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
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.
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"
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.
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
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.