Hitler on Propaganda
Goebbels on Propaganda
Hitler on Propaganda -
in Chapter 6 of Mein Kampf
Hitler, Mein Kampf, translated by Ralph Manheim. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin Company, 1943.
The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the
individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts,
processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time
placed within their field of vision. ...
All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be
adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to.
Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its
purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for
sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid
excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be
extended in this direction.
The more modest its intellectual ballast, the more exclusively it takes
into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will
be. And this is the best proof of the soundness or unsoundness of a
propaganda campaign, and not success pleasing a few scholars or young
The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the
great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to
the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that our
bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and
conceited they are.
Once understood how necessary it is for propaganda in be adjusted to the
broad mass, the following rule results: It is a mistake to make propaganda
many-sided, like scientific instruction, for instance.
The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence
is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these
facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and
must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public
understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you
sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away,
for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this
way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out.
Thus we see that propaganda must follow a simple line and correspondingly
the basic tactics must be psychologically sound. ..
What, for example, would we say about a poster that was supposed to
advertise a new soap and that described other soaps as 'good'?
We would only shake our heads.
Exactly the same applies to political advertising.
The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the
rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which
it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of
the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the
masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always
Adolf Hitler quoted by G.Stark in
Political Propaganda, 1930
"Propaganda is a means and must be
evaluated as such, from the standpoint of the goal."
"It has always to speak only to the
"The task of propaganda lies not in the
scientific training of the individual, rather in drawing the
attention of the masses to certain facts, events, necessities,
"It is wrong to want to give propaganda
the multi-sidedness of scientific instruction."
"...Effective propaganda must limit its
points of a few and these points must be repeated until even the
last member of the audience understands what is meant by
"It must limit itself to a few themes and
repeat them incessantly."
"Each change must never affect the
content of propaganda, rather must always draw the same
“...the rank and file are usually much more primitive
than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple
and repetitious...The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no
success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly... it
must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”
Goebbels on Propganda
on Propaganda, 1934
"Political propaganda in principle is active and
revolutionary. It is aimed at the broad masses. It speaks the language of
the people because it wants to be understood by the people. Its task is
the highest creative art of putting sometimes complicated events and facts
in a way simple enough to be understood by the man on the street. Its
foundation is that there is nothing the people cannot understand, rather
things must be put in a way that they can understand. It is a question of
making it clear to him by using the proper approach, evidence and
Propaganda is a means to an end. Its purpose is to lead the people to
an understanding that will allow them to willingly and without internal
resistance devote themselves to the tasks and goals of a superior
leadership. If propaganda is to succeed, it must know what it wants. It
must keep a clear and firm goal in mind, and seek the appropriate means
and methods to reach that goal. Propaganda as such is neither good nor
evil. Its moral value is determined by the goals it seeks."