"Propaganda attempts to force a doctrine on the whole people... Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea." These were the words of Adolf Hitler himself, written in his book Mein Kampf of 1926, on the use of propaganda as a political tactic. Propaganda, defined as "a specific type of message presentation aimed at serving an agenda", was enthusiastically used by the Nazi Party to advocate themselves and their philosophies, especially after Hitler's appointment to chancellorship in January 1933. The Nazis utilized propaganda to ensure that the public had no access to anything that would damage the Nazi image, and to spread the beliefs of the Nazis as effectively as possible. In charge of Nazi propaganda was Josef Goebbels, given the official title "Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment", who headed the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, established in 1933 after Hitler's rise to power. Hitler used propaganda to consolidate his power and to continue to gain support after becoming chancellor by targeting the youth of the country, knowing and expanding his propaganda's audience, and successfully infiltrating himself into his public's eyes through his total control of all forms of communication.
The Nazi Party, led by Hitler, consolidated their power by including the country's youth in their propaganda campaigns, thereby ensuring support in the future from the next generation. Firstly, the Nazi Party targeted schools in the country, molding the curriculum and the teaching materials to their liking. For example, beginning in 1933, textbooks and books were removed by censors due to "inappropriate" content relating to the Nazi Party's beliefs and ideals, and new textbooks and reading materials were integrated into the classroom, advocating deference to the party, worship for Hitler, and Anti-Semitism. Schools were forced to implement holidays that celebrated occasions such as Hitler's birthday and the anniversary of his accession to chancellorship. The Nazi Party made an effort to control all aspects of the youth's lives, even religious rituals. The transition from age 14 to 15 traditionally called for a church ritual; the Nazi Party eventually introduced their own system of indoctrination into the youths' 15th year. The Nazi Party then led adolescents into the Hitler Youth for boys, and the League of German Girls for girls, training them to develop an all-consuming love for the Nazi Party. At a young age, children were taught to become Hitler Youth Speakers, learning to communicate Nazi beliefs. In 1933, membership in the Hitler Youth stood at 100,000. This quickly rose to 4 million in 1936, when it became practically compulsory to join. The members of the Hitler Youth were forced to engage in activities such as marching, bayonet drill, grenade throwing, trench digging, map reading, gas defence, use of dugouts, how to get under barbed wire and pistol shooting. Basically, Hitler was building his future army under the guise of a youth movement. Students were also provided with pamphlets filled with Nazi ideology that emphasized the children's duty to the Party. These were simply a few methods employed by the Nazi Party in their campaign to ensnare their generation's youth. Hitler effectively used propaganda and other campaigns to focus on the youth, as he knew that they were his future people, his future soldiers, and his future workers. By molding the youth at a most vulnerable age, Hitler was able to create a massive group of unthinking followers already conforming to his every whim and wish. He realized that by targeting the young when they could be most effectively brainwashed, the population of the next generation would need no coercion to comply to the Nazi Party rule--in contrast, they would already be in a position to support Hitler and his decisions. His tactic of creating a militaristic youth movement also was a...
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