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9. PROPAGANDA, CENSORSHIP AND SUPERVISION
OF CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
A. The party organization.
(1) The Reichspropagandaleitung (Party Propaganda Department) (RPL). This office was founded in 1932, as the central propaganda control office headed by Goebbels. Its functions were:
(a) To direct, supervise and synchronize propaganda within the Nazi movement.
"Propaganda of the NSDAP, its formations and affiliated as-
cultural wishes of the Fuehrer." (2319-PS) These functions were organized vertically through a close network of Gauleiters, Kreisleiters, and Ortsgruppenleiters which reached even the smallest communities. In addition, synchronization of propaganda within the Movement was guaranteed through the Reichsring fuer National-sozialistische Propaganda und Volksaufklaerung, (National Socialist Organization for Propaganda and People's Enlightenment), an office within the Reichspropagandaleitung. The Reichsring constituted the center of control responsible for the complete coordination of Party and Movement in the field of propaganda.
“The Reichsring * had the task to ensure the uniform direction of propaganda of all formations and affiliated asso
ciations through the Party.” (2319-PS) (b) To imbue the Nazi Movement and the people with Nazi ideology.
"(The Reichspropagandaleiter) upon his initiative, is con-
(c) To coordinate Party propaganda with that of the Reich Government.
"The liaison officer has the task of centralizing all contacts with the Reich Ministries, public authorities, and corporations and to establish all such contacts with same
(2319-PS) (d) To investigate the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda. This function was assigned to the lower grades of the Party leadership, and to regional and local officials, who assembled and analyzed information on public reaction to the current content of propaganda.
(e) Other activities of the Reichspropagandaleitung were discharged by numerous functional departments which included, inter alia, “Hauptstellen” (Main Bureaus) or offices for the following: 1. Press—preparation of all propaganda material issued
by Reichspropagandaleitung for dissemination to
newspapers. 2. Exhibits and fairs-supervision of propaganda aspects
of exhibits and fairs in which the Party partici
pated. 3. Mass or “Aktive" propaganda-organization of prop
aganda campaigns within the movement; training
and supplying speakers with propaganda materials. 4. Films—Popularization of Nazi-inspired films; photo
graphing official rallies. 5. Radio—radio propaganda. 6. Culture - making all forms of art conform to Nazi
standards. Other Bureaus included Architecture, Style and Design, Works of Art, Formulation of Programs, and Training of Speakers. (2319-PS)
The Reichspropagandaleitung was regionally organized into Gau-, Kreis-, and Ortsgruppenpropagandaaemter (Gau, district, and local propaganda offices). The Gaupropagandaleiter (leader of the Gau propaganda office) was at the same time the Gau representative of the Chamber of Culture (Landeskulturwalter) and in most cases also represented the regional office of the Propaganda Ministry, so that on the lower levels, Party and State propaganda were completely unified. (2315-PS)
(2) The office of Reichspressechef (Reich Press Chief). The office of Reich Press Chief of the NSDAP was created in
1934 by decree of the Fuehrer (2319-PS). The functions of this office were exclusive:
“The Reich Press Office of the NSDAP is the central office for the entire political publishing activity of the Party. It represents the press interests of the Reich leadership of the NSDAP vis a vis both the German and the foreign press. It alone has the authority to issue directives to the press of Reich policies concerning the treatment of Party affairs. It alone has the authority to issue press directives to all offices of Reich leadership. It is responsible for the political and editorial preparations, execution and utilization of all important Party activities in the Reich. It supplies the domestic and foreign press with information, news and commentaries about the Party. It keeps a record of press reaction to the Party work in publications of the domestic and foreign
press.” (2319-PS) The Reich Press Chief exercised control over all press offices, including the chief editors of the National Socialist newspapers, as well as the Gau press wardens of the Party. He also served as liaison officer between the Party press and the "Independent" press, and between Party and Government. (2319-PS)
The executive functions of the Reich Press Chief were carried out by two offices:
(a) The Pressepolitisches Amt (Press Political Office).
(6) The Pressepersonalamt (Press Personnel Office), which was in charge of training journalists and keeping files on German and foreign journalists.
The vertical organization of press controls, corresponding to that of the Reichspropagandaleitung, included Gau-, Kreis- and Ortsgruppen departments. Each was headed by an Amtsleiter, or press warden, who was responsible for the entire Party press within his sphere of jurisdiction. He supervised the editorial policy of the Party press, issued information bulletins about the activities of the Movement, and served as liaison officer between the Party and non-Party press. He also transmitted local information to headquarters for distribution and made recommendations concerning the appointments of local party editors. The Gau- and Kreis- press wardens, at the same time, served as regional and local representatives of the Home Press Division of the Propaganda Ministry and of the Reich Press Chamber. (2319PS; 2315-PS)
(3) The Reichsleiter fuer die Presse (Reich Press Leader). The Reich Press Leader, Max Amann, was charged with super
vising all matters concerning the German publishing business. The Organisationsbuch der NSDAP (1937) described his function as follows:
"He is charged with the creation of a press for the German people, which is responsible and answerable to him, and which reflects the life and experiences of the German people's community. In addition, the Reichsleiter for Press has the function of issuing regulations necessary to carry out the demands concerning publication policies established in Article 23 of the Party Program and to supervise their execution."
(2319-PS) Article 23 of the Party Platform referred to above, provided, inter alia, that (a) all editors and newspaper personnel must be "members of the nation"; (b) non-Germans are prohibited from financial participation in, or influence of, newspapers; (c) the publication of papers “which do not conduce to the national wel. fare” is prohibited; (d) tendencies in art or literature "of a kind likely to disintegrate our life as a nation" will be prosecuted; and (e) "institutions which militate against the requirements mentioned above" will be suppressed. (1708-PS)
Thus the Reich Press Leader was not only empowered to control all publishing houses of the Party, but was assigned the task of bringing the entire German press into line with National Socialist ideology. To this end he was given wide and specific powers.
His sphere of jurisdiction included specifically:
(a) The administration, publishing, and financing of the Party press;
(b) The establishment of newspapers by Party members or affiliated associations;
(c) The incorporation of newspapers into the Party press combine;
(d) The appointment of publishers and of their deputies;
(e) The termination or alteration of contracts with newspapers;
(f) The appointment of Commissars to supervise publishing houses. (2319-PS)
In addition to controlling the administration and finance of the National Socialist publishing houses in the Gau, the Press Leader headed the Zentralverlag, which was the central publishing house and holding company of the entire Party publishing machine and all its official organs, such as Der Voelkischer Beobachter, Der Angriff, Der SA Mann, Das Schwarze Korps, Die HJ, etc. (3016-PS)
It was one of the Reich Press Leader's duties to turn all pub
lishing by Party officials into a lucrative undertaking, and to set up an absolute monopoly in the publication of all political literature. To effectuate that objective, a decree was passed which made it mandatory for all "manuscripts which have National Socialist problems and subject matter as themes" to be offered first to Eher Verlag publication. (2383-PS)
The Reichsleiter fuer die Press, who was also president of the Reich Press Chamber, exercised economic controls over the entire German press. He made use of his position to expand the Party publishing machine at the expense of non-party newspapers. As president of the Reich Press Chamber, he was authorized to issue directives with the force of law. In that capacity he issued certain regulations which had the effect of prohibiting the ownership of newspapers by corporations of any kind, except the NSDAP or such groups as were approved by the Party. (2315-PS)
These decrees enabled Amann to close down one or more papers in a particular locality "to safeguard reasonable standards of competition." They thus provided, along with racial and other discriminatory legislation, the "legal” basis for the pressure which was brought to bear on such publishing firms as Ullstein and other opposition publications, in order to force them to sell out to the Party. These sales were in no sense voluntary; the alternative in each case was total suppression. The authorizing decree provided :
"The President of the Reich Chamber of the Press will therefore endeavor at first in every individual case to effect agreements which will relieve him of the necessity of issuing or
ders for the closing of establishments.” (2315--PS) Max Amann has admitted in an affidavit that he discharged his duties as Reich Press Leader consistently with the statement of his functions contained in the Party Organization Book and with Article 23 of the Party Program. He has further stated that racial and other discriminatory legislation made it expedient for firms "owned or controlled by Jewish interests, or by political or religious interests hostile to the NSDAP
to sell their newspapers or assets to the Eher concern"; and that there was “no free market for the sale of such properties and the Franz Eher Verlag was generally the only bidder." His affidavit concludes as follows:
“It is a true statement to say that the basic purpose of the Nazi press program was to eliminate all press in opposition to the Party." (3016--PS)
(4) Parteiamliche Prufungskommission zum Schutz des NS