I often wonder how the Nazi’s became so powerful because anyone with half a brain would have been able to figure out what their ultimate aim was, especially in a land of scholars and scientists like Germany.
The one thing you have to give the Nazi’s is they knew how to play the media, their propaganda machine was second to none.
Combine the propaganda with the actually ability of fulfilling the promises of creating jobs and bringing prosperity and you have the most powerful weapon a man can build. And by the time the masses will have found out that the jobs and prosperity are only to serve a warped ideology and are really only temporary, they will have bought in to the whole idea of making your country ‘great’ again.
In charge of the Nazi Propaganda machine was Joseph Goebbels.
Mein Kampf contained the blue print for the Nazi propaganda.
“Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed.The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another.The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood”
The propaganda machine already started rolling years before WWII started.Below are examples of the Nazi propaganda.
Nazi Party election poster used in Vienna in 1930. Translation: “We demand freedom and bread”.
A 1937 anti-Bolshevik Nazi propaganda poster. The translated caption: “Bolshevism without a mask – large anti-Bolshevik exhibition of the NSDAP Gauleitung Berlin from November 6, 1937 to December 19, 1937 in the Reichstag building”.
Photo of front page of Der Stürmer, dated May 1934, which is on permanent display at the Jewish Museum, Berlin. Subject matter is the Blood libel against Jews.
Der Stürmer, a weekly magazine published by Julius Streicher, was the most vile anti-Semitic publication of the National Socialist period. This special edition was dedicated to the practice of ritual murder ascribed to the Jews. The authors presented their prejudices as fact in order to intensify anti-Semitic hatred towards the ‘murderers of Christ.’ This accusation, which emerged in the Middle Ages, maligned Jews as ‘murderers’ of Christian children for ritualistic purposes. Der Stürmer attempted to keep this old prejudice alive by citing alleged current examples.
The same publisher also released in 1938 Der Giftpilz (translated into English as The Toadstool or The Poisonous Mushroom), one of the most widespread pieces of propaganda, which warned about insidious dangers Jews posed by using the metaphor of an attractive yet deadly mushroom.
Nur für Deutsche (“Only for Germans”), a Nazi slogan used in occupied territories, mainly posted at entrances to parks, cafes, cinemas, theatres and other facilities.
Our last hope,Hitler
Goebbels had commissioned a great number of movies A particularly nasty one was a documentary called “Der ewige Jude” -the eternal Jew.
The Jews of Poland (invaded by Germany in 1939) are depicted as filthy, evil, corrupt, and intent on world domination. Street scenes are shown prejudicially, along with clips from Jewish cinema of the day and photos of Jewish celebrities, while the narrator “explains” the Jewish problem. The climax and resolution of the film is Hitler’s 1939 announcement that the Jewish race will meet its “annihilation”.
There were numerous posters of portraying the Aryan race as the master race, mostly depicting youthful wholesome and athletic looking men and women.
Given the fact that the world was in turmoil in the 1930’s it is not hard to understand that a lot of people fell for the promise of a better life.
Unfortunately the similarities to what is happening globally at the moment is staggering.