Inside a Nazi Christmas party hosted by Adolf Hitler, 1941

Adolf Hitler and other Nazi officials celebrate Christmas at the Lowenbraukeller restaurant in Munich.
Adolf Hitler and other Nazi officials celebrate Christmas at the Lowenbraukeller restaurant in Munich.
These images are chilling, bordering on surreal: as World War II raged on December 18, 1941, Adolf Hitler presided over a Christmas party in Munich. The color-enhanced images were captured by Hugo Jaeger, one of Adolf Hitler’s personal photographers. Mr Jaegar buried the photos in a glass jar at the end of the war and they remained hidden there for 10 years until 1955 when he transferred them and around 2,000 other images to a bank vault.

The Nazi Christmas was far from traditional. After taking power in 1933, Nazi ideologues initially renamed the Christmas festival Julfest, and propagated its Germanic origins as the celebration of the winter solstice. These ideologists also claimed that the Christian elements of the holiday had been superimposed upon ancient Germanic traditions. They argued that Christmas Eve originally had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ, but instead celebrated the winter solstice and the ‘rebirth of the sun’, that the swastika was an ancient symbol of the sun, and that Santa Claus was a Christian reinvention of the Germanic god Odin.

Accordingly, holiday posters were made to depict Odin as the “Christmas or Solstice man”, riding a white charger, sporting a thick grey beard and wearing a slouch hat, carrying a sack full of gifts. Other changes were made to the manger, which was replaced by a Christmas garden containing wooden toy deer and rabbits; Mary and Jesus were also depicted as a blonde mother and child.

Grasping his knuckles, a pensive Hitler looks down the table at dozens of Nazi soldiers at a Christmas meal in Munich.
Grasping his knuckles, a pensive Hitler looks down the table at dozens of Nazi soldiers at a Christmas meal in Munich.
Officers and cadets begin their dinner.
Officers and cadets begin their dinner.
Waffen SS (or Schutzstaffel) officers cadets sit at a long table during a Christmas party.
Waffen SS (or Schutzstaffel) officers cadets sit at a long table during a Christmas party.
Nazis believed religion had no place in the 1,000-year Reich, so they replaced the Christian figure of Saint Nicholas with the Norse god Odin.
Nazis believed religion had no place in the 1,000-year Reich, so they replaced the Christian figure of Saint Nicholas with the Norse god Odin.
Out of sight at the top of the tree behind Hitler was a swastika instead of an angel, and many of the baubles carried runic symbols and iron cross motifs.
Out of sight at the top of the tree behind Hitler was a swastika instead of an angel, and many of the baubles carried runic symbols and iron cross motifs.

The Christmas tree was also changed. The traditional names of the tree, Christbaum or Weihnachtsbaum, was renamed in the press as fir tree, light tree or Jul tree. The star on the top of the tree was sometimes replaced with a swastika, a Germanic “sun wheel” or a Sig rune. Christmas carols were also updated. The words to “Silent Night” were amended so that it made no reference to God, Christ and religion. Words were also changed to the hymn “Unto Us a Time Has Come” so as to remove references to Jesus. The modified version of the hymn was in use for several more years in post-war Germany.

As a sign of appreciation, Heinrich Himmler frequently gave SS members a Julleuchter (“Yule lantern”), a kind of ornate Germanic candlestick, some of which were made at Dachau concentration camp. Housewives were prompted to bake biscuits in the shape of birds, wheels and swastikas for their children.

(Photo credit: Hugo Jaeger — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images).

Join the discussion

22 comments
  • the picture was taken under the time (hard winter fight) battle of moscow. “On 14 December, Franz Halder and Günther von Kluge finally gave permission for a limited withdrawal to the west of the Oka river, without Hitler’s approval. On 20 December, during a meeting with German senior officers, Hitler cancelled the withdrawal and ordered his soldiers to defend every patch of ground, “digging trenches with howitzer shells if needed.” Guderian protested, pointing out that losses from cold were actually greater than combat losses and that winter equipment was held by traffic ties in Poland. Nevertheless, Hitler insisted on defending the existing lines, and Guderian was dismissed by 25 December, along with generals Hoepner and Strauss, commanders of the 4th Panzer and 9th Army, respectively.” (wikip.)That was the FIRST time the weather and the enemy made a final stops for Hitler.

    • These pictures aren’t from 1941. In 1939 Hitler declared himself the first soldier of the German Reich and at the outbreak of war, changed into his military uniform. He didn’t wear the swastika armband again.

  • The pictures are chilling. I did not know Hitler celebrated Christmas…..even though it was a bit warped…

  • Andy…you are a Zionist loving scumbag …fuck you. Now you are being genocided by the same Zionist that granddaddy helped.

    • Really? Taking issue with a genocidal regime determined to conquer the planet and liquidate whomever they deemed ‘undesirable’ makes ME the bad guy? Wow; you have a warped sense of morality.

      How am I being ‘genocided’? Is that a word you learned from your goose-stepping family history? What are you even doing here? Did you get lost on your way to Stormfront?

  • My God, did the brainwash work well. Maybe the next generation is smart enough to revise the victors’ propaganda?
    Kant is acute as 200 years ago…

  • I thought that would be the case. he’s hidden the film in a jar. taken it out years later and put the wrong dates on it years later. If it is indeed from 1941 then it would be a unique photo, as Hitler didn’t wear the swastika armband during the war. I’ve only managed so far to track Hitler being in Rastenburg at noon on 18th December, so still investigating. Of course I could be completely wrong, Have a look to see if you can find any footage or any other photos showing Hitler wearing swastika armband during the war.

    • Pictures of Hitler wearing his uniform with the armband are abundant. A quick image search is all you need and on this very website look up the high-res image of Hitler delivering the speech declaring war on the US after the Pearl Harbor attack. You can clearly see he is wearing his brown jacket with red armband.

  • Agreed Andrew, lots of pictures of Hitler wearing his armband are abundant…but not in the war. I’m not sure what you are looking at, but Hitler gave his declaration of war speech on 11th December 1941. If you look on youtube even, you can plainly see that he is not wearing an armband. This website describes this as a Waffen SS event; if so you would expect to see Himmler there. He isn’t there, to Hitler’s left is Robert Ley who at that time was the so called Reich Commissioner for Social House-Building.

  • Finally after a bit of research, have managed to prove these pictures aren’t from 1941. If you look at the man seated to Hitler’s left, Robert Ley; you will notice that he wearing a uniform with distinctive collar patches…these denote that he is a Reichsleiter. To see them more clearly, go to youtube and there is an interview with him. The collar patches of a Reichsleiter were changed in 1939 and look different. Ley is wearing pre 1939 collar patches. The initial problem I had with the date of this picture, is that you don’t get pictures of Hitler in the war wearing a brown uniform and swastika armband.

    • Hallo Dean

      Yes , you are correct that these pictures were not taken in 1941 . Besides the reasons you mentioned , the man seated at the extreme left in the photograph at the top of the article is Wilhelm Bruckner if I am not mistaken . He was a regular member of Hitler’s entourage until his dismissal in 1940 . After which he entered the Wehrmacht and and reached the rank of Oberst ( Colonel ) .

      Your observation was spot on . Well done !

  • You are apparently unaware that “partial birth abortion” is a myth. In the rare case of fetal nonviability and threat to the life of the mother a surgical removal of a fetus is performed in the later stages of pregnancy. That’s it. The notion that anyone, particularly Hillary Clinton, would condone termination of a viable fetus in the ninth month of pregnancy when the health of the mother is not at stake is appalling and pure right-wing propaganda.

  • Hitler and the National Socialists were undeniably Christian.

    “We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls…. We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity… in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people.”
    -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Passau, 27 October 1928, Bundesarchiv Berlin-Zehlendorf, [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]

    “National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary it stands on the ground of a real Christianity…. For their interests cannot fail to coincide with ours alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of to-day, in our fight against a Bolshevist culture, against atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for a consciousness of a community in our national life… These are not anti-Christian, these are Christian principles!”
    -Adolf Hitler, in his speech at Koblenz, to the Germans of the Saar, 26 Aug. 1934

    “God the Almighty has made our nation. By defending its existence we are defending His work….Only He can relieve me of this duty Who called me to it. It was in the hand of Providence to snuff me out by the bomb that exploded only one and a half meters from me on July 20, and thus to terminate my life’s work. That the Almighty protected me on that day I consider a renewed affirmation of the task entrusted to me….In vowing ourselves to one another, we are entitled to stand before the Almighty and ask Him for His grace and His blessing.”
    -Adolf Hitler, in a radio address, 30 Jan. 1945

Rare Historical Photos

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,765 other subscribers