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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 try winning the support of the German people. Following the Nazi rise to 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 and convince so-called “Aryan” Germans that they should want to be a part of the Nazis’ exclusive "national community" ("Volksgemeinschaft").

One form of Nazi propaganda—captured in this short film clip—was patriotic postcards that were printed and sold throughout Germany and German-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 Nazi 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 show the massive popularity that Hitler enjoyed in Germany during this era. Nazi propaganda often used Hitler's image, building a myth of his supposed invincibility and charisma. The leader became associated with the nation's prosperity and was portrayed as central to its future success. Hitler's images cast him as a hero, a father figure, and a protector of Germany—and they appeared almost everywhere in Germany during the years of Nazi rule.3

This film demonstrates the wide range of objects embedded with images of Hitler—images that Germans frequently encountered in the most familiar settings. Fueled by propaganda, Hitler's cult of personality 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 collection, Film of an Amusement Park in Nazi Germany, also features footage shot by Bryan.

For more primary sources on Nazi propaganda methods, see the Experiencing History collection, Nazi Propaganda and National Unity.

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Archival Information for This Item

Source (Credit)
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
RG Number 60.0377
Date Created
Duration 00:00:26
Sound No
Videographer / Creator
Julien Bryan
Friedrichshafen, Germany
Moving Image Type Home Movie
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