Berlin, January 30, 1936
The Reich Minister of War
and Commander-in-Chief of
RE: Political Education and Instruction for the Wehrmacht
the Commander-in-Chief of the Army,
the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy,
the Reich Minister of Aviation and
the Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe [Air Force]
The officer corps of the Wehrmacht can only fulfil its task of leadership in the nation and State if it adopts the National Socialist ideology which gives direction to the life of the German nation and State and appropriates it intellectually totally and with conviction. Thus, I consider the uniform political education and instruction of the officer corps of all three sections of the Wehrmacht to be particularly important.
To ensure that it is carried out I hereby issue the following regulation for the implementation of political instruction:
(a) In the War Colleges of the Army, the Air Force Colleges, and the Naval College at least two hours per month will be devoted to political instruction within the context of the part of the course dealing with defense organization (Army organization, service matters). Furthermore, every opportunity which occurs in the course of duty or instruction must be seized to deal with the interrelationships between people, State and [the Nazi] movement.
Those officers detailed to carry out political instruction will be sent on short combined courses for the three sections of the Wehrmacht at suitable moments (during breaks in the instruction) and will receive regular guidance on course structure and literature.
As a supplement to this instruction there will be special political lectures by outside personalities.
[ . . . ]
Source of English translation: Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham, eds., Nazism, 1919-1945, Vol. 3: Foreign Policy, War and Racial Extermination. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2001, p. 33.
Source of original German text: MGFA (Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt)/DZ: W01-5/185; reprinted in Klaus-Jürgen Müller, Das Heer und Hitler: Armee und Nationalsozialistisches Regime 1933-1940. Stuttgart, 1969, pp. 618-19.