How Hitler tried to steal christmas
"Iron Christmas" -
As early as 1914, the German military was using the festive season for propaganda purposes.
Rise of Adolf Hitler -
Seven years later in a Munich beer hall, Adolf Hitler, the newly appointed Nazi party leader, delivered a Christmas speech in front of 4,000 supporters.
Contrary to Nazi ideology -
After Hitler achieved power in 1933, the Nazis literally tried to take the Christ out of Christmas.
"Nazifying" Christmas -
As the Nazi Party grew in size, attempts were made to "Nazify" Christmas. Hitler wanted to change the way German citizens celebrated the festive season.
"A German Christmas" -
While the celebration of Christmas in Nazi Germany was allowed, the regime used the occasion to promote nationalist propaganda and anti-Semitism.
Christmas in their own image -
The Nazis knew they couldn't completely eradicate Christmas. So they set about reworking it in their own image.
Great Depression -
The Winterhilfwerke campaign was established in the early days of the Great Depression.
Hitler Youth lends a helping hand - The Hitler Youth were charged with hand-crafting Christmas gifts for the public as well as those serving in the military.
Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labor Service) duties included crafting toys at Christmas time.
League of German Girls -
Here, a Berlin member of the League of German Girls packs Christmas gifts for children who are cared for by the NSV.
Loyal offering -
In a show of loyalty, Christmas presents were also handed out to the Nazi leadership.
The Nazi Christmas tree -
In many homes, Christmas tree decorations were replaced by symbols of the Nazi regime. Baubles were often embossed with an eagle clutching a swastika.
Swastika replaces the star -
Replacing the star crowning the tree was a glittering swastika, a symbol of Nazi might overseeing the party's subjects.
Wartime Christmas -
A German family, with two sons serving in the military on seasonal leave, celebrate a quiet Christmas at home.
Return to traditional ways -
By 1944 and with Germany losing the war, efforts by the Nazi hierarchy to remove Christian influences from Christmas diminished.