Myth: The Nazis Ruled Germany with Terror and Propaganda

Not exactly. Although the Nazis did create a powerful propaganda machine (second only to the one created by Stalin in the Soviet Union) and a very powerful and extensive repressive ‘state terrorism’ system (ditto), they ruled Germany by identifying and satisfying genuine needs of citizens of German Reich.

More specifically, financial, functional and emotional needs presented in the proverbial Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (although the Nazis were obviously not aware of that system developed in 1943 in the USA).

More specifically, needs for food, clothing, living accommodations of sufficient quality, physical and economic safety (radical reduction of crime, guarantees of stable employment and decent wages), extensive and efficient public health and recreation system, social belonging (to a community, nation, state), esteem (status, recognition, respect from others) and self-actualization (i.e. efficient social lifts).

Propaganda and ‘repressive system’ were just tools (and, obviously, not the only tools) to satisfy the abovementioned needs.

True, the Nazi state severely restricted some human freedoms considered indispensable in modern liberal-democratic society (freedom of speech, political and social activity, expression, due process, etc.).

But judging by the indisputable fact that the overwhelming majority of citizens sincerely supported the Nazi regime, they did not consider these freedoms to be sufficiently valuable to feel uncomfortable losing them.



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