Lesson Plan

The Power of Nazi Propaganda

This lesson focuses on the power and influence of propaganda in the Third Reich through use of a multimedia source.

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Nazi Germany

Enduring Understanding

When people are given messages repeatedly with no dissenting views to oppose them, they can become more receptive to those messages.

Essential Question

  • 1Why was propaganda so effective in Germany and how was it used?


10 Min

Ask students what they already know about propaganda. What is it? What purpose does it serve? How is it similar and different from other efforts to persuade people?


10 Min

Watch the 6 minute video – The Power of Nazi Propaganda with students. Replay the video if necessary
While they watch the movie, have students answer the following questions:

  1. What was the logic behind using red in so much of Nazi propaganda?
  2. How were the Jews portrayed in Nazi propaganda?
  3. Hitler believed that the spoken word, rather than the written word, was responsible for all the great events in history. How did his public speaking feed into this?


30 Min

Divide the class into groups of three to five to discuss the questions below. Have one person in the group be responsible for taking notes and writing down their answers. Pull up the images of Nazi propaganda below for the groups to look over while in their groups. These images come from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

  1. Why did the Nazis use propaganda to advance their political aims?
  2. Where do you find propaganda in your life today? Consider advertising, political messaging, and other examples.
  3. When does propaganda become dangerous?
  4. What is the best weapon against being manipulated?
  5. How do you think learning about Nazi propaganda can help us today?

If time permits, reconvene as a class to go over the answers the groups came up with. Have students add to their notes with responses from their classmates.

Teacher Primer

Know Before You Go

Before you teach, use our teacher primer to freshen up on your content knowledge.