Appeal of the Nazi Party

Appeal of the Nazi Party

After World War I the country of Germany was no utopia leaving it vulnerable and a perfect target for the Nazi Party. There was depression, food shortage, disorder, social upheaval, anger and a loss of faith within the German citizens. The citizens were all frantically and desperately looking for someone or some party to take charge of the situation, make it better not only for individuals but the country as a whole. One can say that when the Nazi party stepped out of the shadow and into the light, the German citizens were blinded by their past sufferings and anxious desires that they did not see the Nazi party for what it truly was. Nevertheless, the Nazi party was capable of gaining control for a number of reasons; using the past government's mistakes for their benefit, they used the existing economic troubles to attract people to their party, they used the help of the always appealing and nationalist Hitler but the Nazi party was able to maintain control and power over the country and the minds of citizens through the use of propaganda. The method of propaganda used by the Nazi party contributed to the success of the political party because it was able to help them gain support from the people of Germany by influencing their minds that contributed to their actions, blind the world into what was in fact the party's goal and propaganda led to the massacre that occurred within World War II. Nazi propaganda was aimed at appealing to emotions rather than sound or even reasoning and behind it all were messages that were brain washing. Propaganda eliminated individuals so only the Nazi party itself existed and with only one party existing the citizens of Germany were trapped within their own country. The past of Germany allowed the Nazi party to come into the country and use propaganda to take control and maintain power. The Nazis used propaganda to let German citizens who they were and what their power would do. Nazis used propaganda to get the German citizens to tag along with what they believed and brought them into a country of chaos, death and a country that alone

2started World War II.

If it was not for the extreme use of propaganda the appeal of the Nazi party would have not been as influential as it was with the German citizens.

In Nazi Propaganda written by Zeman he defines propaganda as the art of persuasion: persuading others that one 'side of the story' is correct. Propaganda might take the form of persuading others that military might is too great to be challenged; that political might within a nation is too great or popular to challenge or that a government should not be challenged since it is looking out for the best for the nation.[1] Within Nazi Germany, Hitler issued Dr. Joseph Goebbels as head of propaganda. Joseph Goebbels had one important responsibility as the head of propaganda which were to ensure that no one in Germany could observe or examine anything that was argumentative or harmful to the Nazi party. In Nazi Propaganda by Zeman, the author also states that in order to ensure that all was going as followed within Germany; the Reich Chamber of Commerce was established[2]. The organization dealt with literature, art, music, radio, films and newspapers. Each aspect of German society slowly was manipulated into German propaganda which was led by the Nazis. Propaganda was the only way that the Nazi party was able to maintain control because the citizens continued to believe and follow the actions of the party.

The past of Germany was perhaps the essential aspect that made propaganda so effortless to slither into the government. The Nazi party used the Treaty of Versailles as their main focal point, condemning it and stating it has one of the biggest factors for the failure of the country. The Nazi party promised German citizens that they would be compensated for what was rightfully theirs, promising them work and strength which created a feeling of racial and national superiority. Dr. Robert Ley was part of the the Nazi party and he held many positions within Hitler's Germany and he is best known for the racial superiority that he inflicted within the mind of German citizens.[3] Robert Ley gave a speech on March 31st 1939 titled The Jews or Us in which he rarely talked about the Jews themselves but created a view of domination for Germany. In the first lines of his speech Ley states

“In human life, a leader must emerge who can win others with his faith and make them happy. That is where leadership comes from. The same is true of nations. A nation and a race are called to make the others happy. One nation must rise above the others, and raise the others as well.”[4]

Robert Ley implies that Hitler is the leader of the world, of humans that has emerged and that Germany is the nation that will be the one power. Dr. Robert Ley continues to go on in his speech fabricating facts even to say “England built its empire when our cultural history was already 1500 years old.We led the world for a thousand years before English history even began.”[5] Robert Ley's source even fabricates history because the German citizens who have been deprived of education lack knowledge in history, therefore when Robert Ley produces false facts the citizens have no knowledge on what is true or false. The German citizens have been suffering for years and will obey anything that will boost their confidence in the German country. Dr. Robert Ley's speech is a prime example of propaganda used by powerful leaders within the Nazi party, fabrications about racial supremacy caused the German citizens to view themselves as above the rest of the world and therefore some truly believed that the actions being committed by their party or the thoughts running through individual minds were in fact, true. In the book Nazis: A Warning from History author Laurence Rees states that the citizens of Germany were influenced to the extreme by the Nazi party that they could not even see right from wrong.[6] The German citizens were so vulnerable due to the past events that had occurred in their country that propaganda was in many ways unproblematic to impede in the minds of citizens.

With the conflicting and suffering of the past, the Nazis were able to create a sense of nationalism and racial supremacy. However, the Nazis were able to continue to manipulate the citizens through the use of propaganda in everyday life. The organization that controlled Nazi propaganda was carefully hidden from public view; Hitler organized it so well that there were numerous sections dealing with culture, spiritual, architecture, radio etc. The main aim of Nazi propaganda was to achieve recognition of the party not only within the state but within each individual. In the book Nazi Dictatorship written by Ian Kershaw it states how the Nazis held regular book burnings, in which Nazis would ransack libraries, houses, schools and remove all that did not fit the Nazi ideals.[7] Along with book burning the Nazis also took control of the press. When Hitler first came into power there was over four thousand seven hundred and three newspapers within Germany, yet by the end of 1934 the party controlled about four hundred and thirty six newspapers indirectly and directly. Alongside taking control of literature and daily news Hitler took control of radio life as well as film. In Nazis: A Warning from History Laurence Rees discusses how to ensure that Hitler was heard Joseph Goebbels organized a sale of radios at a fraction of the price they would normally be therefore it would guarantee that citizens heard the speeches delivered by Hitler, it was also essential for speakers to be put on street corners and in restaurants so that avoiding Hitler was impossible.[8] Along with the radio came propaganda within films seen within the theatres or commercials. The Nazi party was attracted to films because “they were easier to make and mould and because they reached much wider audiences than live theatre.”[9] Each aspect of public and private life was invaded and changed in order to fit the Nazis dictatorship. As Zemen states in Nazi Propaganda “they amount of propaganda within German society and the extent and influence it had on people, even history cannot account for.”[10] The Nazi party had an appeal on citizens because it took over lives; it took over simple aspects such as reading an article, watching a film or even fabricating history. As Joseph Goebbels stated “the essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it.”[11]

A large aspect of propaganda produced during World War II was those outlining the Jews within the German state. The Nazi party was known for its Anti-Semitic views and blamed the Jews for the current conditions of the country. In 1943 the Nazi party published a pamphlet in which the section about the Jewish race is titled The Jew as World Parasite in which the Nazis stated how the war was the fault of the Jewish people

“In this war for the very existence of the German people, we must daily remind ourselves that Jewry unleashed this war against us. It makes no difference if the Jew conceals himself as a Bolshevist or a plutocrat, a Freemason, or uses some other form of concealment, or even appears without any mask at all: he always remains the same. He is the one who so agitated and spiritually influenced the peoples that stand against us today...”[12]

The Nazi party was able to use propaganda to create the Jewish people to be seen as monsters that had destroyed the country of Germany and had poisoned it. Nazis blamed the race for the lack of jobs, the economic conditions, the high prices, and the food shortage and on one account it is known that the Jewish race gets the blame for the outcome of the Treaty of Versailles. The German citizens had pain and they needed someone or a group to blame for the problems the country was facing. The citizens had a history of corrupt governments and dictatorship but could not seem to grasp that a government just like the political party of the Nazi was at the fault of the failure of the German state. The Nazi party appealed to the citizens of Germany because they provided the citizens with racial supremacy, nationalists' views, a race to blame and this was all done with propaganda that clouded their judgements.

The Nazi party was able to appeal to the state of Germany and through the citizens through the extreme use of propaganda. Whether it was using the past conflicts, failures of the state, economic situations or bad governance the Nazi party came into control by fabricating aspects of reality. The Nazi party was able to maintain power by manipulating the citizens through the influence of propaganda within the films, radios, newspapers, books and even creating false images of other human beings surrounding the German state. The party blocked the world from Germany and Germany from the world, it trained not only adults but young men, women and children to think and act just as the cruel and powerful leaders did. Propaganda was able to persuade and brain wash the vulnerable citizens with the state into believing and following the ideals of the Nazi party. Propaganda led to the massacre of thousands of people within a nation who had been waiting for a leader to help them remove suffering and pain, yet only death was brought upon by the once viewed “hero.” As the head of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler said “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise”[13]

Bibliography

Kershaw, Ian. "The Essence of Nazism ."The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, 2nd Edition. London: Edward Arnold, 1989. 22. Print.

Kitchen, Martin. "Nazi Rule."A History of Modern Germany, 1800-2000. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. 279. Print.

Ley, Robert . "Robert Ley Speech (31 March 1939)."Calvin College - Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent, Always Reforming. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. <http://www.calvin.edu/academ

Rees, Laurence. "Helped into Power."The Nazis: A Warning from History. New York: New Press, 1999. 17. Print.

"The Jew as World Parasite (1944)."Calvin College - Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent, Always Reforming. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. <http://www.calvin.edu/academ

Zeman, Z. A. B. "State and Propaganda."Nazi propaganda. New York: Published In Association With The Wiener Library [By] Oxford University Press, 1964. 38. Print.

[1] Zeman, Z. A. B. "State and Propaganda."Nazi propaganda. New York: Published In Association With The Wiener Library [By] Oxford University Press, 1964. 38. Print.

[2] Zeman, Z. A. B. "State and Propaganda."Nazi propaganda. New York: Published In Association With The Wiener Library [By] Oxford University Press, 1964. 39. Print.

[3] Ley, Robert . "Robert Ley Speech (31 March 1939)."Calvin College - Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent, Always Reforming. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. <http://www.calvin.edu/academ

[4] Ley, Robert . "Robert Ley Speech (31 March 1939)."Calvin College - Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent, Always Reforming. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. <http://www.calvin.edu/academ

[5] Ley, Robert . "Robert Ley Speech (31 March 1939)."Calvin College - Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent, Always Reforming. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. <http://www.calvin.edu/academ

[6] Rees, Laurence. "Helped into Power."The Nazis: A Warning from History. New York: New Press, 1999. 17. Print.

[7] Kershaw, Ian. "The Essence of Nazism ."The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, 2nd Edition. London: Edward Arnold, 1989. 22. Print.

[8] Rees, Laurence. "Helped into Power."The Nazis: A Warning from History. New York: New Press, 1999. 56. Print.

[9] Zeman, Z. A. B. "State and Propaganda."Nazi propaganda. New York: Published In Association With The Wiener Library [By] Oxford University Press, 1964. 53. Print

[10] Zeman, Z. A. B. "State and Propaganda."Nazi propaganda. New York: Published In Association With The Wiener Library [By] Oxford University Press, 1964. 48. Print

[11] Kershaw, Ian. "The Essence of Nazism ."The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, 2nd Edition. London: Edward Arnold, 1989. 32. Print.

[12] "The Jew as World Parasite (1944)."Calvin College - Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent, Always Reforming. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. <http://www.calvin.edu/academ

[13]Kitchen, Martin. "Nazi Rule."A History of Modern Germany, 1800-2000. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. 279. Print.

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