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Broadcast Policy in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

Power Structures, Programming, Cooperation and Defiance at Czech Radio 1939-1945

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Peter Richard Pinard

Hitler’s regime invested heavily into radio as the most modern media of its era. First in Germany, later in Austria and the Sudetenland, Joseph Goebbels motivated his Volksgenossen to become active radio listeners. But what approach did the regime take to the first non-German people occupied – the Czechs? How would Czech Radio’s staff and listeners respond to Nazi-dominated programming? What strategies of defiance and what options for cooperation existed? What role did Nazism’s core theme of anti-Semitism play? Which Czech societal groups did the Nazis try to reach most? This book casts a spotlight on the effects of the occupation authorities’ policies on specific programming content, as well as on radio as a medium in the so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
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3. Means of Propaganda within the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

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The task of Hitler’s Reichs Minister of National Enlightenment and Propaganda (in German: Reichsminister für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda) Joseph Goebbels, about which he and others were again remarkably frank, encompassed “all matters concerning information on and propaganda about the policies of the Reich’s Government and the national development of the Reich, particularly all work related to the spiritual and cultural influencing of the people.”89 To this purpose, the Reich’s Government issued the so-called Reichskulturkammergesetz on 22 September 1933,90 a law establishing a “Reichs Culture Chamber” (Reichskulturkammer – RKK) a public corporation and umbrella organization for all producers and distributors of culture in the German Reich. This law and the first of its two subsequent implementation provisions – issued on 1 and 9 November 193391 – created an institution with all-encompassing control powers over virtually every aspect of information and cultural production within the German Reich. The RKK was subdivided into seven individual chambers by specialization with one chamber each for music, film, art, the theater, literature, the press and broadcasting.92 The relevant chamber for radio and later television was called the “Reichsrundfunkkammer” in German, the Reichs Broadcasting Chamber. Paragraph 4 of the first implementation provision of the law specified that “Whoever is involved in the production, reproduction, intellectual processing, distribution, preservation, sale or mediation of the sale of cultural goods must be a member of the individual chamber that is responsible for his activities. Distribution includes ← 45 | 46 → the production and sale of the technical means of distribution.93 Paragraph...

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