Adolf Hitler and Nazi Propaganda

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Propaganda can be defined as the information that is spread with the aim of promoting some cause. This usually involves the masterminds of the propaganda taking advantage of the people they want to influence to achieve their personal goals. Political leaders have been the great utilizers of propaganda strategies to sway masses to their side. Germany also at one time became an aggressor country due to the role that was played by propaganda. The holocaust of 1941 to 1945 occurred when the oppressor government maliciously executed propaganda which promoted crime against the Jews, Romani people, homosexuals, communists and protesters, and the Germans with mental and physical disabilities who were viewed as people that could not contribute to the success of Germany. The masterminds behind the success of propaganda were Adolf Hitler (Der Fuhrer) and Joseph Göbbels. These two individuals and their Nazi party tactfully thought of how they could convince the Germans into their political scheme that was based on manipulative lies and hatred. To win over people, the Nazi government first of all eliminated independent media such that they had full control of what people could hear; people were only fed propaganda from all the media mainstreams and this actually worked in favor of the Nazi. This research paper therefore attempts to look at the brief history of holocaust, how the Nazi defined their enemies, how Hitler was glorified in the process of propaganda plan, and how the Nazi rallied the masses against the Jews.

Brief History of Holocaust

The Holocaust was the mass murder of people mostly Jews by the Nazi Germany and its associates during World War II. The planner and controller of Nazi propaganda was Adolf Hitler as the Chancellor of Germany assisted by Joseph Göbbels. Hitler just after being appointed the Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933 under Nazi Party began the elimination of independent media and any person that did not conform to the Nazi ideologies[1]. Nazi accomplished their missions through combined application of forceful political arrests and exiling of the nonconformists.

The prevailing conditions during this time gave Hitler and his associates a leeway into perfect execution of their propaganda. They took advantage of the following extravagantly exaggerated themes[2]; the flaws of Weimer parliamentary republic, mortification of the Germany and the unjustness of the Versailles Treaty, the ‘wickedness’ of Jewry world, Capitalism, and Bolshevism which opposed the Nazi. The above situations were elucidated by the Nazi to the common Germans. Nazism or National Socialism was therefore the ‘perfect’ ideology at that time. Nazi had their own perspective on how the Germans should live, which was to make Germans to rise as a country and claim their position as the superior race of the earth. Hitler had a background history in art and most of their messages were mostly expressed by various forms of art. The maniac belief during this time was that hatred and destruction to their adversaries was the only option to their justice, freedom, and prosperity. While the common themes were the exaggerated belief on the humiliation of Germans, weakness of Weimar Republic and the evilly of the anti-Nazi Germans, there were also the underlying themes of deification of Hitler, justification of treatment and definition of the Nazi enemies, and rallying the masses.

Definition of Nazi Enemies (Jews)

There were various approaches used by the Nazi on how Jews could be described. Some articles made use of imagery to describe Jews as the poisonous mushrooms[3]. Jews were like toadstools that were hard to differentiate with the mushrooms and just as it was poisonous to consume poisonous mushrooms, so were people encouraged to be careful with the poisonous Jews who might result in their death. Children were brought up with this imbued hatred towards the Jews as lessons were taught in schools on how they could be identified. People were encouraged not to seek any kind of service from the Jews ranging from the medical services to commercial dealings, not even the baptized Jew was good according to the Nazi propaganda. The propaganda against Jews was spread to everyone so as to ‘enlighten’ them about the danger that might arise due to their association with them. Jews were given all manner of contemptible description so as to promote the hatred. According to the propaganda, a Jews must have at least any of these descriptions; bent nose at the tip resembling figure six, usually middle sized with short curved legs with flat foots, they usually have low slanting foreheads resembling those of criminals thus qualifying them to be criminals, their hairs are usually curved like those of Negroes, their lips are puffed up, their eyebrows are thicker and more fleshy, and their ears are big and similar to the handle of a coffee cup. 

All manner of disgusting jokes were also made about Jews making them appeal to ones’ sense of hatred. Talmud is the assemblage of ancient rabbinic writings on the laws and traditions of the Jewish that established the basis of religious confidence in Orthodox Judaism. Selected parts of the Talmud were addressed to the people to show how the Jews did not recognize other people as humans but rather animals. Their propaganda claimed that Jews Talmud[4] recognized work as disgrace and injurious to physical and mental health and that the gentiles were created to work for the Jews. Nazi propaganda also claimed that Jews were permitted by their Talmud to lie to the non-Jews and smuggle at their convenience. The Nazi propaganda made use of anything that they could use to discredit the Jews. Tales were told of how German peasants were driven out from houses and farms by the Jews, how patients who went to seek medical attention from Jewish doctors found sickness and shame instead of cure, how Jews treated their domestic workers as slaves, how Jewish lawyers tricked those who seek their legal advice, how Jews were animal tormentors, and how Jesus Christ described Jews as murderers of men from the beginning and that their father is the devil himself; a symbol of cross was therefore to act as a reminder of the gross wickedness of the Jews. In all these works that described the Jews, their only conclusion is that there is no decent Jew and that without solving the questions that surrounded Jews there will be no salvation that will come for mankind. The Nazi loyalists therefore believed that elimination of the Jews was the only way through which salvation could come to the world[5].

Deification of Hitler

Hitler was portrayed as a messianic figure in various print and poster media that were used by the Nazi, a common one being the movie titled "Triumph des Willens" or "Triumph of the Will". Most of the posters that were associated with the creation of cult of personality surrounding Hitler contained the appearance of halo[6]

around him. There was also the presence of winged birds and wreath of flowers in such pictures that added the angelic characteristics of Hitler. Such drawings and pictures that contained angelic features served to draw the attention of the viewers. Der Fuhrer was thus the messiah that would ‘deliver’ the Aryan Germans from the ‘evil’ Jews. Hitler tactfully knew how to condition his followers to the unpleasantness of the Jewish. Below is what Hitler had to say about the objective of propaganda:

"The first duty of the propagandist is to win over people who can subsequently be taken into the organization. And the first duty of the organization is to select and train men who will be capable of carrying on the propaganda. The second duty of the organization is to disrupt the existing order of things and thus make room for the penetration of the new teaching which it represents, while the duty of the organizer must be to fight for the purpose of securing power, so that the doctrine may finally triumph."[7]

Such malice strategies convinced many people to join military voluntarily to help in fighting their common enemies that were ‘impeding’ their progress.

Rallying the Mass

As has been mentioned above, Adolf Hitler and his associates perfected the use of art to spread their Nazi propaganda. They exhausted other means like posters, radios, movies, and the press to ensure their propaganda reached a wider population. The creation of Reichskulturkammer, or Reich Chamber of Culture, in September 22, 1933 was tasked with imposing Nazi’s control over the entire German creative life[8]. Reich Chamber of Culture had various chambers for radio performers, musicians, actors, authors, and journalists. Creation of the Propaganda Ministry through the Reichpressekammer led to the full control of the Reich Association of the German Press and entry into the media profession was highly regulated. To serve as a correspondent or an editor, you must first be admitted and approved by the Reichpressekammer and their disapproval or dismissal from this organization was equivalent to losing career in media industry for a lifetime. Otto Dietrich was the head of the Propaganda Ministry’s press department who was also the second after Joseph Göbbels. Propaganda Ministry observed control of everything that was published by newspapers through the Deutsches Nachrichtenbuero (DNB). Below are the examples of the common means the Nazi spread anti-Jewish propaganda[9];

Posters-This was the most common anti-Jewish propaganda platform since it could permeate through many parts of Germany. Various images were drawn that ridiculed the Jews accompanied by various demeaning messages about Jewish.

Comics-Several Newspapers that were supporting the Nazi on several accounts included cartoons and comics in their publications that portray the Jews as harmful and lesser humans.

Articles and essays-Various articles in the pamphlets and periodicals ran on slogans and imitations of cartoons to ridicule the Jews. Most argumentative essays lacked educational sense but provided various reasons why people should hate and be suspicious of the Jew.

Film-Various movie plays were full of inflammatory messages to the Jews and it indoctrinated the Nazi loyalists with real impressions of hating Jewish. Example of such film was the Jud Süss.

Art exhibitions-Several art exhibitions depicting Jews as degenerate were shown for free at several parts of the German cities. People would come from various places to see such images and get the intended message.


From the research paper Nazi propaganda made use of various euphemisms against the Jews to convince the masses to join hands with the Nazi government in eliminating the Jews. These lies about the Jews were made openly with no criticism due to full control the Nazi government had over the media. Nazi propaganda had the central theme of the wickedness of the Jews and the need of the Aryan German in conquering the world. In the process of promotion of the propaganda, Adolf Hitler became idolized as the savior to the Germans and was thus the only person that would liberate them from the ‘evil’ Jews.

Works Cited

Herf, Jeffrey, “The “Jewish War”: Goebbels and the Anti-Semitic Campaigns of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry”, University of Maryland 2005, p.57

Accessed 20 Nov. 2018

Hiemer, Ernst, “The Poisonous Mushroom: A children's book”, 1938, Accessed 20 Nov. 2018

Land, Graham, “5 Examples of Anti-Jewish Propaganda in Nazi Germany”, History Hit, August 13, 2018, Accessed 20 Nov. 2018

Narayanaswami, Karthik, “Analysis of Nazi Propaganda”. 2010 Accessed 20 Nov. 2018


Narayanaswami, Karthik, “Analysis of Nazi Propaganda”. 2010

[2]Ibid., p.2


Hiemer, Ernst, “The Poisonous Mushroom: A children's book”, 1938, p.1


Hiemer, Ernst, “The Poisonous Mushroom: A children's book”, 1938, p.4


Herf, Jeffrey, “The “Jewish War”: Goebbels and the Anti-Semitic Campaigns of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry”, University of Maryland 2005, p.57


Narayanaswami, Karthik, “Analysis of Nazi Propaganda”. 2010


Ibid., p.1  


Narayanaswami, Karthik, “Analysis of Nazi Propaganda”. 2010


Land, Graham, “5 Examples of Anti-Jewish Propaganda in Nazi Germany”, History Hit, August 13, 2018,

November 13, 2023

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