What do Adolf Hitler and ISIS have in common?

What do Adolf Hitler and ISIS have in common?

Posted on Jul 30, 2016

What do Adolf Hitler and ISIS have in common?



Apologies if you clicked on this blog expecting a punchline to a bad joke. But please do keep on reading as we’re going to be having a look at one of the key weapons that Adolf Hitler and ISIS have used to grow and recruit.

The answer to the question is…



This is the third in a recent mini-series of blogs about radicalisation. We’ve discussed (here and here) young people’s vulnerability to radicalisation and some of the ways this can be tackled, and how awareness can be raised. We know that people can become radicalised either through people they know personally or through people they meet online.

They can also be heavily influenced by propaganda.


What is propaganda?

In general terms, propaganda describes the information and messages that are spread in order to gain support for a cause. Whether they’re accurate and truthful or not usually doesn’t come in to it.

There are lots of everyday examples of propaganda. The most obvious recent example to point out is that both opposing campaigns in the lead-up to the referendum over Britain’s EU membership are accused of being ‘characterised by misinformation and negative propaganda’.


Adolf Hitler

Let’s take a step back in time to Germany in 1936.

As the Nazis were invading territories, spoiling for war and spreading hate, they were also spreading propaganda, like the poster below, which depicts Hitler as a sower of peace.


Source: Kladderadatsch magazine, 22 March 1936


The BBC explain:

‘Much of Hitler's popularity after coming to power rested on his achievements in foreign policy. A recurring theme in Nazi propaganda before 1939 was that Hitler was a man of peace, but one who was determined to recover German territories 'lost' as a result of the Versailles Treaty of 1919, drawn up at the end of World War One’.

Whilst this may seem crazy now, propaganda can be powerful and many people were taken in by it and believed that Hitler was a genuinely good person.



Propaganda is something that ISIS is also exceptionally good at, and they have two strategies: provoking the ‘west’ (the USA, UK, France, etc), and recruitment.

An article in The Guardian delves into this in more detail, if you’re interested in looking at it further.

Together with their propaganda posters and videos, ISIS has used the explosion of social media in recent years to spread their message far and wide. It has been argued that their social media strategy can rival that of the biggest brands in the world.


Combating radicalisation in young people through discussion

One of the best ways of countering radicalisation is raising awareness of it, and one of the best ways of raising awareness is discussion. With this in mind, flick have developed the UK’s first prevention of radicalisation for students e-learning course, which is designed to be used as a teaching tool in schools for young people from secondary school age onwards.

It’s been specifically developed to encourage discussion between students – and also with teachers – with each of the four topics intended to be used as a standalone lesson, featuring multiple discussion points, videos and professional voiceover too.


The Prevent Duty

The Prevent Duty (part of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy) ensures that anyone working with any kind of vulnerable people in the UK (including young people) is under an obligation – by law – to refer those suspected of displaying radical behaviour.

It’s therefore essential to train your staff in this, and flick also offer one of the only Prevent Duty e-learning courses that has been approved by the Home Office.

Who needs it?Everyone working with any kind of vulnerable people, such as police, social services, probation, health staff, and, of course, in education – pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools, further education, independent or private schools and state schools or academies.


Train your students

So now, through flick, you can not only train your staff on the prevention of radicalisation: any school that buys a flick subscription will also get access to flick’s new and exclusive prevention of radicalisation for students course. Not only that, but subscribing with flick also offers access to all flick courses, plus downloadable guides and resources in the flick library. So why not sign up today?


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