IJCH 2017 Vol.3(1): 68-71 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2017.3.1.080

Radio Broadcasting as Nazi Propagandistic Tool

Youngho Yoo
Abstract—The term propaganda sounds somewhat modern; however, propaganda has never been ignored in different types of regimes – kingdoms, empires, nation-states, etc. – through history. Political unities always attempted to find more effective ways to maintain power, keeping status quo with neighboring political unities, or sometimes manipulate the public in accordance with their needs. For instance, the Athenians, Romans and the other ancients advertised propagandistic messages through media such as coins, myths, visual images etc. Textiles that were conveniently movable and displayable also performed as the effective propagandistic medium. Thus, regarding the nature and purpose of propaganda, it always delivered political messages as fast as it could, and had to make as many people as contact them. Ultimately it should motivate and mobilize people (i.e. the mass) as a regime wished. Around the 1910s, the new technology, radio, was invented. However, this “air-wave” medium had never been considered as a political medium by statesmen, before Joseph Goebbels who became a minister of propaganda in the Third Reich. Goebbels never underestimated the potentiality of radio; the radio was viewed as a perfect propagandistic tool. Radio was one of the most effective propagandistic methods, as the Nazis can centralize the propaganda tool, then deliver political messages fast and continuously, reaching to individual home, and contacting all ranges of people – even the illiterate and poor. Regulating radio broadcasting as the major propaganda method, radio broadcasting played an important role throughout the period of the Nazi regime. That is, the Nazis could ultimately motivate and mobilize the Germans during the war time. After the downfall of Nazi Germany, the power of radio was re-estimated by different countries throughout the twentieth century. Radio has been used as an intangible medium – Air Wave – in politics. As Nazi Germany manipulated radio broadcasting in politics, the example of Nazi radio broadcasting shows how the new technology can be applied in political life.

Index Terms—Nazi propaganda, propagandistic tool, radio broadcasting, technologies in politics.

Youngho Yoo is with the History in Progress at King's College London, UK (e-mail: youngho.yoo@mail.utoronto.ca)

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Cite: Youngho Yoo, "Radio Broadcasting as Nazi Propagandistic Tool," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 68-71, 2017.

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