Fallen for the Führer

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
Jon G.
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Joined: 17 Feb 2004 01:12
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Fallen for the Führer

Post by Jon G. » 02 Jun 2004 15:39

A popular topic for students of the Third Reich has been the question of how popular Hitler really was. Penetrating collective lack of memory and convenient post-rationalizing has proven difficult -

One of the best sources is the SD's regular 'mood reports' on how the population of Germany felt about Hitler, the Nazi Party and the war - and these mood reports convey a general picture of Hitler being a good deal more popular than the party, and the war being generally unpopular, even though it got higher ratings in later 1940, after the victory over France. The war's popularity still lagged well behind Hitler's.

Another highly interesting way of examining how popular Hitler was can be gleamed from obituaries in German newspapers. Up until the summer of 1940, approximately 50% of all fallen soldiers are categorized as 'fallen for the Führer' - usually in the sentence 'fallen for Führer, people (Volk) and Fatherland' - but from the autumn of 1941, the percentage of soldiers fallen for the Führer starts dropping sharply. By autumn 1942, it is only about 10% who have fallen for the Führer; the rest have merely given their lives for people and fatherland.

From late 1942 censorship came to encompass all information relating to the deaths of German soldiers, making obituaries useless as source for estimating Hitler's popularity, but the decline in lives given for Hitler from about 50% in the summer of 1940 to approximately 10% in the autumn of 1942 is highly interesting IMHO.

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Daniel L
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Location: Sweden

Post by Daniel L » 03 Jun 2004 10:20

Very interesting, thanks for posting.

Best regards/ Daniel

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Post by wenty » 03 Jun 2004 10:59

Yes that is very interesting, thanks! Well in 1940 Germany basically couldn't do anything wrong, they just kept on winning battles and overtaking more land. But by 1942 the war was beginning to go bad for the Germans - so i guess the German people just became fearful by 1942 that Germany would lose the war and there would be a repeat of what happened after World War I, not all that long after the first time either. Cheers. :|

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