German Propaganda and its Effects on the Holocaust and World War Two

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German Propaganda and the effects on The Holocaust and WWII

Propaganda in general is the idea of getting others to believe in one’s own beliefs. Propaganda is the “attempt to influence behavior…by affecting through the use of mass media of communications, the manner in which a mass audience perceives and ascribes meaning to the material world.”1 Propaganda was a major part of Germany’s way to brain wash people into following Hitler and his army. The theme of Hitler and Goebbels, (Paul Joseph Goebbels, was appointed Hitler’s Reichspropagandaleiter, the Nazis national director of propaganda), using propaganda, “was to merge the traditional German patriotism with Nazi ideological motifs”2, this was basically used from1919 to 1945.
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Propagandist use words that are bland and euphemistic. Special appeals are to accommodate certain groups of people. The use of plain-folks is to make the group believe that their ideas or views are “of the people”6. The band wagon use of propaganda is for people to think that since everyone else is doing something, so should they. False connections leads to the technique of transfer. Transfer constantly uses symbols and its main purpose is to “carry over the authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something the propagandist would have us accept”7. The testimonial technique is when someone famous or someone that a person respects says something and since they say it, well then that must be right, even if that person has no real knowledge of the statement made. The question of bad logic or propaganda is that there is logical and illogical conclusions. The propagandist “deliberately manipulates logic in order to promote their cause”8. Another part of logical fallacies is unwarranted extrapolation which basically is when the “communicator attempts to convince a person that a particular action will lead to disaster or to utopia”9.

Propaganda was spread in a variety of ways. Propaganda was used in posters and leaflets. Leaflets were mostly spread by bomber airplanes. Sometimes the leaflets were hung under balloons (with a release mechanism) and floated over enemy country10.
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