Christmas messages from Goebbels and Churchill

Joseph Goebbels, the German propaganda minister, was totally devoted to Hitler and like many senior Naz's, anxious for his approval.

The Nazi’s took their ideology to extremes, devotion to the Fuhrer approached a pseudo-religious level. Goebbels even went so far as to borrow the language of Christianity in his Christmas Eve message to Germans in 1941:

We may never forget that we all have a responsibility, each in his own way, to work and fight for a rapid victory. We keep our eye fixed on it. We do not doubt it for a minute.

In thinking of the Führer, who on this evening too is everywhere where Germans gather, we are reminded of the Fatherland. It will be larger, more beautiful, more prosperous after the war is over. It will be a proud and free homeland for us all. We want to thank the Führer for that. He can depend on his people at the front, at home, and in the wide world.

He leads us, and we follow him. Without a shadow of doubt, we follow him bearing the flag and the Reich. The flag and the Reich shall be pure and unstained when the great hour of victory comes.

By contrast Churchill knew that he had to prepare everyone for a long hard fight and, if their was a respite over Christmas, it would be a brief one:

This is a strange Christmas Eve. Almost the whole world is locked in deadly struggle, and, with the most terrible weapons which science can devise, the nations advance upon each other.

Ill would it be for us this Christmastide if we were not sure that no greed for the land or wealth of any other people, no vulgar ambition, no morbid lust for material gain at the expense of others, had led us to the field.

Here, in the midst of war, raging and roaring over all the lands and seas, creeping nearer to our hearts and homes, here, amid all the tumult, we have tonight the peace of the spirit in each cottage home and in every generous heart.

Therefore we may cast aside for this night at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. Here, then, for one night only, each home throughout the English-speaking world should be a brightly-lighted island of happiness and peace.

And so, in God’s mercy, a happy Christmas to you all.

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