The Power of Propaganda

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The Power of Propaganda The power of propaganda is often over looked, and those who manipulate and utilize its strength can make even the most absurd and repelling thought seem appealing. Adolf Hitler was one such man as he stated that, "The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan" On the contrary, Mein Kampf was initially available in two rather large volumes. Until January 30, 1933, the total sales of the book in Germany amounted to just 287,000 copies, which to a certain degree justifies that there was a "Nichtbeachtung" (ignoring) or "Nichtvertrautheit" (unfamiliarity) with the book before Hitler's actual rise to power.(3) After that, the sale numbers rose dramatically, reaching almost ten million books sold.(4) But while people might not have read this book, thousands of them certainly listened voluntarily, or were obliged to listen, to his many inflammatory and hateful speeches. They often contained verbatim sections out of Mein Kampf so that people were confronted with its absurd goals whether they liked it or not. Hitler's rhetorical "art" as an author and as a speaker was evident in the way he used metaphorical expressions from conversational speech in order to clarify or extend more abstract arguments or ideas. Quite often Hitler uses so-called twin-formulas whose alliteration, rhyme, formulaic structure, and metaphors add expressive color and emotion to his otherwise lengthy sentence... ... middle of paper ... ... pp. 784-796 2. Heinz, Paechter. Nazi-Deutsch: A Glossary of Contemporary German (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1944) 3. Lenge, Karl. Hitlers Forgotten Maxims. "Mein Kampf" and the Public. (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1968) pp. 30-31 4. Maser, Werner. Hitlers "Mein Kampf". Emergence, Structure, Style and Modifications, Sources, Source Value, Commentated Single Dumps. (Munich: Bechtle, 1966) pg. 26-29. (All of the higher numbers in parenthesis are from the following edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf) Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf, translated by Ralph Manheim (Boston: Houghton Mifflin [Sentry Edition], 1962; 1st ed. 1947) 5. Mieter, Wolfgang. "Proverbs in Nazi Germany: The Promulgation of Anti-Semitism and Stereotypes through Folklore," Journal of American Folklore, 95 (1982), 435- 464 Mieter,Wolfgang. http://www.utas.edu/docs/flota/DP,1,95/HITLER.html
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