Propaganda is biased information intentionally spread to shape public opinion and behavior



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State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda

Student Name: _________________________________________________




Propaganda is biased information intentionally spread to shape public opinion and behavior.
In the following definition of Propaganda, underline or highlight the 3-5 key words that you believe effectively communicate the power of propaganda:
The following is a list of possible characteristics and assumptions dealing with propaganda. Using your highlighter, highlight the characteristics and assumptions that you believe are true about propaganda. For those that you don’t highlight, give a brief description to the right as to why you disagree with the statement:


Possible Characteristics/Assumptions dealing with Propaganda

(Highlight those with which you agree.)

Further thoughts/reasons why you don’t agree with a characteristic or assumption

  • Propaganda contains true, partially true, or blatantly false information.

  • Propaganda may selectively omit information.

  • Propaganda simplifies complex issues or ideas.

  • Propaganda plays on emotions.

  • Propaganda uses a variety of media (including symbols, images, words, music).

  • Propaganda may be used to advertise a cause, organization, or movement and attack opponents.

  • All advertising is propaganda.

  • Propaganda can only be put to negative purposes.

  • Propaganda seeks agreement, not reasoned argument.

  • Propaganda is used to brainwash people.

  • Propaganda works with our conscious and unconscious hopes, fears, and desires.

  • Propaganda gives permission to a targeted audience to think, speak, and act a certain way.







From the statements with which you agree above, pull a total of 5 words that you believe are accurate descriptions of propaganda. Circle them above.
State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda


Propaganda Techniques:
BANDWAGON: an appeal to follow the crowd, to join in because others are doing so well; because so many people have joined, victory is inevitable and defeat impossible
CARD STACKING: selective omission which involves only presenting information that is positive to an idea or proposal and omitting information contrary to it
LESSER OF TWO EVILS: tries to convince audience of an idea or proposal by presenting it as the least offensive option; used to convince people to make sacrifices; adds blame on an enemy country or political group
NAME CALLING: use of derogatory language that carries a negative connotation when describing an enemy; labels the target as something that the public dislikes
PINPOINTING THE ENEMY: simplifies a complex situation by presenting one specific group or person as the enemy; clear-cut right and wrong
PLAIN FOLKS: convinces the public that his/her views reflect those of the common person and they are working for the benefit of the common person
SIMPLIFICATION (STEREOTYPING): reduces a complex situation to a clear-cut choice involving good and evil; useful in swaying uneducated audiences



  1. Who created this message and who was the intended audience?



  1. What is the purpose/message of this piece of propaganda?



  1. What creative techniques were used to attract and hold attention?



  1. How might different people/audiences have understood this message differently?



  1. What values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented in this piece?



  1. What is omitted from this message?



  1. Which emotion(s) does this piece target?



  1. Which propaganda technique (to the left) is the BEST description of the intent of this piece? Why?
Example propaganda analysis date: ________________

State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda

Student Name: _____________________________________________________________________________________


Making a Leader


In your group, you will be rotating through six different stations analyzing Nazi propaganda. Each station is a different theme, so make sure you complete all the tasks at each station on the correct spot on this handout. Pay attention to the time so that you stay on task! Work together as a group to discuss the tasks assigned to you.

Nazi propaganda experts carefully created propaganda that cast Hitler into multiple roles of military leader, politician, savior, and father of the nation. For the four images at this station, determine which role the propagandists cast Hitler in and what creative techniques they used to do so:



ROLES: MILITARY LEADER SAVIOR FATHER ON THE NATION POLITICIAN

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Which role is Hitler playing?

What creative techniques are being used to portray that role?




Which role is Hitler playing?

What creative techniques are being used to portray that role?




Which role is Hitler playing?

What creative techniques are being used to portray that role?




Which role is Hitler playing?

What creative techniques are being used to portray that role?






If time permits, view the video clips of Hitler’s speeches on the laptop at your station.

Video Clip

What propaganda techniques are used to attract and hold the attention of the crowd?

Page 3 of Making a Leader Theme: Hitler Campaign Speech




Historical film footage link from Making a Leader: Hitler thanks members of the SA and SS

Berlin, Germany, 1933






Watch your time! You have 8 minutes at each station.


Rallying the Nation


From 1919-1929, no single German political party was able to establish a majority in parliament. Therefore, when the Nazi propagandists claimed to represent all non-Jewish Germans and promised to unite the country and put the six million unemployed Germans back to work, Hitler received massive popular support.

Poster 1: What values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented in this message? Pay attention to the different hands in the poster.




Poster 2: What creative techniques are used to portray the desperation of the family in this poster?




Poster 3: What was the intended message of this propaganda photograph?




Poster 4: What emotions are targeted by this piece of propaganda selling the war?




If time permits, look at the Interactive Activity of the Aryan Family on page 3 of the Rallying the Nation theme:

Give at least one example of how the families in all three posters are similar.

How is the family in the last poster to the right different from the other two posters?

Can you think of any similarities or differences in how American families are portrayed in propaganda today?










If you have time before you leave this station, make comments on the paper around the images about the specific details or creative techniques in each piece of propaganda that show how Nazi propagandists rallied the nation. Add to any comments that are already there from previous groups. Use the markers provided.

Watch your time! You have 8 minutes at each station.


Defining the Enemy
The Nazis used propaganda to exclude specific groups from their society, groups who they believed did not promote the ideals of an Aryan Germany. These groups included Jews, Roma/Sinti, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, mentally and physically handicapped, and anyone who was seen as not supporting the Nation.

In images at this station, how does each piece of propaganda define an enemy of the Nazis?

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4













How would different groups understand these messages differently? Give at least one example.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

If time permits, use the laptop at your station to listen to the two survivors speak about their exclusion from German society during this time period. You can find these testimonies on Page 2 of the Defining the Enemy theme under Voices of the Excluded.

Name of Survivor

How did each survivor react to their exclusion from society? Summarize their reaction below…

BOB BEHR



GUY STERN



If you have time before you leave this station, make comments on the paper around the images about the specific details or creative techniques in each piece of propaganda that show how Nazi propagandists defined the different enemies they faced. Add to any comments that are already there from previous groups. Use the markers provided.

Watch your time! You have 8 minutes at each station.



Why would any society want to indoctrinate its youth? The Nazi party saw Germany’s Aryan youth as critical to the propagation of Nazi ideology.
Indoctrinating the Youth
They were included and hailed as important members of German society. Analyze the four images at this station to answer the following questions:


What values and lifestyles do the Nazis want their youth to adopt through the messages sent in each piece of propaganda?

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4













Give one example of how the Nazis appealed to their youth through propaganda? Which piece is the most appealing and why? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If time permits, view the video of the League of German girls rally on page 4 of the Indoctrinating the Youth theme on the laptop provided at your station.

What phrase is spelled out in the crowd of girls? __________________________________________________________

Why is this phrase significant? _________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

What propaganda techniques are used to appeal to the youth at this rally?_____________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________



If you have time before you leave this station, make comments on the paper around the images about the specific details or creative techniques in each piece of propaganda that show how Nazi propagandists appealed to the German youth. Add to any comments that are already there from previous groups. Use the markers provided.

Watch your time! You have 8 minutes at each station.


Writing the News
Without a free press, the distribution of Nazi ideas both within Germany and in other countries was controlled by the Nazi government. When the Nazis came to power, there were over 4,700 daily and weekly newspapers published annually in Germany, with over 80% of them being privately owned. When free press was eliminated, only one point of view was presented in the government-owned press. Using the images displayed in this station, answer the following questions:

Image 1: What is the purpose of having newspapers displayed in public cases for free?




Image 2: What is the message sent by the Nazi propagandists about the People’s Radio?




Image 3: How did the Nazis censor the actions of the German people?




Image 4: How could listening to the radio be an act of treason?






If time permits, use the laptop provided at this station to watch the video and provided commentary about the Reichstag fire. Answer the following questions:


  1. How extensive is the damage from the fire (give a specific example from the film)? ______________________
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________


  2. Who is blamed for the fire? What was their purpose in burning the Reichstag, according to the commentary? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. How was this incident used as an excuse for Hitler to impose military law on the country? ________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

If you have time before you leave this station, make comments on the paper around the images about the specific details or creative techniques in each piece of propaganda that show how Nazi propagandists controlled the media during this time period. Add to any comments that are already there from previous groups. Use the markers provided.

Watch your time! You have 8 minutes at each station.



Throughout World War II, Nazi propagandists disguised military aggression aimed at territorial conquest as righteous and necessary self-defense. They cast Germany as a victim or potential victim of foreign aggressors, a peace-loving nation forced to protect its populace or defend European civilization against Communism. This was propaganda of deception, designed to fool or misdirect the populations in Germany, German-occupied lands, and neutral countries.

Using the laptop provided at your station, view the two staged videos in this theme meant to deceive the public and answer the following questions:

Film 1: Page 3 of the theme; staged video about life in the ghettoes

Film 2: Page 4 of the theme; staged video about the Terezin ghetto and the Red Cross visit

Give specific staged images from the film clip:

What was omitted from these clips? Be as specific in your answer as possible.

What was the Nazis’ purpose in staging this film?


Give specific staged images from the film clip:

What was omitted from these clips? Be as specific in your answer as possible.

What was the Nazis’ purpose in staging this film?


Watch your time! You have 8 minutes at each station.


Deceiving the Public





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