German Propaganda Archive Calvin College

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Background: This article is taken from the Nazi monthly for propagandists. It is a satirical piece that reveals some of the problems in the Nazi propaganda system early after the Nazi takeover.

The source: Richard Blasius, “10 Gebote für den Propagandisten: Wie es nicht sein soll,” Unser Wille und Weg, 5 (1935), pp. 29-30.


10 Commandments for Propagandists:

How Not to Do It

by Richard Blasius


 

1.

Never make decisions on your own! It is always easier to wait for orders from superiors. One saves thereby a lot of time that one can use for other useful purposes, since one has a political office only so that one can walk around in a uniform. Besides, one can escape from all responsibility by saying that he is only following orders, since he is, after all, only a subordinate. If one wants to give the appearance of working independently, one needs only complain behind the back of one’s superior that he does not allow his subordinates any freedom of action.

2.

In view of the short life of posters, tack them up rather than paste them. After all, they take a lot of work from the artist, and deserve only a brief life. And what wind and rain leave, you can certainly leave as well. The flapping scraps of paper provide variety in the wasteland of walls and fences.

3.

Since 30 January 1933, you need view your position only as a retirement post, since educational work is no longer necessary. If someone nonetheless demands it of you, they are doing it only to annoy you.

4.

Never make the least attempt to make yourself smarter than you already are, or at least than you believe yourself to be, through party education. Commandment 3 makes the uselessness of such training clear.

5.

If you really must preach, don’t follow your own advice! No one has the right to expect that you will do what you tell others to do. Always make in clear in your work that your motto is “Do as I say, not what I do.”

View the political organization as a collection of all the various former organizations and behave accordingly! If you are adept at the old organizational rhetoric, you will be the right man for your new office.

6.

[Curiously enough, there is no 6th Commandment]

7.

If during your educational activity you come across those rightly beloved citizens who view each penny taken from their abundance as a great sacrifice to moan and groan about, respond calmly and say that you would rather not bother about the matter yourself, but have to make the best of a bad situation because of your office. Your job is not to confront those who complain and criticize with factual arguments. You could easily make yourself unpopular if you do.

8.

Have some drinks at any meeting you call! Bacchus is the god of eloquence, as long as the content is not important.

9.

Use any opportunity to complain in public about the workload you carry for the party. That is most helpful, particularly when you speak of eight-hour meetings. Advertising is your business, after all.

10.

Never make appropriate adjustments to general regulations to make them fit your local conditions. Rather, respond to them all in this way: That will not work here. Work rationally and save time!

 

[Page copyright © 2001 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]


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