Introduction: Newspapers, Public Opinion, and Propaganda And in England they understood one more thing: that this spiritual weapon can succeed only if it is applied on a tremendous scale, but that success amply covers all costs. There, propaganda was regarded as a weapon of the first order, while in our country it was the last resort of unemployed politi- cians and a comfortable haven for slackers. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf The bourgeois' hat flies off his pointy head, The air shrieks with a thousand screams. Shinglers plunge off roofs and break in two And the tide is rising all along the coasts (we read). The storm is here, a wild ocean has jumped On land, the swollen dams have burst. Most everyone has a cold. Locomotives drop everywhere off bridges. Jakob van Hoddis, "Weltende" During his time in prison, Adolf Hitler joined the crowd of people com- menting on the importance of propaganda during the First World War. He, along with others, maintained that Germany's failure to mold public opinion both at home and abroad played a key role in its demise.1 Almost as soon as the war was over, retired diplomats, government leaders, and military officials offered observations about the events leading up to the war and the conduct of the various belligerent nations during the opening days and weeks of the war.2 Perhaps as a result of the First World War, a conflict that truly involved every facet of society, the 1920s saw the birth of
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