Nazi Methods of Control


  • 1928 Josef Goebbels in charge of Ministry of Propaganda
  • Made sure newspapers & posters carried strong, simple, repeated slogans of the Nazis
  • Censorship prevented German people from hearing any conflicting messages
  • NEWSPAPERS: Anti-Nazi newspapers were shut down
  • MoP sent out daily instructions to remaining newspapers telling them what to print
  • Display boards were set up in public places so everyone could read the Nazi news.
  • RALLIES: Presented an image of order & control, uniforms, meetings, torchlight processions
  • Huge stadium built at Nuremberg
  • Goebbels stage-managed to give dramatic impression of power & unity
  • RADIO: Goebbels in charge, programmes included Hitler’s speeches, German music & history, foreign programmes could not be picked up
  • Radios made so cheap more could afford – by 1939 70% of Germans owned one
  • Loudspeakers in public so all could hear
    • BOOKS: Organised official book burnings – massive public bonfires – books by Communists, Socialists, Jews, anyone or any ideas they disapproved of – to prevent German people reading and thinking beyond the Nazi message
    • New books had to meet Goebbels approval before publication was allowed
    • FILMS: Cinema very popular in 1930s
    • Goebbels controlled all films made in GER – most were adventure stories, comedies or love stories
    • Always a newsreel shown before the film News of the Week
    • Pro-Nazi/anti-semitic films such as The Eternal Jew


  • SS ‘Schutz Staffel’ (protection squad)

Black uniform

Originally H’s personal bodyguard

Himmler built it up- by 1939 = 240,000 members

Recruits= recognisably Aryan (blond, blue-eyed, physically fit)

High standards tooth filling meant you were out!

Trained to be ruthless & fiercely loyal to H

Could arrest people and search houses

  • Concentration Camps

Temporary prisons for political opponents

Remote rural locations

Inmates held for short periods, questioned, tortured, hard labour

By late 30s run by section of SS called Death’s Head units – inmates used as forced labour in over 150 Nazi German companies

Camps eventually held minority groups such as Jews and gypsies

  • THE GESTAPO (state secret police)

–Tap telephones, open mail, collect info from informers who reported on people who expressed anti-Nazi views

–Arrested people, tortured, imprisoned them in concentration camps


–Jewish, judges & lawyers sacked

–Judges had to be members of Nazi Party

–Number of offences carrying death penalty went up from 3 in 1933 to 46 by 1943

–Nazi laws had to be enforced e.g. listening to foreign radio, telling an anti-Nazi joke, having sex with a Jew were all illegal