Die Juden sind unser Unglück! -The Jews are our misfortune
- tagline at the bottom of the newspaper -
Der Stürmer was an anti-Semitic "tabloid style" newspaper first published by Julius Streicher in 1923 and almost continuously through to the end of World War II. Der Stürmer was viewed by Hitler as playing a significant role in the Nazi propaganda machinery and a useful tool in influencing the "common man on the street". The origin of the paper lies in conflict within the Nazi party at Nuremberg during attempts to establish power and control.
Scandal and sensationalism were the mainstay of the paper. As the Jews became more and more the primary focus, any scandal or crime that could be alleged would make its way into the paper. The tabloid focused particularly on tales of crimes against Aryan women and girls by the "evil, disgusting, no good Jews!"Over the years distribution of Der Stürmer grew from 14,000 in 1927 to 473,000 om 1938. As Der Stürmer's circulation grew, it was distributed to any country with a large German population, including: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and the United States, among others.
Streicher's publishing house also created and sold children's books. Prominent among them was Der Giftpilz (The Poisonous Mushroom or Toadstool). One story in that book tells about a mysterious stranger who entices children to his home. Hans saves his little sister from the dreaded Jew by calling the police. The story ends with this poem shared with the children by their mother.
“A devil goes through the land,
The Jew he is, known to us all
As murderer of the peoples and polluter of the races,
The terror of children in every country!
He wants to ruin the youth.
He wants all peoples to die.
Have nothing to do with a Jew
Then you’ll be happy and gay!”
Randall L. Bytwerk published a 2004 book on Nazi propaganda: Bending Spines: The Propagandas of Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic.
Amazon's description of Bytwerk's book:
In many ways, modern totalitarian movements present worldviews that are religious in nature. Nazism and Marxism-Leninism presented themselves as explanations for all of life—culture, morality, science, history, and recreation. They provided people with reasons for accepting the status quo. Bending Spines examines the full range of persuasive techniques used by Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic, and concludes that both systems failed in part because they expected more of their propaganda than it was able to deliver.
A similar book was published in 2008 by Jeffrey Herf: The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust.
Book description in Amazon:
In many ways, modern totalitarian movements present worldviews that are religious in nature. Nazism and Marxism-Leninism presented themselves as explanations for all of life—culture, morality, science, history, and recreation. They provided people with reasons for accepting the status quo. Bending Spines examines the full range of persuasive techniques used by Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic, and concludes that both systems failed in part because they expected more of their propaganda than it was able to deliver.From George Mason University we hear that propaganda was not an invention of the Nazis:
Modern propaganda is distinguished from other forms of communication by its deliberate and conscious use of false or misleading information to sway public opinion. The invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century gradually made it possible to reach large numbers of people. But it was not until the nineteenth century that state governments began to employ propaganda for political purposes to any wide degree deliberately aimed at influencing the masses. The invention of radio and television in the twentieth century made it possible to reach even more people. The development of modern media, global warfare, and the rise of extremist political parties provided growing importance to the use of propaganda.
The term propaganda began to be widely used to describe the persuasive tactics used by both sides during the world wars and by later tyrannical political regimes of the twentieth century. Propaganda was used as a psychological weapon against the enemy and to bolster morale at home. The British were the first to develop an extensive system of war propaganda. In the later part of World War One, the Department of Information was formed to coordinate the government's propaganda efforts. Articles were written and distributed both at home and abroad. Important members of the press and various foreign governments received advance press releases and special treatment in the hope that they would write and report favorably on the British war efforts and bolster morale at home. At a time when most news was transmitted by telegraph, advance access to news was advantageous to those who received it first; they were more likely to influence their audiences before those that received the news later. It is not surprising that the word "propaganda" appeared as a separate entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica for the first in 1922 right after the end of the World War One.