Influence of Nazi Germany WWII Propaganda Films on the German Film Industry

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Intro German cinema was greatly affected during the Nazi movement between 1933 and 1945. Once appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933 Hitler wasted no time and almost immediately began working on his propaganda strategy. Typically “propaganda targets a mass audience and relies on mass media to persuade. Propaganda is aimed at large numbers of people and, as such, relies on mass communication to reach its audience” (Gass, 14). The Nazi party used film propaganda to brainwash the German people, distract them from the harsh reality of the Nazi party, and attempt to intimidate the enemy. Hitler knew propaganda entailed mass persuasion and he knew just how to get his message out there; film. It was through the use of…show more content…
Knowing this, the producers of the German war documentaries intentionally added scenes of soldiers doing normal day to day activities in an attempt to add a human touch. Not all German propaganda films were shown to Germans in an attempt to create a stronger support system for Nazi Germany. Some German of these films were made specifically to be shown to the enemy in an attempt to intimidate the enemy into submission. According to Sakmyster these films were far less successful and few if any of those that viewed the films actually believed the film content to be true. However, “the Germans did not really care if non-Germans actually believed the arguments in these films [as] they were meant to frighten others into submission, to intimidate any country that might be thinking of resisting German expansionism or of remaining on friendly terms with Great Britain” (Sakmyster). The Nazi party saw the opportunity to use film to attempt to portray themselves as a dominant power prepared to take on what Germany considered to be weak countries. While these films did not appear to be successful it is possible they had an impact on the decision of King Leopold to surrender just after the start of the German invasion. If these films did in fact scare King Leopold into submission then the German films proved a success. Hitler used propaganda film in an attempt to sway the
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