Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nazi Propaganda - Final History essay - yay!

A wise man will build his house upon strong foundations, or, to word the proverb in a different way, a wise leader will build his political power upon strong and existing beliefs. Historians have questioned how an obscure Austrian beer-hall agitator could become the leader of a great nation and possess the support of many of the German people; others have gone on to question how Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party retained this support, genuine or assumed, first during peace and then during war.[1] Jay Baird argues that an intrinsic part of the Nazi Party’s success was the ability of its leaders, primarily Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, to merge the themes of traditional German biases and patriotism with Nazi ideological motifs.[2] By anchoring National Socialist ideology upon existing German beliefs, the Nazis hoped to legitimise their regime, to create acceptance for ideologically based policies that would become increasingly radical as time passed, and to make the concepts of the National Socialist state and the German nation virtually indistinguishable in the minds of the public. These aims were still of vital importance on 1 September 1939 when World War II began and so was the propaganda that could be used to achieve them. Words alone cannot win a war, propaganda takes its place among other considerations such as military might, resources, production, and tactical strategy; propaganda can, however, help to ensure that a war remains focussed on external enemies and military success (or failure) rather than being undermined by active resistance at home. The identification between public and state that Nazi propaganda sought to create during the years of peace was a key factor in ensuring, during the war, that while support for Hitler and the regime would crumble, it did not collapse entirely.

When Hitler wrote Mein Kampf [My Struggle] he believed that propaganda was an essential means of attracting support for a regime and achieving at least passive recognition and understanding of its ideological aims.[3] It could be used to gain the heart of the masses and, ultimately, to win increasing numbers of active advocates who were willing to fight for and defend the ideology that the regime represented.[4] Accordingly, when Hitler came to power he created the Ministry of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment [the RMVP] under the direction of Joseph Goebbels.[5] In his inaugural speech, Goebbels explained to the press that the function of the Ministry was to create an open dialogue between the people and the state.[6] The Ministry’s name reflected the new government’s desire to do more than simply enlighten the populace by providing information; it also wanted to instruct people how to interpret this information, so that government decisions could be easily understood.[7] By educating the populace about the aspirations and actions of the Nazi regime, the RMVP hoped to stimulate a genuine sympathy for and belief in Nazi ideology that, in the long-term, could translate into active participation in achieving the regime’s goals.[8]

The message underlying Goebbels’ speech, however, was that propaganda is the “deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.”[9] Propaganda does not necessarily require misinformation or lies but it does require a selective filtering of the truth and the use of appropriate biases; Goebbels’ speech was an example of state policy being presented as benefiting the people although it was the Nazis that were really the intended beneficiaries. In order to maximise the Party’s influence over the German public, Goebbels sought to centralise ideological and actual control of German media under the RMVP.[10] Propaganda is most effective when it is able to create a common cognitive environment; in this way certain ideas or values become so consistently prevalent that they can become internalised and appear normal.[11] By regulating the content of the German media to present a consistent, cohesive ideology and banning alternative or critical viewpoints, it was possible for the RMVP to influence belief often on an unconscious level.[12] For instance, the film Jud Süss (1940), with its anti-Semitic theme, carried an obvious propagandist message but the light-hearted romances and comedies that made up the majority of German films produced under the Nazis had to pass equally stringent censorship.[13] These films, produced for entertainment, seemed to audiences to lack overt propagandist themes but they still selectively reinforced the social and economic order desired by the Nazis, for instance by endorsing marriage or romanticising military life.[14]

The Nazi ideology present in these films, and elsewhere in the German media, did not significantly change when war began, however, the necessity of reacting to changing circumstances did mean that ideological themes could be adjusted, suppressed or expanded in their scope. The function of Nazi propaganda during the war was still to integrate individuals within a National Socialist ideology and to create support for governmental policies and actions. Aristotle Kallis argues that integration can be psychologically achieved through positive or negative ideological themes; the first appeals to desire and the latter creates fear.[15] Nazi propaganda prior to the war had used both positive and negative integration but had predominantly focussed on the former.[16] When war broke out, it was necessary to adjust these negative integration themes to new circumstances. The Nazi-Soviet Pact of Non-Aggression meant that it was no longer advisable to include anti-Bolshevik themes in German media, however, as anti-Bolshevism was considered a key part of Nazi ideology, the media was not permitted to speak positively of the Soviets either.[17] Instead, propaganda focussed on France, a traditional enemy, and plutocratic Britain as being stirred against Germany by international Jewry; the anti-Semitism used to link Germany’s enemies also linked the negative themes of wartime propaganda to those propagated pre-war.[18] Constancy in propaganda was also assured by Germany’s military successes in the early years of the war; as in peace, the RMVP was able to focus on positive integration and was able to gain support for the war through reinforcing positive ideological themes.[19]

The government’s awareness that the populace did not desire war meant that domestic propaganda produced by the RMVP carefully portrayed each new offensive strategy as being defensive.[20] The Wehrmacht’s [Armed Forces] actions were presented as pre-emptive counterattacks against strong enemies poised to assault Germany, rather than as aggressive manoeuvres.[21] War was shown as an unfortunate necessity but one that could greatly benefit Germany and her people. In this way war was linked to the positive ideological themes promoted during peace; Germany would fight to defend itself and at the same time could win additional lebensraum (living space) and glory.[22] In 1942, Goebbels wrote in his weekly article for Das Reich that the “limitless fields of the east” contained enough corn to feed Germany and all of Europe; the war would allow Germany to gain fresh fertile lands and vital resources with which to support itself.[23] The necessity of Germany’s territorial expansion was linked to Nazi racial myths of Aryan physical and cultural superiority. [24] Germany’s mission as culture-bearers, passively promoted during peace was promoted as being actualised during the war.[25]

The RMVP united the different themes of positive integration exhibited in domestic propaganda within two focal points.[26] The first of these was the greater German Volk [people]; the concept of Volksgemeinschaft, a united people working together for a common cause and for mutual benefit, was central to Nazi ideology both prior to and during the war.[27] Propaganda campaigns, such as the ‘One Pot Supper’ and Winterhilfesspende [Winter Aid], that involved mass participation were considered by the regime as symbols of having successfully created a National Socialist society that cared for its members and could work together to build a better future.[28] The second of these focal points, which the concept of the Volk was subjugated to, was Germany’s Führer [leader], Adolf Hitler. Ian Kershaw has written extensively about the creation of the ‘Hitler myth’, which began in the late 1920s.[29] Nazi propaganda spent years prior to the war creating Hitler as a mythic symbol; he was presented as a saviour, prophet, statesman, and father to the people.[30] During the early years of the war all military successes were attributed to his personal genius and he was described as a brilliant military leader.[31] The RMVP’s aim to combine the Nazi Socialist state and Germany as a nation into a single, indivisible concept in the minds of the people was reflected in propaganda that described the armed forces as “soldier(s) of Adolf Hitler” who were “ready to fight and die for the Führer”; Germany and Hitler had become interchangeable terms in German media.[32]

Unfortunately, the ideas of the Führer and victory also became indivisible in the minds of the public.[33] This proved problematic when, from the fall of Stalingrad in 31 January 1943, the war began to turn against Germany and victory no longer appeared certain.[34] Hitler’s decision to go to war with the Soviet Union, on 22 June 1941, would prove to be a decisive turning point in the war; mismanagement of military strategy, ultimately, led to German forces failing to control the Eastern Front, allowing Soviet troops to advance on Germany. In turn, mismanagement of propaganda strategies relating to the Eastern Front, compounded by later military failures, resulted in a growing estrangement between the regime and the German people.[35] The announcement of war with the Soviet Union mirrored earlier aggressive actions, the Soviets were portrayed as traitors who had been preparing to strike at Germany and when Hitler discovered this, a pre-emptive strike had been ordered.[36] The RMVP was now able to renew anti-Bolshevist themes, however, there were differences of opinion as to how these themes should be expressed.[37] Some within the Nazi Party, such as Goebbels, wanted Germany to be presented as a liberator of the ‘oppressed Eastern peoples’, others, such as Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, saw Germany as liberating land and resources from their racial inferiors, who were only suitable as slaves.[38] This resulted in the RMVP producing propaganda that lacked consistency.[39] The Soviets were portrayed as subhuman, bestial, torturers who deserved to be destroyed but also as a suffering people in primitive conditions that required German assistance.[40]

The inconsistencies within portrayals of the Soviets, and other Eastern peoples, were highlighted by the growing opportunities for the German people to interact with them.[41] Thousands of people considered to be of ‘inferior racial stock’ were brought into German controlled lands to be used as workers, predominantly on farms.[42] Those working with them soon realized that rather than meeting inferiors, they were meeting intelligent, hard-workers who often shared the same religious beliefs as them.[43] On the Eastern Front, soldiers were realizing that they were fighting soldiers as determined, intelligent and well-equipped as themselves.[44] Propaganda works best in an environment where alternative information is not available to contradict it. As the war continued, increasingly events in people’s lives were revealing information supplied by the RMVP to be false, overly confident, or inadequate.[45] This was not merely true of the Eastern Front; as bombing raids of German cities intensified, it became progressively apparent that the Luftwaffe [German Airforce] was inadequate to protect Germany from air attacks by the English and Americans.[46] Internal reports indicate there was a growing concern within the Nazi Party that state propaganda was being actively questioned by the public and compared with information obtained from other sources.[47] Morale reports, formulated by the Sicherheitsdienst [Secret Service],[48] showed that repeated delays in announcing important events occurring during the war, vague information and a fear that the government was couching setbacks within optimistic phrases prompted the public to turn to rumours, letters from soldiers, and foreign radio reports for additional information with which to form their own judgements on the war situation.[49]

As public distrust in state media increased and the German military moved, largely, onto a defensive footing, propaganda produced by the RMVP shifted from focusing primarily on positive themes to negative integration.[50] The Nazi government needed to retain at least the passive support of the populace; it needed the factories to keep producing and the soldiers to keep fighting.[51] In the final years of the war, propaganda emphasising the mythic status of Hitler and the Nazi state was intensified.[52] Despite shortages and poor working conditions, as film supplies ran out and infrastructure was destroyed by bombing raids, new films were produced that promoted Germany’s great destiny or compared Hitler with Frederick the Great, whose visionary leadership saved the Germans from defeat.[53] The government was aware, however, that support for the Nazis, and even for Hitler, was deteriorating, as victory seemed increasingly unlikely.[54] Therefore, as the Soviets began to move towards Germany, domestic propaganda sought to retain the obedience of the public through fear of the enemy.[55]

When the RMVP was first created in 1933, Goebbels expressed a desire to genuinely win the support of the German public for the Nazi Party and its ideology. In the final years of the war he was forced to realize that this no longer seemed possible, however, even if they did not love the regime it was necessary that they obey it.[56] Nazi propaganda had spent years building in the public’s mind the association of state and nation; the Nazi Party was equated with Germany itself and Nazi ideological motifs had been merged with traditional German patriotism.[57] The RMVP actively sought to remind the public that their external enemies also equated the Nazi Party with Germany. Goebbels advised that the new message that was to be present in domestic media was that ‘no matter what an individual German’s attitude was to National Socialism, everybody would have their throat cut if Germany were defeated;’ the consequences of defeat would effect everyone, not only Nazis.[58]

The RMVP began producing large amounts of propaganda detailing the atrocities committed by Soviets against those their army encountered; this ranged from accounts of the Katyn Massacre, to assaults on German non-combatants as the Soviets reached German occupied areas.[59] The aim was to produce a sense of terror within the population and a determination to continue fighting, whatever the cost, because the alternative was too horrifying to consider.[60] Years of being exposed to anti-Bolshevist propaganda, combined with the very real threat that Soviet troops posed, made the German population particularly receptive to these terror tactics.[61] Goebbels believed that if the German people were not willing to fight to defend the Nazi regime, then they would have to be convinced that they were fighting for their lives and Germany’s continued existence.[62] The Soviets, English, and Americans, unified by international Jewry, were presented as a combined enemy force determined to destroy Germany.[63] The threat these countries represented, and the fear resulting from it, was designed to unify the German people and keep them focussed on these external enemies, rather than looking inwards and potentially challenging the regime itself.

In 1945, Germany was forced to surrender to the superior military forces of the Allied nations, however, this surrender was significantly different to that offered in 1918. Despite the death of key leaders, such as Hitler, the government that surrendered was one run by Nazis; there was no revolution or domestic crisis that prompted the surrender.[64] The RMVP cannot be said to have been fully successful in its aims. When the war ended, the Nazi Party was not loved and Hitler’s cult-like status had greatly deteriorated.[65] It was only in the final year of the war that domestic propaganda was completely centralised and run along unified themes determined by the RMVP.[66] Prior to that the RMVP suffered, as did all the ministries, from the competitive conflict and duality of responsibilities that Hitler promoted in state-run bureaucracies.[67] Propaganda issued by the RMVP, for instance through the radio, could be contradicted by press releases authorised by Otto Dietrich, as Reich Press Chief and adjutant to Hitler.[68] Similarly, the daily communiqué issued by the Wehrmacht and edited personally by Hitler, often took a different, and far more positive, approach to interpreting events than did the RMVP.[69] As the war progressed the German public increasingly sought information from non-state sources and actively questioned the information they received. Yet, despite it’s failure to retain the public’s trust the RMVP proved remarkably effective in producing propaganda that integrated Germans into a Nazi-led society.[70] This, to Hitler at least, was the ultimate definition of successful propaganda, that a society would remain committed to war as the years passed and continue to turn its guns towards external enemies.[71]

The reasons explaining why there was little active resistance, in terms of sabotage or open revolution, against the Nazi regime during World War II are complex.[72] The war remains a sensitive issue in the psyche of those nations that were affected by it. It is difficult to judge how objective personal reports of thoughts, feelings or actions during the war are; under the Nazi regime there was the possibility of being reported to officials if one’s opinions conflicted with Nazi ideology and aims, after the war there was the risk of being judged and condemned by an international audience. Examining those primary sources that are available and applying general psychology indicates that there was no single reason why the German people continued to serve the regime. Some would have genuinely believed in all, or part, of the Nazi Party’s ideology and aims, especially where they incorporated patriotism.[73] Others would have gone to work, despite the bombed infrastructure and lack of transport, to retain some semblance of normality in their lives.[74] Some would have feared the consequences of failure and invasion by enemy troops.[75] Others would have feared the repercussions if they were caught acting against the regime and would have hoped to survive by simply remaining inconspicuous.[76] It is my belief, however, that the propaganda produced by the RMVP, during the years of peace and of war, did have a cumulative effect on the population and was a significant factor in causing the German people to appear to offer at least passive support to the Nazi regime until the end of the war.[77]

[1] Richard F. Schier, [Review] ‘Hitler: A Study in Tyranny’, The Western Political Quarterly, vol.6, no.3, September 1953, pp.573-5.
As the focus of this essay is on the relationship between the Nazi regime and the German people, I will be confining the essay to a consideration of domestic propaganda. I recognise that one function of the Reich Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, a function that it shared with other ministries, was that of foreign propaganda. However, a full discussion of Nazi foreign propaganda, including its purposes, methods, effectiveness and limitations is outside the scope of this brief examination of Nazi propaganda.
[2] Jay W. Baird, The Mythical World of Nazi War Propaganda 1939-1945, Minneapolis, 1974, p.4.
[3] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim and intro. D.C. Watt, London, 1992, reprint, 2001, p.529.
[4] Hitler, pp.164-7, 529.
[5] The Reichministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda [Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda], commonly abbreviated to the RMVP, was created in March 1933 after Hitler had become Chancellor.
[6] Goebbels, Joseph, ‘Speech to representatives of the press on the tasks of the Ministry for Propaganda,’ 15 March 1933, in: David Welch, The Third Reich. Politics and Propaganda, 2nd edn, London and New York, 1993, reprint 2002, p.177.
[7] Ibid. p.174.
[8] Ibid. p.173.
[9]Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell, Propaganda and persuasion, 2nd edn., Calif, 1992, p. 4.
[10] Aristotle Kallis and David Welch both offer excellent overviews of the regulation and consolidation of the German media, during the 1930s, by the RMVP.
Aristotle A. Kallis, ‘Chapter 1: Propaganda, ‘Co-ordination’ and ‘Centralisation’: The Goebbels Network in Search of a Total Empire’, Nazi Propaganda and the Second World War, Houndmills and New York, 2005, pp.17-40.
David Welch, ‘Chapter 3: Restructuring the means of communication’, The Third Reich. Politics and Propaganda, 2nd edn, London and New York, 1993, reprint 2002, pp.28-57.
[11] Kallis, p.2.
[12] For instance, the Editor’s Law, 4 October 1933, required all newspaper editors to be German citizens, classified as Aryans, and prohibited them from producing newspapers that criticized the regime; they were effectively turned into state censors.
‘Editor’s Law’, 4 October 1933, in: Welch, pp.191-3.
[13] Jud Süss, dir. Veit Harlan, Terra-Filmkunst, 1940. Welch, p.55.
[14] Welch, p.55.
[15] Kallis, pp.64-70.
[16] Welch, pp.60-72.
Norbert Frei, ‘People’s Community and War: Hitler’s Support,’ The Third Reich: Between Vision and Reality. New Perspectives on German History 1919-1945, (ed.) Hans Mommsen, Oxford and New York, 2001, pp.63-4.
[17] The Nazi-Soviet Pact of Non-Aggression was signed on 23 August 1939 and was in effect till 22 June 1941 when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
Jeremy Noakes, (ed.), Nazism 1919-1945. Volume 4, The German Home Front in World War 11. A Documentary Reader, Devon, 1998, p.473-4. Kallis, p.76.
[18] At the beginning of the war Goebbels issued directives for the media to link France, Britain and the Jews as warmongers who wished to limit German freedom. The media were to show that it was necessary for Germany to defend itself and prevent further shameful restrictions like those contained in the Treaty of Versailles. ‘Conference Notes’, 17 September 1939, in: Noakes, p.471.
Baird, pp.98, 116-7, 120-1. Kallis, pp.72-6.
[19] Ernest K. Bramsted, Goebbels and National Socialist Propaganda, 1925-1945, East Lansing, 1965, p.233. Noakes, p.466. Welch, pp.124-5.
[20]For instance, newspaper articles about the outbreak of war describe Germany as desiring peace but being forced to defend itself against envious enemy nations planning to suppress German military and economic development. Dr F., ‘Warum und wofür?’, Die Wehrmacht, vol.3, no.19, 1939, p.2, in: German Propaganda Archive, (accessed 13 October 2006). Joseph Goebbels, "Englands Schuld," [England’s Guilt] Illustrierter Beobachter, Sondernummer, 1939, p. 14, in: German Propaganda Archive, (accessed 13 October 2006).
Welch, p.117. Kallis, p.72.
[21] During Goebbels’ daily media conferences he issued directives emphasising that Germany must be shown to be defending itself and must not be portrayed as an aggressor as they were during World War I. ‘Conference Notes’, 11 May 1940, in: Willi A. Boelcke, (ed.), and Ewald Osers (trans.), The Secret Conferences of Dr. Goebbels. The Nazi Propaganda Way, 1939-43, New York, 1970, p.40. Baird, p.42.
[22] Noakes, p.466.
[23] Joseph Goebbels, ‘[Article title not supplied]’, Das Reich, 31 May 1942, n.pag., in: Noakes, p.486.
Bramsted, p.255-6.
[24] Kallis, p.65.
[25] For instance, Goebbels in a public speech described the occupation of Czechoslovakia as being part of a larger plan to reorganize, reinvigorate and unify Europe. Germany’s advanced culture would be shared with those around them and German might would protect Europe from attack, for instance by the English.
Goebbels, Joseph, ‘The Coming Europe’, 11 September 1940, in: "Das kommende Europa. Rede an die tschechischen Kulturschaffenden und Journalisten," Die Zeit ohne Beispiel, Munich, 1941, pp. 314-323, in: Randall Bytwerk (trans.), German Propaganda Archive, (accessed 13 October 2006).
[26] Welch, p.18.
[27] Kallis, p.65.
[28] The ‘One Pot’ Meal campaign encouraged Germans to have one single-course meal each week so that they would be better able to give to welfare. The Winter Aid campaign in 1941 called upon every individual to support German soldiers on the Eastern Front by donating winter clothing and equipment.
Frei, p.65. Baird, p.173. Welch, p.72.
[29] Ian Kershaw, The ‘Hitler Myth’: Image and Reality in the Third Reich, Oxford, 1987.
[30] Ibid. pp.41, 80. Welch, pp.107-116.
[31] For instance, the poem ‘Der Führer in Compiègnè’, published in 1940, after the successful invasion of France, portrays Hitler as a great leader guiding Germany towards eternal glory. ‘Der Führer in Compiègnè’, 1940, in: Welch, p.125. Bramsted, p.219.
[32] Ritgen, Wilhelm, ‘Legacy’, Das heldische Jahr. Front und Heimat berichten den Krieg, (eds.) Wilfrid Bade and Wilmont Haake, Berlin, 1941, in: German Propaganda Archive, (accessed 13/10/06). [The book collates ninety-seven German newspaper articles on the war that were first published during 1940.]
Kershaw, The ‘Hitler Myth’: Image and Reality in the Third Reich, pp.151-2.
[33] Bramsted,, p.225.
[34] Bramsted, p.289.
[35] Baird, pp.205-6. Kallis, p.81. Noakes, p.537.
[36] Baird, p.152, 174.
[37] Kallis, p.76.
[38] Baird, pp.157-161. Welch, p.131.
[39] Z.A.B. Zeman, Nazi Propaganda, 2nd edn., London and New York, 1973, pp.162-3.
Welch, p.131.
[40] Baird, pp.158-161.
[41] Welch, pp.134-5.
[42] Noakes, p.540.
[43] S.D. report, 20 July 1942, H. Boberach, ed., Meldungen aus dem Reich. Die geheimen Lageberichte des Sicherheitsdiensts der SS 1938-1945, Herrsching, 1984, p.286-9, in: Ian Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich, Bavaria 1933-1945, Oxford, 1983, p.288.
S.D. report, 17 August 1942, Boberach (ed.), pp.3089-3090, in: Noakes, pp.539-540.
[44] Noakes, p.540.
[45] Morale reports formulated by the Sicherheitsdienst [Secret Service] speak of the German public’s frustration when state information did not seem to accurately represent events, for instance by being overly optimistic. S.D. report, 7 October 1941, in: Welch, p.126.
[46] Baird, p.127, 132. Welch, p.145.
[47] Party Chancellory summary of Gau reports for 7-20 March 1943, BAB NS 6/414, in: Jeremy Noakes, (ed.), Nazism 1919-1945. Volume 4, The German Home Front in World War 11. A Documentary Reader, Devon, 1998, pp.546-8.
[48] The Sicherheitsdienst were an intelligence-gathering arm of Himmler’s Secret Service. Gruppenführer Otto Ohlendorf, who edited the S.D. reports, is attributed as ensuring the reports were characterized by an honesty that was uncommon in the Nazi state. Baird describes their reports as objective assessments of public opinion, despite being written by members of the Nazi Party, due to their willingness to offer criticism of the regime even when this incurred official disfavour.
Baird, p.39.
[49] S.D. report, 22 January 1942, Boberach (ed.), pp.3195-6, in: Noakes, pp.537-8.
Baird, pp.38, 133, 153-4, 179, 200, 203. Kallis, p.131, 137-8.
[50] Bramsted, p.316. Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich, Bavaria 1933-1945, p.385. Welch, p.143.
Although anti-Semitism was present in these themes of negative integration, the Jews were presented as a malevolent force in the background while the Soviets were focussed on as the actual danger and represented the threat of physical violence. I have focussed, therefore, on the RMVP’s use of the Soviet threat to control the population, rather than on racial propaganda and policies relating to the Jews which require an essay of their own to receive adequate consideration.
[51] One critic of Goebbels, a staff member of the RMVP, commented after the war that he felt that Gestapo terror was not sufficient by itself to keep munition workers in the factories or to keep production at a high intensity; his personal opinion was that propaganda had played a large role in successfully keeping the factories operating.
W. Stephan, Joseph Goebbels: Dämon einer Diktatur, Stuttgart, 1949, pp.271-272, in: Bramsted, p.357.
[52] Baird, p.241. Bramsted, p.227.
[53] Kallis, pp.150, 193, 199-201. Noakes, pp.505-6.
[54] S.D. reports commented on increasing criticism of the Nazi Party in the later years of the war, for instance in: S.D. report, 8 July 1943, Boberach (ed.), pp.5446ff, in: Noakes, p.117. Kallis, pp.4-5.
[55] Baird, p.194. Kallis, pp.89-90.
[56] Kallis, pp.4-5.
[57] Baird, p.4. Welch, 9.
[58]A month later Goebbels added that the public must be corrected of the idea that the Bolsheviks would only hang Nazis. ‘Conference Notes’, 21 January 1943 and 17 February 1943, in: Boelcke, pp.319, 333.
[59] In 1943 mass graves were discovered in the Katyn Forest, near Germany. The graves contained the bodies of thousands of Polish citizens and officers. Nazi propaganda used the discovery to instil fear in German citizens living near the border that the Soviets would commit similar atrocities against them. Baird, p.194. Bramsted, pp.328-9.
[60] Bramsted, p.249, 316.
[61] Noakes, pp.638-9.
[62] Goebbel’s speech advocating ‘total war’ is one example of RMVP produced propaganda that describes the threat of Soviet destruction or enslavement of Germany. Goebbels, Joseph, ‘Nation, Rise Up and Let the Storm Break Loose’, [radio speech], 18 February 1943, in: German Propaganda Archive, (accessed 29 August 2006).
Baird, pp.246-7.
[63]In representing these enemies, Nazi propaganda drew upon existing biases within German society, for instance anti-Bolshevism and anti-liberalism. Baird, p.194, 201. Kallis, pp.70-1.
[64] Noakes, p.637.
[65]Ian Kershaw argues that the extent of belief in Hitler, which built up in the years prior to 1940, helped to mitigate disillusionment and greatly slowed a decline in his popularity. Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich, Bavaria 1933-1945, p.171. Welch, p.146. Kallis, p.148.
[66] In June 1944 Goebbels gained the power to veto Otto Dietrich’s daily press directives but conflict between the men continued until 30 March 1945, when Hitler fired Dietrich.
Baird, p.31.
[67] Kallis, pp.7-9, 39.
[68] Rudolf Semmler, a staff member at the RMVP commented in his journal about the conflict between directives issued by Goebbels and by Dietrich, and how their personal standing with Hitler affected which directive was obeyed. Rudolf Semmler, 13 March 1943, Goebbels – the man next to Hitler, with an introduction by D. McLachlan and notes by G.S. Wagner, London, 1947, p.74.
Baird, p.166-7. Kallis, p.112.
[69] Baird, p.32. Welch, p.118.
[70] Noakes, 507.
[71] Hitler, p.168.
[72] Robert Gellately, Backing Hitler. Consent and coercion in Nazi Germany, Oxford, 2001, p.224.
[73] Noakes, pp.638-9.
[74] Noakes, pp.640-1.
[75] Jeremy Noakes argues that propaganda was highly influential in this respect. Noakes, pp.638-9. Welch, p.155.
[76] By the end of 1943 terror related not only to external enemies but also to Himmler’s secret service agents such as the Schutzstaffeln [SS] and Gestapo; defeatists were denounced as traitors endangering all Germans and their deaths were publicly announced as deterrents. Ernest Bramsted argues, as does Noakes, that fear of the regime and fear of the Soviets meant that German citizens felt they had little option but to continue in the war effort. Bramsted, p.275. Noakes, pp.639-40.
Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich, Bavaria 1933-1945, p.295-6.
[77] Welch, p.158. Kallis, p.213, 223. Noakes, pp.638-9.


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