How the Nazis co-opted Christmas
In 1921, in a Munich beer hall, newly appointed Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler gave a Christmas speech to an excited crowd. According to undercover police observers, 4,000 supporters cheered when Hitler condemned “the cowardly Jews for breaking the world-liberator on the cross” and swore “not to rest until the Jews…lay shattered on the ground.” Later, the crowd sang holiday carols and nationalist hymns around a Christmas tree. Working-class attendees received charitable gifts. For Germans in the 1920s and 1930s, this combination of familiar holiday observance, nationalist propaganda and anti-Semitism was hardly unusual.