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  Report: Disinformation and Democracy

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  The British Propaganda Campaign in World War I

The British set up a unique system for propaganda, involving GB, the USA and all the colonies. Most different agencies and civilians worked together, the civilians not always knowing about the machinery behind.
During the first years of the war the main goal was to achieve a U.S.-entry to the war on Britain's side of the battle. All propaganda was working on this, which meant to destroy Germany's reputation and create dark stereotypes about them, which was an easy task as the Germans were not only fatally unlucky but also very weak in propaganda. At the same time the U.S.-citizens' opinion about the war had to be influenced. The most promising way to do so was by starting with the men in power.

One of the most beloved tools at that time was the use of atrocity stories; and most popular among the masses were cartoons, furthermore posters, an element perfectioned by the USSR in World War I and II, and movies.

The particular thing was that British propaganda finally had an effect on the German population. Soldiers at the front and people at home received the disinformation messages, mostly pamphlets that had been dropped by aeroplanes or balloons.
Together with the development of the fightings turning against the Germans this kind of propaganda was able to discourage the people and make the German government lose its power of propaganda.
"Allied propaganda had caused a collapse of morale at home." (Taylor, Munitions of the Mind, p. 188)

After all this success it is hardly understandable that the British committed a huge error right after the war, an error that had bad consequences for the next war: being regarded as a tool of war and therefore regarded as inappropriate for times of peace, the propaganda institutions were closed. At about the same time similar ones were built up in Germany - first of all on paper, in Hitler's book Mein Kampf, whose author was an admirer of the British propaganda machine in World War I and decided to perfect it in his own country.

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Disinformation and Democracy
-3   The big "change" ...
-2   New Forms of Propaganda (in the 19th Century)
-1   World War I ...
0   The British Propaganda Campaign in World War I
+1   The "Corpse-Conversion Factory"-rumor
+2   U.S.-Propaganda in World War I
+3   World War II ...
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was the head of the NSdAP, the National Socialist Workers' Party. Originally coming from Austria, he started his political career in Germany. As the Reichskanzler of Germany he provoked World War II. His hatred against all non-Aryans and people thinking in a different way killed millions of human beings. Disinformation about his personality and an unbelievable machinery of propaganda made an entire people close its eyes to the most cruel crimes on human kind.