In 1930 Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels established the Nazi film department. Goebbels used film as a tool to help the Nazi party press it beliefs and ideologies on the german people. Goebbels believed that film was one of the most effective platforms to promote Nazi ideology. During the Nazi reign the film department released over 1100 films but only two were made to promote the ideologies of the Nazi party to a popular audience. It wasn’t until Kristallnacht that the Nazi began to create films that exclusively presented the nazis anti semitic agenda.
Kristallnacht was a pogrom against the jews carried out in 1938 by SA paramilitary forces. Over two nights 91 jews died, over 1000 synagogues were burned, over 7000 jewish owned businesses were destroyed, and 30000 jews were incarcerated in nazi concentration camps. The event received mixed responses in the german media. This showed that not all germans condoned the anti semitism of the Nazi regime. Goebbels saw the mixed reaction to pogrom and decided to take action. He ordered that all film companies create an anti semitic film. This order prompted the making of films such as Jud Suss and Der ewige Jude. While Hitler preferred films like Der ewige Jude which openly presented the Nazis anti semitic agenda. Der ewige Jude was so graphic and grotesque that it repelled viewers and flopped in the box office. On the other hand, Goebbels perfed movies that subtly contained anti semitic ideology in a captivating and entertaining story. Movies such as Jud Suss.
Veit Harlan’s 1940 Jud Suss is labeled as one of the most racist and ignorant films ever made. The film is about the city of Stuttgart in 1733. The film begins by saying that the event portrayed are based off historical ...
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... the head of the council’s name was used for a reason. The special german forces were called Sturmabteilung and there was even a newspaper called Der Stürmer that was used to spread Nazi propaganda.
Jud Suss was so successful at manipulating the german population that Goebbels had to make a personal statement that all of the actors playing the jewish roles were of german descent because they were accused of being jews. Many of the actor suffered from emotional stress and harm because of the film and the influence it had on people. The actor who played Joseph Süß Oppenheimer died in a car accident but many people speculated that he committed suicide. The technique of subtly presenting propaganda in film lead to one of the Nazi party 's most successful propaganda campaigns ever. If used correctly, film is one of the most effective and manipulative forms of propaganda.
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