You are on page 1of 8

Referring specifically to propaganda, and not the general success of the Nazis, there

are several reasons for this. Never before or after in the history of modern
"statecraft," and I use the term quite loosely, did a country have a better organized
military machine promoted and justified with powerful, coordinated messages
directly to the people.
This description reveals both the impact Hitler had as a speaker, as well as his
command, in 1934!, of how to create a media event.
While Hitler talked about Germany's big picture, and a vision of racial purity, Joseph
Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, and a brilliant
propagandist and rhetorician, was basically the CMO of the Nazi party.
Hitler didn't have a cabinet or staff as much as he had an executive management
team. Like a management team, each member had his strengths and purpose.
I am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, to the extermination
of the Jewish People. This is something that is easily said: 'The Jewish
People will be exterminated', says every Party member, 'this is very obvious, it is in
our program elimination of the Jews, extermination, a small matter.'
The Nazi party attacked propaganda and media from all fronts. Authors and
intellectuals were among those sent to the camps, thus eliminating dissenting voices.
The Germans burned banned books by Jews, intellectuals, dissidents, and
othershttp://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/arti...
It's not hard for your propaganda machine to win out when you ban opposing
propaganda, and destroy it and the people responsible for it.
Referring specifically to propaganda, and not the general success of the Nazis, there
are several reasons for this. Never before or after in the history of modern
"statecraft," and I use the term quite loosely, did a country have a better organized
military machine promoted and justified with powerful, coordinated messages
directly to the people.
Hitler's Nuremberg Rally set a standard for media events that has perhaps not been
equalled. An American journalist covering the rally wrote:
"every word dropped by Hitler seemed like an inspired word from on
high. Man's or at least the German's critical faculty is swept away
at such moments, and every lie pronounced is accepted as high truth itself."

It was during this opening meeting that Hitler's victorious proclamation


was read: "The German form of life is definitely determined for the
next thousand years."
At Hitler's personal request, a 31-year-old actress and movie director
named Leni Riefenstahl was filming the entire week-long Rally. Utilizing
thirty film cameras and 120 technicians, she produced an extraordinary
film record of the festivities, featuring many unique camera angles and
dramatic lighting effects.
This description reveals both the impact Hitler had as a speaker, as well as his
command, in 1934!, of how to create a media event.
While Hitler talked about Germany's big picture, and a vision of racial purity, Joseph
Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, and a brilliant
propagandist and rhetorician, was basically the CMO of the Nazi party.
Hitler didn't have a cabinet or staff as much as he had an executive management
team. Like a management team, each member had his strengths and purpose.
Heinrich Himmler, an early anti-Semite (starting in 1919 when he began
university)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hei... was perhaps the most outspoken on
the matter of the extermination of the Jews. In a transcript from a 1943 speech, he
declares:
I am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, to the extermination
of the Jewish People. This is something that is easily said: 'The Jewish
People will be exterminated', says every Party member, 'this is very obvious, it is in
our program elimination of the Jews, extermination, a small matter.'
The Nazi party attacked propaganda and media from all fronts. Authors and
intellectuals were among those sent to the camps, thus eliminating dissenting voices.
The Germans burned banned books by Jews, intellectuals, dissidents, and
othershttp://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/arti...
The Nazis also destroyed what they called "decadent"
art. http://www.artinfo.com/news/stor... Oddly, much of what they claimed to have

destroyed ended up in private Nazi collections. Some of this art is still being found
today, 65 years after the end of the war.
It's not hard for your propaganda machine to win out when you ban opposing
propaganda, and destroy it and the people responsible for it.
The Germans were masters of propagandistic detail. I will not reproduce any of their
many antisemitic posters as they are far too offensive. Joseph Goebbels, produced a
highly offensive film titled Jud Sss (sometimes translated "the eternal Jew") (which
one filmmaker called "A Film Without a
Conscience"). http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2...The posters for this film, like all
Nazi posters, depicted Jews as unattractively as possible to make the case that they
were criminals, and racially impure.
The Nazis were relentless. Here's a picture from a popular children's book:
The caption reads "Jews are our misfortune" and "How the Jew cheats." Germany,
1936.http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/medi...
Not only were messages embedded in every form of media, every merchant played
the game, some voluntarily, others not. Here's a card in which Hugo Boss, who
produced many Nazi uniforms, offers uniforms for sale:
According to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hug... Boss was a
member of the Nazi party, a sponsoring member of the SS, and later an
official manufacturer and supplier of uniforms for the SS, Hitler Youth, among
others.
In 1931 he reached an agreement with his creditors, leaving him with 6
sewing machines to start again. The same year, he became a member of the Nazi
party and a sponsoring member ("Frderndes Mitglied") of the Schutzstaffel. He
later stated himself that he had joined the party because of their promise to end
unemployment and because he felt "temporarily" withdrawn from the Lutheran
church. He joined the German Labour Front in 1936, the Reich Air Protection
Association in 1939, the National Socialist People's Welfare in 1941. His sales
increased from 38,260 RM in 1932 to over 3,300,000 RM in 1941, while his profits

increased in the same period from 5,000 RM to 241,000 RM. Though he claimed in
a 1934/1935 advertising he had been a supplier for Nazi uniforms since 1924, such
supplies are probable since 1928/1929 and certain since 1934, when he became an
Reichszeugmeisterei-licensed (official) supplier of uniforms to the Sturmabteilung,
Schutzstaffel, Hitler Youth, National Socialist Motor Corps and other party
organizations.

Even today, many of the Nazi uniforms are recognized as the most well designed and
attractive ever made. This, like everything else in the Nazi propaganda machine, is
no accident. They were carefully designed to instill pride in Germans and fear in
others.
And while designers outfitted the German people in the latest atrocity couture, Dr.
Ferdinand (Ferry) Porsche, founder of the automobile company that bears his name
today, worked closely with the German high command to design the first
Volkswagen:http://www.spiegel.de/internatio...

Adolf Hitler admires a model of the Volkswagen Beetle in this 1938 photo. He was
apparently amused to find the engine in the trunk of the car. Ferdinand Porsche
can be seen on the left.
The Germans were also masters of the government-sanctioned pyramid scheme.
Since few Germans could afford to purchase a Volkswagen (people's car) outright,
Hitler devised a scheme where they could purchase stamps from regular payroll
deductions and once they had a full stamp book, they could purchase a car. In the
meantime, this generated badly needed cash for the German war effort. (Note
"Volkswagenwerk" on the cover of the card.)
(The illustration I had inserted here keeps disappearing.)
Hitler also had his own architect, Albert Speer. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.... In
a strange tale of "redemption, Speer was:

found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg
International Military Tribunal in 1946. He had been charged with employing forced
laborers and concentration camp prisoners in the German armaments industry. His
testimony was notable because he was the lone defendant to accept responsibility for
the practices of the Nazi regime both for his actions and for those not under his
control. He was sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment in Spandau prison, after
which he published his best-selling memoir...

Speer's Zeppelinfeld Stadium


In conclusion, the reasons for the success of the Nazi propaganda machine include:

An impoverished nation ravaged by depression and unemployment,


looking for a scapegoat and a charismatic leader to show them the way
back to world leadership

Exactly that charismatic leader, and powerful spokesperson, Hitler, and


the right scapegoats, Jews, gypsies, intellectuals, Catholics, homosexuals
and handicapped persons
Fanatics like Goebbels and Himmler in supporting roles
A management team under Hitler more capable of delivering powerful,
consistent "marketing" messages than any other military staff in history
A relentless focus on detail, extending the messages of propaganda to art,
children's books, toys, clothing and architecture
A ruthless willingness to do ANYTHING to achieve its means
On the contrary, Nazi propaganda was remarkably mediocre.
This is a question about Human behaviour. And human behaviour never remains
constant through a person's lifetime. A woefully short childhood full of remarkable
experiences, goes on a bright youth filled with dreams & ideas, and ultimately
surrenders to a long grey adulthood. This happens to all of us. No exceptions.
You see- the hallmark of Empire is boredom. Orwell's nightmares weren't
about the boot stamping on a human face. That happens everywhere. It was the word

that came in the end- 'forever'. An eternity of ultimate law & order- for what is
'oppression' but a restriction of free action, and what is 'restriction' but the basis of
law?
History shows us that great Empires produce mediocre poets. It is the
mediocre ones that produce giants of ideology. China gave us Mao. The
fledging Soviet Union gave us Lenin. France gave us Sartre. On the other hand, the
British Empire saddles us with Kipling & Churchill. (For heaven's sake, don't start
on If & Kim. The man is insufferable and his writings are full of stereotypes. Find
one line he wrote that can equal the Hundred Flowers!).

The greatest nation-builder in a century of great nation-builders...


We see this in America too. Young America gave us Melville & Hawthorne.
Superpower America have given us Pynchon & Hanson. I'm yet to understand
anything written by Pynchon (bad news for American soft power) but Hanson is a
danger to anyone who knows anything about ancient Greece & modern Asia (his
book about the Peloponnesian war should be burnt in the streets)...
Young men fight wars. Young men are the engines of War. You can acquire
conquests with them- but to make an Empire, you need old men, broken men,
defeated, harassed, quiet men. Folk who pay their taxes. Folk who hate poetry & love
laws. Young upright Youth create news. Old broken adults create Empires. Boredom,
Mediocrity, and Adherence to norms enforce not only civilizational continuity but
also foster principles of societal continuance. The silent majority wins. Always.
Ask yourself.
Why is there so much black & leather in Nazi uniforms? Why did the SS use skulls in
their uniforms? Why does the KKK have titles like the 'Grand Wizard' & 'Great
Dragon'? Why is Tolkien so popular among White Nationalists?
Look at these jokers. What kind of madman would approve that uniform?
Fascism (not to be confused with Racism!) is a young man's philosophy. Ditto

for any youth-oriented mass movement. Genghis & Subutai were fat, mild-mannered
men. The Assyrians ran a successful Empire based on trade & agriculture. On the
face of it, there was absolutely no reason for the pyramids of skulls. Nevertheless,
they were made. Why? Because war back then was fought in the minds of the young
men in the army.Wars today are fought in the drawing rooms of middleaged Tax payers back home. For the first time since the Stone Age, War
has entered our homes. Forever.
And this happened during World War 1.
Hitler, back in the lizard part of his brain- the most important part in my opinionknew this; his focus on the working class- instead of the intellectuals- was brilliant &
at the time, unprecedented among the non-communists. But I believe his
training, attitude & beliefs severely curtailed the natural progression of
his ideas. Someone like Wilhelm Rohr- a real scholar-soldier-manager- would've
been much better placed than Hitler or Goebbels to manage the propaganda side for
the long run- but Rohr was too intelligent, too mature, too much of an adult for the
Fascism stick anyway. Hitler- a glory-hungry, risk-taking, decoration-covered
veteran of trenches- saw only the overt glitter of British propaganda. He never saw
the iron that underlay it.
The Mein Kampf goes on & on about how the Germans should've copied British
propaganda techniques- but Hitler himself understood little of the principles
underlying the latter. Since the age of Colonialism began, Imperial
propaganda- be it British or Soviet or American- was fixated on the idea
of righteous laws & civilizational superiority.
In an age where thousands could be slaughtered within seconds, it made no sense to
glorify death & power the way the Mongols had once done.
Kipling's dying second son from Kent was far more tragic than the village his
regiment burned. A dozen dead English women were far more precious than the city
of half million butchered by Skinner's Horse. A single burnt gunboat was far more
worthy of national adulation than half a hundred dead Kenyans. Hitler only saw the
grim determination of the young men on the front. He saw nothing of the quiet
civilian rage that spewed them onto the battlefield. This latter was something no
amount of book-burning or goose-marching or mass-murder could inspire among
the people.

This man is not a mass-murdering psychopath. Will you help him?


Others will speak of movies, rallies, speeches & all that- but they were just fringe
paraphernalia. Any two bit marketeer could've managed them. There are lots of
highly capable professionals in the World- many of them on Quora. If this site can
boast of members like Mahesh Murthy, there's no reason the Nazis couldn't find
skilled marketeers among the millions of twentieth century Europe. Ideological
purity wasn't even needed; few Germans- even members of the SS itselfknew the full scale of the Final Solution.
The Nazi model was a mess with terrible logistical planning, inefficient bureaucracy,
and horrendous mismanagement of Human resources . Even their war crimes were
inefficient- as Ismail Kadare once brilliantly pointed out. The Nazis understood the
importance of softness- witness their dedication to Women & children welfare &
Animal rights, but their overt face they wore was always of (juvenile) strength &
martial bravado. Nazi propaganda, with all its glittering metal & shining skulls, was
far far inferior to the Soviet Unions' cries for defending the Motherland & her
children- or Great Britain's speeches in defence of Freedom & Democracy (lol).
They were children with guns, faced by giants like Stalin & Roosevelt. Of
course, they were crushed! The leather & skulls got the kids to the front but once
they died, there was nothing left.
And thus the Nazis fell.

Nazi propaganda was successful for several obvious reasons: the regime controlled
all media from 1933 to 1945, took steps to spread the reach of that media
(subsidizing the sale of the "People's Radio" - Volksempfnger) and enlisted, more or
less willingly, top notch artists and writers in the production of propaganda.