What is propaganda and how it was applied in Germany of 1920s?
The definition of Propaganda is: “The organized spreading of information to promote the views of a Government or movement with the intention of persuading people to think or behave in a certain way” It’s clear the Nazi’s took this definition to a different level altogether. 1928’s National Socialist Party was not seen as all that impressive at first to most Germans. However there was a change coming in the form of a vast, intricate propaganda machine in the works lead by the mastermind Josef Goebbels. In the first half of the 1920s, after unsuccessfully attempting to establish a career as a journalist, novelist and playwright, Goebbels became a member of the National Socialist Party which promoted German pride and anti-Semitism. Goebbels eventually became acquainted with the organization’s leader, Adolf Hitler. At this time, inflation had wrecked the German economy, and the morale of the German citizenry who had been defeated in World War I was low. Hitler and Goebbels were both of the opinion that words and images were potent devices that could be used to exploit this discontent. Hitler was impressed with Goebbels’ ability to communicate his thoughts in writing, while Goebbels was enamored of Hitler’s talent for speaking in front of large crowds and employing words and gestures to play on German nationalistic pride. In 1928, Goebbels was elected to the Reichstag, the German Parliament. More significantly, Hitler named him the Nazi Party propaganda director. It was in this capacity that Goebbels began formulating the strategy that fashioned the myth of Hitler as a brilliant and decisive leader. This was done through constant reminding that he was Germany’s only hope.