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January 1st, 2008

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* * *
"The Goebbels diaries. 1939 - 1941", C.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1983, ISBN: 0-399-12763-1. Translated and edited by Fred Taylor.
Перевод на русский: http://egorka-datskij.livejournal.com/59831.html


10 august 1940 (Sat.)
"Russian film of the Finnish campaign. Pathetic. Diletantism in its purest form. the handiwork of sub-humans. Then Wagner music. A blasphemy."

17 august 1940 (Sat.)
"Later we intend to pack the Jews off to Madagascar. There they too can establish their own state.
But back to the present. The English communiques are being met with strong scepticism not only in the world at large, but also in England. Duff Cooper and Chirchill have gone too far with their lies."

1 october 1940 (Tue.)
"Stalin makes a statement in Pravda on the Three-Power act. Very positive. Russia had been infomed beforehand, had no objection. So the plutocrats, who had been speculating on help from Bolsheviks, had the wind taken out of their sails.
...
Stalin's statement causes the Fuhrer satisfaction. It helps us a little bit further on our way.
...
Izvestia express opinions favorable to the Three-Power pact. Russian policy is moving in a favorable direction at the moment from our point of view."

9 october 1940 (Wed.)
"Frielitz tels me about the situation in Denmark. Much better than in Norway. But the Danes continue to harbour a few illusions about their future as a nation. I intend to invite a large group to study in Germany."

13 october 1940 (Sun.)
"The English are bombing Dutch cities relentlessly. Queen Wilhelmine donated the planes for the task. Uheard-of perversity, which we are quick to make full use of in our propaganda. "

11 october 1940 (Fri.)
"We are receiving isolated reports of revolutionary undercurrents in London. But all this is completely unsubstantiated. Moscow has issued a tough, uncompromising snub to London's attempts to carry favour. Good news."

16 october 1940 (Wed.)
"Rumania is still a big sensation. A magnificent coup on our part."

17 october 1940 (Thu.)
"Moscow has issued an impudent statement on Romania. They claim they were not consulted at a sufficiently early stage, etc. Window-dressing for American consumption, as one might have expected. There are the talks is of Russian troops invading Rumania. But this is rubbish. Moscow would never dare it."

24 october 1940 (Thu.)
"But the situation will change to the great disadvantage of England. We are pulling the strings. Comments from Vichy are very optimistic. Also, Moscow and Tokyo are on the point of agreeing to a Non-agression pact- Things are on the move. All in all, the face of the world is changing."

1 november 1940 (Fri.)
"They [England] will not find another foothold on the continent now. Russia? Stalin is too wily. And our Wehrmacht too strong. Stalin wants to have peace and quiet to count his winnings. And he will not take any wild risks. Ye will not try to get his hands on the Rumanian oilfields."


10 november 1940 (Sun.)
"Announcemnt that Molotov is coming to Berlin. A slap in the face for England. Will do Churchill no good."

11 november 1940 (Mon.)
"Make preparations for Molotov’s visit. But I personally shall remain somewhat in the background. The visit is arousing great interest in the rest of the world."

12 november 1940 (Tue.)
"Prepare Molotov’s visit. I ensure that there is no SA guard of honour. That would be going too far. Also no deployment of the general public. The Foreign Ministry is sufficiently insensitive to propose this.

Molotov is already on the way here with huge entourage. Moscow places great importance on this visit. We shell know how to exploit it."

13 november 1940 (Wed.)
"Molotov arrives in Berlin in pouring rain. Cool reception.

Work at home. The Molotov visit is a big theme in the world press. London is finding consolation in lame excuses. The thanks they get is some 70,000 tons sunk."

15 november 1940 (Fri.)
"In the ministerial Conference, I make my views on the Russians and Molotov’s visit quite clear. All the gentlemen share my opinion.

Molotov leaves. «Agreement on all questions of mutual interest». A cold shower for the «friends of the Soviet Union» in London. We can be satisfied. Everything else depends on Stalin. We shell have to wait for his decision."

16 november 1940 (Sat.)
"Receive Greiser and Maul. They want me to make a speech about Germany’s cultural mission to the East, which is necessary and which I agree to."

18 november 1940 (Mon.)
"Afterwards, Gutterer reports no me on Moscow. All my views are confirmed: it is bleakness elevated into a political system. No culture, no civilization, but only terror, fear and mass-delusion. Awful! Gutterer is glad to be back."

21 november 1940 (Thu.)
"The Hungarians have joined the Three-Power pact in Vienna. Antonescu is coming to Berlin very soon. The Bulgarians and Slovaks are following in a week. The new Europe is coming into being under our leadership."

25 november 1940 (Mon.)
"Stalin has recalled Schvartzev in Berlin and sent Dekanosov, Deputy Commissar for External Affairs, in his place. They intend to activate the German-Russian relationship."

26 november 1940 (Nue.)
"Hess is flying back to Munich. He looks very bad and is not in good health. He is such decent fellow! It is a pity that his capacity to work is constantly sapped by ill-health."

4 december 1940 (Wed.)
"I give Fuhrer a detailed account of my trip to Norway, which interests him very much. He is particularly eager to know about the attitude of the Norwegians. So long as there is still the ghost of a chance, they hope for an English victory.
And apart from that they hope for something from Russia – quite wrongly, as will finaly become clear. Russia has committed some tactical blunders in Bulgaria, which wants to join the Three-Power pact. She has tried to mobilise the streets against the King. This one must never do. Now Sofia is in a fix. The Bulgarians should have joined immediately. Moscow is unfurling the Pan-Slavic banner in the Balkans, and that is also a bad move. But she will never do anything against us – from fear."

12 december 1940 (Thu.)
"Russia continues to watch and wait, but we do not fear her. She had hoped to have all manner of things fall into her lap, and so had hoped for a long campaign in the West. But we were naturally ill-disposed to do her such a favour. Now the limits of our interests are clearly defined, particularly in the Balkans. New contingents of troops in Romania. We shell let no one in there."

14 december 1940 (Sat.)
"Watch a Russian film about Lenin. Completely void of talent and ideas. Bolshevism is death to the soul. A German entertainment film provides a refreshing contrast."

20 december 1940 (Fri.)
"Ryti elected President in Finland. How long will the Finns be able to resist Russian pressure?"


10 february 1941 (Mon.)
"An American film, «Public Opinion». Excellent. They can do this sort of thing over there, without thinking twice about it."

13 february 1941 (Thu.)
"Diewerge gives a report on Russia. Concides on my points with Gutterer's, but a little more positive. I shell ensure that Fuhrer sees it."

15 february 1941 (Sat.)

"Matsouka makes very pro-Moscow speech. A good thing that this matter is slowly being settled. Now we must concentrate all our energy against England."

17 february 1941 (Mon.)
"Poor Antonescu! Now he has officially destroyed the legionary character of the state. It is hard to say where things will lead if they continue in this unhappy direction. We only seem to support nationalists when they have no nations behind them. Like Mussert and Quisling. What a disaster!"

22 february 1941 (Sat.)
"The mood in the USA is moving ever more radicaly towards war. Now it is being spoken of openly, even in the highest circles.
...
Above all, there is increasing doubt about Mussolini's capacity for leadership. That is the worst thing imaginable. High time that the spring came. Another wartime winter would be hard for us all."

25 february 1941 (Thu.)
"Magnifecent box-office returns for our cinema industry. Fifty-six million in profit last year. This year it is looking even better. And alll the films originated by me have notched up record audiences."

26 february 1941 (Wed.)
"Legal judgment: not only we are not duty-bound to feed the populations of the occupied territories, but we can even requisition provisions there. An important argument in the controvercy over the blockade."

1 march 1941 (Sat.)
"Opinion still devided in the USA. The opposition is hard at work stearing things up. Roosevelt makes a cocksure speech attacking us. About freedom and so on. And [...] against Moscow. A real enfant terrible. We make good use of it."

4 march 1941 (Tue.)
"Moscow has been proving very popular in Leipzig, to some extent demonstratively so. I have the SD investigate this more closely."

5 march 1941 (Wed.)
"Occupation of Bulgaria completed without problems. London trying harassing manoeuvers. Moscow issues a blustering communique: to the effect that the occupation increases the danger of war and that Russia can no longer support Bulgaria's policy. A paper threat in my view. We make absolutely no reaction. But London inflates it into massive setback for us. The matter will be soon forgoten. Realities, and not communiques, are the decisive factor. Nevertheless, we shell keep a watchfull eye on Moscow."

7 march 1941 (Fri.)
"The Pope and his cardinals are praying for peace. Too late. The game must be played to its conclusion."

18 march 1941 (Tue.)
"Gandhi's brother-in-law has been taken prisoner on a captured English ship and wants to speak with me. Wants to make anti-English propaganda aimed at India. I shell think about it. Perhaps it has posibilities.
More death sentences carried out in the Hague. Right! It is the only way to keep the peace in an occupied country."

22 march 1941 (Sat.)
"...Thomas Mann has appealed to the German people. Senile windbag! In London they started using the phrase «Huns» again. So things must be bad for England.
...
Receive representatives of Japanese youth. Sympathy for Germany. Hatred for Africa and contempt for England. So far the rest goes, very tough kids.
Talk with the Norwegian propaganda chief, State Counsellor Lunde. A very clever man, for a Norwegian."

25 march 1941 (Tue.)
"Matsouka given a very friendly reception in Moscow. Almost pointedly so. But i do not trust the Bolsheviks."

26 march 1941 (Wed.)
"Matsouka received by Stalin. Moscow/Tokyo situation beginning to clear. Moscow states publicly that she will not stab Turkey in the back in the event of military activity on her territory. Paper promises! Time will tell.
...
Quet, determined mood in Bulgaria. Our troops are given a hearty welcome in the countryside. Some pro-English feeling in Sofia. And a strong inclination towards Russia. But not a serious danger."

28 march 1941 (Fri.)
"London and Washington have declared their solidarity. Churchill has made a second pompous speech. The old liar is, of course, on his high horse. Moscow, too, seems to have a hand in the embroglio in Belgrade. The explanation in the Belgrade is that the affair is of purely domestic importance, but this is, of course, rubbish."

29 march 1941 (Sat.)
"In Belgrade, they are trying to defuse the situation. Would like to keep a foot in both camps. No one is mentioning the Three-Power Pact any more. Want peace with everybody. Wait! We are already working on leaflets aimed at the Croats. Things will have to move, one way or the other. Moscow has alreasdy show ing signs of cold feet. And they are shitting themselves in Belgrade, too.
...
I shell put all my diaries in the vault of the Reichsbank. To protect them against fire and air raids. They will be safe there.
...
Big propaganda campagn in preparation in Norway. We have some 300.000 troops there now. Moscow will have nothing to smile about if the balloon goes up. A good thing, too. People should know what to expect when they provoke us.
...
The long-prepared operation against Greece is due to start on 7 April. But now it is just a small beginning. We shall pushforward to Salonica, then Leeb's army Group will right-wheel and Yugoslavia will be attacked from all sides. Until then, everything os to be kept under strictest securety.
...
The big project comes later: against R (***). It is being very carefully camouflaged, and only a very few people know about it. It will beging with extensive movements of troops to the West. We shall divert suspicionto allsorts of places, anywhere but the East. A mock invasion of England is in preparation, but when the time is ripe everything will be switched back in a flash and then the attack will commence.

The Ukraine is a good grain-store. Once we are entranched there, then we can hold out for a long time. With this, the Eastern and Balkan questions will finally be settled.

The project as a whole presents some problems from the psychological point of view. Parallels with Napoleon, ect. But we shall quickly overcome these by anti-Bolshevism. And the question of the Baltic states and Finland willl also be settled. The first target for our propaganda will be the Cossaks, and then the Russian peasants. We shall create our masterpiece there. The main thing is that we take the crucial step. We stand on the threshold of great victories. The watchword must be: keep one's nerve and cool head. And prepare everything down to the last detail."

(***) - Russia. The first, cautious reference to the planned invasion of the Soviet Union. Translator's comment.

30 march 1941 (Sun.)
"I have my diaries, twenty fat volumes, deposited in the underground vault of the Reichsbank. They are too valuable to be allowed to fall victim to some air raid. They provide picture of my entire life and our times. If fate allows me a few years for the task, I intend to edit them for the sakeof future generations. They may well be of some interest to world at large.

SD report: moral good. Slight tension among the public regarding Russia. People sense that something is on the cards there. The problem will, of course, be resolved during the course of the summer. Some justified criticism of the radio.
...
They are celebrating Belgrade events in London. Belgrade, however, is desperately attempting to curry favour with us. Too late. The machinery is already in motion. This fair-weather nation will have ot pay for its provocations against the Reich with its life."


1 april 1941 (Wed)
"The Fuhrer has not time at all for Franco. A vain, brainless peacock. There is no question of his ranking among the great statesmen of the age."

3 april 1941 (Thu)
"Reports from the Russian-Romanian border. Now the Russians are beginning to get wind up. This is a pleasant news. The spring, and our unshakeable will, has wrought this miracle."

"An English magazine publishes an article about me: despite their every effort, the highest praise for me and my work."

"They are gradually running out of wind in Belgrade. A quote from the Serbian general: ‘I shall be in Vienna with my northern army in three days.' Just as the Poles were going to cut us to pieces at the gates of Berlin. We have seen all this before. And the outcome will be the same as it was with the Poles."

6 april 1941 (Sun)
"New propaganda idea: each evening in the domestic and foreign service, we quote what an influential English figure said on the same day a year ago. The effects are absolutely astonishing. Today it is Ironside's turn with the 'young German generals'. This is extremely effective."

"Fuhrer gives me another detailed summary of the situation. Things will get under way at 5:20AM. He reckons on two months for the entire project. I reckon less. At 7:20 precisely, Belgrade will be bombed by 300 aircrafts.
...
The entire Serbian conspirator-clique must be toppled. The Fuhrer does not fear Russia. He has taken sufficient precautions. And if she attacks, then the sooner the better. Russia has already announced Treaty of Friendship with Belgrade. If we were not to act now, then the entire Balkans, including Turkey, could slip away. This must be prevented. Hungary and Bulgaria will march shoulder to shoulder with us. Not much, but something."

"Moscow declares: treaty with Belgrade is now ready. Benevolent neutrality for five years. Let it be more. Tolerable."

7 april 1941 (Mon)
"Yesterday: Offensive started according to plan. Bombing of Belgrade devastating. A large part of the city is in flames. ... Russia is publicly declaring her desire for peace. Gratifying."

8 april 1941 (Tue)
"We are advancing slowly in Yugoslavia, as in Greece. Mountainous terrain is well-suited to defence. And the Serbs, like the Greeks, are brave fighters. Worthy of the greatest respect."

"London is still trumpeting big aid to Greece. We do not gainsay them. Our victory will be all the more impressive later. They have some 30.000 men down there. USA is being cautious so far as concrete promises are concerned. Turkey and Russia remain completely determined to await events. They will speak up after we have won."

"With the Fuhrer. He also admires the courage of the Greeks in particular. Perhaps there is still a touch of the old Hellenic strain in them. The Serbs are fighting desperately.
...
He greatly regrets having to fight the Greeks. "

"The Fuhrer is a man totally attuned to antiquity. He hates Christianity, because it has crippled all that is noble in humanity. According to Schopenhauer, Christianity and syphilis have made humanity unhappy and unfree. What a difference between the benevolent, smiling Zeus and the pain-wracked, crucified Christ. The ancient peoples' view of God was also much nobler and more humane than the Christians'. What a difference between a gloomy cathedral and a light, airy ancient temple. He describes life in ancient Rome: clarity, greatness, monumentality. The most wonderful republic in history. We would feel no disappointment, he believes, if we were now suddenly to be transported to this old, eternal city."

"The Balkans must no longer be Europe's powder-keg. And Russia must not be allowed to interfere there, as she did before the World War. Vienna dealt with this problems by good, old diplomatic methods. We must impose order by force. This what is happening now."

9 april 1941 (Wed)
"Greeks fight very bravely. I forbid the press to disparage them."

"Russia is waging war with bits of paper. And Turkey still very tame. Will become even more pliable after immanent victories."

10 april 1941 (Thu)
"Turkey is acting very meek and mild. She will certainly think long and hard before she enters the war. 
Moscow, too, is exercising great caution at the moment. No one wants to stray into our field of fire. And this is no bad thing."

11 april 1941 (Fri)
"State Opera completely destroyed by fire. Only the outer wall left standing. AA tragic loss. The University and the State Library also hard hit. We announce it publicly to the world under the headline: Attack on Berlin's cultural quarter. Mainly as a counterweight to the atrocity reports about Belgrade."

"In Belgrade they are producing atrocity propaganda with regard to the bombing of the city. But the attack on Berlin gives us some good counterarguments in that respect."

12 april 1941 (Sat)
"Himmler has banned the sale of contraceptive devices. This is very important at the moment. Let people make provision for children. On the other hand, child benefits will do more to increase our population than bureaucratic measures."

"London is fantasising about 3000 dead in the last air raid on Berlin. The real figure was eleven. We protest strongly about it."

14 april 1941 (Mon)
"Marina Schaljapin talks about the Bolshevik Revolution, which she witnessed personally. It must have been hell. Moscow and Tokyo have signed a Treaty of Friendship. Just the right thing at the moment!"

"Big sensation: Russo-Japanese Treaty of Friendship and Non-aggression. Mutual guarantees of Manchuria and Mongolia. Stalin and Molotov escort Matsuoka to his train. Stalin embraces the German Military Attaché and declares that Russia and Germany will march together to their goal. This is marvellous and for the moment extremely useful. We shall bring it to the notice of English with all appropriate force. It is a fine thing to have power. It seems that Stalin has no desire to make the acquaintance of our German Panzers. Today is a grave day for England. One which sees her last illusions crumble. It will gradually pray on her nerves."

15 april 1941 (Tue)
"Stocks of explosives found at the English Consulate in Zagreb. Arsonists! We make something of it."

"The Moscow-Tokyo treaty has been given no more than marginal attention here, and has not been dramatised in any way. In view of the well-known and extensive plans being made, this does not suit the Fuhrer's ends at all. The scene with the Military Attaché has been passed over completely. In other respect, however, the affair is very beneficial from a psychological standpoint. Shock-effect in the USA. "

"The Moscow-Tokyo pact is still a big sensation. A pity that we can not make more of it."

"Great disappointment at the Moscow-Tokyo pact in Washington. We do not know whether to laugh or cry. The treaty is a cuckoo's egg laid in our nest by Stalin. But we shall not let it hatch."


16 april 1941 (Wed)
"Pact between Moscow and Tokyo continues to be regarded as the big sensation. Pity that we cannot spend more time on it. Wiegant writes that Hitler has outwitted Churchill yet again. May God grant it! Great rejoicing in Tokyo. Matsuoka's position has certainly been greatly strengthened."

"Question is  whom we should send to Croatia. I shall not choose someone who knows the country, but instead intend to have a good propagandist there. People with local knowledge are usually much too susceptive to influence."

17 april 1941 (Thu)
"Stalin and Matsuoka are exchanging telegrams like old friends. Things change fast in politics, for good or ill."

18 april 1941 (Fri)
"We can not make much propaganda capital out of the English taxation system. The taxes there are not too unfair, particularly for the lower classes. England is, after all, a very rich country."

19 april 1941 (Sat)
"Franco has made a speech: peace, he says, is merely a preparation for war, and the later is the normal condition of humanity. Then let him create normal conditions and fight alongside us. He is a totally conceited loud-mouth.

With mother for her birthday. She is 72 y.o. I am so happy that I still have her. She is very healthy and robust. We chat for an hour. ...To me, with her simple nature and peasant cunning, she is the voice of the people. I worship her."

20 april 1941 (Sun)
"A Transozean reports from Moscow: it contains our most precious military and diplomatic secrets. I have it destroyed immediately. Our entire camouflage operation is, it seems, of little value. Stalin must have known everything long since. We shall only be able to conceal our motives through extensive counter-measures."

22 april 1941 (Tue)
"Article in Pravda: They have nothing against Germany, Moscow wants peace, ect. Stalin has caught a whiff of what is cooking, then, and is waving the olive-branch."

"Now we have lost a football match against Switzerland. No incidents, unfortunately. I forbid such risky matches in future...
I issue orders that Jews in Berlin must wear a distinctive badge. Otherwise they are constantly mixing with our people, pretending to be harmless, and making trouble."


24 april 1941 (Thu)
"I receive the former US Ambassador in Brussels, Cudahy. He is one of Roosevelt's main opponents, firmly convinced in our victory. He sees the future of his country in very black terms, even perhaps Bolshevism. He would like the Fuhrer to grant him an audience, and perhaps to make a declaration of what whould happen after the war was over. This will be very diffcult, but I shall try to see what the Fuhrer's reaction is.

The Japanese report on the meeting between Matsuoka and Stalin. This seems to have been a real case of Asiatic brotherhood. Tokyo, anyway, is very pleased. But we do not allow this to deflect us from our measures against East."

"Receive the new Rumanian Ambassador, B[...]. A real oily Levintine. This is what Antonescu exhanged for the Legion. It is enough to make one cry, even though it is not affair of our. B[...] is terrified of Russia."

"A few shortages in Berlin, particulary tobacco and beer. I arrange for them to be alleviated. The public must be kept happy at the moment."

"The new newsreel is ready. A fine documentray and a work of art. Shots of Stalin and Matsouka bear witness to extremely amicable atmosphere."


25 april 1941 (Fri)
"At home, complete assay against «the stubborn English». It will cause a furore. But it has to be said. We Germans are far too fair-minded towards our enemies. "

"The Pope is praying for peace. Not that it will be of much help. This contest must be fought to the finish if it is not to be repeated in ten years."


26 april 1941 (Sat)
"Belgrade devastation worse than Warsaw. A pile of ruins, filled with stinking corpses. The King's palace is completely destroyed, palace belonging to Prince-Regent likewise. He had been arrested during the night before the coup. General Mirkovic handled the negotiations for the surrender. His legitimation, writen in pencil in read:«You have full powers. Simovic.» This was the end of the Yugoslavian multinational state. A tragicomedy writen in blood. The people in the countryside took absolutely no interest in it. It was the concern only of the generals and politicians. King peter was still a child, and all they found in his palace were toys. Finis! Nations must pay for their staemen's mistakes."

"No collapse of moral in Egland continues. I switch the emphasis of our propaganda for England to one of absolute objectivity. We are relying now on argument and irony. ...So far as USA itself is cincerned, however, our broadcasts are sticking exclusevely to the facts."

"What a glorious spring day outside! How beautiful the world can be! And we have no chance to enjoy it. Human beings are so stupid. Life so short, and they then go and make it so hard for themselves."

29 april 1941 (Tue)
"Russia is keeping her head down. But only because she feels encircled.
At the moment we have no reason to fear her. We watch a Soviet film about Finnish campaign together [with Fuhrer]. Sheer amateurism. We soon cut the showing short. Watch the latest and the previous week's newsreel with the Fuhrer. He is very satisfied with both of them.

Afterward, long discussions about Vatican and Christianity. The Fuhrer is a fierce opponent of al that humbug, but he forbids me to leave the church. For tactical reasons. And so for a decade now I have paid my church taxes to support such rubbish. That is what hurts most."

"Lindbergh has resigned from the US air force. He is a courageous fighter for his rights, and today is Roosevelt's strongest opponent, since Willkie's shameful surrender."

30 april 1941 (Wed)
"Lindbergh has written a really spirited letter to Roosevelt. He is the president's toughest opponent. He has asked us not to give him too much prominence, since this could harm him. We have proceeded accordingly."

"We watch our entry into Athens on the newsreel. The Fuhrer finds it hard to enjoy it, so moved is he by Greece's fate. All the fault of our Herr Allies [ Italians ]."

1 may 1941 (Thu)
"TASS has issued a statement regarding the German troops who have landed in Finland. We ignore it. They have seen through our plan and all attempts at deception have, as I feared, proved useless. A big sensation in the world press. But it is not so bad. Things will soon have reached the point of no return. World opinion is becoming increasingly uneasy. There is much conjecture even among our own people. In London they have not the slightest idea of what is to come. The Fuhrer has fixed his Reichstag speech for Sunday. I urge for six in the afternoon, which he agrees to. In this way we shall be best placed to reach American opinion.

Backe gives me report on the food situation. Meat is going to have to be cut by 100 grams per week from 2 June. The Wehrmacht is too well off and is using up too much of the available ration. Per head, three times that allowed to the civilian population. We can hope to get by so far as bread is concerned, as long as there is no problem with the harvest. Fat is still in reasonable supply. If we have to go through a third year at war, then we shall consume the last reserves of bread. But nevertheless we are better off than England in many respects. But our situation is no means rosy. I now face the question of how I am to put this over to the public. I shall wait for the most favourable moment possible and then take the announcement."

"Koch of East Prussia brings news from the eastern border. Things are starting to whiff a little there. But once we have got going, we shall certainly gain an incomparable victory. The entire fabric of Bolshevism will collapse like a house of cards. And perhaps we shall find that our soldiers will be welcome there as they have been nowhere else."

2 may 1941 (Fri)
"Food supply problems increasing in England. I give the press instructions on how they are to comment on our lowering of the meat ration. They are to lay particular emphasis on the fact that we ate too much less meat during peace time before the World War."

"Wild rumour from Russia. They are slowly coming on to our trail. But there so much lying going on that it is hard to distinguish fact from fiction. And at the moment that is the best thing so far as we are concerned."

3 may 1941 (Sat)
"Argue with Alfieri for an hour and a half. First general skirmishing. Then he complains about the fact that we have not instantly presented Italy wit ha gift of Dalmatia and Greece. This is really too much. Let them argue about Dalmatia with the Croats. And Greece? Who conquered it? Italian public opinion? As if we had no public opinion here! He maintains that Italy's  pro-German stance has suffered a setback. But they are demanding too much from us.  They can keep anything they conquer. But first they must conquer something."

4 may 1941 (Sun)
"Hunke reports on Helsinki. Everyone there is on our side, with a sideways glance at the Russains. Rumour-mongering about Moscow is flourishing everywhere. There is not a single variation, between idyllic peace and bloody war, that is not being peddled there."

"The 1 May has brought military parades in Russia, with fiery speeches and resounding praise for the great Stalin. But a sensitive ear can easily detect fear of things to come. They are trying to impress us by fantastic statistic. Poor fools!"

5 may 1941 (Mon)
"Reichstag: big day. The Fuhrer speaks. Great summing up of the South-Eastern campaign, its brilliant strategic concept and execution. Highest praise for Wehrmacht. Tough against Churchill and his incompetence. ...Not a word about the USA. Moscow not mentioned at all. Praise for Hungary and especially for Bulgaria.

Appeal to women to work. In the process he makes his first reference to next year, which naturally affects the audience very deeply. This is the key point: will things end this year?"

"The conflict in Iraq continues. No outcome yet discernible. In London they seem to think us capable of the wildest military escapades and are indulging in bizarre fantasies. Russia in the firing-line, too. In general, they are very worried in London."


6 may 1941 (Tue)
"The Fuhrer's speech is the big sensation. The reference to next year is, as expected, the general talking point  both here and abroad. A certain amount of gloom has become perceptible here, because people had reckoned that the war would end this year."

"Backe describes the food situation. Along the same lines as his report to me a few days ago. A few extra details, which give reasons for optimism.  All we need is a good harvest this year. And then, of course, we intend to be firmly established in the East."

7 may 1941 (Wed)
"Russia becoming more and more the central issue. Stalin and his people seem to be doing absolutely nothing. Like a rabbit with a snake. The same seems to be true of foreign opinion in general so far as we are concerned. It will be a matter of survival of the fittest. If the blow succeeds, then we shall be secure for the present. And it will succeed. What plausible reason could England have for fighting after that?

Strong criticism of the Fuhrer's speech in enemy countries. Arguments: the war will go into 1942, serious losses in the Balkans, the Fuhrer has said nothing new. I have our people take a strong line against all this, and order massive attacks on Churchill. The only way to treat that lying old swine is toughly and brutaly."

"Matsuoka has given an interview: if USA enters the war, then so will Japan. I shall believe it when I see it. But a good thing that he is prepared to say it, at least."

8 may 1941 (Thu)
"Molotov has resigned as President of the Council of People's Commissars. Stalin has taken his place. Still no clarification of the motives. Molotov remains Foreign Minister. I believe that the move is to strengthen authority generally in view of the grave crisis that the Soviet Regime faces. But it will do no good. In London and New York, they do not know whether to laugh or cry. Crying would probably be the correct course of action. At least in the long term view."

"Report on moral from the SD. Generally good. But extensive sections of population are longing for peace, more so than before. 
They view every new undertaking as an extension, and therefore a prolongation, of the war. We shall have to supply the appropriate arguments and constantly keep pointing to the world-wide significance of this war. Also gradually eliminate the fears which are based on experience of the World War. Our propaganda leadership in general meets with high approval."

"I study Churchill's new book, «Step by Step». Speeches from 1936-1939, and essays. This man is a strange mixture of heroism and cunning. If he had come to power in 1933, we would not be where we are today. And I believe that he will give us a few more problems yet. But we can and will solve them. Nevertheless, he is not to be taken as lightly as we usually take him."

"Wild conjecture about Stalin and Molotov. Ranging from their joining the war on our side to our attacking them. Nobody has any real idea. I believe that my prognosis is correct."

9 may 1941 (Fri)
"Discuss the new fanfares with Glasmaier. One especially for the Luftwaffe and another for Russia. One must take preparations in this area, too."

"We decide that the time has come to buy out all the private film production companies. They no longer act as a stimulus, but simply rake in money as a result of our work and our success. They will all disappear by 1 September. Otherwise, I am buying up cinemas in all the countries where it is possible. We must dominate European cinema industry completely after the war."

"Roosevelt's only interest is to prolong the war. He and his people intend to profit by it, he is committed to it from the moral standpoint and for prestige reasons, and he wants to inherit England's power. He will never be able to produce as much as we, who have the entire economic capacity of Europe at our disposal. And no enemy will be able to break into Europe. Unfortunately, Italy has done us a lot of damage by her constant defeats."

"The Fuhrer has great praise for the work the Czechs have been doing in the armaments field. Not a single case of sabotage to date. And what they produce is good, serviceable, and solid. The Czechs have proves themselves. They are hard working and reliable. A valuable acquisition for us. The quantities of the equipment that they brought to us were also very useful. And they are still producing them today. What can the USA do faced with our armaments capability? They can do us no harm. Their talk is mostly beer-hall bragging. One should not take it too seriously. The background to the government changes in Russia is still not clear. It is being said that Stalin is looking for an opening 
to us. One hopes not. Rosenberg has been assigned by the Fuhrer to a post dealing with Easternq uestions. Nothing special will come of that. He can only theorise, not organise."

"Stalin is obviously afraid, it seems. What a difference from the TASS denials of a few months ago, in which we were openly or covertly insulted. So times change, when the open cannon-mouths stand waiting and ready."

10 may 1941 (Sat)
"Yesterday: very heavy raids on Hamburg and Bremen with fair amount of devastation. Approx. 100 dead in Hamburg alone. We shall have our hands full dealing with it. In return, we attack English supply centres with about 400 aircraft. They won't have much to laugh about, either."

"TASS denial is the big sensation. We are the beneficiaries for once. We do not publish it at all in the German press."

"Moscow has declared that she no longer recognises Belgium and Norway as sovereign states. Handed their ambassadors their marching-orders. So things have reached that stage. O Nightingale, I hear you twitter. But it will not do Stalin much good now."

11 may 1941 (Sun)
"Moscow is ceasing to recognise the sovereignty of an increasing number of defeated nations. Now it is the turn of Yugoslavia, with whom she signed a non-aggression pact kust a few weeks ago. Anxiety neurosis! We make no acknowledgment in any branch of our news service."

12 may 1941 (Mon)
"Moscow is making every effort to behave herself. London is going at Stalin like a thing possessed. We do not expect that situation to last for long. So wait and see! A pity that we cannot prepare our own people for the coming events to some extent. Everything will come very suddenly. But we must master that problem, too."

"Check the newsreel: not quite as good as the last three, but something can be made of it. English and Russian newsreels that 
we seized in Belgrade. Absolutely no competition to us. Incomparably poor and amateurish. I am downright proud of our work in this field. We have nothing to fear, either military or in the propaganda field, particularly from the Russians. The English 
films are indescribably naive. But I think that they are good enough for the English, who are themselves are enormously stupid, unenlightened and primitive. We should take more into account in our propaganda aimed at England."

13 may 1941 (Tue)
"Stalin is still trying to gain our goodwill, issuing statements filled with simple peasant cunning. Too late!"

"I also put a stop to the current practice of calling all war products «German» (German tea, German coffe, ect). At this rate, every kind of junk will end up labelled «German». This is not good advertising."

"The problem of female labour has been shelved yet again by the Fuhrer. I make a vigorous plea for conscription. We shall not get anywhere with fine words. Everything must be subject to clear orders and instructions. Then the German will gladly obey. Our fine ladies will not come voluntarily."

"Put the finishing touches to the newsreel in the evening. It has turned out well after all, after being complimented by a snappy music. Look at a few more English and Russian newsreels for comparison purposes. Absolutely no competition to us."

"Appalling news comes in the evening: Hess, against the Fuhrer's orders, has taken off in a plane and has been missing since Saturday. We must presume him dead. His adjutants, who were the only ones aware of his intentions, have been arrested on the Fuhrer's orders. The Fuhrer's statement gives delusions as the reason for his action, some madness to do with illusionary 
peace-feelers. ...We are forced to issue the statement immediately. A hard, almost unbearable blow. ...I receive a telephone call from the Berghof. The Fuhrer is quite shattered. What a sight for the world's eyes: the Fuhrer's deputy a mentally disturbed man. Dreadful and unthinkable. Now we shall have to grit our teeth."

14 may 1941 (Wed)
"The Fuhrer is waiting for me. I read the letters that Hess left behind for the Fuhrer: totally confused, schoolboy amateurism, saying that he is intended to go to England, make the hopelessness of their position clear to them, bring down 
Churchill's goverment with the aid of Lord Hamilton in Scotland, and then make a peace which whould save London's face. ...A fool like this was a Fuhrer's deputy. It is scarcely conceivable. His letters are littered with the ill-digested occult theory. Professor Haushofer and Hess's wife were the evil geniuses in this affair. They pushed their «great man» into this role. He is supposed to have had visions, had horoscopes drawn up, and so on. Rubbish. And this is one of Germany's rulers. 
The whole thing can be traced to his mystic obsession with healthy living and all that nonsense about eating grass. Totally lunatic. I would like to give a good thrashing to that wife of his, his adjutants and his doctors.
...The business is so squalid and ridiculous that one can hardly credit it. And it had to happen now, when the Fuhrer has received Admiral Darlan and is about to carry out his coup in the East.
...Then I have to get back. Affectionate farewell. I regret very much that I must leave the Fuhrer. But the bustle of Berlin awaits me. Hess's adjutants have been arrested. They knew everything and carry heaviest burden of guilt."

15 may 1941 (Thu)
"I am suffering acutely from the Hess Affair. One feels as if one has been dealt a personal blow, and one would prefer not to show one's face on the street. ...But we shall get through it. I instruct the press and the radio to devote vigorous attention to other things and act as if nothing had happened. This is the best remedy."

"On the Fuhrer's orders, the lowering of the meat ration is announced without great emphasis and described as a temporary measure for the summer. We hope to control a considerably-enlarged base for food production by the autumn. This is better to announce it in this fashion."

16 may 1941 (Fri)
"It seems that London has not hit upon the idea og simply issuing statements in HEss's name without his knowledge. This is the big, most alarming danger so far as we are concerned. The thought of it makes me shiver. But it seems as if we have a guardian angel watching over us. We are dealing with dumb amateurs over there. What we would do if the situation was reversed!"

"I issue a firm order against occultism, clairvoyancy, ect. This obscure rubbish now be eliminated once and for all. The miracle-men, Hess's darlings, will now be put under lock and key. Instructions to the Party to explain the facts. Then at least we shall be on firm grounds."

"A pity that we had to announce the lowering of the meat ration just at this moment. We are limiting it to the summer months. I hope we can keep this promise. Our Wehrmacht will do its best. Fritzsche is nagging me unmercifully to release more details of the Hess Affair at home. I refuse. This business must be killed by silence, not talked to death."

17 may 1941 (Sat)
"Hess planned the whole thing quite magnificently. Thus, for example, his adjutant has instructed the Saarbrucken radio station to keep broadcasting all through Saturday evening. Hess, he said, wanted to listen in. In fact, of course, he intended to use it for direction-finding purposes. A fool, but a meticulous one. But away with him! I believe that he will suffer a dreadful fate: to be forgotten in no time!"

"Hadamovsky reports that the children sent to East Prussia will now have to be evacuated to the Lower Danube. It will be difficult to inform the parents without betraying secrets or giving indication of what is to come. But we shall find a way around the problem."

19 may 1941 (Mon)
"Hess affair is laid to rest. Abroad it is being counted as a German victory and a tremendous defeat for English propaganda. And that is exactly what it is."

"Newsreel. Quite good, but not yet a wartime newsreel. We shall not have to wait too long for that, however."

21 may 1941 (Wed)
"We attack Crete with airborne troops. A dangerous project. But it has been meticulously prepared. We hope to God that it succeeds. In this initial stage, however, everything is still secret. But London will soon make an announcement."


22 may 1941 (Thu)
"I make 140 million cigarettes from the NSV stocks available for Berlin. We are also raising production slightly. We can not let this calamity continue completely unchallenged. There is also a great problem with clothing. It is impossible to by the amounts specified on the ration card, and there are no shoes at all. But we cannot do much aboiut it. C'est la querre! I shall have the matter investigated again."

"London has announced that she intends to court-martial our paratroops who were taken prisoner on Crete and perhaps have them shot. This would cost the England dear: ten to one. But we shall wait and see. In any event, we spend a lot of time denying that our people were wearing fake uniforms. And in fact this was not the case."

23 may 1941 (Fri)
"The Fuhrer has rejected compulsory female labour for the moment. And so we shall have to launch a big propaganda campaign for volunteers. I have not great hopes of it."

"Koch form East Prussia reports on the Eastern Question. He is to go to M., Schickedanz to the U., Lohse to the B. (***) I am nervous of Rosenberg and Schickedanz. They are doctrinaire types. Otherwise, however, everything is going very well. R will splinter like touchwood. And our propaganda will produce a masterpiece. Things are gradially moving into gear. Transports are moving back and forth, private travel has been severely curtailed. Now comes the big invasion deception."

(***) - It seems probabale that Goebbels is reffering to Moscow, the Ukraine and the Baltikum (Baltic States). Moscow was, of course, never captures; Koch became Nazi governor of the Ukraine, while Lihse ruled the Baltic states, renamed the Ostland.

24 may 1941 (Sat)
"We are hard at work spreading rumours of an invasion of England. Making particular use of neatrall press. I hope the English swallow them."

"Bomer has got himself into a very unpleasant situation by some drunken talk about Russia. I do not know whether I shall be able to help him. He has named professor Hommel's wife as a favourable witness, but she has been unable to help him much by her statements."

"Gutterer has been promoted to State Secretary. I am bery glad for his sake. In him I shall always have a faithful retainer. The whole ministry has welcomed his promotion. Discuss the question of R. with him. I am sending Taubert as liaison man with Rosenberg. R. will be divided into her consistent parts. Each republic will get a fine dose of freedom. The line is that we shall no longer tolerate a huge monolith in the East. The question is: will Rosenberg be able to master the situation? We shall help him as best we can. Thirteen Propaganda Companies will be put into the field. Saturation tactics. Not just to come up with news material but also to make propaganda among the natives. A unique assignment. We shall soon be able to reach agreement with Rosenberg. He has Gauleiter Meyer of Munster as his deputy. One can deal with him. Bolshevism will be thing of the past. Thus we shall have fulfilled our one great duty of History."

"A long talk with Dr Bomer and Dr Dietrich in the evening. The whole affair seems to be have been blown up deliberately by the Foreign Ministry. But I try to put a little of the fear of God into Bomer."

25 may 1941 (Sun)
"Discuss preparatory measures against R. with Gutterer and Taubert. Taubert has made quite a lot of progress in his area. Thirteen Propaganda Companies will be involved. A Propaganda unit will be left behind in each major city where its task will be to make propaganda aimed at the local population. A very ambitious and difficult task. But we are making every preparation..."

"We issue an initial, fairly optimistic report about Crete. The effect on the public is really sensational. The chorus of woe is starting up in the USA as well. Moscow admires the audacity of the assault - a friend indeed! Now, at last, we are beginning to put our propaganda into gear."


26 may 1941 (Mon)
"The Fuhrer has taken a rather serious view of the Bomer case and has handed it over to the Gestapo for investigation. Things could turn very unpleasant for Bomer. All down to that damned alcohol. I have done all I can for Bomer. If, despite everything, he ends up in trouble, then he has only himself to blame.
An other little strike in Brussels. The people are starving there. All they want is food, but we cannot give them any. Let them complain to the English about their blockade. Not that one can expect starving people to understand such things."

"The Bomer case is making more and more waves. The Foreign Ministry is deliberately inflating the affair. Now Bomer has been taken into custody by the Gestapo for interrogation. Dr Deitrich rings me up, outraged. But we intend to wait for the moment and see what happens."

27 may 1941 (Tue)
"The English treatment of our paratroops on Crete is scandal. But I do not allow it to be published for fear of unsettling our public. General rule: the English must not be dismissed as cowards. By doing this, we discredit the bravery of our own people."

"...The Bomer case is occupying a lot of time. The Foreign Ministry wove a clever web of intrigue against him, but he gave them plenty of ammunition. I am doing all I can to keep the worst from him."

28 may 1941 (Wed)
"Mull over the Bomer business again. Judging from the statements so far, things do not look quite so bad for him."

29 may 1941 (Thu)
"Report from Estonia: The Bolshevik's mismanagement there cries out to high heaven. We shall be welcomed like demi-gods when we march in. And then we shall have wiped this blemish from our shield of honour.

Reports from Italy refer to continued poor morale. But then morale in England is said to be deteriorating, too. Churchill had noting to smile about, and the Bolsheviks are rapidly gathering support. But it is better not to depend on such things. If they happen, then that is a bonus."

"Moscow still buzzing with rumours. Stalin seems to be gradually seeing the light. But the rest of the time he stares like a rabbit with a snake."

30 may 1941 (Fri)
"All manner of administrative junk. Investigation into Bomer now completed. He is not guilty of high treason, but behaved negligently. The Fuhrer will have to make the decision about him."

"Hunke delivers a report on our economic capacity to wage war. Very gratifying!"

31 may 1941 (Sat)
"...The Fuhrer has decided: Bomer will face the People's Court. I am very sorry, but I can do nothing about it. The Foreign Ministry has played a very dirty trick on us. But Bomer's own loud-mouthed behaviour was also to blame."

"A long session with Martin: operation Barbarossa is on the move. We shall now be launching the first big deception. The entire state and military machine is being mobilised. Only a few people know the real reason. I forced tot lead the entire ministry along a false trail, running the personal risk that in the end, when everything rolls in the opposite direction, I shall suffer a loss of prestige. So begin! Fourteen divisions will be transported westwards. The England invasion theme will be slowly brought to the forefront. I am having an invasion of England theme written, new fanfares composed, English-speakers brought in, setting up Propaganda Companies for England, ect. The whole thing is set to start in two weeks. It will all cost a lot of time, effort, labour resources, and money, but it is worth it. The only men still to be left into the secret at the ministry are Hadamovsky and Titel. If everyone keeps quiet, and with such a small circle involved one can assume that they will, then the deception will succeed. So off we march!

The coming weeks will be very nerve-wracking. But they will provide further proof of our supreme skill of propaganda. The other civilian ministers have no idea what is going on. They are working towards the apparent goal of England. I am eager to see how long it will be until things rally take off."

"Report from Latvia: a message from the hell that is Russia. they are almost praying: «May Hitler come!» There will be an awakening. And the collapse of Bolshevism will be without parallel."

1 june 1941 (Sun)
"Bomer case settled. The line: he has had a row with Dietrich and for this reason has been sent on leave. His wife is in a desperate state, but I cannot help her at the moment."

"Discussion with my people on the subject of the invasion. I lead them all on to a false trail. Against England. And I set the appropriate preparations in motion. Their secretiveness and general attitude will ensure that it filters through slowly. And that is of course the point of the exercise. I think that in few days we shall start to notice concrete results."

"Moscow has suddenly begun to talk of the «new ethic» of Bolshevism, which is founded in the defence of the fatherland. This is, of course, quite new. But nevertheless it confirms the fact that the Bolsheviks are in real fix. Otherwise they would not be forced to come up with such phoney slogan."

3 june 1941 (Tue)
"Yesterday: A wonderful day: Crete completely cleared of the enemy. Glorious news. We announce it ceremoniously on the radio."

4 june 1941 (Wed)
"We are having leaflets dropped over England. To aid the deception. The invasion is already beginning to haunt the public prints."

"I have been studying the secret document outlining the economic and general war potential of the two power blocs. It has been compiled with complete objectivity, and the implications for England are demoralising. We are immensely superior in almost all areas, even if one adds the USA to England's strength. The empire is in the grip of a slow but irreversible decline."

"Bomer's last work: a report on the activities of him and his department since the beginning of the war, an excellent summary which makes one regret his sad fate all the more. The whole issue is very painful."

5 june 1941 (Thu)
"Guidelines for propaganda aimed at R.: no anti-socialism; no return to Czarism; no open admission that the country will be divided up, or we shall lose all chance with the army, which is great Russian in feeling; against Stalin and Jewish masters; land for the peasants, but the collectives to be maintained for the present so that the harvest can be saved; strong indictment of Bolshevism, attacking its failure in all fields. And otherwise do what situation demands. I let Gutterer in on the next stages of the campaign. He will now carry out the necessary organisational measures. We are all atramble with excitement. I can hardly wait for the moment when the storm is unleashed."

"Considerable criticism of Churchill. But probably only for show. Our campaign re. the imminent invasion is beginning to have an effect. The echoes will become louder. And then, in the general confusion, we shall be able to act."



read part 2

* * *
"The Goebbels diaries. 1939 - 1941", C.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1983, ISBN: 0-399-12763-1. Translated and edited by Fred Taylor.
Перевод на русский: http://egorka-datskij.livejournal.com/59831.html

see part 1


6 june 1941 (Fri)
"Report form Moscow: a mixture of crippling passivity, attempts to ingratiate themselves with us, but some defensive preparations also discernible. Stalin has taken charge of the situation. If war breaks out, the government intends to withdraw to Sverdlovsk. They are slowly making attempts to make the masses aware of the gravity of the situation. But it is impossible to see the clear line. No one believes that there will be serious resistance. It is also likely that they fear extensive internal trouble. They are not yet aware of the scale of the coming events, but they are slowly catching on."

"Another espionage case in the ministry. A former Latvian diplomat, now an ethnic German by profession, talked his way into the ministry. We shall have to see whether he is reliable. The Wehrmacht High Command doubts his loyalty."

"Our deception campaign is functioning perfectly. The whole world is talking about the coming military pact between Berlin and Moscow. They will be amazed when they see the real outcome."

7 june 1941 (Sat)
"The Fuhrer's interview has appeared in Life. Through Cadahy's effort."

"People had been expecting a peace offer, and now they are very disappointed. We are pushing the invasion idea very hard, but no real success is discernible yet. Everyone is keeping too quiet. I would like to write a slightly more pointed piece for Das Reich, and then have most of the printing seized. A rather cheeky trick, but it would work."

"The English press has forced Churchill to concede that his assertions about our troops wearing fake uniforms on Crete were lies. And some of the atrocities against our troops were committed by English and New Zealand soldiers. We make a big splash with this, since the English are trying to play it down."

"The Stritzky Case - is he a spy or a simple Balt? - is causing me some worry."

"Rumours of an imminent attack on the Ukraine. Fairly substantial. We shall have step up our deception effort."

8 june 1941 (Sun)
"The Stritzky case is less damaging than I had feared. But I have dismissed him nevertheless. S...itsch has offered his services against Moscow. The Gestapo believes him to be an agent provocateur. I have him put under observation.
Receive the complete schedules for the territorial division of R. The scheme will require a very extensive official apparatus. Asiatic R. is not dealt with. We are concerned only with European parts. Stalin recently told Matsuoka that he was himself an Asiatic. Then he is welcome to it!"

9 june 1941 (Mon)
"Peace rumours are still circulating. In London they are trying to claim that we are responsible. We defend ourselves against this charge with all vigour. Roosevelt is the inventor of these bare-faced lies. He personally has a lot of criticism to deal with in the USA."

10 june 1941 (Tue)
"Under the circumstances I am most unwilling to lift the ban on dancing now. But it is necessary, to give the best possible camouflage for our next project. The world must believe that we have had our fill of victories and have no interest in anything but relaxing and dancing.

The Fuhrer has issued a new order regarding secrecy. Even the communication of conclusions that an individual believes he can make on the basis of certain indications now count as breach of security...

...Discuss new measures against Jews in Berlin with Guterer. In particular, the rule that they may not sub-let to foreigners. This was all we needed. State-recognised centres for atrocity propaganda."

11 june 1941 (Wed)
"In consultation with the Wehrmacht High Command and with the Fuhrer's agreement, I draft my "invasion" article. Title: Crete as an Example. Pretty clear. It is to appear in Volkischer Beobachter and then to be seized. London will learn of this fact within twenty-four hours from the US Embassy. This is the point of the exercise. All of it will be calculated to cover up the activity in the East. We have reached a stage when we must use more drastic methods. Otherwise, the entire operation might be so subtle that no one notices it. I finish the article in the afternoon. It turns out magnificently well. A masterpiece of pretence."

12 june 1941 (Thu)
"Reports from Bessarabia and Ukraine: the Russians are starring over the border at us as if hypnotised, and are terrified. They are not doing very much. They will be taken by surprise to an extent unique in history. And the Bolshevik ghost will quickly be laid."

"The article Crete as an Example, is approved by Fuhrer with some minor alterations. I consult with Martin, Gutterer, Brauweiler, Fritsche and Hada from Volkischer Beobachter to see how we can best launch it. As few Germans and as many foreigners as possible should read it. In particular, the US Embassy must have a copy. In that way it will reach London and the world press most quickly. We shall carry it on Friday in the Berlin edition of the V.B. and have it seized the same morning at 3 a.m. By then it will have done its work. The farce will be played through to the end with absolute thoroughness. The article is very cunningly written. It says a lot between the lines. The enemy will be able to infer all the things that he wishes to believe at the moment. Admittedly we shall need to set a large-scale operation in motion, and I shall lose a certain amount of prestige as a result, but it is worthwhile. We are all enthusiastically in favour of the plan. Everything will run quite normally. There is hardly any chance that the enemy will become suspicious."

"I now have ... , Maurer, and particularly Paltzo for R. Titel is doing a good job. Test new machines for dropping leaflets. Now they seem to be working well. Thirty million leaflets in all have already been printed. At the Reich Printing works. The packing is being done by 75 soldiers who will not be allowed out until the action has begun. There is no chance that the secret can be betrayed. A huge project is in operation, and no one has the slightest inclining of it.

Work out a new radio schedule with Gutterer. Now totally biased towards entertainment. Ban on dancing also lifted. All for camouflage purposes."

"There are so many men hanging around and living their lives. But the ones who are still alive are the ones who are totally useless and will never achieve anything."

13 june 1941 (Fri)
"The subject of Russia is coming more into the foreground again. The Times has published an article expressing the greatest possible suspicion. And, in fact, fairly accurate. But this can no longer do much harm. In the face of it, we issue reports to the effect that we have found a good basis for negotiations with Moscow. This will restore the situation. My article is habded over to V.B. with due solemnity.  Its seizure will follow in the course of the night. For the moment, I shall suffer a sever loss of prestige. But it is worth it. The V.B. wants to recall its correspondent from Moscow. I forbid it, at least at the moment. We must keep up appearances at all costs. Things are still going well. But we shall not be able to keep up the whole deception for long.

Bomer has been handed over to the People's Court. He is a victim of his inability to keep his mouth shut."

"With Hippler, receive the Italian film actress, [P...]. They all want to make films in Germany, because they can see no more room for development in Italy. And we shall have to broaden our range of types and characters, since after the war we shall have to provide many more nations with films. We could make a good use of this type.

All astrologers, magnethopats, anthroposophists, etc. Have been arrested and their entire activities halted. Thus we have finally put an end to these fraudulent operations. Oddly enough, not a single clairvoyant predicted that he would be arrested. A poor advertisement for their profession!"

"The question of Russia is turning into the big international puzzle, hour by hour. We can only hope that it will not be deciphered too quickly. We are doing all we can to disguise our intentions. But as for how long our ruse will work, that is in the lap of the gods."

14 june 1941 (Sat)
"The project moves ahead at home and abroad. Everything goes without a hitch. I am very happy about it. The big sensation is under way. English broadcasts are already claming that our troop movements against Russia are sheer bluff, to conceal our plans for an invasion of England. This was the point of the exercise. Otherwise, the foreign news scene is in complete confusion. Even we hardly know what is going on.

The Russians seem to suspect absolutely nothing. We are massing on a vast scale: thickly concentrated, a sitting target. It is true that the High Command will not be able to sustain the pretence for much longer, since certain military measures are unmistakable. Gutterer wants to recall our press attaché from Moscow to help Taubert. I forbid it. We cannot go too far. I give Winkelkempner secret instructions to begin to describe an English statement about an invasion in the English-language service of the radio, and then to suddenly break off in the middle. As if the censor had suddenly intervened. This will also contribute to the alarm in England."

"Our troops are now concentrating so densely in East Prussia that the Russians could inflict the gravest damage by pre-emptive air attacks. But they will not do it. They lack the courage. One must be audacious if one intends to win the war."

"Cripps has flown from Moscow to London. A torrent of rumours is pouring out of London to the world. All to do with Russia. And, in fact, fairly accurate. But on the whole, the world continues to believe in bluff or blackmail. We do not react at all. Moscow has issued a formal denial: it claims it knows nothing of any aggressive intent on the part of the Reich. Our troop movements have a quite different purpose. In any event, Moscow seems to be doing nothing to counter any aggression. Marvellous!"

"Long talk with Dr Dietrich; he is very pleasant. It seems that nothing more can be done for Bomer. The Fuhrer has let him fall. I, however, intend to make every effort to ensure that nothing really bad happens to him. That is after all, possible."

"Ribbentrop behaved like a complete swine in the Bomer case. But then that was to be expected."

"It rains the entire day. But I scarcely notice it, since I am inundated with work. I have wild rumours spread in Berlin: that Stalin is on his way to Berlin and the red flags are already being produced, etc. Dr Ley rings up. He has been fooled completely. I leave him in ignorance. It all serves our purpose at the moment."

15 june 1941 (Sun)
"The denial by TASS is even more strongly worded than initial reports indicated. Explanation: Stalin obviously intends to establish clear war guilt by strong talk of peace and the assertion that nothing untoward is happening. We know from radio interceptions that Moscow has put the Russian fleet on the alert. It therefore seems that they are not quite so ingenious as they try to appear. But the preparations are extremely amateurish. Not to be taken seriously when it comes to real war.

The High Command is very pleased by the success of my article. It helps them very considerably."

"Rumours are circulating that are distinctly uncomfortable. One moment we are going to attack in the East, the next against England. A maze in which only the person who knows can find his way. I therefore warn my colleagues against becoming too deeply involved in this irresonsible gossip. Silence is golden.

Reach agreement with Rosenberg re. work in the East. We arrive at a full understanding. If one handles him the right way, one can work with him."

"The SD report contains nothing of note. Public expectant. Wild rumours. Particularly regarding Russia. London has declared that Cripps will not return to his post in Moscow. They have had enough of the Russian farce. But then they, of course, do not know what is coming."

"Work calls: Romania is making her preparations a little too conspicuous. Pity! The subject of Russia is still being discussed passionately and eagerly in London. But really they are just awash with rumours, none of them substantiated."

16 june 1941 (Mon)
"Yesterday: Russia-Germany the big talking point. No one believes the TASS denial. Great conjecture about what my article in the V.B. really means. London is the source of all the rumours. They are obviously trying to lure us out into open, but with no success. We maintain an icy silence. The enemy thus has no means of confirmation. Meanwhile, however, the military preparations continue unabated."

"The Fuhrer summons me to the Reich Chancellery in the afternoon. I have to enter by the back door, so that no one notices. The Wilhelmstrasse is under constant observation by foreign journalists. And so caution is needed. The Fuhrer looks marvellously and receives me very warmly. My article amused him hugely. It brought us a small extra breathing-space while our feverish preparations continued. And it was just what we needed. The Fuhrer gives me a comprehensive explanation of the situation: the attack on Russia will begin as soon as all our troops are in position. This will be sometimes in the course of next week. The campaign in Greece cost us dear in materiel, and this is why it is taking somewhat longer than anticipated. They have about 180-200 Divisions at their disposal, perhaps rather fewer, in any case about the same as we. And so far as personnel and equipment are concerned, there is no comparison to with our force.

The first thrust will be executed at various points. The enemy will be driven back in one, smooth movement. The Fuhrer estimates that the operation will take four months, I recon on fewer. Bolshevism will collapse like a house of cards. We face victories unequalled in human history."

We must act. Moscow intends to keep out of the war until Europe is exhausted and bled white. Then Stalin will move to bolshevise Europe and impose his own rule. We shall upset his calculations with one stroke. Out operation has been prepared as thoroughly as is humanly possible. So many contingency factors have been built into the plans that the failure is totally out of the question. No geographical limits have been set to operations. We shall fight until Russia's military power no longer exists. Japan is with us. The operation is also necessary from her point of view. Tokyo would never become involved with the USA with Russia still intact to her rear. Another reason why Russia must be destroyed. England would like to maintain Russia as surety for the future of Europe. That was the reason for Cripp' mission to Moscow. It failed. But Russia would attack us if we were weak, and then we should face a two-front war, which we are avoiding by this pre-emptive strike.

Only then shall we have our rear protected. I estimate the fighting capacity of the Russians even lower than does the Fuhrer.

Another reason for attacking Russia is the need to free men for other purposes. An undefeated Russia forces us to keep 250 divisions permanently under arms, manpower that we need urgently for our economy. War work must be greatly intensified, to carry through our weapon, U-boat and aircraft production programmes, so that even the USA will not be able to touch us.  The materials, the minerals and the machines are there for full production, but we lack human resources. Once Russia has been brought  to her knees, then we shall be able to demobilise whole sections of the armed forces and build, arm, and prepare. Only then shall we be able to begin the attack on England, using the Luftwaffe on a massive scale. An invasion is a very difficult prospect, whatever the circumstances. And so we must try to win victory by other means.

The procedure is to be as follows: we intend to act in completely different way to the usual. And this time we have come up with a new twist: there will be no press campagn; we shall keep absolutely silent and then on X-Day simply attack. I urgently advise the Fuhrer against calling the Reichstag together on the day. It will destroy the entire system of deception. He accepts my suggestion that we have the declaration read over the radio. We are already printing leaflets on a massive scale. The printers and packers are living in total isolation until the operation begins, thus ensuring absolute secrecy. The direction of the entire campagn is clear: Bolshevism must be destroyed, and with it England will lose her last possible ally on the European mainland. The Bolshevik poison must be eliminated from Europe. It will be difficult for Churchill and Roosevelt to say anything against that. And if the circustances wrrant it we shall aslo approach the bishops of both

Christian persuasions to bless this war as one divinly aproved. There will be no restoration of Czarism in Russia, but a true socialism will replace Jewish bolshevism. Every old Nazi will be deeply gratified to see this hour. The alliance with Russia was always a blemish on our honour. Now it will be washed away. We shall now destroy what we have faught against for our entire lives. I say so to the Fuhrer and he completely agrees with me. I also put in a good word for Rosenberg, whose life's work has been justified by this operation.

The Fuhrer says: right or wrong, we must win. It is the only way. And victory is right, moral and necessary. And once we have won, who is going to question our methods? In any case, we have so much to answer for already that we must win , because otherwise our entire nation - with us at its head - and all we hold dear, will be eradicated. So to work!

The Fuhrer asks me what the public is thinking. It believes that we are negotiating with Russia, but will behave with courage when we call on it to fight. Russian radio stations will be largerly destroyed, and our soldiers will have the first opportunity to make a personal acquaintance with the fatherland of the peasants and workers. They will all return as fervent anti-Bolsheviks.  This plague will be driven out of Europe. The time is ripe for it.

The TASS denial, in the Fuhrer's opinion, is little more than the product of fear. Stalin is trembling at what is to come. We shall put an end to his double-game. We shall now organise the raw materials of this rich country.  And England's hope of destroying us by her blockade will be extinguished once and for all. And then the U-boat war will start in earnest. England will sink tothe bottom.

Italy and Japan will now be informed that we intend to present certain demands to Russia, in the form of an ultimatum, at the beginnign of July. The news will soon get round.  This will buy us a few more days' time. So far as the rest goes, the Duce has not yet been informed of the extent of the planned operation. Antonescu knows a little more. Rumania and Finland are marching with us. So let us begin. The rich lands of Ukraine beckon. Our military leaders, who were with Fuhrer on Saturday, have prepared everything as well as is possible. Our propaganda machine is ready and waiting. We shall all combine to produce a master-stroke."

"The Fuhrer intends to postpone the appeal for cotton fabrics for the moment. Now is not the time to fuel possible discontent. Everything must be concentrated on the single great task."

18 june 1941 (Wed)
"As things are, however, there will still be some hard fighting to do. But the fact is that we shall win, because we have more resources and, in the final analysis, we are more thorough."

"The world is slowly beginning to smell a rat regarding our Russian deception. It has been seen through. High time. The Fuhrer rings me up late in the evening: wants to know when we can start printing and how long it will take to produce 30 million leaflets. If we start immediately, a night. We are starting today."

19 june 1941 (Thu)
"The first thing to be done is to print 800.000 leaflets for our soldiers. I have this undertaken in conditions of the strictest secrecy. The printing works has been surrounded with Gestapo guards, the workers will not be allowed out until X-Day, and food and beds have been provided for them. The leaflets, ready packed, will be handed over to the Wehrmacht, which will transport them to the front in the care of the officers. They will be distributed to each company on the morning of the operation. The entire procedure is very intricate, but this is the only guarantee of complete secrecy. I draw the whole Ministerial Bureau's attention to the need for security. It is the foundation of a great victory.

New SD report: The country is very tense. An atmosphere that almost screams for some kind of release. But that will not be long coming. Otherwise, nothing but work and this tension. Suspicion is now rampant in London. The enemy is slowly realising the situation. This was unavoidable. In Russia itself, they are making preparations for their great Navy Day. A real fiasco that will turn out to be."



20 June 1941 (Fri)
"Fuhrer documents re. Belgrade published. To pass the time. Finland calls up her reservists, and announces the fact publicly. Moscow is slowly beginning to become more insolent.

I quash rumours that the Reichstag is about to be convened. That was all we needed just at the moment. General Bodenschatz has been talking too much. A real blabbermouth!

The Fuhrer's declaration to the soldiers of the Army of the East printed, packed and despatched. Has to be reset once, however, since the quality is bad. Contents: explanation of the Russo-German quarrel. Up and at them! A brilliant analysis of the situation. We supervise the packing and have them despatched to the front under the strictest security. It all involves enormous difficulties. In the meantime, I quash a few more wild rumours that have been circulating among sections of the Party leadership."

"With the Fuhrer: the Russia business is now ready. The machine is gradually coming into motion. Everything is running smoothly. The Fuhrer praises superiority of our system when compared with the liberal ones. We educate our people according to a common world-view. With the aid of films, radio and press, which the Fuhrer sees as the most important tools of popular leadership. The state must never let them out of her hands. The Fuhrer also has a good word for the way our journalists have behaved. The Propaganda Companies have made an essential contribution to this. Our work is in high repute at the government.

Dr Frank talks about the General government. There they are already looking forward to being able to push the Jews out. Jewry in Poland is gradually going to the dogs. A just punishment for the way it has caused disruption among nations and has intrigued to unleash this war. The Fuhrer, of course, prophesied this fate for the Jews."

21 june 1941 (Sat)
"... The business of Russia is becoming more dramatic by the hour. Molotov has asked for permission to visit Berlin, but has been fobbed off. A naive request. Should have been made six months ago. Our enemies are falling apart. I read a comprehensive report on Russian-.Bolshevik radio propaganda. It will give us some real problems, becasue it is not so stupid as the English material. Probably written by Jews. As a precautionary measure, I have jamming stations established on the widest possible basis. Mobilisation in Finland. Moscow must realise the threat to Bolshevism now."

"There are signs of rising tension among the public, who have been completely calm so far. The operation is now being ushered in with magnificent skill. We shall have a good start."

"London has the Russia business completely right now. They expect war daily. Only a few left who say the whole thing is a bluff."

22 june 1941 (Sun)
"Martin reports on the final preparations. The attack will begin at 03:30 a.m. I am still not clear whether the Fuhrer's proclamation is to be read out on the immediately or not until 7:00 a.m. We intend to issue a warning about sabotage squads of Russian parachutists on the first day. A secret report from one of our agents has given urgent warning of enemy plans along this lines.
The issue of Russia overshadows all other political developments. But world opinion is still in the dark. We shall soon open their eyes for them. "

"Discuss the radio offensive during the night with Glasmaier and Diewerge. They have to be put in the picture now. The radio stations will stay in operation until further notice."

"The Italians come out to Schwanenwerder in the afternoon. ... Reception for our guests. Good atmosphere. ... the guest watch the American film, Gone with the Wind, which they all find very impressive. Meanwhile, I make a few telephone calls. The storm is slowly gathering."

"The time for the proclamation is to be agreed between the Fuhrer and myself."

"He [the Fuhrer] has dictated a new proclamation tothe people, which also gives more consideration to the soldiers. I suggest a few minor alterations. The piece is magnificent and explains the entire case.
The attack will beging at 3:30 a.m. 160 full divisions along 3000 kilometre-long battlefront. Everything is well prepared. The biggest concentration of forces in the history of the world. The Fuhrer seems to lose his fear as the decision comes nearer. It is always the same with him. He relaxes visibly. All the exhaustion seems to drop away. We pace up and down in his salon for three hours. I am granted more insights into his most secret thoughts. We have no choice but to attack. This cancerous sore must be cauterised. Stalin will fall. Dekanosov in Berlin has already made representations about our reconnaissance flights over the border. Evasive answer! The Duce will be fully informed on Sunday. He was given an outline during the last talks at the Brenner. We establish guidelines for the struggle. Clear and unambiguous. We shall lay particular emphasis on the argument that Russia's two faced policy has prevented a decisive settlement of the English question.
The Fuhrer has high hopres for the peace party in England. Otherwise, he claims, the Hess Affair would not have been so systematically killed by silence. The Fuhrer has only contempt when he talks about Hess. If the man were not mad, he would deserve to be shot. He has done the Party tremendous damage, particularly in its relations with the Wehrmacht. ...After some discussion, the time for the reading of the proclamation on the radio is fixed for 5:30 a.m. By then, the enemy will know what is happening, and it will be time that the nation and world were informed as well. "

"Then our preparations are at an end. He [the Fuhrer] has been working on this since July last year, and now the moment has come. Everything has been done that could humanly have been done. Now the fortunes of was must decide."

"I go over to the ministry. It is still pitch-dark. I put my colleagues in the picture. Total amazement in all quarters. Most has guessed half, or even the whole truth. Everyone set to work immidiately. Radio, press and newsreel are mobilised. Everything runs like clockwork.

I study the final telegrams: all rubbish. Our guns will issue the last denial. I shall not say a word. Study a radio situation in Russia. We shall have our work cut out."

03:30. Now the guns will be thundering. May God bless our weapons!
Outside on the Wilhelmplatz, it is quiet and deserted. Berlin and the entire Reich are asleep. I have half an hour to spare, but cannot sleep. I pace up and down restlessly in my room. One can hear the breath of history.
A glorious, wonderful hour has struck, when a new empire is born. Our nation is making her way up to the light.
The new fanfare sounds. Filled with power, booming and majestic. I read the Fuhrer's proclamation to the German people over all stations. A solemn moment for me."


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to be continued...
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