The use of propaganda in the Nazi Regime

subject = history:Holocaust
title = The use of propaganda in the Nazi Regime
and in their Totalitarian Control
papers = The Role of Propaganda in the Nazi
Takeover and in Their Totalitarian Control

When one thinks of the term
"propaganda", what comes to mind? Would it bring a positive response? Would
it bring a negative response? When one thinks of "propaganda" in association
with the Holocaust, what comes to mind? A positive response or a negative
response? Most likely a negative response. Why is "propaganda" any different
from what any political party or regime does, namely to disseminate its views?
Is "propaganda" simply the name we give to views which we do not like or which
we think to be untrue? And finally, was the role of "propaganda" in the Nazis'
assumption of power overstated? (Daniel Goldhagen, 1996)
As many people
who are learned in the field of the Holocaust will agree, propaganda played
an extremely vital part in the Nazis' rise to power, as well as their brain-washing
of the German population into detesting all, of what they considered, "heretics"
to the degree of accepting their murders. Validity of the accusations upon
which they attempted to justify their action against the Jews was not an issue.
The issue in this case was its power of persuasion. Although to achieve this
goal the Nazi party deemed it necessary to monopolize the communications, media,
and entertainment industries, Germany already had a strong anti-Semitic background.
European
anti-Semitism is an outgrowth of Christianity. Since the time of the Roman
Empire, Christian leaders preached boundlessly against Jews. It escalated
from generation to generation, for as long a the Jews rejected Jesus as their
Messiah, the Jews "challenged" the whole belief system of Christianity. The
idea that it was the Jews that killed their savior also evolved from that time
period. Along those lines, the notion that all

Jews of forever were responsible
for Jesus' death, for they approved of the crime, would have certainly done
it again (according to the anti-Semitics), and had always rejected his teachings.
As
the Medieval period came, the Christians' hatred for Jews further articulated
and was brought to a new level. The Christians in the Medieval world saw Jews
in twofold opposition to Christianity: they rejected his revelation and were
his killers. In addition, church members had much detested the Jews on the
basis that they should have accepted Jesus as their Messiah. Consequently,
persecution and killing of the Jews became a part of everyday life, leaving
many regions of Western Europe without any Jews by the end of the sixteenth
century.
Entering the nineteenth century, German anti-Semitism went through
an acute transformation. It was then that it made its change from a religious
issue, to a racial one. Germans naturally detested Jews, and with a passion.
Nineteenth century Germans now saw Jews as the symbol for everything awry
in their declining economy, even though they made up but a mere one percent
of the population. Soon the cultural taboos that had formerly shaped the moral
fabric of Germany at the time lost all influence. It was then that German
anti-Semitism reached a high point: false, cruel, yet indisputable accusations.
Prostitution, sexual degradation and depravity, and the sexual assaulting
of unsuspecting German virgins are examples. The Germans also imagined Jew
conducting ritual murders.
By the time the Nazi party instituted totalitarian
control, all that remained was to build on the framework provided by the nineteenth
century. A framework which included anti-Semitism being common knowledge,
Germans' obsessive hatred toward Jews, the common belief of Jews being the
reason for their collapsing economy, the belief of Jews being evil and a source
of great harm. This new type of anti-Semitism was of a savage nature and a
logic that it was necessary to rid Germany, along with the rest of the world,
of Jews by whatever means necessary.
Already having a foundation for their
cause, all the Nazis had to do was execute their strategies. Even before gaining
full control in January of 1933, they used all possible methods, and even introduced
new forms of publicity, to get national attention and recognition. The Nazi
party sponsored mass meetings and pageants, distributed all sorts of visual
aids and propaganda, and assumed control of the radio and film industry.
Once
the Nazis gained control they used all the above means and
more to strengthen
their totalitarian control on the German population. By means of blatant false
claims and accusations, the Nazis made untrue justifications for political
and military aggression, as well as enthusiasm toward Nazi goals.
Hitler
knew how he had to manipulate propaganda