Historical background of anti-Semitism
The anti-Semitism began more than 2000 years ago. The hatred against the Jews started when Christians started persecuting Jews for having been responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. The narrative was alter integrated into the church teachings. Eventually, even non-Christians bought the idea and the Jews started being persecuted the world over. The Jews were in trouble for their preferred way of life and their general choices in politics. The Jews were further castigated for refusing to adopt Christianity and abandon the Jewish religion. This is the point where Europe also started taking part in the anti-Semitism campaign. It is important that the history of anti-Semitism be seen to have started way before the Nazi’s took it up. However, the atrocities of the Nazi’s against the Jews in Germany has been the worst case of discrimination yet.
The holocaust was conducted with an aim of eliminating the Jews from the face of Germany completely. It was so bad that the German nationals were threatened with death if they were discovered to have had a chance of killing a Jew but failed to take it. The anti-Semitism in Germany was further fuelled by claims that the intermarriages between the Jews and the Aryans was dangerous. It was weakening the purity of the Aryans. According to Hitler, he wanted to make sure that the Aryans were the greatest people in the world and purity of blood was of utmost importance. Instead of banning these intermarriages, they figured that killing the Jews was going to make their work easier. That is how the anti-Semitism led to the biggest and most shocking case of a holocaust in the world to date.
Nazi ideology and public opinion
The Nazi ideology was contradictory at some point. The ideas that stood out the most were the ideas that the government had to have total authority over everybody so that its policies could be implemented effectively. Their idea further supported the fact that there should be only one leader in charge of everything that concerned the Germans and whose power to make decisions was not to be challenged. It is important for people the leader would then have the power to dictate which religions were fit for his people and which ones would be abolished. This was the brainchild of Hitler in a bid to attain total power over Germany. The Nazi ideology was aimed at achieving a government state that would be in control of all aspects of the society unapologetically. This was a totalitarian ideology.
According to the Nazi’s, the whole idea for the movement was to create a nationalist ideology. The idea was good because it was aimed at making Germany the greatest nation in the world. There was the militarism which was a program dedicated to arming the country for war. The armament was fashioned to protest the Versailles treaty. Expansionism was aimed at bringing all the Aryans in Europe together under the German government. The Nazi’s most controversial ideology was racialism. They made this a popular ideology by considering themselves the strongest and the best race in Europe. This was contradictory to their claims of being lovers and promoters of unity. Unity and racialism do not go together because racialism is already a divisive ideology. There were more ideologies by the Nazi’s that were all fashioned at making Hitler the overall leader of Germany and his opinions were to be considered divine and perfect.
Purpose of Propaganda in Nazi Germany
Propaganda was mainly aimed at creating a nation united on ideas. The propaganda for the Nazi was aimed at making all the German’s feel indebted to Hitler for the war he led against all their enemies. The enemies included the international enemies as well as the Jews within their borders. Propaganda also served to make it normal for violence to be perpetrated against the Jews. According to the Nazi, all the communication, entertainment and even information meant for children was supposed to be about the Nazi and their greatness. This means that the Nazi’s spread their ideas of being cruel to the Jews without being inhibited by anybody. The ideologies of the Nazi’s was already cruel enough to the Jews and the continuous propaganda made it worse and more permanent in the society.
The Nazi also used propaganda to incite their people against foreigners by all means. This was based on the belief that the Germans were the greatest and the best race in Europe. Therefore, it was expected that they would win when they went to war with the Soviet Union. They lost terribly at war but they managed to fight till the end of the war powered by the propaganda. The Germans went an extra mile of trying to lure more Jews into German so that they would kill as many as they could. This was a cruel idea that the Nazi’s hoped to use in their strategy to rule over all of Europe. The propaganda worked for the Nazi’s because they got the civilians on board about the persecution of the Jews in ways that were not humane to say the least. The massive killings were conducted using poisoned gas meaning that the Jews died painful deaths in the camps dedicated to the course.
Nationalism for the Nazi was all about discriminating every other race that was not the Aryan’s. Nationalism for the Nazis meant the death and extinction of the Jews from German and all of Europe. Hitler popularised the idea that the German was the only identity the Germans had. He further stressed that the Germans could not exist without Germany meaning individual identity was useless. Hitler used populist ideas to appeal to the Germans and make them accept that the killing of the Jews was acceptable. The Aryans were deprived of their freedom to be themselves and instead forced to live as dictated by Hitler’s authoritarian government. Germany during the time of Hitler was synonymous with atrocities that much was not known about to the extensive use of force and propaganda in hiding their bad deeds. During the time of Hitler, the killings that went in Germany have yet to be surpassed. The idea of nationalism for Germany was marred with ill motives by the government and their supporters. It is for this reason that even today, Germans are not considered friendly because of the image of Germans Hitler painted to the world.
Hitler’s role in the propaganda movement
The propaganda movement was Hitler’s idea of ensuring that the rest of the world was in the dark about his actions. Additionally, Hitler’s ideologies only thrived on propaganda and not honest reasons. Hitler also relied on propaganda to brainwash the Germans into believing that all his work was honest and that he could easily make them the greatest people in Europe. Hitler deliberately used propaganda to create fear among people. He created an air of fear among the people that opposing him was dangerous for their wellbeing. It was difficult for the Nazis to exercise power over people who had not believed in their ideologies. Therefore, the use and application of fear was rampant and common for Hitler and his foot soldiers. Hitler being the ultimate leader of the Nazi designed the messages to be used as propaganda. He left nothing to chance in his ambition to conquer and rule Europe.
All the propaganda tactics came about after Germany lost during the World Wars and lost territories as well. The Versailles treaty for Hitler was a way for the international community to spite Germany and he was ready to fight against it. Propaganda for Hitler enabled him to make the Germans support the armament activities. It also enabled the Nazi’s to persecute Jews without being questioned. The human rights of outsiders during that time were considered non-existent. Propaganda was also used by Hitler to ensure that the Jews living outside of Germany wanted to come back home without knowing that it was a death trap. Hitler ingle handily oversaw the instillation of fear among the Germans so much that they could not easily revolt against his atrocities. Additionally, Hitler had designed the Nazi movement such that any attempts at wrestling him out of power were thwarted even before they could materialize. This was all as a result of the use of propaganda in Germany.
Llewellyn, Jeniffer. 2014. “Nazi Ideology.” Nazi Germany. Accessed December 5, 2017. alphahistory.com/nazigermany/nazi-ideology/.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. n.d. “Antisemitism in History: From the Early Church to 1400.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed December 5, 2017.
—. n.d. “Nazi Propaganda.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed December 5, 2017. www.ushmm.org/wlc/mobile/en/article.php?moduleld=10005202.
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