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Strategy cannot simply be defined as something someone does on a battlefield or
a weapon he or she makes. Strategy must be considered on many different planes. There
are many different strategies that lead up to the tactics on the battlefield, diplomatic
tactics, propaganda tactics, and a host of others that must be taken into account before the
war is even began. Hitler s strategy was to take targets that he could get his hands on
without directly declaring war on any nations. Hitler knew not to fight a multiple front
war. He knew that if he did he would be crushed quickly. Hitler knew also, how to make
people follow him, Without this weapon he would ve never had an army. Hitler knew
that propaganda would be crucial part in this war in helping him raise an army and fuel it
with ideas of what it was fighting for.
Hitler used propaganda as one of his prime weapons. Propaganda had been used
as far back as World War One and farther back then that. It became a realistic way of
explaining ones ideas around the time of the printing press, but was used in many other
ways then slogans and posters. Propaganda could be any speech or a way of promoting or
demoting any ideas.
Propaganda can serve almost any use the person using it would want to. It shows
a limited amount of ideas from a limited perspective. It is one of the most effective ways
of spreading single sided ideas to a large amount of people. Hitler used it to show that he
was a born leader. In one Pro-Hitler poster, Hitler is surrounded by his army on a podium
with both arms in the air adorned by a hallow of light with about fifty swastikas below
him (Hitler, Adolf) That creates a very powerful image that isn t easy to forget. As long
as that name paired with those kinds of images are in people s heads the propaganda has
succeeded with catchy artwork and symbols to make the viewer remember the ideas.
Anyone and everyone can use propaganda. Hitler used it; the U.S. used it to
promote economy and to rally itself for the war, and to increase its industrial capacity for
war. The U.S. also used pictures of a loud-mouthed dictator to harbor feelings of
agitation in U.S. citizens about Hitler.
Hitler used every form of propaganda that he could think of. Hitler had speeches,
parades, posters, and symbols all to convince people that he would be the one, the Fuhrer,
to bring Germany out of its rut and back into its past greatness. People were tired of the
depression and were bitter from having to pay reparations. When people saw him
and his organized armies, they didn t think crazed dictator, they thought that he was a
uniformed, proud, patriot. That was Hitler wanted them to think. As Hitler had posters
showing the allied powers as horrible things out to destroy the dream of the third Reich,
they only reaffirmed the beliefs of his soldiers of what war was like.
Hitler wasn t just born as the patriotic, Anti-Jew, calculating person that we
now know. He was born on April 20 1889, in small Austrian town, but later moved to a
much larger town. He had three brothers and two sisters, one brother died, not from
starvation or poverty, but the measles. In most of his speeches Hitler would try to give the
impression that his family was poor, and on the edge of poverty, when actually they were
well off. The last name that his father used was Schickelgruber, young Hitler knew early
that lacked the heroic ring that he felt he needed. So he changed his name to Hitler a
name that some of his relatives used, but spelled it in a way that suited him best, rather
then Hiedler, Huettler, and Huetler. Hitler did exceedingly bad in school, but he read
often and was a big fan of a certain German author of American trash fiction. This writer,
Karl May, wrote westerns filled with violence and was extremely popular with most
German school children, however they soon lost interest as they reached adulthood.
Hitler, however, did not. He later commented on Karl May as in fact, he opened my eyes
to the world. May s writing fit into Hitler s world perfectly. They reaffirmed everything
he thought. It was rich in prejudice, racism, and violence (Switzer.)
Hitler aspired to be an architect or artist, but was unsuccessful at this. Even in his
seat as a dictator he still considered himself an artist. People who saw his paintings said
he usually avoided people, both in art and in real life. His steeples, churches, towers and
other designs in architecture were very accurate. Eventually he could not afford anything
on such an unsuccessful profession, He wondered the streets of Vienna looking for odd
jobs and he slept on benches.
After this Hitler fought in World War One, which Hitler fought very bravely in
and was decorated for courage many times. During the war Hitler is gassed and goes into
a state of hysterical blindness, where the only reason he can t see is because of his
blinding anger and bitterness for the allies. The Versailles treaty shocked Hitler.
Hitler felt that the fatherland had been handed away and that the people that had been
trying to fight to keep the allies back had been deceived. He called the signers of the
Versailles treaty traitors. He also thought it was part of a Jewish plan to wreck the
Fatherland. He was bitter about this for a long time.
About a year after that Hitler made his first important speech in a beer hall, and
later named his organization the National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazi, for
short. By the summer of 1920 it has three thousand due paying members.
Parades were probably one of Hitler s most effective methods. They had no real
meaning really except to show off the power of his army, to rise the morale of his troops,
of the civilians, and to make himself seem more of a figurehead. There was lots of
preparation for one of his marches, women would sprinkle flowers on the pavement
before the soldiers passed, swastikas were everywhere. These parades gave the German
people a kind of solidarity. We are German. The parades would usually end with a speech.
Hitler was said to move from bitterness to joyfulness constantly, and he would take his
viewers with him on every mood (Shirer.)
Hitler s Youth was an organization that he made to familiarize children
with the idea of total obedience to the higher authorities while disguising it as a kind of
girl and boy scouts. They sometimes joined as early as six and played games of tactical,
and strategic nature. They sung patriotic songs and even had little uniforms and did the
well known Heil Hitler salute (Switzer.)
Censorship was not used until later in his political life. Censor ship was
everything from book burning to murdering people. At the beginning of his dictatorship,
Hitler outlawed labor unions, burned books, and outlawed all other political parties
except the Nazi party. Hitler outlawed labor unions to keep the economy moving at a fast
enough pace to keep his war machine moving. Hitler didn t burn ALL books, he simply
burned all the books that had any kind of independent thought or ideas behind them.
There was a huge book-burning bonfire in Berlin on May twentieth. Evreyone was
The Nazi s had things called party block wardens. People could report
conversations to the Nazi s which could set them up for imprisonment or death
depending on how serious the reported conversation was. By 1936 everyone was
watching what they said.
Hitler outlawed political parties for one obvious reason-to make the spread of
Hitler s ideas faster, to clear the way of different ideas. He would probably murder some
of them later.
Hitler s censorship also spread to murder or imprisonment for those who spoke
against him. During The Night of the Long Knives Hitler murdered some of his
enemies and friends in order to get rid of anybody who might possibly want to conspire
against him. People accepted the disappearances of others because if Hitler said so it
must ve been that way. Hitler s men would tell them they had been locked up for their
Hitler chose the symbol for his Nazi party to be the swastika; it is a very old symbol,
dating back to ancient Egypt it is Propaganda in its highest form, no other had a symbol
of such power. Hitler once said A symbol it is!
Hitler also tried to show himself as the nice guy by constantly having
photographs taken of himself with children or puppies, or ideally, both. He supposedly
liked animals so much he became a vegetarian. Photos like this were in newspapers
almost daily. Someone that was very close to him was Albert Speer, who had the
following impression of him.
His appearances also surprised me. On posters and in caricatures I had seen
him in military tunic, with shoulder straps, swastika arm band and hair flapping
on his forehead. But here he was wearing a well-fitted blue suit and looking
markedly respectable. Everything about him bore out a note of reasonable
modesty. Later I learned he had a great gift for adjusting- consciously or
intuitively-to his surroundings.
-Albert Speer, on his first encounter with Adolf Hitler at a university meeting,
from his autobiography, Inside the Third Reich.
Hitler could change his mood entirely and was a master actor.
It is doubtful that Hitler ever could ve became as popular as he did with
out anyone knowing his name. Without his ability to be so many different things he
would ve been nothing. For example, he was a tactariun, patriot, leader, artist, and leader
of youth. But all of these were something he wasn t. Behind all of this he was a
calculating conquerer. All the parades were just to draw an army for him to use, as were
all the patriotic speeches, because without them he couldn t have gotten half of what he
The purpose of propaganda is not to provide interesting distraction for blase’
young gentlemen, but to convince, and what I mean is to convince the masses.
But the masses are slow-moving, and they always require a certain time before
they are ready even to notice a thing, and only after the simplest ideas are
repeated a thousand times will the masses finally remember them.
-Adolf Hitler, from Mein Kampf.
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