(a) Explain why the Nazis wanted control over the media.(b) How far would you agree or disagree with the view that the various forms of Nazi propaganda had very little impact on the German people by 1939?

(a): Nazis controlled and supervised newspapers, radio, books, magazines and theater. This was done with the objective of molding the public opinion and ensuring the mass support to the Nazi regime. By 1939 over 70% of German household had wireless radio ensuring that Nazi propaganda reached maximum people with ease. Around 4000 books were banned for being ‘un-German’ and nationwide book burning days were observed.
(b): On the international relation front Hitler’s achievements were quite popular. Goebbels, the propaganda minister, took advantage of it and created an image of Hitler as an infallible leader. The popularity of Hitler reached a new height after the quick victory over France. Due to this propaganda ordinary German believed in Hitler and his promise of raising living standards, however, they may have some problem with some sections of Nazi party. The Germans approved the setting of concentration camps for communists and other anti-social troublemakers due to the successful propaganda that these concentration camps were the centers of re-education. However, Richard J. Evans argues that Hitler did not enjoy popular support after some years into power. He believes that constant propaganda led to boredom and escapism after the initial novelty wore off. Lack of opposition, to an extent, can be explained by the fact that ordinary German learned to keep themselves clear of politics. Fear and violence were still the reasons for obedience.  

Question for UPSC Mains:
(a) Explain why the Nazis wanted control over the media. (b) How far would you agree or disagree with the view that the various forms of Nazi propaganda had very little impact on the German people by 1939?

Published: March 19, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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