The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VII
Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State
(Part 48 of 55)

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A. The party organization.

(1) The Reichspropagandaleitung (Party Propaganda Department) (RPL). This office was founded in 1932, as the central propaganda control office headed by Goebbels. Its functions were:

(a) To direct, supervise and synchronize propaganda within the Nazi movement.

"Propaganda of the NSDAP, its formations and affiliated associations is the responsibility of the Reichspropagandaleiter.

"He determines all manifestations of the Movement, including its formations and affiliated associations, with regard to propaganda.

"He issues the directives for the Party, including its formations and affiliated associations, for the realization of the cultural wishes of the Fuehrer." (219-PS)

These functions were organized vertically through a close network of Gauleiters, Kreisleiters, and Ortsgruppenleiters which reached even the smallest communities. In addition, synchronization of propaganda within the Movement was guaranteed through the Reichsring fuer National- sozialistische Propaganda und Volksaufklaerung, (National Socialist Organization for Propaganda and People's Enlightenment), an office within the Reichspropagandaleitung. The Reichsring constituted the center of control responsible for the complete coordination of Party and Movement in the field of propaganda.

"The Reichsung *** had the task to ensure the uniform direction of propaganda of all formations and affiliated associations through the Party." (2319-PS)

(b) To imbue the Nazi Movement and the people with Nazi ideology.

" (The Reichspropagandaleiter) upon his initiative, is concerned with the permeation of German people with the National Socialist ideology.

"He enlightens the people about the achievements of Party and State.

"He controls the entire German wireless system with regard to its internal organizational, cultural and economic possibilities;

"Press, radio and film are in the service of propaganda." (2319-PS)

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(c) To coordinate Party propaganda with that of the Reich Government.

"The liaison officer has the task of centralizing all contacts with the Reich Ministries, public authorities, and corporations and to establish all such contacts with same ***". (219-PS)

(d) To investigate the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda. This function was assigned to the lower grades of the Party leadership, and to regional and local officials, who assembled and analyzed information on public reaction to the current content of propaganda.

(e) Other activities of the Reichspropagandaleitung were discharged by numerous functional departments which included, inter alia, "Haptstellen" (Main Bureaus) or offices for the following:

1. Press -- preparation of all propaganda material issued by Reichspropagandaleitung for dissemination to newspapers.

2. Exhibits and fairs -- supervision of propaganda aspects of exhibits and fairs in which the Party participated.

Mass or "Aktive" propaganda -- organization of propaganda campaigns within the movement; training and supplying speakers with propaganda materials.

4. Films -- Popularization of Nazi-inspired films; photographing official rallies.

5. Radio -- radio propaganda.

6. Culture -- making all forms of art conform to Nazi standards.

Other Bureaus included Architecture, Style and Design, Works of Art, Formulation of Programs, and Training of Speakers. (2319-PS)

The Reichspropagandaleitung was regionally organized into Gau-, Kreis-, and Ortsgruppenpropagandaaemter (Gau, district, and local propaganda offices). The Gaupropagandaleiter (leader of the Gau propaganda office) was at the same time the Gau representative of the Chamber of Culture (Landeskulturwalter) and in most cases also represented the regional office of the Propaganda Ministry, so that on the lower levels, Party and State propaganda were completely unified. (2315-PS)

(2) The voice of Reichspressechef (Reich Press Chief). The office of Reich Press Chief of the NSDAP was created in

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1934 by decree of the Fuehrer (2319-PS). The functions of this office were exclusive:

"The Reich Press Office of the NSDAP is the central office for the entire political publishing activity of the Party. It represents the press interests of the Reich leadership of the NSDAP vis a vis both the German and the foreign press. It alone has the authority to issue directives to the press of Reich policies concerning the treatment of Party affairs. It alone has the authority to issue press directives to all offices of Reich leadership. It is responsible for the political and editorial preparations, execution and utilization of all important Party activities in the Reich. It supplies the domestic and foreign press with information, news and commentaries about the Party. It keeps a record of press reaction to the Party work in publications of the domestic and foreign press." (2319-PS)

The Reich Press Chief exercised control over all press offices, including the chief editors of the National Socialist newspapers, as well as the Gau press wardens of the Party. He also served as liaison officer between the Party press and the "Independent" press, and between Party and Government. (2319-PS)

The executive functions of the Reich Press Chief were carried out by two offices:

(a) The Pressepolitisches Amt (Press Political Office).

(b) The Pressepersonalamt (Press Personnel Office), which was in charge of training journalists and keeping files on German and foreign journalists.

The vertical organization of press controls, corresponding to that of the eichspropagandaleitung, included Gau-, Kreis- and Ortsgruppen departments. Each was headed by an Amtsleiter, or press warden, who was responsible for the entire Party press within his sphere of jurisdiction. He supervised the editorial policy of the Party press, issued information bulletins about the activities of the Movement, and served as liaison officer between the Party and non- Party press. He also transmitted local information to headquarters for distribution and made recommendations concerning the appointments of local party editors. The Gau and Kreis- press wardens, at the same time, served as regional and local representatives of the Home Press Division of the Propaganda Ministry and of the Reich Press Chamber. (2319-PS; 2315-PS)

The original plaintext version of part one or part two of this file is available via ftp.

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