Propaganda in World War 2

2047 Words9 Pages
Most people think of the weapons in World War II as machine guns, bombs, and poisonous gases. Although these tools were effective on the battleground, there was another weapon that the leaders employed to influence their armies and citizens to gain support: propaganda. Propaganda was a psychological weapon used by governments throughout history. It was especially efficient during the second World War. Some synonyms for propaganda include falsehood, deceit, and brainwashing. The Nazis, as well as the Allied forces used propaganda to impel the emotions of citizens all over the world. The main focus of propaganda was to convince large numbers of people that their cause was righteous. Even though the propaganda in World War II was usually biased and distorted, many people believed it. The Nazis in Germany had the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda; the Soviets had the Propaganda Committee of the Communist Party; the Ministry of Information was in Britain; and the Americans had the Office of War Information. What many people fail to realize is that propaganda is not just what the other side says, but often one’s own side’s “information” and “news.” Although the use of propaganda was highly effective during World War II, it was also used throughout history. Historians traced the use of propaganda back to the Reformation of the Catholic Church in Europe. The first propaganda institute was involved in improving dissemination of a group of religious dogmas. Propaganda was modernized with the advancement of technology from the seventeenth to twentieth century. The distribution of pamphlets and newsletters to the public became popular in the early twentieth century, especially during World War I. Author David Welch states the impact of propaganda during the first World War: “It was, however, during World War II that the wholesale employment of propaganda as a
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