Research Paper Abstract
During WWII, propaganda was a major tool used by governments of various nations in order to rally support for their country’s war effort. Propaganda was of the utmost importance in the United States and Germany in order to increase the willingness of citizens to contribute to fighting the war. American propaganda emphasized the unification of all American citizens in order to defeat a common enemy, and often relied on fear or patriotism to gather support for the war. Yet, German propaganda focused on idealizing the image of the Nazi soldier and the German citizen (in line with physical perfection) in order to sway people to support their aims for fighting. The purpose of this paper is to analyze and effectively compare propaganda used by the United States and by Germany during WWII. The comparison between the two aims to unearth the sole differences in each country’s main ideology and purpose for fighting the war, based on what is reflected in their propaganda imagery. One question that this paper seeks to answer is: what major themes show up within propaganda pieces, and how are they different between Germany and America? There are many key similarities and differences between American and German WWII propaganda in terms of imagery, yet the way in which the propaganda came about in each country and its intended audience is what divides them to the greatest extent. The sources for this paper include: Shooting on the Home Front: German Propaganda Movies, WWII by Robert Everett-Green, Breaking the German Will to Resist, 1944-1945: Allied Efforts to End WWII by Non-Military Means by N. Weeks and Philip Taylor, Anglo-American Anti-Fascist Film Propaganda in a Time of Neutrality: The Great Dictator, 1940 by Robert Cole, Poisoning Young Minds in Germany: Children and Propaganda in the Third Reich by Marie Corelli, and The Triumph of Propaganda: Film and National Socialism, 1933-1945 by H. Hoffman, John Broadwin, and VR Berghahn. A greater aim of this paper, that extends beyond a historical discussion of wartime propaganda, is to show how the moral ideology and political aims held by a country can change how its government communicates with its citizens.