Nazi Propaganda


Spectacular Displays

1. The Nazis used public rallies to spread their propaganda. The annual Nuremburg Rallies focused on speeches by leading Nazis, like Hitler and Goebbels. The 1934 Nuremburg Rally was recorded by Riefenstahl in her film 'Triumph of the Will'.

2. One million people attended the 1936 rally. There were displays of lights and flags to greet the arrival of Hitler. Making him look more powerful.

3. Sporting events like the 1936 Berlin Olympics were used to ahow off German wealth and power. But the success of non-Aryan athletes like African-American Jesse Owens (who won 4 gold medals) undermined Hitler's message.

4. Nazi power was also shown through art and architecture, and grand new buildings appeared in Nuremburg and Berlin.

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It changed Culture and Society

1. Nazis promised an empire that would last 1,000 years - based on traditional values.

2. Modern art was banned, in favor of realistic paintings that fit with Nazi ideology. Modern art was labelled 'degenerate' and exhibitions were created to show people how 'bad' it was. The Nazis celebrated the works of 'German' composers such as Wagner, but much modern classical music, works by Jewish composers, and jazz were all attacked.

In the Weimar Republic years, artists had started to use ideas that were new and experimental.

3. School textbooks were rewritten to make Germans look successful. Children were taught to believe in Nazi doctrines.

4. The 'Strength through Joy' programme sought to show ordinary workers that the Nazi regime cared about their living conditions.

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Surprisingly, it's difficult to tell how effective Nazi propaganda was.

1. Some historians say Nazi propaganda was better at reinforcing people's existing attitudes than making them belive something different.

2. Many Germans felt angry and humiliated by the ToV, so Hitler's promises to reverse it and make Germany great again were very popular.

3. After the political weakness of the Weimar Republic, people found the image of Hitler as a strong leader appealing. So the 'Hitler Myth' was very effective and made him an extremely popular leader.

4. Anti-Jewish and anti-communist attitudes already existed in Germany before the Nazis came to power.

5. Weimar Republic was seen as too liberal by many - they thought Germany's standards had slipped. These people liked the promise to return to traditional German values.

6. The Depression left many in poverty. Making them easy to persuade, and Nazis' promises of help extremely popular. Their control of media made it almost impossible for anyone to publish an alternate point of view.

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