“There remains the problem of Goebbels’ reputation. He wore the title of Big Liar (bestowed by Anglo-Saxon propaganda) and yet he never stopped battling for propaganda [P.R. in the modern day jargon] to be as accurate as possible. He preferred being cynical and brutal to being caught in a lie. He used to say: “Everybody must know what the situation is.” He was always the first to announce disastrous events or difficult situations, without hiding anything. The result was a general belief between 1939 and 1942 that German communiqués not only were more concise, clearer and less cluttered, but were more truthful than Allied communiqués (American and neutral opinion) — and, furthermore, that the Germans published all the news two or three days before the Allies. All this is so true that pinning the title of Big Liar on Goebbels must be considered quite a propaganda success.”
SOURCE Jacques Ellul, “The Characteristics of Propaganda” in Readings in Propaganda and Persuasion: New and Classic Essays by Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell, eds., (SAGE, 2006) p. 48, note 47.
The following article was published shortly after the war was declared against Germany in the illustrated weekly magazine of the NSDAP. Goebbels states that the war was forced on Germany by England which was threatened by Germany’s social revolution.
by Joseph Goebbels
“It is a major error to assume that England’s plutocrats slipped into the war against their will or even against their intentions. The opposite is true. The English warmongers wanted the war and used all the resources at their disposal over the years to bring it about. They surely were not surprised by the war. English plutocracy had no goal other than to unleash war against Germany at the right moment, and this since Germany first began to seek once again to be a world power.
Poland really had little to do with the outbreak of war between the Reich and England. It was only a means to an end. England did not support the Polish government out of principle or for humanitarian reasons. That is clear from the fact that England gave Poland no help of any kind whatsoever when the war began. Nor did England take any measures against Russia. The opposite, in fact. The London warring clique to this day has tried to bring Russia into the campaign of aggression against Germany.
The encirclement of Germany long before the outbreak of the war was traditional English policy. From the beginning, England has always directed its main military might against Germany. It never could tolerate a strong Reich on the Continent. It justified its policy by claiming that it wanted to maintain a balance of forces in Europe.
Today there is still another reason. The English warmongers conceal it. It is crassly egotistic. The English prime minister announced the day the war began that England’s goal was to destroy Hitlerism. However, he defined Hitlerism in a way other than how the English plutocracy actually sees it. The English warmongers claim that National Socialism wants to conquer the world. No nation is secure against German aggression. An end must be made of the German hunger for power. The limit came in the conflict with Poland. In reality, however, there is another reason for England’s war with Germany. The English warmongers cannot seriously claim that Germany wants to conquer the world, particularly in view of the fact that England controls nearly two thirds of the world. And Germany since 1933 has never threatened English interests.
So when Chamberlain says that England wants to destroy Hitlerism in this war, he is in one sense incorrect. But in another sense, he is speaking the truth. England does want to destroy Hitlerism. It sees Hitlerism as the present internal state of the Reich, which is a thorn in the eye of English plutocracy.
England is a capitalist democracy. Germany is a socialist people’s state. And it is not the case that we think England is the richest land on earth. There are lords and City men in England who are in fact the richest men on earth. The broad masses, however, see little of this wealth. We see in England an army of millions of impoverished, socially enslaved, and oppressed people. Child labor is still a matter of course there. They have only heard about social welfare programs. Parliament occasionally discusses social legislation. Nowhere else is there such terrible and horrifying inequality as in the English slums. Those with good breeding take no notice of it. Should anyone speak of it in public, the press, which serves plutocratic democracy, quickly brands him the worst kind of rascal. They do not hesitate to make major changes in the Constitution if they are necessary to preserve capitalist democracy.
Capitalism democracy suffers from every possible modern social ailment. The lords and City people can remain the richest people one earth only because they constantly maintain their wealth by exploiting their colonies and preserving unbelievable poverty in their own country.
Germany, on the other hand, has based its domestic policies on new and modern social principles. That is why it is a danger to English plutocracy. It is also why English capitalists want to destroy Hitlerism. They see Hitlerism as all the generous social reforms that have occurred in Germany since 1933. The English plutocrats rightly fear that good things are contagious, that they could endanger English capitalism.
That is why England declared war on Germany. Since it was accustomed to letting others fight its wars, it looked to the European continent to find those ready to fight for England’s interests. France was ready to take on this degrading duty, since the same kind of people ruled France. They too were ready for war out of egotistic reasons. Western European democracy is really only a Western European plutocracy that rules the world. It declared war on German socialism because it endangered their capitalist interests.
A similar drama began in 1914. England had more luck during those four and a half years than it is having today. Europe’s nations had no chance to see what was happening. The nations of Europe today have no desire to play the same role they played during the World War. England and France stand alone. Still, England is trying once again to wage war without making any personal sacrifice. The goal is to blockade Germany, to gradually bring it to submit by starvation. That is longstanding English policy. They used it successfully in the Napoleonic wars, and also during the World War. It would work now as well, if the German people had not been educated by National Socialism. National Socialism is immune to English temptations. English propaganda lies no longer work in Germany. They have gradually lost their effectiveness in the rest of the world as well, since German propaganda today reaches far beyond its borders. This time, English plutocracy will not succeed in driving a wedge between the German people and their leadership, though that is their goal.
The German nation today is defending not only its honor and independence, but also the great social accomplishments it has made through hard and untiring work since 1933. It is a people’s state built on the foundation of justice and economic good sense. In the past, England always had the advantage of facing a fragmented Germany. It is only natural that English plutocracy today seeks to split the German people and make it ripe for new collapse.
English lying propaganda can no longer name things by their proper names. It therefore claims that it is not fighting the German people, only Hitlerism. But we know this old song. In South Africa, England was not fighting the Boers, only Krugerism. In the World War, England wanted to destroy Kaiserism, not the German people. But that did not stop English plutocracy from brutally and relentlessly suppressing the Boers after that war or the Germans after our defeat.
A child once burned is twice shy. The German people were once victims of lying English war propaganda. Now it understands the situation. It has long understood the background of this war. It knows that behind all English plutocratic capitalism’s fine words, its aim is to destroy Germany’s social achievements. We are defending the socialism we have build in Germany since 1933 with every military, economic and spiritual means at our disposal. The bald English lies have no impact on the German people.
English plutocracy is finally being forced to defend itself. In the past, it always found other nations to fight for it. This time, the English people must themselves risk their necks for the lords and City men. They will meet a unified German people of workers, farmers, and soldiers who are prepared to defend their nation with every means at their disposal.
We did not want war. England inflicted it on us. English plutocracy forced it on us. England is responsible for the war, and it will have to pay for it.
The whole world is waking up today. It can no longer be ruled by the capitalist methods of the 19th century. The peoples have matured. They will one day deal a terrible blow to the capitalist plutocrats who are the cause of their misery.
It is no accident that National Socialism has the historical task of carrying out this reckoning. Plutocracy is collapsing intellectually, spiritually, and in the not too distant future, militarily. We are acting consistently with Nietzsche’s words: “Give a shove to what is falling.”
The source: “Englands Schuld,” Illustrierter Beobachter, Sondernummer “Englands Schuld,” p. 14.
Additional suggested reading:
Fraudulent Nazi Quotations by Mark Weber
Goebbels’ Place in History by Mark Weber
Goebbels and World War II Propaganda by Mark Weber