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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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11. 1945 – The Station-Group’s Final Days

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The final phase of the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia was accompanied by a considerable increase in the strategic importance of the Station-Group itself. With the Soviet Army deep into Poland in the Summer of 1944 and the Western Allies liberating France and parts of Belgium, not to mention the sustained Allied bombing of Germany’s cities with its effects on communications, Bohemia and Moravia came to be seen as relatively safe territory. While there were numerous Allied air raids on targets within the Protectorate, the industrial city of Plzeň experienced no fewer than 12 air raids or example,997 they tended to concentrate on specific industrial, communications or military facilities important to the German war effort, as opposed to the massive and indiscriminate carpet bombing that German cities like Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden or Berlin sustained. Thus, the Nazi leadership started moving some offices and archives to the Protectorate to keep them safe. For example, already at the end of July 1943, more than 6,000 prisoners were displaced from barracks in the Theresienstadt Ghetto to make way for the archives of Himmler’s Reichssicherheitshauptamt.998 This trend continued throughout 1944 as well.

Given the strategic importance of radio stations, there was also considerable physical destruction to RRG property and facilities. Firebombs badly damaged the Reichssender Köln (Cologne) already as early as June 1943. The Reichssender Frankfurt’s adjunct station at Kassel was destroyed in an air raid on 22 October of the same year, while part of the Haus...

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