The important role which propaganda would have to play in the coming war was fully recognized by Ewald Banse, an ardent Nazi military theorist of the geopolitical school and professor of military science at Brunswick Military College. In his book Raum und Volk im Weltkrieg (Space and People in the World War) which appeared in 1932 (an English translation by Alan Harris was published under the title Germany Prepares for War (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1934)), he stated:
Preparation for future wars must not stop at the creation, equipment and training of an efficient army, but must go on to train the minds of the whole people for the war and must employ all the resources of science to master the conditions governing the war itself and the possibility of endurance. In 1914 we had a first-class army, but our scientific mobilization was bad, and the mobilization of men’s minds a thing undreamed of. The unveiling of war memorials, parades of war veterans, flag-waggings, fiery speeches and guard-mounting are not of themselves enough to prepare a nation’s mind for the dangers that threaten. Conviction is always more lasting than enthusiasm.
... Such teaching is necessary at a time and in a world in which countries are no longer represented by monarchs or a small aristocracy or by a specialist army, but in which the whole nation, from the commander-in-chief to the man in the ranks, from the loftiest thought to the simplest wish, from corn to coal, from the treasury vaults to the last trouser-button, must be permeated through and through with the idea of national defense, if it is to preserve its national identity and political independence. The science of national defense is not the same as military science; it does not teach generals how to win battles or company commanders how to train recruits. Its lessons are addressed first and foremost to the whole people. It seeks to train the popular mind to heroism and war and to implant in it an understanding of the nature and prerequisite conditions of modern warfare. It teaches us about countries and peoples, especially our own country and its neighbors, their territories and economic capacity, their communications and their mentality—all for the purpose of creating the best possible conditions for waging future wars in defense of the national existence.
The Nazis, while entirely without scruple in the pursuit of their objectives, endeavor whenever possible to give their actions the cloak of legality. This procedure was followed in Germany to enable them to gain control of the Government of the Reich and in their foreign policy up to September 1, 1939. It has been a cardinal principle of the Nazis to avoid the use of force whenever their objectives may be attained in another manner and they have assiduously studied their enemies in an effort to discover the weak points in their structure which will enable the Nazis to accomplish their downfall. The preceding pages have demonstrated that the Nazis have contributed practically nothing that is original to German political thought. By the use of unscrupulous, deceitful, and uninhibited tactics, however, they have been able to realize many of the objectives which had previously existed only in theory.