Control through propaganda and censorship

Joseph Goebbels making a speech in 1934
Joseph Goebbels

Josef Goebbels was appointed Minister of Propaganda in 1933 and aimed to brainwash people into obeying the Nazis and idolising Hitler.

Propaganda

  • Goebbels controlled the media and arts, making sure that Germans were fed Nazi ideology while censoring other information.
  • The Nuremberg Rallies, held annually from 1933, glorified war and the military.
  • The 1936 Berlin Olympics were intended to showcase the superior athleticism of the Master Race.
Poster showing the 'Work and Bread' slogan
Poster showing the 'Work and Bread' slogan

Radios were cheap to buy and would broadcast Nazi Party messages and speeches. Loudspeakers in public places blared out Nazi propaganda.

Hitler's picture was everywhere and he was portrayed as Germany's saviour. Simple slogans were used to introduce Nazi ideology to the German people:

  • "Free Germany from the Jews"
  • "Work and Bread"
  • "Smash Communism"
  • "Blood and Soil"
  • "One People, One Empire, One Leader"

Censorship

Any media that conveyed anti-Nazi ideas or even other ways of life, were censored. Censorship of newspapers, radio, cinema and the theatre was enforced. Only books which agreed with the Nazi point of view were allowed. All other books were banned and many were publically burned from May, 1933.

Control of the Church

  • Hitler believed that religion was a threat to the Nazis control over people's minds.
  • The Catholic Youth League was broken up, Catholic priests were arrested and religious teaching was banned.
  • A Protestant Reich Church, with Nazi bishops, was established.
  • Non-Nazi Catholic priests and Protestant pastors such as Martin Niemöller and Dietrich Bonhöffer were sent to concentration camps.