German Propaganda Archive


English-language Book on Nazi Propaganda

This is my list of good books on Nazi propaganda. If you want to know more about the subject, here's where to start. If you buy any of them (or other books from amazon), it would be a kindly act to buy them from this page. I maintain another page with more general books on Nazism that I've read and recommend. This list has not been recently updated. I intend to get to it soon....

Jay W. Baird, To Die for Germany: Heroes in the Nazi Pantheon (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990). This book examines the Nazi cult of the dead. Less interesting than Baird's first book.

Jay W. Baird, The Mythical World of Nazi War Propaganda, 1939-1945 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1974). Very good.

Michael Balfour, Propaganda in War 1939-1945: Organisations, Policies and Publics in Britain and Germany (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979). Written by a man who was involved in making British propaganda during World War II. It's a rather idiosyncratic book, but still a good one.

David. Bankier, The Germans and the Final Solution: Public Opinion under Nazism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992). What did Germans think about the Jews? A good book.

Horst J. P. Bergmeier and Rainer E. Lotz, Hitler's Airwaves: The Inside Story of Nazi Radio Broadcasting and Propaganda Swing (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997). A labor of love that includes a fascinating CD of Nazi swing propaganda.

Edward Bernays, Propaganda (New York: ig publishing, 2004). A classic book on propaganda, originally published in 1928, and just reprinted. Nothing on the Nazis, but worth reading.

Wille A. Boelcke, The Secret Conferences of Dr. Goebbels: The Nazi Propaganda War 1939-43, trans. Ewald Osers (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1970).

Ernst K. Bramsted, Goebbels and National Socialist Propaganda 1925-1945 (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1965). A rather old book, but still one of the best on the subject.

Randall Bytwerk, Bending Spines: The Propaganda of Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2004). A paperback edition is also available.

Randall Bytwerk, Julius Streicher: Nazi Editor of the Notorious anti-Semitic Newspaper Der Stürmer 2nd edition (New York: Cooper Square, 2001). My own, so I'm biased, but the only book on Streicher in print.

Randall Bytwerk, Paper War: Nazi Propaganda In One Battle, On A Single Day Cassino, Italy, May 11, 1944 (New York: Mark Batty, in presss, April 2005). My latest book, which provides a general introduction to propaganda, followed by 20 propaganda leaflets dropped during the Cassino campaign.

John Carver Edwards, Berlin Calling: American Broadcasters in Service to the Third Reich (New York: Praeger, 1991). Who were the Americans who signed on to Hitler's cause?

Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (New York: Vintage, 1973). This book deals with propaganda as a whole, and is to my mind the best book on the subject, though it's not an easy read.

Rolf Giesen, Nazi Propaganda Films: A History and Filmography (McFarland, 2003). A tad expensive, but it is an interesting book on Nazi film.

Joseph Goebbels, The Goebbels Diaries: 1942-1943. trans. Louis P. Lochner (Garden City: Doubleday, 1948). There is a reprint edition available.

Joseph Goebbels, Final Entries 1945: The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels, trans. Richard Barry (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1978)

Joseph Goebbels, The Goebbels Diaries: 1939-1941, trans. Fred Taylor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1983). This is not a reliable edition, but it is the only English version available. It is not suitable for scholarly purposes.

Robert Edwin Herzstein, The War that Hitler Won: The Most Infamous Propaganda Campaign in History (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978). An excellent book. It is out of print, but used copies are available.

Hilmar Hoffman, The Triumph of Propaganda: Film and National Socialism, 1933-1945, trans. John A. Broadwin and V. R. Berghahn, 3 vols., vol. 1 (Providence: Berghahn Books, 1996)

Aristotle A. Kallis, Nazi Propaganda and World War II (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). If you buy the hardcover copy of this book, it should include an errata sheet.

Ian Kershaw, The 'Hitler Myth': Image and Reality in the Third Reich (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). A fascinating study of how the Hitler myth was built. Kershaw also has published an excellent two-volume biography of Hitler.

Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003). A good book on the background to Nazi racist propaganda.

Ernst Kris and Hans Speier, German Radio Propaganda: Report on Home Broadcasts During the War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1944). An early book, with some good details.

Eric Rentschler, The Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema and Its Afterlife (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996). What kinds of films did the Nazis make, and why are many of them still shown?

Ralf Georg Reuth, Goebbels, trans. Krishna Winston (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993). A good general biography.

Leni Riefenstahl, Leni Riefenstahl (New York: Picador, 1995). This 669-page autobiography provides Leni's account of her life. She feels no guilt.

Anthony Rhodes, Propaganda: The Art of Persuasion in World War II (several publishers). The current in-print edition of this lists at $125, which is more than I'd pay. Used copies of editions from other publishers are the way to go. This is a well-illustrated book that includes a lot of visual material from the Nazi era.

Ward Rutherford, Hitler's Propaganda Machine (Bison Books, 1978). This 190-page book has many illustrations (some in color) of Nazi propaganda material. It seems to still be in print, but there are also used copies available.

Marlis G. Steinert, Hitler's War and the Germans: Public Mood and Attitude During the Second World War, trans. Thomas E. J. de Witt (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1977). A classic study of public opinion under the Nazis.

Aryeh Unger, The Totalitarian Party: Party and People in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974).

David Welch, The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda. 2nd edition (London: Routledge, 2002). Not as good as the books by Bramsted, Baird, and Herzstein, but then it's in print, which the others aren't.

Z.A.B. Zeman, Nazi Propaganda, 2nd ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1964). Not particularly comprehensive, but worth a look.

Films on Propaganda

You might also be interested in Leni Riefenstahl's remarkable film of the 1934 Nuremberg Party Rallly, Triumph of the Will, which is available on DVD or VHS. It is a remarkably persuasive film.

And there is a fascinating film on DVD that goes into the nature of Reifenstahl's efforts, The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl. There is also a VHS edition.

The Nazis put great effort into their newsreels, which are vivid examples of propaganda. Amazon has one tape available with four newsreels, but it is not subtitled. For a full selection of newsreels, as well as other propaganda films, visit International Historic Films.

The Nazis experimented with television broadcasting. There is a DVD titled Television under the Swastika: The History of Nazi Television that I recommend only if you are really interested in the topic. It's not a bad DVD, but there also wasn't all that much they had to work with that has survived. It is also available in VHS.

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