April 9, 2009 Nazi Propaganda is Subject of May 18 Lecture by Gabriel Weimann

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Gail Shirazi (202) 707-9897

Following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, the Nazi Party took over all communications in Germany and turned them into a sophisticated propaganda machine. Adolf Hitler established a Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda headed by Joseph Goebbels. The ministry’s mission was to ensure that the Nazi message was successfully communicated through art, music, theater, films, books, radio, educational materials and the press.

Gabriel Weimann, professor of communication at Haifa University, will explore this dark period in European history in a lecture at the Library of Congress titled “Nazi Propoganda: The Machinery of Evil” at noon on Monday, May 18 in the Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library’s James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The multimedia presentation will include posters, movies, speeches, public events, books, cartoons and other media used by the Nazi Party.

The event, which is sponsored jointly by the European Division and the Hebrew Language Table, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Weimann is currently a visiting professor at the American University in Washington, D.C. His research interests include the study of media effects, political campaigns, persuasion and influence, media and public opinion, modern terrorism and the mass media. He is the author of five books including “Communicating Unreality,” “The Influentials: People Who Influence People,” “The Theater of Terror,” “Hate on Trial” and “The Singaporean Enigma.”

Weimann’s report titled “Terror on the Internet,” which was published in 2007 by the nonpartisan, congressionally-funded U.S. Institute for Peace, has received much media attention. The report concludes that the potential for terrorist cyber-attacks over the Internet is an “overrated” threat. Instead he suggests that policymakers and journalists should focus on “the numerous uses that terrorists make of the Internet every day.” These include psychological warfare; publicity and propaganda; data mining; fundraising; recruitment and mobilization; networking; sharing information and planning and coordination.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at myLOC.gov.

The Library’s collections from or pertaining to Europe began with the acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, which contains representative works of European culture on many subjects. Today the Library’s European collections are among the finest in the world, with holdings that are especially strong in history, literature and the social sciences. The French, German and Russian collections comprise an estimated 3.5 million volumes. European materials are found in the general collection and in the specialized collections. The European Reading Room (www.loc.gov/rr/european/) should be the starting point for research related to European countries, including the Russian-speaking areas of Asia, but excluding Spain, Portugal and the British Isles.

Housed in both the Prints and Photographs Division and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division is the Third Reich Collection, a miscellany of photographs, books and other printed materials. The collection includes some 1,200 volumes belonging to Hitler and materials from the libraries of Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler, Franz Xavier Schwarz and other Nazi leaders.


PR 09-072
ISSN 0731-3527