What do Walt Disney, Hitler, Dr. Seuss, and Pope Gregory XV have in common? Each heavily used propaganda to convey messages.
Propaganda is the spreading of ideas, information or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. Modern propaganda began in the 17th century with a special division of the Catholic Church to connote the systematic spread of religious ideas and fight Protestantism.
In World War I, all major belligerent governments began using propaganda to mobilize populations for war, weaken enemy moral, and win over audiences in neutral countries.
In World War II, Adolf Hitler infamously used propaganda to pit his followers against all Jews and many different populations of peoples, leading to the extermination of over 6 million people. However, Hitler wasn’t the only one using publications to drive the war effort. Theodor Seuss Geisel and Walt Disney both created wartime propaganda support the war effort and degrade the Nazis and Japanese. Seuss wrote children’s books to convey social messages and fight against racism and anti-semitism while Disney employed classic characters to show the superiority of the American way of life.
In this infographic, WordFocus looks at propaganda of the past and of today, examining its use in the Middle East and North Korea.