Background: This article outlines the organization of the Nazi Party’s propaganda central office. Goebbels was simultaneously head of the government’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, housed in Berlin, and of the Reichspropagandaleitung, based in Munich. The RPL played second fiddle to the government’s ministry.
The source: “Die Reichspropagandaleitung der NSDAP.,” Unser Wille und Weg, 6 (1936), pp. 6-10.
The propaganda of the NSDAP, its subsidiaries and affiliated organizations is the responsibility of the Reichspropagandaleiter, given the authority as a Reichsleiter by the Führer for all propaganda. He is responsible for the entire public work of the movement, including its subsidiaries and affiliated organizations in the German Reich, including the carrying out of the Führer’s will on the part of the party apparatus and its subsidiaries and affiliated organizations. He is also responsible for the whole German radio system’s organizational, cultural, and economic development, for the spreading of the National Socialist worldview to the entire German people, and for explaining the accomplishments of the party and the state.
The press and film are at his disposal in securing these aims.
To ensure the systematic coordination of the entire propaganda apparatus, he is at the top of an organization that reaches down to the smallest local office, and is organized as follows:
Reichspropaganda-Leitung = RPL
Gaupropaganda-Leitung = GPL
Kreispropaganda-Leitung = KPL
Ortsgruppenpropaganda-Leitung = OGPL
Stützpunktpropaganda-Leitung = StPL
The seat of the Reichspropagandaleitung is in Munich.
The Reichspropagandaleitung is headed by Reichspropagandaleiter Minister Dr. Goebbels.
His closest assistant is the Deputy Reichspropagandaleiter, who is also chief of staff of the RPL and the personal aide of the Reichspropagandaleiter.
There are five divisions of the Reichspropagandaleitung:
1. Active Propaganda
Active Propaganda has the task of carrying out propaganda actions at every level, from the mass events with their architectonic structure to the conduct of membership meetings at the local group or section level. This requires organizing the entire speaker system of the party, its subsidiaries, and affiliated organizations. Along with handling the daily questions of politics, it provides the entire speaker system with information and sends all propagandists in the country the monthly Unser Wille und Weg. The speaker system also requires the production and distribution of appropriate posters and leaflets, as well as the careful examination of meeting reports from the speakers and propaganda offices.
A comprehensive picture of propaganda results from the statistical summary of all reports from the counties and Gaue.
The Department of Active Propaganda has two main divisions:
1. The Speaker System,
2. Major Events with architectonic elements.
There are also departments for Unser Wille und Weg, publications, statistics and promotion, and contemporary affairs.
Office of the Speaker System
The office of the speaker system includes the office for “Speaker Organization,” which supervises all Reich, Gau, and county speakers of the NSDAP, as well as all expert speakers of the subsidiaries and affiliated organizations. The office of “Speaker Information” provides speakers at every level with the only official speaker and information material of the party.
The assignment of Reich speakers, shock speakers of the RPL, and applicants for the shock troop is handled by the office of “Speaker Assignments.” The office of “Speaker Education” is responsible not only for the training of new political and expert speakers, but also for steady improvement in the knowledge of all active speakers. A special “National Speaker School” serves this goal.
Office of Major Events
The Office of Major Events has two main areas of responsibility. The first is includes all preparations for mass meetings, the second architectonic preparations. That includes all departments necessary for the conduct of a major event, including traffic, housing, transportation, sanitary facilities, sanitary supervision, food, etc, which are under the supervision of a single authority. That means that this office must stay in contact with all other relevant branches of the movement.
Office of Architectonic Matters
The Architectonic Office arranges the location for mass meetings and the specific requirements of the event.
The task of the Main Office of Film is the regular organization of film shows suitable for public enlightenment and education, and which contribute to deepening the National Socialist worldview. The Slide Show Office is subordinate to the Film Department,
The Department of Film includes the following offices;
Production and Equipment
The Radio Office of the NSDAP is responsible for the supervision of the entire German radio system, with the goal of making the radio consistent with National Socialist principles in its organizational, cultural, technical, and economic development. Only in this way will it be possible to take National Socialism in and through the radio into the practical life form of the German nation.
All technical means must be used by the radio warden organization to reach the entire nation with radio propaganda — whether through household, community, or mass listening.
The Office of Radio has the following divisions:
Office of Cultural Radio and Radio Organization
Office of Radio Technology
Office of Radio Propaganda
Office of Cultural Radio and Radio Organization
The broadcasting and reception system, culture work in the radio, education, scientific radio work, youth radio.
The organization of the radio system (Reich Radio Chamber, subchambers in the Reich Chamber of Culture, professional organizations), radio exhibitions.
Office of Radio Technology
Technical systems (loudspeaker system), technical training, shortwave and amateur radio, ultra shortwave system, technical production questions.
Office of Radio Propaganda
Propaganda actions on the radio, listener recruitment, press office, political broadcasts.Department of Culture
The Department of Culture has the task of encouraging and supervising cultural work as an expression of the National Socialist worldview in the propaganda of the party, its subsidiaries, and affiliated organizations. Its offices are:
Office of “Architecture”:
Provides guidelines and regulations for all architectural questions on monuments and such buildings as serve the public work of the National Socialist movement.
Office of Artistic Policy
Provides guidelines and regulations for all other artistic questions involving symbols, objects, etc. that are used in the public work of the National Socialist movement. Provides guidelines and regulations for the artistic aspects of mass meetings and the holding of National Socialist ceremonies that use cultural means.
The office also includes:
Office of Selection
The provision of musical and literary works that can be used in the mass meetings and ceremonies of the National Socialist movement.
Office of Programming
Provides sample programs for the ceremonies of the National Socialist movement and for the organization of National Socialist mass meetings in the tradition of those of the period of struggle for power.
The elimination of inappropriate methods that some attempt to apply in the movement.
The battle against Kitsch, the protection of National Socialist purity in ceremonies, the prevention of mystic and pseudo-religious perversion of the worldview through the work of cranks.
Commissions to appropriate artists according to the proper guidelines. Suitable persons are employed as members or assistants in special areas by the Reichspropagandaleiter.
The holding of practical courses for speaking choruses and the recruitment of suitable persons for the work in all groups of the movement. The Department of Culture publishes the monthly Guidelines for National Socialist Ceremonies, which gives propaganda and cultural functionaries the material necessary for their work. It also includes guidelines consistent with our basic attitudes to prevent superficial conduct of discussion evenings, membership meetings, home evenings of the Hitler Youth, comradeship evenings of the S.A. and SS, etc.
The unity of party and legally constituted professional organizations in the cultural sphere is guaranteed by relationships between the relevant offices. The Reichspropagandaleiter of the NSDAP is simultaneously president of the Reich Chamber of Culture.
The head of the Cultural Office of the RPL is simultaneously National Cultural Administrator in the Reich Chamber of Culture.
The Department of Coordination is responsible for contact with the ministries, offices, and public bodies, etc. This ensures that the relevant governmental offices are informed of propaganda guidelines, and also that the Reichspropagandaleitung is informed of all tasks and guidelines that come from the Reich Propaganda Ministry. To guarantee the unified conduct of propaganda on the part of both the party and the state, the Coordination Department is responsible for ensuring that the directives of the Reichspropagandaleitung are brought to the attention of subordinate, affiliated, and associated bodies.
The Staff Office has the following sections:
1. The “Reich Ring for National Socialist Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment”
2. The “Reich Technical Team” with help from Bavaria
3. The Business Office of the RPL
4. The Department of Press Propaganda
5. The Office of Exhibitions and Trade Fairs
The Reich Ring for National Socialist Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment has the task of ensuring the unified conduct of propaganda on the part of all subsidiaries and affiliated organizations of the party. The Reich Ring consists of a representative of the propaganda offices of all subsidiaries and organizations, assigned by the relevant leader, as well as other representatives of particular offices of the Reichsleitung, etc.
The Reich Technical Team has the task of providinf the most modern technical means to all subsidiaries and affiliated organizations. The Reich Technical Team also assists such mass meetings that are not held by the party, but are of national significance.
The business office is responsible for the bookkeeping and administrative matters of the Reichspropagandaleitung, subordinate to a department head.
Office of Press Propaganda
The Office of Press Propaganda is responsible for publicizing the work of the various departments of the Reichspropagandaleitung to the proper offices of the National Socialist press as well as to the rest of the press.
Office of Exhibitions and Trade Fairs
The task of the Office for Exhibitions and Trade Fairs is to supervise all exhibitions in which the party participates from a propagandistic viewpoint.
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