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  • Clickbait, misinformation, so-called fake newsif 2020 feels a bit like a propaganda nightmare,  

  • it's nothing compared to the terrifying  power of Hitler's propaganda machine.  

  • Carefully orchestrated propaganda campaigns  allowed Hitler and the Nazis to sow hatred,  

  • encourage violence, and get away  with unimaginable atrocities.

  • Life in Germany after the First World War was  bleak. After losing the war and being made to  

  • sign the harsh Treaty of Versailles, Germany was  forced to relinquish huge amounts of territory  

  • and the country fell into a deep recessionUnemployment was sky-high, and inflation was  

  • running rampant. In 1914, before the war, a loaf  of bread cost the equivalent of 13 cents. By the  

  • end of the war in 1919, the cost had doubled to 26  cents. By 1922, 3 years after the war had ended,  

  • a loaf of bread cost 700 dollars. But things  would get so, so much worse in the post-war years.

  • By the end of 1923, the price of bread had  skyrocketed to the equivalent of 100 billion  

  • dollars, the economy had collapsed and  the German currency had become worthless.  

  • Unable to feed their families or make ends  meet, morale among the German population  

  • plummeted. This astounding reversal  of fortunes for the once mighty nation  

  • created the perfect conditions  for the Nazis to rise to power.

  • The National Socialist Party, or the Naziscame to power in 1933, and Hitler wasted no  

  • time in implementing his devious plans to restore  Germany to its former glory. Over the next few  

  • years he began to rebuild the German military  in direct violation of the Versailles treaty,  

  • attempted to boost morale by praising the German  people as a “superiorrace, and blamed all of  

  • Germany's problems on so-called traitors like  communists, Jews and other minorities. In 1939,  

  • with the invasion of Poland, Hitler launched  the Second World War and implemented his brutal  

  • final solutionto what he calledthe Jewish  problem”. It is estimated that 5 to 6 million  

  • Jews - up to 2 thirds of all Jews living in Europe  before the war - were starved, tortured, used as  

  • slave labor and systematically murdered in Nazi  death camps like Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

  • How was Hitler able to get away  with such unimaginable atrocities?  

  • The truth is that none of it would have been  possible without Hitler's propaganda machine.

  • Within weeks of the Nazis taking powerHitler established the Ministry for  

  • Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda to spread  national socialist ideas, and he was very clear  

  • about the ministry's purpose. In 1924 Hitler  was quoted as saying that propaganda's “task  

  • is not to make an objective study of the  truth, insofar as it favors the enemy,  

  • and then set it before the masses with academic  fairness; its task is to serve our own right,  

  • always and unflinchingly.” At the head of this  all-important Ministry was a man named Joseph  

  • Goebbels. Goebbels was a gifted speaker and  talented propagandist, and he would go on to  

  • be the man largely responsible for the German  people's favorable opinion of the Nazi regime.

  • The Nazis' propaganda campaigns were  so successful because they targeted  

  • the weaknesses and aspirations of the different  classes of Germans. Under Goebbels' direction,  

  • the Ministry crafted unique messages for  different audiences and used advanced  

  • advertising techniques for the day to spread  their nefarious ideas throughout German society.

  • The military rearmament campaign wasclear violation of the Versailles treaty,  

  • but also created many jobs in a struggling  economy, and helped the Nazis secure the support  

  • of the working classes. Messages targeting  business owners who had suffered after the  

  • war placed the blame for all of Germany's  recent troubles on communists and Jews,  

  • and claimed that Germany had been stabbed in the  back and betrayed by foreign aggressors after  

  • World War 1. The key themes of propaganda  targeting the middle and upper classes  

  • focused on the supposed purity and  racial supremacy of the German people.

  • Nazi propaganda infiltrated  all areas of German life,  

  • from education and industry to science and  entertainment, and the ministry used all forms  

  • of media to spread their messages and present  Germany as thedefenderof Western culture.  

  • Art and music, radio, film and theatre were  all harnessed to further the Nazis' agenda.

  • Everything from the Nazis' uniforms to the party's  strict hierarchy echoed a strong military theme,  

  • and appealed to Germans who wanted to regain  the country's former glory as a military power.  

  • War was glorified as a way for Germans to  avenge themselves against their enemies,  

  • and a propaganda campaign rebranded the post-war  years as part of a 30-years war, one that started  

  • in 1914 with the onset of World War 1, and one  that wouldn't end until Germany was victorious  

  • and restored to its former glory. Painted in this  light, the Nazis were able to convince the German  

  • public that their enemies were planning to attack  them at any moment, and the Nazis' were able to  

  • claim that the invasion of Poland at the start  of World War 2 was simply an act of self defence.

  • This militaristic theme was on prominent  display during the many rallies held by Hitler.  

  • Nazi Party Rallies were held annually in  Nuremburg to display the power and might  

  • of the Nazi regime and gain popular support for  the party. Often lasting for more than a week,  

  • thousands of spectators would flood the  fairgrounds to attend folk festivals  

  • and watch parades of specially-selected SS  and military tropps who best represented  

  • the Arayan ideal as they marched through the  grounds, turning to Hitler, who was situated  

  • at the very top of the massive grandstands, to  recognize him with the signature Nazi salute.

  • The Nazis knew that it wasn't enough to convince  adult Germans to follow them - they had to target  

  • the next generation of Germans and turn them into  devoted Nazis, too. In 1937, Hitler outlawed the  

  • Boy Scouts and all other youth groups except for  his own version - the Hitler Youth. Under the  

  • guise of typical scouting activities like hikingcamping and survival training, the Hitler Youth  

  • was a way for the Nazis to remove children from  the influence of their parents and indoctrinate  

  • them in their anti-semetic ideology. The program  was so effective that many children would denounce  

  • their parents or even report them for behaving  in ways that the Nazis considered unacceptable,  

  • such as being tolerant towards Jews. The  real goal of the Hitler Youth, though,  

  • was to create more soldiers for the German armyand over time the boys' branch of the group became  

  • more and more militaristic, training young boys  to march, handle weapons and prepare for war.

  • The Nazis had complete power over German  newspapers and were able to control what  

  • news the German people read. They used newspapers  like Die Sturmer - “The Attacker” - to further  

  • their anti-semetic agenda, especially in periods  prior to the passage of anti-semetic legislation.  

  • Before the 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws were  enacted, the Nazis used newspapers extensively  

  • to gain acceptance - or at least tolerance - of  their new racist policies. Under the new laws,  

  • anyone with 3 or 4 Jewish grandparentsregardless of whether they were practicing Judaism  

  • or self-identified with their Jewish rootswere excluded from citizenship, denied political  

  • rights, and forbidden from marrying anyone of  German blood. Graphic cartoons in Die Sturmer  

  • portrayed Jews as hideous and frightening subhuman  enemies of the German people, obsessed with money,  

  • sex and power. The Nazis were portrayed as  simply stepping in to restore order, and the  

  • German people were encouraged to stand aside and  passively accept their horrible treatment of Jews.

  • One of the Nazis greatest propaganda  weapons was the film industry. The Nazis  

  • were suspicious at first, since they thought  that the film industry was controlled by Jews,  

  • but Goebbels saw the opportunity to influence the  thoughts and beliefs of the German people through  

  • film. He purged the industry ofundesirables”,  and offered high profile positions and unlimited  

  • resources to those who were loyal to the Nazi  cause. Some films focused on depicting Germans  

  • as racially, culturally and militarily superior  and glorified the Nazi Party. One of Goebbels'  

  • favorite directors was Leni Riefenstahland she directed many films for the Nazis,  

  • including Triumph of the Will, an aesthetically  pleasing film covering the 1934 Nazi Party rally.  

  • Other films had a darker theme. The Eternal Jewdirected by Fritz Hippler, demonized the Jewish  

  • people as subhuman, wandering cultural parasites  who were bent on destroying German culture.

  • In the years leading up to the start of World  War 2, the Nazis were making little effort to  

  • hide their violations of the Versailles treaty  and were being incredibly blatant about their  

  • horrific ideas and plans. So, why  did no one stop them? In short,  

  • their propaganda machine was working just as hard  outside of Germany as it was within the country.  

  • In the days before the internet, it was much  easier for governments to control the narrative  

  • and take charge of what outsiders were  allowed to see about the inner workings  

  • of their country. They took steps  to mislead foreign governments into  

  • thinking that the Nazis were simply making  reasonable demands to rebuild their country,  

  • while downplaying their anti-semetic rhetoric  and increasingly violent treatment of Jews.

  • Just 3 years before the onset of World War 2,  Nazi Germany hosted the 1936 Olypmic Games,  

  • inviting the world into their country in the  midst of their remilitarization and anti-semtism.  

  • This event was yet another grand propaganda  campaign, designed to fool the world and  

  • bolster the German people. Though Jewish-German  athletes were forbidden to compete in the Games,  

  • the Nazis toned down their anti-semetic  rhetoric in the papers and radio,  

  • and they cleaned up their cities, removing  “Jews Unwelcomesigns and blatantly racist  

  • posters. Visiting athletes and delegates  were blissfully unaware of the true extent  

  • of the Nazis' hatred for the Jews and their  increasingly violent treatment of them. Beloved  

  • Nazi film director Leni Riefenstahl filmed the  entire event for use as pro-German and pro-Nazi  

  • propaganda in the months and years to comeshowcasing the Nazis as heroic leaders who  

  • had turned their country around and had shown  the world how superior the German people were.

  • Later, as World War 2 dragged on, the world  finally began hearing whispered rumors of the  

  • atrocities being committed in Nazi concentration  camps. The propaganda machine once again went  

  • to work to quash these reports. The Nazis went  so far as to allow the International Red Cross  

  • to visit one of these camp-ghettos, inviting  representatives to tour Theresienstadt camp in  

  • modern Czech Republic. There, Red Cross officials  saw a respectable, if crowded, ghetto where Jewish  

  • residentswere treated benevolently, fed  adequately, and put to work under humane  

  • conditions. The Nazis even made a film about the  camp to reassure the German public that nothing  

  • sinister was going on. But, it was all liesIn reality, the camp had undergone an extensive  

  • beautification campaign prior to the visit, and as  soon as filming was over, thecast” - A.K.A. the  

  • prisoners - were rounded up and shipped off to the  notorious Auschwitz death camp for extermination.

  • Thankfully, in the end, the Nazis lost World War  2, and both Hitler and Goebbels commited suicide  

  • in an underground bunker to avoid being held  accountable for their crimes. In the aftermath of  

  • the war the reality of the atrocities committed in  the Nazi death camps were made known to the world  

  • so that, hopefully, we can avoid repeating themUnderstanding propaganda is the first line of  

  • defence against ever again allowing a brutal and  hateful dictator to commit such horrible crimes.

  • It may have been easier to control the message  in the 1930s, but the internet age presents its  

  • own challenges when it comes to fake newsdisinformation and propaganda. According to  

  • Simon Fraser University in Canada, there are some  simple steps we can all take to spot propaganda  

  • and avoid falling victim to it. In the  immediate aftermath of a big news event,  

  • the news outlets will always get it  wrong - wait for more information. Don't  

  • trust anonymous sources or sources  that only cite other news outlets,  

  • and take the time to compare multiple sourcesPay close attention to the language used by media  

  • outlets - for example, the phraseWe are getting  reports…” could mean anything at all. And finally,  

  • some of this is on us. Beware of reflexive  sharing - don't share sensational news on  

  • social media based on your first reaction, do your  due diligence before hitting that share button.

  • Following these steps can help to ensure  that nothing like Hitler's propaganda machine  

  • can be allowed to manufacture outragesow hatred or incite violence ever again.

  • If you thought this video was fascinating  and horrifying, just wait until you see  

  • our other videos, like this video called  “The World War 2 Nazi Breeding Plan”. Or,  

  • maybe this other video is for you.

  • As always, thanks for watching, and don't  forget to like, share and subscribe!

  • See you next time!

Clickbait, misinformation, so-called fake newsif 2020 feels a bit like a propaganda nightmare,  

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How Hitler Built His Propaganda Machine

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    Summer posted on 2021/01/17
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