Who influences you?
Where do you go for news on cable – CNN or Fox?
How do you know if what you see and hear on either is true or false, slanted or fake news?
Are you being propagandsized on TV?
How much will what you see on either channel influence your vote in November?
These questions made me think of how the Nazis sold the German people on a bloody campaign of world conquest.
The parallels to what is happening in this country are apparent. Many of us are convinced democracy must prevail, others that it should be replaced by socialism.
My research showed how the Nazis used movies, newspapers and particularly radio broadcasts as a propaganda machine to brainwash the German people. They would have used TV, too , had it been available.
To indoctrinate the German people, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels made cheap radios available. For only 35 marks the Germans could buy a radio and listen to it for 2 marks a month.
Goebbels and his henchmen ensured that German radio broadcast only Nazi propaganda. Anyone opposed was fired.
Radio broadcasts championed Nazi ideals – national pride, reverence for Hitler as the father of the country and bearing Aryan children to create a master race.
Jews and other political undesirables were condemned and demonized.
Goebbels used radio to broadcast Germany’s top musicians and opera singers.
When this approach attracted an international audience, he inserted small messages from Hitler extolling how Germany had recovered from World War I and that National Socialism was an exciting political idea.
Then Goebbels ran into competition.
The German army had destroyed radio transmitters in conquered Eastern and Western Europe. But London was broadcasting its own anti-Nazi propaganda.
To counter this, the Nazis made it a treasonable offense to listen to oversees radio. Anyone caught would be sent to a concentration camp. In World War II’s 1st year, 1,500 Germans were imprisoned for listening to London-based broadcasts.
During the war, the Soviets found a way to hack the Nazi transmissions and broadcast the names of German soldiers they captured and held as POWs. Listening to this was illegal but German parents listened to hear if their sons had been captured.
Like radio propagandist Tokyo Rose in Japan, Germany had William Joyce, otherwise known as ‘Lord Haw-Haw,’ who always started his broadcasts with “Germany calling.” He his listeners they would find out more about the war from him than the UK government was willing to admit.
We have a similar propaganda war going on in our country today.
We seem divided between conservatives, socialists and a broad centrist group still undecided about who will be sitting in the Oval Office next January.
I’m interested in what you think and how you feel about the future of our country.
Will you vote for Joe Biden and the Democrats or Donald Trump and the Republicans in November?
Please email me with your thoughts at JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Next: Propaganda in the classroom