Name: Alastair Orr
Category: 2 Semester: 1
Investigation Topic: The Creation of Nazi Culture
Class: 11A TEACHER: Mrs Walker
To what extent was propaganda used by the Nazi Government as a Means of Control?
Nazi Propaganda was integral in Adolf Hitler’s control of the German people due to its ability to persuade.
Propaganda has been used for hundreds of years by many different nations throughout history as a way to promote nationalism or to increase a populace’s hatred towards an enemy, however the degree of success achieved has never been greater than the period of 1933-1945 in Germany: Adolf Hitler’s reign. Throughout Hitler’s reign Nazi Propaganda was integral in retaining his control over the German people due to its ability to persuade. Although varied, Nazi propaganda was extremely effective due to the support given to it by the Government. Hitler believed so greatly in propaganda that he created a new ministry intended to deal with all facets of German culture. This ministry was headed by Joseph Goebbels. Nazi propaganda was wrought with differing messages and techniques, from posters to cinema and from rallying speeches intended to raise morale in troops to hate-filled articles full of anti-sematic preaching. The ministry of propaganda was so successful that it made completely irrational arguments seem rational by simplifying them to their core elements, leading to the control of a nation. Although propaganda played a major part in Hitler’s totalitarian rule of Germany, it could be argued that other reasons for his continued control over the populace was due to his powerful speaking ability or the way that the Nazi’s were able to pull Germany away from the brink of poverty during the great depression. What many people don’t know, however, is that Hitler was one of the Nazi’s greatest propaganda weapons because of this ability to hold a crowd in his palm during his speeches. He may have gained control through his savvy political ideas but he retained control because of the influence of propaganda and the way it forced the public to view him.
Adolf Hitler’s retention of power and control over the German populace would not have been possible without his almost fanatic view on the merits of propaganda coupled with the skills of Joseph Goebbels and his Ministry of Propaganda. Adolf Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi) and was the head of Germany from 1933-1945. He believed in propaganda and was recorded praising its merits, saying “By the skilful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise” (Hitler & Manheim, 1943). This is a primary quote that is written in Hitler’s own book, Mein Kampf meaning it is an extremely reliable representation of Hitler’s belief on propaganda. Hitler felt that propaganda was so powerful that he created a new ministry, the Ministry of Propaganda, which was headed by Joseph Goebbels. With the whole government’s support, propaganda became the force that allowed Hitler and the Nazi Party to fully control the German populace. Goebbels proved to be an expert in propaganda despite zero training in the area. In the mid-1920s he produced a set of commandments for the Nazi Party. These were radical idealisms which consisted of putting Germany before anyone or anything and striking down all who disagreed. He carried this approach across to propaganda. In doing so Goebbels upheld Hitler’s written word in Mein Kampf, in regards to the ideology that “if you are going to tell a lie, tell a big one and if you tell it often enough, people will begin to believe it” (Trueman, C, 2015). This secondary source shows that the ideals written down in Mein Kampf were the mantra that Nazi propaganda followed, supporting the idea that Hitler’s views of propaganda were very effective in maintaining control of Germany. There were other