1403E - Lecture 22.docx
Hist1403E January 16, 2012
Meaning of Propaganda
Propagate = to multiply; to spread the word. The basic meaning is not one referring to
evil or terror. It can mean to spread the good news.
Not Original with Hitler
Started with Britain in the 1600’s.
Spread of Propaganda:
Beer Hall Meetings
o 1932 Nazi Regime held an impressive 3000 meetings every day.
o 16 people died at the first one.
o Medals were given to families, honouring those who died. Every year Hitler
would lay wreaths in memory and give medals to those deserving.
o These smaller rallies required attendees to pay – it was a contest to see who could
raise the most money.
o A new stadium was built in 1935 to seat 40 000 people. People would come from
all over Germany and were given free train rides.
o Nazi leaders would arrive via plane and parachute down or glide in.
o This is where the propaganda started, and also where the entire regime ended
(with the Nuremburg trials). IRONIC
o Nuremberg was the place where everyone would try and get to every year.
o The eagle was the representative of all of Germany transferring over to the new
o It promoted support of the Nazi party.
o Nazi headquarters built in Munich, related to the chancellery which is next door.
o Did the same thing as the Paris Hall of Mirrors (wants the same thing as
o Trains were seen as the uniting, communal device that connected all the people.
o It promoted the industrial and transportational side of Germany. It was a symbol
of great pride.
o Trucks were also built in Germany (Ford helped fund Germany). This showed
international support of Germany.
o The Nazis were very proud of their low unemployment levels. Factories were
filled with hard workers for their country using Germany methods every day of
Posters, Stamps, Graves
o They make stamps were made of living figures and what they were accomplishing
for their country.
o Tombstones were made for Nazi leaders, and were seen as incentives for people
to join the forces. They were a symbol of pride and honour, desired by all
families for their relatives.
o Pictures of Hitler were in every family home.
o Posters were made announcing meetings of Nazi parties, free for all to attend.
Every person was able to be informed by representatives.
o Every person was able to access information released in all meetings through
o Posters were produced to encourage people to get with the times and buy the
o People were also encouraged and eventually expected to have a radio to hear
Hitler’s speeches. They were very cheap to produce and very cheap to purchase.
You had no excuse for not having one.
Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda (1933)
Led the propaganda office.
Has a degree in literature.
He eventually married and had many children.
Had a fanatical following of Hitler – almost obsessive and sick on behalf of both him and
his wife. He would scream when he gave speeches he was so enthused.
He was very intelligent and passionate for classical music.
He was the one who would put up wrong propaganda: “If your going to tell a lie, tell a big
one!” E.g. He would broadcast the Germany was winning the war, when really they
He would edit EVERYTHING before it was published. After it would be sent to Hitler,
and then published. He had a talent for making Germany look good (even to the
Americans and other countries).
Radio – he was the key promoter of the radio for propaganda purposes.
Film - He would also choose film that would work in the Nazi’s favour.
Riefenstal – she was hired to officially photograph the 1936 Olympics; she actually
invented the idea of having cameras on rail (in sports) for Hitler’s regime.
Pseudo-Religious Cult – Goebbels thought it would be a good idea for Hitler to be
religious. Posters were even made of Hitler standing below parting clouds and a
descending dove (saying that he was a man of God, the spirit is descending on him as it
did Jesus; he was the savior.) There was a painting where Hitler was speaking to the
people known as “The Voice” – making reference to the Gospel of John “In the
beginning, it started with the Word.”
V1 – a rocket built at the end of the Nazi Regime in hidden caves (1944-45). Germany
prisoners of war were forced to work. They produced the V1 and the V2. The V1 were
aimed at Britain (one of Hitler’s biggest intentions), followed by a V2 (far more insidious,
evil) which had little engines to ensure that it would hit its target.
Weakness of Propaganda
o Did the propaganda really work? Did people truly love Hitler and the Nazi party?
o Hitler would tell his officials to go out in disguise and eavesdrop on the
conversations of the common people.
o If one heard a negative idea and reported to Goebbels and then to Hitler, they
would probably end up being killed anyways. This was known as the vacuum.
o This was a challenge to the Nazis and Hitler’s propaganda. He cannot control all
that he wants to in society.
o There were churches, artistic groups, and politicians who did not agree with him.
Dj brought in peanut brittle to “slowly kill us off”