An interesting article courtesy my friend Malcolm Mercer. The original is at Salon.fr. (I am curious to see that the Nazis frowned on stars atop Christmas trees. I understand that Jews, insofar as they put up Christmas trees at all, tend not to put stars on top of them, since stars are Messianic imagery, and they don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah.)
Check out this Nazi Advent calendar
In 1943, the Nazi created their own non-religious version of an Advent calendar, featuring tanks instead of the baby Jesus.
The Nazis were no fans of Christmas: after all, Jesus was Jewish, and they wanted to diminish the influence of Christianity in German society. To this end, the Nazi Ministry of Culture published several Christmas booklets and calendars, hoping to transform the holiday into a bellicose celebration of the motherland.
As reported on Vox.com, from 1943, German children in the Third Reich got a peculiar version of the traditional Advent calendar. According an online archive of Nazi propaganda, German mothers received a calendar featuring a patriotic and militaristic message for each day in December.
In the midst of a world war, the first page redefined the traditional festive spirit of Christmas:
German mother! Christmas has always been for children. War and destruction rage throughout the world, and all Germans, men or women, must steel themselves to keep fighting this battle to victory – but our children must be able to enjoy this holiday which is the most German of all.
No Stars on Trees
Among several winter scenes, numerous illustrations in the calendar are dedicated to celebrating war, showing tanks and submarines. There are also quite a few swastikas and examples of letters that a child can write to soldiers at the front.
The traditional history of Jesus and the three kings is replaced by a story of a lumberjack, a soldier and a king who encounter a mother and her infant son in a forest. The mother says to the soldier:
You and your comrades are the protectors of the motherland, and all mothers, fathers and children thank you, particularly those who gave their lives!
As reported at Fast Company, Christmas decorations were also changed during the Nazi era. The Christmas tree was considered acceptable, indeed very German, but certainly not the traditional star put on top, since it was too reminiscent of the Jewish star of David and the single star of Communism. The Nazis recommended that Germans crown their trees with a swastika, a sun disk (a symbol of the Aryan race) or the runic SS logo.