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Film of Hitler Postcards on Display

hitler postcards
US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party used a relentless stream of propaganda to attempt to win the support of the German people. Following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Hitler established the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, headed by Joseph Goebbels. The Ministry sought to communicate Nazi ideas through art, music, films, books, radio, and the press.1 In this way, the Nazi regime aimed to gain the public's support.

One form of Nazi propaganda, captured in this short film clip, took the shape of patriotic postcards that were printed and sold throughout Germany and Nazi-occupied territories. The postcards offered an affordable way to stay in contact with family and friends in an era before wide access to mass communication, and this common form of communication became interwoven with images of Hitler and party symbols. The group of Hitler Youth depicted here browse the cards as they return home to the city of Friedrichshafen from a Nazi party congress in Nuremberg.2

The postcards evidence the massive popularity Hitler enjoyed during this era: Nazi propaganda often foregrounded Hitler's image, building a myth of his invincibility and charisma. The leader became associated with the nation's prosperity and was portrayed as central to its future success. Hitler's images, casting him as a hero, father figure, and protector of German purity, appeared almost everywhere in Germany during the Nazi era.

This film demonstrates the wide range of objects embedded with images of Hitler—images that Germans frequently encountered in the most familiar settings. Hitler's cult of personality, fueled by propaganda, became a constant presence in everyday life.

Anna Jozefacka, Lynda Klich, Juliana Kreinik, and Benjamin Weiss, The Propaganda Front: Postcards from the Era of the World War (Boston, MA: MFA Publications, 2017), 119–120.

This footage was caputured by Julien Bryan, an American filmmaker whose work was popular in newsreels. He spent much of the late 1930s in Germany documenting everyday life under Nazi rule. Among other things, he filmed political meetings and university lectures, crowds at markets, and children at schools. Another item in this colleciotn, Film of an Amusement Park in Nazi Germany, also features footage shot by Bryan.

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Archival Information for This Item

Source (Credit)
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
RG Number 60.0377
Date Created
1937
Duration 00:00:25
Sound No
Videographer / Creator
Julien Bryan
Location
Friedrichshafen, Germany
Moving Image Type Home Movie
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