Page of ' Was tue ich im Ernstfall?'


"Was tue ich im Ernstfall?" is an information booklet for the German people published in 1940 by and for the Reichsführer SS und Chefs der Deutschen Polizei. In it is an article about Feindpropaganda. From the original, you can see two scans: the title page and the first page of the actual article.
It could be interesting for collectors to know and understand the text. That is why I give my English translation here.

Translation of "WAS TUE ICH IM ERNSTFALL?":

What do I do if it gets serious?

Watch it!

6. Enemy propaganda!

In modern warfare there are two powerful and compelling forces. The first comprises of the weapon, economics, materiel and organisation. The second, the spirit and soul. Against the first the enemy uses his ships and the blockade; against the other he uses a new and sneaky weapon:


The 1914/1918 war was lost by Germany because it didn't recognise the danger of enemy propaganda and therefore physically collapsed. This must not and will not ever happen again! The enemy propaganda with his slander, rumours and accusations, in short, with political, military or common lies, wants to break the resistance of the German people.
The media of the enemy propaganda are:
Leaflets, appeals, insinuations, atrocity stories, rumours, provocative radio broadcasts and "planned chaos".
Witting or unwitting tools of the enemy propaganda are all those people who are struck by the enemy's propaganda bullet and loose their will to win. Bores, sceptics and agitators among the German people are in a mental sense the "foreign legionares" of the enemy. From doubting their own cause to the desintegration of the will to resist is only a small step. The World War proofed that!

How do I fight enemy propaganda?

If I hear or see messages or rumours by word of mouth, in text or picture, on the radio or in conversation that are possibly enemy propaganda, then I rely on my intelligence and gut feeling whether or not the enemy propaganda bullet can be made harmless.

I immediately take the enemy propaganda in my hand and give the people that came in contact with it some guidance. I know that the greatest weakness against enemy propaganda is the saying: "There must be some truth in it". I'm careful in all conversations and letters. Letters and conversations can fall into enemy hands and give him material to work with.
To those people of my nation whose resistance breaks I will give a new detrmination. I will remind in strong words those Germanic people who give in to enemy propaganda of the terrible danger and appeal to their sense of honour. He who becomes a tool of enemy propaganda puts himself outside our people's community. He should not be surprised if he is dealt with as an enemy of the people. If continual warnings do not help, I must do my duty and denounce him to the government.
I work against enemy propaganda wherever I meet it. I will enlighten foreigners and friends in other countries by word-of-mouth and in my letters. If I have any German propaganda material, I will enclose it in my letters. On all (enemy) propaganda material that I find I write largely and clearly: "Enemy Propaganda" and deliver it immediately to the nearest police station. I will not show it to any stranger and won't keep any propaganda material that I find. I follow all the rules about listening to foreign broadcasting; not only because there is severe punishment to do so but because I see it is a self-evident patriotic duty to refrain from listening.
I always know what the enemy wants to achieve with his propaganda and that it is an enemy method of war that should not be allowed to cripple us.

Another page of ' Was tue ich im Ernstfall?'

Enemy propaganda is poison!

He who gives in to it is lost.
I also know that there are severe punishments liable for

Weakening the military power

§5 of the regulations about the special criminal law in wartime and in special cases says:


Punishable by death for inciting people to resist their own will:

1.He who declares in public not to do compulsory service in the German or allied Armies, or in any other way tries to weaken the German or allied peoples' will to keep its own character.
2.He who seduces a soldier or conscript to be disobedient, or to resist his superiors or to desert or in any other way undermine the discipline in the German or allied Armies.
3.He who mutilates himself or others, or by other means of deceit tries to completely or partly shirk his service in the army.

In less severe cases, the penalty is imprisonment.
Apart from the death penalty or imprisonment, it is also possible to have property and wealth confiscated.


In cases where an offence against military discipline or inciting soldiers is committed by persons subject to military law it can be punished as mentioned in §5 with corrective punishment up to 15 years. Where it is necessary for discipline or to ensure a unit's security, the penalty can be life imprisonment or the death-penalty.

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