by Harry Cooper
This is an entirely new book with new photos never before seen.
The city of Kassel hosted the First Greater German Reich Warrior Meeting on the weekend of 2-4 June 1939. A total of three hundred thousand soldiers were to attend and the citizens were expected to add another two hundred thousand for the meeting. Kassel was in a festive mood and Hitler flew in to review the military parade. Foreign dignitaries were invited including the Ambassadors from Japan, Finland, Hungary and other nations. Hitler gave a roaring speech and reflects a tone that is directed toward England, citing the loss of the German colonies after the First World War.
The city officials had mobilized all of Germany, inviting them to participate in the First German Wehrmacht get-together. One hundred nineteen special trains brought another one hundred thousand supporters into the city where they were quartered in private homes, schools, tents and even warehouses. Twenty kettles of one thousand liters each dished out three hundred sixty thousand meals. This was a demonstration of power. After reviewing the Honor Formation, Hitler departed at 7pm aboard his JU-52 back to Berlin. Kassel is famous from earlier times as it was the home of the Brothers Grimm.
This was a time when Germany and Germans came together in a common direction. The nation was everything; patriotism was foremost. It was a simpler time.
Germany had been destroyed, devastated, broken and helpless under the victorious Allied powers after World War One. The ill-conceived and hated Treaty of Versailles had a boot on the German throat. They were allowed a small defensive military not to exceed 100,000 troops and no more than 800 officers. However, by 1939, the time of this gathering, Germany had once again been able to hold up their collective heads in pride. They had a leader, they had a military and above all else, they had their dignity back. Gatherings like the Nürnberg Party Rallies for several years; the 1936 Olympics hosted in Berlin where incidentally, Germany brought the games to the heights of pomp and ceremony that we see in the Olympic Games now. Prior to the 1936 Berlin games, there was not much flair.
The German people, including Austria, now had a focus, a direction and they had their pride. They could hold their heads up and point with pride at the fantastic agriculture and manufacturing that had sprung up once the Versailles Treaty was abrogated and the military sprung to prominence. Return with us now to a time when national pride and patriotism was at its zenith in Germany as well as many other nations. The Reich was forged in a fire never before witnessed in the civilized world.
This book contains 100 photos you have never seen before!
“Kassel 1939!” is softbound, larger than our normal (7″ x 10″) contains 116 pages and 120 photos