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MORESHET 5 Summer 2008 Shay Hazkani Forbidden Films An Analysis of the Nazi Propaganda Films The Eternal Jew and Jew Suess and Their Influence on the German Public Propaganda and Propaganda Movies during the Third Reich T he eminent French philosopher and sociologist Jacques Ellul defines propaganda1 as a series of methods applied by an organized group in order to get others involved in its activities, whether actively or passively.2 Propaganda finds expression not only in obvious forms, through the press and through gatherings and conferences, but also at the broader social level, encompassing all areas of the individual’s life, including education, art, and public behavior. According to Ellul, propaganda involves not only the attempt of the political leader to manipulate the people, but also the active participation of the propagandee (the target of the propaganda), who becomes a full partner in the process, and indeed derives tremendous satisfaction from it. Without the consent of the propagandee, there could be no dissemination of propaganda in the modern era. This reflects a need not only of the propagandist but also of the ordinary individual – in regimes defined as “democratic” as well as in those defined as “totalitarian.” The difference lies in the fact that dictatorships have far higher expectations from propaganda – to the point where they expect it to mold a new kind of individual.3

Forbidden Films

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