Hillbrink Codex Banner

Hillbrink Codex, Nazi Poster Book

The Hillbrink Codex:
Hitler's Words in Propaganda

About The Banner

The photo on the left in the above banner is that of Herbert E. Hillbrink, an American soldier in the Counter Intelligence Corps at the time of the Nazi defeat and the end of World War II. He is the compiler, and binder, of the present volume as part of his duties during the Allied Occupation of Germany.

The other parts of the banner are from a few of the Nazi "Wochenspruch" series of popular weekly sayings; a series of widely distributed wartime Nazi propaganda posters, of interest to scholars and historians then and now.

A collection of original Nazi propaganda posters

The outside cover of the hand-bound Hillbrink Codex.

From the vantage point of the present, the Hillbrink Codex offers both insight into the propaganda fog surrounding the war laden German people and at the same time insight into the activities that defined the Allied occupation of Germany at war's end. That is to say, the act of collecting these instances of propaganda says as much about Hitler's Germany as it does about the Allied interest in, perhaps even obsession with, the de-nazification of Germany after the war.

Long before Allied military actions in Africa and Europe began to turn the tide of Nazi fortunes, the Allies had planned to occupy and to govern Germany once the German army was destroyed. A constant flow of officers and men were being trained to take over the administration of captured areas so that local government, industry, agriculture and all that had been destroyed in war could be restored. This was necessary in the first place simply to exercise control over areas to the rear of front lines so that material and signal communications could operate to support the front lines.

At the same time many men were trained, as was Herbert Hillbrink, in counter intelligence to investigate and police captured areas, arrest enemy soldiers in civilian clothing, for example, and to process collaborators and displaced persons. In this way underground activities could be controlled, if not eliminated, so that rear areas could not threaten the peace once restored.

The Allied occupation of Germany was of a similar nature but writ large and with a view to the de-nazification of the country and the restoration of democracy. The unconditional surrender of Germany made this goal possible.

The title page as it appears in the volume.

Herbert Hillbrink, whose wartime biography is being written to be published in these pages, eventually was appointed Special Branch Officer, in July 1946, at the Military Government Building at 42 Marktstrasse, Backnang, the former NSDAP Kreisleitung, or county government headquarters. This former Nazi government building, as Hillbrink points out in his preface, contained a great number of documents, including this series of Wochenspruch weekly Nazi propaganda posters.

At the same time, the Allied Control Council had ordered the confiscation of all Nazi materials that could be construed as anti-democratic and possibly contributing to the development or maintenance of war potential: See "Order No. 4, Confiscation of Literature and Material of Nazi and Militarist Nature" Page 1, Page 2. An amendment to this order was made to allow for the preservation of a limited number of documents for the purpose of scholarship. See Order # 4 Amendment. The result of this amendment is this present volume. The amendment allowed German scholars to have access to these materials but only under Allied supervision.

The Hillbrink Codex volume is in a storage facility and can be made available to properly qualified scholars through application.

A typical poster as it appears in the volume. Note that the posters were once folded in half, perhaps for storage in file cabinets.

Image of title page.

Hillbrink's Foreword

From the first days of the Occupation of Germany by the Allied Forces in 1944, a prearranged plan for the removal of Nazi Party (National-Sozialistische Deutscher Arbeiter Partei) influence went into effect.

The major task was to locate and intern those members of the Nazi Party known as the "Leadership Corps." Decency demanded the incarceration for future trail of the high ranking leaders of the German Political Party whose aims brought chaos and misery to millions of human beings. In the execution of this assignment there fell also to the Allied Forces especially trained for that type work the job of removing and excluding from positions of influence that section of German population who were minor leaders or members of the Nazi Party.

In the search for evidence of overzealous and extreme Nazi activity on the part of specific persons, tons of German confidential documents, files, records and propaganda material were gathered and evaluated.

Of the many forms of printed propaganda material seized, one of the best to have been discovered was the multicolored "Weekly Proverb" (Wochenspruch) Poster. Even as late as October 1947, such propaganda material was discovered in the archives of the Government of Backnang County (Kreis Backnang) in Württemberg-Baden.

The Posters incorporated in this binding were a part of the material seized above. Of necessity, only those are included which have been constructed around a phrase or paragraph uttered by the former Leader of the German Reich, Adolf Hitler.

The translations into English of the German Posters, have been made in the spirit and meaning of their time, in the true Nazi sense; thus, a literal translation in many instances was not possible.

Herbert E. Hillbrink
Backnang, Germany
April 1948

Image of Hillbrink's foreword explaining the purpose of the volume; study by German scholars during the de-nazification of Allied controlled Germany.

Portrait of Adolf Hitler.
[Page 15]

The Posters

1939

There is no Socialism that does not spring from the People themselves.
[27 August - 2 September 1939. Page 23, Poster 1]

I fight with my People in order to make good an Unjust, and others to attain this goal.
[3-9 September 1939. Page 27, Poster 2]

I believe in no Right in the world which is not protected by Force.
[10-16 September 1939. Page 31, Poster 3]

We will eventually die, but Germany must live!
[24-30 September 1939. Page 35, Poster 4]

The Sacrifice which is demanded from us is not greater than the Sacrifice that countless generations have made.
[1-7 October 1939. Page 39, Poster 5]

When the Soldier on the Front is fighting, no one should profit by War. When the Soldier on the Front falls, no one at Home should withdraw their allegiance.
[8-14 October 1939. Page 43, Poster 6]

I expect too from the German woman that she participates in this Common Battle with an exemplary strong Discipline.
[15-21 October 1939. Page 47, Poster 7]

He who aggressively represents his Rights receives Right in the end.
[29 October - 4 November 1939. Page 51, Poster 8]

If I demand sacrifice from the German People, and if necessary total sacrifice, I have the Right; for today I am just as prepared, as I was before, to bring each personal sacrifice.
[12-18 November 1939. Page 55, Poster 9]

If our Will is so strong that Need will not suppress it, then our Will and our German State will destroy and win over all Need.
[19-25 November 1939. Page 59, Poster 10]

I will carry on the Battle, against whom makes no difference, until the Security of the Reich and its Rights are insured.
[26 November - 2 December 1939. Page 63, Poster 11]

Germany of today is decided to secure its borders and to defend its "Lebensraum."
[10-16 December 1939. Page 67, Poster 12]

We will fight for the Security of our People, for our "Lebensraum."
[17-23 December 1939. Page 71, Poster 13]

1940

No power in the world will be able to subjugate the Germany again.
[31 December 1939 - 6 January 1940. Page 77, Poster 14]

We want to rear a resistant Posterity which is strong, dependent, loyal, obedient and decent.
[14-20 January 1940. Page 81, Poster 15]

The German People will not disintegrate in this War, but will become more and more unified.
[21-27 January 1940. Page 85, Poster 16]

We are fighting for a Right to live without which we cannot indefinitely exist.
[28 January - 3 February 1940. Page 89, Poster 17]

All people have a Right to insure their Life upon this earth
[4-10 February 1940. Page 93, Poster 18]

Steady nerves and iron endurance are the best guarantees for success in this world.
[11-17 February 1940. Page 97, Poster 19]

The declaration, I Believe, is not sufficient! Thereto must be added the oath, I will Fight!
[18-24 February 1940. Page 101, Poster 20]

Only one can win! We are the ones!
[3-9 March 1940. Page 105, Poster 21]

True willingness to sacrifice and to remain silent are the characteristics that a People really needs.
[24-30 March 1940. Page 109, Poster 22]

The constant pessimists and unconstructive critics have never saved a People, but have destroyed countless Races, States and Empires.
[7-13 April 1940. Page 113, Poster 23]

What we possess today is wholly immaterial; decisive is only one thing, that Germany wins.
[14-20 April 1940. Page 117, Poster 24]

I have only one mission: Namely, to gather and keep the Love and Loyalty of my People.
[21-27 April 1940. Page 121, Poster 25]

The War forced upon the Greater German Reich by the Capitalistic Powers of France and England must become the most glorified Victory in German History.
[28 April - 4 May 1940. Page 125, Poster 26]

Before the Past and Future I wish to stand in Honor. And with me there shall stand in Honor the German People.
[5-11 May 1940. Page 129, Poster 27]

We wish to force ourselves to accept the belief of a famous German: "And if the World were full of Devils, (Victory) must be possible for us."
[12-18 May 1940. Page 133, Poster 28]

Germany will live and therefore Germany will win!
[26 May - 1 June 1940. Page 137, Poster 29]

The more decidedly and the more strongly we take all sacrifices upon us, the more surely we will gain the Peace which our People want.
[2-8 June 1940. Page 141, Poster 30]

The War is here because England has wanted it.
[19-15 June 1940. Page 145, Poster 31]

Neither the German People or I were were placed under oath to accept the Versailles Treaty, but I am under oath for the well-being of my People whose representative I am!
[30 June - 6 July 1940. Page 149 Poster 32]

What we want is not the suppression of our People. It is Freedom, our Security, and the assurance of "Lebensraum". It is the Security of the People themselves. For that we are fighting!
[21-27 July 1940. Page 153, Poster 33]

One does not free people by doing nothing, but through sacrifice.
[28 July - 3 August 1940. Page 157, Poster 34]

Heroism is not only necessary on the Field of Battle, but on the Homefront.
[29 September - 5 October 1940. Page 161, Poster 35]

A Man is only he who as Man protects and defends.
[17-23 Nomember 1940. Page 165, Poster 36]

The Leader Orders: "Believe, Obey, Fight!
[22-28 December 1940, Page 169, Poster 37]

1941

Adolf Hitler says: We were born to fight; for we came from the Battle of Survival.
[12-18 January 1941. Page 175, Poster 38]

The Leader Speaks: Over us exits the Order: "You must do your duty in the service of the People".
[19-25 January 1941. Page 179, Poster 39]

The Füurher is always right.
[16-22 February 1941. Page 183, Poster 40]

Adolf Hitler: The world must take note of one fact. There will never be the defeat of Germany, either militarily, economically, or through an exention[sic] of the war.
[23-29 March 1941. Page 187, Poster 41]

Not through treaties or hindering agreements, but only through force, has England put her great empire together.
[30 March - 5 April 1941. Page 191, Poster 42]

When this war is at and end, there shall begin in Germany great production. In German lands a great resounding "Wake Up" will be heard.
[13-19 April 1941. Page 195, Poster 43]

Where the German solider[sic] stands, comes no other.
[4-10 May 1941. Page 199, Poster 44]

In this war Luck will not win; but finally, for once, Right.
[11-17 May 1941. Page 203, Poster 45]

The Woman too has her battleground. With each child she brings into the world for the State, she fights her battle for the State.
[18-24 May 1941. Page 207, Poster 46]

The German State should never forget, that the strength of a People is not put to the test when the Leadership is visibly successful, but in hours when there is an apparent failure.
[7-13 June 1942. Page 211, Poster 47]

It is the highest duty of the German People, at looking upon the Fighting Front, to do everything to give it the necessary weapons.
[22-28 June 1941. Page 215, Poster 48]

We want to plant our feet fast in Our Earth, and we will not succumb to any attack. You will stand next to me should this hour at one time come. You will stand before me, to the side, and behind me, and will keep our Flag aloft. Then may our opponents try to line up and arise. They could bring forth Soviet Banners - but under Our Banner we will win again.
[6-12 July 1941. Page 219, Poster 49]

In Bolshevism in the 20th Century we have reflected the start of the Jews to gather the control of the world.
[20-26 July 1941. Page 223, Poster 50]

There is nothing impossible for the German Soldier.
[31 august - 6 September 1941. Page 227, Poster 51]

The German Army is the strongest weapon in the service of Freedom for Europe.
[21-27 September 1941. Page 231, Poster 52]

The coming generations will forget the men who served to profit and will praise the heroes who refused personal gain.
[9-15 November 1941. Page 235, Poster 53]

Our Forefathers did not receive the Soil upon which we now stand as a gift from Heaven, but had to win it through Sacrifice of Life. So will we now as in the future not receive the Soil and the Life that goes with it from a Heavenly Benefactor but only through Force and a Victorious Sword.
[16-22 November 1941. Page 239, Poster 54]

From History we have learned that Life is given permanently to that People who are willing to defend that Life and its Honor in the World.
[23-29 November 1941. Page 243, Poster 55]

The Sacrifice of the Front can be repaid by nothing.
[7-13 December 1941. Page 247, Poster 56]

GOD!
You see we have changed ourselves. The German People are no longer the Honorless and Shameless People of Self-Decimation and Weakness. No God! The German People have become strong again in Spirit, in Endurance, strong in the Sustaining of Sacrifice. God! We will not leave You! Bless our Battle for Freedom and therewith our People and Fatherland.
[21-27 December 1941. Page 251, Poster 57]

1942

When this war is at an end, I will return from it a still more fanatic National Socialist than I was before.
[22-28 February 1942. Page 257, Poster 58]

In the sacrifice of one's own life for the community, lies the crowning spirit of all sacrifice.
[15-21 March 1942. Page 261, Poster 59]

God has never helped an evil person; He will neither help a coward.
[22-28 March 1942. Page 265, Poster 60]

Our vow is:
In every hour of every day to think only of Germany, of the People and State, and or our great Nation.
[5-11 April 1942. Page 269, Poster 61]

The work of the people at home must be able to be upheld in the future.
[26 April - 2 May 1942. Page 273, Poster 62]

We can have no doubt that at this time the fate of Europe for the next thousand years will be decided.
[10-16 May 1942. Page 227, Poster 63]

The battle demands from the soldier the greatest sacrifice, but from the Fatherland, the greatest preparedness to sacrifice.
[24-30 May 1942. Page 281, Poster 64]

The German People and their Soldiers work and fight today not for themselves and this period, but for the future, yes, even the most distant generations.
[14-20 June 1942. Page 285, Poster 65]

There can be no greater thanks for the sacrifice of our soldiers than for everyone to help with the healing of their wounds.
[21-27 June 1942. Page 289, Poster 66]

He who has the intention to shirk from his duty has no claim to be recognized as a citizen in our midst.
[5-11 July 1942. Page 293, Poster 67]

As we were unsympathetically firm in the battle for power, we shall be exactly so unsympathetic in the battle for the survival of our people.
[26 July - 1 August 1942. Page 297, Poster 68]

People help yourselves. Then God will not fail in His help to you.
[2-8 August 1942. Page 301, Poster 69]

Not the half-hearted and the neutral persons make history, but rather those who take the battle upon themselves.
[23-29 August 1942. Page 305, Poster 70]

Only he has the right to criticize, who can better solve a problem.
[20-26 September 1942. Page 309, Poster 71]

The performance of the German farmer is something singular and outstanding.
[4-10 October 1942. Page 313, Poster 72]

Unfaithfulness has once struck our people; Faithfulness will set us free again.
[11-17 October 1942. Page 317, Poster 73]

Steady nerves and iron endurance are the best guarantees for success in this world.
[2-8 November 1942. Page 321, Poster 74]

Of all our German soldiers, then as well as now, our peerless Infantry carries the heaviest burden of the battle
[15-21 November 1942. Page 325, Poster 75]

Work credits the woman as the man, but the child dignifies the mother.
[29 November - 5 December 1942. Page 329, Poster 76]

1943

In the political battle we, the National Socialists, have won over the German State; In the War we will keep it and protect it.
[25-31 January 1943. Page 335, Poster 77]

The strength of man does not reveal itself on the evening after victory - but when once the sun does not shine.
[14-21 February 1943. Page 339, Poster 78]

In Germany today no person thinks of a bad compromise; all of the People think only of Total War.
[26 April - 9 May 1943. Page 343, Poster 79]

The individual must and will always die, but The Race must remain.
[6-26 June 1943. Page 347 Poster 80]

Steady nerves and iron endurance are the best guarantees for success in this world.
[28 August - 11 September 1943. Page 351, Poster 81]

The final result is for he who remains firm and [sic] never looses his nerve.
[19-25 September 1943. Page 355, Poster 82]

We must think in terms of great space of time and not for the moment.
[10-16 October 1943. Page 359, Poster 83]

1944

In the history of the world there are no heroes who in the face of great trial did not remain firm.
[6-12 February 1944. Page 365, Poster 84]

German People:
Come what may, we will master it. In the end, Victory will be ours!
[13-19 February 1944. Page 369, Poster 85]