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The “Ideal German Soldier” in the Military Propaganda of Nazi Germany | NCGS Seminar
April 14, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
During the Nazi era a flood of media – books, newspapers, magazines, posters, films, plays, radio broadcasts and training manuals – confronted German men with the image of the “ideal German soldier.” This presentation highlights the set of characteristics that men serving in the German military – the Wehrmacht – were expected to embody according to this propaganda, and discusses the impact that it might have played in shaping the expectations and behavior of soldiers. The paper argues that the methodology employed by many historians in examining this material produces interpretive distortions, and that a more holistic approach reveals surprising trends that challenge our assumptions about Nazi propaganda and the expectations of soldiers under the Nazi regime.
Mark Hornburg is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill who specializes in Modern German History. He is currently finishing his dissertation entitled “Cleansing the Wehrmacht: The Treatment of Social Outsiders in the German Military under the Nazi Regime.” He is also currently co-editing the volume Beyond ‘Ordinary Men’: Christopher Browning and Holocaust Historiography (with Jürgen Matthäus and Thomas Pegelow Kaplan), forthcoming in 2019.
Moderator: Konrad H. Jarausch | UNC-Chapel Hill, Department of History