The Festival Agenda

The Reich Harvest Thanksgiving Festival Agenda

Except for lengthening the time of the military exercise, the Fest (festival´s) general agenda remained unchanged over the years. The following schedule took place from 1935 onwards.

Programm 1936

Agenda of the Reichserntedankfestes 1936

Gelderblom Collection

Early Morning
Participants Aufmarsch (march into) the Festplatz (festival arena) in long Kolonnen (columns).
After an overnight journey the first visitors already arrived at the arena at 5 am.
 
The morning opening programme lasting several hours.
Einmarsch (Arriving march) of SA, SS, Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labour Service) and the Nationalsozialistisch Kraftfahrercorps (National Socialist Motor Corps).
Amongst them: performing rural groups dressed in traditional costume.
Dance and gymnastic performances.
Songs performed by large choirs.
Flight demonstrations.
 
Lagernde Wartende

Waiting for the Führer, undated (presumed 1933)

Town Archives Hanover, 3 NL 342 unpublished Hampel, Bückeberg I,Number 90, Photo:Erich Hampel

It was intended by the organisers that the people be kept waiting for Hitler´s appearance for a long time. The waiting period and the continuously changing scenery was aimed at creating state of tension and excitement amongst the crowds.

At around 12 midday - Start of the over 2 hour long main programme.

  • Hitler´s arrival and inspection of the guards of honour of the Third Reich armed forces and the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labour Service).
  • Hitler´s first Weg durch das Volk (pathway through the people) up to the Ehrentribüne (honorary rostrum) (instead of the planned 15 minutes it took considerably longer).
  • The harvest festival ceremony (very short and without loudspeaker transmission).
  • Opening speech by Joseph Goebbels (5 minutes).
  • Schauübung (Military Display) performed by the Third Reich armed forces (1933/34: the German Army) on the plain behind the speaker´s rostrum (30 minutes,1937 60 minutes)
  • Hitler´s Weg durch das Volk (pathway through the people) again down to the speaker´s rostrum.
  • Speech by the Reichsbauernführer (Reich Farmers´ Leader) and Minister of Agriculture Walter Darré (15 minutes).
  • Hitler´s speech (30 minutes).
  • Joint singing of the German national anthem and Horst-Wessel song as well as repeated Sieg Heil chants to the “Führer und Volk” (Führer and the people).

At about 14:30 - Hitler´s departure

 

The Minute by Minute Agenda 1935

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