What was the role of communication technology in establishing the regime in Italy and Germany in XX century?

Oct 2018
Płock, Poland
I'm searching for any publications that will give me the information about how was the comms tech used by Mussolini and Hitler - I know that during the Nazi rule the ministry of propaganda distributed FM receivers so the people could hear the propaganda, but I can't find any publications about how was it used by those leaders before actually getting to power. Has anybody encountered anything like that? I'm interested in Radio broadcasting, Microphone and speaker setups (mass rallies by Mussolini had to be heard, didn't they) and basically anything that involved spreading your voice or image to the masses. I'd be grateful if you sent me anything related to that!
And, of course, it'd be a pleasure to see some discussion on this topic here.


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Interesting question. I will look around for sources, but family recalls can allow me to give you a first insight. My great-grandmother was German and when she was in Italy [she got married with an Alpine and she came to live in Italy] she was anyway able to hear Hitler's speeches on the radio.

Furthermore, Fascism used cinemas for its communication strategies: they produced "cine news" which had submitted to the audience in cinemas [in Italian they were the "cinegiornali"]. Before of TV, cinemas were the places where the general audience gathered. So when you consider Mussolini keep in mind the usage of cinemas. In a few words, before of a movie you saw a brief video prepared by the communication ministry of the regime, usually full of propaganda.
Oct 2016
IIRC the nazis sold cheap or gave away radios late in their reign so the volk wouldn't listen to the BBC.

Posters were widely used.

Oct 2018
Płock, Poland
Thank you for your replies, but I need to focus specifically on those electronic means of propaganda, and the way they, for example, were able to be heard on mass rallies (there's an image in my head showingMmussolini standing on a balcony and spreading his ideas towards the crowd, along with the question how were they able to hear him)
Apr 2017
How good is your German, Fikalinowski?

Anyways... Yes - here is an article from the WDR - the mention a book: Media in Germany by Prof. Heinz-Werner Stuiber. You might want to look for an English or Polish translation? If you translate such stuff into Polish I would be surprised, as who buys this?
Yeah, you would buy it - but how many yous are there?

I can try to sum it up:

So the main focus was the radio. The broadcasting stations were put together and they made sure that 90% of the population was able to receive radio.
Listen to La-La-Land while your sons are killed in Moscow. So that was the concept.

And wow - they did that one week after they won the election. The ministry for people's education and propaganda was established and Mr.Goebbels/Herr Goebbels/Senor Goebbels became CEO.
One week. Germans. Very efficient and dull. I would not have called my propaganda ministry "propaganda"

Mr. Goebbels explains to us what his ministry is doing on 25 March 1933:
"Die Phantasie muss alle Mittel und Methoden in Anspruch nehmen, um die neue Gesinnung modern, aktuell und interessant den breiten Massen zu Gehör zu bringen, interessant und lehrreich, aber nicht belehrend"

"The fantasy has to use all methods and tools, to bring the new attitude modern, up to date and interesting to the people's attention; it has to be received interesting and educating, but not be preaching"

15 July 1933 - They combined all broadcasting stations including the unions.

Reichssendeleiter Hadamovsky HUH! See. Another Polish name. With a flashy Y at the end. So - the true full-blood German Hadamovsky in his position as Empire-Broadcasting-Chief^^ announced proudly on 1st of April 1934 (again 1st of April - Nazis again...this is what happens if you do not pay attention to who you vote for )

1 April 1934 - all broadcasting stations wer declared Reichsender. Reich-Sender. Bet that sounds awesome to the English ear.
(Quote:) The nationalistic revolution achieved its self-fulfillment in the trinity of 'One people, one empire, one radio'...

Means: We do have public broadcasting marketing issues since 1933... we just found out. They do such nonsense till today and they are wondering why first pay-TV and then the internet took over. Yeah, you are one people, one radio...

Okay now the article jumps back:

Already on 25 March 1933 - Senor Goebbels demanded from the broadcasting directors to release (to fire) all Jewish, social-democratic and communistic employees. And warned them - if they will not do it - they (unclear if he means the Nazi or his ministry) will.

3 month later all directors were fired, too except of one. - Careful with this information - because in Germany we are a federation our broadcasting stations are all at war with each other. That might be TV propaganda like: Yeah, we good media guys
were all against the Nazis... only that one dude in wherever he joined the party.

Okay to work as a journalist for radio-stations you had to be a member of the Reichsrundfunkkammer ("Realm-radio-chamber"/I do not write Reich on purpose all the time, by the way), that belonged to the Reichskulturkammer (Realm-culture-chamber) that was
controlled by Mister Goebbels himself.

Now - how that was brought to the people...

Even in 1933 - they brought a cheap 'people-receiver' on the market . Ey, for real... if in the end you speak German and can read that article... seriously... there is even a link to a page two... I won't go all the way...
Reichssendeleiter Hadamovsky declared again that every German owns one. And Prof. Stuiber adds that 90% of the population followed one Hitler speech.

Okay. That is BS what Stuiber writes there. I happen to have an artistic background - what included TV. We do not have even today any way to tell - how many people watch something. It is all made up nonsense.
Screw any ratings. They are never correct and just a tool to legitimize a hire-and fire-hierarchy. In Germany f.e. the view-numbers are calculated by 5000 people - while taking in account that not all broadcasting stations have the full reach to cover the whole population.
There is no way - how in 1933 or 1940 - anybody can predict anyhow how many people were listening to something. Total bogus. Only because you can see or hear something does not mean that you do.
This is nonsense. I go ahead...

I felt so sorry for you bump... okay I only take a look on the next page - it says TV....

22 March 1935 (two years after radio) the first Nazi TV program went 'online' (haha, modern lingo) ... Oh lord, Hadamovsky has to say something to it...:

"In dieser Stunde wird der Rundfunk berufen, die größte und heiligste Mission zu erfüllen: nun das Bild des Führers unverlöschlich in alle deutschen Herzen zu pflanzen", verkündet Reichssendeleiter Eugen Hadamovsky "

"In this hour, the broadcasting is called to fullfill the greatest and most holy mission: Now to plant the picture of the Fuehrer insoluble^^ into all German hearts", says Empire-Broadcasting-Director Eugen... lol Eugeeen Hadamovsky.

I read on.... Oh great - But that was only in parts possible because of technical difficulties... lol

"There is no evidence that Hitler or Goebbels ever had a public TV appearance" (by Prof.Kondrad Dussel). Hadadmovsky was ahead of his time with his gardening business.

Oh...and one year before the BBC... German TV went on the net. See - if you in Britain would be more fascistic too, you could have TV as well 1935. But so you had to wait one year.

1936 Olympia is on TV. The program consists of sound-films (And they were good, by the way, if you compare that Nazi stuff to what they ran in the US in that time - that guys were progressive - they did stuff up to the 1950s-60s that was quite impressive); Wochenschau (like a news) and 'colored evenings' (I think that might mean something different in German.... 'gay evening' No wait. That can be misunderstood, too. Joyful evenings! That is better) like ' Artists play for WIA' (wounded in action - so soldiers) or
the show: "We broadcast cheerfulness, we donate joy" ... There was no adult person left in Germany in 1936.

In summer 1936 on the Berlin broadcasting - exhibition - a daily 10 hour program was broadcast.
A kinda people's receiver (this time for TV) should go with 10.000 units into production, but because of the starting war - only a few went onto the market.

Now I am confused. It they started broadcasting in 1935 - to whom? No wonder Hitler did not show up on TV, there was nobody who could see him.

Then - with the beginning of the war you have the lies spread. With the union of Austria - it is now the Big-German-Broadcast - before it was the German - now it became the Big-German. Or Great-German as you would say in better English.
Then attack on Poland started with a broadcasting lie.

SS soldiers attacked camouflaged as Polish the broadcasting station Gleiwitz.
Then Hitler had a special announcement at 6 o'clock 1939 to the Wehrmacht: "bleibt mir kein anderes Mittel, als von jetzt ab Gewalt gegen Gewalt zu setzen" - I have no other options, than to use violence against violence.

1940 a combined TV-program is introduced.
Everything of the propaganda machinery works fine - Prof.Dussel says in 1941 with the beginning Russian campaign it turned - " to many had thoughts how far further into the Soviet Union we had to march). So the program changed, by Goebbels - it became more entertaining. Words were cut out - music was filled in. The German dance and entertainment orchestra was founded for that.

That is absurdity on the next level. While killing Siberians in Stalingrad - we played dance music on TV. I blame it on women. Yeah, imagine this: Imagine all girls would go to war - and you would have dance music on TV. How long would it take us - as a male population to find enough guys - who say - that nonsense has to stop NOW. Not so the female part of the population. Swing along to that nice singer - you deserve some better thoughts - while your son and husband and brother and uncle and father are shoveled to death by a Russian. If they would have had - for once -their act together - they could have solved all problems. But no. Put a soap on TV - then I can cannibal every male member of your family. That is the downside of the group-thinking in the girl's mind.

Anyways the more humor on TV was received great - in 1942 the entertainment part on TV was extended to 80%. More trumpet makes girls stay in line.

As the German troops surrendered in Stalingrad... two weeks later Goebbels answered with an 'endurance'-speech. He calls out on the 18th February 1943 - the TOTAL WAR!!! - and they still can't get back onto the level of Medieval II.
As more and more Reichsender get off the net - on

1 April 1945 - what is it with the 1 of April... the Werewolf broadcast called on former frequencies - to the population in liberated - uh - I mean - by allies oppressed zones - to resist them.

8 May 1945 - so - one month later - it stopped broadcasting with the Horst-Wessel song.
Here are lyrics in English...

No. I am kidding. So. I felt sorry for you. You got a link to the article - it has more links on the page - and I translated as much as I could... and then had to edit everything because of 10.000 character post limit...^^


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Oct 2018
Płock, Poland
Ryanx, thank you for your response, I wish my German was anything more than Ich heisse Filip... jk
Your reply gives me a lot of opportunity, and I may have one or two people who can help me take a deeper insight into the article!

AlpinLuke, thank you as well. As for the Nazis I knew about the distribution of radio, I did not even know that fascists used it as well, knowing that it was quite a new technology in 1922. If you have any source in Italian, I would be glad to have it, because I have one native Italian speaker in my class who can help me. About those microphones and amplifiers - well, at first it was my point of study, but then I found it difficult to get any information about their development in the 1920s and 30s.

God, I wish I knew any of those languages...