Date Approved

2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Steven Ramold, PhD., Chair

Committee Member

Ron Delph, PhD.

Committee Member

James Holoka, PhD.

Abstract

This thesis examines Nazi propaganda’s overall effectiveness during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s through the end of World War II in 1945. Historians have had mixed opinions of the overall potency of the propaganda. The questions in consideration are why Nazi propaganda received so much support from the Nazi leadership if it didn’t work and whether or not it was a primary reason Germany continued to resist until the end of the war. Using the diaries of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister, soldiers’ letters from the front lines, the propaganda itself, and a variety of secondary sources, this work investigated these questions and found that propaganda was indeed influential throughout the duration of the Third Reich. Three primary elements were effective: indoctrination, anti-Soviet propaganda, and the intense media deification of Hitler that came to be known as the Hitler Myth.

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