Controlling People's Lives in Nazi Germany
Why was it necessary to control people's lives?
Hilter wanted to control people's lives. He wanted to boost the economy and prepare Germany for war. To do this, he wanted the Germans to share the same Nazi values. At first, propaganda had been used to try and win votes for Hitler. Once he was in power, it was used to instill Nazi values, particularly amongst those who hadn't supported the Nazis before. When Hitler came to power, only a third of Germans had been won over to Hazism. In order to win over the rest, the Nazis used propaganda.
What propaganda and censorship methods were used?
Goebbels was appointed Propaganda Minister and he controlled all aspects of the media. There was strict censorship. For example
- Radios were cheap and most German families had a radio by the late 1930s. They were also played in factories and public places.
- They played entertainment such as comedies and music in order to attract large audiences but then intermittently there would be propaganda news items which would exaggerate Nazi successes or condemn Nazi enemies.
- Editors had to be sympathetic to the Nazi cause or they were sacked.
- Goebbels held meetings with editors and told them which stories to cover and which stories to ignore
Cinema and Films
- German cinema was very advanced and many films were "talkies".
- Goebbels encouraged film and they were very popular but had to follow particular themes e.g. evil Jews, pro-war films.
Was the propaganda/censorship successful?
Yes and no ...
- The Nazis were successful at building on existing prejudices such as a hatred of Versailles and a dislike of Jews
- They were very successful at indoctrinating young people.
- Many Germans remained loyal to the regime even…