Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communication - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Robert Edward Lynch

Second Advisor

Nancy Coppola

Third Advisor

John E. O'Connor

Abstract

The premise of this investigation is that propaganda works best when presented through a fictional work rather than through factual documents. The fact/fiction combination of the non-fiction book, Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi (1941) and the fictional feature-length film, Hitler's Children (1943) is used to illustrate how film propagandists use camera angles, lighting, music, dialogue, narration, storyline, footage from other films, and cinematic conventions to dramatize and emphasize several scenes from the book. Attention is also paid to scenes in the film that dramatize government war aims, as supplied by the Bureau of Motion Pictures of the Office of War Information. An analysis of the book and film reveals that propaganda, especially when conveyed through fiction, works best when it reinforces and builds upon the viewer's pre-existing beliefs.

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