A Sobering Glimpse at Nazi Propaganda

In producing our upcoming one-hour special, “Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe,” I was impressed at how effectively 80 million Germans were led astray by their own government’s very clever propaganda.

These photos give a glimpse of Germany in the 1930s. A painting shows a Norman Rockwell-style look at the ideal family — a fascist ideal hiding a harsh, racist agenda. A poster features a little boy, inspired and mesmerized by a messianic political rock star whose title was simply “the Leader.” Another poster basically asks a society, “Do you really want to pay 60,000 marks to let this retarded man live? Doesn’t our state have better things to do with our money?”

"Farm Family from Kalenberg" painting by Adolf Wissel

“Farm Family from Kalenberg,” Adolf Wissel


Nazi propaganda poster

A Nazi propaganda poster


Nazi propaganda poster

This poster exclaims, “60000 RM. This is what this person suffering from hereditary defects costs the Community of Germans during his lifetime. Fellow Citizen, that is your money, too.”