Propaganda and the Third Reich
Hitler and the Nazi party used propaganda to sway public opinion. They were able to create different messages for various audiences.
- 1What makes propaganda so effective?
Ask students to define propaganda. Discuss ways that propaganda is used today.
Go to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s online exhibit about propaganda.
Explore the different timeline sections and look through the themes. Choose one or more to explore with your students. Read through some of the subsections under these themes and click through the attached propaganda associated with it.
For example, if you click on the ‘1918-1933: Democracy‘ section and read the introduction and the subsection, ‘Hitler and Nazi Propaganda.’ Then scroll down to the subsection titled, ‘Creating a Public Image‘ and read and look through the images connected to it.
Divide the students into groups of 3 – 4 students Provide each with a current print advertisement or political ad. They can focus on these questions to present and discuss:
- Who is the target audience?
- What is their message?
- How is it conveyed through images and words?
- How effective is this message?
Come back together as a class and ask students: How do these messages shape a person’s perspective? How does this help to explain the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda?
Wisconsin Academic Standards
This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.