The PLEA: The Nazi Satire Project

The PLEA: The Nazi Satire Project


Elites fear satire. And understandably so. As satire theorist Robert C. Elliot said, it “eats its way in implication through the most powerful structures.”1 But what happens when this premise is flipped on its head, and elites take control of satire?

This issue of The PLEA considers this by examining state-created satire in Nazi Germany. Primarily focussed on Nazi Germany’s official state satire magazine Die Brennessel, it considers:

  • the rise of the Nazi regime,
  • the propaganda ministry’s creation of official state satire, and
  • the German public’s reaction to it.

While suitable for most any reader, The Nazi Satire Project has been written to help English Language Arts 30 teachers use satire to meet Comprehend and Respond Outcome B 30.4 (indicator d), “Demonstrate critical reading behaviours to analyze meanings, ideas, language, and literary quality in a range of contemporary and historical texts.” It has also been written as a Content support for teachers of History 20, linking to “The Rise of Totalitarianism and the Impact on the Individual” in Unit Two: The Totalitarian State.

1. Robert C. Elliott, The Power of Satire: Magic, Ritual, Art (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1960), 264.