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Teaching the First World War
Teaching the First World War

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3 Propaganda in Germany

In Germany, wartime propaganda was more closely controlled by the military than it was in Britain. The German army’s supreme command (Oberste Heeresleitung or OHL) had a dedicated department that took responsibility for censorship, propaganda and the monitoring of public opinion.

Like the British, German propagandists were also concerned with how Germany was viewed in neutral nations: the German government established the Zentralstelle für Auslandsdienst (Central Office for Foreign Service), which was dedicated to countering foreign propaganda overseas, including in the USA.

German propagandists often justified their war effort by portraying it as a necessary, defensive response to foreign aggression. Again, just like the British, they sought to demonise the enemy, often portraying Britain as an imperialist power intent on world domination.

You will now look at two examples of German propaganda during the war using the same basic questions outlined in the previous section. We have selected posters as it is possible to analyse these without any German language skills.