Research Paper on Holocaust: Propaganda and Antisemitism
20th century can be taken as one of the most tragic periods of time in the history of humanity. Revolutions, civil wars, falls of great Empires and two horrible World Wars led to millions of victims all over the world. Humanity found itself at the edge of extinction because of people`s desire to kill and obtain power in this way. Additionally, describing this epoch, it is impossible not to mention such phenomenon as genocide. The whole nations were persecuted and exterminated. Humanity was not ready to stand against intentional murder of millions of people. That is why, nowadays such issues as genocide and holocaust are still topical. Having realized terrifying aftermath of these phenomena, people started to appreciate human lives. However, the death of millions of living beings is too high price which people paid for this recognition. For this reason, people should understand the main aspects of the rise and development of such issue as holocaust for it not to appear again.
Modern historians and scientists take holocaust as mass extermination of Jews who lived on the territory of Nazi Germany at the period of Hitler`s rule (Introduction to the Holocaust. 2014). Traditionally, more than six million of people are considered to be the victims of this phenomenon (Cussans, 2015). It becomes obvious that it is impossible to organize the whole mechanism of killing people without the involvement of a great number of adherers who have strong belief that all actions, which they perform, lead to the improvement of situation in the world and their country. Having this in view, it is possible to find the background of the development of such belief among people. It should be said that Nazi Germany was a state where a great importance was given to ideology. Being an outstanding speaker, Hitler managed to make people believe his ideas of dominance of German race and, as the result, inferior character of the rest of people. Such beliefs simplified the process of intentional murder of different nations. There were several remedies which helped Hitler to make people believe his words.
The first one is propaganda. This remedy was exceptionally powerful in Germany. The fact is that there was a special department the main duty of which was to control this very issue. German people were influenced by Hitler`s ideas 24 hours per day. Television, radio, newspapers and different performances served to promote ideas of Nazism and make people believe that they were superior and had exceptional rights. Goebbels, who was one of the most fanatic adherers of Hitler, was sure that propaganda could organize people and make them believe any idea which was convenient for the government. He created a great number of methods in which Nazis influenced people. The power of his propaganda can be proven by the fact that nowadays his name is usually associated with the exceptionally powerful promotion of some product or notion. Resting on these facts, it is possible to say that German people had no other choice but to follow ideas presented by different means of media.
However, it should also be said that propaganda had one more aim except the promotion of German race. Its efforts were also concentrated on the creation of the image of enemy because Germany needed it badly. It was defeated in the WW I and had to pay reparations to the majority of countries in Europe. People lived under difficult conditions and understood that they were responsible for it. However, Hitler realized that someone to blame to was needed for people to believe that various forces made their life worse. Resting on these facts, Jews were chosen as the main enemies. Usually, they lived under better conditions than the rest of people in the country. Due to this fact, it was easier to direct the anger of Germans. Since that time such notion as antisemitism started to obtain popularity. Jews became the victims of demolitions and different acts of violence. Thus, it was just the first step. Further development of this issue resulted in the rise of holocaust. Antisemitism and propaganda led to the appearance of negative feelings towards Jews and it became easier for people to kill them (Young, 1997). Creation of a great number of concentration camps became the final stage of the development of this idea. The main aim of these camps was to kill thousands of people and men, who worked there, were obviously influenced by the ideas of dominance of their race and antisemitism.
With this in mind, having analyzed the influence of such notions as antisemitism and propaganda on the development of holocaust, it is possible to make a certain conclusion. It is obvious that these two notions were the main factors which made existence of this practice possible. Being influenced by the ideas of Nazism, which were promoted by different means of media, people had no hesitations connected with the murder of millions of human beings. These facts can serve as the evidence of exceptional power of propaganda and ideology combined with the obsessive idea of dominance of a certain race.
Cussans, T. (2015). The Holocaust. London: Andre Deutsch Ltd.
Introduction to the Holocaust. (2014). Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143
Young, J. (1997). Towards a Received History of the Holocaust. History and Theory, 36(4), 21-42. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2505573?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents