Propaganda During Nazi Germany Essay

3427 Words Feb 12th, 2010 14 Pages
Examine why and how film was used for propaganda purposes in Nazi Germany.

“The function of propaganda is,for example,not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people,but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for.it’s task is not to make an objective study of the truth,…its task is to serve our own right,always and unflinchingly”(Hitler,1971,p182).Propaganda as defined by Welch(1983,p2),is the art of brainwashing,so as to alter attitudes and ideas.Though the art of persuasion is nothing new,it became more innovative in the first half of the twentieth century,such as through the “popular press,then the film and the radio”(Tegel,2007,p.12).This was headed by the Ministry of Propaganda under Joseph
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Another motive why film was used by the Nazis as a propaganda tool was it’s ability to rally and influence the masses.Propaganda was needed to persuade the masses to accept Nazi policies .Besides tolerating the government,Goebbels believed that the mobilization of the people was also vital for a wholehearted commitment to the Nazi state(Welch,2002,p25).As Grunberger(1995,p377) noted,cinema attendances quadrupled from 250 million in 1933,to 1000 million in 1942.Thus,film was an effective weapon used to propagate the people.

Film was hence used by the Nazis to rally support for the “ euthanasia action” as depicted in the film,I Accuse(1941)(Moeller,2000,p99) The Nazis saw the need for racial purity.(Welch,2002,p83))Thus racial propaganda was used to spread both anti-Jewish and Slavic feelings as well as to showcase the superiority of the Aryan race(Ibid). In Mein Kamf,Hilter stressed the need for establishing racial attitudes,

“No boy or girl must leave school without having attained a clear insight into the meaning of racial purity and the importance of maintaining the racial blood unadulterated.”(Ibid)

The film I Accuse(1941) was a success as it attracted a very large audience and was seen by over 15 million people.The melodramatic film showcase a triangular love story with emphasis on the intensity of Hanna’s suffering,and the disagreement between her husband(Heyt) and his friend(Lang) over the use of euthanasia on his