To what extent was the Nazi state a propaganda state?

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To what extent was the Nazi state a propaganda state?

In studying Hitler’s rise to power previously, we were able to establish that propaganda was one of the key factors that helped to get him into power.  However, once power had been obtained, I do not think that it was possible for the Nazi state to be a total propaganda state due to the necessity to keep people happy by delivering on promises and to make progress as a unified Germany.  Nevertheless, propaganda would continue to play a significant role in the state following Hitler’s ‘takeover,’ particularly in maintaining the ‘Hitler myth’ itself, and would in certain areas, determine policy.

On the whole, prior to Hitler’s arrival, Germany was not overtly anti-Semitic, and such racial sentiment principally existed in minority groups.  However, Hitler and his propaganda machine led by Goebbels, were able to stir anti-Semitic feeling to a huge extent. Films such as ‘Der Ewige Jude’ showed Jews as parasites, while stereotypical posters identified the archetypal Jewish appearance.  This in turn endorsed the racial extermination that followed, whether it be through active support or passive co-operation.  

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Propaganda would play a great role in attempting to win the hearts and minds of German youth.  Most importantly, youth were impressionable, so Hitler thought that propaganda would be sufficient to instil them with his Weltanschauung.  Youth movements and education steered in favour of the Nazi movement achieved the desired effect for a while, and at one time, historian Wilt suggests that 95% of German youth backed Hitler.  However, propaganda was insufficient here, as minor, but nevertheless important opposition built up in the Hitler Youth movement due to Nazi education being ‘poorly thought out and lacking in substance’ [Fischer]. ...

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