Wednesdays October 23- November 20, 2019
12-1:15 p.m.


Multi-Activity Room
Jewish Community Campus
5801 West 115th Street
Overland Park, Kansas


This fall MCHE’s Historian Dr. Shelly Cline will offer a five-week course focused on propaganda of the Nazi period. Sessions will be held at noon at the Jewish Community Campus in the Multi-Activity Center and will last 75 minutes. 

The cost for this course is $50. Interested participants may register here online or by phone 913-327-8194. Participants are encouraged bring a lunch, drinks and dessert will be provided.


October 23- Making a Leader

Intense public desire for charismatic leaders offers fertile ground for the use of propaganda. Through a carefully orchestrated public image of Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler the Nazis exploited this yearning to consolidate power and foster national unity. Nazi propaganda facilitated the rapid rise of the Nazi Party to political prominence. Election campaign materials from the 1920s and early 1930s, compelling visual materials, and controlled public appearances coalesced to create a “cult of the Führer.” This session will focus on these early years.


October 30- Rallying the Nation

Nazi propagandists appealed to popular desires for order by advertising the party as a protest movement against the instability and ineffectiveness of the “Weimar system.” Indeed, from 1919 through the worldwide Depression that began in 1929, no single German political party was able to establish a parliamentary majority. Disagreements over economic policies, as well as the growing opposition between political parties, prevented a workable coalition. Instead, a succession of chancellors governed by presidential decree through Article 48 of the Weimar constitution, established to preserve democracy in times of unrest.


November 6 – Defining the Enemy: The Excluded

One crucial factor in creating a cohesive group is to define who is excluded from membership. Nazi propagandists contributed to the regime’s policies by publicly identifying groups for exclusion, justifying their outsider status, and inciting hatred or cultivating indifference. Nazi propaganda was crucial in selling the myth of the “national community” to Germans who longed for unity, national pride and greatness, and a break with the rigid social stratification of the past. But a second, more sinister aspect of the Nazi myth was that not all Germans were welcome in the new community. This session will focus on the propaganda that helped to define those who would be excluded from the new society and justified measures against these “outsiders.”


November 13- Shaping the Future: Indoctrinating Youth

From the 1920s onwards, the Nazi Party targeted German youth as a special audience for its propaganda messages. These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth: dynamic, resilient, forward-looking, and hopeful. Millions of German young people were won over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. This session will look at propaganda that targeted youth.


November 20 – Writing the News and Deceiving the Public

Propaganda served as an important tool to win over the majority of the German public who had not supported Hitler and to push forward the Nazis’ radical program, which required the acquiescence, support, or participation of broad sectors of the population. Combined with the use of terror to intimidate those who did not comply, a new state propaganda apparatus headed by Joseph Goebbels sought to manipulate and deceive the German population and the outside world. This session will look at how the propagandists preached an appealing message of national unity and a utopian future that resonated with millions of Germans and, simultaneously, waged campaigns that facilitated the persecution of Jews and others excluded from the Nazi vision of the “National Community.”

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