World War II in the News
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Nazi Propaganda

Nazi Propaganda and Nazi films in the Third Reich and now.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: WWII films, Nazi-era Footage, Goebbels, Leni Riefenstahl, WWII Memorabilia, Nazi collectables, Tokyo Roses.

How the BBC`s truth offensive beat Hitler`s propaganda machine
When it came to winning the war against Hitler`s sophisticated propaganda machine, the BBC hit upon an ingenious idea: tell the unvarnished truth. An academic trawl of the BBC archives has revealed that while the Nazi regime used puppet broadcasters such as William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) to spin messages of German invincibility, the BBC was choosing to broadcast detailed news of Britain`s military setbacks. The decision was part of a deliberate strategy to win the hearts and minds of the German people, says Dr Vike Martina Plock of the department of English at Exeter University, who discovered memos from the time during research at the BBC Written Archives Centre in Caversham Park, Reading.
(theguardian.com)

Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)

Provocative posters and fake news: Inside America`s WWII Propaganda Machine
The United States was about six months into World War II when it founded the Office of War Information (OWI). Its mission: to disseminate political propaganda. The office spread its messages through print, radio, and film—but perhaps its most striking legacy is its posters. With bright colors and sensational language, they encouraged Americans to ration their food, buy war bonds, and basically perform everyday tasks in support of the war effort. In one, a woman carrying her groceries is compared to soldiers carrying guns. The poster implies that by walking instead of driving, she is doing her patriotic duty, since `trucks and tires must last till victory.`
(nationalgeographic.com)

Many believe wartime traitor Lord Haw-Haw was a harmless buffoon but that`s utter nonsense, says a new biography
He never could keep his big trap shut, and in the end it got him hanged. If loud-mouthed William Joyce — alias Lord Haw-Haw, the `Germany calling` traitor who ranted foul Nazi propaganda over the radio to Britain — had kept quiet, he might well not have been caught. But the self-important twerp with the plum‑in-his-mouth voice couldn`t resist the temptation to gab. On the run in northern Germany three weeks after the end of the war in May 1945, he spotted a couple of British Army officers gathering firewood. Instead of slinking away in silence, Joyce was so convinced of his own invincibility that he called out to them: `There are some bits over here.` The soldiers were intelligence officers. The voice was familiar. They`d heard its distinctive tones praising Hitler`s `super-human heroism` and cursing Winston Churchill as a traitor doing the bidding of his `Jewish masters`.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Hitler at home: how the Nazi PR machine remade the Führer`s domestic image and duped the world
On March 16, 1941 – with European cities ablaze and Jews being herded into ghettos – The New York Times Magazine featured an illustrated story on Adolf Hitler`s retreat in the Berchtesgaden Alps. Adopting a neutral tone, C Brooks Peters noted that historians of the future would do well to look at the importance of `the Führer`s private and personal domain,` where discussions about the war front were interspersed with `strolls with his 3 sheep dogs along majestic mountain trails.` When we think of the stage sets of Hitler`s political power, we are more apt to envision the Nuremberg Rally Grounds than his living room. Yet it was through the architecture, design and media depictions of his homes that the Nazi regime fostered a myth of the private Hitler as peaceable homebody and good neighbor.
(theconversation.com)

Triumph Of The Will (Blu-ray)
The Synapse Films Blu-ray edition of Triumph of the Will uses an all-new high-def 2K digital remaster of the film, in pillarboxed 1.19:1 aspect ratio. Derived from a duplicate 35mm fine grain master, the film stock has a few instances of flashing but looks terrific for the most part, conveying an appealing texture without appearing too cleaned-up. The disc includes a feature-length Audio Commentary with Dr. Anthony R. Santoro, a specialist on National Socialist German history. Throughout the track, Dr. Santoro provides background on each ceremony, pointing out their purposes and the various duties of Hitler`s associates. A valuable addition is Day of Freedom (1935), a 17-minute short commissioned by the Nazi Party to show maneuvers and daily vignettes from the Party`s armed forces unit.
(dvdtalk.com)

Study: Nazi propaganda left life-long mark on German kids
Nazi propaganda had a life-long effect on German children schooled in the Third Reich, leaving them far more likely to harbor negative views of Jews than those born earlier and later, according to a study published Monday. The researchers found that those born in the 1930s held the most extreme anti-Semitic opinions — even fifty years after the end of Nazi rule. `It`s not just that Nazi schooling worked, that if you subject people to a totalitarian regime during their formative years it will influence the way their mind works,` said Hans-Joachim Voth of the University of Zurich, one of the study`s authors. `The striking thing is that it doesn`t go away afterward.`
(seattletimes.com)

Between 1943 and 1945 the U.S. Army produced a series of 27 propaganda cartoons depicting Private Snafu
Between 1943 and 1945, with the help of Warner Bros.` finest, the U.S. Army produced a series of 27 propaganda cartoons depicting the calamitous adventures of Private Snafu. Mark David Kaufman explores their overarching theme of containment and how one film inadvertently let slip one of the war`s greatest secrets.
(publicdomainreview.org)

Operation Cornflakes: How OSS got the Nazi postal service to deliver Allied propoganda
Propaganda was a favorite tool of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the Second World War, but the usual method of distributing it, airdropped leaflets, had major drawbacks, like the huge numbers of leaflets needed. Eventually, the OSS came up with the idea of using the German postal service itself as a distribution system. They`d make their materials look like legitimate German mail, leave it around bombed trains, and let the enemy collect and deliver it. In addition, the plan strained the already overworked German communications and transportation sectors.
(businessinsider.com)

Talking animals were used in WWII propaganda both by the Allies and Axis
You are probably thinking of the American WWII propaganda animated cartoons. There were certainly lots of them! Long articles have been written on the adventures of Donald and Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Gandy Goose and Homer Pigeon -- and most American propaganda cartoons have been re-released on DVD. Volumes could also be written of the wartime funny-animal comic book and comic strip characters who fought the Axis, usually on the Home Front against saboteurs and hoarders. World War II`s talking-animal propaganda novels are less well-known. In fact, they are forgotten today except in movie-adaptation credits.
(flayrah.com)

Nazi propaganda film "The Fuehrer Gives a City to the Jews" showcases Theresienstadt as paradise
"The Fuehrer Gives the Jews a City" - a 23 minutes of raw footage - is all that has been found of a Nazi propaganda project to prove that the "model" Theresienstadt camp was a paradise for its Jewish inmates. Filmed in early 1944, when the horrors of Final Solution trickled out to the West, the film was part of an effort to convince a visiting International Red Cross delegation that all was productive work and wholesome recreation in Theresienstadt, and by extension in other Nazi concentration camps.
(jta.org)

Marketing Holocaust and anti-semitism to Children in Nazi Germany
The full-scale Nazi campaign against the Jews began with the creation of Josef Goebbels` Ministry of Propaganda in 1933. School children were bombarded with anti-Semitic mass media. A teacher`s guide, Heredity and Racial Science for Elementary and Secondary Schools, stated that: "The genetic, physical, and spiritual characteristics of the Jew are so foreign and different to us that any association with a Jew must be rejected...[especially] by the smallest, simplest child."
(suite101.com)

6-minute video tour of "State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda" exhibit at USHMM
"State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda" exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shows "how the Nazi Party used modern techniques ... to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany." Reason.tv`s Michael C. Moynihan toured the exhibit with museum curator Steve Luckert, who explained how the role Nazi propaganda was used.
(reason.com)

Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany by Richard Lucas (Book review)
A new biography explores how Millard Gillars - a middle-class Ohio woman - ended up spending the war in Berlin hosting Nazi propaganda. In a 1944 Reichsradio special she said: "I only wish you would get a little glimpse at the conflict going on in Normandy... Wait until some of these human wrecks get back... You won`t even be able to recognize some of them."
(theotherpaper.com)

Nazi propaganda - telling British soldiers their wives were sleeping with Americans - to be auctioned off
Nazi propaganda leaflets dropped on British soldiers telling them their wives were sleeping with Americans - complete with cartoons depicting infidelity - have emerged after a WWII militaria collector decided to auction them off.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Treason on the Airwaves: Three Allied Broadcasters on Axis Radio during World War II by Judith Keene
"Treason on the Airwaves" explores Allied Broadcasters who worked on WWII Axis Radio, and their postwar treason prosecutions in Australia, Great Britain, and the United States. Judith Keene focuses on 3 cases: John Amery, the member of a highly respected British family who became part of the Nazi propaganda machine; Charles Cousens, a major in the Australian armed services - taken POW when the Japanese seized Singapore - broadcasting on Radio Tokyo; and Iva Toguri, the California-born student residing in Japan when the war broke out and who was prosecuted as "Tokyo Rose" even though she never used that name.
(blogcritics.org)

Nazis photographed damaged historical buildings in Italy to depict Allies as cultural barbarians
As the Allies advanced northward through Italy during World War II, the Nazis photographed the ruins of historical buildings and damaged artwork to show that Allies were cultural barbarians. The pictures emerged 10 years ago, when Ralf Peters discovered an old box full of photographs in a cabinet at the Central Institute of Art History in Munich. Inside the box were 600 undated WWII black-and-white images - disorganized and appearing on no inventory lists. The images - which offer a unique look at Nazi propaganda - were of burned out residences, destroyed monuments and crumbled palaces in Italy.
(spiegel.de)

Nazi propagandist Lord Haw Haw broadcasts now available online (bbc)
William Joyce, aka Lord Haw-Haw, was a broadcaster of Nazi propaganda to the UK during the Second World War. His announcement "Germany calling, Germany calling" was a well known sound across the airwaves, introducing threats and misinformation that he broadcast from Hamburg. In 1945, Joyce was captured and shipped to Britain, where he was hanged for treason. The BBC has made 15 Lord Haw Haw podcasts and 11 previously unreleased documents available on its Internet archive.
(bbc.co.uk)

Microphone used by Nazi traitor Lord Haw Haw to broadcast propaganda discovered, for sale
The microphone WW2 traitor Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) used to broadcast Nazi propaganda has been discovered, with a collection of scripts. The items, seized by soldier Cyril Millwood when the Allies invaded Nazi Germany in 1945, will be sold at auction. Millwood`s regiment captured the radio station in Hamburg where Joyce had been broadcasting from only days before. One script reads: "From the Fuhrer`s Headquarters. The German Supreme Command: On the third day of the big defensive battle in front of Berlin, the Bolsheviks threw manpower and material into battle on an unprecedented scale... The valiant German troops withstood the massive enemy onslaught."
(dailymail.co.uk)

Documentary film focuses on Veit Harlan, director of Nazi propaganda film Jud Suess
A German film focuses on a man many would rather forget: Veit Harlan, director of Nazi propaganda film Jud Suess. "Harlan - Im Schatten von Jud Suess" (Harlan - In the Shadow of Jew Suess) concentrates on his most notorious work, retrospecting at his output through the eyes of the family he left behind. Director Felix Moeller hoped not only to examine the "taboo" subject of Harlan, but also how the family had dealt with the legacy of his work for Adolf Hitler`s Nazi regime. "Jud Suess," which opened in 1940, was mandatory viewing for Heinrich Himmler`s SS (Schutzstaffel) and was shown to local populations under Nazi occupation before mass deportations of Jews.
(reuters.com)

Selling Democracy: Films of the Marshall Plan, 1948-1953
"All art is to some extent propaganda," George Orwell wrote. But what about the opposite, to what extent can propaganda be art? As regards film, that question often gets presented in terms of totalitarian societies: Sergei Eisenstein`s classic of Soviet cinema "Battleship Potemkin," or Leni Riefenstahl`s "Triumph of the Will," about the 1934 Nazi Party rally at Nuremburg. What about when the propaganda is made by a democracy, like the U.S.? Well, it`s then called "public diplomacy," not "propaganda." The question is raised by the series "Selling Democracy: Films of the Marshall Plan, 1948-1953" at the Brattle Theatre, in Cambridge.
(boston.com)

Exhibition: State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda
The Nazi Party developed a sophisticated propaganda machine that distributed lies about its opponents and the need for war. But Nazi propaganda was much more complex than that. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum`s exhibition, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, reveals how the Nazis used propaganda to acquire power and create a climate of hatred, suspicion and indifference. "We often assume that the Nazis sold exclusively hate. In reality, they also promoted an agenda of freedom, unity and prosperity that many found alluring," says Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield.
(sys-con.com)

Sefton Delmer, the first British journalist to interview Hitler, later delivered war propaganda
Sefton Delmer outgunned his journalist rivals by getting to know Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as he rose to power – and then helped wreck the Nazi war effort with his propaganda tricks and deception. --- The radio station, the brainchild of Sefton Delmer, mixing music with seemingly positive items did not come from Nazi Germany. It was "black propaganda" designed to affect German morale and in reality came from a tightly guarded compound in Milton Keynes. The story of his brilliant battle over the airwaves in World War 2 is revealed in book "Churchill`s Wizards" by broadcaster Nicholas Rankin.
(express.co.uk)

A rare nazi propaganda book, which targeted Charlie Chaplin, for sale
A rare book of Nazi propaganda which lists Charlie Chaplin as a "pseudo-Jew" will be auctioned on March 6. The black book, Juden Sehen Dich An (The Jews are Watching You, printed in the 1930s), is one of the most ill-famed works of anti-Semitic propaganda. It was written by Dr Johann von Leers, one of the most atrocious propagandists of the Nazi regime. In 1940 Chaplin directed The Great Dictator, in which he played a Nazi-like dictator "Adenoid Hynkel", modelled on Hitler. Film Historian Kevin Brownlow said Chaplin was sent a copy of the book and made the film in response to being on the "hit-list".
(telegraph.co.uk)

German Expert Gerd Albrecht on Nazi-era Films and Propaganda
Gerd Albrecht, author of "National Socialist Film Policy", was one of the first film historians to write about film policy during the Nazi regime. In 1945, the allies banned the showing of films made during the Nazi era. Harmless films were soon released, but in the 1950s they still had 250 films under lock and key. The main aim of National Socialist films was to entertain: They were intended to be escapist and offer reassurance in the face of hardships. Propaganda Minister Goebbels wanted 50% of the film output to be propaganda, but only 15% were. People like Leni Riefenstahl, Zarah Leander and Veit Harlan would have become famous without the Nazis.
(dw-world.de)

Letter reveals P.G. Wodehouse`s wounds over Nazi broadcasts
In 1940, P.G. Wodehouse was captured at his home in France and held by the Nazis in an internment camp in Upper Silesia; he quipped: "If this is Upper Silesia, what must Lower Silesia be like?" In 1941 he was taken to Berlin, where he made 5 humorous talks for radio broadcast in America. But when the recordings were heard in Britain, he was denounced as a traitor and compared to the infamous broadcaster of Nazi propaganda, William Joyce, known as Lord Haw-Haw. Wodehouse`s reputation never fully recovered from accusations that he agreed to make the recordings to secure his early release. He went into exile in America.
(guardian)

An unlikely heroine of World War II - Office of Strategic Services
"Your parents are traitors!" was the taunt that rang in the ears of a little boy in Tokyo while Allied forces were embroiled in bloody engagements against Emperor Hirohito`s Imperial troops. It was 10 years before Makoto Iwamatsu would begin to learn the story of the prison ordeals his anti-militarist parents, their decision to travel to America leaving Mako behind, and their WWII service to the US. -- Mitsu Yashima broadcasted American propaganda to Japanese women. "[I talked] to the women in Japan and urge them to run away from the war effort. Yes, I knew about Tokyo Rose broadcasting Japanese propaganda to American soldiers."
(sfgate)

OWI - WWII propaganda broadcasts to mainland Japan   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The new Office of War Intelligence (OWI), an adjunct of the Navy Department, began its operations and it had an overriding need for Japanese speakers. "The U.S. government called and asked Richard Hubert to be a part of a psychological operations team." Following a bloody battle there in June and July 1944, the U.S. set up a major base on Saipan. The primary task of the OWI was to send propaganda broadcasts to mainland Japan. The OWI set up a radio station – KSAI – that could reach the Japanese people and tell them the real news of the war. The Japanese government in 1944 heavily edited the news, allowing its people to hear fabricated reports of battles.
(acorn-online)

Nazi propoganda film Triumph of the Will stirs questions for today   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The film Triumph des Willens, (Triumph of the Will) represents the highlights of the Nazi Party rally held in Nuremberg in 1934. I saw the film in 1935 as a 13-year-old in Germany. Produced and directed by Leni Riefenstahl, the film is considered to be the most successful of propaganda films. The film documents Adolf Hitler`s arrival in Nuremberg and the succeeding rally, which is marked by massive formations of the Nazi party`s uniformed cadres as they goose-step in review past grandstands filled with party leaders who demand pledges of absolute loyalty to the party and its supreme leader.
(jconline)

Ex-`Tokyo Rose` propaganda suspect dies
Iva Toguri D`Aquino, who was convicted and later pardoned of being World War II propagandist "Tokyo Rose," has died. Tokyo Rose was the name given by soldiers to a female radio broadcaster making anti-American shows intended to demoralize soldiers fighting in the Pacific theater. D`Aquino was the only U.S. citizen identified among the potential suspects. In 1949, she became the seventh person to be convicted of treason in American history and served 6 years in prison. But doubts about her possible role as Tokyo Rose later surfaced and she was pardoned in 1977.
(usatoday)

A Nazi propaganda film: Denmark didn`t resist Nazi occupation   (Article no longer available from the original source)
An unknown German propaganda film depicts Danish resistance during the WWII as nearly non-existent in comparison with the fight Nazi forces encountered in Norway. The film `Kampf um Norwegen` (The Fight for Norway), describes the both Denmark`s and Norway`s resistance to occupation. While the resistance in Norway is presented as a fierce campaign, it suggests that Denmark had been taken with relative ease. Kay Hoffman, film historian and expert in German Second World War documentaries, called the find a minor sensation. Denmark`s lack of armed resistance against the German invasion in 1940 has been a controversial issue for Danes.
(cphpost)

Triumph of the Will: Special Edition
"One people! One leader! One Reich! Germany!" - crowd during the Reich Labor Service review. Leni Reifenstahl`s 1934 Triumph of the Will, is considered a propaganda masterpiece. Featuring powerful cinematography and editing, the film builds an image of a charismatic leader contradictory to his later actions. We see the adoration of his public, the respect by his subordinates, and the strength with which he would lead Germany into their future. The techniques and imagery would serve as example, and her influence can be found in many modern productions, from political campaign ads to the closing ceremonial scenes in Star Wars.
(digitallyobsessed)

The pencil "too slow" to ridicule Hitler   (Article no longer available from the original source)
John Heartfield found the pencil "too slow" to ridicule Hitler, so he made his point with photo montages, as illustrated in a Getty show. In his effort to secure power, Adolf Hitler engaged in a fierce propaganda war. He not only had a minister of propaganda, the notorious Joseph Goebbels. He also had some shiny new tools at his disposal: public radio broadcasts and the new wide-circulation, photographically illustrated magazines. Hitler`s opponents had a powerful weapon too, and his name was John Heartfield, who`s most searing works were the 237 photomontages he made for the magazine Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (Workers Illustrated News).
(calendarlive)

Hitler`s adoring henchman in his own words - Joseph Goebbels   (Article no longer available from the original source)
You could call it "The Prince of Darkness Diaries." Documentarian Lutz Hachmeister uses journals to form a chilling and often illuminating portrait of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Film has nearly continuous narration of the diaries that Goebbels kept 1924-1945, illustrated by archive footage. Goebbels committed suicide in 1945 at age 47. In effect, Goebbels tells his own story in "The Goebbels Experiment." What emerges is an intimate look at the rise and fall of the Third Reich through the eyes of the pretentious, driven figure in charge of Nazi propaganda.
(azstarnet)

A Hitler propaganda blitz that misfired   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A faked edition of the London Evening Standard created by the Nazis in an attempt to demoralise the British public revealed. Dated February 17 1940, it reports on `The massacre of the RAF` and claims the Government has hushed up huge military losses. The newspaper has been gathering dust in MI5 files for decades. It is not known how or where it was discovered or whether it reached any readers in UK. But it, and other Nazi documents released with it, were ridiculed by historians as more worthy of Monty Python than the propaganda machine of an all-conquering dictator.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Horst Wessel - Making a martyr
Horst Wessel became a member of the Bismarck-Jugend and joined the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA Stormtroopers). Horst Wessel was a lowlife, but in death he proved useful to his Reich. After his death, Goebbels set about making a martyr of him with a speech "Die Fahne Hoch!" - Raise high the flag - after the first line of a poem written by Wessel. He was exalted as a example of Nazi virtue; the seedier aspects were played down and his murder was portrayed as National Socialism`s struggle against Marxism. The poem quoted by Goebbels was set to music and became a Nazi anthem and SA marching song: Die Fahne Hoch, Horst Wessel Lied or "The Horst Wessel Song."
(everything 2)

Leni Riefenstahl - Dancer, actress and director
Leni Riefenstahl`s propaganda films for the Nazi Party in the 1930s brought her praise for their beauty and power, but she spent her life defending her artistic association with Adolf Hitler. Born in Berlin in 1902, she was a dancer with Max Reinhard`s Deutsches Theater until a knee injury forced her to change career. Dr Arnold Fanck, a leading German director, took her on, and she was soon established as one of Germany`s leading ladies. She also ran her own production company and, when Hitler and the Nazis came to power the following year, Riefenstahl attracted the admiration of both the Fuehrer and his propaganda chief, Josef Goebbels.
(bbc)


See also:
WWII films, Nazi-era Footage
Goebbels
Leni Riefenstahl
WWII Memorabilia, Nazi collectables
Tokyo Roses.