1984 Propaganda Project

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by AKL1967
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1984 Propaganda Project

1984 Propaganda Assignment

"War is PeaceFreedom is Slavery Ignorance is Strength."(Orwell I.I.18)

The Holocaust was a horrid time in history, one which was orchestrated by one man, Adolf Hitler, and carried out on the ground by his soldiers of the Third Reich. The Holocaust, translated as “ordeal by fire” was a dark time in history claiming eleven million people, six million of which were Jewish, and other groups such as homosexuals, disabled people, and countless others. At the top of the regime was Adolf Hitler, the Führer, who gave orders to the Nazi Socialist German Workers’ Party, (Nazi) to carry out systematic genocide of specific groups which didn’t fit into the perceived superior Aryan ideology. To the Nazi’s the most inferior group was the Jews, and their solution was to eliminate this monstrous “race” from existence. The latter was meant to be achieved through the establishment of ghettos, and the construction of 20,000 concentration camps between 1933 and 1945. The ghettos were meant to contain Jews until they could be taken to concentration camps to provide slave labour or be killed. Although the conditions in the ghetto were not as bad the concentration camps, hunger, disease, and death were all common occurrences. In concentration camps hunger, and disease ravaged the prisoners, but the most terrifying event was when people were divided into right and left, with people on the left living, and those on the right being sent to the gas chambers. By the mid to late 1930s, the Nazi’s had perfected systematic genocide, and were killing thousands of people every day. Nonetheless, the indispensable skill which allowed the Nazi’s to kill millions without the world knowing was propaganda manipulation, and the notion of appearance versus reality. In this project, I am going to explore the different techniques used by the Nazi’s to deceive and dehumanize Jews, and circumvent the world into believing that there was no ill treatment in the ghettos and concentration camps, which comparing it to George Orwell's 1984.

The image to the right depicts a Nazi party poster for re-election, written in German, it reads, “Our Last Hope: Hitler.” The phrasing of the poster deifies Hitler as a saviour, one which will provide prosperity, freedom, ultimately saving Germany if elected. Playing to both emotions and patriotism, the poster makes the viewer believe it is their duty to elect Hitler and save their motherland, while also giving the false impression that a future with Hitler as the leader will make Germany great again. Furthermore, the sullen people in the background staring out from the poster use peer pressure to persuade your vote, and the white text stands out, giving the impression of purity, innocence, and hope, all qualities which the Nazi’s claim to employ if re-elected.

The first example, is an anti-sematic poster which was published in Poland in March 1941. The poster is printed in German, showing Germany’s dominance in Poland, and reads, “Jews are lice: They cause typhus.” The goal of this poster is to not only dehumanize Jews into that of insects, but also to further instill fear of Jews into others living in Poland. In addition, the vivid imagery makes the viewer feel as though they are the deranged skeleton in the background, playing to their own mortality, making the issue personal. Thus, by making people believe that the Jews are responsible for typhus, and their pending mortality, the Nazi’s are presenting the viewers with a logical explanation as to why Jews must be annihilated, thus using ethos and pathos as a form or argument.

The picture above shows the entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp, perhaps the most notorious camp for the killing of Jews. Although this image may seem straight forward, behind it lies a whole other reality, one made possible through careful propaganda construction, and appearance versus reality. When it came time for Jews to be removed from ghettos or their homes, they were told that they were going to be resettled east. To further solidify the idea of resettlement, Auschwitz was built to look like a railroad station from the outside, so that the Jews would continue into the camp without resistance, while also giving the illusion that it was a train station to the remainder of the world. By taking a photograph like this, the Nazi’s could spread the truth, while omitting certain details, making the people believe that Auschwitz was indeed a train station. The aim of the photograph is to concoct the perfect image, which fools the world into thinking that he Jews were truly being resettled east.





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