By Tom Dare

A CHILLING VIDEO showing high-ranking members of the Nazi party celebrating Christmas during the party’s time in power has resurfaced this week, with just under a week to go until the big day.

Footage from the video, taken over various Christmases between 1933 and 1944, shows Nazi leader Adolf Hitler laughing and playing with the children of another party member, with a further clip showing him lovingly petting his pet dog Blondi during a retreat in the mountains.

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Other clips from the video show leading Nazi figures Josef Goebbels and Hermann Göring playing with children and handing out presents at a gathering in 1940, with Göring playfully placing a German army helmet onto one of the children’s heads. Goebbels, one of the leading proponents of the holocaust, can then be seen laughing while surrounded by a group of young children.

During the Nazis’ time in office the celebration of Christmas was encouraged, especially during the war years as a way of lifting the spirits of the population.

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However, Hitler and the rest of his party were uncomfortable with the celebration of Christmas as a religious festival, as it did not tie in with their racial beliefs. While Germany had always been a majority Christian country, the Nazis were eager to tie the festival of Christmas in with their own ideology.

One of the main ways they attempted to do this was to replace the idea of Santa Claus with the ancient Germanic god Odin, who the Nazis claimed Santa had been based on. The party also claimed that the celebration of Christmas pre-dated the birth of Christ, and that it was in fact an ancient Germanic tradition to celebrate the winter solstice, with the swastika representing the rebirth of the sun.

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As such, the Nazis renamed Christmas ‘Julfest’, and replaced Santa with Odin on posters and advertisements. They also used Christmas to vigorously promote their agenda, referring to Christmas as a time for national unity with other ‘pure-blood’ Germans. They even altered the words to: ‘Silent Night’ to read: “Silent night, Holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Only the Chancellor stays on guard, Germany’s future to watch and to ward, Guiding our nation aright.”

In the Nazi version of Christmas, the star on top of the tree was also replaced with a swastika.