The Importance Of Propaganda On German Society

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Propaganda is undoubtedly an ever present companion of governments, whose purpose is to implement certain ideas into the psyche of a population. There are lots of definitions on what propaganda actually is, but they all express the same idea which can be pinpointed to: “…deliberate attempt to influence public opinion through the transmission of ideas and values for a specific purpose, not through violence and bribery.” (John Cullis, 318) Essentially, it is a method of controlling the masses. Rise of mass media, especially film, has given propaganda a new way to infiltrate society and take hold. As Nazi Germany sought to control every aspect of both society and individual life, they used propaganda and censorship to achieve that goal. Further on, there will not be topics on censorship. However, in this essay, I will attempt to explicate how cinema tried to influence German society. Firstly, it is important to answer one question: why cinema? That was not the only medium for German propaganda: the press and all radio stations were under Nazi control, photograph, posters, flyers, and pamphlets were widely distributed, even sculptures and buildings served their purpose as a propaganda vehicle. However, cinema had something that distinguishes it from other means of propaganda. Film promises a night of entertainment, while in the background a certain message is getting buried deep within one’s psyche, becoming part of one’s belief system. As Walter Benjamin stated in his

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