Influence of Nazi Germany WWII Propaganda Films on the German Film Industry

Influence of Nazi Germany WWII Propaganda Films on the German Film Industry

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German cinema was greatly affected during the Nazi movement between 1933 and 1945. Once appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933 Hitler wasted no time and almost immediately began working on his propaganda strategy. Typically “propaganda targets a mass audience and relies on mass media to persuade. Propaganda is aimed at large numbers of people and, as such, relies on mass communication to reach its audience” (Gass, 14). The Nazi party used film propaganda to brainwash the German people, distract them from the harsh reality of the Nazi party, and attempt to intimidate the enemy. Hitler knew propaganda entailed mass persuasion and he knew just how to get his message out there; film. It was through the use of propaganda, largely film that made the Nazi party so powerful as they redefined propaganda.
Psychological Effects
Hitler’s strategy was to exploit those who he considered unworthy through the use of preexisting stereotypes. These stereotypes were already familiar to the population and by bringing national attention to the stereotypes through the use of film the Nazi party was able to make the population believe the exaggerated negative stereotypes to be true. By using propaganda films the Nazi party was able to get much of the German population to “freely” accept their skewed reality as truth. Oftentimes these films portrayed Jews as financially greedy and compared them to street rats. This of course got many in the crowd to feel this to be true and true for all of jewish decent. While portraying the Jews as a terrible nuisance Hitler’s propaganda films also showed German soldiers winning battles in hopes of the viewer feeling more patriotic.
According to Sakmyster often times the audiences reac...

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Sakmyster, Thomas. "Nazi Documentaries Of Intimidation: `Feldzug In (1940) `Feuertaufe' (1940) And `Sieg Im.." Historical Journal Of Film, Radio & Television 16.4 (1996): 485. Historical Abstracts. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.
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