Propaganda and the German people

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
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Javey74
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Propaganda and the German people

Postby Javey74 » 09 Jun 2018 17:24

I've never fully understood the use of this word. I'm assuming it must have had a different effect with people in the 40s, but to me propaganda means truth mixed with lies.

Today if someone said propaganda to me I would say "Yeah don't believe it." I think that's where the phrase came from. "It's all Propaganda".

So why did the German People believe it. I suspect that there were Germans that didn't, but the majority did. Surely people can't be that gullible to believe everything they are told or shown.

I think today's aquivalent would be called "Spin". But today people are wise to it and know not to take it verbatim.

Anyone else any thoughts on this?
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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Waleed Y. Majeed » 09 Jun 2018 18:51

Maybe you should ask a North Korean if he/she believes in propaganda. I think if you restrict free information and thereby peoples ability to choose for themselves, you can control them by means of propaganda even today.

waleed

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Javey74
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Javey74 » 09 Jun 2018 21:00

Well Kim Jong Un is a dictator like Hitler, and yes you could turn his regime into another Nazi Party. He would be a modern day Hitler in certain ways with his own country brainwashed.

Any free democratic country like mine have links to the outside world and this is informative knowledge. Enough knowledge not to get brainwashed by your own government.

You have a point! I suppose if you end up with a dictator propaganda still survives in the way the Nazi Party used it. Luckily most countries aren't. Though Putin is not far behind.

So basically if you cut your people off from the world propaganda still works. In South Korea it would not, only deserters from the North would find out the true nature of Kim's propaganda machine.

But the question now would be if they call it propaganda in North Korea or something else.

Pause for thought!
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GregSingh
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby GregSingh » 10 Jun 2018 08:30

I've never fully understood the use of this word. I'm assuming it must have had a different effect with people in the 40s, but to me propaganda means truth mixed with lies.


Exactly. We have to define it first.
For Hitler it was just a powerful tool to achieve specific goals.

From Mein Kampf:
"The first task of propaganda is to win supporters for the emerging organization."
"The second task of propaganda is to disrupt the existing political conditions using the new doctrine."

As long you have a sufficient number of "true" arguments, you don't need to borrow from "lies" bag. Choice is yours.

Maybe you should ask a North Korean if he/she believes in propaganda


Mostly they don't. But they behave as they do. The same goes for Germans in WWII and for anyone, anywhere, anytime. It's called survival instinct. Not many are capable of going against the totalitarian state. We all probably know the names of those who ever did, list of names is short.

So basically if you cut your people off from the world propaganda still works.


Disagree. Receiving more noise from "outside" has nothing to do with your personal ability to separate right from wrong.
What you're going to do with this knowledge makes all the difference.

But today people are wise


I'm sure you did not mean this! :D
Perhaps you meant "more educated", etc.
Just because you can easily travel, have instant access to information, have more possibilities in education, does not mean you are wiser!
You have to use your brain rather than repeat what everyone else repeats around.

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Javey74
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Javey74 » 10 Jun 2018 12:00

Good response. Yeah I used the word 'wise' loosely, as in wised up, more knowledgeable or informed or educated as you say.

Thanks for the addition.
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Mannheim
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Mannheim » 10 Jun 2018 23:29

I think the problem with this word is that we tend to define it it terms of modern usage. I also wondered why the Nazis would be so frank as to admit to using propaganda but I believe that at the time the word - at least in German usage - did not have the negative connotations that it does today. As we know, Goebbels' Ministry was called the "Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda" and I believe that German use of the time probably originated in the original Latin use of the verb 'to propagate'. Thus I imagine that the German meaning of the term was more likely to be "Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Dissemination" although it's quite clear from the utterances of both Hitler and Goebbels that there was to be no discussion as to what was being disseminated.

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Gorque
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Gorque » 11 Jun 2018 00:16

Smash the oppostion, keep repeating that the rest of the world is against your nation (besiegement mentality), control the newspapers and the then nascent radio and telephone technology, control each and every organiztion down to youth sports and knitting clubs, decry your ideological opponents as traitors and/or foreign agents and atomize the society through the use of secret police and the encouragement of reporting on ones neighbors. I think I missed a few.

Stiltzkin
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Stiltzkin » 11 Jun 2018 00:51

Well, usually it is "us versus them", or take the famous "Dolchstoßlegende" for instance post WW1, or perhaps the "humiliation".
A constant atmosphere of fear (possible invasions, denounciations, espionage, persecutions etc.) is created and everyday life is politicized/militarized. Executive, legistlative and judicative branches are under full control. Opposition is suppressed or eradicated, the Nazis preferred to imprison social democrats in "Zuchthäusern" for special political education (or indoctrination).
Political, socio economic factors can play a role but propaganda might be more effective in different cultural spheres. It can be tied to a certain mentality, Asian societies are more collectivist, hence communism was widely accepted.
Germany was always more authoritarian, nationalistic and conservative. Democractic roots existed but they could not sprout. Feudal systems ("for king and country") usually expected members of the society to sacrifice themselves in times of war.
Sport can be a mighty tool as well, observe the olympic games in 1936.

I believe that it is also a choice. The United States were hit just as hard by the recession and did not turn into a fascist regime.

Education is a good counter to propaganda and due to the internet, dictatorships have a harder time to control wich information might reach their respective populations, hence it will probably transform and give it a "modern paint job", but every dictatorship has a support of an elite, which usually benefits and adjusts to the leading class.
Modern dictatorships try to mimic democracies and pretend that there is no difference, fooling the outsider, or they project their actions on the democractic country, "you are no better than us", e.g. the Nazis liked to pick up the story of the natives and confront america with it, to justify their own decisions.

Hitler was the (or at least one) prototype of the modern demagogue, he differed slightly from the tyrants centuries ago, in which his sovereignty was widely established by the masses. The Prussian general Staff and some of the Industrials like Bosch never liked him and observed his steep career with suspicion.

In terms of literature, noteworthy are Hannah Arendt (Eichmann trials) and Sternberger, who analyzed the German propaganda machinery, Max Weber is a good source for the late 19th century.

Nowdays the CPI is probably the best indicator for freedom of speech and press. https://www.transparency.org/news/featu ... index_2017

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Javey74
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Javey74 » 12 Jun 2018 00:15

There are some great reasoning's behind a lot of the explanations given here. Very informative!

Thank you for all of your contributions!
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Michael Kenny » 12 Jun 2018 01:17

Javey74 wrote:Any free democratic country like mine have links to the outside world and this is informative knowledge. Enough knowledge not to get brainwashed by your own government.


You think?
Today we have 'strong men' who lie to get elected and then ratchet up the lies when elected. These types pander to their base (which is a minority) and make no effort to try and convert the opposition. They rely on having a big enough base that can negate the many opposition groups that together outnumber them. An 'educated' voter is of no help when he is cancelled out by an 'uneducated voter' who believes 'education' itself is a bad thing.
The current world is under threat from elected dictators.

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Javey74
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Javey74 » 12 Jun 2018 09:53

Mine as in the UK. Give me examples of the people you are talking about within the British Government.
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Michael Kenny » 12 Jun 2018 13:50

Javey74 wrote:Mine as in the UK. Give me examples of the people you are talking about within the British Government.


There are none at present as their Party imploded at the last Election. Currently the debris from this group are all now working full-time for a US news network as the go-to experts on the decline and destruction of the 'western way of life' in the UK.

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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby Michael Kenny » 12 Jun 2018 13:59

Michael Kenny wrote:
Javey74 wrote:Mine as in the UK. Give me examples of the people you are talking about within the British Government.


There are none at present as their Party imploded at the last Election. Currently the debris from this group are all now working full-time for a US news network as the go-to experts on the decline and destruction of the 'western way of life' in the UK.
As for free access to news and information the UK press is highly partisan in that it leans overwhelming towards one Political Party. To counter this the other side has set up two of its own 'highly partisan' Internet news 'newspapers'. Now the devoted fans of both extremes have their own little bubbles where they are spoon feed what they want to hear with no silliness like 'balance' to distract them.
If you want to see this polarisation in action watch out for the upcoming bun-fight over the audience figures at this weekends 'Jez-Fest'

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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby ljadw » 12 Jun 2018 14:52

Javey74 wrote:I've never fully understood the use of this word. I'm assuming it must have had a different effect with people in the 40s, but to me propaganda means truth mixed with lies.

Today if someone said propaganda to me I would say "Yeah don't believe it." I think that's where the phrase came from. "It's all Propaganda".

So why did the German People believe it. I suspect that there were Germans that didn't, but the majority did. Surely people can't be that gullible to believe everything they are told or shown.

I think today's aquivalent would be called "Spin". But today people are wise to it and know not to take it verbatim.

Anyone else any thoughts on this?

You are giving propaganda an importance it does not have .
It is not a question if the German people believed or not Goebbels: they didn't read what he was writing and did not listen to what he was saying .
To remain in power,a dictator needs 3 things :
First,and the most important, results: withoutpositive results he will not last .
Second : a secret police to prevent opponents from becoming dangerous .
Finally ,and the least important,propaganda to highlight his successes and hide his failures .
But without results, secret police and propaganda will not suffice .
Most people will, faced by the choice between food and democracy, chose food , because you can survive without democracy, but not without food .

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Re: Propaganda and the German people

Postby South » 12 Jun 2018 16:25

Good morning Javey 74 and all,

Ref the word; do you really think propaganda had a different effect with people in the 1940s ?

The 1940s German environment was different but the propaganda methods and techniques were the same although getting developed with more sophistication.

Think of the experiments by Ivan Pavlov and his "conditioned response".

Besides the word "propaganda", think of the terms "opinion molding" and " power and influence".

One technique of propaganda is "an appeal to emotions". There's a 1930s-era American example about allegations that a New Deal (FDR themed-program) photographer had inserted the skull of a steer into photographs of parched agricultural lands to accentuate the sense of suffering". It did work.

There's a principle in forensic psychiatry that different people assign different meanings to the SAME word, term, phrase or symbol. A contemporary American example of this involves the Confederate battle flag. Another example here in the States relA basic bookates to "Congressional hearings".

A basic, non-technical book is "POWER AND INFLUENCE-Mastering the Art of Persuasion", Robert L. Dilenschneider, President,CEO, Hill and Knowlton, Inc, 1990, ISBN: 0-13-464041-1. I remember when Equatorial Guinea retained their services. Soon after some US export embargoes were removed.

During the Weimar Republic, similar matters took place.

After getting into this field, the word "disinformation" also presents a field of study.


~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA


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