Radio Hitler

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22 October 2021
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BY NATHAN MORLEY

Propaganda was an essential tool of the Nazi state and none was more powerful than that of the radio. By the time Hitler seized total control of Germany in January 1933 when he was appointed Chancellor there was already a network of local radio stations all over Germany, broadcasting on a daily basis. Hitler took little time to take control of Deutchlandsender, the Nazi equivalent of Radio 4, and enforced a programme of not just the racist doctrine you might expect, but also considerable traditional and cultural German music, opera and theatre. There were even overseas broadcasts, which drew much praise for their variety and politeness.

The Olympics of 1936 provided the perfect opportunity for Hitler to promote his agenda and right up to 1941 the German people were buoyed by military success all over Europe. After Stalingrad though, it all became less cultural, demonised the Jews, and the propaganda became more shrill and authoritarian. More than a story of radio, this is how it accompanied Germany’s slide into the abyss.

  • Amberley Books
  • ISBN 978-1-3981-0446-4
  • 292 pages. Hardback. £20

 

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