A Decade of Propaganda: Great Britain and Germany, 1935- 1945- Part 2, by B.P.

It is imperative for all citizens to have a knowledge of history and varied methodologies of propaganda. In any mode, to win the hearts and minds of people, a propaganda operation must present the information in a method that inspires and persuades the consumer. And we are looking at the propaganda that was utilized by Great Britain and Germany in the World War II era. Currently, in this article series, we have just covered the first of the seven domestic propaganda persuasion techniques– name calling. Now, let’s take a look at the remainder six of them.

Technique #2: Plain Folk

Widely known, by applying the “plain folk” method, one takes on the appearance of a commoner through verbal and non-verbal manners, out of efforts to blend in with the general masses. Nazi “politicians, labor leaders, business men, and even ministers” utilized the plain folk method to further their ability to gain the support and “confidence of the people” by seeming to have associated commonalities with them.[30]

Technique #3: Glittering Generalities

Less known, one employs “glittering generalities” to appeal “to [another’s] emotions of love, generosity, and brotherhood”. In this, the propagandist integrates well-meaning terms with which to associate the program.[31] For the Nazi’s, “the word Volk [meaning folk or people]” substituted for unification purposes.[32] With this method of persuasion, the Nazi party would incorporate the term “science” in order “to sanction practices, policies, beliefs, and races that it wanted approved”.[33] Of course, “only the conclusions of “German science” as approved by the Fuehrer may be accepted.”[34]

Technique #4: Testimonials

Similarly, through “testimonials”, an audience becomes more likely to “accept anything”. With this method, truth becomes relative. By incorporating doctors, politicians, lawyers, and engineers, testimonials can stimulate a substantial influence on persuading the public domain.

Technique #5: Transfer

When a propagandist finds that the subjects oppose the desired effect, such as when attempting to alter the beliefs of children that their parent’s instilled in them from birth, they employ the “transfer” method of persuasion. As an effort to win the heart of its target audience, transfer allows the propagandist to extinguish the competition of the consumer’s heart-felt principles and replace them with their own.[35] In this way, the children of Germany became manipulated. This was accomplished by the “words and symbols appertaining to war… toy soldiers, tanks, machine guns, and simplified battle instructions… [all] symbols to transfer sanction to the later use of real tanks and machine guns.”[36]

Hitler’s Youth Program Integrated the Transfer Technqiue

Furthermore, the Hitler Youth program’s leader, Baldur von Schirach, integrated the transfer technique into the program by prescribing all program attendees to recite a prayer to pay homage to Adolf Hitler.[37] In it, the prayer promotes faith in and dependency on the leadership. It also instills comradery and carries a sense of Hitler’s ownership of the pupil. As it refers to him as the “standard-bearer”, the prayer promotes the idea of his omniscience.[38] A raw form of brainwashing, among other aspects, instituting children to worship a leader promotes a cyclic nature of beliefs.

This eventually allows the government to control every aspect of life. Ultimately, this control lead to the German populace adapting the ideas of and promoting a racial state. Citing from “The Words of Hitler”, “The racial state will have to make sure that by proper education of youth, it will one day obtain a race ripe for the last and greatest decisions on this Earth.”[39]

Technique #6- Band Wagon

The “band wagon” technique emphasizes the “everybody is doing it [so why not me] mentality”. Applications of the band wagon technique created a pseudo united atmosphere for the average German citizens.[40]

Technique #7- Card Stacking

When the band wagon technique and the previously mentioned are combined in an all-out assault, it is known as “card stacking.” Employing all the arts of deception to win support places all information against the truth, or in a consorted effort to create the truth. Through the “underemphasis and overemphasis” of different techniques and altering potencies, the producer can obscure the facts. Hence, the Nazi regime altered public information in a way that suspended reality away from the German populace.[41]

Card Stacking as Most Essential Component of Nazi Propaganda System

Yourman argues that card stacking developed as the most essential component in the Nazi propaganda system. And he claimed that with its use “the regime [could] suppress facts, prevent discussion and expression of discontent and opposition… [accounting] for the fact that many visitors on returning from Germany report that they have heard no expression of discontent.”[42] In other words, it enabled the government to produce complete fallacies. In this manner, German mothers and fathers put complete faith and confidence into the public education system, better known as the Hitler Youth Program. By means of the Nazi regime’s educational text book, The Hitler Youth Manual, Hitler clearly indoctrinated the youth “to foster” a pro-Nazi “political will.”[43] To him, no child should graduate before realizing “the necessity and essence of blood purity.”[44].


As for the use of symbols, the well-known Swastika actually represented “the mission of the struggle for the victory of Aryan man and… the idea of creative work”, according to Hitler[45] Aforementioned, most examples include much simpler types. Other, more complicated examples include the eagle, skull and cross bone, Hitler himself, et cetera.

Neurological Process of Interpreting Symbols

Nonetheless, by understanding the neurological process of interpreting symbols allows for one to grasp the full power of propaganda. Throughout time, simple pictures and logos “have been an important part of culture and religious rituals.”[46]Though images better overcome language barriers and are easier to infer than words, due to the fact an image implies its true meaning, the brain works in such a way that it inhibits the ability to decrypt its purpose.

According to Lindsay Kolowich, a marketing analyst, due to the wiring of the brain, “[a] whole lot happens in the 400 milliseconds it takes for [someone] to see a logo, process it, and react to it – and it all has to do with color, shape, meaning, [and] prior experience.”[47] Not surprisingly, the process even complicates the leading experts, which agree that “there [is not] a single place in the brain where symbols are processed.”[48]

Eight Areas of Brain Involved In Either Accepting or Rejecting An Emblem

As of now, scientists have determined eight areas where the human brain analyzes, synthesizes, and either accepts or rejects an emblem. From the hippocampus and the pre-frontal cortex to the amygdala, five known processes occur. When a person first sees a logo, their eye initially perceives color. Then, one identifies the shape and form of the insignia. Less than half a millisecond later, the visual cortex sends a signal to the memory stores. These elements are then “grouped” to identify the object.[49] Next, the brain matches the visual pattern to any previous experience with the same pattern from stored memory. Finally, and most importantly for this paper, the brain adds “semantic attributes” from previous experiences with the logo. All of this happens in less than one-half of a second, in which the human brain not only acknowledges a logo exists but also reacts to it![50]

We Interpret From a Predisposed Position

In conclusion, due to the speed at which the brain operates, coupled with the “semantic attributes”, it becomes nearly impossible for a person to not interpret from a predisposed position.[51] In the rare case, only when one becomes aware of a scenario through pure facts, can they determine a pure and honest perception. Therefore, viewing historic events through the present context prompts a biased judgment.

Research Analyzes Democratic and Communist Propaganda Procedures

To counter these results, this research analyzes democratic and communist propaganda procedures to obtain a more comprehensive result. Moreover, a society ruled by an imposing and manipulating government eventually succumbs to accepting or resisting its effects. In either case, it stirs an action.

As for the former, when the society allows for institutions, such as Hitler Youth, to indoctrinate children to accept a predetermined rationale, an ideology eventualizes into a populace that accepts and promotes the same ideology. Thus, from a misconstrued standpoint, on the basis of manipulated beliefs and under the romance of unity, powerful demonstrations occur. When world super powers collide due to the propagation of varying ideas, the complications and thus the danger heightens, producing events such as world wars.

Nazi Propaganda Outperformed British Because of Increased Use of Symbols

Though the British ran a highly successful propaganda campaign by completely controlling the transfer of information, because the Nazi’s propaganda scheme fused an increased use of symbols with an emphasis on childhood development, their propaganda proved to outperform their British rival’s. In fact, by the end of WWII, while the children of Germany took up arms against the allies in total war conditions, and as allied bombs exploded in Berlin, some brainwashed, manipulated, and naive Germans visited the cinemas while still perceiving their war campaign as an ongoing triumph of their will.[52]


[30]Reeves, 114-115; Yourman, 149.

[31]Yourman, 150.



[34]Ibid, 154.

[35]Ibid, 151

[36]Ibid, 153.

[37]Ibid, 152.


[39]Blackthorn, 20.

[40]Reeves, 156.

[41]Ibid, 158.

[42]Ibid, 156.

[43]Bulgarien, Handbook of the NS, 8.

[44]Blackthorn, 12-13.

[45]Ibid, 15.

[46]Park, The Power of a Good Logo, 2.

[47]Kolowich, How Your Brain Processes Logos, 1.

[48]Ibid, 4.

[49]Ibid, 2-6.

[50]Ibid, 1-6.

[51]Ibid, 6.

[52]Reeves, 126. Riefenstahl, Triumph of the Will.

Works Cited


“An SS Booklet on Racial Policy.” An SS Booklet on Racial Policy. Ed. Randall Bytwerk. Calvin College, 1998. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.Kracauer, Siegfried. “The Conquest of Europe on the Screen: The Nazi Newsreel, 1939-40.” Social Research 82, no. 1 (Spring2015): 153. 25 Jan. 2017.

Baumböck, Karl. “The Jews in World Politics.” The Jews in World Politics. Ed. Randall Bytwerk. Calvin College, 1998. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

“Deutsche Diplomatisch-politische Korrespondenz.” Deutsche Diplomatisch-politische Korrespondenz. Ed. Randall Bytwerk. Calvin College, 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

Eichler, Max. “The Jewish Problem.” The Jewish Problem. Ed. Randall Bytwerk. Calvin College, 2005. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

“Robert Ley Speech “Wir oder die Juden…,” Robert Ley Speech (31 March 1939). Ed. Randall Bytwerk. Calvin College, 1999. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

“The Nazi Primer”. Internet Archive. Edward Blackthorn, 21 July 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.


Bachrach, Susan D., Edward J. Phillips, and Steven Luckert. “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.” Washington, D.C.: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2009. Print.

Bowman, Stephen. “An Englishman abroad and an American lawyer in Europe: Harry Brittain, James Beck and the Pilgrims Society during the First World War.” Journal Of Transatlantic Studies (Routledge) 12, no. 3 (July 2014): 258-281. 11 Feb. 2017.

Bulgarien, Sofia. “Handbook of the NS”. Internet Archive. Edward Blackthorn, Neues Europa, 22 July 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.

Goebbels: Master of Propaganda. Perf. Fritz Hippler, Wilfred Von Oven, Arthur Maria Rebenalt. British Broadcasting Corporation, 1992. DVD.

Greve, Justine. “Language and Loyalty: The First World War and German Instruction at Two Kansas Schools.” Kansas History 37, no. 3 (September 2014): 130-147. 11 Feb. 2017.

Hagen, Joshua. 2008. “Parades, Public Space, and Propaganda: The Nazi Culture Parades in Munich.” Geografiska Annaler Series B: Human Geography 90, no. 4: 349-367. 25 Jan. 2017.

Hale, Oron J. The Captive Press in the Third Reich. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1964. Print.

Holmes, Taylor. “Deutschland Unsere Mutter, Columbia Our Bride: German-America in the Progressive Era.” Pursuit: The Journal Of Undergraduate Research At The University Of Tennessee 4, no. 2 (Spring2013): 31-45. 11 Feb. 2017.

Kehoe, Thomas J. “Fighting for our mutual benefit: understanding and contextualizing the intentions behind Nazi propaganda for the Arabs during World War Two.” Journal of Genocide Research 14, no. 2 (June 2012): 137-157. 11 Feb. 2017.

Kracauer, Siegfried. “The Conquest of Europe on the Screen: The Nazi Newsreel, 1939-40.” Social Research 82, no. 1 (Spring2015 2015): 153-174. 11 Feb. 2017.

Motadel, David. “The ‘Muslim Question’ in Hitler’s Balkans.” Historical Journal 56, no. 4 (December 2013): 1007-1039. 11 Feb. 2017.

O’Shaughnessy, Nicholas. “Selling Hitler: propaganda and the Nazi brand.” Journal of Public Affairs (14723891) 9, no. 1 (February 2009): 55-76. 11 Feb. 2017.

Paris, Michael. “The First World War and Popular Cinema: 1914 to the Present.” New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2000. N. 1-2. Print.

Reed, Caroline. “D-Day Propaganda.” History Today 34, no. 6 (June 1984): 27. 11 Feb. 2017.

Reeves, Nicholas. The Power of Film Propaganda: Myth or Reality? London: Cassell, 1999. Print.

Roslyng-Jensen, Palle. “From World War to Cold War: Scandinavian media attitudes to the Soviet Union 1945–1948.” Scandinavian Journal Of History 37, no. 4 (September 2012): 526-548. 11 Feb. 2017.

Strobl, Gerwin. “Shakespeare and the Nazis.” History Today 47, (May 1997): 16-21. Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson), 11 Feb. 2017.

“The Words of Hitler”. Internet Archive. New Order. Edward Blackthorn, 14 July 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.

Triumph of the Will. Dir. Leni Riefenstahl. Perf. Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering. Reichspropagandaleitung Der NSDAP, 1935. DVD.

Yourman, Julius. “Propaganda Techniques within Nazi Germany.” Journal of Educational Sociology 13, no. 3 (November 1939): 147-163. 25 Jan. 2017.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Thank you for sharing your interest in the history of British and German propaganda. What we learn from it (or don’t) will determine our future.
    This topic of mentally manipulating “folks” to assure an outcome has been honed since time immemorial. We, as part of our human nature ~ want our way, most often in seemingly benign ways. Today these strategies are obvious – implemented in every commercial, news sound bite, political speech and school classroom.
    Only the individual can make the choice to run, be circum or fight, and each has it’s inherint consequence. I believe Propaganda only softens a target that is open to it and the only way to harden one’s defenses is by putting on the armor of God.

    James 1:23 For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror.
    James 1:24 For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was.
    James 1:25 But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out he will be blessed in what he does.


  2. The Nazi’s propaganda scheme fused an increased use of symbols with an emphasis on childhood development.

    Replace the word Nazi with the word Progressive (or Democrat, or Neo-Conservative, no difference) and you have the modern American (government) education system.

    Think of Nazi Pelosi and her perpetually calling honest work “wage slavery”. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been a slave to my job. My employer never owned me. I have however been a tax slave. Income taxes stake a claim upon my labor. If I don’t own my labor, by definition, I would be a slave. Nazi Pelosi, slave monger.

  3. I am a long time reader first reply to an article, As a Grandfather I am worried on how to counteract the brain washing in public school and news on anti- Christian propaganda on my Grandchildren. Any help
    Yes we go to Church, yes I buy Christian books, but I need to show them why being a Christian is better than most of the world. I do not want to wait and have them brain washed in school and college.

    Also, if you know of a better server than aol. bing, google , etc I am willing to change.

    1. Steven , your focus on religion is too narrow and will fail a true education in history(very little is taught and badly to create a aversion),basic psychology and methods of manipulation( 7 signs of liars),rules of logic and reason(true critical thinking,how to spot logical fallacies,ask the question”Why?”,underlying motivations(follow the money or fanatic?))
      . Caution this path may well lead to them being austricized or be outcast from their peers as they open their understanding to what happens arou
      nd them and stop being sheeple,herded around in a panic.
      For another search engine try duckduckgo.com

  4. Excellent information BP, use of propaganda is very readily and easily seen through the anti-gun bias being used by MSM around the world on a daily basis, once one understands the process, one can see that no matter how calm, fact grounded a advocate of the the 2nd is, your essay explodes the myth from the doves within the pro gun movement that we will win people over with our erudite sensible reasoning, your essay also exposes other brain washing media methods that shine light on why bullying is so prevalent today and why people of any race or ethnic group are being portrayed in a predetermined mind set, lastly the ” herd ” mindset or group think is so very adaptable by so many non thinkers, is shown what happens each time there is a mass hysteria in any large crowd of people from a sudden incidence of death or destruction i.e., school shooting, tsunami, quake and so on.

Comments are closed.