Joseph Goebbels on the big lie [PHOTO SOURCE: http://izquotes.com/quote/383851]
We, the comrades of Unit 1012, will educate people on how propagandist fool people by repeating lies until they themselves believe it to be true. We will post information from several sources about disputed quotes from the Nazis.
INTERNET SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie
A big lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." Hitler asserted the technique was used by Jews to unfairly blame Germany's loss in World War I on German Army officer Erich Ludendorff.
Hitler's use of the expression
The source of Big Lie technique is this passage, taken from Chapter 10 of James Murphy's translation of Mein Kampf:
‹ The template below (Block quote) is being considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus.›
But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice. All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X
In that same chapter, Hitler accused "the Jews" of what he claimed was their use of the Big Lie.
Goebbels's use of the expression
Later, Joseph Goebbels put forth a slightly different theory which has come to be more commonly associated with the expression "big lie." Goebbels wrote the following paragraph in an article dated 12 January 1941, 16 years after Hitler's first use of the phrase. The article, titled Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik (English: "From Churchill's Lie Factory") was published in Die Zeit ohne Beispiel.
The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
Jeffrey Herf maintains that Goebbels and the Nazis used the Big Lie to turn long-standing anti-semitism into mass murder. Herf argues that the Big Lie was a narrative of an innocent, besieged Germany striking back at an "international Jewry", which it said started World War I. The propaganda repeated over and over the conspiracy theory that Jews were the real powers in Britain, Russia and the U.S. It went to state that the Jews had begun a "war of extermination" against Germany, and so Germany had a duty and a right to "exterminate" and "annihilate" the Jews in self-defense.
Usage in Hitler's psychological profile
The phrase was also used in a report prepared during the war by the United States Office of Strategic Services in describing Hitler's psychological profile:
His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
In popular culture
George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four refers to the Big Lie theory on several occasions. For example:
· "The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts."
· Definition of doublethink: "To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed...."
Frank Zappa continually referred to "the Big Lie" in his book, The Real Frank Zappa Book. He used it to describe organized religion, government, and the music industry. The song "When the Lie's So Big" from Zappa's 1989 album Broadway the Hard Way also dealt with the concept.
In 2002, French journalist Thierry Meyssan wrote a controversial book called 9/11: The Big Lie, which argued that the 9/11 attacks were the result of a conspiracy by the United States government.
In 2005 American television satirist Stephen Colbert coined the word truthiness, the quality characterizing a "truth" that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively "from the gut" or because it "feels right" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.
Hitler vs. Stalin [PHOTO SOURCE: http://ostrovletania.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/did-stalin-trust-hitler-prior-to-german.html]
INTERNET SOURCE: http://bytwerk.com/gpa/falsenaziquotations.htm
Background: The Nazis said enough repugnant things to provide all sorts of quotations, but there are some quotations that people have invented. This page discusses six quotations at the moment that I think are fabricated. More examples may follow as I discover them.
False Nazi Quotations
1. “Truth is the greatest enemy of the state” (Goebbels)
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Last I checked (December 2011), this shows up on 500,000 web pages and twenty published books (most of which are vanity press productions, evidence for the value of publishers who still believe in editors). It is attributed to Joseph Goebbels. No one ever gives a citation to the source. A fair number of web citations are to “Joseph M. Goebbels.” That wasn't his middle initial. One book credits it to “Joseph Goebbel.”
There are several hundred pages in German that cite the statement, but none give a source, and one site (perhaps the earliest) notes that is “retranslated from English.”
Goebbels actually accused others of using the technique. In a 1941 article titled “ Churchill’s Lie Factory,” he wrote:
“One should not as a rule reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”
He accuses the English of the “big lie,” and suggests that, were he to use such a technique, he would not publicly announce it.
The quotation usually seems to be used by those on the political left and right, who find it helpful in to associating those they don't like with the Nazis. Since this is so common, my colleague Quentin Schultze and I have begun a blog titled Goebbels Didn’t Say It to follow its spread and, we perhaps too optimistically hope, to reduce its use.
It is related to the next quotation, which is usually quoted accurately, but taken out of context.
2. Hitler and the “Big Lie”
“In this they [the Jews] proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big. Such a falsehood will never enter their heads, and they will not be able to believe in the possibility of such monstrous effrontery and infamous misrepresentation in others.…” (p. 231 of the Manheim translation)
Hitler is accusing the Jews the Vienna press of this strategy. It is often taken as evidence that Hitler advocated the “Big Lie.” He is, in fact, accusing his enemies of lying.
Now, Hitler was entirely willing to lie — but in public he insisted that he and his propaganda were truthful.
3. Hitler: "What Luck for Rulers that Men Do Not Think"
4. Hitler and Gun Control
However, Hitler never said it, even though fabricated sources are sometimes provided. Guns weren’t that much of a problem in the Nazi era (at least within the country...). In fact, the Nazis liked guns, and started training kids early on in their use.
“This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”
5. Hitler and “Law and Order”
“The streets of our cities are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might and the Republic is in danger. Yes, danger from within and without. We need law and order! Yes, without law and order our nation cannot survive. . . . Elect us and we shall restore law and order. We shall, by law and order, be respected among the nations of the world. Without law and order our Republic shall fail.”
There are lot of things wrong with this statement, beginning with the fact that Hitler wanted the Republic to fail, and was open about it. It had its origins in a communist newspaper, and popped up in the movie Billy Jack (1971). For full details, see that most useful book by Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (New York: Oxford, 1989), pp. 45-46.
6. Hermann Goering on Culture and Revolvers
“Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver.”
This one is also dealt with in They Never Said It. (p. 36). It actually comes from a play by the prominent Nazi writer Hanns Johst titled Schlageter, which deals with the life of a Nazi “martyr.” It’s also an unlikely thing for Goering to have said, since he prided himself on his artistic knowledge.
[Page copyright © 2008 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My email address is available on the FAQ page.]
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Political cartoon depicts the murderous actions of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.markville.ss.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/history/american/websites/HIST10/andy_zeelie.htm]
INTERNET SOURCE: http://www.ihr.org/other/weber2011fakequotations.html
Fraudulent Nazi Quotations
By Mark Weber
Fraudulent quotations attributed to Hitler and other Third Reich leaders have been widely circulated for years. Such quotes are often used by polemicists -- of both the left and the right -- to discredit their ideological adversaries by showing that Nazis held similar views. This tactic works because people have been educated to believe that anything Hitler and other Nazi leaders thought or said was malevolent, wrong-headed or evil, and that no reasonable or ethical person could hold similar views.
Here's a look at a few of the many remarks falsely attributed to Hitler and other top Nazis.
Adolf Hitler (PHOTO SOURCE: http://worldhdwallpaper.com/adolf-hitler-hd-wallpapers/adolf-hitler-quotes-images-hd/)
Goebbels: 'Truth is the Enemy of the State'
Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, supposedly said:
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
Rush Limbaugh, the popular American radio commentator, is just one of the many influential Americans who has cited this quotation. During a May 2007 radio broadcast he claimed that these remarks are "from Hitler's war room, the Nazi spinmeister-in-chief, Joseph Goebbels," who was "speaking for his cronies in the Nazi party." Limbaugh went on to claim that American "Democrat Party" leaders were using "a version" of Goebbels' technique to try to "repress dissent." And in January 2011 US Congressman Steve Cohen, a Democratic party politician of Tennessee, accused Republicans of propagating "a big lie, just like Goebbels" about a proposed national health care plan.
In fact, Goebbels' views were quite different than what this fraudulent quote suggests. He consistently held that propaganda should be accurate and truthful.
In an address given in September 1934 in Nuremberg, he said: "Good propaganda does not need to lie, indeed it may not lie. It has no reason to fear the truth. It is a mistake to believe that people cannot take the truth. They can. It is only a matter of presenting the truth to people in a way that they will be able to understand. A propaganda that lies proves that it has a bad cause. It cannot be successful in the long run."
In an article written in 1941, he cited examples of false British wartime claims, and went on to charge that British propagandists had adopted the "big lie" technique that Hitler had identified and condemned in his book Mein Kampf. Goebbels wrote: "The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous."
Hitler and Gun Control
In a speech, sometimes said to have been delivered in 1935, Hitler is supposed to have exclaimed: "This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
This quote has been popular with Americans who defend the constitutional right to "keep and bear arms." It's cited to discredit those who support restrictions on firearms ownership and use. It's also cited to support the often-made charge that Hitler and his government curtailed gun ownership in Germany, and confiscated weapons held by private citizens.
The truth is rather different. When Hitler and his National Socialist Party took power in early 1933, they inherited a somewhat restrictive firearms law that the liberal-democratic "Weimar" government had enacted five years earlier. In 1938 Hitler's government revised the earlier law by loosening those restrictions, thereby enhancing the rights of Germans to own weapons. The most thorough confiscation of firearms ever imposed on Germans was carried out at the end of the Second World War by the occupation forces of the United States and other victorious Allied powers.
Hitler on 'Law and Order'
Hitler is supposed to have said during a speech in 1932, shortly before he became Chancellor:
"The streets of our cities are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might and the Republic is in danger. Yes, danger from within and without. We need law and order! Yes, without law and order our nation cannot survive ... Elect us and we shall restore law and order. We shall, by law and order, be respected among the nations of the world. Without law and order our Republic shall fail."
This quotation, which is meant to embarrass and discredit those who support "law and order," was especially popular with younger Americans during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It appeared on posters and in the 1971 movie "Billy Jack."
In his many election campaign speeches in 1932 Hitler stressed the themes of justice, freedom, jobs and national unity -- not "law and order." German universities in 1932 were not "filled with students rebelling and rioting." In fact, German students were among the most fervent supporters of Hitler and his National Socialist movement.
Goering on Culture
Hermann Goering, a high-ranking Third Reich official, is often quoted as having said: "Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver." Reichsmarschall Goering (Göring), who was commander of Germany's air force, would never have said anything like this. Along with other high-level Third Reich leaders, he esteemed the arts, and prided himself on his appreciation of culture.
This quote is a distortion of a line by a character in the play Schlageter by German writer Hanns Johst. The original line (translated) is "When I hear [the word] culture ... I release the safety on my Browning!" A version of this quote is presented in a staged scene in "Why We Fight," a US government wartime propaganda film, to suggest that the typical "Nazi" was an uncultured thug.
Hitler and Conscience
"I am liberating man from the degrading chimera known as conscience," Hitler is supposed to have said. This widely repeated quote appears, for example, in The Great Quotations, a supposedly authoritative collection compiled by Jewish American journalist and author George Seldes. It's a version of a remark attributed to Hitler by Hermann Rauschning in his book, The Voice of Destruction (Conversations with Hitler), which is a source of many fraudulent quotations supposedly based on private talks with Hitler that, in fact, never took place.
The "original" text of this quote, as presented by Rauschning, is: "Providence has ordained that I should be the greatest liberator of humanity. I am freeing men from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge; from the dirty and degrading self-mortifications of a chimera called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and personal independence which only a very few can bear."
In fact, Hitler repeatedly emphasized the importance of acting conscientiously. For example, in at least three different public statements or speeches 1941 alone, he spoke about acting in accord with his conscience. Rudolf Hess, a close friend and trusted colleague, once said that his devotion to Hitler was based in large measure on his regard for Hitler's resolute conscience. In a 1934 speech Hess said: "The conscience of a moral personality is a far greater protection against the misuse of an office than is the supervision of parliament or the separation of powers. I know no one who has a stronger conscience, or is more true to his people, than Adolf Hitler ... The Führer's highest court is his conscience and his responsibility to his people and to history."
Hitler: 'Destroy By All Means'
The US government propaganda film, "Why We Fight," quotes Hitler as having said: "My motto is 'Destroy by all and any means. National Socialism will reshape the world'." This is a version of a remark attributed to Hitler by Hermann Rauschning in his influential book. The "original" text, as presented by Rauschning, is: "I want war. To me all means will be right ... My motto is not 'Don't, whatever you do, annoy the enemy!' My motto is 'Destroy him by all and any means.' I am the one who will wage the war!" Another version of this invented remark appears in the book Hitler and Nazism (1961), by historian Louis Leo Snyder, who was a professor at City College of New York.
Hitler on Terrorism
Hitler has often been quoted as saying: "Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death." This quote is based on two invented remarks in Hermann Rauschning's mendacious book, The Voice of Destruction.
Hitler: 'We Are Barbarians'
Hitler has often been quoted as saying: "They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians, it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end."
This is another fraudulent Hitler quote from the fanciful work of Hermann Rauschning.
Hitler and 'Brutal Youth'
"A violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth -- that is what I am after ... I want to see in its eyes the gleam of pride and independence, of prey. I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is the ruin of my young men." This widely cited remark is included, for example, in George Seldes' The Great Quotations. The source cited by Seldes is an item in The Nation by the popular American journalist and author John Gunther (1901-1970).
In fact, this is a version of a remark attributed to Hitler by Hermann Rauschning, whose imaginative work is a source of many phony "quotes." Another fraudulent Hitler remark in this same spirit and from this same source, likewise cited by the supposedly authoritative Seldes, is this: "Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism ever invented for its own destruction."
These remarks misrepresent Hitler's real views. In fact, National Socialist Germany was a world leader in science, learning, technology and medicine. Hitler was admired by some of the leading intellectuals of the age, including Knut Hamsun, Ezra Pound, Louis-Ferdinand Celine and Martin Heidegger.
References / For Further Reading
Randall Bytwerk, "False Nazi Quotations" (http://bytwerk.com/gpa/falsenaziquotations.htm)
Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (New York: Oxford, 1989).
Joseph Goebbels, "From Churchill's Factory of Lies," ("Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik"), January 1941. Reprinted in Zeit ohne Beispiel (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb29.htm) (1941)
Joseph Goebbels, "Propaganda" (Nuremberg: 1934)
William L. Pierce, Gun Control in Germany 1928-1945 (1994)
John Toland, Adolf Hitler (1976)
Mark Weber, "Goebbels and World War II Propaganda," 2011
Mark Weber, "Goebbels' Place in History," The Journal of Historical Review, 1995.
Mark Weber, "Hitler as 'Enlightenment Intellectual': The Enduring Allure of Hitlerism," 1997
Mark Weber, "Rauschning's Phony 'Conversations With Hitler': An Update," 1985