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HindenburgPower, Myth, and the Rise of the Nazis$
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Anna von der Goltz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570324

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570324.001.0001

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Anna von der Goltz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the Hindenburg myth was as much a cultural as it was a political phenomenon, and did not just occupy those engaged in German politics, but penetrated much broader sections of society in its myriad forms: a massive readership of Hindenburg books and special issues of the illustrated press existed, as did a receptive audience for Hindenburg films and his frequent speeches on the radio. Equally, consumers' purchase decisions were animated by the use of his iconic image in commercial advertising. The author shows that Hindenburg's omnipresence in these modern mass media broadened his appeal considerably and led his myth to escape the strict political dividing lines characteristic of Weimar Germany. This points to considerable common symbolic ground beyond political fault-lines. The chapter also highlights Hindenburg's considerable involvement in promoting, managing, and censoring his own myth from the top down.

Keywords:   radio, commercial advertising, illustrated press, Weimar Germany, mass media

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