It’s no surprise that Jud Suss is seen as a very offensive Nazi propaganda film. However, it is worth noting that the Nazis didn’t only use film to give the Jews a bad name in Germany but also used other forms of media. One of the most popular forms, and the easiest to produce and distribute, were posters and illustrations.
One example of the propaganda that was seen in the war against the Jews is pictured above. It shows a curtain being opened and a Jew is revealed to be “behind it all.” On the upper portion of the poster, “The Jew” is written in German. Below that we have two lines that mean “War instigators, war extenders.” This poster is calling the Jews out for starting the Second World War and that they are continually fueling it. One thing that this poster seems familiar is with the arms that are pumping out the fists in the air. To me, this looks very much like the communist way of appealing to the working class, and I think that the Nazis are trying to achieve this goal as well with this piece. Another thing to note too with this picture is the look of the Jew. He doesn’t look like a nice guy, but rather someone who lurks in the shadows waiting to rob an unlucky victim.
Above is yet another photo that the Nazis created in for propaganda. To continue on the last point about the previous piece, the look of the Jew portrayed looks suspicious. He shows no sense of remorse and he also looks to be putting something in his coat (similar to a thief trying to hide his gold). This picture reads “He is to blame for the war.” Also, note the position of the hand and of the Jew. The hand being above the Jew is symbolic of “taking back” the country and righting the wrongs of the Jews. It’s almost as if the hand is casting the Jew out of society. With the Jew being lower, this signifies that the Jew is no longer in control, and he is hunched over, kind of looking like a rat.
Both pictures portray the Jew in a definite negative context. They make Jewish out to be power hungry, greedy individuals who are to blame for the war and who want to keep the war going. I believe that these posters help the Nazi party with justification for the war that they are waging with the Allied powers. If you can get the people to believe that the Jews are responsible for the continuation of the war, then you are able to continue the war almost completely unopposed from your own people as well as gaining more acceptance for the destruction of the Jews. Two birds with one stone… unfortunately…
Jud Suss. International Historic Film Inc. 2007.
- Der Ist Schuld. Digital image. Daily Stormer, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. <http://www.dailystormer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/prop_9.jpg>.
- Der Jude. Digital image. The Society Pages, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/files/2009/11/Nazi_poster_Jew_Der_Sturmer_antisemitism_juutalaisvainot-bloodlibel_Wandering_Jew_propaganda_61.jpg>.