25] attacked the still neutral United States,[26] discussed the significance of its entry into the war,[27] talked about prospects for a new year,[28] presented German radio as a good companion (when, in fact, he hoped to lure them from enemy propaganda broadcasts),[29] professed to be delighted that Churchill was in command in Britain,[30] discussed cuts in food rations and severe treatment for black market dealings,[31] urged that complaints not get in the way of the war effort,[32] accused Douglas MacArthur of cowardice (ineffectually, as the Germans knew he had been ordered to leave),[33] talked of the Allied bombing,[34] describes the sinking of Allied ships by German U-Boats,[35] explained Soviet resistance as product of a stubborn but bestial soul,[36] decried the United States as having no culture,[37] urged that Germans not allow their sense of justice be exploited by their enemies,[38] urged commitment to war,[39] and claimed that the Allies were as weary as the Axis.[40]

His final article called for last-ditch resistance.[41]

Circulation[edit]

The circulation reached 1.4 million.

References[edit]

  • Robert Michael and Karin Doerr. Nazi-Deutsch / Nazi-German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich. Greenwood. 2002. 
  • Hale, Oron J., The Captive Press in the Third Reich (Princeton, 1964)
  • Welch, David, The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda (London, 1993)

External links[edit]