The Last Months
A t the beginning of the winter of 1944 France was lost to Germany, and in the West the Allied armies were at the German frontiers. In the South the Allies were pressing up toward Germany in the valley of the Po, while in the East the Russians had reached the Vistula. There seemed now to be an ominous pause on all fronts while the forces took breath for the final onslaught. This breathing space lasted longer than most people on either side thought possible.
Total war meant total mobilization, and of this Goebbels had announced the details on August 24. Women up to fifty were conscripted for labor to release more men fit for the army. A sixty-hour week was introduced for the war industries. All men without disabilities between the ages of sixteen and sixty were ordered to serve in the Volkssturm, or Home Guard, under Himmler and Bormann. Children of fourteen were used to man the antiaircraft guns. The untiring energy of Goebbels on the human front and Speer on the industrial front seemed to be giving Germany an entirely new lease of life as the winds of autumn blew the leaves from the trees and the last fearful winter of the war began.
The restrictions that Goebbels was now at liberty to impose by
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Publication information: Book title: Dr. Goebbels:His Life and Death. Contributors: Roger Manvell - Author, Heinrich Fraenkel - Author. Publisher: Simon and Schuster. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1960. Page number: 244.
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