“All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself.”
- Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf”1

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Notice the similarity between Christ and Hitler in this picture
(Bytwerk, Randall. "Nazi Posters: 1933-1945.")

Adolf Hitler established the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, appointing Joseph Goebbels as Minister of Enlightenment. Goebbels was given two main tasks: to ensure that the people of Germany were not exposed to anything damaging or hostile to the image of the Nazi party and that the views of the Nazis were displayed in the most persuasive manner possible. With the help of the SS and Gestapo to punish those who spoke out against the Nazi party, the Ministry communicated their messages through art, music, films, books, radio, educational materials, and the press. A strict system of censorship was quickly developed, limiting any published or performed work to that which was created by a member of the Reich Chamber.


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This poster is from the March 1933 Reichstag election, the last one in which Germans had a "choice" between candidates.The poster shows President Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler. The caption: “The Reich will never be destroyed if you are united and loyal.” (Bytwerk, Randall. "Nazi Posters: 1933-1945.")


In the wake of the struggle for political power between the Nazi party and the socialists, propaganda initially played a crucial role in attaining the political support necessary for going to war. The barrage of pro-war messages reminded Germans of the struggle against foreign enemies while, at the same time, beginning to create an atmosphere tolerant of violence against Jews. After the Nuremberg Race Laws were established in 1935 and a slew of anti-Semitic economic legislations came in 1938, mass media began to reflect passivity and acceptance of the impending measures against Jews. Propaganda was also used to evoke political loyalty and “race consciousness” among the territory that had been gained by European nations in World War I. The Nazi party also utilized propaganda in order to convey the message that the demands for concessions and annexations to the agreement made at the end of World War I were understandable and fair. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union, Nazi propaganda painted a picture that identified Germany as the defender of “Western” culture against the “Judeo-Bolshevik threat” and “painted an apocalyptic picture of what would happen if the Soviets won the war.”6

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These two examples of Nazi propaganda reflect the anti- Bolshevik (left) and hatred towards "the enemies of Greater Germany" (right) that the Nazi party was trying to promote to the German people. (Bytwerk, Randall. "Nazi Posters: 1933-1945.")

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These two posters reflect the anti-semetic feelings of the Nazi Party. The poster on top reads in its caption: “The Jew: The inciter of war, the prolonger of war.” The poster on the bottom, aimed towards the Russians, reads: “Get the Jewish-Bolshevist warmongers out of Europe!” (Bytwerk, Randall. "Nazi Posters: 1933-1945.")


The absolute control that the Nazi party, under Goebbels careful watch, had over the media that was produced within and outside of Germany ensured that the people were either convinced or intimidated into accepting Nazi power and the consequent actions that they put into motion.


1. "Nazi Propaganda." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/ww2/german/naziprop.htm<> >.
2. "Propaganda in Nazi Germany." History Learning Site. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/propaganda_in_nazi_germany.htm>.
3. "Holocaust History." Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 06 Jan. 2011. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005202>.


4"Nazi Propaganda." ThinkQuest.

5"Holocaust History." Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 06 Jan. 2011. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005202<> >.

6"Holocaust History." Holocaust Encyclopedia.

Bibliography:
Bytwerk, Randall. "Nazi Posters: 1933-1945." German Propaganda Archive. 2001. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <__http://www.bytwerk.com/gpa/posters2.htm__>.

"Holocaust History." Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 06 Jan. 2011. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <__http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005202__>.

"The Home Front: Propaganda." 1925-1949. NebraskaStudies.Org. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <__http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0800/frameset_reset.html?http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0800/stories/0801_0121.html__>.

"Nazi Propaganda (1933-1945)." German Propaganda Archive. Calvin College, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <__http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm__>.

"Nazi Propaganda." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <__http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/ww2/german/naziprop.htm__>.

"Propaganda in Nazi Germany." History Learning Site. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <__http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/propaganda_in_nazi_germany.htm__>.