The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum created this forum to promote discussion about the role and impact of propaganda in society. We explore the Nazis' use of propaganda through examples taken from our special exhibition State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.
The Holocaust shows us that propaganda unchecked can have devastating consequences. The Nazis used the latest, most sophisticated technologies and techniques to create and disseminate their propaganda, often employing words and images that on the surface appeared benign or even positive. They communicated their messages through print, film, broadcasts, and other media and even through toys and parades.
The Nazis didn't invent propaganda and it didn't disappear in 1945. With today's technology-rich, 24-hour information cycle, we are surrounded by more propaganda than ever. Critical thinking about propaganda messages and understanding propaganda's intent are crucial responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century.
This site provides an opportunity for you to explore the subject of propaganda by examining Nazi imagery from three distinct periods – the democratic Weimar Republic, the early Nazi dictatorship, and during World War II.
Explore the examples displayed in this site. Consider whether they are dangerous or benign. Ask yourself:
Engage in a dialogue with other visitors to this site about the impact of propaganda, and practice being a critical thinker and savvy citizen.
Use the Propaganda Techniques button in the upper right to assess the examples you find on this site.
To learn more about how the Nazis used modern techniques, new technologies, and carefully crafted messages to sway millions with their vision for a new Germany, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's online exhibition
State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda
. Through an interactive timeline, a thematic exploration of the history, and a gallery of images, film, documents, artifacts, and sound recordings, the exhibition illustrates the Nazis' sophisticated propaganda campaigns and their legacy today. The online exhibition also includes links to resources for teachers and students.
NOTE: The online exhibition is optimized for devices that are Flash-compatible. A simple HTML version is available for other devices.