Third Reich Day by Day: September 1936

The Olympic Games gave Nazi Germany a chance to show the world that the Third Reich was a well-ordered, powerful society. For propaganda purposes measures against Jews were relaxed, and Berlin became the home of fraternal international friendship, albeit temporarily. However, away from the Olympics the Germans re-occupied the demilitarized Rhineland and began to channel military aid to the Franco’s Nationalists fighting a civil war in Spain. As they did so, Great Britain and France, the major powers of Europe, did nothing but watch idly.


Spain, German aid

The pocket battleship Deutschland was active in supporting the Nationalists in Spain in 1936.
The pocket battleship Deutschland was active in supporting the Nationalists in Spain in 1936.

In September a further flight of fighters, a flight of reconnaissance aircraft, a heavy battery of antiaircraft guns and two tank companies are sent to Franco from Germany through Portugal. The pocket battleship Deutschland appears off Ceuta. The German submarines U-33 and U-34 have been in Spanish waters since the outbreak of the civil war, having been sent there to represent German interests. Also in September, Oberstleutnant Walter Warlimont, a general staff officer from the army general staff, is appointed Plenipotentiary delegate of the Wehrmacht in Spain. The German Minister of Justice, Hans Frank, conveys to the Duce: “The Führer desires to receive you in Germany at the earliest possible moment, not only in your capacity as head of the government but also as founder and Duce of a party with affinities to National Socialism.” Mussolini expresses his wishes to undertake the trip: “It must, however, be well prepared so as to produce concrete results. It will cause a great stir and must therefore be historically important in its results.” The Duce was anxious to prove that he could excite a Berlin crowd to the same heights of enthusiasm as he had done in Rome. Count Ciano personally makes the plans for the state visit, scheduled for September 25-29, 1937. He also emphasizes the importance of uniforms during the visit: “We must appear more Prussian than the Prussians.”

8-14 September

Nazi Party, Rallies

Party Rally of Honour, Nuremberg.