April 19th, 2024

Nazi Propaganda imposed April 20th as the birthday of the “New Savior”

In Hitler’s campaign to control and mislead the German people, the Nazi leadership banned the traditional Christian calendar to replace it with newly selected days of celebration and by creating a Hitler cult. The long-established celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ was now replaced by a new day of observance: Adolf Hitler’s birthday on April 20th. Third Reich ideology promoted the myth of Hitler being the long-awaited savior of the German people in their hour of need and as the one true leader who would reinstate morality and pride to the downtrodden nation. Promoted as a shepherd, an infallible leader, a visionary and even a new messiah, Hitler was depicted as a demigod worthy of worship.

In my new book, Exposing the Reich, I describe the new Nazi calendar as follows:

In addition to the rallies at Nuremberg, Hitler created an annual calendar of “hallowed rites” as a pretext to staging mass events. Setting up a Bureau of Festivals, Leisure and Celebrations, a carefully organized series of political spectacles was offered throughout the year. Among them were “Heroes” Day, the National Festival of the German People and the Rally in Honor of the German Farmers. This last event, that took on the character of a thanksgiving celebration, was attended by over a million people in 1937. These monumental events included all sorts of festivities and attractions ranging from music, dances, the inevitable speeches, to military parades, fireworks, airplanes and banner-toting zeppelins.

Essentially such large gatherings under Hitler’s leadership were meant to celebrate the “unity” of the people based on “blood and soil” and serve as a further means for the Führer to consolidate his hold on the German people. Among the fourteen National Socialist observances, Hitler’s birthday on April 20th was the most important. On the eve of the “big day” newly appointed Party functionaries formally professed their obedience to the Führer and masses of ten-year-old children were solemnly inducted into the Hitler Youth while swearing an oath of loyalty to their leader. 1

The cycle of National Socialist holidays was often staged at locations named Thingplatz or Thingstätte which resembled Greek-inspired outdoor amphitheaters built for such meetings and performances. “Thing” (pronounced “ting”) is an old Germanic word meaning a gathering of people or a legal assembly. Of the 400 Thing sites that were planned, some 50 were built between 1933 and 1939, and ranged in size between 1,000 and 200,000 seats. Whenever possible, the sites were to be built in a natural setting, incorporating rocks, trees, bodies of water, ruins, and hills of some historical or legendary significance. 2

The methodical dissemination of National Socialist “beliefs” and “ideals” through meticulously crafted propaganda yielded an astounding and rapid impact. Through the written medium, straightforward yet frequently defamatory street posters, radio transmissions that reached the homes of nearly all Germans, and the spectacular grandiosity of Hitler’s mass rallies, a successful campaign of indoctrination occurred not only among those Germans who had initially elected Hitler but also a considerable number of his erstwhile adversaries. The National Socialists’ well-oiled propaganda machine advanced mercilessly through all segments of German society, effectively fogging people’s better judgment and systematically sowing seeds of discrimination and hate.

If you would like to gain more insights into “how Hitler happened,” you can find my book on amazon: → Exposing the Reich: How Hitler Captivated and Corrupted the German People.

David Harper

  1. Frederic Spotts (2002): Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics p. 100-101
  2. Rainer Stommer (1985): Die Inszenierte Volksgemeinschaft: Die “Thing-Bewegung” im Dritten Reich