Poster for the Munich exhibition of “The Eternal Jew,” 1936. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Julius Goldstein
“A New People” cover of the Nazi Party’s Office of Racial Politics calendar, 1938. Source unknown
“Germany’s Victory Europe’s Freedom” Source unknown
What is propaganda?
How does one recognize it?
What are common propaganda strategies?
Review the purpose of Nazi propaganda and common practices: Propaganda PowerPoint [PPT, 3.13 MB].
When prompted, use the questions on this worksheet to deconstruct the Nazi propaganda images at the right.
For each individual image, discuss these questions:
What are the main colors used in this image?
- What do these colors mean?
What symbols are used in this image?
- What do these symbols mean?
- Who was the intended audience for this image?
- Where would this image have been used or displayed?
What emotions does this image prompt?
- Was it meant to invoke good feelings or bad toward the subjects?
- Do you think this image was effective in getting its message through to its audience?
Concentrating on all three images, answer these questions:
- What are the similarities and differences between the images?
Do these images use the same colors with similar goals in mind?
- What are these colors?
Do these images invoke the same emotions?
- Are they meant to?
Are they appealing to the same audience?
- Was this the intention?
Discuss how the Nazis used political propaganda and manipulated schools, the mass media, and the arts as a way to indoctrinate and convince the masses to accept the Nazi philosophy.
After watching a clip from the American propaganda film Weapon of War, consider the following: Who is the audience for this video? What is its purpose? Who was affected? What are some of the symbols/keywords used (i.e. patriotic and ominous background music, Nazi poison, Aryans, etc.)?
Use this chart to match the image with its appropriate propaganda technique. There may be more than one technique per image.
- Discuss in a group the propaganda techniques that you checked.
- Why did you select the techniques that you did?
Did anyone in your group select techniques that you did not?
- Do you agree with his or her selection?
- Is the meaning of propaganda objective or subjective?
- What is an advantage of propaganda having different meanings to different people or groups of people?
Find examples of present-day propaganda relating to local, state, or world issues either online, in print, or on TV.
Match these advertisements with the appropriate propaganda techniques. There may be more than one technique per image.
- How are the examples that you chose propaganda?
- Who is the intended audience of the examples you chose?
- What emotions are these examples trying to invoke?
- Do you think these examples are successful in getting their messages across?
- Do you think your examples are used for positive or negative gains?