In this way, soldiers could be instructed of various “facts” that the Nazi party believed, such as, “the Jewish people is the people of the Devil.
It is a people of criminals and murderers.” This helped the Nazi party to establish their values within their own soldiers and ensure that they had a force that was “not just efficient soldiers and policemen, but ideologically motivated warriors, crusaders against the political and racial enemies of the Third Reich.” The Nazis realized that soldiers were unlikely to kill other human beings who were unarmed unless they had significant motivation to do so.
The propaganda that they used ensured that these soldiers would have ideological reasons to kill Jews, and therefore would be willing to do so.
The soldiers’ basic training included a unit on ideology: “A five-part study plan of January 1941 included the subsections ‘Understanding of Race as the Basis of our World View’, ‘The Jewish Question in Germany’, and ‘Maintaining the Purity of German Blood’…” The soldiers were in this fashion educated of the supposed evils of the Jewish race.
Hitler entirely convinced his soldiers that his values were right and just through the use of pervasive and persuasive propaganda.
Without Hitler’s use of propaganda, the soldiers would not have been assured that it was honourable to kill innocent people and as such the Holocaust would not have happened.German soldiers were surrounded on all sides by propaganda and anti-Semitism, and it was an important part of the soldier’s training.This propaganda persuaded soldiers using seemingly logical and intellectual explanations of why the Jews were inferior and why it was necessary that they be exterminated. According to one Nazi official, “the annihilation of the Jews is no loss to humanity, but just as useful as capital punishment against other criminals.” The soldiers truly believed the Jews to be a race of criminals, for whom death was the only just punishment, due to Hitler’s entirely credible propaganda.A soldier or police officer’s basic training comprised not only of physical education, but also ideological education.It was more difficult to convince soldiers to murder unarmed men, women and children that it would have been if they were simply shooting other soldiers.It was therefore necessary that the soldiers were ideologically motivated and truly believed that they were in the right by killing Jews.In films of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis marching the streets in military displays, there is a chilling atmosphere of complete conformity and belief in Nazism.The soldiers seem never-ending in number and proudly sing traditional German songs, marching simultaneously as though they were one single entity bent on achieving Hitler’s goals.The propaganda that Hitler used pervaded all aspects of a soldier’s life, including training, home life, and the media.The purpose of overwhelming the soldiers (and ordinary civilians, by extension) with propaganda was to ensure that there was no escape from Nazi morals, and that the soldiers would begin to believe that Jews were inferior and deserved to die.