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Deconstructing Nazi propaganda Images

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Presentation on theme: "Deconstructing Nazi propaganda Images"— Presentation transcript:

1 Deconstructing Nazi propaganda Images

2 What is Propaganda? Biased information
Simplifies complex issues or ideas Created to shape public opinion and behavior True, partially true, or blatantly false information Plays on emotions Symbols, images, words, or music Advertises a cause, organization, or movement and its opponents Directs human action toward a given goal

3 Common Propaganda Techniques
Bandwagon Testimonial Plain Folks Transfer Fear/Card Stacking Logical Fallacies Glittering Generalities Name-calling

4 Bandwagon An appeal to the subject to follow the crowd
Tries to convince the subject that one side is the winning side and that winning is inevitable Appeals to a person’s desire to be on the winning side

5 Testimonial Quotations or endorsements which attempt to connect a well-known or respectable person with a product or ideal with the intent to better “sell” the product or ideal

6 Plain Folks An attempt to convince the public that his or her views reflect those of the “common person” The candidate tries to appear to be working for the benefit of the “common person”

7 Transfer An attempt to make the subject view a certain item in the same way as they view another item Used to transfer negative feelings for one object to another In politics, this technique is often used to transfer blame or bad feelings from one politician to another or from one group of people to another

8 Fear/Card Stacking Only presents information that is positive to an idea or proposal and omits information contrary to it While the information presented is true, other important information is purposely omitted

9 Logical Fallacies An argument that sounds as if it makes sense but the premises given for the conclusion do not provide proper support for the argument

10 Glittering Generalities
Uses words that have different positive meaning for individual subjects, but are linked to highly valued concepts Words often used as glittering generalities are honor, glory, love of country, and freedom

11 Name-calling Uses derogatory language or words that carry a negative connotation when describing an enemy Attempts to arouse prejudice among the public by labeling the target something that the public dislikes

12 Common Propaganda Traits
• Uses truths, half-truths, or lies • Omits information selectively • Simplifies complex issues or ideas • Plays on emotions • Advertises a cause • Attacks opponents • Targets desired audiences

13 Nazi Propaganda Practices

14 Volksgemeinschaft: “National Community”
A cornerstone of Nazi ideology and propaganda An organic, racial union of all “Aryan” Germans Political strife and dissension have no place in National Socialist society Contributing to the general welfare of the nation, not individualism Nazi propaganda played a crucial role in selling the myth to Germans who longed for unity, national pride and greatness

15 Making a leader Nazi propaganda idolized Hitler as a gifted statesman who brought stability, created jobs, and restored German greatness Under the Nazi regime, Germans were expected to pay public allegiance to the “Führer” in quasi-religious forms, such as giving the Nazi salute and greeting others on the street with “Heil Hitler!,” the so-called “German Greeting” Faith in Hitler strengthened the bonds of national unity, while non-compliance signaled dissension in a society where open criticism of the regime, and its leaders, were grounds for imprisonment Modern techniques of propaganda -- including strong images and simple messages -- helped propel Austrian-born Adolf Hitler from being a little known extremist to a leading candidate in the 1932 German presidential elections. The style of this poster is similar to some of film stars of the era. Election poster, 1932; photo by Heinrich Hoffmann

16 Defining the Enemy One crucial factor in creating a cohesive group is to define who is excluded from membership Nazi propagandists contributed to the regime's policies by publicly identifying groups for exclusion, inciting hatred or cultivating indifference, and justifying their pariah status to the populace Propaganda helped to define who would be excluded from the new society and justified measures against the “outsiders”: Jews Sinti and Roma (Gypsies) homosexuals political dissidents Germans viewed as genetically inferior and harmful to “national health” Nazi propaganda often portrayed Jews as engaged in a conspiracy to provoke war. Here, a stereotyped Jew conspires behind the scenes to control the Allied powers, represented by the British, American, and Soviet flags. The caption reads, "Behind the enemy powers: the Jew." Circa 1942.

17 Deceiving the Public Propaganda served as an important tool to win over the majority of the German public who had not supported Adolf Hitler and to push forward the Nazis' radical program A new state propaganda apparatus, headed by Joseph Goebbels, sought to manipulate and deceive the German population and the outside world Propagandists preached an appealing message of national unity and a utopian future An antisemitic poster published in Poland in March The caption reads, "Jews are lice; They cause typhus." This German-published poster was intended to instill fear of Jews among Christian Poles.

18 Rallying the Nation The Nazi Party dramatically increased its public support by advertising itself as a protest movement against the corruption and ineffectiveness of the Weimar “system” Throughout World War II, Nazi propagandists disguised military aggression aimed at territorial conquest as acts of ethnic self-defense necessary for the survival of “Aryan civilization” Nazi propaganda frequently stressed the power of a mass movement to propel the country forward, subtly underscored by the upward angle of the hands This poster typifies the propaganda strategy of using simple confident slogans, with bold graphics often using the characteristic Nazi colors of red, black, and white. "Greater Germany: Yes on 10 April" (1938). This election poster emphasizes the message of jumping on the Nazi political bandwagon, as represented by the hands raised in a unified Nazi salute.

19 These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth:
Indoctrinating Youth From the 1920s onwards, the Nazi Party targeted German youth as a special audience for its propaganda messages These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth: dynamic resilient forward-looking hopeful Millions of German young people were won over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities "Students/Be the Führer's propagandists." With militant appeals to nationalism, freedom, and self-sacrifice, the Nazi Party successfully recruited students disenchanted with German democracy and their current student organizations.

20 Writing the News Der Stürmer was the most notorious, antisemitic newspaper in Germany The newspaper, headed by Julius Streicher, published lurid tales of Jewish “ritual murder,” sex crimes, and financial malfeasance The Nazis understood the power and attraction of emerging technologies, such as film, loudspeakers, radio, and television, in the service of propaganda These technologies offered the Nazi leadership a means for mass dissemination of their ideological messages and a vehicle for reinforcing the myth of the National Community through communal listening and viewing experiences "All of Germany Listens to the Führer with the People's Radio." The poster depicts a crowd surrounding a radio. The radio looms large, symbolizing the mass appeal and broad audience for Nazi broadcasts.

21 The Nazi Plan Film from the Steven Spielberg Film Archive showing the Opening of the Official Anti-Semitic Campaign, 1 April Also in this clip is Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels addressing a cheering crowd in Berlin Lustgarten, the boycott of Jewish shops, a truck filled with Nazis moving through streets, chanting: "Germans, protect yourselves. Don't buy from the Jews,“ book burning and more. [00:05:48]

22 Slide #2 'Your Own KdF-Car'

23 'Your Own KdF-Car' poster, 1939 ©
Your Own Car The VW beetle was designed by Otto Porsche & Hitler The woman is blond haired and dressed conservatively. This is a typical Nazi view of women (no make up/natural look – white teeth) The mountains suggest a link between Germans and the rural ideal (also symbolize the pure Nordic roots of Nazism) Nazi policies are associated with wealth and a good lifestyle They are obviously happy with this lifestyle 'Your Own KdF-Car' poster, 1939 ©

24 Slide #3 “The seed of peace, not dragon's teeth”

25 The seed of peace not dragon’s teeth
The imagery is quite deliberate. It is based on a parable in the Bible in which a man sows seeds. Suggests a link between Hitler and God There is an angel. This suggests that German greatness is a positive thing and not a threat Hitler is walking on a map of Europe, eastward Hitler = Jesus “The seed of peace, not dragon's teeth” cartoon of Hitler, from the magazine Kladderadatsch, 22 March 1936 © The archangel Gabriel – announcing a new order?

26 Slide #4 German Students Fight for Hitler and Nation

27 The Nazi flag is prominently displayed.
A sense of power is conveyed. Blonde hair, athletic, fit, strong, good looking This young man is blonde haired and well- dressed. This is a typical Nazi view of young men The word, “Kampft”- struggle or fight. The word “VOLK” (folk) (people) is used. All students were forced to join the Hitler Youth – Boy Scouts declared a Jewish plot. German Students Fight for Hitler and Nation

28 Slide #5 [Support relief for mother and child]

29 Symbol (NJ = National Socialist Jugend – youth movement)
Nazi party Symbol (NJ = National Socialist Jugend – youth movement) Hitler pointed out that unemployment in was equivalent to the number of women who came into the workforce since Average family size was supposed to have 4 children. Peasants were the backbone of society. Role of the woman is to be a mother (blonde, strong, bear children) Farming in background – church in background Sun = halo It promotes the Nazi charitable organization (the NSV). The text: "Support the assistance program for mothers and children."

30 Slide #6 "[If] You need advice or help, turn to your 'local group.”

31 The Aryan Family (white, blonde, blue-eyed, happy) (farm family)
The caption loosely translates as, "The National Socialist Party will save the people's community. The people's community will then turn to you and the party." Posters of this type illustrate the disconnect between the party rhetoric and the reality of party policy. The “strong” eagle (power) – almost a “wing of an angel” (protecting this family) The Aryan Family (white, blonde, blue-eyed, happy) (farm family) The idea of a "Volksgemeinschaft," a community of the people, had a very powerful, very idealistic appeal, comparable to the idealistic appeal that some communist groups were attempting to make at the same time. The analogy is suggested by the use of the word "Volksgenossen," literally "comrades," a term widely used by the Soviet Communist Party at the time. The slogan on the poster reads "[If] You need advice or help, turn to your 'local group.” In other words, the suggestion is "We are here to help."

32 Slide #7 "We build body and soul"

33 Strong/fit youth (blonde, blue-eyed) – the future of Germany
Conveys the message of Germany being united The goal of the Reich Labor Force was to train and teach through regimented exercise, work and sports (train young men for the military). It promotes the Nazi labor service, for which men were expected to volunteer. The caption: "We build body and soul."

34 Slide #8 "Long live Germany!"

35 after 1936 This poster makes a direct Christological comparison. Just as a dove descended on Christ when he was baptized by John the Baptist, so what looks to be an eagle hovers against the light of heaven over an idealized Hitler. The text: "Long live Germany!." Sun = halo A strong, numerous, and united Germany – power granted from God. Oak leaf border = symbol of strength and longevity in Nazi iconography


37 The connection of the Nazi soldier and the Crusader
Arm around Nazi soldier The Crusader w/ cross – based in the belief that Christ would return to earth for a year period. (the white saint?) Multi-headed red snakes – stars of David, Protocols of Zion, KDP=Christian Democratic Party, SDP=Social Democratic Party, RF=Republican Front? The Multi-headed dragon is a well-known image from Christianity – St. George and the Dragon (good v. evil/Satanic forces). Nazi propaganda often portrayed WWII as a war for Christianity. The white countryside with a cross on its side – Nazism found its roots in the peasantry/agriculture The soldier (uniform - authority, Swastika on belt) “draped” in the robe w/ the Swastika (powerful symbol) Crusader = St. Michael slaying the 3-headed dragon (direct/saintly connection to God ???)

38 Please use your corresponding worksheets with the next set of slides

39 Now you try it! Take your worksheet and divide into 3 groups, one for each of the following posters. Complete the front of the worksheet and finish the back for homework.

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