Sunday, July 2, 2017

Newlyweds were presented with a copy of Mein Kampf

From The Battle of the Tanks: Kursk, 1943 by Lloyd Clark, page 13.

On the totalitarian process in pre-World War II by which Adolf Hitler not only dominated his political party but took control of all institutions within Germany.
Having secured loyalty of the Armed Forces, Hitler then turn to the German population and begin to manipulate its attitudes and beliefs. Propaganda was given a high priority in this process and was overseen at a new ministry, which controlled the press, literature, music, the fine arts, theatre, radio and film. It was headed by the pinch-faced Joseph Goebbels, who argued:
It is not enough for people to be more or less reconciled to our regime, to be persuaded to adopt a neutral attitude towards us, rather we want to work on people until they have capitulated to us, until they grasp ideologically that what is happening in Germany today must be accepted but also can be accepted. Propaganda is not an end in itself but a means to an end . . . The new Ministry had no other aim than to unite the nation behind the ideals of the national revolution.
Hitler was portrayed as the personification of Germany's past, present and future, who deserved and demanded unquestioning compliance while applying the Nazi Party's creed. Just as Nazi imagery never allowed those in uniform to forget where their obligations lay, the civilian world also began to feel Hitler's omnipresence. Nobody could walk through city, town or village without setting eyes on a photograph of the F├╝hrer or swastika-emblazoned flag. Newlyweds were presented with a copy of Mein Kampf and there was a legal obligation from July 1933 on all but the military to raise the right arm and salute and bark 'Heil Hitler'. Massive crowd gathered to listen to Hitler's speeches. During the early 1930s, the party faithful were bussed from venue to venue in order to guarantee a large and passionate audience. By 1936 this was no longer necessary.
A copy of Mein Kampf for newlyweds? That kind of puts a damper on the mood.

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