At first glance, this black-and-white video appears to show a traditional Christmas celebration in the 1940s.
But the happy children in the clip are singing carols under a Christmas tree topped with a swastika, and receiving gifts from high-ranking Nazi officers.
This is the chilling footage which shows how Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party celebrated Christmas – as millions of Jews were being sent to concentration and extermination camps.
The resurfaced footage – filmed in December of 1940 – reveals the festive vision that the Nazis Propagandists marketed to the German public.
In the videos, Hitler is seen enjoying Christmas lunch around the table filled with little children, while his ministers Hermann Göring and Josef Goebbels laugh and play along as they hand out gifts.
Other clips show smiling German children enjoying the holiday season – and a Hitler Youth group carolling under a bright-lit Christmas tree decorated with swastikas.
Especially during wartime, Hitler encouraged the celebration of Christmas as a way to distract the German public from the realities of the Holocaust.
However the Jewish origins of the Jesus and the festive commemoration of his birth as the Jewish Messiah was troubling for some members of the Nazi group and their racial beliefs.
So attempts were made to bring the celebration of Christmas in line with Nazi ideology.
Between 1933 and 1945, Hitler’s officials tried to remove the Jewish and Christian aspects of the holidays.
Nazi ideologists claimed that Christmas was based on ancient Germanic traditions. They argued that Christmas Eve originally had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christmas – but instead celebrated the winter solstice and the rebirth of the sun.
In Nazi holiday posters, Santa Claus was even represented as the Germanic God ‘Odin’ rather than the Christian reinvention of Saint Nicholas.
To add to this, the Nazi Party claimed that the swastika was an ancient symbol of the sun and encouraged the German public to place the swastika on the top of the Christmas tree instead. Swastika-shaped tree lights were also sold.
During the height of the Third Reich, there were even attempts to remove the association of the coming of Jesus at Christmas – and instead replace it with the coming of Hitler, referred to as the ‘Saviour Fuhrer’.
This tradition failed to take off and instead the Nazi Party settled on depicting Mary and Jesus as a blonde mother and child instead.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.