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I noticed that the Nazi propaganda department was literally called "Reichspropaganda-Leitung (RPL)", "the propaganda office". Was this the public name of it, or, a secret name used behind closed doors?

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The Reichspropagandalleitung (RPL) was not a state agency but an organization of the NSDAP and was officially independent of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda.

The main task of the RPL was to monitor, coordinate and unify the propaganda of the NSDAP, its branches and affiliated associations. Its special focus was on broadcasting.

And of course the people in Germany knew that the German media, such as newspapers and radio, were controlled by the NSDAP and the Reich Ministry of Propaganda. Thus, especially during the war, people always took advantage of the opportunity to listen to the broadcasts of neutral Switzerland or the Allies, at the greatest risk to life and limb.

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    Translated from what / where? What is the source of the translated text? – Lars Bosteen Dec 28 '19 at 1:31
  • I use the Service of deepl to translate my own posts to translate from german to english. My english is not realy good and translaating tools help me to understand and answer in better english. – user10898533 Dec 28 '19 at 4:08
  • It was also (re-)founded in 1926 and served the same purpose as any public relations that you have today. – Mark Johnson Dec 28 '19 at 6:05
  • The word "propaganda" did not have the negative connotations of today at the time. It meant about the same as "public relations" or "marketing" do nowadays. – John Dallman Dec 28 '19 at 9:36
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Yes, but I think you got it the wrong way around:

They all knew that there was an office of propaganda. It was literally broadcast on the only radio channel. It was their name and totally normal.

But back then "Propaganda" did not have the negative connotations it has today. If you look at the word itself, "to propagate" there is nothing negative about it. It only became a negative word because the fascist regimes used it as a word in their vocabulary and it became a synonym of their information war.

The ministries of propaganda still exist today in every single country. Sure, it's called press secretary or public relations now. But it's the same business. They just do no longer call it propaganda, because that's the word the fascists used.

See also: Did the German people actually know Joseph Goebbels as the “Minister of Propaganda”?

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  • RPL is different from RMVaP. One is a party institution the other a ministry (although after 1933 and the founding of the official RMVaP the overlap was obvious. Please differentiate between two with this as starting point. – LаngLаngС Dec 28 '19 at 13:32
  • @LаngLаngС While I agree with your comment on them being two separate entities, my answer remains valid for both: "Propaganda" was not a "bad word" back then, so there is no need for secrecy. Today's marketing departments or public relations aren't hiding either. – nvoigt Dec 28 '19 at 14:15
  • That's of course true, but the angle from Q seems strange nonetheless. Perhaps also add a part from public speeches, like Goebbels celebrating "German propaganda is much better than English"? – LаngLаngС Dec 28 '19 at 14:25

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