Reason.tv: The Power of Nazi Propaganda

From radio and film to newspapers and publishing, the Nazi regime controlled every aspect of German culture from 1933-1945. Through Josef Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, the German state tightly controlled political messaging, promoting deification of the leader—the Führerprinzip—and the demonization of the ubiquitous and duplicitious "racial enemy."

A new exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., examines "how the Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies and carefully crafted messages to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany." Reason.tv's Michael C. Moynihan visited with museum historian and curator Steve Luckert to discuss the role and effectiveness of propaganda in the rise of fascism and what lessons can be drawn from the Nazi experiment in mass manipulation.

Approximately 6 minutes.

Produced by Jim Epstein and Michael C. Moynihan. Shot by Dan Hayes and Jim Epstein, with help from Joshua Swain.

To visit the exhibit website click here.

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  • Godwinner||

    Obama also wants to control information.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Can you godwin a thread about Nazis? Discuss.

  • Joey||

    We might be able to bin laden the thread.

  • alan||

    what about bestiality the thread?

  • Cyto||

    If you godwin a thread about Nazis then the terrorists have won...

  • Trey Garrison||

    You know who else.... nevermind.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A braille version of Mein Kampf? Presumably so the reader would know why he was inferior and needed to be eliminated from the gene pool.

    And at the 4:25 mark you can see in the painting what looks like Bush listening to Hitler's yapping. I bet it's Prescot selling hydrogen or helium or whatever to the Nazis. (So, yes, you can Godwin this thread.)

  • ||

    Was Mein Kampf ever translated into Yiddish?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oy vey!

  • Cyto||

  • Tman||

    I've heard that the Holocaust Museum in DC is one of the best museums in the city, but all of my DC friends tell me that you need a whole day to see it since it drains you so deeply.

    Whenever I'm in DC at the mall I get stuck in either the Air and Space museum oggling at moon stuff or the Natural History museum looking at dinosaurs. One of these days I have to see this museum.

  • ||

    That's crap. Air & Space wins by a mile.

  • Tman||

    Every time I go to DC I hit the A&S museum, and I always say to myslef I'll only stay for an hour tops, and I always end up staying for hours before I even realize how long I've been there.

    That museum is the absolute tits.

  • ||

    The Holocaust Museum is excellent. "Draining" is probably a good term for the experience.

  • ||

    I wasn't denigrating the Holocaust Museum, by the way. Air & Space bestrides the Mall like a colossus. That's all.

  • ||

    The anti-semite doth protest too much.

  • ||

    Hey now!

    Though I guess I have to admit to liking Natural History and the National Archives better, too.

    Uh, oh.

  • Tman||

    You know who else liked the Natural History and the National Archives better?

  • ||

    The Pope?

  • alan||

    Yeah, PL. What is your problem? We all need to be reminded of what we did as a nation to the Jews with a yearly sojourn to the Holocaust Museum. Would you really be surprised if that was the impetus of some school field trips?

  • ||

    Don't bother. Must acknowledge though that they finally admit there were no gas chambers at Dachau, though thousands of tourist had been treated to tours and shown buildings, built by allied troop after the war, where the alleged gassings occurred.

  • Trey Garrison||

    This whole subject take me out of mein kampfort zone.

  • ||

    I wonder if they sell swastikas at the gift shop.

  • Tariq||

    And you can bargain on the price!

  • Colin||

    There used to be a souvenir stand at Auschwitz.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    The possibilities for incredibly inappropriate jokes are endless.

  • ||

    The beauty of a great propaganda campaign is no one realizes it is one. I think it is hard to appreciate how thoroughly the Nazis were able to control German society. Nazi ideas became the accepted norm. Things like Jewish genetic inferiority and racialism were as we would say now "the scientific consensus". Everyone who was smart or sophisticated believed in these ideas. The entire culture was turned in service of Nazi ideas.

    Imagine a whole popular culture as uniformly and oppressively Nazi as Hollywood is oppressively liberal. It wasn't just that dissenter were beat up or thrown in jail, although certainly that happened. It was that dissenters were socially ostracized and made to feel alone and without support anywhere in society. And that is the most effective oppression of all.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Sort of like the current American free press telling us to accept the scope-and-grope at the airports because the Fourth Amendment is for pussies, and that all secret documents are good for America because ignorance is strength.

  • ||

    If I may, the new collective name for MSM/AmericanFreePress(?)is.....drum roll please....Pravada!

  • ||

    There is an unforgettable chapter in "They Thought They Were Free" by Milton Mayer which discusses this. The gist is that the transformation was gradual and occurred in lots of small steps. Whenever people voiced concerns about new laws and measures, they were derided as unpatriotic, and reminded that Germany was in the midst of a crisis and thus there was no time to carefully debate and evaluate the proposed measures.

    Sound familiar?

  • Steve||

    Or how it's just a glob of cells...

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Up until a certain point, it is.

  • Steve||

    What point?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Well that's one of the issues at the heart of debate, now, isn't it. But there is no denying that a blastula is nothing more than a ball of cells.

  • Tony||

    Imagine a whole popular culture as uniformly and oppressively Nazi as Hollywood is oppressively liberal.

    You know who else Hollywood has a lot of? Hint: it's what "liberal Hollywood elitist" is code language for.

  • Steve||

    Idiots? Moral Midgets?

    Idiotic Moral Midgets?

  • ||

    Mel Gibson!

  • ||

    You know who else Hollywood has a lot of?

    Homosexuals? Hot Chicks? Shitty Rock Musicians? Dead beat home "owners"? Homeless? Drug users? Atheists? Goths? Artists?

  • ||

    People who serve all of those people?

  • kang and kodos||

    To serve mankind!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Smiling glad-hands with hidden agendas?
    L. Ron Hubbard Clones?
    Gun-toting, hip gangster wannabes?
    Dysfunctional, insecure actresses?

  • ||

    +1 for BSR

  • Yeah, Tony||

    There's always one of those "code language" types under every rock. How post-modern of you to point that out. It did not occur to anyone else.

  • cynical||

    Communists?

  • CJ||

    Authoritarians?

  • Bee Tagger||

    Glenn Beck told me George Soros is a tour guide there.

    And that he will look back fondly on his employment there!

  • sevo||

    I hope everyone knows showing stuff like this in most of Europe would have the museum staff behind bars.

  • Your Good Buddy Johnny Clarke||

    I hope everyone in America looks at this exhibit as a cautionary tale...

  • Steve||

    I hope everyone in America looks at this exhibit as a cautionary tale...

    I fear too many still see it as just "a good start."

  • affenkopf||

    No, it wouldn't. While European laws banning the Swastika are stupid they still allow showing Swastikas/Nazi propaganda in contexts like films or museums.

  • ||

    From radio and film to newspapers and publishing, the Democratic regime controlled every aspect of American culture from 1933-to present.

  • affenkopf||

    Can't wait 'till people get gassed for reading Ayn Rand or Mises.

  • Book Burn||

    Michael Moore can host a book burning.

  • Team Blue||

    Yeah, but we are still awaiting the government grants to build the ovens!

  • Team Red||

    These ovens aren't up to code. Hire more bureaucrats while you are at it.

  • Kennedy Clan||

    NIMBY.

  • ||

    Ovens contribute to global warming.
    Ovens contribute to gorebal warming.
    climate change?

  • Entitled Slacker||

    Don't forget about those shovel ready jobs. Somebody's got to dig the lime pits.

  • ||

    The Nazis, who also happened to be extremely "health conscious" (Hitler was a Nazi by the way), would have approved of the Democrats Food Police Bill. This is a disaster. If this bill passes we will not be able to choose what our kids eat at school, and this is just the beginning. Call your congressional rep and tell them to kill this bill!

  • Tony||

    Do you get to choose what they eat at school now?

    Nobody's gonna ban sack lunches, you know.

    The irony abounds in these comments. The American rightwing has one of the most sophisticated propaganda machines ever created.

  • ||

    "The irony abounds in these comments. The American rightwing has one of the most sophisticated propaganda machines ever created."

    "Sophisticated"? I'm not to sure about that. I think a better word would be "effective". Its effective to some idiots, but not most. Or is this just something you tell yourself to feel better when Team Donkey loses?

    Oh wait, you think the Libertarians on here are right wing, huh?

  • ||

    Oh wait, you think the Libertarians on here are right wing, huh?

    Not only that but he thinks we are sophisticated.

  • Tony||

    No, you aren't, the propaganda machine created by the corporate overlords you people prostitute yourselves for is what's sophisticated. The victims of propaganda are best kept simple.

  • ||

    "No, you aren't, the propaganda machine created by the corporate overlords you people prostitute yourselves for is what's sophisticated."

    Wow. I keep wishing this were true, that way THERE WOULD ACTUALLY BE LIBERTARIANS ELECTED. But since there are pretty much none elected...

    God you have dumb, dumb logic when you try and talk shit.

  • Tman||

    "God you have dumb, dumb logic when you try and talk shit."

    FTFY.

  • ||

    That works too.

  • Tony||

    But there are Republicans elected and they say all the same dumb bullshit.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Do you get to choose what they eat at school now?

    As a father of a middle schooler and a high schooler, I can authoritatively state YES.

    They can take their own food from home, rather than buy what's offered at school. Which they do, most days.

    And the school offers a few decent choices, actually, including Subway sammiches.

  • Tony||

    So I'm sure you agree that nothing's changed about that by Congress passing health standards for school food.

    Sometimes a regulation is not about restricting choice but increasing the quality of the choices that are available.

  • sevo||

    "Sometimes a regulation is not about restricting choice but increasing the quality of the choices that are available."
    And what do you want from Santa this year, little boy?

  • .||

    Sometimes a regulation is not about restricting choice but increasing the quality of the choices that are available.

    At whose expense, creep?

  • Tony||

    At the expense of the people who have a stake in the fucking matter, like the parents of the children in the community. Choosing to stuff those children with diabetes-causing crap is just as much a policy decision as choosing to make that crap at least have some whole grains in it.

  • .||

    Anytime the government "increases the quality of the choices available" for some, it restricts and limits the quality of the choices available for others.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    So I'm sure you agree that nothing's changed about that by Congress passing health standards for school food.

    Don't know. It depends on what the law actually requires and how it's implemented.

    I will say it's hardly the issue at the top of my radar right now. It's not even really at the bottom of it.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    What, and the left wing does not engage in mass propaganda? Oh, right, I forgot - you're totally blind to it.

  • ||

    Like he said above:

    "The victims of propaganda are best kept simple."

  • You're ignorant, Tony||

    Some schools already ban certain food items that could be brought from home. You ought to know that, being a champion of the food Nazis.

  • cynical||

    "Nobody's gonna ban sack lunches, you know."

    Someone should archive this shit so we can bring it up when they ban sack lunches. Every incremental step the technocracy takes to reduce our autonomy, some dumbass prog says "oh, it's not like they're going to ban X". And then, within ten years or so, they do.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Nobody's gonna ban sack lunches, you know.

    How much of a leap is it from "New York Bans School Bake Sales" to "New York Bans Sack Lunches"?

  • ||

    Correction - "Hitler was a VEGETARIAN by the way" duh!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Nazi, vegetarian - same thing.

  • ||

    Birchers, Aryan Nation, the Hutaree and various right-wing militia, and Southern Baptists are our American Nazis.

    Its comforting to see American respect for foreign culture at least.

    Frau Palin has to get her message out to the remotes.

  • ||

    A religious denomination with a significant minority membership are Nazis? Really?

  • ||

    There are probably more Left wingers that believe this crap than the groups he named above.

  • sr7||

    Does anyone know what's wrong with shrike?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Aside from the obvious fact that he's a pathetic, frustrated, feckless asshole?

  • sr7||

    I'm not a psychiatrist, but I can spot a nut. He isn't a tiny little pistachio either. A Brazilian if I have ever seen one.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Being teabagged by his "special uncle" too often without breathing through his nose killed off a few of his brain cells.

    Which is why "teabaggers" send him into an apoplectic fit.

  • Shriek you're a fucking idiot||

    Only the Aryans are Nazis. A fifth grader knows that.

  • .||

    Oh, but anyone who is anti-leftard must be a Nazi....according to the leftards.

  • ||

    Southern Baptists are our American Nazis.

    I thought Southern Baptists were black poeple....

  • ||

    Some are. Black Nazis.

  • ||

    Would Black Nazis be uberuntermenshen or unterubermenshen?

  • ||

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidociousuntermenshen?

  • ||

    OK

    Then I guess Gay Black Nazis would be uberunterubermenshen if they were 'top' men and unteruberuntermenshen if they were 'bottom' men.

  • ||

    That makes sense to me.

    I like how German words can go on and on and on. Like a sentence without spaces.

  • ||

    I watched Triumf das Willen many years ago. I remember being both amazed at its sophisicated techniques and appalled by its underlying message.

    I strongly recommend the film to anyone who wants a lesson in how effective propaganda can made a horrible ideology seem attractive.

    [Battleship Potempkin is another landmark propaganda film that everyone should see.]

  • ||

    I'm sure Michael Moore will visit the exhibit, jotting down notes and taking pointers

  • .||

    and the demonization of the ubiquitous and duplicitious "racial enemy."

    No such word as duplicitious.

  • ||

    Oh boy! A Nazi-language-usage-nazi.

  • ||

    It's duplicitous.

  • ||

    I like duplicitious. It has a teasing undertone of "fictitious" and "delicious."

  • Every YouTuber Ever||

    you know who else is a nazi? [Insert Politician/Pundit/Anyone I don't Like]!1!1!! HURP DURP

  • shiroi neko||

    Neo Nazi?

    Are they German?

  • No||

    Just have to point out that Tony was bitching about our "corporate overlords" - and that this is stupid to say because libertarians are against corporate welfare, as well as policies that unfairly give companies an advantage over each other and people.

    Libertarians didn't want the bank-or car-bailouts, but I guess not giving other peoples money to shit corporations is prostituting oneself to corporations. Herp durp durr.

  • Tony||

    Oh please. Name me one libertarian here who's not in favor of continuing Bush's welfare for the rich program, justifying it with the same stupid dishonest talking points Republicans use. "It's THEIR money, therefore, a tax cut doesn't really add to the debt. Doopty doo!"

    Everyone hates the bailouts now that we're safely away from the edge of depression. Such a brave fucking position.

  • Cecil||

    Can you really not see the difference between confiscating people's money and giving that confiscated money to others in the form of bailouts? Or are you just trying to be provocative by being intentially thick?

  • Cecil||

    "intentionally" crap.

  • Tony||

    The bailouts at least had the virtue of saving the economy from collapse, which actually helps regular Joes, unlike the Bush welfare checks to the rich.

  • H.F. Wolff||

    Do you believe EVERYTHING your government tells you????

    The sky is falling and we better send trucks of money to those who caused this, ahem, mishap, right?

    If more money is better why not just send it directly to those who would actually spend it and thus help the economy?

    Bailing out crooked gangster bankers is the very last thing one ought to do as it reinforces fraudulent behaviour. BAAAD = Fraudulent, right?

  • H.F. Wolff||

    Such irreverent commentary!

    What about the holy 6 million????

    At least its 6 mil to the mathematically challenged and big H profiteers.

  • ||

    Would love to see a piece done on something relevant--like the Zionist use, ironically of "Holocaust" imagery, as cover for their war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine.

  • H.F. Wolff||

    Pat Buchanan and Professor Finkelstein have used much ink to cover this issue of Zionists using the "club" of the holocaust fairy tale to cover their crimes against humanity.

  • nike shoes UK||

    is good

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