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1941 Nazi Christmas party

// From some LIFE photos of a Nazi Christmas party of 1941, we can see that this party must have been the worst ever.

But how could Nazi leaders reconcile an ideology of hatred and conquest with the joyous spirit of the holiday — much less its celebration of the birth of the Jewish Christ?
"We cannot accept that a German Christmas tree has anything to do with a crib in a manger in Bethlehem. It is inconceivable for us that Christmas and all its deep soulful content is the product of an oriental religion."

 
Those were words of Nazi propagandist Friedrich Rehm in 1937, arguing that “real” Germans should remove any vestiges of “oriental” religion from the holiday by harking back to the pagan Yule, an ancient Northern European festival of the winter solstice.
 
But by the time Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese had dragged the Allies into the Second World War, the Reich’s focus had shifted to more practical matters. Rather than trying to dissuade millions of Germans from celebrating Christmas the way they had for generations, Hitler, Goebbels and the rest instead encouraged their compatriots to send cards and care packages to the troops.
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Source:
LIFE


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