Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Propaganda

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Oxford Dictionaries defines propaganda as “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a particular political cause or point of view.” The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, more commonly known as the Nazi Party, skillfully utilized propaganda to gain publicity and support for its ideals. Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party, believed in a supposedly perfect “Aryan” race. The Nazis targeted those whom they considered inferior to, and even dangerous to, their “Aryan” society (3). These people included groups such as Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, Roma (gypsies), and Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as the physically disabled, mentally ill, epileptic, congenitally blind or deaf, and others (3,5).

In order to instill these ideas, especially the idea of the “Final Solution,” the Nazis’ plan to annihilate the Jewish race, the Nazis used several different forms of propaganda, such as radio, film, newspaper, and art (2). This early Nazi propaganda was the basis that led to the Nuremberg Race Laws and the Holocaust itself. The Nazis used different forms of propaganda, such as art, film, radio, and newspaper, to indoctrinate German citizens with their beliefs that many groups, especially Jews, were inferior and even threatening to their supposedly perfect “Aryan” race.

Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, believed in an Aryan race- a supposedly pure race of Germans. Hitler and the Nazis considered all other races and groups inferior to Aryans and believed that they posed as a hazard to Aryan society. Some groups and races, such as Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, Catholics, Roma (gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, and political dissidents, were targeted because they were viewed as “enemies or outsiders” (3). Others, such as the mentally ill, physically or intellectually disabled, epileptic, congenitally deaf or blind, drug users or addicts, and chronic alcoholics, included Germans seen as “genetically inferior and harmful to ‘national health’” (3). Hitler’s primary targets, however, were the Jews. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s loss in World War I and for Germany’s economic depression. Hitler devised a scheme: the “Final Solution,” his plan to obliterate the Jewish people. However, Hitler would need a wide range of followers to ever accomplish this. His most powerful tactic was propaganda.

In order to gain publicity and support for his ideas, Hitler utilized propaganda. In 1932, after the Nazi Party’s victory in the federal election, Hitler notified Joseph Goebbels that he would be appointed director of a new propaganda ministry, the National Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Goebbels soon “envisioned an empire that would control schools, universities, film, radio, and propaganda.” (4). Several different forms of propaganda, such as film, newspaper, radio, and art, all of which were under the jurisdiction of Goebbels, were used to indoctrinate Germany’s citizens and ultimately turn them against the Jews and other groups.

Propaganda “created an atmosphere tolerant of violence against Jews,” constantly reminding Germany’s citizens of “the struggle against foreign enemies and Jewish subversion” (2). Films played a significant part in promoting antisemitism. Many films, such as The Eternal Jew (1940), directed by Fritz Hippler, characterized Jews as vermin penetrating Aryan civilization and “wandering cultural parasites, consumed by sex and money” (2). Other films, including The Triumph of the Will (1935) by Leni Riefenstahl, exalted Hitler and the Nazis and encouraged nationalism. The press was largely controlled by the National Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Newspaper editors were told by Goebbels what news to write about and how to write about it.

The Reich Press Law of October 4, 1933 “stipulated that all editors must possess German citizenship, be of Aryan descent and not married to a Jew.” Those who did not abide by or apply to rules were “forced out of business” (6). Der Sturmer (The Attacker) printed antisemitic cartoons. Art and posters hatefully portrayed Jewish stereotypes. The Hitler Youth focused on indoctrinating children with Nazi ideals. Anti-Semitic children’s books were published, such as The Poisonous Mushroom (1935), which “depicts a racial-science lesson” being taught to children (7). The Nazis’ messages were conveyed all over Germany. Hitler had gained the support he needed to take action against the Jews.

Adolf Hitler used propaganda to gain publicity and support for Nazi ideas, especially the Final Solution. Hitler had gained enough support through propaganda to begin taking action against the Jews. In 1935, the Nazis announced new laws, which came to be known as the Nuremberg Laws. The Nuremberg Laws “excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of ‘German or related blood’” and “deprived them of most political rights” (8).

A “Jew” was not defined as a person following the Jewish religion, but an individual with 3 or 4 Jewish grandparents. Jewish lawyers were forbidden from practicing the law, and Jewish doctors were not permitted to treat Aryan patients. Jewish businesses were “Aryanized,” meaning that “Jewish workers and managers were dismissed, and the ownership of most Jewish businesses was taken over by non-Jewish Germans…” (8). The Nuremberg Race Laws made it legal for Jews to be persecuted and led to more anti-Semitism and eventually the Holocaust, the genocide of millions of people, including 6 million Jews. Nazi propaganda was the basis that led to the Nuremberg Race Laws and the Holocaust.


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Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Propaganda. (2021, Apr 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/adolf-hitlers-nazi-propaganda/

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