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Nazi Film Propaganda Essay

958 words - 4 pages

Propaganda is the art form of persuasion which means that it takes aim at people’ behavior, thoughts and provide them new information. World leaders make propaganda now and they did before. One of the countries which propagandized their ideas well is Nazi Germany. The thing that makes them special is Nazi Germany had a “Ministry of Propaganda” which was led by Paul Joseph Goebbels. The mission of this ministry was “to censor all opposition to Hitler and present the chancellor and the Nazi Party in the most positive light while stirring up hatred for Jewish people.”(HISTORY.COM) He was the one of the close friends of Nazi Germany’s Führer, Adolph Hitler. Goebbels, who appointed himself "Patron of the German film", and Adolf Hitler realized the power of films and they used cinema as propaganda.

Goebbels and Hitler thought that the most effective way of propaganda is using film. In 1994, Goebbels said: “The film is one of the most modern and far-reaching media that there is for influencing the masses.” Moreover, Hitler was a movie fan. “He(Hitler) cultivated friendships with actors and filmmakers and often screened films as after-dinner entertainment. Even more fascinated with the cinema was his powerful Minister of Propaganda, Dr. Josef Goebbels, who controlled the arts during the Nazi Era. Goebbels watched films every day and socialized with filmmakers.”(5) Hitler thought that “Propaganda for the masses had to be simple, it had to aim at the lowest level of intelligence, and it had to be repeated many times concentrating on such emotional elements as love and hatred.” The effect that film had on them was great due to the dual usage of the senses as compared to the other forms of media. Both Goebbels and Hitler were movie fan and their point of view against propaganda suits into film so it is not a surprise that they chose film as a propaganda tool.
To start propagandizing by using films, Goebbels bought “three main film producing companies, Ufa, Tobis and Bavaria, and two important smaller firms, Terra and Froelich”(3) on behalf of Ministry of Propaganda. “Furthermore, due to high production costs, producers inevitably turned to the Propaganda Ministry to invite them to buy shares with the film companies.”

Goebbels believed that influencing youth is easier and more important than influencing old people because young people tend to think and query more so it is easy to manipulate young brains. Therefore, Nazi party obliged the youths to visit the cinema weekly as well as special films that screened at Youth Film Hours.(3) Young people tend to watch films more instead of reading books, magazines or newspaper. In Nazi Germany it was same and Goebbels wanted to use this to make youth to keep faith Hitler. To illustrate, in “Hitler Youth Quex”, which was described by Joseph Goebbels as the "first large-scale" transmission of Nazi ideology using the medium of cinema(6), there is a boy who joined Hitler Youth movement despite of his father who was...

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