Since the populace in general is timid and takes great
care not to express its opinion publicly, it is becoming more and more
difficult to observe and assess the public's attitude. Unmistakable,
however, is the fact that the internal political situation has lately
been considerably tense, which has adversely affected attitudes. Even
though trade and industry are apparently being conducted smoothly, a
certain public uneasiness and dejection can be observed which manifests
itself in varying degrees among various occupational strata. As to the
size of the circle so affected, it must be said openly that its extent
is much greater than the limits assigned to it by [National Socialist]
Party offices, the Party press, and propaganda. It includes not only
reactionary segments of the population and those elements subject to
their influence, but this deep dissatisfaction reaches also into the
Party and to its oldest members - which gives cause for serious concern.
The causes of this attitude, insofar as economic factors
are not involved, ... can be traced to the conduct of a segment of the
lower-ranking leadership of NS organizations. This is especially true
of the political officeholders. This has largely contribute to a loss
of Public confidence in these offices.
Hence it is repeatedly said that Party offices continue
to be staffed by men who, according to their past and present activities,
are not suited for their positions. These men lack all sense of responsibility.
Their life-styles and attitudes give rise to criticism, and they simply
ignore directives from higher Party offices. The end result is that
they undermine the authority and discipline within the Party itself.
The general public does not understand that these individuals are not
publicly taken to task for their mistakes. The public has the impression
that such cases are purposely hushed-up, and that state government officials
who feel compelled to take measures out of a sense of duty are being
prevented from acting because of pressure being exerted by Party offices.
This then inevitably leads to the assumption that the state is powerless.
This undermines the authority of the state government . ...
The Party, especially the political branch, can maintain
or improve its image with the public if in future only impeccable, unpretentious,
and ideologically and morally schooled Party members are appointed to
leading positions. ...
Another matter that has attracted considerable adverse
criticism is the conduct of the press. Large segments of the population
harbor the opinion that freedom of the press is being restricted and
suppressed, and consequently that the truth is not being reported. Even
Party members are critical when unpleasant incidents and punishments
for mistakes are not publicized. It goes without saying that enemies
of the Party and state are here especially vocal. I feel that it is
imperative that change is brought about as soon as possible to remedy
It is obvious that the public's attitude is being
influenced by increased reactionary activity, much of which emanates
from circles that include political Catholicism, the Confessional church,
and from citizens who refuse to be reeducated and who continue to mask
themselves. Periodically even monarchist sentiments are expressed. The
reintroduction of compulsory military service is giving rise to the
hope of a "fourth Reich" in which the armed forces will exercise
authority to the exclusion of the Party. ...
As far as individual occupational strata are concerned,
one can point to economic factors as a cause for negative attitudes.
In this regard the situation of the working class merits special attention
in that wage rates are creating increased bitter resentment. ... The
increase in the cost of foodstuffs required in a daily basis, such as
potatoes, vegetables, fruit, milk, eggs, and butter, has heightened
the dissatisfaction among workers. They maintain that they have never
seen such [high] prices. ...
Additionally, workers are loudly complaining about
the excessive membership dues payments to the Labor Front. The organization
Strength Through Joy is still accepted by a segment [of the workers],
although a larger segment contends that the advantages of the organization
are worthless if a worker is not in position even to basically support
As far as the agricultural community is concerned,
it seems to be the case that peasants naturally tend to be dissatisfied.
... Discordance has been caused by the increase in membership dues payments
to the National Food Ministry, especially when the peasant compares
these payments to those made in earlier days to the Chamber of Agriculture,
the Farmers' League, or other earlier agricultural associations. Among
craftsmen, complaints are heard about a lack of work and competition
from department stores, cooperative stores, and Jewish business. Time
and time again it is said that the Party program has not been adhered
to in this matter.
In closing I might add that the mood of the populace,
in regard to foreign policy developments, can be seen as a positive
one. The naval agreement that has been reached with England, the continued
friendly German-Polish relations, the preoccupation of the erstwhile
enemy alliance with the Abyssinian conflict, and the reconciliation
of German and English veterans has cleared away the previous war panic
that was felt by all segments of the population. There is now a new
feeling of optimism that Germany can gradually free itself from its
international encirclement. ...