Nazi Propaganda - The Goebbels Machine


How did Goebbels use the media to spread Nazi propaganda? This chart shows how medium was controlled and used for the purposes of spreading the Nazi message. Part of our learning series on Nazi Germany.
Andrew Burke
Flowchart by Andrew Burke, updated more than 1 year ago
Andrew Burke
Created by Andrew Burke almost 7 years ago

Resource summary

Flowchart nodes

  • Films. The cinema was one of the most popular leisure activities at the time. Goebbels ordered that all films, no matter what the content, would carry a pro-Nazi message. The newsreels that came from this glorified Hitler and the achievements of the Nazi Party. Goebbels also censored all foreign films that came into Germany. 
  • Radio. Goebbels saw the potential of the radio to broadcast the Nazi message to millions. He made cheap radios available to all Germans to buy and then controlled the radio stations. Hitler's ideas and speeches, as well as those of other Nazi leaders were repeatedly played until people began to believe those ideas. 
  • How did Goebbels control media and culture in Nazi Germany? 
  • Posters. If people missed the broadcasts on the radio, they would see posters everywhere. Goebbels plastered Germany in posters detailing the successes of Hitler and the Nazis, and attacking ideas of their opponents. 
  • Art. Artists suffered the same restrictions as writers. While only Nazi-approved writers would showcase their works. These were usually paintings or sculptures of Aryan-like figures.  
  • Music. Goebbels banned jazz music, which had become very popular in Germany at the time. He claimed it was 'Black' music; Black people were considered an inferior race. 
  • Newspapers. Goebbels controlled 'the news'; newspapers were not allowed to publish anti-Nazi ideas. Within months of Hitler's takeover, Jewish editors and journalists were out of work and anti-Nazi newspapers were shut down. Newspapers became very dull and demand for them dropped 10%. 
  • Books. Books that were to be published needed Goebbels permission. The bestseller in Germany was Mein Kampf. In 1933, he organised a high-profile book burning; students came together to burn books that Nazi ideology deemed unacceptable. 
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