How Successful Was Nazi Propaganda from 1933 to 1939?

4000 words 16 pages
How successful was Nazi propaganda from1933 to 1939?

How is Success of Propaganda Gauged? The Nazi propaganda machine is at times impressive, at times unusual, at times terrifying.
"...Everything is propaganda."

The Nazis understood human psychology. It was Goebbels' simple realisation that, for instance in cinematic propaganda, there was a need for the viewer to be entertained. Otherwise, there would be no interest in watching at all. This is simply a single instance of the successfulness of Nazi propaganda. Goebbels realised this and corrected it.

How can success be gauged? Maybe by considering the theories and practices of propaganda such as with the cinema - but how can one know how much propaganda was reaching people?
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Visually impressive, but in some cases suffering from a lack of substance. This did not worry Goebbels as much as the greatest possible threat to his cinematographic propaganda: lack of credibility.

"Ohm Kruger" was a clear and prominent anti-British epic, showing generation's clashing - father against son, and British soldiers and raping the one of the principal character's wife. This theme occurred several times in Nazi cinema, primarily as a means of downplaying unfavourable characters. In "Jud Suss", the main Jewish figure (an archetypal styled cliché) is the instigator of rape and torture...

Self-promotion was also rife, with Goebbels family portrayed on screen as the perfect, happy Nazi family. The purpose - establish credibility. The extreme scenes of rape and torture were potentially at risk of their own extremity... they could not be effective if people did not believe them.

The cinema allowed people to see the might of Germany... but far from via raw imagery - the influence of propagandists was initially clear, however became more transparent and therefore more effective:
Cinema attendance figures quadrupled. Propaganda, however slight or extreme, was being seen.

The object of Riefenstahl's 'Triumph of the Will' was also another facet of propaganda. Dr. Robin Lenman:

"Riefenstahl claimed later that she...had just tried to film the rally 'as it was'. However, the speech extracts that we hear...underline those messages [chaotic radicalism


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