Tony Hickey gave his display “Propaganda in Germany 1919-1935.”

He commenced by outlining the events of the first world war, and the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the other treaties at that time. This was followed by a review of how Hitler came to rise up the ranks of the German Workers Party, then the Nazis and National Socialists until finally achieving the Chancellorship in 1933.

During this time various territories and colonies were reassigned to other nations. Various plebiscites were held in Schleswig, Allenstein, Marienwerder, Silesia etc. and the wishes of the populace were largely followed with some exceptions so that resources, especially coal, were more evenly distributed. The Rhineland was de-militarised. The Saar was initially granted to France, but in 1934 reverted to Germany. Poland and Czechoslovakia were formed.

Tony showed how opposition to the communists aided the Nazis, especially after the 1933 election when a coalition led by Hitler was formed, and the communists were excluded. During the period, many personalities were used, provided help, influence, or became part of the political scene. These included Frederick the Great, von Hindenburg, Heinrich Hoffman the Photographer, Schlegaten (the “first Nazi martyr”) Hindenburg, Van Poppen, Goebbels, Ludendorff and many others.

Tony was able to demonstrate the insidious nature of the Nazis which contributed to their rise to power. The problems of the Weimar Governments, and reparations after the war, Hyper-inflation, the period of stability followed by the 1929 crash which saw millions unemployed; even the burning of the Reichstag, a month after the 1933 election.

Tony illustrated his highly entertaining and knowledgeable talk with picture postcards, stamps, photographs, news paper cuttings and documents, which showed either the personalities or the events, but more than anything the amount of propaganda in the form of slogans, cartoons, political half-truths, anti Communism, anti Semitism, even anti Nazi which was produced. Proof that if you say something often enough and loud enough, eventually some people will come to believe it.

The President thanked Tony for an outstanding display, and presented him with a Certificate and the Society Calculator as mementoes of his visit.

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