War and Propaganda
The Battle of Kharkov was a propaganda film put out by Adolf Hitler’s propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels was having trouble getting people into theaters to watch his propaganda films. He had the intelligent idea of manipulating newsreel. Newsreels were real life footage of soldiers (not staged scenes), so he thought the German public would watch for information on the war. He hoped that those films would urge people to join the war effort. The Battle of Kharkov was one of those films, although this propaganda film is a little different from the rest.
The first topic of discussion is the target of The Battle of Kharkov. The target was the German population as a whole. Goebbels was having problems filling the theaters to his other propaganda films, so he thought he would take a different approach to things. The newsreels were perfect for him because people liked to watch them for information on the war. The other great part of the newsreels is that people believed them.
The next step in the discussion of this film is the objective. The objective is quite simple: make the German public believe that the Germans are winning the war. The interesting part of this is how Goebbels did it. He used the clever technique of propaganda by omission. This is skewing or withholding the truth to manipulate the falseily presented outcome of a situation. The newsreels in this film were skewed, and there was definitely footage that was withheld.
The footage used was only that of Germanys being superior over the Soviets. All the footage that was seen was that of Germany or Germany’s allies firing upon and destroying Soviet forces. There was not one shot of the Soviet forces destroying or even hurting the German forces. There were a couple great shots of the carpet-bombing that the Germans were doing over the Soviet forces. This footage really drove home the fact that the Germans are destroying the Soviets and there is... [continues]
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