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November 29, 2006 11:51 AM   Subscribe

A Nazi Christmas Since its most ancient days, the Christmas holiday has been continually reshaped to serve commercial, social, and political ends. These Nazi-era Christmas materials, including an Advent calendar and an essay on how to turn Christian holidays into National Socialist ones, come from the German Propaganda Archive of the Calvin College library. Of course, the Allies also enlisted Christmas in both pop culture and propaganda with cards, V-Mails, and posters.
posted by Miko (21 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
*sigh* It looks like the liberal War on Nazi Christmas has started early this year.
posted by gigawhat? at 11:59 AM on November 29, 2006


Oh, and good post! (The German Propaganda Archive is fascinating/frightening.)
posted by gigawhat? at 12:05 PM on November 29, 2006


The archive is fascinating, but I'm also amused by where it is (a right wing, conservative Christian college).
posted by QIbHom at 12:24 PM on November 29, 2006


Right wing conservatism may be a bit uncomfortable at times, but it's not Nazism.

On a similar note, I remember seeing on TV the arrival of Sinterklaas (Dutch old skool Santa Claus) in Amsterdam in 1941, where he is greeted by the Dutch Hitlerjugend.

The first arrival of Sinterklaas after liberation was coordinated in part by the Canadian liberators, who wanted to have multible 'Santas' for added effect. That of course was deemed too silly, but they did add more Zwarte Pieten, which is still done to this day.
posted by Harry at 12:50 PM on November 29, 2006


After all, why not let it keep evolving, since Christians co-opted a lot of pagan traditions for their holiday anyway.

Cool post.
posted by agregoli at 1:20 PM on November 29, 2006


Not to derail, but Calvin College is a "right wing, conservative Christian college?" Christian, yes. But the rest? Really? Wasn't my impression at all. I thank them for hosting this excellent archive. I would also add that the Nazis (at least at the top) wanted to destroy Christianity, so the comparison to Allied X-mas propaganda, while not completely off base, needs to be put in the right context.
posted by MarshallPoe at 1:28 PM on November 29, 2006


Sure, of course. I included the Allies only because it's interesting to see Christmas employed as an emotional device, a motivator and at times manipulator. Of course it's for a very different set of aims.
posted by Miko at 2:03 PM on November 29, 2006


MetaFilter: a gigantic struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:25 PM on November 29, 2006


You know Dasher and Danzer, and Pranzer und Wolfgang...
posted by gottabefunky at 3:09 PM on November 29, 2006


(a right wing, conservative Christian college)

Upside: thanks to its heaping piles of Amway money, Calvin College throws a lot of very nice cheap concerts, though not so much this year yet.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:42 PM on November 29, 2006


You know Dasher and Danzer, and Pranzer und Wolfgang...

You forgot Donner & Blitzkrieg.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:54 PM on November 29, 2006


Entsetzen und erstaun.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:54 PM on November 29, 2006


So is this post pre-emptively Godwinned?

A very fascinating post, though.
posted by internet!Hannah at 4:56 PM on November 29, 2006


Also Nacht und Nebel.

Good post. Thank you.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 4:58 PM on November 29, 2006


Very cool post Miko.
Hitler looking at a Christmas tree is creepy.
...although I suppose Hitler + (?) = teh creepy.

“All nature is a gigantic struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.”

You’ve no idea how badly I want to smash someone who thinks that way.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:01 PM on November 29, 2006


So is this post pre-emptively Godwinned?

I know...a post critiquing Nazis is just not going to cause great debate. But I did think the archive was interesting, if chilling.
posted by Miko at 6:24 PM on November 29, 2006


Almost like reading an alternative history - but yet not. Very fascinating...

thanks.
posted by fluffycreature at 6:36 PM on November 29, 2006


All nature is a gigantic struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.

This was supposed to inspire the Christmas shoppers setting out to do battle with the crowds.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:50 PM on November 29, 2006


Tha'ts one scary advent calendar. Don't think the Nazis did "jolly".
posted by rongorongo at 3:40 AM on November 30, 2006


Nice post.
posted by unreason at 3:47 AM on November 30, 2006


I can't believe you guys neglecting Blut und Boden over there... they really were the most important reichdeer of all.
posted by illovich at 7:33 PM on November 30, 2006


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