WWI WWII or Nazi Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Nazi Germany

Nazi Propaganda and the Spread of Fascism

World War II was precipitated by the rise of fascism throughout Europe. As the mores of socialism began to take root in many parts of the continent, fascism emerged as a powerful counterpoint. For nations like Italy, Spain and Germany, the consequences of a sustained and devastating recession would be a coalescing of support behind strong, self-proclaimed and authoritarian leaders. Certainly, most notorious among them would be Adolph Hitler, whose Nazi party would first occupy Austria and Germany before ultimately pursuing a more global agenda. However, for our discussion, the primary interest is the degree of success that the Nazi party had in ultimately penetrating Germany with its values, ideals and policies. As the discussion here will show, propaganda would play a central role in the ability of the Nazi party to garner support and generate the impassioned loyalty of the German people.

In particular, our attention is drawn to an image that is estimated to be from around 1930, depicting Hitler in a manner that at once glorifies the Nazi leader and displays the core tenets of fascism. The image, which can be found at the following link, shows the Fuhrer standing boldly and proudly, brandishing the Nazi flag and bathed in rays of light descending from heaven. As the German Propaganda Archive (2013), from which this image is drawn, indicates, there is a decidedly intentional allusion to the notion of Hitler as a divine figure. According to the Archive, "this poster makes the most direct Christological comparison…. Just as a dove descended on Christ when he was baptised by John the Baptist, so what looks to be an eagle hovers against the light of heaven over an idealized Hitler." (German Propaganda Archive, p. 1)

This allusion is important in helping to further our understanding of the concept of fascism. Indeed, the poster in question perfectly captures one of our Terminal Course Objectives (TCO). Namely, the third course objective prompts, "Given the economic conditions and political instability of post-WWI Germany, analyze Hitler's success in using the principles of fascism to promote his rise to power."

The image used for the item of propaganda in question is an especially powerful demonstration of how this was accomplished. The underlying premise of fascism is that an authoritarian and totalitarian government using highly draconian modes of social and regulatory control is the preferred mode of political leadership. This is mode of leadership that has particularly succeeded under conditions of social instability, political upheaval or economic disarray. All three converged in Europe of the 1930s, helping to produce a public willingness to accept the imposing hand of fascism. However, as the propaganda considered here demonstrates, the acceptance of this imposition could not have occurred without a compelling case being…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited:

German Propaganda Archive. (2013). Es Lebe Deutschland. Bytwerk.com.

History Learning Site (HLS). (2012). Propaganda in Nazi Germany. Historylearningsite.co.uk.

Welch, D. (2011). Nazi Propaganda. BBC History.

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