After the outbreak of war, the Nazis consolidated five separate newsreel production efforts into one: Die Deutsche Wochenschau (The German Newsreel) was the sole series of German newsreels from 1940 until the end of World War II. It was usually narrated by Harry Giese. See more »
One thing about the Nazis: they knew how to make war newsreels that could grab and keep an audience's attention. The Wochenschau was pure propaganda pulp. While the German armies are being defeated on all fronts, the Nazis just went on churning out newsreels showing how well things were going. One can only wonder how much of this pulp was believed by the German public. The rescue of Mussolini was impressive and his meeting with Hitler of some historical interest. Likewise, some of the footage of combat on the Eastern front was compelling. Yet the newsreel doesn't tell the whole story, how badly the Germans were losing, how their armies were being overpowered, how their defensive retreats were routs, how their government had placed an entire nation on the path to disaster. Stalingrad had already happened. It is one thing to slant the reporting of news for political purposes but the Nazis did it with a lack of finesse that is stunning. The footage at times is spectacular but it's presented out of context. The Russians are chided for their scorched earth policy but the newsreel does not explain the purpose of that policy. The Wehrmacht is shown marching - on foot, on horses - already a sign that the mechanized army, the army that specialized in blitzkrieg, was perhaps not so mechanized after all. All blatant propaganda, but well-packaged propaganda.
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