A Pocket Guide To Nazis

While I was home in Indiana this past week digging through old photos for the family ofrenda we’re building, I came across this pocket guide to Germany which the war department issued to GI’s in the latter days of World War 2. This one belonged to my grandfather, who died in his Sherman during an attack on the village of Elbeuf.

There are some nuggets of wisdom worth repeating this 4th of July, when tanks rumble through the streets of Washington DC at the behest of an unworthy civil servant, cracking the foundations of the monuments we have erected to principles we hold so dear.

Nazi Vacuum


To an American, used to the freest press the world has ever known, it seems impossible for a nation to have been almost completely shut off from all external news for four years or more, especially since the perfection of radio, but that is what has happened in Germany.

Every since the advent of Hitler, and especially since the war, the German people have been living in a vacuum as far as the truth and real news is concerned. Into that vacuum, the Nazis have pumped only such news as they wanted the people to have, and such lies or misstatements as they thought necessary for the survival of the Party. They tortured and killed as they pleased in ordered to keep themselves in power and to carry out their plans of world conquest. The suppressed all political opposition. They herded hundreds of thousands of innocent people into concentration camps. The people were forbidden to listen to any foreign or domestic radio broadcasts except those controlled by the Nazis.
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Where this state of affairs concerns you is in the irritation that will naturally arise in you when in the normal contact of occupation you try to tell the Germans what the score is, and they reply with their parrot-like repetition of – “All lies. All Democratic propaganda.”

Don’t argue with them.
Don’t try to convince them.
Don’t get angry.
Give them the “Okay-chum-you’ll-find-out-soon-enough,” treatment and walk away.

By NOT trying to convince them, or to shout them down, by the assumption of a quiet demeanor, you can help to create a genuine longing and thirst for the truth and real news in the German people, and break down their resistance to it.


This booklet has hit the highspots of Germany’s recent behavior, in order to add knowledge to your military equipment for the job you are assigned to do. It has not been the aim of this booklet to sing a ‘Hymn of Hate’ against the enemy, or to make you practice as revenge his fanatical creed of intolerance, with its untold cruelties and brutalities.

One of the tragedies in Germany’s recent history is her own betrayal of her past gifts to civilized life. The country has produced great writers, philosophers, scientists, artists, and musicians. Her people possess great energies which at times have been used to benefit rather than destroy mankind. In the peace to come it is hoped that those energies can be more consistently employed to benefit the world, more than they have been in the past.

You, as an individual American soldier, have the responsibility of living up to what the United Nations are out to win in this War…a world at peace, on decent terms.

Let your attitude in Germany be:

Firm –
Fair –
Aloof –
and above all,
Aware of the things this booklet has tried to tell you, so that the honest mistakes of an older generation may not be repeated, and so that, to apply Lincoln’s words to the fallen men of our armed forces in this war, “These dead shall not have died in vain.”


Published in: on July 4, 2019 at 6:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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