A new exhibition at the National Socialism Documentation Centre in Cologne has discovered that the Nazi Party attempted to steal Christmas by making glittering swastika, iron cross and toy grenade baubles for the Christmas tree. They even removed religious references from Christmas carols.
Hitler made these changes to change the ways people think of Christmas, he did not want people seeing Christmas as the celebration to the birth of Jesus, because he was born Jewish. Several of the changes made are still in use today.
You probably won’t see the grenade baubles and the wrapping paper decorated with Nazi symbols, but in some Christmas carols we still sing today, there is slight evidence that Hitler and the Nazis tried to steal Christmas.
“I always thought that Unto Us a Time Has Come was a song about wandering through winter snow,” said Heidi Bertelson, 42, a lawyer who visited the exhibit told Times. “I didn’t realise that Christ had been excised.” The Nazi version, which removed the religious references and replaced them with images of snowy fields, remains in some song books and is sung in many households. The same goes for carols referring to Virgin Birth and lullabies that invoke the Baby Jesus. The rewriting was supervised by the chief Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg and Heinrich Himmler led the way in de-Christing Christmas.
“Their plan was to remove the emotional ties of the Church and merge Christmas into a Julfest, a celebration of winter and light which drew on pagan traditions.
“The most important celebration in the calendar did not match their racist credo so they had to push out the Christian elements,” said Judith Breuer, who helped her mother, Rita, pull together the exhibition.”
Rita, the woman who put together the display started searching markets in the 1970s looking for her childhood Christmas and she found boxes of Nazi-era Christmas decorations full with grenades and swastikas.