Germany and Propaganda in World War I: Pacifism, Mobilization and Total War

Adolf Hitler, writing in Mein Kampf, was scathing in his condemnation of German propaganda in World War I, declaring that Germany failed to recognize that the mobilization of public opinion was a weapon of the first order. This, despite the fact that propaganda had been regarded by the German leadership, arguably for the first time, as an intrinsic part of the war effort. In this book, David Welch fully examines German society – politics, propaganda, public opinion and total war – in the Great War. Drawing on a wide range of sources – posters, newspapers, journals, film, Parliamentary debates, police and military reports and private papers – he argues that the moral collapse of Germany was due less to the failure to disseminate propaganda than to the inability of the military authorities and the Kaiser to reinforce this propaganda, and to acknowledge the importance of public opinion in forging an effective link between leadership and the people.