Christmas Day

A Leutnant strumming his guitar, most likely playing some popular Christmas songs. The tree is decorated, a nativity scene before it, and some semblance of normalcy and Christmas cheer is probably felt. Nazi Germany was anything but a normal place, though. It was a traumatized country after WW1, the British blockade that starved tens of thousands of Germans to death, the unrest after the war, the hyper inflation, the political upheavals of the 1920’s, the Depression, and then the Nazi rise to power. While the arrival of order was greeted by many, it came at a price. The dissidents sent to concentration camps, the racial laws, the incessant propaganda, the nazification of all aspects of society, and then war. Rationing, air raids, hundreds of thousands of men never coming back (and the Jewish neighbors being “relocated” to the east).

The official propaganda tried to instil a sense of unity, and traditional holidays were part of that. Below is a compilation from newsreels with Christmas at the home front during WW2. 1944 was the last year the Christmas trees were decorated with Nazi flags.



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