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Selling genocide I: the earlier films.

1. Introduction

In an earlier article in this journal, (1) I began an inquiry into the role of cinema as an instrument of propaganda. The questions that frame this research program are easy to raise, but not necessarily easy to answer. They include: What is propaganda? Is it inherently immoral or at least morally suspect, and if so, why? What use has historically been made of film for propaganda? If film is effective as a propaganda vehicle, by what psychological mechanisms does it work? Is film the medium best suited for propaganda, and if so, why? I suggested in that article that a good place to start this research program is with the Nazi film industry, but I omitted an explanation of why. Let me correct that mistake here. It seems to me that there are several reasons why the Nazi film industry is a natural starting point.

First, the Nazis explicitly praised the power of film as a tool for propagandizing. In this, they unabashedly emulated the Bolsheviks, a group they otherwise despised--indeed, regarded as their mortal enemies. This allows us to understand how they thought they could use the medium as part of their propaganda campaign. Second, the Nazis (like the Bolsheviks) early on in their reign of power took control of--and then completely nationalized--the country's film industry. This insured that only movies that promoted the regime's agenda were produced, so we can see precisely how they tailored their films to promote that agenda. Third, the Nazis used every medium of communication to propagandize; by looking at the role film played in contrast with other propaganda media they employed, we can get a sense of the relative usefulness of film in their propaganda campaign.

In this article, I focus on the question of how the Nazis tailored their propaganda movies to the regime's agenda. In order to do this, it is important to make a distinction. In business, the word "marketing" is ambiguous. It can refer to advertising, which typically aims at making your target audience generally aware of your brand (that is, your whole product line). It can also refer to (direct) sales, which aims at getting specific people to buy specific products from your brand's product line. The Nazis did both by using cinema to promote their general "brand" and their specific policies and actions.

As an example of advertising, consider Leni Riefenstahl's famous (or notorious) 1935 documentary, Triumph of the Will (2) That film clearly was designed to promote Hitler and the Nazi Party generally to the German people. (As I have commented at length on the film elsewhere, (3) I will touch on it briefly here.)

Triumph of the Will is a documentary, and labeled as such, of the huge 1934 Nazi rally in Nuremberg. That event was a major propaganda opportunity, since Hitler had been appointed Germany's Chancellor just the year before and he was still not well known among much of the public. The film was powerfully effective in achieving its goals. It opens with footage of Hitler in his plane, which (in Messiah-like symbolism) descends from the heavens through the clouds and over masses of his worshippers in formation below. In another scene, we see a large Hitler Youth camp, with handsome, wholesome young men washing and shaving, and then having fun gathering wood as the cooks prepare a common breakfast. In yet another scene, we see members of the German Labor Front identify where they are from, each naming a different region in Germany.

What purpose did these scenes serve in promoting the Nazi Party? The first served to convey the larger-than-life quality of the Fuhrer. The second equates the Nazi brand with wholesome youthfulness, not the "depravity" that supposedly characterized the Weimar Republic which Hitler just swept away. The third stresses the theme of the Party as the workers' protector--"Nazi" comes from the abbreviation for its full name, the National Socialist German Workers Party--as well as a force for national unity.

It was the sales aspect of Nazi film upon which I focused in my earlier article for this journal. (4) In that piece, I reviewed in detail a classic German documentary on Nazi cinema--Germany Awake!--directed by Erwin Leiser. (5) The Nazis took control of the highly advanced German film industry when Hitler was named Chancellor in 1933, took control of film criticism and banned foreign films in 1936, and finally completely nationalized the industry in 1937. The film industry was, for the duration of the war, used to promote the Nazi Party and its policies (as well as to provide general entertainment).

Leiser's film does an outstanding job of showing which Nazi films were aimed at selling which policies. In order to pull worker support away from the German Communist Party (its main rival in its early days), the Nazis produced Hans Westmar (1933) and Hitler Youth Quex (1933). They push the Nazi party line regarding the Soviets (which shifted because the two regimes first entered into a non-aggression pact, but then the Nazi regime violated it), by producing Frisians in Peril (1935) and Bismarck (1940). So as to demean democracy and portray it as weak, they produced My Son, the Minister (1937). In order to promote their historical narrative (which I call the Nazi Historical Narrative (6)), the Nazis produced For Merit (1938), D III 88 (1938), Venus on Trial (1941), and Homecoming (1941). They promoted with several films their view of pan-Germanism, or "Aryanism"--that is, the idea that citizens of another country who are of German ancestry ("blood") are members of a Greater Germany. The Nazis produced Request-Concert (1940), Victory in the West (1941), Stukas (1941), and Kolberg (1945) so as to persuade Germans to support the larger war, and produced Carl Peters (1941) and Uncle Kruger (1941) to persuade them to support war specifically against Britain. In order to promote the view of Hitler as a military genius, they produced The Great King (1942). In order to persuade Germans of their virulent anti-Semitism policy, the Nazis produced Robert and Bertram (1939), Linen from Ireland (1939), The Eternal Jew (1940), The Rothschilds (1940), and Jew Suss (1940).7 *

In this article I will focus on how the Nazis employed cinematic propaganda--in Robert and Bertram and Linen from Ireland--to make the German people support, or at least not oppose, the genocide of the Jews. (In a subsequent article in this journal, I will focus on The Eternal Jew, The Rothschilds, and Jew Suss.) While much contention surrounds the issue of whether the German people generally knew that the "Final Solution of the Jewish Problem" entailed the mass murder of Jews in concentration camps (which I discuss in more detail below), the general German public did not in any way visibly oppose the Jews being shipped away en masse. Historically, anti-Semitism was (and clearly continues to be) endemic in German culture, as it was (and is) in all European countries--and in America as well. (8) Yet the level of out-group hatred the Germans felt toward the Jews had to be amplified by Nazi propaganda so as to facilitate their extermination campaign. German cinema--and other media--were called upon to sell, if not genocide as such, at least genocidal hatred. Before turning to our two films (in Sections 4 and 5), I will first explain in Section 2 what genocidal hatred is and why it typically has to be cultivated. Section 3 will be devoted to a brief articulation of the psychological mechanisms involved in marketing. These will provide us with useful tools for analyzing how the Nazis used film for propaganda purposes.

2. Genocide and Absolute War

It is worth noting here that genocide is in fact rather common in human history, especially during the twentieth century. This case has been made forcefully in a recent book by Abram de Swann. (9) He calculates that since the late-nineteenth century, while the total killed in "regular wars" (by which he means "direct combat") is about 25 million, the total killed in genocides is 100 million. These genocides range from the killing of one million Congolese villagers by Belgian troops around 1900 to Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s (killing perhaps 20 million) to the Holocaust (killing about 11 million) to the killing of one million Hindus in Bangladesh by Pakistan's army--and the list continues.

De Swann emphasizes the role of propaganda in conditioning citizens of a genocidal regime to overcome their innate sympathies for others so that they participate in (or at least not oppose) mass killing of a group targeted by the regime. He makes this point when characterizing "genocidaires" (his term for those who participate in mass killings):
   The genocidaires are overwhelmingly young and healthy men, and the
   great majority of them have a background in the military, the
   police, and the regime's militias. Most of them by far sympathize
   with the regime, having joined the party or its auxiliary
   movements. They have been steeped in the official propaganda and
   learned to identify with their peers and disidentify from the
   target group, often with corresponding feelings of loyalty and
   loathing. (10)

However, de Swann says almost nothing about what form this propaganda takes. Moreover, by his own concession, he includes in the term "genocide" mass killings that don't fit the standard definition of the term, such as mass killings of people of a certain economic class; the mass killing of opponents of a regime; or the mass killing, rape, and plunder of

civilians by soldiers who have conquered a territory. It is not likely that the type of propaganda that would be used to support the killing of an ethnic group would be the same as, say, that used to justify killing regime opponents.

In order to understand genocide more precisely and how it typically needs to be sold, let's turn to a classic piece of sociology written at the outset of World War II by Hans Speier. (11) Speier offers an insightful analysis of war not through a discussion of its political causes, but by how the enemy is perceived or "socially defined."

Suppose that one tribe/community/nation (the "in-group") attacks another tribe (the enemy or "out-group"). In what ways can the in-group view or define the out-group? Speier characterizes three basic ways, which inform three different types of war, differing markedly in ferocity: "instrumental war," "agonistic war," and "absolute war." (12)

For the in-group, the purpose of instrumental war is to defeat the out-group and take or control its assets. That is, the in-group wants the territory, markets, or natural resources of the out-group. This may include viewing the out-group population itself as an additional resource, in which case the in-group might want to enslave the out-group's population. While instrumental war can be quite fierce, the warfare is usually constrained because the outgroup is not viewed as inherently evil or loathsome. Moreover, the out-group is often seen to be of economic use (as an export market, say, or source of labor).

In agonistic war, the in-group views the out-group as being the same sort of people as it is, and even share its values, but wants to fight the out-group for glory or justice. Speier gives the example of wars between ancient Greek city-states, and I might suggest that jousting knights and (later) dueling cavaliers are similar. In agonistic war, Speier adds, the fighting often has a kind of ritual function, rather like a religious ("morality") play.

Both instrumental and agonistic wars are often, if not usually, "regulated" wars, meaning they are constrained by shared rules of warfare. These are rules about where battle can take place, what times it can occur, what forms of conduct have to be observed (for example, regarding the treatment of prisoners), what weapons can be used, on what people the weapons can be used (for example, combatants), and what can be done to the opponent's territory.

In absolute war, by contrast, the out-group is viewed as inherently evil, essentially different from the in-group, and intrinsically threatening to the very existence (or at least the internal cohesion) of the in-group. The out-group is viewed as being essentially different either in appearance, religion, culture, or race in a way that is at the same time disgusting and threatening, hence intolerable to the in-group. Reverting to the example of the ancient Greeks, Speier points out that while the wars between Greek city-states were agonistic, the wars the Greeks fought against tribes they characterized as "barbarian" were absolute. (13) He also includes as modern examples of absolute war the following: ideological wars, "fought in the name of political beliefs so dear to the belligerents that they arouse a crusading spirit" (14); civil wars, where one side regards the other as treasonous in betraying the tribe itself and thus deserving of annihilation; religious wars; and colonial wars.

As a consequence of the way the in-group perceives the out-group, the goal of absolute war is to exterminate the out-group. As Speier so trenchantly puts it, "Peace terminating an absolute war is established without the enemy. The opponent is an existential enemy. Absolute war is waged in order to annihilate him." (15) As a result, there are no rules in absolute war--no limitations on the weapons used, the degree of suffering inflicted, the amount of treachery utilized, or quantity of terror employed. Worse yet, there are no distinctions about which members of the out-group can be killed; they are all to be killed in this sort of war.

Speier wrote his piece in 1941, so he didn't use the term "genocide," which was a neologism coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944 to describe the Nazi's systematic extermination of whole groups, most systematically the Jews. (16) He defined it in part as "a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves." (17) Clearly, the aim of absolute war is the genocide of the out-group.

The term "genocide" was used as a descriptive term at the 1945 Nuremberg War-Crime trials. In 1948 the United Nations (U.N.) approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which in effect made genocide an international crime, a crime against humanity. The U.N. characterizes genocide as
   any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in
   whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,
   as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious
   bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately
   inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
   about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing
   measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly
   transferring children of the group to another group. (18)

I would add here as an analytical point that exactly how the in-group tribe decides to commit genocide against the out-group tribe depends in great part on the in-group tribe's view of metaphysics. For example, if the in-group tribe views tribal membership as conferred by conversion to its religious faith, this suggests the genocidal strategy of killing all those out-group adults who refuse to convert and then turning their children over to be raised by in-group parents. If the in-group has a patrilineal view of tribal membership, it suggests a different genocidal strategy: kill all of the out-group adult males and turn the out-group women over to in-group males to marry. (Here, social acceptance of polygamy assists the implementation of the strategy.) The in-group tribe might also kill the out-group tribe's male children, and then raise the out-group female children until they can be married off to in-group males. (Here, social acceptance of child marriage assists the implementation of the strategy.) Note, however, that if the in-group tribe holds that all out-group members--including people of mixed in-group/out-group lineage--are inherently evil (or racially inferior, or inherently diseased in some way), it suggests the genocidal strategy of wholesale extermination. This might be done by killing the out-group children (and elderly) outright and then working the out-group adults to death. Indeed, it was this latter approach that the Nazi regime pursued.

Returning to Speier's tripartite categorization of war, one could say that Nazi Germany in fact pursued all three types of war. Toward France in particular, it pursued an agonistic war. Hitler clearly felt that the victory of the French (and the other allies) in World War I was a humiliation for his country, so when France capitulated early in World War II, he insisted that the surrender document be signed in the same railway car in which the Treaty of Versailles had been signed. The Nazi occupation of France during the remainder of the war was comparatively benign--at least until substantial resistance developed.

The Nazi war against Eastern Europe and Russia was an instrumental war, or at least started as such. Hitler was clear about his intentions regarding this area early in shaping his regime. The Ukraine was the breadbasket of Europe, Russia and Romania had immense reserves of oil, and Germany required "living space" for its growing population which those lands (or at least the western parts thereof) would furnish. The inhabitants--primarily Slavic peoples--would serve as pools of (essentially slave) labor as well as markets for Germany's factories. This war, especially when Hitler made the decision to attack Russia, was ferocious, with high casualties on both sides as battlegrounds included major cities. Initially, captured soldiers on both sides were put in concentration camps for the duration, but as the war became more ferocious, the POWs of each side were increasingly abused and killed by the other side. The Nazis killed upward of two million Soviet POWs, while various sources estimate that between 380,000 and 1.1 million German POWs died in Soviet prison camps. (19)

The domestic war against the Jews was absolute. The Jews in occupied Europe were sent to concentration camps precisely to die--either worked to death or killed outright. On the Eastern front, the SS Einsatzgruppen widely massacred Jews wherever they found them--including whole villages, such as Babi Yar, where nearly 34,000 Jews were shot in two days.

In order to support an absolute war, especially one that is aimed at genocide, the work of the in-group propagandist is difficult. He probably would have to make the out-group appear both vile and threatening, and so much so that the members of the out-group should be eradicated. That would involve arousing the in-group members' emotions of disgust and fear to such a degree that they overcome the innate feeling of sympathy for the vulnerable, especially children. "Selling" genocide requires the in-group propagandist to engage in deep and sustained emotional manipulation of the in-group's members. That would be necessary for moving people to commit the nearly indescribable horrors that were perpetrated against the Jews and most of the concentration camp prisoners. One must look at footage of the terrible deeds inflicted upon the prisoners--the beatings, the rapes, the grotesque medical "experiments," the acts of obscene humiliation, and the tortures--to understand the level of hatred at work. (20)

De Swann's perspective helps us understand how the Nazis were able to carry out the Holocaust, and it ties in with Speier's view of total war. The selling of anti-Semitism--a major part of the Nazis' ideological underpinnings--was crucial to their regime. Upon defining the Jews as the "disgusting" out-group who threatened the "purity" and existence of the in-group (the "Aryans"), they called for absolute war. Since much of the regime's domestic agenda was focused on the "Jewish problem" from the day it achieved power, their agenda necessitated some sort of justification for massive changes to German law and culture.

I disagree with Nicholas O'Shaughnessy, who views the Nazis' anti-Semitic propaganda as having been targeted at only a segment of the public: "It was an audience which constituted a particular market, namely those citizens of the Third Reich who had a particular appetite for incendiary anti-Semitic imagery." (21) This is historically false, as I believe a number of facts show.

First, Adolf Hitler never hid his anti-Semitism; it was manifest from the beginning. His 1925 book Mein Kampf (22) presented his worldview and was widely available to the German public. After 1933 it was commonly given to German couples as a wedding gift. It bristles with anti-Semitic statements, such as "There were few Jews in Linz. In the course of the centuries their outward appearance had become Europeanized and had taken on a human look; in fact, I even took them for Germans." (23) Even prior to taking control of the government, the Nazi Party made its antipathy toward Jews unmistakably clear by forbidding Jews from attending Nazi rallies from the outset. Furthermore, the Party's organized mob staged constant attacks on Jews, vandalizing synagogues and organizing local boycotts against Jewish businesses.

Second, consider the timeline of the regime after it took power. (24) Anti-Semitism was central to the regime--not just in theory, but in practice. This must have been obvious to the average German citizen. In January 1933, Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. At this time, Germany had a population of 67 million, but a Jewish population of only about 500,000. (25) In March 1933, the Nazis opened Dachau concentration camp near Munich, quickly followed by Buchenwald near Weimar (Germany's cultural center) and Sachsenhausen near Berlin. In other words, the first concentration camps were located in open view near major German cities, not hidden out in the mountains somewhere. In April 1933, the Nazis organized a national boycott of Jewish businesses. In July 1933, the Nazi Party was decreed the only legal party; furthermore, the Nazis stripped resident Polish Jews (who were about 20% of German Jewry) of their German citizenship. In September 1933, Jews were stripped of the legal right to own land. In January 1934, Jews were kicked out of the German Labor Front, which was the unified trade union the Nazis had earlier created to replace all prior workers' unions for all negotiations with industry. In 1935, the Nazis prohibited Jews from serving in the military. Later that year, the Nuremburg Race Laws were passed, which defined Jews as a separate race; defined being Jewish not as practicing the faith, but as having at least three Jewish grandparents; stripped Jews of German citizenship; stripped Jews of the right to vote; and most notoriously forbad "Aryan" Germans from marrying or even having sexual relations with Jews. How many Germans could possibly have been ignorant of these laws?

I won't rehearse the rest of the timeline in much detail. Already in 1937, the Nazis had set up the infamous traveling propaganda exhibition "The Eternal Jew." In 1938, the Nazis moved to strip Jews of their wealth and to be readily identifiable as Jews. In late 1938, Polish Jews were expelled from Germany; when one of them assassinated a German diplomat, the Nazis orchestrated Kristallnacht. Jews were then kicked out of public schools and their businesses turned over to "Aryans." In 1939, with the conquest of Poland, Polish Jews were ordered to wear yellow stars of David and do forced labor. In 1940, German Jews started being shipped to the concentration camps as well. The year 1941 was crucial: with the war expanded to include Russia and then America, the Final Solution was decided upon. The Nazis forbad German Jews from emigrating, used poison gas to kill prisoners in the camps, and ordered SS killing squads to shoot massive numbers of Jews in Eastern Europe. In early 1942, the Final Solution was formalized in writing at the Wannsee Conference, and from this point on until their defeat in 1945, the Nazis gathered Jews from all over Europe with the plan of exterminating them all.

Thus it seems obvious that, from early on, most of the German public must have known that the Jews were being specifically targeted for harsh measures, perhaps complete expulsion or outright death. It is important to keep in mind how extensive the Nazi concentration camp system was. During the dozen years the regime existed, it set up about 20,000 concentration camps, (26) within which 11 million souls perished. The majority of those killed were Jews, but all of them were considered "enemies of the state." As the war progressed, virtually the entire German public had to have been increasingly suspicious that the option of extermination had been chosen.

This acceptance of (and even support for) absolute war against the Jews was precisely what the Nazis intended their anti-Semitic propaganda to engender. The Nazis intended to intensify the already culturally pervasive anti-Semitism of the German people. Cinema was considered by the Nazi Party to be an important tool in promoting an absolute war mindset. In other words, film was crucial to selling genocide.

3. Marketing and Mechanisms

I now turn to a review of some marketing tactics used in advertising and sales, as well as the psychological mechanisms that underlie them, before analyzing two of the films that were crucial in arousing the twin sides of anti-Semitism--disgust at and fear of Jews. This will help us see how those tools were used to accomplish that goal. (27)

I will first briefly characterize propaganda (28) and then explain how it relates to marketing. Some people regard propaganda as including techniques for selling products (goods and services) in a market. However, most people confine the term "propaganda" to the realm of ideas (specifically political, social, and religious ideas and ideologies), (29) and confine the term "marketing" to the realm of the market (that is, the exchange of goods and services).

There is a common underlying activity in both marketing and propaganda: promotion, that is, attempted persuasion. Marketing (that is, sales and advertising) is used to attempt to persuade people either to support a brand or to adopt (buy) specific goods or services. Persuading someone to support a brand just means increasing the chances that person will buy products from that company in the future. Notice that I use "attempt to persuade" rather than simply "persuade." We use propaganda and marketing to persuade others, but of course we can and often do fail in the attempt. (30)

Propaganda and marketing both also involve symbolic messaging to attempt to convey feelings, thoughts, beliefs, concepts, values, emotions, and attitudes about their objects. Symbolic messaging systems include natural language, mathematics, music, art, film, photography, dance, flags, architecture, gestures, coins (or tokens), emblems, dress/uniforms, etc.

In light of these similarities and differences, I will use "propaganda" to mean: symbolic messaging intended to persuade a target audience to adopt the ideas, ideology, political policies, or candidates the propagandist desires them to adopt. I will use "marketing" to mean: symbolic messaging intended to persuade a target audience to buy the products or brand the marketer desires them to adopt. (31)

The most effective marketing and propaganda techniques often employ psychological mechanisms that cognitive psychologists have explored over the last two decades. One the most eminent psychologists of persuasion is Robert Cialdini. (32) Understanding his theory will help to shed light on how the Nazis so effectively used the medium of film for their purposes.

Cialdini defines a psychological mechanism as a recurrent pattern of behavior whenever a specific "trigged' feature of the animal's environment is encountered. His illustration is that of a turkey hen's mothering behavior (pulling chicks beneath her wing, clearly a protective mechanism), which is triggered when the hen hears a specific "cheep-cheep" sound (typically issued by chicks in distress). Whether that sound is emitted by an actual chick, a tape recorder, or a tape recorder placed inside a stuffed skunk (the natural enemy of the turkey), the hen will scoop under her wing whatever makes that sound. The sound doesn't make the hen "think" that her chick may be endangered; it is a trigger for behavior programmed in her by evolution. Parallel psychological mechanisms are found in humans. Some of the most common ones are: contrast, reciprocity, social proof, authority, sympathy, association, salience, and resentment of inequality.

"Contrast" refers to the tendency of people to judge a thing or situation by comparing it with things that are near it in time or physical proximity. For example, a group of male college students who watch a movie featuring beautiful young actresses and then are asked to rate pictures of coeds, will rate those young women as less attractive on average than will a matched group of male students who have not watched the movie.

"Reciprocity" refers to the tendency of people to return favors for favors. That is, people who are given something tend to want to give something in return. For example, in one experiment, a psychology professor sent 100 Christmas cards to total strangers; 96 of them sent him back a card, even though they never heard of the researcher before.

"Social proof" refers to the tendency of people to judge what is correct or proper by looking at what other people around them think is correct or proper. For example, if a person goes to dinner with people he doesn't know well, and (say) pizza is served, he will likely watch to see how the others eat it. Do they pick up slices by their hands, or do they transfer the slices to their plates and slice small portions off and eat them at the end of their forks? How others eat will influence how he eats.

"Authority" refers to the tendency of people to obey perceived figures of authority. A classic experiment by Stanley Milgram illustrates this well. (33) Volunteers were told that they were going to participate in an experiment on learning. Each volunteer was told that he or she would be paired with another putative volunteer (who in reality was an actor paid to play the part). The real volunteer was invariably cast as the "teacher" and the actor would be the "learner." The learner would be strapped in a chair with what appeared to be electrodes attached to him. The teacher would be told to read a question from a list to the learner, and when the learner answered incorrectly, the teacher would be instructed (by Milgram or his assistant, dressed in a white lab coat) to administer a shock by pushing a button on a panel. After each shock, the learner would feign pain. With each new wrong answer, the teacher would be instructed to increase the voltage. Milgram and his associates discovered to their surprise that most of the teachers, who were ordinary folks, would administer shocks up to what were labeled dangerous levels, even after the learner would cry out that he was having a heart attack and slump into apparent unconsciousness. People tend to obey authorities.

"Association" refers to the tendency of people (and animals) to infer causal connections between things they see associated in time or space. This tendency explains Pavlovian classical conditioning: if a bell rings before feeding dogs for a few days in a row, very quickly the dogs will associate the bell with the food and salivate at the sound. There is both negative and positive association. "Positive association" involves transferring or projecting one or more desirable qualities present in one object to some object temporally or spatially connected with it. In one classic experiment, young men shown a picture of a "concept car" (that is, a car not yet in production about which they could have had no prejudgments) with an attractive bikiniclad model touching it rated the car as more attractive than did a matched group of young men seeing a picture of the exact same car without the sexy model. "Negative association" involves transferring or projecting one or more undesirable qualities present in one object to some object temporally or spatially connected with it. Studies of criminal trials show that men rated as unattractive by ordinary college student volunteers were twice as likely to be given jail sentences as were defendants the students rated as attractive.

Another mechanism is "salience," which is when one focuses more upon the unusual features of a situation than the commonplace. That is, unusual features appear as more prominent in one's awareness. For instance, in a robbery, the victim will tend to focus on the gun held by the robber than on his other features (such as hair color, clothing, etc.).

Cialdini and other psychologists have shown that these mechanisms are exploited in both marketing and propaganda. A few examples will suffice for our purpose.

Let us consider the mechanism of negative association. It is behind many ads that aim to arouse fear, disgust, or hatred of a thing by (often irrelevantly) linking something unpleasant to it. For example, an advertiser of mouthwash might show attractive women turning away from a young man as he tries to talk with them. The advertiser is hoping the viewers will transfer their fears of social rejection to failing to use that brand of mouthwash. Similarly, an ad for a candidate may show his or her opponent's picture juxtaposed with a closed factory. The campaign staff is hoping that the viewer will transfer his or her negative feelings about unemployment to the candidate's opponent. A particularly egregious case of this was the infamo us "Daisy ad" run by Lyndon Johnson's U.S. presidential campaign against Barry Goldwater in 1964, which pictured a little girl pulling leaves from a daisy shortly before an atomic bomb detonates. (34)

Next, we'll consider the use of social proof in advertising. A marketer might advertise a food supplement by featuring letters of satisfied customers who rave about how effective it is at (say) invigorating the sex drive. The advertiser is hoping that the viewer will follow the example of all those satisfied customers. Similarly, a candidate's campaign staff might stage a campaign rally in which hundreds of that candidate's supporters gather, listening to him or her deliver a standard vapid speech and cheering him or her after every line. The staff is hoping that the viewer will follow the example of all those adoring supporters.

Finally, consider the use of authority in advertising. The producer of one multi-vitamin pill advertised it under the name "God's Recipe." The advertiser was hoping that the viewer would feel a duty to obey God's will and buy the product. Similarly, a political candidate's staff might approach local pastors in an area to have them publicly support the candidate. The staff is hoping that the parishioners will obey the recommendations of their pastors and vote for the candidate.

These mechanisms can be utilized in combination. For example, both social proof and authority can be used together powerfully in advertising. The producer of a pain medication might show actors in white coats simulating doctors and speaking about how effective the medication is. Similarly, a candidate's campaign team might run an ad with professors of (say) philosophy speaking about what an outstanding candidate he or she is. In both cases, the appeal is to the social proof of many people, all appearing to be some kind of relevant authority.

4. Robert and Bertram

Armed with an overview of psychological mechanisms that have been exploited in illogical but persuasive marketing and propaganda campaigns, let us now review two of the major Nazi anti-Semitic movies. As David Welch notes, (35) anti-Semitism was common in Nazi cinema from the first. He gives as examples the Kampfzeit (36) films, such as Hans Westmar (in which Jews are portrayed as dividing workers from the government), Homecoming (which portrayed Jews as inciting the Poles to attack the ethnic Germans), and Bismark (about a Jewish man who attempted to assassinate the Iron Chancellor). However, feature films that clearly intended to advance the anti-Semitic core of Nazism were rather late in coming.

The first such feature film was produced right after Kristallnacht (1938) and released in 1939. It was a musical comedy called Robert and Bertram, set in 1839, and written and directed by Hans H. Zerlett. Zerlett specialized in musicals and comedies, and was one of Joseph Goebbels's preferred directors.

The movie opens with the intertitle, "This is a story of two vagabonds ... who in spite of their misdeeds, ended up in heaven ... because they possessed the fairest of all human virtues: Gratitude!" We are introduced to a fair-haired young man, Michel, who is carving a heart on a tree with the name "Lenchen" underneath, and the gorgeous fair-haired Lenchen, who is the tart-tongued daughter of innkeeper Mr. Lieps. Michel joins Lenchen at work; while he is shy and tongue-tied around her, it is clear that they are in love. Michel lets her know he is going to Berlin to serve in the Prussian army. Lenchen gives Michel some ham to take to his uncle, the warden of the town's jail.

We then meet two vagabonds: the tall, thin Robert, in jail already, and the fat, short Bertram. (37) Bertram is arrested in mid-dream, taken to the same jail, and put in a cell directly below Robert. Robert cuts a hole in the floor of his cell and, seeing Bertram (the two are obviously close friends), pulls him up. They then manage to escape, after tricking the warden and his nephew Michel. Throughout all of this, various characters sing and dance.

Robert and Bertram find their way to Lenchen's village. She kindly offers them food if they will wash dishes in her father's inn at that night's wedding celebration. At the wedding, the rogues overhear Biedermeier, a seemingly wealthy money lender, trying to force Lenchen to marry him. He threatens Mr. Liep that unless he pushes his daughter into the marriage, Biedermeier will take over the inn. The two rogues decide to help. After entertaining the guests with a song and dance routine, they steal Biedermeir's wallet and ride off on stolen horses.

Later, they discover that Biedermeier is himself in debt to one Nathan Ipelmeyer and being pressured to pay back the money he had borrowed. Robert sarcastically remarks to Bertram, "We've stepped right into the midst of the business relations of two especially fine gentlemen." The clever Robert explains to Bertram that Biedermeier borrowed the money to support Lieps's Inn only in order to make Lieps and his daughter dependent upon Biedermeier, thus forcing Lenchen to marry him. Robert and Bertram, grateful for the hospitality they received from Lieps and his daughter, again decide to help.

They sell the stolen horses and go to Berlin to con Ipelmeyer. We see them in Berlin, dressed like gentlemen, where they contrive to greet each other in a restaurant Ipelmeyer frequents. We see him sitting there--corpulent, repellent looking, hook-nosed, and bearded, with flashy clothes and jewelry, ordering caviar. The rogues con him into believing that Bertram is a professor of music, giving lessons to Robert, who is passed off as a Count ("the Count of Monte Cristo"). Ipelmeyer, an obvious social climber, invites them to a costume ball. We know that Ipelmeyer is Jewish from an infamous exchange: he leans forward and says to Bertram, "But first I have to tell you a big secret: I am an Israelite." The corpulent Bertram immediately replies, "Then I have to tell you a big secret as well--I have a [big] belly." This retort implies that Ipelmeyer is obviously Jewish by his looks.

We now see Ipelmeyer in his garishly ornate house, on the night of the masked ball. He gives directions to his servant Jacques, saying, "I beg you to get rid of your Jewish pronunciation." Ipelmeyer then turns as his wife enters and ironically says "Oi!" She is also enormously obese, hook-nosed, and gaudily dressed with flashy jewelry. When she asks him (in Yiddish) how she looks, he replies, "From the front you look nebbish like Catherine the Great, and from the back you look healthy like Napoleon." She objects, saying that Napoleon was anti-Semitic, to which he replies, "That's why he went bust in Moscow," implying that the Soviet Union is controlled by Jews.

As the guests arrive, Ipelmeyer greets his secretary Fochheimer, letting him know that he realizes Fochheimer has been stealing from him and having sex with his wife. Then the rogues arrive. As the music plays, we see Ipelmeyer caress not his wife's hand, but her rings. As she smiles at him, he rolls his eyes. It is obvious that there is no love there. We see Robert lean over to Ipelmeyer, and again we get some anti-Semitic dialogue:

Robert: Your home seems to be a true temple of the arts.

Ipelmeyer: What do you mean, temple? Are you also ... [Jewish]?

Robert: Me? No. How could I be?

Ipelmeyer: Who knows ... I know an archbishop named Kohn and a lord named Rothschild.

The insinuation here is that Jews work their way into high places incognito.

After Robert sings an aria, the guests change into their costumes. At the costume ball, we hear more anti-Semitic dialogue. Mrs. Ipelmeyer, when Fochheimer touches her, tells him to take his hand away. When he asks her how she knew it was him, she replies, "Because of your feet"--presumably, a dig at how he smells. (38) We then see a guest greet Ipelmeyer by name, who replies, "Who says I'm Mr. Ipelmeyer?" The guest shoots back, "If I couldn't tell by the pronunciation, I would know by your wayward glances at the dance soloist." Ipelmeyer goes on to make clear he intends to bed her (presumably a non-Jewish girl). We also see Jacques refer to Mrs. Ipelmeyer as looking like "a filthy old market bag."

Jacques also says of the Ipelmeyers' daughter, Isadora, that she came as Queen "Kleptomania," meaning Queen Cleopatra--a gibe at the presumed acquisitiveness of the family. An earlier scene showed the Ipelmeyers hoping that Isadora will marry the "Count of Monte Cristo." We now see a scene that mocks the values of the daughter. When her boyfriend Samuel asks how she could fall for "a goy" (referring to Robert), she replies "But he's a Count. A Count!" When Ipelmeyer hears this, he tells Samuel that he is too poor to marry Isadora: "My daughter will not love for less than a million."

Ipelmeyer then walks into the young dance soloist's room, intent on a tryst with the maiden. Outside, the guests all dance, with Robert taking Isadora as partner, while Bertram takes Mrs. Ipelmeyer. As they all dance, the two rogues adroitly steal their partners' jewelry. This happens while Ipelmeyer, whose doctor had given him a sleeping potion, falls asleep.

The mother and daughter soon discover that they have been robbed, and the mother cries out for her husband, who is being robbed by the two rogues while he sleeps. As the guests shout and beat at his door, the rogues calmly take all of his jewelry, down to his diamond shoe-buckles. As the rogues make their escape and the guests flee, Jacques wryly remarks, "Now they're all galloping in Jewish haste!"

We cut to the Lieps sadly discussing how they will lose the inn because they cannot pay back Biedermeier, when the postman delivers a package for the father and a letter for the daughter. In the package is the stolen jewelry, with the letter instructing them to give the stolen goods to "the man who is after Lenchen" (meaning Biedermeier) and to tell him that the jewelry belongs to the Ipelmeyers. Returning the jewelry to Ipelmeyer will clear Biedermeier's bills as well as theirs. At this point, Michel--looking resplendent in his Prussian uniform and walking with pride and confidence--enters and says to the Lieps, "See what the Prussians can turn a man into!" As the father slips away, Michel kisses Lenchen and presents her with a ring. The father tells his friends that Michel has become a corporal (which was Hitler's rank).

We next see an intertitle with a police indictment of two unknown men named Robert and Bertram for theft. The top minister is puzzled, because the two crooks "didn't commit their crimes to further their own interests." We cut to Michel and Lenchen strolling at the town fair, and we see the two rogues (dressed as women) reading a poster offering a reward for their capture. While dancing a polka, they are discovered and pursued. They jump into a balloon, which carries them to heaven, where they dance past the pearly gates in the midst of angels.

Some commentators have regarded this film as being not markedly anti-Semitic, and thus not particularly effective as propaganda. For example, in his comprehensive treatise on German propaganda cinema, Ian Garden says that while the movie did in fact caricature Jews, it isn't particularly remarkable in this regard. As he puts it, "While there are certainly some stereotypical presentations of the Jewish characters in the film ... there is nothing particularly offensive about the portrayals. Indeed, it is more reminiscent of the cliched portrayals of the national characteristics of (say) the Scots or the French." He adds that "just as much fun is poked at non-Jewish characters, and the real villains are the two non-Jewish vagabonds who steal jewelry from Ipelmeyer, but who are still accepted into heaven because their crimes were not committed for personal gain but to insure the happiness of the two lovers." (39)

This strikes me as mistaken for several reasons. First, none of the other characters is singled out for such vicious stereotypical satirization. The Jews are portrayed as greedy, lacking in taste, lacking in hygiene, uniformly ugly, dishonest, and so on, especially in comparison with the blond, wholesome, Aryan lovers.

Second, Garden seems to equate Jewishness with a separate nationality (like being Scottish or French), as if Jewish Germans aren't truly Germans. The fact that the Nuremberg Laws were passed to define who was Jewish is strong evidence that most German Jews in fact looked and sounded like other Germans.

Most importantly, Garden overlooks the main argument for recognizing this as effective propaganda. The film clearly presents the idea that theft from Jews is praiseworthy and noble if it is done to help "Aryans." Considering that to a large degree the Nazis funded their Wehrmacht by assets seized from Jews, down to the gold in the teeth of Jews killed in the extermination camps, this message was very much a Nazi one.

This movie was in fact powerfully effective in promoting the ideas and emotions the Nazis wanted to arouse against the Jews. The film is selling three feelings about the out-group Jews, which would increase tolerance of a total genocidal war against them: difference, disgust, and danger. Let us take these in order, and see which scenes in the film fit each category.

By "difference" I mean elaborating and reinforcing the false stereotype that Jews look, talk, and think differently from "Aryan" Germans. Numerous scenes highlight the alleged difference of Jews (from other Germans). A few examples include: the scene of Ipelmeyer in the restaurant, odd looking, peculiarly dressed, and ordering caviar; the scene where Bertram tells Ipelmeyer (in effect) that Ipelmeyer's appearance is obviously "Jewish"; the size of the Ipelmeyer house and its ornate furnishings; the scenes showing Ipelmeyer's wife as different in her physical appearance and attire; the scenes showing various members of the Ipelmeyer household speaking German with Yiddish words mixed in; the scenes where Ipelmeyer disregards his wife's infidelity and those that accentuate his own; the scene where he caresses not his wife's hand, but her jewelry; and the scenes in which Ipelmeyer and Samuel refer to ordinary Germans as "Goyim."

By "disgust" I mean emphasizing that not only are Jews different, but that their differences are all for the worse. After all, you can view other people as having customs that are different from your own, but still regard them as benign or even charming. Here, Jewish manners are portrayed as loathsome, dirty, or even degenerate. Their appearance is portrayed not merely as different, but as ugly and repellent. Their values are portrayed not merely as different, but as corrupt and vicious. Numerous scenes in the movie are designed to arouse disgust toward Jews: the scenes showing Ipelmeyer and his wife as ugly and obese, the scene in which Mrs. Ipelmeyer insinuates that her lover is malodorous, the scene in which Ipelmeyer rolls his eyes at the sight of his wife, the scene in which even the Ipelmeyers' servant makes fun of her looks, the scene in which Ipelmeyer shows tolerance of the fact that his wife is cheating on him, the scenes showing Ipelmeyer lusting after the young dancer, the scenes showing all of the Ipelmeyers desiring the daughter to marry royalty rather than the man who loves her, and the scenes showing how devoted the family is to their material possessions.

The difference and disgust are underlined by contrast with the virtuous, modestly dressed, truly loving, honest, hard-working, physically fit, and beautiful lead characters (Lenchen and Michel). Even the rogues come off as good by contrast, with their gratitude and charm.

By "danger" I mean that the Jews are portrayed as dangerous or a threat to other Germans for several reasons: they steal from Aryans; they are disloyal and "cosmopolitan" as opposed to being patriotic; they use their financial and media power to advance their international agenda at the expense of the nation; and they lust after non-Jewish girls--again using their wealth as a weapon to threaten "racial pollution." Numerous scenes aim at portraying Jews in this fashion. The scenes showing Biedermeier using Lieps's debt to pressure Lieps into forcing Lenchen to marry Biedermeier, and Ipelmeyer in turn squeezing Biedermeier, portray Jews as money-lenders who use usury as a tool of power. The scenes of Ipelmeyer lusting after the young dancer and Biedermeier after Lenchen suggest the constant danger of "racial pollution" of Aryans by Jews.

These messages are usually hidden by the musical numbers and dances. In terms of marketing, this is analogous to using jingles to distract the viewer from thinking rationally about the product being sold. Indeed, this point illustrates one of the major features of cinema that makes it potentially a powerful tool for propaganda: it is a multi-media art. It combines the power of writing to convey information verbally with the power of visual messages and music to distract rational thought.

5. Linen from Ireland

The second film under review is unusual in that it is at once anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist (or at least anti-classical-liberal). I will focus here only on its anti-Semitism. Linen from Ireland was directed by Heinz Helbig, is set in 1909 Bohemia, and appeared in 1939 only a few months after Robert and Bertram.

The film opens with simple, folksy weavers walking in the summer sun to deliver their products to a factory, owned by a man named Hubermayer. As they discuss how much they will be paid, one of them remarks of Hubermayer, "Such a rich, fine gentleman. He still has a heart for us simple weavers."

We cut to Hubermayer meeting with two men from Prague who represent a firm called Libussa, Inc. One of the men says to Hubermayer, "We can't force you to do what's good for you. If you think you can get along without us, very well." Hubermayer turns to the men, angrily calling them and their firm cutthroats and crooks. He opens a side door to show them a year's supply of linen, unused and stored because Libussa has refused to buy from him. They tell him that it's because his product is bad, but he vehemently rejects that claim--his company has been producing the same good linen for 150 years. When one of the Libussa representatives asks why he continues to produce linen nobody is buying, he points to the weavers waiting outside-- "Isn't that reason enough? Do you want them to starve, you scoundrels?"

Hubermayer capitulates in order to provide for the weavers he wants to save. Under the new contract, he becomes a silent partner with only a 10% stake in the company and is no longer part of management, which will be taken over by a man named Nagel. He demands that the contract guarantee that the new management will buy from the town weavers for at least twenty years, but the Libussa representatives just laugh and refuse, holding out the prospect that the weavers will get nothing today. He reluctantly signs, and Nagel goes out to tell the weavers that they will deal with him from now on and work just as before. As the Libussa representatives leave, Hubermayer tells his assistant that he has been given the boot, and he will go to the Kaiser if necessary.

We next witness the board of directors of Libussa Textile Industries as they consider presenting a petition to the government to be allowed to import linen from Ireland tariff-free. Dr. Kuhn, the Jewish chairman of the board, promises that if they can get the government to remove the tariffs on imported linen, Libussa will become a powerful multinational company. When one of the other board members suggests that the government's Minister of Trade and Commerce will not go along with the scheme, Kuhn indicates that he has insider knowledge that there is soon to be a new minister in charge. When another board member asks what the domestic linen-makers will say about this, he smugly replies that he anticipated resistance, so he "quietly bought" the Bohemian linen companies "one after another" so there would be no opposition. To another board member's query about what will then happen to the weavers, he disdainfully replies, "Any progress demands sacrifice.... [T]here is more at stake here than the fate of a few weavers." It is them or the weavers; they all sign the petition.

After the other members have gone, Kuhn goes into the president's office, and finds Lilly Kettner, the beautiful blond daughter of the company's president. She mockingly compliments him on all he's accomplished. When he responds that he has done all of this for Libussa, she replies, "And also for me. I know." When he says to her that he hasn't done anything to her, she replies, "I can't avoid the impression that if I [gave] you my little finger you'll take my whole hand. And [if you take] my hand...."

At this point, Lilly's father walks in. She hears Kuhn report to Kettner that the board has agreed and the company can now submit their petition. Kuhn also lets Kettner know that he has arranged a formal dinner in Vienna that Kettner and Lilly must attend. At this, Lilly gets annoyed, telling Kuhn that she isn't his employee. Her father tells her, though, "We must do as we are told." As he leaves, Kuhn smirks at Lilly. When Kuhn is out of the room, Lilly tells her father that Kuhn is revolting.

We cut to the exterior of the Imperial Ministry of Trade and Commerce where a sign states: "Not open to the public today." The new Minister walks in, and we learn that he is from the Liberal Democratic Party (presumably, a party that favors classical liberal economics, such as free trade). The new Minister introduces himself, declaring bluntly that he wants to implement sweeping reforms as quickly as possible. He tells the staff that he wants to end the narrowness of the previous administration and sweep away barriers to trade, even if a few of the "little guys" may complain: "Our commerce must conquer the world market!"

We next cut to Kuhn's Vienna hotel room, where his uncle Sigi Pollack is announced. Kuhn welcomes his uncle, who is obese, bearded, with of course the stereotypical aquiline nose. Pollack, inspecting the room and noticing the large bathtub, asks Kuhn how long he intends to stay. When Kuhn replies, "three or four days," Pollack replies, "Why do you need a bathroom [with a bathtub] then?" This is again the Hitlerian gibe alleging that Jews do not bathe often. Pollack comments on how fine Kuhn's clothes are, adding "You've become a big shot" who has come a long way in twenty years from their old Jewish neighborhood. This irritates Kuhn, who says, "Please stop that, Uncle. I've forgotten where I came from." As they stand side by side, the viewer sees that while Pollack has a beard and his nephew Kuhn is clean-shaven and more polished, the subtext is that "they" (that is, the Jews) are the same. You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, the film urges, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew.

When Pollack tells Kuhn, "You've made a great career," Kuhn replies, "This is only the beginning." Kuhn explains that he is ambitious beyond Austro-Hungary, which he views as small: "Berlin, Paris, London, New York--That's my world! That's where I belong." In that world, he says, he will have wealth, status, and--even more importantly--power: "And I will come into power! I'll be at the top and others will obey." Kuhn adds that on that day he will celebrate by marrying Lilly Kettner. He reveals that this is why he engineered the petition, namely, so that "the old man will have to give me his daughter, whether he wants to or not."

At the ball, we see Kuhn waiting for Goll, the new ministry official who will consider Libussa's petition. Goll arrives late; he is young, handsome, and charming. Kuhn has a servant tell Lilly to meet her father in the library, but when she walks in, only Kuhn is there. Closing the door, he tells her it would be very helpful to Libussa if she were nice to one guest in particular (meaning Goll), because "every man has his price." She responds that she wants nothing to do with Kuhn's dealings, and won't dance with some old bureaucrat. She tells Kuhn angrily that she will dance with the first young man she sees, and leaves. She asks the first young man to dance with her--and Kuhn smiles when he sees that it is Goll. When Lilly discovers that the young man she has just danced with is from the Ministry, she gets flustered and leaves him. He is obviously attracted to her, and is told by his friend and superior, a Baron, that she is the niece of the party's hostess and the heiress to a large company. He is puzzled why she would want to dance with him.

We next see Kuhn apologize to Lilly, saying that the person with whom he wanted her to dance won't be coming to the party after all. She laughs and says, "So I won't be able to do the company any more favors tonight?" He replies that she should enjoy herself, "laughing, dancing, and flirting." We cut to Goll preparing to leave the party, but when Lilly comes up and asks him to stay, he does. They are now clearly falling in love, and the scene dissolves with them sitting and talking in the garden.

We cut to the front door of the ministry. Hubermayer is also there to present a petition. We then see Goll waking up his friend--the whimsical Baron--telling the Baron that he wants to discuss official business. The Baron asks Goll whether this is about Lilly Kettner. Goll, surprised, asks the man how he knew. The Baron tells him that Lilly is rich and Goll isn't. The man suggests that Lilly must have some ulterior motive for "bewitching a minor official."

That afternoon, Kuhn goes in to meet Goll. Goll doesn't remember him, and Kuhn reminds him they met at the ball the night before. Goll asks why he is there and Kuhn indicates that it is about the Libussa petition. While Goll finds the petition and reads it, Kuhn pitches the proposal. Goll tells Kuhn he will read it and reach a decision. Kuhn becomes pushy, revealing to him that Libussa's president (and Kuhn's boss) is Lilly's father. The oily Kuhn reminds Goll that Lilly was enthralled by him. Goll replies, "Now I understand this connection," and summarily asks Kuhn to leave, saying he will study the petition.

We see Kuhn return to his apartment, and he discovers Pollack in the bathtub. Pollack tells Kuhn he wants to bathe and shave off his beard, presumably so that he can insinuate himself into high society as well. Kuhn and Pollack hatch a plan to have a friend, who is an editor, print a story that the top minister of trade is insincere in his support for the expansion of German trade because he ignores "a brilliant industrial magnate from Prague" who has a proposal that could do wonders for the textile industry.

We cut to see the visibly angry Minister reading this story aloud to his underlings, demanding a written report on this sabotage of his instructions. Hubermayer then knocks on the doors in the Ministry with his petition. In a comedy of errors, the Minister takes Hubermayer to be the brilliant industrialist from Prague. Hubermayer hands his proposal to the confused Minister, who takes it to be the Kuhn proposal, and tells Hubermayer that it will be handled "at once." The Minister explains that he knows all about the Libussa plan to import linen duty-free from Ireland, because "not enough [of it] can be produced in Bohemia." Hubermayer shows utter amazement on his face as he listens. As the confused Minister tells Hubermayer that Goll is studying the proposal, Hubermayer begins to figure out Kuhn's scheme. He grabs his petition back from the Minister and goes off to find Goll's office.

We cut to Goll and Lilly strolling in a garden. Goll thanks her for putting in a good word about him to Kuhn, and Lilly replies that she never mentioned him to Kuhn. When Goll asks whether she knows who is to decide on Kuhn's petition, she replies that she neither knows nor cares: "I don't like to be used for the interests of Herr Kuhn." She adds--to Goll's evident delight--that she hates Kuhn. Someone is lurking in the bushes watching the couple.

We later see Kuhn in his office, and we find that it was Pollack spying on the couple. Kuhn instructs Pollack to follow them when they meet again the next day. Kuhn then receives a call from the top minister, after which the smirking Kuhn hands Pollack some money and says the minister has told him Libussa's petition will be granted. Pollack reminds him that it was Pollack's idea to publish the letter, and says that the business is as good as settled. "[B]ut what about love?" Kuhn smirks again and says the settling of the business will settle the love, and gloats, "There's no one left to stop me!"

In Goll's office, Hubermayer searches the desk and finds the Kuhn/Libussa petition. We cut again to Kettner's room, with Kuhn waiting as Kettner calls out for his daughter to get ready. Kettner observes that since she is taking unusually long, she must want to look unusually pretty. Kuhn suggests it is because they are meeting Goll, and tells Kettner that Goll is the man considering the Libussa petition, and Lilly has been seeing Goll every day. Kuhn deviously adds that Goll had pretensions of integrity, and is their strongest opponent at the ministry. Kettner falls for this line, saying of Goll sarcastically that he is a fine fellow "who could cost us millions."

Kettner angrily goes to Lilly's room to confront her. She readily admits to seeing Goll and wanting to marry him. Kettner tells her that he doesn't dislike Goll, but wants her to marry someone who can take over and run Libussa, but that Goll opposes the petition and wants to thwart Libussa's plans. Kettner tells his daughter that she must test Goll by convincing him to support the petition. This clearly bothers her. She asks her father that if Goll goes against his own convictions just to win her hand, what would Kettner really think of him? When her father replies that he would view Goll as being intelligent, she reluctantly agrees to try to convince Goll to support the petition.

We watch next as both Goll and then Lilly walk into a restaurant. Goll asks her if he can go to her father and ask for her hand. She looks uncomfortable as she replies that she has already talked with her father about him, and while her father has no objections to him, if Goll is to join the family, Goll would have to "lend [Kettner] your support just as a son would." When Goll says, "Yes ... And ... ?" Lilly replies that Goll should approve the Libussa petition, or there will be no marriage. Goll is incredulous that Kettner should expect him to act against conviction, but indicates that he will, although he is clearly disappointed in her.

The next morning, Goll goes to the ministry early, and when he enters his office, finds Hubermayer sitting at the desk. Hubermayer tells Goll cheekily that he is almost done. When Goll angrily demands to know who he is, Hubermayer identifies himself and proceeds to tell Goll that Hubermayer's company and all the other domestic wholesale linen producers were ruined by Libussa to keep them from opposing Libussa's proposal. Hubermayer tells Goll that if the Libussa petition is approved, the company will then shut all the domestic producers down, adding: "Do you know how many families will starve?" Goll tells the hot-headed Hubermayer to calm down, that he has already suspected what Hubermayer has discovered, and that the matter is still open. Goll sits with the petition and asks Hubermayer answer some questions.

Meanwhile, Kuhn enters Lilly's room and congratulates her for helping her family's company. When she tells Kuhn that the petition matter is still undecided, the smarmy Kuhn replies that he is confident Goll's love for her will overcome Goll's reservations about the petition. She shoots back that not all men are as unprincipled as Kuhn, adding that "Doctor Goll will never act against his convictions." Kuhn haughtily replies, "We'll see."

Back at the Ministry, we see Goll dictating a report (in Hubermayer's presence). The Baron calls him into another office, and when Goll confirms that he is recommending rejection of the Libussa petition, the Baron points out that the head of the Ministry wants it approved and that Goll's career will end ignominiously if he refuses. Goll immediately replies that this is unimportant compared to "preventing hundreds of thousands from perishing." The Baron agrees, but says that if the Minister wills it, there is nothing Goll can do about it--Goll will just be sacked and replaced by someone willing to sign. When Goll and the Baron are summoned to the Minister's office, the Minister says to Goll, "So, you're the revolutionary!" The Minister quotes Goll's report with hostility, amazed that Goll would go against the Minister's wishes, and orders Goll to write a positive report. Goll refuses, and says he is prepared for the consequences. The Minister tells the Baron to write a favorable report and then phones Kettner.

We cut to Kettner, Kuhn, and Lilly in Kettner's hotel room, as the phone rings. Kuhn answers, thanks the Minister obsequiously, and then relays to Kettner that they are to show up at the Ministry tomorrow to receive their petition's formal approval. Kuhn suggests to Kettner that this was done with Goll's approval and, smirking at Lilly, with Lilly's help. Lilly hotly retorts that she thinks he is lying, and that Goll wouldn't go against his convictions.

We cut to Lilly and Goll separately entering the Baron's office. Lilly tells him she is disappointed that he caved to the pressure and wants to see him no more. Stricken, he leaves, and as she cries, the Baron--realizing her innocence in the Libussa scheme--tells her he owes her an apology.

The next day, we see the Minister telling Kettner and Kuhn that the Libussa petition has been approved. He opens an envelope to check that it is the approval form, but as he reads it, he suddenly tells Kettner and Kuhn that there is a minor error in it, so he will have to sign it and mail it to them. They leave suspecting nothing. After the Libussa executives leave, we learn what was really in the letter--Goll's resignation, with the explanation that the Minister is acting against the interests of the people. Outside, Kettner tells Kuhn that he wants to stay and talk with Goll personally. Kettner enters Goll's office, only to find Hubermayer. The ever-gruff Hubermayer tells Kettner that Goll has resigned because of "the Libussa rabble." At this point the Minister calls Goll's office, whereupon Hubermayer picks up the phone and tells the Minister that Goll has quit "this Imperial pigsty!" The Minister is incensed, and tells the staff what the ministry has been called, and the staff march to Goll's office to see what person would dare say such a thing.

The staff members enter to find a defiant Hubermayer (with Kettner standing quietly to the side). They usher Hubermayer to the Minister directly, but to the Minister's surprise, Hubermayer is not cowed, refuses to apologize, and accuses the Minister of not caring about the citizens who will starve. As Kettner quietly enters the room, Hubermayer shouts at the Minister that Libussa lowered its prices for cloth from the domestic manufacturers so as to push them into bankruptcy and buy them out cheaply. He and the Minister argue, whereupon Hubermayer calls the Libussa petition a "swindle." The Minister wants to call the police, but Kettner intercedes, saying that Hubermayer's outrage is reasonable. He then identifies himself to Hubermayer as "the swindler, the cutthroat." Kettner tells the Minister that because of what he has learned from Hubermayer, he wants to withdraw his petition. Hubermayer apologizes for his intemperate comments, and he and the Minister become amicable.

We move now to Goll's apartment, as he is packing to go. The Baron, ever his true friend, is explaining to Goll that he is wrong about Lilly--she was crying because she thought that Goll had given in to the petition, not opposed it. While Goll finally grasps what the Baron is saying, Goll says he still didn't like being played with and still plans to leave town.

We see a triumphant Kuhn enter his hotel room and tell Pollack that he anticipates winning Lilly's hand. Pollack replies in joy, "If only your mama, my sister, could have lived to see this!" Kettner enters his room, accompanied by Hubermayer--the two are now obviously friends. Kettner says to Hubermayer that he now realizes he has been duped by someone, and he intends to clear everything up with Hubermayer there. Meanwhile, the Baron visits Lilly in her room, where she is packing to leave.

We see a servant announce to Kettner that Kuhn wants to see him. Kettner tells the man to bring Kuhn in, sarcastically saying to Hubermayer, "I have to take stock with my capable Doctor Kuhn." Back in Kuhn's room, Pollack pops the cork on the champagne and sloppily pours some for Kuhn and himself, toasting "L'chaim!" The servant comes in and tells Kuhn that Kettner will see him now. Kuhn smugly gloats to Pollack, "Now I'll name my price! ... Uncle Sigi, I've reached my goal!" Pollack replies, "Mazeltov!"

Back in Lilly's room, we see the Baron--obviously playing Cupid for the stubborn young lovers--finally get through to her that in fact Goll had rejected the petition, and that's why he resigned. He tells her that Goll is leaving on the 1:00 pm train, and the two leave immediately, with Lilly saying that she will drag him off the train if necessary.

Kuhn enters Kettner's room and congratulates Kettner in a self-serving manner, saying it wasn't easy, but Kuhn's skill in manipulation paid off. Kettner cagily replies that that it is now time to revise their relationship. Kuhn, ever confident, thinks Kettner is hinting at elevating him. He insolently tells Kettner that he wants no money, but wants instead to marry Lilly. Kettner lets Kuhn have it, telling him that he is untrustworthy, has deceived Kettner for years, and has cheated honest businessmen in Kettner's name. Kettner fires Kuhn, saying, "Maybe our Fatherland is too small for your urges." He hands Kuhn a severance check and says that he has withdrawn the Libussa petition: "It's useless to give you my reasons. You would never understand them anyway." The disgraced Kuhn slinks out.

Kuhn, back with Pollack, tells his uncle that he's been fired and he did not get Lilly's hand in marriage. He hands Pollack the check, and says, "Buy two tickets for New York. Europe is not for us." Pollack, impressed by the check, tells Kuhn not to worry--money is the only important thing in life.

At the train station, the Baron walks up to the car containing Goll. Goll asks the Baron why the Baron came, and the Baron replies fatherly that "I just wanted to say good-bye, and be the first to congratulate you." Goll is stunned, and turns to see a smiling Lilly behind him. We watch them kiss as the train pulls away.

The movie ends with Hubermayer returning to his factory--now his again--while the townspeople cheer. He tells them to get back to work making the linen they have produced for 150 years--linen from Bohemia.

Let us examine the anti-Semitic messaging in this movie. Again we see Jews depicted as different, disgusting, and dangerous--but with a different emphasis: the danger is more pronounced in this second movie than in the first. It begins with numerous scenes pushing the message that Jews are different, and continues by showing how the difference is for the worse-- indeed, for the disgusting.

First, the Jewish characters Kuhn and Pollack have a very different conception of business from the non-Jewish businessmen Hubermayer, Kettner, and even the other Libussa board members. They are portrayed as predatory in business, indifferent to the fact that their machinations inflict suffering on the small artisans, as seen in Kuhn's remark that "[t]here is more at stake ... than the fate of a few weavers." By contrast, the non-Jewish businessmen have a more cooperative approach to business. They also worry deeply about the workers and small businesses, and want to shield them with protectionist tariffs.

Second, the Jewish characters are "cosmopolitan." This standard anti-Semitic accusation is seen in Kuhn's comment to Pollack that he has forgotten his home town and in Pollock's observation that Kuhn is now a "big shot" who has come a long way from his ghetto roots. Kuhn longs to move in the biggest international financial circles: "Berlin, Paris, London, New York--That's my world!" By contrast, the "Aryan" businessmen have a sense of homeland. Hubermayer is proud of his company's roots in Bohemia, going back 150 years, and his ties with its humble, decent linen-makers. Indeed, Kettner explicitly attacks Kuhn for his total lack of patriotism when he says, "Maybe our Fatherland is too small for your urges."

Third, the Jewish businessmen are portrayed as completely devious, whereas the non-Jewish ones are ethical. Kuhn deceives his superior Kettner about what he is doing, deceives the other board members about the impact of the Libussa scheme on the small tradesmen, and misleads Lilly about the nature of his scheme. Pollack cheerfully spies on the young lovers, funnels insider information about people in the ministry (especially Goll) to Kuhn, and colludes to place a manipulative story in the newspaper about the Libussa affair, all for monetary rewards from his nephew. Kuhn deliberately refuses to buy linen from the domestic producers so that he can buy majority stakes in them and eventually close them all down, even at the cost of hundreds of thousands of people starving. By contrast, the "Aryans" show nothing but honesty in their business dealings. Goll refuses to compromise his principles, even in the face of termination. Kettner withdraws the Libussa petition and fires Kuhn the minute he discovers what he is up to. Hubermayer is steadfast in his mission to keep the integrity of his company intact and to protect the jobs and incomes of the weavers.

Fourth, the Jews are portrayed once again as physically repellent. Kuhn and Pollack are overweight with stereotypical hooked noses. Pollack is bearded, and (the Hitlerian gibe again) not accustomed to bathing frequently. In contrast, the young "Aryan" lovers Goll and Lilly are both physically fit and handsome, as is Kettner.

Fifth, both of the Jewish characters, but especially Kuhn, are shown to be lacking in romantic love. Kuhn tries to use Lilly as essentially sexual bait to sway Goll in favor of the Libussa scheme. Even though Kuhn wants to marry her, it is because she is to be a trophy or prize for his scheming work. In contrast, the "Aryan" lovers are truly in love. Lilly tries briefly to influence her sweetheart, but only after resisting Kuhn's attempts to push her and finally succumbing to her father's wishes (while he was being manipulated by Kuhn). The friendly Baron--a romantic at heart--works hard to see that the lovers finally reconcile.

Finally, the Jews are portrayed as having different and disgusting values. Specifically, Kuhn has only two things he values: money and power. In his view, power comes from the money he has gotten by manipulating others. Pollack, portrayed as less menacing, values only money. In contrast, Hubermayer and Kettner value the welfare of the artisans, the economic health of the Fatherland, the traditional methods of making products, and the quality of the products.

In the leitmotifs of difference and disgust, Linen from Ireland is similar to Robert and Bertram, but Linen from Ireland puts vastly more emphasis on the leitmotif of danger. Kuhn--the stereotypical Jew--is clearly a menacing man. He frankly craves power, having achieved money already. He wants the Gentile girl as a kind of prize, for which he is willing to have a marriage take place in a church. This eagerness to hide his "true" identity extends to his attire, clean-shaven appearance, and refined manners. The one time Kuhn appears angry is when Pollack reminds Kuhn of his origins, that is, his "true" identity.

Furthermore, Kuhn's ability to manipulate and deceive even such a decent man as Kettner shows the danger he poses. His craftiness in planning the internationalization of the linen industry shows the threat of giving power to such a dissembler. His utter indifference to the possible deaths of hundreds of thousands artisans and their families shows that he is a ruthless cosmopolitan who is disconnected from the community. Then there is Kuhn's power, with the help of Pollack, to use their connections in the media. This shows the threat posed by Jewish control of the media (a constant theme in anti-Semitic propaganda to this day).

Also salient is Kuhn's lust for the Gentile girl who continuously rebuffs his advances. He plans on getting her by forcing her father, through deceit and manipulation, to turn his "Aryan" girl over to Kuhn. The movie in this way portrays the threat of "racial pollution" which the 1935 Nuremberg Laws sought to forbid.

This leitmotif of danger is so strong that it is in fact jarring in what is supposed to be a comedy. Comedies typically portray their villains as harmless or even sympathetic: silly, bungling, or perhaps good-hearted after all (as are the two rogues in Robert and Bertram). But Kuhn is not funny, silly, harmless, or bungling in any way, and he is surely not good-hearted. He is portrayed as a serious, evil, merciless, manipulative, single-minded narcissist. Not many laughs there.

Garden considers this a stronger piece of anti-Semitic propaganda than Robert and Bertram, because the dialogue is much more pointedly antagonistic toward Jews. While I agree on that last point, I still consider the first movie at least as effective, for several reasons. First, Linen from Ireland moves slowly and as a comedy seems rather heavy, for the reasons given above. The first movie actually had higher gross revenues than did the second. (40) More importantly, the music in the first movie more effectively masks the intention of the movie. Goebbels himself held that the most effective propaganda is that which appears as pure entertainment.

Let us take up the topic of how certain psychological mechanisms (explained above in Section 3) are exploited in these films. Among the most common of these mechanisms are contrast, social proof, sympathy, salience, and association.

A powerful mechanism often exploited in marketing is contrast, which works in propaganda as well. In both films, the contrast between the non-Jewish (or "Aryan") and the Jewish characters are drawn to maximum effect in conveying the message that Jews are different, disgusting, and dangerous. In terms of appearance, the young Aryan lovers (Lenchen and Michel, Lilly and Goll) are young, physically fit, beautiful, and attractive, while the Jewish counterparts (Ippelmeyer and his wife and daughter, Kuhn and his uncle) are middle-aged, obese, ugly, and repellant. The Aryan characters are wholesome and clean, while the Jewish ones are unhygenic.

In manners and mores, again the contrast is stark--nay, Manichean. The Aryans are honest and work productively at their legitimate trades, while the Jews are deeply dishonest and work as economic parasites. The Aryans are transparent and supportive of others, while the Jews are manipulative and sly. The Aryans simply want to earn decent livings, while the Jews want excessive wealth and economic power. The linen-makers have a sense of homeland, while Kuhn repeatedly shows by contrast that he is "cosmopolitan."

The mechanism of social proof is frequently used in propaganda. In these movies, the townspeople serve as the cuing audience. In Robert and Bertrand, we see the townspeople applaud as the vagabonds sing and dance. In Linen from Ireland, we see the humble townsfolk at the beginning eager to support the honest Hubermayer.

The mechanism of sympathy is also commonly exploited in both marketing and propaganda. In Robert and Bertrand, we feel sympathy for the honest businessman Lieps, who is pressured to give up his tavern or force his daughter to marry the manipulative money-lender. In Linen from Ireland, we feel sympathy for the honest tradesmen and their families whose livelihoods the evil Kuhn wishes to destroy. We also feel sympathy for the two Aryan maidens (Lenchen and Lilly), who are the targets of the libidinous designs of Jewish malefactors (Biedermeier and Kuhn, respectively).

Salience is another commonly exploited mechanism in marketing and propaganda. In the films under review, the main Jewish characters are shown as strikingly different. The Ipelmeyer family, with its garish looks, gaudy clothes, luxurious home, and coarse behavior and speech, strike the viewer as grotesque. The scenes of Kuhn and his uncle at his hotel room are also striking in showing Kuhn to be a dissembler, hiding his "true" background. Also salient is Kuhn's materialistic, rather than romantic, view of love; for him, Lilly is a prize in a power-contest. The horrified viewer yet finds it difficult to turn away from such displays.

Association (both positive and negative) is among the most commonly used mechanisms in both marketing and propaganda. In seeing handsome, honest, and decent "Aryan" characters, the viewer positively associates honesty, cleanliness, and decency with non-Jewish ethnic Germans. Conversely, he sees ugly, duplicitous, and manipulative Jewish characters, so that he negatively associates crookedness, dirtiness, and craftiness with being Jewish.

A "stereotype" is a fixed over-generalized belief or set of beliefs about a group of people or things. (41) When we stereotype groups of people, we are engaging in social categorization. This can lead to prejudice and discrimination, especially if the underlying stereotype is negative. The films under study here most centrally use the mechanisms of contrast, social proof, sympathy, and association to arouse and intensify the feelings of difference, disgust, and danger. These in turn reinforce and amplify the longstanding German cultural stereotypes about Christian Germans and Jewish Germans.

6. Conclusion

I have suggested here that the Nazi propaganda machine, arguably the most powerful in history, devoted considerable effort to arousing profound antipathy toward Jews, specifically intended to sell the German public on the Party's anti-Jewish campaign. While this campaign started out as one of ridding Germany and its incorporated lands of its Jewish population by harassing Jews to emigrate (and taking their property when they left), it mutated to become an absolute war against Jews. The aim became genocide.

After Kristallnacht in 1938, the German film industry produced a number of anti-Semitic propaganda films. Robert and Bertram and Linen from Ireland are two such films that effectively conveyed antipathetic feelings toward Jews, especially feelings of difference, disgust, and danger. (42) Both films were released in 1939, a pivotal year in the malevolent reign of the Nazi Regime. It was mid-way between the year the regime achieved control (1933) and the year it was vanquished (1945). More importantly, it was the year that the Nazi Wehrmacht invaded Poland, bringing England and France into the war. Up until 1939, Hitler's victories were achieved without war. Having undertaken war, Hitler became intent on carrying through with his sociopathic threat that "if international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe were to succeed in pushing people into another world war, then the result would be, not the victory of Judaism, but the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe." (43) In 1939, Goebbels thus turned the Nazi propaganda machine into high gear and directed the major studios to produce even more virulent anti-Semitic films. (44)

Gary James Jason

California State University, Fullerton

(1) Gary James Jason, "Film and Propaganda: The Lessons of the Nazi Film Industry," Reason Papers 35, no. 1 (July 2013), pp. 203-19.

(2) Triumph of the Will, directed by Leni Riefenstahl (Reichsparteitag-F ilm, 1935).

(3) Gary James Jason, "Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer," Liberty (April 2007), pp. 48-51, accessed online at: Magazine April 2007 .pdf.

(4) Jason, "Film and Propaganda."

(5) Germany Awake! directed by Erwin Leiser (Erwin Leiser Film Productions, 1968).

(6) The Nazi Historical Narrative is an outgrowth of the stab-in-the-back theory that the Germans lost World War I because liberal democratic and communist traitors in the German government sold out the military.

(7) Hans Westmar, directed by Franz Wenzler (Siegel-Monopolfilm, 1933); Hitler Youth Quex, directed by Hans Steinhoff (Universum Film AG, 1933); Frisians in Peril, directed by Willi Krause (National Socialist State Propaganda Directorate, 1935); Bismarck, directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner (Tobis Filmkunst, 1940); My Son, the Minister, directed by Veit Harlan (Universum Film, 1937); For Merit, directed by Karl Ritter (Universum Film, 1938); D III 88, directed by Herbert Maisch (Tobis Filmkunst, 1938); Venus on Trial, directed by Hans Zerlett (Bavaria-Filmkunst, 1941); Homecoming, directed by Gustav Ucicky (Wien-Film, 1941); Request-Concert, directed by Eduard von Borsody (Universum Film-Verleih, 1940); Victory in the West, directed by Karl Ritter (Universum Film, 1941); Stukas, directed by Karl Ritter (Universum Film, 1941); Kolberg, directed by Veit Harlan (Universum Film, 1945); Carl Peters, directed by Herbert Selpin (Bavaria-Filmkunst, 1941); Uncle Kruger, directed by Hans Steinhoff (Tobis FilmKunst, 1941); The Great King, directed by Veit Harlan (Tobis Filmkunst, 1942); Robert and Bertram, directed by Hans Zerlett (Tobis Filmkunst, 1939); Linen from Ireland, directed by Heinz Helbig (Bavaria-Filmkunst, 1939); The Eternal Jew, directed by Fritz Hippler (Deutsche Filmherstellungs, 1940); The Rothschilds, directed by Erich Waschneck (Universum Film, 1940); and Jew Suss, directed by Veit Harlan (Terra-Filmkunst, 1940).

(8) In fact, it seems likely that anti-Semitism is growing again in Europe; for a defense of this claim, see Gary James Jason, "Disquieting Developments," Liberty (April 22, 2015), accessed online at:

(9) Abram de Swann, The Killing Compartments: The Mentality of Mass Murder (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014). For a review of de Swann's book, see Gary James Jason, "Are We All Little Eichmann's?" Philosophia (forthcoming).

(10) De Swann, The Killing Compartments, p. 215.

(11) Hans Speier, "The Social Types of War," American Journal of Sociology 46, no. 4 (January 1941), pp. 445-54.

(12) Ibid., p. 453. Speier concedes that these are abstractions, in that most actual wars often have characteristics of more than one pure form and can mutate from one form to another as events progress.

(13) Ibid., p. 446.

(14) Ibid., p. 447.

(15) Ibid., p. 445.

(16) "What Is Genocide?" United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, accessed online at:

(17) Ibid.

(18) Ibid.

(19) "German Prisoners of War in the Soviet Union," s.v. Wikipedia, accessed online at: prisoners of war in the Soviet Union.

(20) A number of Holocaust documentaries are currently available online and through catalogs. These documentaries are ghastly viewing. If the reader has not seen any of these films, I would recommend that he start with Director George Steven's documentary Nazi Concentration Camps (1945). It is a concise yet comprehensive account made specifically to acquaint Americans with what actually occurred, since previous reports had been met with skepticism.

(21) Nicholas O'Shaughnessy, "Selling Hitler: Propaganda and the Nazi Brand," Journal of Public Affairs 9 (2009), pp. 55-76.

(22) Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999).

(23) Ibid., p. 52. Hitler expresses his anti-Semitism in numerous other places throughout the book; see, e.g., pp. 50-65, 119-21, 300-316, 319-20, 622-24, and 637-40.

(24) For a full timeline of the Holocaust, see "Holocaust Timeline," accessed online at:

(25) "Germany: Jewish Population in 1933," United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, accessed online at:

(26) "Nazi Camps," United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, accessed on line at:

(27) I have written more extensively about this elsewhere; see Gary James Jason, Critical Thinking: Developing an Effective Worldview (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2001), esp. chap. 17 (on advertising and consumer choice) and chap. 18 (on political rhetoric and democratic choice).

(28) Two especially fine historical discussions of the multiple meanings of propaganda are Richard Taylor, Film Propaganda: Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, 2nd ed. (London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2009), pp. 7-17, and Randal Marlin, Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion, 2nd ed. (Buffalo, NY: Broadview Press, 2013), pp. 1-13.

(29) Historically, the term propaganda was originally used in the context of spreading (i.e., propagating) the Catholic faith.

(30) Pro-Romney propaganda did not succeed in electing Mitt Romney in 2012, and all of the marketing for Blockbuster did not stop it from going out of business.

(31) We should note that the propagandist or marketer may be operating on his own behalf or on the behalf of another party paying him.

(32) Robert Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (New York: Morrow, 1993).

(33) See "Milgram Experiment," s.v. Wikipedia, accessed online at: experiment.

(34) The "Daisy ad" can be viewed on the Internet at:

(35) David Welch, Propaganda and the German Cinema 1933-1945 (London: I. B. Taurus & Co. Ltd., 2007), p. 238.

(36) The term means "time of struggle," and refers to the period when the Nazis were contending with communist and socialist parties for power.

(37) The pair of comics resembles to some degree Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, a popular American comic team of the time.

(38) Hitler makes a similar gibe in Mein Kampf, p. 57.

(39) Ian Garden, The Third Reich's Celluloid War: Propaganda in Nazi Feature Films, Documentaries, and Television (Gloucestershire, UK: The History Press, 2012), p. 74.

(40) Welch, Propaganda and the German Cinema 1933-1945, p. 269.

(41) Saul McCloud, "Stereotypes," Simple Psychology (2015), accessed online at:

(42) Since these films are both comedies, the leitmotif of danger was not as pronounced as it was in later films, as we shall see in my subsequent article in this series.

(43) Quoted in Richard Taylor, Film Propaganda: Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, 2nd rev. ed. (London: I. B. Tauris, 2006), p. 185.

(44) I wish to thank my colleague Ryan Nichols for his comments on an early draft of this article.
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Date:Mar 22, 2016
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