How effective was Nazi propaganda 1933-1945? Essay

2381 Words Nov 18th, 2013 10 Pages
How effective was Nazi propaganda 1933-1945? Propaganda was recognized by Hitler and his men as an important tool for the success of a regime. As Goebbels said in 1934, “Propaganda was our sharpest weapon in conquering the state, and remains our sharpest weapon in maintaining and building up the state.” Practically, propaganda was aimed at winning support for policies and keeping the population contented. Yet more than that, it was aimed to indoctrinate the nation to believe in a ‘people’s community’ and to ‘mobilize the spirit’. Goebbels wanted to create ‘one single public opinion’ that was committed to the regime, yet the effect of propaganda varied across different social groups, and changed over time. Some such as Welch thought the …show more content…
Put in Hitler’s words, “the goal of female education must invariably be the future mother.” As Welch pointed out, there is a widely held misconception that propaganda implies nothing less than the art of persuasion, which serves only to change attitudes and ideas. This is undoubtedly one of its aims, but often a limited and subordinate one. More often, propaganda is concerned with reinforcing existing trends and beliefs, to sharpen and focus them, and this is where Nazi propaganda could be said to be the most effective. Nazi propaganda had varying effects across social classes, and while Mason suggests that the working class was more resistant to indoctrination, he agrees with Welch that the youth was an easy target in the spectrum across society, hence the effectiveness of propaganda can not be evaluated by these two groups alone. Among the working class were those that still held their belief in Marxism, but were perhaps unwilling to sacrifice for it. Resistance came in different forms, and some were in opposition groups that exercised their discontent through collective pressure on employers or Nazi organizations by a slow-down in production or taking sick-leaves. It was a refusal of the working class to fully subordinate itself to the Nazi system, yet there was little to show that they were politically

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