Propaganda is a political tool with the main purpose being persuasion. Propaganda aims at ensuring that people adopt one side of the story as correct. In Germany, Nazi Propaganda was a powerful tool utilized by the Nazi political party to propel the party agenda. According to Puckett (2014), the principal leader of the country was Adolf Hitler at the time of Nazi Propaganda. The party employed the propaganda tool to acquire and maintain power for extended periods. The party used the tool to further and implement the agenda of the party, including the execution of the total war and the killing of millions of populace (Puckett, 2014). It is worth noting that the propaganda used in the today’s world has origin from the Nazi party. This paper will seek to identify how various mass media and communications infrastructure shaped and aided the Nazi propaganda and how the media influenced the creation of leadership of Adolf Hitler.
Political propaganda has the main purpose of influencing the audience into believing their side of the story. This is by instilling into them emotions such that the people will not have the ability to make a rational decision rather the emotional decisions. This is through the presentation of facts that are in most times, wrong by omissions. For the purpose of the creation of a cohesive political group, the Nazi had first to define the enemy (McDonough, 2014). This involved enactment of the regulations and policies aimed at identifying publicly the groups that would be set for exclusion from the party.
The policies aimed at cultivating a culture of hatred among the people of opponent parties. In addition, defining the enemy involved the cultivation of the indifferences while at the same time producing justification facts for their pariah status to the subjects. The Nazi propaganda was imperative in selling the mythos of the cohesive community to the Germans who for long time cried for unity amongst themselves. Apart from the creation of the national unity, the Germans had, for extended periods, aimed at achieving a national pride and the feel of greatness and a breakthrough from the social gratification of the past. Although collectively the Germans wished for the above factors, not all of them were welcome in the community of people who would enjoy the new status.
The propaganda was useful in defining the enemy who needed elimination from the new community and helped in justifying why they required exclusion. In line with the exclusion of the enemies, the groups of Jews, homosexual, Santa and Roma, political dissidents and Germans who were inferior and harmful to the health of the Germany as a whole, fell into the category of the enemy. By dwelling on the pre-existing images and the stereotypes, the Nazi propagandist depicted the Jews as the “alien community” that had the principal obligation of poisoning the German culture, destroying the economy and making the Germans slaves in their farmyards and businesses. The theme received the support from the state, thus propagating the hateful message across all the Germans.
Berry & Sobieraj (2014) notes “The state used the services of the press and the tutors in the high education institution to pass across the propaganda”. With the fall of the 1933, the propagandists had tailor-made messages aimed at taking control of people including the Germans who did not adhere to the party papers. The advocates declared the homosexuals as harmful people to the moral fabric of the German culture. This is because they represented a community of men who could not sire children. They were, therefore, a liability to the sustainability of the Nazi political party and its administration. In addition, the group could not rally the political party agenda owing to their status in the society. For the reasons above, the group was an enemy according to the Nazi political agenda.
Germans viewed as inferior and who would not stand for the party agenda were harmful to the economy and the functionality of the Nazi administration. For this reason, the Nazi propagandist termed them as an enemy to the Nazi administration. People with physical disabilities, drug users, and alcoholics, deaf and blind people constituted the enemy to the Nazi agenda because they could not contribute in any way to the policies and the agenda of the political party. The propagandist could not use the group of the people to reach out to others and outline the manifesto of the party to others. They, therefore, constituted an isolation and the exclusion group collectively termed as the enemy.
The propaganda was an important tool in winning over the majority of German people who did not support the Hitler and the Nazi radical program that required the participation of all the population. The purpose of the new apparatus by the Goebbels was to deceive and manipulate the German population and the world (Spielvogel & Redles, 2014). The propagandist did that by preaching appealing messages of the national unity and waged continuous campaigns to facilitate the persecution of the Jews and the people deemed to be harmful to the German culture. In line with the objective of deceiving the public, the German leader portrayed the nation of Germany as a swindled nation, captured in the bondage by the chains of the post World War 1 and denied the right of the self-determination or the self-rule.
This tool aimed at deceiving the public and creating an impression of a country that for long time has been subject to mockery by other nations. Utilizing, this criterion Hitler could push forward the agenda of the national community without attracting the military intervention from the neighboring countries such as France, Britain and Poland. The regime did not want to create animosity among the German people who were still suffering from the impacts of the World War 1 where many of the Germans soldiers died. Therefore, the Nazi propagandists had the obligation of the justifying the military violence by depicting it as desirable and aimed at boosting the morale and the faith in the country in the world domain. The propagandist would use media campaigns to build the public support and trust so that the Germans could support external wars as the country purposed to expand its borders.
To deceive the public, the German used the media to show the Poland atrocities alleging discrimination of the German nationals in the Poland. Further, the propagandist would use the media to fight the British for allegations of supporting the Poland war against the German citizens in Poland. This was through the creation of scenarios to show that the Poland was the primary source of the unrest and the ignition toward hostilities on the Germans (McDonough, 2014). This involved the use of German men in Poland uniforms to justify the Poland as the primary source of disturbance. The propagandists utilized the tool of deception to launch the attacks on Polish soil and used the media to depict scenarios where German soldiers overwhelmed the Polish soldiers while at the same time hiding the number of German soldiers killed in the battlefield to encourage more Germans into Polish soil to fight for their country.
Hitler had a well-developed communications infrastructure that involved the use of newspapers, magazines, textbooks, films, comics, and radio to further the “National Community” agenda. The tools were important in shaping the leader and influencing the public and the outsider’s perception of the Nazi party. For instance, the newspapers were very critical in promoting the Nazi propaganda. According to Puckett (2014), the “People’s Observer” was the only and state-owned newspaper and was critical in disseminating the Nazi ideologies and those of their leader, Adolf Hitler. The paper utilized simple forms of hyperboles targeted to the weak Jew culture and the humiliation of treaties signed to limit the Germany participation in world matters owing to the bad reputation in the foreign domain. With later years, more newspaper developed into the market to ensure that the agenda of the government propelled in the public domain.
The newspapers, founded by the Joseph Goebbels mainly dedicated the attacks to the political opponents and other groups of people such as the Jews. The papers attributed their articles toward diminishing efforts by right-minded people who could not agree with the political party’s ideologies. A striking characteristic of the newspapers was the use of cartoons and other graphics that were anti-Semitic (Spielvogel & Redles, 2014). The anime also formed an important function of glorifying the Nazi die-hards and other heroes. Due to the need to address diverse cultures as set by the social classes, the newspapers publications were tailor-made to treat all kinds of people including those with high intellectual capacity, lectures, and foreigners. The newspapers helped shape the leader in that by the time he rose to power, journal publications was under the control of the Nazi editorial policy, a section Hitler had direct control. The leader praised the controllers of the newspaper who inclined in pursuit of declaring and propelling the Nazi party ideologies.
According to Puckett (2014), Magazines formed an important communication tool that helped propagate the ideologies of the Nazi political party. The state had the direct control of the articles that appeared in the major magazines. The Nazi magazines carried with them various forms of political and social propaganda aimed at humiliating the political opponents and people from other race. For instance, the Neues Volk had the obligation of providing the answers on issues related to the acceptable race relations. The magazine was critical in propagating hatred of particular race mostly the Jews while promoting and praising the Aryan race. The magazine at the same time diminished the inferior groups such as those of people with disabilities and alcoholics, and homosexuals.
The magazines promoted the anti-intellectualism among women and enlightened them on their position in the family. According to McDonough, (2014), women had the responsibility of urging the women to bear more children so that the number of soldiers for the battle could increase. In addition, the magazines encouraged women and gave them roles in the total war. The magazines were vital in shaping their leader in that the magazines addressed the crucial components of the state, and the leaders had an easy time in executing his mandate. Other magazines had the audience of different German genders. For instance, according to the magazines, the boys’ magazines recommended that they be strong and ready to fight. The publications contained a high content of propaganda. Girls’ magazines supported the girls to learn skills to tender the injured and wounded as well as taking care of the young children. Women magazines advised women to take an active role in the fight against racial communities such as the Jews.
There were diverse textbooks that helped propagate the Nazi propaganda. For instance, atlases emphasized the Nazi strategies and indicated how the other countries would cause harm to the Germans in their country. The design of the books was to incite the German into the total war while propagating Hitler’s ideologies at the same time. The Atlas demonstrated how the Jew race had dominated the country and how the Jew population was strangling the economy of Germany (Berry & Sobieraj 2014). Other collections of books established the economic impacts of having a dependent generation. For instance, some books depicted the costs of taking care of people with disabilities. The books articulated that people with disabilities are huge liabilities in that they cannot take part in the growth of the economy leave alone taking care of them. Thus, the books resolved the need for the extermination of the group on economics ground.
Moreover, the English textbook had a high percentage of propaganda sentences that the scholars had to learn to further the Nazi party agenda. While technical subjects were of great importance in enlightening the students of their applications, math and sciences textbooks taught on their applications in the military. The art of propaganda started in the elementary schools with pupils taught on how to deal and learn the propaganda quickly. In addition, the German elementary students had to shun away the Jew students. The tutors teaching guidelines stipulated the Jews and disabled as dangerous to the economy and the surrounding people. The literature did not conform to the international standards that required the subject to create cohesion among the people. In contrast, the literature adapted to what was in the best interests of the people of Germany and the country of Germany.
Films were an important part of communication infrastructure. The films were efficient in propagating the propaganda against the Jew race. The Nazi party controlled the department of the film, thereby being in a position to reach out more people. The film industry was mainly to influence the society in education and entertainment (Polelle & Crescite Group, 2014). For efficient administration, Hitler put the industry under the state control to manipulate the final product to be in line with the Nazi party agenda. It was a standard practice that the movies underwent scrutiny by government officials before release to the public. The exercise was to ensure there was the preferred content, and the video carried substantial propaganda. An example of the films includes the Under the Bridges that was essential in providing the school-going children insight into the military.
According to McDonough, (2014), the films were to educate the scholars on the importance of the military in exerting the sovereignty of the country. These include expelling away the Jew community from the country. The films provided an essential platform for the Nazi party leaders to propel the National Community agenda to all people regardless of the gender and the age. The movies depicted mostly people in military gears performing military tunes. The primary intention was to create the impression of the powerful military ready to undertake expulsion of the Jew people. The films selectively depicted Nazi party leaders insisting on the importance of having generation less disabled people and the Jew culture.
For example, The External Jew film insisted on having a community without the Jew community because the culture held unbearable character traits such as having pleasure on money only without humanity care whatsoever. In the same breath, the movie with Goebbels as the principal director depicted German culture as successful in all aspects of life. The use of film was critical in creating the leader Hitler in that people adopted the themes of the films thereby creating a scenario where the leader was protecting the interest of the German. This is a platform that the head utilized to the fullest to ensure command of all sectors thereby becoming a very powerful leader.
Radios were a standard tool for delivering the news to the public on the performance of Hitler’s Government. The Hitler propaganda speeches formed the primary content in the communications. The radios often played the speeches repeatedly to ensure that nearly all the country’s patriots were able to receive the news. The radio communication performed a crucial function in promoting the genocide (Puckett, 2014). Due to the need to provide constant propaganda to people, it was a requirement by the Nazi party for all eating joints to have radios to ensure that people could hear Hitler deliver speeches. In addition, the Nazi party required that all the statements appear in the daily newspapers to enlighten the citizens on the need to eliminate the Jew culture and achieve the desired nation.
Moreover, the Nazi party utilized posters to reach out to many people who could neither read nor write. The signs were critical in that they provided visual understanding of the subject, thereby enhancing understanding of the message put across. In addition, the imagery formed a part of communication tool that people could not ignore (Puckett, 2014). The pictures featured the images of the leader and the purported method to utilize in punishing and expelling the Jew community and the people with disablements. The tool was critical in promoting the leadership of Adolf Hitler and propelling him to become one of the influential leaders at the time.
The tools improved the understanding of the messages by the Nazi party and enhanced the propagation of a national community. The posters were also important in schools, as they would depict the costs of maintaining the disable people using images and pictures. For instance, the pictures would depict the houses of healthier people on one hand while they show the houses of disable people on the other. The main purpose was to influence the scholars minds in making emotional decisions aimed at supporting the Nazi agenda on the need for the extermination of the Jew community. The posters, therefore, eliminated the rational way of making decisions and propelling them into promoting the renowned genocide against the Jew and other opponents of the Nazi party agenda.
Berry, J. M., & Sobieraj, S. (2014). The outrage industry: Political opinion media and the new incivility.
McDonough, F. (2014). Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party. London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis.
Polelle, M., Recorded Books, LLC., & Crescite Group, LLC. (2014). Total war: World War II and its lasting legacy. (Polelle & Crescite Group, 2014)
Puckett, D. J. (2014). In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama’s Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
Spielvogel, J. J., & Redles, D. (2014). Hitler and Nazi Germany: A history.
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