SANTA SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: Listening to the Still Small Voice

The relation of Christmas, Santa Claus, Saint Nick and Fascism was ambiguous; as unsettling as Santa squeezing down the chimney and spreading soot on the wall to wall carpeting. Nazi Germany celebrated Christmas without Christ with the help of swastika tree baubles, ‘Germanic’ cookies and a host of manufactured traditions, that seem alien, though not unknown, with respect to the mainstream Western tradition. The way the celebration was gradually taken over and exploited for propaganda purposes by Hitler’s Nazis is undeniable, though through the manipulation of the appropriation, the orthodox claim of atheism, though imbued with pagan winter solstice tradition; is hardly extinguished. The aesthetic, as we know it was certainly not the same, and the spirit of Christmas was for the most part….limited. All the gifts were political, and all were exploitable and disposable toys setting in motion the right wing gift of inexhaustible refugees and claims for national identity…

Food for thought: A swastika-shaped cookie cutter for the kitchen Read more:

“Or maybe he’s a fascist? That, at least, is what a report in the Thursday issue of the tabloid Bild seems to indicate. Germans shopping for Christmas trinkets have been shocked recently to discover row upon row of Santa Clauses looking to all the world as if they are giving the Hitler salute — right arm, straight as an arrow, raised skyward. Never mind that St. Nick is carrying a bag of toys and wearing a silly red hat complete with a white pom-pom. Shoppers were sure — these Santas were Nazis.”

"Christmas shoppers in Germany are horrified. Across the country, models of Santa Claus in shop windows appear to be giving the Nazi salute. Some chains have already removed them from the shelves." ( Der Spiegel)

‘Christmas was a provocation for the Nazis – after all, the baby Jesus was a Jewish child,’ Judith Breuer told the German newspaper Spiegel. ‘The most important celebration in the year didn’t fit with their racist beliefs so they had to react, by trying to make it less Christian.’ The Nazis attempted to persuade housewives to bake cookies in the shape of swastikas, and they replaced the Christian figure of Saint Nicholas, who traditionally brings German children treats on December 6, with the Norse god Odin. The symbol that posed a particular problem for the Nazis was the star, which traditionally decorates Christmas trees.

"At the time the Catholic church echoed his anti-Semitic sentiment, and even perhaps helped to create it. He also knew to conquer Europe, he had to have help from the most powerful entity already in power. Christopher Hitchens goes into great detail in his book God is Not Great of how Hitler and Pope Pius XII worked together, and how much of Hitler's achievements could not have been made without the help of the Vatican. Another good book called Hitler's Pope by John Cornwall goes into deeper history. Cornwell argued that Pacelli's anti-Semitism combined with his drive to promote papal absolutism inexorably led him to collaboration with fascist leaders, a collaboration which led to what Cornwell characterizes as "the betrayal of Catholic democratic politics in Germany". Cornwell describes this collaboration with fascist leaders as starting in 1929 with the concordat with Mussolini known as the Lateran Treaty, and followed by the concordat with Hitler known as the Reichskonkordat...."

Nazi ideologists claimed that the Christian elements of the holiday had been superimposed upon ancient Germanic traditions.[1] They argued that Christmas Eve originally had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ, but instead celebrated the winter solstice and the ‘rebirth of the sun’,[1] that the swastika was an ancient symbol of the sun, and that Santa Claus was a Christian reinvention of the Germanic god Odin. Accordingly, holiday posters were made to depict Odin as the “Christmas or Solstice man”, riding a white charger, sporting a thick grey beard and wearing a slouch hat, carrying a sack full of gifts. Other changes were made to the manger, which was replaced by a Christmas garden containing wooden toy deer and rabbits; Mary and Jesus were also depicted as a blonde mother and child.[1]

"World War II is going poorly for Hitler and the Nazi party. So the Fueher decides the best way to turn the tide in the war is to kidnap Santa Claus and take control of Christmas and all of Santa's magical secrets. The only thing standing in the way of their evil plot is a misunderstood elf, a misfit toy and a couple of hit men reindeer. Will that be enough to save Christmas? Find out when The Hot Karl presents, "Santa Claus Conquers the Nazis: The Musical." ---

The Christmas tree was also changed. The traditional names of the tree, Christbaum or Weihnachtsbaum, was renamed in the press as fir tree, light tree or Jul tree. The star on the top of the tree was sometimes replaced with a swastika, a Germanic “sun wheel” or a Sig rune. During the height of the movement, an attempt was made to remove the association of the coming of Jesus and replace it with the coming of Adolf Hitler, referred to as the “Saviour Führer”. Either it was a six-pointed star, which was a symbol of the Jews, or it was a five-pointed star, which represented the Soviets.

In the 1930s, the Nazis tried to change the ideology of Christmas. But when World War II started, the focus became more practical.Civilians were ordered to send Christmas cards to the soldiers at the front. There were also tips on how to make Christmas cookies in the face of food shortages.


Civilians were encouraged to send patriotic Christmas cards to soldiers at the front Read more:

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Ok, so we know that Hitler was not an atheist, and even if he was he did not ban religion from his regime because he knew the value of it and that it was needed to help him conquer Europe and exterminate the Jews. In fact, according to many, Hitler’s attitude towards Jews was only an extension of the views and actions of the Catholic church from centuries prior.
There is some information showing Hitler did try to nationalize Christmas during the war as a propaganda event to encourage military support and to stimulate the Germanic traditions of the Motherland. Much of the modern customs of Christmas are not Christian whatsoever, and many come from German culture including the Christmas tree (or tannenbaum) which has been traced back to 16th century Germany.

There is actually nothing Christian about the celebration of Christmas, other than December 25th having been chosen as the day for Christ’s Mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. There is no proof Jesus was born on this day, and most scholars believe this day was chosen because it was shortly after the winter solstice, a holiday already celebrated by pagans, who the church had hopes of converting to Christianity. They have done the same to Easter.

Robert Capa.Immigrants from eastern Europe, Turkey and Tunisia landing at Haifa in 1949

The debates, interpretations , and sifting through the propaganda, confusion and lies regarding the relationship of Wartime Germany to Christmas, paganism and the destruction of civilian populations, particularly Judaism and its subsequent national reincarnation in present day Israel is not likely to be settled soon; lots of old scores and grudges. In fact, an observer like Noam Chomsky might even declare that in terms of arriving at a volatile West meets East in the Middle East, WWII, and the machinations of those with power achieved a startling success. Kissinger’s idea of cannon fodder to feed the beast was in fine form. But once the faucets are turned on, why stop?

“Then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is heard saying that the genocide of Soviet Jews would not be an American problem on newly released tapes chronicling President Nixon’s obsession with disparaging Jews and other minorities. Kissinger’s remarks were made after a meeting with then-prime minister Golda Meir on March 1, 1973, in which Meir pleads for US pressure on the Soviet Union to release its Jews.

Robert Capa. 1950.Refugee Camp.

After Meir leaves, the men dismiss her plea. “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy,” The New York Times on Saturday quoted Kissinger, then secretary of state, as saying on the tapes. “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.” Nixon replies: “I know. We can’t blow up the world because of it.”

Six months later, during the Yom Kippur War, Nixon over-ruled Kissinger’s advice to delay an arms airlift to Israel as a means of weakening Israel; Nixon, among other reasons, cited Israel’s urgent need. Nixon can also be heard making many disparaging comments about Jews on the recording. He told his secretary “I don’t want any Jew at that dinner who didn’t support us in that campaign” – referring to the state dinner held for the Israeli prime minister. He stated that “The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality.”

…on Jennifer Peto’s master’s thesis from department of sociology and equity studies in education at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE), a branch of the University of Toronto. The paper is titled “The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education”:

The University of Toronto is coming under fire for granting its “imprimatur” to a master’s thesis that critics say is an allegation of “Jewish racism” and is of low academic standards.

In a letter to University of Toronto president David Naylor, retired sociology professor Werner Cohn said the thesis posits that “the Jews of the world, most particularly those of Canada and the United States, are racist and seek to oppress people of colour everywhere.” The thesis, Cohen goes on, is averse to empirical data, and its author, Jennifer Peto, “makes wild… charges against her fellow Jews without a shred of evidence. . . ”

Summarizing her thesis, Peto stated that it “focuses on issues of Jewish identity, whiteness and victimhood within hegemonic Holocaust education. I argue that today, Jewish people of European descent enjoy white privilege and are among the most socio-economically advantaged groups in the West. Despite this privilege, the organized Jewish community makes claims about Jewish victimhood that are widely accepted within that community and within popular discourse in the West.

“I propose that these claims to victimhood are no longer based in a reality of oppression, but continue to be propagated because a victimized Jewish identity can produce certain effects that are beneficial to the organized Jewish community and the Israeli nation-state. Later in the article Peto identifies as “an anti-Zionist Jew” and says “by supporting Israel, [Jews] are supporting a brutally oppressive regime.” The article adds:

She said it can be painful for Jews to become anti-Zionist, but it was less painful for her “because I was already an outcast in the Jewish community and estranged from my family for being atheist, queer, gender-queer, feminist and generally outspoken in a highly normative, Orthodox setting.”

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