Propaganda for the NKFD

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Radio “Free Germany’s” first religious broadcast could be heard on August 28, 1943. Schröder read aloud an “Appeal to the German Evangelical Church from Circles of the National Committee and the “Free Germany” Movement”. The churches in the Reich were also supposed to be included in the united front against Hitler. Schröder therefore called the Confessing Church in Germany an ally in the active struggle against the downfall of and for the salvation of Germany – a struggle, which they ought to fight side-by-side with the Catholic Church.

Schröder made altogether ninety seven radio broadcasts during his time in the NKFD. In addition to sermons during the station’s Protestant worship on Sunday mornings, he gave addresses to Protestants on the church’s duty to take part in the struggle against National Socialism, on the situation of the church in Russia, on the moral abyss of the Nazi regime, on future democratic collaboration between social classes, parties and denominations and on international understanding after a moral and religious renewal of the German nation.

Appeals addressing soldiers included placing obedience to the Ten Commandments above obedience to unlawful orders. Other appeals targeting specific groups addressed German women and farmers – groups that were presumed to be receptive to a pastor’s remarks. Some of the addresses were also repeated by the BBC in German broadcasts from London. Schröder additionally wrote articles with similar content for the newspaper “Free Germany”.

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  • © Christiane Godt-Schröder

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