Conflicting Perspectives - Related Text - Nazi Propaganda

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Conflicting Perspectives – Nazis
The comparison of two texts specifically constructed to convey a particular view of an event, situation or persona highlights the relationship between representation and meaning. “Seeds of Death” an anti-Nazi artwork by John Heartfield and “Stolz Der Nation” a fictional yet realistic Nazi propaganda film directed by Eli Roth both embody this notion of conflicting perspectives. Compositional elements such as techniques specific to medium of production and contextual reference formulate the basis of how meaning is presented and therefore perceived. Heartfield implements several visual techniques, symbolism and contextual layering to communicate his perspective of the Nazi regime in World War Two. Iconography is an especially significant device he has utilized to characterise the Nazis. The text depicts a skeleton showering seeds shaped as swastika symbols over a burning battlefield. This associates the swastika, a contextually recognised icon of Nazi ideology, with the motif of death throughout the picture. This is reinforced through the vectored movement of the skeleton’s arm and swastika seeds motioning toward a small group of soldiers carrying a corpse in the background. The colour palette of dark reds, white and black in the circumstance of war connotes a negative environment, especially considering they are those of the Nazi Party flag. A consuming smoke occupies almost half of the background of the text, almost devouring the foregrounded images. The smoke is symbolic of Germany brutally conquering all in their path, the smothering connotation of smoke emphasising the oppressive nature of the Nazis; smoke’s origin, fire, also symbolic of the destruction left in their wake. The salient Nazi skeleton contrasted against the miniature soldiers in the background creates a power juxtaposition representing the totalitarian qualities affiliated with the Nazi Regime. Two factors fortify this idea, the lowered gaze of the soldiers...
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