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The Holocaust History Project.
The Holocaust History Project.

Antisemitic Propaganda


I've been searching for information about the methods Nazis used to marginalize and demonize the Jews in Germany. In a WWII film class I took as an undergrad we saw a film which showed some of the ridiculous "public service" information the Nazis published about 'how to spot a Jew,' and 'why Jews aren't human,' etc.

I've been meaning to read more about this, but haven't found much on the topic.

I thank you for any assistance you may give in the form of internet links to sites that may help, or book/article titles that I could then track down and read.

Harry W.Mazal OBE answers:

Thank you very much for your query.

I am one of the persons in the Holocaust History project that replies to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other responses from my colleagues.

One place to start reading on the tactics employed by the Nazis to marginalize the Jews is our own web page. An excellent article with important links written by our now sadly departed colleague, Stig Hornshøj-Møller can be viewed at:


One of our short essays asks the question, "Why the Jews?":


and attempts to answer it in under 1000 words. It also includes a brief bibliography which might be useful.

I have hundreds of books on the subject in my library. Four titles which you might find useful are:

Hitler, Germans and the "Jewish Question"
Sarah Gordon
c. 1984, Princeton University Press
ISBN 0-691-05412-6

From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism 1700-1933
Jacob Katz
c. 1980, Harvard University Press
ISBN 0-674-32505-2

International Aspects of German Racial Policies
Oscar I. Janowsky and Melville Fagan
c. 1937, Oxford University Press

The Goebbels Experiment: A Study of the Nazi Propaganda Machine
Derrick Sington and Arthur Weidenfeld
c. 1943, Yale University Press

An excellent site on the web which analyses the (mistaken) interpretation given to Darwinism by the Nazis:


A useful chronology and analysis of German racial laws and attitudes can be seen at: http://www.yadvashem.org.il/holocaust/chronology/3338Right.html

From the German Propaganda Archive at Calvin College comes a translation of an appalling pamphlet outlining Nazi Race theories intended as a guide for the SS:


I hope that these references serve to answer some of your questions on what is a complex and disturbing subject. Please feel free to contact us again.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

Marty Kelley answers:

I am another of the volunteers at The Holocaust History Project. I see that Harry Mazal has already suggested several excellent sources to you, and I would like to amplify his suggestion that you consult the German Propaganda Archive at Calvin Colllege. Mr. Mazal mentioned on document, an SS handbook, and I would add to his suggestion the URL for the archive's main index, http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/index.htm

One of the many astonishingly vulgar documents in the archive is "The Poison Mushroom," a "children's book" that the Nazis produced to perpetuate antisemitic stereotypes; it is archived at http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/thumb.htm

An additional book that I have found valuable as an introduction to the techniques of propaganda is Sam Kean's Faces of the Enemy : Reflections of the Hostile Imagination(San Francisco : Harper & Row, 1986). While it includes examples of Nazi propaganda, it is a more general examination of the images used in visual propaganda from many different conflicts, spanning several centuries, but concentrating on the 20th century. It's out of print, but is readily available at libraries.

Good luck in your research!

Marty Kelley


I am looking for any titles you might have regarding the above topics. Specifically, I am doing a review of literature for a paper on a comparison of literature regarding oppressed peoples. As an example, I am very interested in political cartoons, propaganda directed to the populus that creates bias, and scientific research with conclusions. Hypothoses and conclusions often times tell a very obvious story. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Andrew Mathis responds:

I am one of the volunteers who answers questions for the Holocaust History Project.

I think the place to begin your research is with Julius Streicher's Nazi-era newspaper Der Stürmer, which made liberal use of "political cartoons" depicting Jews. One of the principal cartoonists in Streicher's employ was Phillipe Rupprecht, a.k.a. Fips, and a representative sample of his work may be found here:


In the realm of film, the most infamous example of Nazi propaganda against Jews may be found in Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew), an essay on which by our late colleague Stig Hornshøj-Møller can be found here:


The films of Leni Riefenstahl also played an important role in Nazi indoctrination. See: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Riefenstahl,+Leni

Finally, in terms of literature and analysis, there is, of course, Mein Kampf. Hitler was heavily influenced by the "race" theories of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, an English son-in-law of Richard Wagner who settled in Germany and wrote extensively on race theory. You may also want to look at works such as Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West and Lothrop Stottard's The Rising Tide of Colour as indications of "scientific" justifications of racism and anti-Semitism.

I hope this helps.

Andrew E. Mathis, Ph.D.

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