Propaganda is known to mean dissemination of information. It also meant the same in the Nazi Germany only that it got a negative connotation as it was ‘propaganda’ against people and ideologies and the dissemination was a huge. This was done by the Nazi Party and during the leadership of Adolf Hitler in Germany which was between 1933 and 1945. It was very important for him and the Nazi Party to establish the power and maintain it. It was very pervasive as it was spread though all mediums of communication.
Some of the Views of Hitler on Propaganda
Hitler has dwelt on propaganda in his Mein Kampf. He believed that propaganda must address, reach and be understood by all people. Hitler said the common people were not made of diplomats or intellectuals but there were not so intellectuals, women and children and all had to understand. Here are some excerpts.
- Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side.
- The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas.
- These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.
- The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula.
The Main Propaganda
- The first and foremost propaganda was against the Jews as he believed in anti-semitism. He wanted all to believe that the Jews were responsible for the wars and their economic position.
- The propaganda was against Bolsheviks as well. Nazis under Hitler were against Marxism and socialism.
- Hitler pitched a propaganda for Euthanasia which was gentle killing of terminally ill people. However in Hitler’s Germany the programme was to kill physically and mentally challenged adults and children with a hope of creating a healthier Germany. However it resulted in killing millions of people, mostly Jews and was known as genocidal policies.
- Another propaganda was against his political opponents.
Methods of Propaganda
- Books – Many books were published on the main views of the Nazi Party. The most notable one was Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Text books and story books for children were written to suit these policies.
- Vica comic series was state sponsored book which had comics against the allied forces during WWII and then in was used for the propaganda.
- Films – There was a Department of Films which made films to promote the ideas of Nazis and there were many who watched these films.
- Fine art – Though fine art was not a propaganda medium, sculptures and paintings depicting the ideology were created.
- Magazines and Newspapers were used.
- Radio was another popular media of propaganda.
- Posters were created and kept in many places.
- Photographs were also distributed as stamps, postcards and picture books.
- Speeches on the ideology were also promoted.
In the annals of history never had there been a phase where so much of importance was given to spread an idea. Hitler knew that unless the country backed him, he could not bring about the changes he wanted. For this he made use of all mediums of propaganda available then.