The Story of Graffiti

It is not a rare occasion, when going along the street you clash with some puzzled and giant inscription. Vivid colors and intricacy lead you to stare, guessing and having a hunch what is written on the wall or building. That is the first impression people get about graffiti, embellishing their buildings. Indeed, graffiti style has emerged not long ago, but simultaneous simplicity and involute plot leave us nothing but astonishment and excitement. It is an issue of street-art culture, which signifies that modern art is not a prerogative of rich and intelligent people, but talented ones.

Graffiti is recognized as street art style that embraced outdoors of New York in 1920s. However, there are some ideas that it was only an outburst of this art, which has accomplished a long history of its development since ancient times.  As strange as it may seem, petroglyphic drawings in Egypt and Greece are likely to be the first steps towards graffiti, which were executed on statues, temples and even pyramids. They carried either religious or warning meaning. Medieval graffiti is associated with pre-Columbian America and the culture of Maya people and, in addition, Vikings in Northern Europe, who were engaged in runic writings. In Early Modern Period graffiti was left by soldiers in various parts of the world, who were eager to leave some written mark about their conquest or stay in the mission station.

All in all, at the beginning of the 20th century people faced graffiti style, which slightly differs from the modern version. Moreover, the culture of this street art style was enriched with new methods, terms, authors and, of course, ideas. A critic is also included, which features the question: are graffiti images an art or an act of vandalism? There is no doubt that most of the authors (so-called writers) strived for expressing own social and political perception, but it did not obstructed to make images (tags) alerting and well-performed. Mainly, they were observed on the streets of American cities, where young people “imprinted” their dissatisfaction with the President or certain politicians.

Many tags were created in order to point out musical preferences. For example, the most prominent tag of the 20th century is “Clapton is God”, which appeared in Islington station (London subway) in 1967. In this way fans of rock-musician supported the release of his new album “Bluesbreakers” and the rock-n-roll culture.  The decades of 1970s and 1980s are a period of protesting punk rock movement. Especially, it covered streets of Manhattan, where the most visible tag was an upside-down martini glass – a symbol of Missing Foundation (punk group of 1984-1992). By the way, Manhattan is also a native place of the first recognized graffiti writer – TAKI 183; his tags were all over NYC, pointing his name (Taki is simplified from Demetrius) and address (183rd street).

To date, lots of countries have admirable and talented writers, which decorate both their native streets and make great tags in different parts of the world. Some cases might be underlined. Miss Van started with painting incredible dolls on Toulouse streets and nowadays moved to Spain, sharing her art with fashion industry (Fornarina collection, particularly). Banksy is the most well-paid and the most mysterious painter of modernity. He hides real identity behind the pseudonym of Bansky and paintings criticizing politics. He alerts an attention with his nihilism and anti-capitalism views, which only encourage people to attend his gallery exhibitions all over the world.

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Effects of colonialism upon Native Americans–1997

Effects of colonialism upon Native Americans

 

The question of intrusiveness by European powers upon newly “discovered” Native Americans is not a question of which colonial style did or didn’t damage the lands they stumbled upon, but who comparatively was the most harmful.  Focusing on Spain, England, and France will show how deep the impacts of colonialism were.  For example, one of these three countries’ languages is spoken in the majority of North and South America.  Limiting the time frame to the beginning of the colonial period, Spain emerges as the most violent, opportunistic, and ultimately harmful power to colonize the Americas.  They accomplished this feat by utilizing all the assets of found land, particularly free labor.  England used methods that were initially less intrusive on Native American communities and the bulk of genocidal behavior in North America was committed by the United States at a later point.  France was the least intrusive of the three because they sought the consent of natives before declaring them subjects of the French crown.  The free, undeveloped lands of the Americas were ravaged by many nations in the period followed their revelation to Europe, but none was more savage in their domination than the Spaniards.

          England pursued the technique of sending people to settle on new lands and the idea of living in a place as supposed to ruling in a place made English settlers initially the least intrusive. This is not to say that the English had great respect for Native Americans and wanted to live side by side in a diverse community, rather they just didn’t view the indigenous people as conquered.  English settlers established authority the same way their lords had done, by making fences and planting gardens.  This concept is common to all the colonial powers because all “These historic cultural assumptions stemmed from three fundamental things: ‘everyday life’, a common colloquial language, and a shared legal code”.[1]  These three things are important in understanding the way in which different countries behaved in the new world and the subsequent impact on the native population.

          The building of a settlement, starting with a house, was the first and most important thing English settlers did when coming to a new land.  Communication with the natives and acquisition of resources always came second.  Establishing what was meant to be a permanent object, such as a house, showed a clear “intent to remain”[2] that communicated to the natives the intentions of the English.  The Native Americans could have seen these acts as a non-violent encroachment of territory but one that didn’t set off any alarm bells.  With the large amount of uninhabited land in North America, the natives might have foreseen a peaceful cohabitation.  This peaceful cohabitation was not an English aim, but served to pacify the indigenous people and block their knowledge of the inevitable.  The English house in the new world gained both a strong foothold and a delay of real communication with the natives.

          The English system of acquiring ownership of land is the first example of native subjugation and sets a trend whereby a large settlement can be established without force being immediately necessary.  Following the age old laws established in England during enclosure which stated that “when property was not fenced voluntarily, local and even royal officials demanded that English settlers put up fences”[3], and so colonists were quick to demonstrate ownership over specific tracks of land.  The other way English colonists showed ownership was by using the land they claimed for planting a garden or crops.  This was particularly important because becoming self-sufficient by providing their own food relinquished any dependence on native peoples.  It was then very simple to plant settlers and watch them grow over the land.  The garden was therefore a perfect metaphor for the English, not only because they as a people were enamored with it, but also because it reflected their style of conquest perfectly.  Once this “planting” began, the detrimental effects on the native people became more evident.  Indigenous lands became a part of England and because the English did not recognize any Native American claim to land, the natives had to move to accommodate the settlers, or try and fight for their land.  Given the technological advancements of the English over the natives, it was often the former option they pursued.

          The French took possession of unencountered land with the aid of an alliance with indigenous people, whether the natives were aware of it or not.  French colonists decided that it would be good for the crown, Christendom, and the natives themselves if the natives would respond favorably to a French declaration of dominion.  To this end “French speeches persuaded the natives whose emotional responses clearly registered approval”[4].  This “approval” could really have been any numbers of emotions on the part of the natives.  The French came in with lots of pomp and gifts, threw a party, and then proclaimed that the general good mood existed because French rule had begun.  All this was simply a way to legitimize colonialism because of course there was no way for the natives to understand any of the French speeches.  The assumption of an alliance with the natives was very harmful to the natives simply because they had no idea they were now subjects to a new king and also a new religion.  The only thing natives knew was that there were new and silly looking people in town, creating a dangerous atmosphere as the French started to rule their new “subjects”.  Seeking “at least the appearance of approval for their political authority in the new world”[5] was an act staged for the benefit of rulers in France as supposed to one for the benefit of Native Americans.

          The intricate processions and ceremonies the French undertook in a new land were necessary for the French to be legitimate, but did nothing for the indigenous people, save putting on a good show.  The ceremonies were put on for the same reason the English made fences, because that is what everyone did in France.  Processions of prestigious people in France were important in “creating and cementing the political power of French monarchs (among others)”[6].  This carried over to the mentality of colonists who had to first show their authority before exercising it.  The problem again was the language barrier between colonists and natives, making the French ceremonies useless as a declaration of power and dominion, except in their own minds.  In fact the ceremonies could only have added to confusion and misinterpretations, however impressive.

          Spain was the most destructive influence on the natives they encountered because they “created a fully ritualized protocol for declaring war against indigenous peoples”[7].  Instead of a slow encroachment on native territory or a formalized agreement with them, the Spanish stated bluntly that the land and the people themselves were subject to the rule of the Spanish crown and of the pope.  It was also made quite clear that failure to acknowledge Spanish authority would result in death and warfare.  Spain also had different aims than the French or English in that they wanted the native people to work for an increase in Spanish wealth. They were therefore more directly involved in changing the formerly peaceful lives of the people they encountered in the new world.

          The Requirement was a speech read to the indigenous population upon the arrival of Spanish explorers in unknown lands, expecting and enforcing a submission to Catholicism and the crown of Spain.  In this statement, it is expressed that the lands found were actually given to Spain by the pope and so the occupation and use of these lands was perfectly legitimate as long as the requirement was read to the people.[8]  The Requirement was most likely as confusing to the natives as the French speeches and processions were, but the consequences were much more severe for non-obedience.  An important idea in the requirement was that Catholicism was to be spread as well as the knowledge that the natives were now subjects of Spain.  This means that not just the way of living for the Native Americans had to be changed upon punishment of death, but also their way of thinking about the world.  Though the killing of Native Americans was no doubt harmful to their society, the change in ideals is even more harmful to a culture in the long run.  The Spanish did not force all natives to convert because this would hurt tribute incomes, as Catholics did not have to pay tribute.

          This tribute system was not only a strong incentive to conversion but was also “the economic basis of Spanish colonial rule over indigenous peoples of the new world”.[9]  Spain was the only colonial power to impose such a tax, as well as later requiring the natives to work for the conquistadores.  This shows a unique approach to the goal of all colonies; the greater acquisition of wealth for the home country.  This particular technique of immediate and forceful subservience to a new religion and country, taxes, and forced labor was almost as harmful as simply making everyone into Catholic slaves.  Thus Spain set out to make a fortune and if the people of the new world had a problem, they would simply be executed.

          The destructive impact of colonialism on Native Americans in North and South America was evident with all European incursions, none being more detrimental than the rule of the Spanish.  The misleadingly benign settlements of the English and the confusing ceremonies of the French certainly led to many native deaths and displacements, but the greatest change in indigenous culture as a whole came from the actions of Spain.  It is really the intent to change the natives’ way of thinking that was most harmful because even the initial deaths and servitude could be overcome and freedom could be returned, but the destruction of native beliefs and language is something that can not be fixed. 

         


[1] Seed p.4

[2] Seed p.18

[3] Seed p.21

[4] Seed p.43

[5] Seed p.62

[6] Seed p.50

[7] Seed p.70

[8] Seed p.69

[9] Seed p.82

Conflict in Ireland–1995

                                      Conflict and Cultures    

 

 

The conflict in Ireland, while having many similarities with the current conflict in the Middle East, has a much better chance of coming to a peaceful solution.  The first and most prominent reason for this is the fact that the cultures in conflict in Ireland are very similar while the Israelis and the Palestinians are extremely different.  The animosity between the Protestants and the Catholics was probably very strong when England split from the Catholic church, but now seems to be more of a result of the conflict than a reason for fighting.  This is not to say that the Protestant/Catholic line is not the main battle line drawn by both sides, just that the closeness of the religions makes it easier to cooperate.  The Palestinians and the Israelis, however, have vastly different cultures with very distinct histories.  The conflict in Ireland is also centuries old, meaning that the native Irish people who were kicked out of their homes have been dead for hundreds of years.  Due to the closeness in culture and being neighbors for so long, the Irish Catholics and the Protestant English/ Irish are able to compromise better than in the Middle east where the battle lines are much more distinct.

          The Irish who were forcefully displaced by the English in the early 1600s were not put into refugee camps and that is not only a stronger base for grievance but also one that many Palestinians can still remember.[1]  By the time the Irish Catholics were strong enough to separate themselves, at least partly, from England, there was no suggestion or goal to kick all the Protestants out and move back onto the land their ancestors had been kicked out of hundreds of years ago.  The recent Irish Catholic grievances have more to do with being second-class citizens and under the thumb of England.  Both of these problems were much easier to approach because the Irish Catholics were asking for a lot less, in terms of what their enemies could gives them, than the Palestinians are fighting for.

          The Catholics and Protestants in Ireland have been living together for so long that despite the anger they have for each other, they have the same culture and much of the same history. “Ninety percent of what could probably be defined as culture is common in our society”—Eamonn McCain talking about the different cultures in Ireland[2]. Facing an enemy of the same religion, particularly in battles that involve civilians, does make a difference in how badly you view them and this in turn changes the way one would approach peace.  This is significant even if the only difference is that the IRA buries it’s dead in the same way the Loyalists do.  While the Israelis and the Palestinians do coexist in close proximity, their cultures and religions are very different.  “The Middle East is a mosaic of peoples, religions, languages, and cultures”[3], this is true even without Israel because the Middle East has so many independent countries and conflicting Muslim sects.

          There is a ceasefire in Ireland right now because two close cultures found a way to live in peace for now.  The war in the Middle East is escalating because the conflict is relatively new and the enemies are strangers.  At the present time the Palestinians do have stronger grievances and while Ireland was oppressed by England for much longer, the assimilation that happened made and end to the problem come a lot easier than it will in the Middle East.

[1] http:://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/facets.htm#chap2

[2] http:://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem//kerr.htm

[3] THE ISRAEL-ARAB READER. Yitzhak Shamir: Israel’s role in a changing Middle east. P.426


Lies Through the Ether: American, German, and British Propaganda during World War Two

Radio was a significant, though largely unrecognized weapon used in World War two by both Axis and Allied nations.  The medium was used effectively when targeting countries or areas that already had large internal divisions.  It was also used significantly to unify the United States and promote the war effort.

 It is important to define the different types of propaganda used during the war and who employed them.  Some people could see a broadcast as propaganda while another might consider it patriotism. The defining difference in the context of World War II is between overt broadcasts where the agenda is promoting the war effort and broadcasts that are deceptive about the source and the agenda is to provide the enemy with subversive information or influence. Black propaganda employs accurate information in order to appear credible and employs false information to undermine moral or incite rebellion within the enemy population.  It generally uses appeals to fear and stereotyping to create divisions and often claims to be broadcasting from within the county of the target audience.  White propaganda generally consists of accurate news and information that favors political agendas by playing down or omitting negative information and exaggerating positive information.  Grey Propaganda does not identify the source of the broadcast and is a more subtle version of black propaganda.[1]

Great Britain and Germany both had large broadcast campaigns to relay inaccurate information about victories, defeats, conditions as well as often being deceptive about the identity of the broadcast stations themselves.  The United States also operated clandestine stations after we entered the war but it was most effectively used in America as a way to sell the war to the American public. The emphasis was on unifying the nation to win a war against our way of life and the dangers of losing the war was very real.

 The bulk of the subversive radio broadcasts was in the European theater and was more effective in directly influencing those on the battlefield or in contested areas.  In addition, much of the American propaganda was either destroyed or banned following the war because the government did not want to be accused of misleading the public or providing inaccurate information.  The US also did not operate any black propaganda until we entered the war while these kinds of broadcasts had been going on in Europe for many years.  

An important issue at the time for both sides was the existence of a “Fifth Column” within allied countries.  The “Fifth Column” is a term used to describe a dissenting organization operating to undermine or overthrow the presiding government.  Axis powers preyed upon the fear of a fifth Column, its size and power, while the allies tried to discredit these efforts.  There were few cases of the reverse happening because of the extreme oppressive nature of the axis regimes.  This is to say that the Gestapo was extremely effective at finding and killing any dissenters.  For the most part, Allied broadcasts did not seek to achieve any military objective but instead was focused on decreasing moral among the enemy.

The United States rally-cap Radio.

             Prior to the United States entrance into the war the information given to American broadcasters from Britain was intended to sway the US neutrality.  It is important to note the British broadcasts to the United States and the influence they had.  Collaboration with American journalists like Edward R. Murrow, the BBC experimented with many forms of news broadcasts before finding one that kept the American audiences listening.  This became easier during and after the battle of Britain because the BBC got rid of most restrictions and started to broadcast directly to the American people instead of broadcasting to a general public that the Americans might be a part of.[2]  American broadcasters reporting on the war were in general vehemently anti-Nazi and began identifying with our soon to be allies through emotional appeals, “the defense of Britain will be something of which men will speak with awe and admiration so long as the English language survives” (Murrow)[3].  Broadcast air raids and battles from London with running commentary by American journalists soon followed and these journalists learned the selective broadcast technique that would later prove instrumental on the home front.  The experiences of these journalists is significant in that they lived in London for the most part and were injured and exposed to attack like any other Londoner.  These events often gave an emotional and sometimes fearful tone to the radio personalities listened to by American audiences. After we entered the war, the focus of wartime broadcast shifted to patriotic appeals.

 The collaboration of the four networks after America’s entrance to the war to relay information, accurate or not, was instrumental in influencing the general opinion about the war and its progress.  This was done through films, TV and most significantly radio because at that time 80% of American households had a radio. For example, the program “This is War” aired during primetime on Saturday night reached an estimated 20 million people each week between February and May 1942[4]  One of the first and most effective programs was a 13 show series called “This is War, which turned dry statistics into moving tales of world war and national mobilization…depicted the war as a truly global event, one that required all Americans to support their nation’s crusade against fascist tyranny”[5]    The Office of War Information set voluntary wartime guidelines called the Network Allocation Plan which was tacitly approved by network producers. These guidelines called for providing truthful information and censoring information that would help the enemy.  Advertising was also linked to the war effort with government tax breaks for informational ads. Officially there were never any conscious lies told to producers or broadcast to the public but as radio was largely an entertainment medium, accounts of battle were often severely fictionalized.  The broadcasters found an effective mix of fact and fiction to both show the dangers of losing and also to promote the idea that we were winning.  The other staples of these kinds of broadcasts were a promotion of sympathy for the allied powers and moral appeals. Accounts of brutality by the axis powers against the allies were often very graphic and served to show the evil nature of the enemy and the plight of our allies.[6]

 Though these accounts were certainly not even handed with atrocities no doubt occurring on both sides, it would not have taken a lot of rhetoric to show moral superiority over the Nazis.  One important reason for this was the fact that America’s own significant racial divisions were never mentioned and neither were moral or ethical excesses in countries like Russia and China.   In contrast to how people like the Chinese were depicted in media prior to the war, the pigtailed laundrymen became noble warriors.[7] Underlying these dramatized messages appealing to emotion and patriotism was always encouragement of war production through war bonds etc.  The creator or “This is war” Norman Corwin states in the first episode “the fight is on, and you are in it, whether you handle a bayonet or a monkey wrench” (Corwin, February 14, 1942)[8]  this subjective interpretation of news and constant flag waving significantly aided the United States in the war effort at home.  The United States would also contribute important Radio technology, including a giant transmitter from RCA to help with the clandestine operations already going on in Europe.   

                                    Techniques of Black Broadcasts

Many different techniques were used by all sides to reach their respective subversive aims.  The most common method was to pose as a group that is very close in ideology to the target audience most of the time and sneaks in almost subliminal appeals to fear and authority.  They commonly claimed to be a part of the minority political party.  These types of broadcasts were intended to sway political beliefs but were often recognized as being supported by the enemy.  Other broadcasts tried to imitate or even impersonate the official government broadcasts.  A skilled British broadcaster might make a speech purporting to be Hitler or the Germans would use a technique called snuggling to insert their own information over a BBC broadcast by broadcasting at an adjacent frequency but with more power.  During battles, verifiable military information was supplied to establish credibility and was supplemented by false information to ultimately confuse the enemy.

                                                Nazi Radio

The propaganda employed by Britain and the US was a reaction to the Nazi tactics and was an imitation of what the Germans did to influence their own people and possible allies outside Germany.  Propaganda in general was highly regarded by Adolf Hitler and he even devoted portions of Mein Kamf to extolling its virtues.  As his preferences and ideals had to be the same as everyone else’s, propaganda was a large and important part of the Nazi war machine.  The use of Radio in particular was successful in reaching and influencing Germans and non Germans alike.  Broadcasts were given within Germany and occupied countries along with flyers, newspapers and film, but to more effectively impair their enemies, the Nazis put out a lot of radio broadcasts directed at dissenting groups.

  The propaganda minister of the Nazi Regime, Joseph Goebbels, also attached great significance to radio, calling it the most influential invention since the printing press.  Goebbels also states, in a radio address, that “It would not have been possible for us to take power or to use it in the ways we have without the radio and the airplane. It is no exaggeration to say that the German revolution, at least in the form it took, would have been impossible without the airplane and the radio.”[9]

 The Nazi Government began by fostering the manufacture of more than 10 million receivers for issue to the general public.  They then nationalized all broadcast stations and set programs to focus on German unity and anti-Semitism.  Shortly after this Broadcast nationalization in 1933, the propaganda ministry set up black and grey station to undermine the moral of the enemy and encourage already present divisions.  This technique was used most notably in France and Great Britain, exploiting communist and racial divisions as well as nationalistic ones.  One of the first uses of Black propaganda by the Nazis was during the Spanish civil war to create confusion in Spain to Franco’s advantage.  It also played a part in the annexation of Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia in 1938.[10]  The RRG (German Broadcasting Company) set up many stations with several target audiences.  These audiences or broadcast zones were set up according to the agenda at the time. For example, broadcasts to France were numerous and frequent immediately prior to the invasion.  Broadcasts were targeted at France, Great Britain, British Colonies, The Balkans, the Soviet Union (post non-aggression pact), the US and the Netherlands.[11]

Following the Nazi-Soviet pact, the clandestine station Radio Humanite was created by the Nazis to instigate French communists. This station claimed to be broadcasting from within France and at first promoted acts of sabotage against French military, “Use all your resources of intelligence and all your technical knowledge, prevent, delay, or make unusable what is manufactured for war”.[12]  There were many acts of sabotage by French Communists which were no doubt influenced by the idea that there is an already a large group of supporters for their cause.  Other black propaganda stations were set up with varying formats, the idea being an appeal to repetition in slightly different forms.  As the German army invaded France, these stations tried to create panic in the country by exaggerating the size and strength of the advancing army, appealing to fear and promising that surrender is the only way to survive against the invasion.  Voix de la paix (voice of the people) went so far as to claim great numbers of casualties and an imminent grisly fate for all French people.  These kinds of reports were always contradictory to the official French government line but it was difficult to distinguish legitimate French stations from the clandestine ones.[13]  The reasoning was that the more conflicting information people are exposed to, the more confusion there is and the more fear there is, leading to a much weaker resistance.

                                                British Clandestine stations

            British anti-Nazi clandestine stations began operating in 1940 with the “German Freedom station”, which overtly condemned the Nazis and made claims to German nationalism against Nazi oppression.  The decision to use black propaganda came after much debate as to what form it would take and was implemented only after Churchill became prime minister and directed the Special Operations Executive to “co-ordinate all action by way of subversion and sabotage against the enemy overseas”.[14] This Station, claiming to originate from within Germany was joined by indigenous anti-Nazi stations despite the fact that stations actually broadcasting from within Germany were constantly being chased around the country by the Gestapo.[15]  After August 1941, a secret department (Political Warfare Executive) was created to handle exclusively black and white propaganda and it was under the direction of this office that the most significant broadcast operations were implemented.  The director of black radio broadcasts for Britain, Sefton Delmer, is attributed with massive advancements in the effectiveness of his operation principally because he used psychology to help the audience identify with the broadcasters.[16]

            The expansion of subversive propaganda was a result of the Nazi expansion of its borders and was effective because of the number and varying tones of subversive stations.  The number of “freedom stations” or Research Units as they were called internally grew rapidly in occupied countries as well as the number of general broadcasts to Germany.[17]  Prominent German exiles found jobs with the PWE, including many who were ex-Nazi officials.  The number of anti-Nazi stations increased, but the power of the broadcasts did not.  In order to reach such an extensive area as to include the growing war zones, many small stations had to be created and placed in strategic locations throughout Europe.  This was beneficial because each station would have its own sound and slightly different political views and so would be less suspect in the minds of the listeners.  The problem with these stations was the lack of power and thus broadcast range.  With the American entrance to the war, new and powerful technology was introduced and the clandestine operations received a boost.  This boost came in the form of a 600 kilowatt transmitter courtesy of RCA and a price gouging David Sarnoff.[18]  This transmitter, called the Aspidistra, was used to boost the power of black stations and the BBC, as well as override most jamming done by enemy transmitters.  It was also used after much debate in 1945 to make a fake broadcast regarding the advancement of allied troops on Germany.

            It is also important to note that while the existence of a Nazi fifth Column in Britain was not a significant faction capable of aiding the enemy in a substantial way.  There were, however, other more serious threats such as factions like the IRA which would have supported any enemy of the British crown.  Factions like these were aided financially and militarily by the Nazi regime and many broadcasts were targeting these groups.  For example, many broadcasts recounted atrocities against the Irish and made no mention of the war, making it believable that it was indeed an IRA station coming from within Great Britain.[19]

                                    United States Battlefront Operations

            Roosevelt gave a fireside chat in which he talks about how France was defeated so easily because of a fifth column operating within the country. [20] This gave significant power not only to the idea of a unified fifth column but also showed how effective the perceived use of propaganda was by the Nazis.  Later in the war, the US was even more concerned with the fifth column fear, in particular because the Nazi broadcasts “show also the value, in the Nazis estimation, of the political warfare upon which Britain and the United States are expending so much energy.”[21]  This statement, made in the New York Times, shows how serious Americans leaders considered propaganda on either side.

            Amidst these fifth column fears and following the defeat of France, an unofficial ambassador was sent to Britain to determine her wartime capabilities and what kind of assistance the United States could offer without entering the war formally.  “Colonel” William Donovan met with Churchill and the King, was educated about the resources Britain possessed, and was also educated about subversive warfare techniques being used by Special Operations (SO1, SO2, and PWE).  Reporting back to the cabinet, Donovan recommended, with outside support, the establishment of a super intelligence agency.  Among the supporting arguments for a new agency was that “the use of Radio as a weapon, though effectively used by Germany, is still to be perfected. But this perfection can only be realized by planning, and planning is dependant on accurate information.”[22]  Donovan was appointed the head of the new Office of Coordinator of Information (later called the OSS) and within this agency, the Foreign Information Service. The FIS was concerned with monitoring Axis broadcasts and countering with propaganda.  Taking a cue from Germany and Britain before him, Donovan set out to appeal to Germans fears of a fifth column.   The most well known subversive station was Radio 1212 which broadcast to Germany and started with accurate information with a pro-German bias.  The station would broadcast military defeats that Nazi officials had kept secret from their troops.   Particularly effective were the daily air raid reports because that kind of news was almost never available to the troops and they could also be broadcast before the air raids even happened.  This kind of radio could be called tactical grey propaganda because except for the nationality of the staff, no inaccurate information was broadcast until military commanders Eisenhower and Bradley started to direct the content on the station.  When the allies began the drive to the Rhineland, radio 1212 began to broadcast false information about the position of allied troops. [23]  This change no doubt had an effect on German troops who were by that time very fatigued and aware of how the war was progressing.

            When the US entered the war, transmitters were set up in Europe, Latin America and Asia and scripts were written in seventeen languages.  Because many of these broadcasts relied on domestic commercial companies, FIS also had to be concerned with making sure the broadcast adhered to a script produced by the FIS or was at least consistent with government agendas.  As FIS operations expanded, Donovan came into conflict with other officials who believed that there should be more information services while Donovan wanted international broadcasts to be used as instruments of war.[24] Among the ideas proposed for radio as an instrument of war was a pro-Nazi broadcast to the United States in order to try and discredit fifth column American Nazis. 

            One of the most notable and uses of Radio in war was the use of the Aspidistra transmitter during operation “Torch”-the allied invasion of North Africa under the command of Gen. Eisenhower.  This particular invasion was chosen because it was thought that the opposing troops would be mostly French and therefore pro-American.  Gen. Eisenhower saw radio as another weapon in his arsenal and incorporated its use into his overall plan for the invasion.  He created a committee of experienced covert radio personnel and insisted that they be under military command.  The commander of the new Physiological Warfare Service (PWS), Col. Charles Hazeltine had absolutely no experience in broadcasting or psychological warfare.  Disinformation was required to confuse the enemy as to where the invasion site would be and the defensive troops had to be convinced that cooperating with the allies would aid France.[25]

            During the invasion itself, a broadcast from FDR was given supporting the French who would not resist the Allies.  This broadcast was made in French and was carried on the BBC and the voice of America station.  Another address to the French by Gen. Eisenhower stated, “Our only objective is to defeat the enemy (Italian-German military forces in North Africa) and free France. I need not tell you we have no designs either on North Africa or any part of the French empire. We count on your friendship and ask for your aid”[26]  Other appeals were made to cooperate with the invasion from transmitters on battleships.  These broadcasts triggered the movement of the French anti-Vichy underground but did not significantly affect the defensive French troops.  This could be seen as a total failure of the radio aspect of the invasion considering that the allied forces met with strong resistance.  But since almost every other aspect of the invasion did not go as planned, it would seem that the broadcasts were ineffective because they unintentionally gave lots of false information, destroying their credibility.

                                               

The use of Radio propaganda during the Second World War is significant not only in influencing the outcome of the war but also because many modern techniques of broadcasting were perfected during this time.  Radio warfare is a battle like other military battles except it is for the minds and philosophies of people and not land or lives.  The battle also must rely on intelligence and research more than conventional warfare.  We can see the value of radio broadcast as an influencing medium at this time because of the enormous resources devoted to it by capable combatants.  The money and manpower of a nation during wartime are rationed and conserved and the fact that such a significant amount was spent of propaganda is a testament to the power of the mass media.  The techniques perfected during this time were used extensively during the cold war by the CIA against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact countries as well as in Latin America.  The main difference after the war was that the CIA and KGB, competing for spheres of influence, were the most active sponsors of black and white propaganda stations.

            The impact of propaganda operations starting when broadcasting was in its infancy influenced to a large extent the global media and the manner in which they operate today.  The Nazis proved the effectiveness of radio as a way to spread ideas and as the British and Americans responded in kind, it became increasingly apparent that this medium was the optimal way to reach a mass audience.  The impact of patriotic appeals on the home front was significant in uniting the country behind one cause and against another.  This impact was not lost on the broadcasters relaying the messages and the methods used to sell the war were then used to sell products.

 Advertisements, particularly campaign ads, are extremely similar to the home front propaganda during the war. There are always appeals to national unity while emphasizing the reasons why the opponent is bad and will cause all sorts of problems for America.  Marketing methods are virtually the same as the research needed before broadcasting to another country.  Many subversive stations began establishing credibility and creating an audience by finding out what the target audience liked to hear.  The types of music, entertainment, and even the accent of the broadcasters were considered very carefully before a program came on the air.  The difference is that now broadcasters compete for market share or advertising dollars and not political opinions for the most part.  This is certainly due in a large part to a present lack of direct influence from the government in the media.

The use of radio as a weapon was an important part of the mediums evolution and its power in such a capacity is still recognized today.  The most current example of this would be the role radio propaganda played in Rwanda.  In that case, some broadcasters were tried for war crimes because they used radio to incite people to murder.  The power of subversive radio is recognized today in the US as well, exemplified by the anti-terrorist legislation that drove most neo-Nazi Radio shows off the air.  Radio in an incredibly influential medium and this was recognized largely due to its role in what we sometimes call “the good war”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bergmeier, Horst & Lotz, Rainer. Hitler’s Airwaves: the inside story of Nazi radio broadcasting. Yale University Press. London. 1997

Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the Second World War. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982

Soley, Lawrence C. & Nichols. John S. Clandestine Radio Broadcasting: A study of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary electronic communication. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1987

Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989

Stenton, Michael. Radio London and Resistance in Occupied Europe: British political warfare 1939-1943. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2000

Cruickshank, Charles. The Fourth Arm: Psychological Warfare 1938-1945. Davis-Poynter Ltd. London. 1977

O’Donoghue, David. Hitler’s Irish Voices: The story of German radio’s wartime Irish service. Beyond the Pale Publications. Dublin. 1998

Delfiner, Henry. Vienna Broadcasts to Slovakia: 1938-1939 a case study in subversion. Columbia University Press. New York. 1974

Martland, Peter. Lord Haw-Haw: the English voice of Nazi Germany. The Scarecrow Press Inc. Lanham, Maryland. 2003

Bannerman, R.L. Norman Corwin and Radio: the Golden Years. University of Alabama Press. Alabama. 1986

Joseph Goebbels, “Der Rundfunk als achte Großmacht,” Signale der neuen Zeit. 25 ausgewählte Reden von Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1938), pp. 197-207. http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb56.htm

Marlin, Randel. Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuation. Broadview Press. Ontario, Canada. 2002

Radio propaganda and the art of understatement: British broadcasting and American neutrality, 1939-1941
Source: Historical journal of film, radio, and television [0143-9685] Cull yr:1993 vol:13 iss:4 pg:403 -432

BLACK PROPAGANDA BY RADIO: THE GERMAN CONCORDIA BROADCASTS TO BRITAIN 1940-1941  Doherty, Martin, Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television, 0143-9685, June 1, 1994, Vol. 14, Issue 2
Radio Goes to War: The Cultural Politics of Propaganda during World War II.
Shull, Michael S.. Film & History, May2005, Vol. 35 Issue 1, p87-88, 2p; (AN 16468655

WAR ON THE AIR: Nazi Style. Mackey, David R.. Today’s Speech, April 1957, Vol. 5, p32-34, 3p; (AN CQ00147)

The BBC North American Service, 1939-1945.  P. Spence, Media, Culture and Society, vol 4, 1982, p.367-380

This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] Bergmeier, Horst & Lotz, Rainer. Hitler’s Airwaves: the inside story of Nazi radio broadcasting. Yale University Press. London. 1997. p.195

[2] The BBC North American Service, 1939-1945.  P. Spence, Media, Culture and Society, vol 4, 1982, p.367-380

[3] Radio propaganda and the art of understatement: British broadcasting and American neutrality, 1939-1941. Historical journal of film, radio, and television [0143-9685] Cull yr:1993 vol:13 iss:4 pg:403 -432

[4]Radio propaganda and the art of understatement: British broadcasting and American neutrality, 1939-1941. Historical journal of film, radio, and television [0143-9685] Cull yr:1993 vol:13 iss:4 pg:403 -432

[5] This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004

[6] Bannerman, R.L.  Norman Corwin and Radio: The Golden Years. University of Alabama Press. Alabama. 1986 p.89

[7] This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004

[8] This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004

[9] Joseph Goebbels, “Der Rundfunk als achte Großmacht,” Signale der neuen Zeit. 25 ausgewählte Reden von Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1938), pp. 197-207.– http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb56.htm

[10] Marlin, Randel. Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuation. Broadview Press. Ontario, Canada. 2002. p.85

[11] Bergmeier, Horst & Lotz, Rainer. Hitler’s Airwaves: the inside story of Nazi radio broadcasting. Yale University Press. London. 1997. p.197

[12] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989.p.15

[13] Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the Second World War. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982. p.62

[14] Cruickshank, Charles. The Fourth Arm: Psychological Warfare 1938-1945. Davis-Poynter Ltd. London. 1977. p.17

[15] Soley, Lawrence C. & Nichols. John S. Clandestine Radio Broadcasting: A study of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary electronic communication. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1987. p.28

[16] Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the Second World War. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982. p.19

[17] Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the second world war. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982. p. 80

[18] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.31

[19] O’Donoghue, David. Hitler’s Irish Voices: The story of German radio’s wartime Irish service. Beyond the Pale Publications. Dublin. 1998. p.60

[20] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.47

[21] New York Times(1857-current file); December 20, 1942; ProQuest Historical Newspapers; The New York Times(1851-2002) p.39

[22] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.56

[23] Soley, Lawrence C. & Nichols. John S. Clandestine Radio Broadcasting: A study of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary electronic communication. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1987. p.43

[24] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.64

[25] Stenton, Michael. Radio London and Resistance in Occupied Europe: British political warfare 1939-1943. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2000 p.211

[26] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.88