Friday, October 9, 2009

Nazi Deception

By: Tiffiny Towne

According to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, propaganda is “biased information designed to shape public opinion and behavior.” Propaganda was discovered as a powerful weapon for shaping public opinion and behavior in World War I. Austria-Hungary, Germany, United States, Russia, Italy, France, and Great Britain paid writers, artists, and artists to make political messages for getting their citizens ready for war, lowering the enemy’s drive, and to get the neutral countries on our sides. The Allied Powers described Germans as barbaric Huns who wanted destruction of western civilization.
Deceiving the Public
An important tool to win over the majority was propaganda for all those who did not support Hitler to start and support the Nazis’ radical program. A new state propaganda apparatus was headed by Joseph Goebbels sought to manipulate everyone with the help of terror to intimidate those who did not obey.  It facilitated the persecution of Jews and others excluded from the vision of “National Community.” Military aggression aimed at territorial conquest as righteous and necessary self-defense with Germany as a victim or potential victim of foreign aggressors. The nation needs to defend European civilization against Communism. The most common theme in the propaganda was that Jews spread disease. They would put Jews in ghettos with inadequate sanitation and water supplies coupled with starvation rations quickly ruined the health of these Jews. So this propaganda became a self-fulfilling prophecy when typhus and other infectious disease ravaged the population.

        A little thing like a radio in Nazi Germany had a whole new purpose. They made these radios cheaply because it made a great way to spread propaganda. The radio design was very plain in the area of the dial and station selection. This radio is called, “People’s Receiver,” could only listen to a few radio stations and none from other countries. The radios were first produced in 1933 with long wave transmissions to not reach most other countries’ stations.  “In 1935, production began on a community radio receiver intended for use on factory floors for communal listening in the workplace; on the day it was introduced, employees gathered in the machine shop of the Siemens factory, where radios and other electronic devices were manufactured, to witness the broadcast of a speech by Adolf Hitler from the factory floor.”  It became the first nation to introduce regular television service. By early 1938, there were more than nine million radios in German homes roughly half of the German homes had one.
The dial positions went with the regional broadcasting stations and Radio Germany that only broadcasted content and entertainment approved by the Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment. When Germans tuned into one of these stations, they would hear controlled news broadcasts, propaganda speeches by Nazi officials, military music, and special programs for Hitler Youth. It also told helpful advice such as making the most of rationed food as well as radio dramas and light entertainment. They would never hear music composed by Jewish composers or American swing or jazz. Some simple modification could increase reception in order to hear foreign broadcasts. Prison terms or death were given to those who listed to enemy radio stations by the German courts. The British Broadcasting Company and U.S. Armed Forces Radio broadcasted a special schedule of programs daily in German. Political and military news were broadcasted that were censored by the Nazis. They even gave time for European governments in-exile so they could broadcast to their fellow citizens living under German occupation.

The Written News
Over 4,700 daily and weekly newspapers were published annually in Germany in 1993. A total circulation of newspapers went to twenty-five million people making it more newspapers that in any other industrialized nation. The movie industry was one of the world’s largest with films winning international acclaim. The Nazis only controlled three percent of the newspapers when Hitler took power in 1933. When the multiparty political system was eliminated, it not only ruined hundreds of papers produced by the outlawed political parties and also seized printing plants and equipments of other parties.
Propaganda can only work if it is persuasive. To make the posters, articles, and television shows persuasive, they first have to be believable. When Germans found out about losing the war, they started listening to foreign broadcasts to get the truth of the story. To watch a movie in a theatre, the doors would be locked so they would have to watch a Nazi commercial first. Since there are so many different Medias now that it should be harder for a whole country to be “brain-washed.”

(n.d.). United States holocaust memorial museum. Retrieved from

Lee, A. (1960, June). Propaganda Analysis: A Study of Inferences Made From Nazi Propaganda in World War II. American Sociological Review, 25(3), 432-433. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Business Source Premier database.

Waddington, L. (2007, October). The Anti-Komintern and Nazi Anti-Bolshevik Propaganda in the 1930s. Journal of Contemporary History, 42(4), 573-594. Retrieved September 23, 2009, doi:10.1177/0022009407081488

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