Reich Harvest Thanksgiving Festival 1933
Reichsthingplatz

Reich Harvest Thanksgiving Festival 1933

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map icon Reichsthingplatz - Hagenohsen, Germany Germany
Aka
Das Reichserntedankfest/Bückebergfest (German)
Years active
1933 - 1937
Founded by
NSDAP
The festival was originally a religious celebration for a good harvest season and a recognition of the achievements of the German farmers. 
About 500.000 attendants took part in the festival of 1933, in 1937 it were 1.3 million.

In 1938 the festival was cancelled and never held again due to the beginning of WWII. Most of the preparations for the festival were finalised when the plans were abruptly cancelled due to logistical problems caused by the pending invasion of Czechoslovakia by Germany which necessitated the use of trains to move military materiel to the border rather than transporting peasants to Bückeberg to attend the celebrations.

The Reichserntedankfest was part of a cycle of NSDAP celebrations which included the annual party rally at Nuremberg, Hitler's birthday celebrations and other important events on the NSDAP calendar.

Program

As part of the celebrations, choirs consisting of thousands of singers sang nationalist anthems while pictures of distinguished farmers were distributed to the crowds. The most anticipated moment of the celebration was the arrival of the Führer at noon, followed by Hitler walking on the Führerweg (Führer's way) toward the monument where a peasant woman at the altar awarded him the harvest crown with the words:

Mein Führer! Sie schützen mit starker Hand
unser Land, unser Volk, unseren Stand!
Als unseres Dankes bescheidenes Zeichen
wir Ihnen die Erntekrone reichen.

My leader! Protect with a strong hand,
our country, our people, our stance!
As a humble sign of our thanks
we will give you the harvest crown.

The 600-metre procession took Hitler 45 minutes to complete due to frequent stops to meet and greet the crowd.

A large fireworks ended the festival.

Location

Joseph Goebbels chose Albert Speer as the designer of the grounds. The initial design of the place opted for simplicity to better reflect the rural roots of the celebration. Two stages were erected which were connected by a long corridor. A circular area featuring thousands of flagpoles was also constructed.

Today you can still see the "Führerweg" (the bar in the middle of the field) where Hitler went right through the middle of his followers to hold his speeches at his "Führerkanzel" at the lower end of the "Führerweg". The basement of the main grandstand is visible at the upper end of the "Führerweg", too.

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