In what ways and to what extent, was propaganda important in the rise and rule of Hitler?

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Hitler used propaganda both in his rise to power (when he was using the myth that Germany's defeat in the First World War was Jewish fault) and through his rule to strenthen and maintain his power. He set up the post of Minister of Public Enlightment and Propaganda (Joseph Goebbels) who created one of the most developed propaganda systems in the history. He was using effectively both traditional ways (such like newspapers and posters) and newest technology (radio, television, cinema - Leni Riefenstahl). Propaganda in Third Reich increased throughout the war mostly in order to hide the truth about the real state of Germany's arms and later - to hide the defeats; it was used also to maintain public support for war. Moreover, Nazi ideology, beliefs and iconizing of the greateness of the Third Reich were all being spread out through the media (worth to remember "Triumph of the Will" and "Olympia" - propaganda movies).

On the other hand, Hitler maintained his rule not only thanks to public support and effective use of propaganda, but also through the rule of terror. Even though Germans did not suffer such repressions as Jews, Slavs and prisoners of war the Gestapo (secret police) and SS units were present also on the terrain of the Third Reich. Before war - elimination of the political opponents e.g. The Reichstag Fire Decree (against communist in 1933) and The Night of the Long Knives (against SA in 1934).

Paulina W. IB History tutor, IB Biology tutor, IB Spanish tutor

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