Propaganda During Nazi Germany

3439 words 14 pages
Examine why and how film was used for propaganda purposes in Nazi Germany.

“The function of propaganda is,for example,not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people,but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue’s task is not to make an objective study of the truth,…its task is to serve our own right,always and unflinchingly”(Hitler,1971,p182).Propaganda as defined by Welch(1983,p2),is the art of brainwashing,so as to alter attitudes and ideas.Though the art of persuasion is nothing new,it became more innovative in the first half of the twentieth century,such as through the “popular press,then the film and the radio”(Tegel,2007,p.12).This was headed by the Ministry of Propaganda under Joseph
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More importantly,it allowed the Nazis to achieve the goal of propaganda as film proved to be more effective than speeches in spreading the Nazi propaganda (Moeller,2000,p100).This shows why film was a preferred choice over other forms of propaganda,despite the fact that Hitler was a skilled orator.

However,we have to note the limitations of the effectiveness of film propaganda in justifying the Nazi’s “euthanasia action”.As Reeves(1999,p123) argued,regardless of how persuasive a single film can be,it was impossible to challenge the existing moral and religious attitudes that were ingrained in centuries of religious and secular experience. For example,the film was unpopular in Catholic areas where the clergy discouraged people from viewing it(Welch,2002,p90). Perhaps,only believers of film propaganda such as Goebbels would claimed it as a success in persuading others to support the Nazi policies(Reeves,1999,p123).

The success of film as a form of propaganda can clearly be seen in The Triumph of Will(1935) which was used to consolidate Hitler’s status as the Fuhrer of Germany(Tegel,2007,p77).In The Triumph of Will(1935),Hitler was depicted as a godlike figure “descending from the clouds;adoring crowds of women,some in folk costume;children gazing


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