Propaganda via Radio

The Nazis knew how to use the radio in a very effective way to relay their message of hate. It was the perfect tool for propaganda.

The Volksempfänger ( “people’s receiver”) was a range of radio receivers developed by engineer Otto Griessing at the request of Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda of the Nazi regime. In the 1930s, everyone wanted a radio. The still-new invention brought news, music, dramas, and comedy right into the home. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels saw its potential to transmit Nazi messages into the daily lives of Germans.

The original Volksempfänger VE301 model was presented on August 18, 1933, at the 10. Große Deutsche Funkausstellung in Berlin. The VE301 was available at a readily affordable price of 76 German Reichsmarks (equivalent to two weeks’ average salary), and a cheaper 35 Reichsmark model, which even could be paid off in instalments.

The radio didn’t only play an important part for the Nazis in Germany but also in the countries they occupied. In the Netherlands the Nazis used the radio to teach the Dutch German.

On Sunday 5 October 1941 Dutch listeners were getting ready, with the aide of a textbook for their first German lesson, broadcast on a Dutch radio station from the city of Hilversum. Alfred Rügner began by telling his audience a little something about German pronunciation.

However this wasn’t just an ordinary German lesson: this was about teaching National Socialist German. The following the course learned military terms, translated the Nazi slogan-of-the-week and words written by Hitler . The lessons in the book were full of anti-semitic illustrations and drawings of soldiers and members of the NSB (Dutch Nazi Party).

As the war progressed, the Germans interfered with Dutch radio programming more and more. By mid-1941, all of the Dutch stations were incorporated into one Rijksradio (State-controlled) broadcaster. From then on, the propaganda transmitted via the radio simply continued to increase.

Foreign broadcasts like the BBC and Radio Orange from the Dutch Government (in exile in London) were very popular with the Dutch people. The Germans were trying to stop the broadcasts any way they could, by forbidding to listen or by trying to jam. These measures were not effective enough, the final measure was the confiscation of all radios on 13 May 1943. Because the registration this measure was very effective. Of course, many tried to find ways to keep listening to Radio Orange. Many Dutch listened with their hidden radios to the Dutch broadcasts of “Radio Orange” from England. The BBC was also very popular.
With “wire-broadcasting” the Nazis could control the programs which were passed on. Wire-broadcasting (in Dutch “Draadomroep” or “Radio-distribute”) was the only radio which was allowed.

It was a system of sound broadcasting in which, unlike radio broadcasting, the sound (speech and music) is transmitted to a large number of listeners (subscribers) by means of electrical oscillations over a wired network—either an independent broadcasting network or a telephone network. There are both single-program and multiple-program types of wired broadcasting.

During the last months of the war the Dutch could listen to “Radio Herrijzend Netherlands” from the liberated parts of the country. After the liberation of south of the Netherlands, Philips secretly built radio channel “Herrijzen Nederland” to air Dutch programs.

The Nazis relied on Dutch collaborators to spread their propaganda via the radio.People like Max Blokzijl, who had a Jewish GrandmotHer.

He had settled in Berlin in 1918, working for the German press until 1940, while also serving as President of the Niederländischer Bund in Deutschland.

Although based outside the Netherlands, Blokzijl, who had become a convinced Nazi, joined the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) in 1935.He returned to his homeland following the German invasion and became the propaganda chief for the new NSB puppet regime. In February 1941, the NSB forcibly replaced Hendrikus Colijn as editor of the Protestant newspaper De Standaard with Blokzijl, who held the title of General Secretary for Press Affairs for the party.In fact Blokzijl’s role was much greater than his title implied as he was actually effective head of the press in the Netherlands. He also broadcast pro-Nazi shows on Radio Hilversum.

On 16 March 1946 Blokzijl was the first Dutch collaborator to be executed.

sources

https://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/0910/bhw/bhw1.html

https://nltimes.nl/2015/03/24/illegal-underground-wwii-radios-go-display

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688804.2019.1652581

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