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Broadcast Policy in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

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


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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9. The Station-Group in the Context of Total War


Shortly after the turning point in the war with the defeat at Stalingrad in late January and early February 1943, Goebbels made his famous speech from the Berlin Sportspalast on 18 February 1943 ushering in what was to become the final phase of the Second World War and of the Nazi regime itself. The marketing message for the war-weary population of the Reich and the occupied territories was that of “total war – shortest war.” In a brilliant, if also objectively untrue twist of reality, Goebbels explained to the nation that the Reich had to marshal its reserves to defeat its enemies in an heroic struggle, which the enemies had ostensibly forced upon the Reich. In practical terms, the advent of “total war” meant further restrictions on cultural life intended to free up resources for an increase in the war readiness and war production of the Reich. Palpable effects of the situation included a reduction in the volume of newspapers and the drafting of hitherto unaffected journalists, artists, musicians and others into the Wehrmacht. Simultaneously, Goebbels recognized the need to offer respite from the strains of long working hours on the home front917 and the constant strains of battle in the field. Radio, as Goebbels planned, was to become one of the main means of compensating for these losses.918

According to Thürmer, the Allies increased their broadcasting to the Protectorate via short-wave after the capitulation of German troops at Stalingrad. He also claimed that there was jamming of...

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