Hitler believed that propaganda from the allies was the main reason that the Germans lost during World War I and felt that this form of warfare needed to be a primary tool in modern warfare. He spoke of this belief in his book Mein Kampf well before the start of the second World War. Hitler felt that the public needed to be inundated with the ideology of the state at all times and through all mediums (Jowett and O'Donnell 2). "To do this," he said "everything from child's story-book to the last newspaper, every theater, every cinema and every advertisement must be brought into the service of this single mission" (qt. in Qualter ix). This onslaught of propaganda led to the Holocaust by leaving no other option open to the German people than to hate the Jews and blame them for all their troubles.
Propaganda has been used throughout the history of the world. The first named organization of propaganda was set up by the Roman Catholic Church in January 1622 during the religious wars in Bohemia, Alsace, and Palatinate, the so-called Sacra Congregation de Propaganda Fide (Qualter 3). We also see propaganda everyday through commercials and advertisements. However we do not consider this means of selling a product propaganda while in effect, it is.
Today's definition of propaganda usually has a negative connotation. We see propaganda as the work of the enemy. "(T)he idea that propaganda is always harmful, always false, is wrong" (Hummel and Huntress 2). It has nothing to do with the beliefs that we hold dear. Propaganda is used, as some see it, as "a form of abuse, as a symbol for the 'lies' told by the other side, as a description of an activity as well as of the material used in the activity, and as a general term embracing aspe...
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...mel, William and Keith Huntress. The Analysis of Propaganda. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1949.
Jowett, Garth S. and Victoria O'Donnell. Propaganda and Persuasion. Newbury Park: Sage Publishing, 1992.
Kumata, Hideya and Wilbur Schramm. "Propaganda Theory of the German Nazi's." A Psychological Warfare Casebook. Ed. William E. Daugherty and Morris Janowitz. Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1958.
Laurie, Clayton D. The Propaganda Warriors: America's Crusade Against Nazi Germany. Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1996.
Qualter, Terence H. Propaganda and Psychological Warfare. New York: Random House, 1962.
The Use of Propaganda in the Nazi Regime. Online. Internet. November 23, 1997. Available http://www.schoolsucks.com/paper/history/europe/holo34.txt
Webster's Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary. New York: Tormont Publishing, 1982.
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