Six years before Hitler took power in Germany, Joseph Goebbels, the National Socialist Party’s propaganda expert, published a pamphlet that would be reprinted many times during the Nazi years. It spelled out the goals of National Socialism: 

What is the first commandment of every National Socialist?

Love Germany more than anything and your fellow Germans more than yourself!

What is the aim of the National Socialist idea of liberty?

To create the national community of all honestly creative Germans!

What is the content of that national community?

Freedom and bread for every German!

Who is a fellow German, a racial comrade?

Every honestly creative German is, provided his blood, his customs, his culture are German and provided he speaks the German tongue!

What is the basic economic principle with which National Socialism wishes to replace the present economic warfare of all against all?

The Common Interest before Self-Interest!1

Citations

  • 1 : Quoted in Joachim Remak, ed., The Nazi Years: A Documentary History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1969), 39.

    Connection Questions

    1. How does this pamphlet define what it means to be German? What do you think Goebbels meant by the phrase “national community”? What might he have meant by “honestly creative German”? 
    2. What did National Socialism offer to these “honestly creative” Germans? What did it ask of them? 
    3. Why do you think this pamphlet was repeatedly reprinted? Why would a government want to encourage the values expressed in the pamphlet? 
    4. How does this pamphlet define the relationship between the individual and society? 

    Related Content

    Lesson
    Holocaust

    Laws and the National Community

    Students are introduced to the Nazis’ idea of a “national community” and examine how the Nazis used the Nuremberg Laws to define who belonged.

    Reading
    Democracy & Civic Engagement

    Why Study Weimar Germany?

    Consider the important questions and dilemmas that can be raised by learning about Weimar Germany.

    Reading
    Holocaust

    A Pact with the Soviet Union

    Learn about the non-aggression pact forged by Hitler and Stalin in 1939, the pact’s secret clauses, and the role of propaganda.

    Reading
    Holocaust

    Speaking in Whispers

    Learn about the role of cell and block wardens, Germans who collected information about their neighbors in Nazi German society.

    Search Our Collection

    Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.