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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

own safety.

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

wanted done.

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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