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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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10. 1944 – The Station-Group at its Prime

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By the beginning of 1944, the situation with Czech Radio had progressed to such an extent that Thürmer felt confident enough to showcase the Station-Group in the German professional radio press. Pegging the article to the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia on 15 March 1944, Thürmer’s deputy, Horst Pabel, introduced the Station-Group in a lengthy essay for the publication Welt-Rundfunk, which at this late stage of the war plagued with shortages of paper and manpower was no longer a monthly but only a quarterly publication. After trivializing the existence of the First Czechoslovak Republic as “only a short-term interruption of a millennium-old tradition” brought about by thinking that was both “ahistorical and hostile to the region,”967 Pabel defined the main goal of the Station-Group vis-à-vis the Czech people as “to give it finally a firm position and connect it once and for all with the idea of the Reich.”968 The three main difficulties on this path, according to Pabel, included the fact that older Czechs, although they had mostly enjoyed a German education, had also been raised with the destructive Catholic- Habsburg perspective on the Reich i.e., the southern view of the formerly existing Prussian-Austrian dualism. Younger Czechs, he pointed out disparagingly, had been raised with an entirely foreign, Western-liberalistic perspective of the region, which had ostensibly led to their understanding of politics consisting of emotions lacking any actual basis in history or Realpolitik. Finally, the task of...

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