Anda di halaman 1dari 2

History

Paper 4 - Depth Study

Kirit Narain

[Q] How important was the work of Goebbels in the Nazi takeover of
Germany? Explain your answer [40 marks]
Joseph Goebbels was Hitlers right hand man, so his work was of importance, but
only to a certain degree in the Nazi takeover of Germany.
Joseph Goebbels joined the Nazi party in 1924, after which he quickly roe up the
ranks to eventually become Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment by
1929. His skilful means of propaganda gained the Nazis a lot of support and
ultimately contributed to their success in the elections of 1933.
Goebbels was known for his use of posters to convey the Nazi message. These
often tried to capitalize on peoples hatred such as for the Treaty of Versailles
and the Jews in order to make them believe that the Nazis were doing the right
thing. Alternatively the posters were also used to promote negative cohesion by
accusing the Nazis political opponents.
For the Nazis, propaganda wasnt simply a means of promoting themselves, but
instead Goebbels was tasked with brainwashing people into being wholesomely
loyal to the Nazis. Goebbels accomplished this via a variety of methods, the most
prominent of which was the use of Radios. The Nazis produced short-ranged
Radios and sold them for an extremely low price such that practically everyone
was able to purchase them. These could only pickup the Nazi channels on which
Hitlers brilliant speeches were looped. Large Radios were also placed at almost
every street corner because of which people were continuously exposed to Nazi
propaganda and the Nazi Ideals were forced upon their brains.
Similar to Hitler, Goebbels himself was a very good speaker as well, a fact which
he used to preach the Nazi message.
The Nazis brought about massive censorship in Germany, which was mainly
focused on the Newspaper Industry. Goebbels made sure that only pro-Nazi
articles were published such that people may not have even been aware until at
a much later stage about the true working of the Nazis. Those Newspapers which
did not comply with the Nazis were shut down and their writers sent to
concentration camps. Similarly was done with books as well in which only stories
about pure Aryans or which criticized Jews were allowed while others were burnt.
Goebbels produced films in which the Jews were portrayed as villains. These films
were effective in passively manipulating the minds of people and getting them to
do what the Nazis wanted.
The Nazis wanted to control every aspect of peoples lives, an important way in
which they did this was to brainwash the children starting at a young age. Two
types of Education Systems were established The Hitler Youth for boys and The
League of German Maidens for girls. The Nazis had always believed in women
playing a domestic role and staying at home to take care of their family. The
League of German Maidens did just this by teaching the girls how to be a mother
and look after the house while the Hitler Youth trained boys for fighting. Goebbels
made sure that all the subjects taught related to the Nazi ideas in some wat such
as they were made to believe that the Jews were to blame for Germanys defeat
in the History of the First World War.

History

Paper 4 - Depth Study

Kirit Narain

All of these aspects account for Goebbels importance in the Nazi takeover of
Germany.
On the other hand however, Goebbels cannot be credited entirely for the Nazis
success as there were other influential leaders as well in the Nazi party. One of
these being Heinrich Himmler who was responsible for the maintenance of order
and the elimination of opposition such as via the concentration camps. This was
an important reason for the Nazis success as many people were too afraid to
oppose them. The moderation of Germany was carried out by the SA led by Ernst
Rohm, however due to disagreements between Rohm and the Army, Hitler was
forced to execute Rohm and some influential members of the SA during an event
known as the Night of Long Knives. Later the SA was replaced by the SS. The
Gestapo were the Nazis secret state police who had the power to send
suspected Nazi naysayers to concentration camps without a trial. They were
highly feared s people would often tell on each other just to clear their own
name.
The Crux of the Nazi party cannot go unmentioned, as it was after all Hitlers
determination and skill that practically raised the party previously known as the
German Workers party from the ashes. Hitlers influential speeches and
leadership were one of the main reasons for the Nazis success for his ability to
adapt and deal with the situation looming across Germany made the Nazis stand
out. He took firm decisions that made him look like the only person in the
country who knew what to do such as supporting the army during communist
rebellions.
The Weimar Republic under Gustave Stresemann had Germanys economy up on
the loan from America under the Dawes plan and hence the depression struck
the Germans very badly as the American loan was recalled. The Nazis used the
chaos created by the depression to their advantage as people were willing to
vote for any party that had the capability of stabilizing the situation in Germany.
The Treaty of Versailles was a common point of hated throughout Germany since
it was the foundation of all their problems and hence the Nazis used it to their
advantage. The unstable economy had left people with absolutely nothing so all
they were not bothered about the cruelty of the Nazis as long as they received
food to eat and a house to live in.
Similar to the Nazis, the communists had also gained significantly increased
support after the depression and economic instability. Many people however
were resentful towards communism such as businessmen who would lose
everything they owned. The Nazis anti-communist stance appealed to these
people and hence won their vote.
In conclusion despite the significance of Joseph Goebbels propaganda, I am not
of the opinion that it was the single most important reason behind the Nazis
success as had it not been for the other prominent Nazi members, Hitler, The
Treaty of Versailles, the Depression and the Communists, the Nazis would have
likely not seen anywhere close to the same degree of success.