German daily papers issued by the German army in occupied Russian territory have already been quoted here in the blog, just as German publications translated to Russian and distributed by the Nazi propaganda for those who, “closed from the rest of the world by the Bolshevik hangmen for so many years, had no occasion to get know the truth.” But we have not yet mentioned that a Russian version of the very newspaper of the National Socialist Party, the Völkischer Beobachter was distributed in a large number of copies in Moscow several years before the invasion of the Soviet Union. Why, you would have not believed it anyway.

The newspaper was published as a supplement to the 5/1935 issue of the satirical journal Крокодил which has since become a collector’s piece. Its editorial Let’s move expounds that any nation which does not move becomes extinct, and by indicating the direction of the motion as being east, it dedicates all the supplement to the topic of Drang nach Osten. Wehrmacht Brigadier Pfulz von Pfulz explains as a historical foundation that Kiev is an ancient Japanese settlement (Ki-ov, Ki-o-to) and the Ukrainians are of Japanese origin, thus the Ukraine belongs rightfully to Japan; but they pass it to Germany in exchange for Siberia so that they could change it with Poland for the Corridor of Danzig. Note how well-informed the authors are, as we are more than a year before the German-Japanese Pact, although they were not bold enough to imagine that concerning the Corridor, Germany would not have to negotiate with Poland.

Having settled the fate of the Ukraine, the paper raises the gaze to the more far away living spaces, and presents in two articles the terrible life of the Russian people languishing under the yoke of Bolshevism. In the left two-column photo, according to its caption, a Soviet police woman kisses her son, and the article, pointing out that “such weird scenes are common in that poor country,” it demands for the German occupation of the Crimea, the Caucasus and the Ukraine. The other, whole-column article by K. Meyer von Speyer entitled In the terrible Moscow reports on Arkadiya Yelizavetova, of Russian aristocratic origin, who having spent the years since the revolution practically naked and without food or water, is ordained an anti-Bolshevik insurgent by her dying mother, and she asks a few machine guns and armored cars of the clear-eyed Aryan casually visiting Moscow, and finally breathes out her soul by whispering Deutschland über alles.

Among the German news is at the top the new wonder weapon of the Wehrmacht (remember, we are still at the time of the military limitations: the German army cannot exceed one hundred thousand people, and can have no tanks and aircraft): the mechanized Aryan chicken for the purpose of military parade. The short news include that within two days the body of an unknown dead person will be found on the corner of Schwulstrasse and Saufenstrasse (the street names suggest the author’s having not only an excellent command of German, but even some humor which is quite remarkable from a satirical journal) which, according to the SS, will be probably identical with a certain O. Pitke arrested by them. Finally, an advertisement is looking for a коридорный, that is a callboy for the Polish Corridor with the duties of petty political stir up and anti-Bolshevik propaganda, possibly of aristocratic or pre-revolutionary gendarme past.

The satirical journal appeared every ten days, and it had to support the Soviet reader in shaping his opinion in other issues of world politics too, so it could not dedicate the whole edition to the German question. It also reports on the training of Polish children as future unemployed, as well as on the rare eating habits of unemployed British workers. On this we will return in another post.

The authors certainly had no idea about how soon some of the supplement’s content would be realized. Probably Goebbels was also not aware that whatever he wrote in the 6 July 1941 issue of Völkischer Beobachter on the Bolshevik horror discovered in the invaded Soviet Union, was but a lengthy epigon of the scenario described by K. Meyer von Speyer in the Russian edition of the same newspaper in 1935.

However, the German thread was not interrupted in Крокодил. Its editions between 1935 and 1946 can be found on the Russian net, and they regularly published updated reports from the Reich. There is only one long hiatus: between August 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and June 1941, the German invasion of the Soviet Union no issue of the Крокодил is on the net. As to their content on Germany, the new brother-in-arms, we can only infer from the poster designed by the Kukriniksy, the illustrators of the journal.

The brother nations fixed the appointment
above the enemy city.
On each of their handshakes
the imperial Britain trembles.