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Atrocity propaganda

Atrocity propaganda is the spreading information about the crimes committed by an enemy, especially deliberate fabrications or exaggerations. It is a form of psychological warfare.

The inherently violent nature of war means that exaggeration and invention of atrocities often becomes the main staple of propaganda. Patriotism is often not enough to make people hate, and propaganda is also necessary.[1] "So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations", wrote Harold Lasswell, "that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing, murderous aggressor. There must be no ambiguity about who the public is to hate."[2] Human testimony is deemed unreliable even in ordinary circumstances, but in wartime, it can be further muddled by bias, sentiment, and misguided patriotism, becoming of no value whatsoever in establishing the truth.[3]

According to Paul Linebarger, atrocity propaganda leads to real atrocities, as it incites the enemy into committing more atrocities, and, by heating up passions, it increases the chances of one's own side committing atrocities, in revenge for the ones reported in propaganda.[4] Atrocity propaganda might also lead the public to mistrust reports of actual atrocities. In January 1944, Arthur Koestler wrote of his frustration at trying to communicate what he had witnessed in Nazi-occupied Europe: the legacy of anti-German stories during World War I, many of which were debunked in the postwar years, meant that these reports were received with considerable amounts of skepticism.[5]

Like propaganda, atrocity rumors detailing exaggerated or invented crimes perpetrated by enemies are also circulated to vilify the opposing side.[6]


By establishing a baseline lie and painting the enemy as a monster, atrocity propaganda serves as an intelligence function, since it wastes the time and resources of the enemy's counterintelligence services to defend itself. Atrocity propaganda can either be white, gray, or black. Atrocity propaganda is often white, as it makes no attempt to hide its source and is overt in nature. The propagandists' goal is to influence perceptions, attitudes, opinions, and policies; often targeting officials at all levels of government. Atrocity propaganda is violent, gloomy, and portrays doom to help rile up and get the public excited. It dehumanizes the enemy, making them easier to kill. Wars have become more serious, and less gentlemanly; the enemy must now be taken into account not merely as a man, but as a fanatic.[7] So, "falsehood is a recognized and extremely useful weapon in warfare, and every country uses it quite deliberately to deceive its own people, attract neutrals, and to mislead the enemy."[8] Harold Lasswell saw it as a handy rule for arousing hate, and that "if at first they do not enrage, use an atrocity. It has been employed with unvarying success in every conflict known to man."[2]

The extent and devastation of World War I required nations to keep morale high. Propaganda was used here to mobilize hatred against the enemy, convince the population of the justness of one's own cause, enlist the active support and cooperation of neutral countries, and strengthen the support of one's allies.[9] The goal was to make the enemy appear savage, barbaric, and inhumane.

Atrocity propaganda in history
Before the 20th century
Accounts of Irish atrocities during the Rebellion of 1641 are now dismissed as propaganda, but led to real massacres.[10]

In a sermon at Clermont during the Crusades, Urban II justified the war against Islam by claiming that the enemy "had ravaged the churches of God in the Eastern provinces, circumcised Christian men, violated women, and carried out the most unspeakable torture before killing them."[11] Urban II's sermon succeeded in mobilizing popular enthusiasm in support of the People's Crusade.

Lurid tales purporting to unveil Jewish atrocities against Christians were widespread in the Middle Ages.[12] The charge against Jews of kidnapping and murdering Christian children to drink their blood during passover became known as blood libel.[13]

In the 17th century, the English press fabricated graphic descriptions of atrocities allegedly committed by Irish Catholics against English Protestants, including the torture of civilians and the raping of women. The English public reacted to these stories with calls for stern reprisals.[14] During the Irish rebellion of 1641, lurid reports of atrocities, including of pregnant women who had been ripped open and had their babies pulled out, provided Oliver Cromwell with justification for his subsequent slaughter of defeated Irish rebels.[10]

In 1782, Benjamin Franklin wrote and published an article purporting to reveal a letter between a British agent and the governor of Canada, listing atrocities supposedly perpetrated by Native American allies of Britain against colonists, including detailed accounts of the scalping of women and children. The account was a fabrication, published in the expectation that it would be reprinted by British newspapers and therefore sway British public opinion in favor of peace with the United States.[15]

After the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, stories began to circulate in the British and colonial press of atrocities, especially rapes of European women, in places like Cawnpore; a subsequent official inquiry found no evidence for any of the claims.[16]

In the lead up to the Spanish–American War, Pulitzer and Hearst published stories of Spanish atrocities against Cubans. While occasionally true, the majority of these stories were fabrications meant to boost sales.[17]

20th century
World War I
It was reported that some thirty to thirty-five German soldiers entered the house of David Tordens, a carter, in Sempst; they bound him, and then five or six of them assaulted and ravished in his presence his thirteen-year-old daughter, and afterwards fixed her on bayonets. After this horrible deed, they bayoneted his nine-year-old boy and then shot his wife.
Stories of German soldiers impaling children on their bayonets were based on extremely flimsy evidence.[19]

Atrocity propaganda was widespread during World War I, when it was used by all belligerents, playing a major role in creating the wave of patriotism that characterised the early stages of the war.[20] British propaganda is regarded as having made the most extensive use of fictitious atrocities to promote the war effort.[20]

One such story was that German soldiers were deliberately mutilating Belgian babies by cutting off their hands, in some versions even eating them. Eyewitness accounts told of having seen a similarly mutilated baby. As Arthur Ponsonby later pointed out, in reality a baby would be very unlikely to survive similar wounds without immediate medical attention.[21]

Another atrocity story involved a Canadian soldier, who had supposedly been crucified with bayonets by the Germans (see The Crucified Soldier). Many Canadians claimed to have witnessed the event, yet they all provided different version of how it had happened. The Canadian high command investigated the matter, concluding that it was untrue.[22]

Other reports circulated of Belgian women, often nuns, who had their breasts cut off by the Germans.[23] A story about German corpse factories, where bodies of German soldiers were supposedly turned into glycerine for weapons, or food for hogs and poultry, was published in a Times article on April 17, 1917.[24] In the postwar years, investigations in Britain and France revealed that these stories were false.[20]

In 1915, the British government asked Viscount Bryce, one of the best-known contemporary historians, to head the Committee on Alleged German Outrages which was to investigate the allegations of atrocities. The report purported to prove many of the claims, and was widely published in the United States, where it contributed to convince the American public to enter the war. Few at the time criticised the accuracy of the report. After the war, historians who sought to examine the documentation for the report were told that the files had mysteriously disappeared. Surviving correspondence between the members of the committee revealed they actually had severe doubts about the credibility of the tales they investigated.[25]

World War II

During World War II, atrocity propaganda was not used on the same scale as in World War I, as by then it had long been discredited by its use during the previous conflict.[26] There were exceptions in some propaganda films, such as Hitler's Children, Women in Bondage, and Enemy of Women, which portrayed the Germans (as opposed to just Nazis) as enemies of civilization, abusing women and the innocent.[27] Hitler's Children is now spoken of as "lurid", while Women in Bondage is described as a low-budget exploitation film; the latter carries a disclaimer that "everything in the film is true", but facts are often distorted or sensationalized.[28]

Soviet-Afghan War
The PFM-1 mine was claimed to have been deliberately designed to attract children

According to a 1985 UN report backed by Western countries, the KGB had deliberately designed mines to look like toys, and deployed them against Afghan children during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.[29]

Newspapers such as the New York Times ran stories denouncing the "ghastly, deliberate crippling of children" and noting that while the stories had been met with skepticism by the public, they had been proven by the "incontrovertible testimony" of a UN official testifying the existence of booby-trap toys in the shape of harmonicas, radios, or birds.[30]

The story likely originated from the PFM-1 mine, which was made from brightly colored plastic and had been directly copied from the American BLU-43 Dragontooth design. The Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan reported that the allegations "gained a life for obvious journalist reasons", but otherwise had no basis in reality.[29]

Yugoslav Wars

In November 1991, a Serbian photographer claimed to have seen the corpses of 41 children, which had allegedly been killed by Croatian soldiers. The story was published by media outlets worldwide, but the photographer later admitted to fabricating his account. The story of this atrocity was blamed for inciting a desire for vengeance in Serbian rebels, who summarily executed Croatian fighters who were captured near the alleged crime scene the day after the forged report was published.[31]

Gulf war

Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. On October 10, 1990, a young Kuwaiti girl known only as "Nayirah" appeared in front of a congressional committee and testified that she witnessed the mass murdering of infants, when Iraqi soldiers had snatched them out of hospital incubators and threw them on the floor to die. Her testimony became a lead item in newspapers, radio and TV all over the US. The story was eventually exposed as a fabrication in December 1992, in a CBC-TV program called To Sell a War. Nayirah was revealed to be the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the United States, and actually hadn't seen the "atrocities" she described take place; the PR firm Hill & Knowlton, which had been hired by the Kuwaiti government to devise a PR campaign to increase American public support for a war against Iraq, had heavily promoted her testimony.[32]

21st century
Iraq War

In the runup to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, press stories appeared in the United Kingdom and United States of a plastic shredder or wood chipper[33] [34] into which Saddam and Qusay Hussein fed opponents of their Baathist rule. These stories attracted worldwide attention and boosted support for military action, in stories with titles such as "See men shredded, then say you don't back war".[35] A year later, it was determined there was no evidence to support the existence of such a machine.[36]

In 2004, former Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey claimed that he and other Marines intentionally killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians, including a 4-year-old girl. His allegations were published by news organizations worldwide, but none of the five journalists who covered his battalion said they saw reckless or indiscriminate shooting of civilians. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dismissed his claim as "either demonstrably false or exaggerated".[37]

In July 2003 an Iraqi woman, Jumana Hanna, testified that she had been subjected to inhumane treatment by Baathist policemen during two years of imprisonment, including being subjected to electric shocks and raped repeatedly. The story appeared on the front page of The Washington Post, and was presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz. In January 2005, articles in Esquire and The Washington Post concluded that none of her allegations could be verified, and that her accounts contained grave inconsistencies. Her husband, who she claimed had been executed in the same prison where she was tortured, was in fact still alive.[38]

Other cases

During the Battle of Jenin, Palestinian officials claimed there was a massacre of civilians in the refugee camp, which was proven false by subsequent international investigations.[39]

During the 2010 South Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes, a rumor spread among ethnic Kyrgyz that Uzbek men had broken into a local women's dormitory and raped several Kyrgyz women. Local police never provided any confirmation that such an assault occurred.[40]

During the Arab Spring, Libyan media was reporting atrocities by Muammar Gaddafi loyalists, who were ordered to perform mass "Viagra-fueled rapes" (see 2011 Libyan rape allegations).[41] A later investigation by Amnesty International has failed to find evidence for these allegations, and in many cases has discredited them, as the rebels were found to have deliberately lied about the claims.[42]

In July 2014, the Russian public broadcaster Channel 1 aired a report claiming that Ukrainian soldiers in Sloviansk had crucified a three-year-old boy to a board, and later dragged his mother with a tank, causing her death.[43] The account of the only witness interviewed for the report was not corroborated by anyone else,[44] and other media have been unable to confirm the story,[45] despite claims in the testimony that many of the city's inhabitants had been forced to watch the killings.[44] A reporter for Novaya Gazeta similarly failed to find any other witnesses in the city.[46]

See also
  1. Rogerson, Sidney (1938). Propaganda in the Next War. Great Britain: MacKays Limited. p. 27.
  2. Delwiche, Aaron. "Domestic Propaganda During the First World War". Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  3. Ponsonby, p.128
  4. Linebarger, Paul M.A. 1954. Psychological Warfare (2nd ed.) New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, as cited in: Budge, Kent. "Propaganda". The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  5. "Inventing Atrocities". National Review Online. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  6. David L. Miller (6 August 2013). Introduction to Collective Behavior and Collective Action: Third Edition. Waveland Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-4786-1095-3.
  7. Linebarger, Paul (1948). Psychological Warfare. Landisville, Pennsylvania: Coachwhip Publications. p. 22. ISBN 1-61646-055-5.
  8. "Falsehood in Wartime". Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  9. Cull, Culbert, Welch, p.24
  10. "How lies about Irish 'barbarism' in 1641 paved way for Cromwell's atrocities". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  11. Cull, Culbert, Welch, p. 23–4
  12. Carl R. Trueman (2010-01-01). Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History. Crossway. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-4335-2080-8.
  13. McLeod, Kembrew (2014-01-01). Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World. NYU Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-8147-6436-7.
  14. James David Drake (1999). King Philip's War: Civil War in New England, 1675–1676. Univ of Massachusetts Press. p. 134. ISBN 1-55849-224-0.
  15. "The Atrocity Propaganda Ben Franklin Circulated to Sway Public Opinion in America's Favor". Slate. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  16. Tickell, Alex (2013-06-17). Terrorism, Insurgency and Indian-English Literature, 1830–1947. Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-136-61841-3.
  17. Golay, Michael (2009-01-01). Spanish–American War, Updated Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4381-0013-5.
  18. Ponsonby, p.129
  19. "Alleged German atrocities: Bryce report". The National Archives. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  20. Nicholas John Cull; David Holbrook Culbert; David Welch (2003-01-01). Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present. ABC-CLIO. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-57607-820-4.
  21. Celia M. Kingsbury (2010-07-01). For Home and Country: World War I Propaganda on the Home Front. U of Nebraska Press. p. 67. ISBN 0-8032-2832-5.
  22. Jennifer Keene; Michael Neiberg (2011). Finding Common Ground: New Directions in First World War Studies. BRILL. p. 32. ISBN 90-04-19182-8.
  23. Hollander, Neil (2013-12-27). Elusive Dove: The Search for Peace During World War I. McFarland. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-7864-7891-0.
  24. Celia M. Kingsbury (2010-07-01). For Home and Country: World War I Propaganda on the Home Front. U of Nebraska Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-8032-2832-5.
  25. "The Historian Who Sold Out". History News Network. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  26. Philip M. Taylor (15 November 2003). Munitions of the Mind: A History of Propaganda, Third Edition (PDF). Manchester University Press. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-7190-6767-9.
  27. Philip M. Taylor (15 November 2003). Munitions of the Mind: A History of Propaganda, Third Edition (PDF). Manchester University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-7190-6767-9.
  28. Bernard F. Dick. The Star-spangled Screen: The American World War II Film. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-8131-2821-8.
  29. Braithwaite, Rodric (2011). Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979–89. Profile Books. p. 223. ISBN 1-84668-054-9.
  30. "Soviet Toys of Death". The New York Times. 10 December 1985. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  31. "Media : Truth Is Again a Casualty of War : Fabricated accounts of atrocities in Yugoslavia have often led to fierce reprisals". Los Angeles Times.
  32. "When contemplating war, beware of babies in incubators". Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  33. Saddam Executed; An Era Comes to an End
  34. Prison Stands as Testament to Saddam's Evil
  35. Clwyd, Ann (March 18, 2003). "See men shredded, then say you don't back war". Times Online. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  36. "Brendan O'Neill: The missing people-shredder". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  37. "Is Jimmy Massey telling the truth about Iraq?". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on December 5, 2005. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  38. "Iraqi Refugee's Tale of Abuse Dissolves Upon Later Scrutiny". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  39. Dickey, Christopher. "The Crying Game". Newsweek. - "histrionic claims by Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat that 1,000 civilians had been killed. (In fact, about 50 Palestinians had fought and died in a ferocious battle that also cost the lives of 23 Israeli soldiers.)"
  40. "Barriers Removed in Kyrgyzstan Despite Uzbek Protests". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  41. MacAskill, Ewen (29 April 2011). "Gaddafi 'supplies troops with Viagra to encourage mass rape', claims diplomat". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  42. "Amnesty questions claim that Gaddafi ordered rape as weapon of war". The Independent. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  43. "Malaysia Airlines crash: Russian media blame Kiev".
  44. "Russians Hear News About Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 That's Good for Kremlin". WSJ. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  45. "Russian TV sparks outrage with Ukraine child 'crucifixion' claim". Yahoo News. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  46. "There's No Evidence the Ukrainian Army Crucified a Child in Slovyansk". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  • Ponsonby, Arthur (1928). Falsehood in Wartime. Institute for Historical Review. p. 128. ISBN 0-939484-39-0.
  • Nicholas Cull; David Culbert; David Welch (2003). Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present. ABC-CLIO. pp. 23–25. ISBN 1-57607-820-5.
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Atrocity propaganda


Atrocity propaganda is the spreading information about the crimes committed by an enemy, especially deliberate fabrications or exaggerations. It is a form of psychological warfare. The inherently violent nature of war means that exaggeration and invention of atrocities often becomes the main staple of propaganda. Patriotism is often not enough to make people hate, and propaganda is also necessary. "So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations", wrote Harold Lasswell, "that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing, murderous aggressor. There must be no ambiguity about who the public is to hate." Human testimony is deemed unreliable even in ordinary circumstances, but in wartime, it can be further muddled by bias, sentiment, and misguided patriotism, becoming of no value whatsoever in establishing the truth. According to Paul Linebarger, atrocity propaganda leads to real atrocities, as it incites the enemy into committing more atrocities, and, by heating up passio ...more...

Propaganda in World War I


World War I was the first war in which mass media and propaganda played a significant role in keeping the people at home informed about what was occurring on the battlefields. This was also the first war in which the government systematically produced propaganda as a way to target the public and alter their opinion. World War I propaganda stamp External propaganda to other countries was an integral part of the Diplomatic history of World War I and were designed to build support for the cause, or to undermine support for the enemy. Propaganda in the United States The United States entered World War I in 1917 as an associated power on the allied side of Britain and France. By the time that World War I came around, the United States was a leader in the recently discovered art of movie making and the new profession of commercial advertising. Such newly discovered technologies played an instrumental role in the shaping of the American mind and the altering of public opinion into a pro-war position. Perha ...more...

Atrocity story


The term atrocity story (also referred to as atrocity tale) as defined by the American sociologists David G. Bromley and Anson D. Shupe refers to the symbolic presentation of action or events (real or imaginary) in such a context that they are made flagrantly to violate the (presumably) shared premises upon which a given set of social relationships should be conducted. The recounting of such tales is intended as a means of reaffirming normative boundaries. By sharing the reporter's disapproval or horror, an audience reasserts normative prescription and clearly locates the violator beyond the limits of public morality. The term was coined in 1979 by Bromley, Shupe, and Joseph Ventimiglia. Bromley and others define an atrocity as an event that is perceived as a flagrant violation of a fundamental value. It contains the following three elements: moral outrage or indignation; authorization of punitive measures; mobilization of control efforts against the apparent perpetrators. The veracity of the story is co ...more...

British propaganda during World War I


In World War I, British propaganda took various forms, including pictures, literature and film. Britain also placed significant emphasis on atrocity propaganda as a way of mobilizing public opinion against Germany during the First World War . History Britain had several propaganda agencies at the war's outbreak, but an organization was soon established at Wellington House under Charles Masterman in response to propaganda activities in Germany. During most of the war, responsibility for propaganda was divided between various agencies, resulting in a lack of coordination. It was not until 1918 that activities were centralized under the Ministry of Information . When the war finished, almost all of the propaganda machinery was dismantled. There were various interwar debates regarding British use of propaganda, particularly atrocity propaganda. Commentators such as Arthur Ponsonby exposed many of the alleged atrocities as either lies or exaggeration, leading to a suspicion surrounding atrocity stories which meant ...more...



Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies and the media can also produce propaganda. In the twentieth century, the term propaganda has been associated with a manipulative approach, but propaganda historically was a neutral descriptive term. A wide range of materials and media are used for conveying propaganda messages, which changed as new technologies were invented, including paintings, cartoons, posters, pamphlets, films, radio shows, TV shows, and websites. In a 1929 literary debate with Edward Bernays, Everett Dean Martin argues that, “Propaganda is making puppets of us. We are moved by hidden strings which the propagandist m ...more...

Propaganda of the Spanish–American War


The Spanish–American War (April–August 1898) is considered to be both a turning point in the history of propaganda and the beginning of the practice of yellow journalism. It was the first conflict in which military action was precipitated by media involvement. The war grew out of U.S. interest in a fight for revolution between the Spanish military and citizens of their Cuban colony. American newspapers fanned the flames of interest in the war by fabricating atrocities which justified intervention in a number of Spanish colonies worldwide. Several forces within the United States were pushing for a war with Spain. Their tactics were wide-ranging and their goal was to engage the opinion of the American people in any way possible. Men such as William Randolph Hearst, the owner of The New York Journal was involved in a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and saw the conflict as a way to sell papers. Many newspapers ran articles of a sensationalist nature and sent correspondents to Cuba to ...more...

Propaganda in fascist Japan


Propaganda in imperial Japan, in the period just before and during World War II, was designed to assist the ruling government of Japan during that time. Many of its elements were continuous with pre-war elements of statism in Shōwa Japan, including the principles of kokutai, hakkō ichiu, and bushido. New forms of propaganda were developed to persuade occupied countries of the benefits of the Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, to undermine American troops' morale, to counteract claims of Japanese atrocities, and to present the war to the Japanese people as victorious. It started with the Second Sino-Japanese War, which merged into World War II. It used a large variety of media to send its messages. Nature of Japanese propaganda Propaganda is biased information intended to promote a particular political cause or view. In that sense Japanese propaganda was no different from other nations' propaganda, but it had some defining elements, such as nationalism. Japanese wartime propaganda was, as with Nazi Germany' ...more...

Propaganda in Nazi Germany


Joseph Goebbels, the head of Nazi Germany's Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda The propaganda used by the German Nazi Party in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler's leadership of Germany (1933–1945) was a crucial instrument for acquiring and maintaining power, and for the implementation of Nazi policies. The pervasive use of propaganda by the Nazis is largely responsible for the word "propaganda" itself acquiring its present negative connotations. Mein Kampf Nazi leader Adolf Hitler devoted three chapters of his 1925 book Mein Kampf, itself a propaganda tool, to the study and practice of propaganda. He claimed to have learned the value of propaganda as a World War I infantryman exposed to very effective British and ineffectual German propaganda. The argument that Germany lost the war largely because of British propaganda efforts, expounded at length in Mein Kampf, reflected then-common German nationalist claims. Although untrue – German propaganda during World War I was mostly mo ...more...

Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda


The Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda (Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, RMVP or Propagandaministerium) was a Nazi government agency to enforce Nazi ideology. Origin Founded on 14 March 1933, a few months after the Nazi seizure of power by Adolf Hitler's government, it was headed by Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels. The role of the new ministry, which set up its offices in the 18th-century Ordenspalais across from the Reich Chancellery, was to centralise Nazi control of all aspects of German cultural and intellectual life. An unstated goal was to present to other nations the impression that the Nazi Party had the full and enthusiastic backing of the entire population. It was responsible for controlling the German news media, literature, visual arts, filmmaking, theatre, music, and broadcasting. Propaganda As the central office of Nazi propaganda, it comprehensively supervised and regulated the culture and mass media of Nazi Germany. A major focus of the propaganda wa ...more...

Propaganda in North Korea


The standard view of propaganda in North Korea sees it as based on the Juche ideology and on the promotion of the Workers' Party of Korea . The first syllable, "ju", means “the main or fundamental” principle; the second syllable, "che", means body or self or the foundation of something — the same as the Chinese word "ti" in the famous phrase, “Chinese learning for the foundation and Western learning for application.” Article 3 of the Socialist Constitution proclaims, “The DPRK is guided in its activities by the Juche idea, a world out-look centered on people, a revolutionary ideology for achieving the independence of the masses of people.” Many pictures of the national leaders are posted throughout the country. Themes Cult of personality Kim Il-sung with Kim Jong-il on Mount Paektu In previous decades, North Korean propaganda was crucial to the formation and promotion of the cult of personality centered around the founder of the totalitarian state, Kim Il-sung . The Soviet Union began to develop him, parti ...more...

History of propaganda


Propaganda is information that is not impartial and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented. The term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples. Pre-modern precedents English Civil War cartoon entitled "The Cruel Practices of Prince Rupert" (1643) Blatant election propaganda from the UK c.1890 Primitive forms of propaganda have been a human activity as far back as reliable recorded evidence exists. The Behistun Inscription (c. 515 BC) detailing the rise of Darius I to the Persian throne is viewed by most historians as an early example of propaganda. The Arthashastra written by Chanakya (c. 350 – 283 BC), a professor of political science at Takshashila University and a prime minister of ...more...

Black propaganda


Black propaganda is false information and material that purports to be from a source on one side of a conflict, but is actually from the opposing side. It is typically used to vilify, embarrass, or misrepresent the enemy. Black propaganda contrasts with grey propaganda, the source of which is not identified, and white propaganda, in which the real source is declared and usually more accurate information is given, albeit slanted, distorted and omissive. Black propaganda is covert in nature in that its aims, identity, significance, and sources are hidden. The major characteristic of black propaganda is that the people are not aware that someone is influencing them, and do not feel that they are being pushed in a certain direction. Black propaganda purports to emanate from a source other than the true source. This type of propaganda is associated with covert psychological operations. Sometimes the source is concealed or credited to a false authority and spreads lies, fabrications, and deceptions. Black propagan ...more...

Randal Marlin


Randal Marlin (born 1938 in Washington, D.C.) is a Canadian philosophy professor at Carleton University in Ottawa who specializes in the study of propaganda. He was educated at Princeton University, McGill University, the University of Oxford, Aix-Marseille University, and the University of Toronto. After receiving a Department of National Defence fellowship to study under propaganda scholar Jacques Ellul at Bordeaux in 1979–1980, he started a philosophy and mass communications class at Carleton called Truth and Propaganda, which has run annually ever since. One of the texts for this class is his 2002 book Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion, which examines historical, ethical, and legal issues relating to propaganda. The revised second edition, released in 2013, examines the Bush administration's use of propaganda based on fear to persuade Americans to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Marlin acknowledges that there are many definitions of propaganda, including favourable ones. However, his book reflec ...more...

Radio propaganda


Radio propaganda is propaganda aimed at influencing attitudes towards a certain cause or position, delivered through radio broadcast. The power of radio propaganda came from its revolutionary nature. The radio, like later technological advances in the media, allowed information to be transmitted quickly and uniformly to vast populations. Internationally, the radio was an early and powerful recruiting tool for propaganda campaigns. Before television , radio was by far the most effective way to prevent or promote social change. In many areas, it still is. Radio propaganda can be broadcast over great distances to a large audience at a relatively low cost. Through radio, a propagandist can bring his voice and all the persuasive power of his emotions to millions of people. A similar approach is used in every war employing radio propaganda: aside from convincing those on the home front of the necessity of war, a different kind of propaganda must be directed towards the enemy. Radio became a powerful propaganda too ...more...

Taliban propaganda


Taliban propaganda has, since the 2001 fall of their national government in Afghanistan, developed into a sophisticated public relations machine that is shaping perceptions in Afghanistan and abroad. Although polls show the movement remains unpopular, the insurgents have readily exploited a sense of growing alienation fostered by years of broken government promises, official corruption , and the rising death toll among civilians from airstrikes and other military actions. "The result is weakening public support for nation-building , even though few actively support the Taliban," says a report from the International Crisis Group , a think tank that monitors conflicts. An American official in Afghanistan agrees: "We cannot afford to be passive [communicators] any longer if we're going to turn this around." Background A primary focus in the Taliban's media message is the history of wars between Christians and Muslims. The Taliban emphasize religious and cultural differences between the West and the East, the ide ...more...

German Corpse Factory


The German Corpse Factory or Kadaververwertungsanstalt (literally "Carcass-Utilization Factory"), also sometimes called the "German Corpse-Rendering Works" or "Tallow Factory" was one of the most notorious anti-German atrocity propaganda stories circulated in World War I. According to the story, the Kadaververwertungsanstalt was a special installation supposedly operated by the Germans in which, because fats were so scarce in Germany due to the British naval blockade, German battlefield corpses were rendered down for fat, which was then used to manufacture nitroglycerine, candles, lubricants, and even boot dubbin. It was supposedly operated behind the front lines by the DAVG — Deutsche Abfall-Verwertungs Gesellschaft ("German Offal Utilization Company"). Piers Brendon has called it "the most appalling atrocity story" of World War I, while Phillip Knightley has called it "the most popular atrocity story of the war." After the war John Charteris, the British former Chief of Army Intelligence, allegedly stated ...more...

Propaganda in the Soviet Union


Communist propaganda in the Soviet Union was extensively based on the Marxism-Leninism ideology to promote the Communist Party line. It penetrated even social and natural sciences giving rise to various pseudo-scientific theories like Lysenkoism, whereas fields of real knowledge, as genetics, cybernetics, and comparative linguistics were condemned and forbidden as "bourgeois pseudoscience". With "truths repressed, falsehoods in every field were incessantly rubbed in print, at endless meetings, in school, in mass demonstrations, on the radio". The main Soviet censorship body, Glavlit, was employed not only to eliminate any undesirable printed materials, but also "to ensure that the correct ideological spin was put on every published item". In the Stalin Era, deviation from the dictates of official propaganda was punished by execution and labor camps. In the post-Stalin era, these punitive measures were replaced by punitive psychiatry, prison, denial of work, and loss of citizenship. "Today a man only talks fr ...more...

Propaganda through media


The definition of propaganda is always open to discussion, and it is most commonly defined as “information,” especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. To explain the close associations between media and propaganda, Richard Alan Nelson observed propaganda as a form of persuasion with intention with the aid of controlled transmission of single-sided information through mass media. Mass media and propaganda are inseparable. Mass media as a system for spreading and disseminating information and messages to public plays a role in amusing, entertaining and informing individuals with rules and values that situate them in social structure. Thus, propaganda is a necessity for alleviating conflicts between different classes in society. In a media-saturated modern society, mass media is the main channel for the carrying out the propaganda action and fulfill the propaganda practices. Modern propaganda includes using a variety of media in ord ...more...

Falsehood in War-Time


Falsehood in War-time, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War , written by Arthur Ponsonby in 1928 lists and refutes pieces of propaganda used by the Allied Forces (Russia, France, Britain and the United States) against the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria). After the Second World War, a new edition of the book was given the updated title Falsehood in War-Time: Propaganda Lies of the First World War . Lord Ponsonby is standing to the far right of the photo. Click on the image for further details of people in the photograph. Arthur Ponsonby Arthur Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede , was born Arthur Augustus William Henry Ponsonby in 1871. Lord Ponsonby attended Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford, where he joined the Diplomatic Service. In 1906, Ponsonby ran as a Liberal candidate, unsuccessfully, at the general election but was elected a Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom (MP) at a by-election in 1908. Lord Po ...more...

American propaganda during World War II


In the face of obstacles - COURAGE BE SURE YOU HAVE CORRECT TIME! This poster intended for navigation students combines instruction with caricatures of enemy leaders, L-R: Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito. During active American involvement in World War II (1941–45), propaganda was used to increase support for the war and commitment to an Allied victory. Using a vast array of media, propagandists instigated hatred for the enemy and support for America's allies, urged greater public effort for war production and victory gardens, persuaded people to save some of their material so that more material could be used for the war effort, and sold war bonds. Patriotism became the central theme of advertising throughout the war, as large scale campaigns were launched to sell war bonds, promote efficiency in factories, reduce ugly rumors, and maintain civilian morale. The war consolidated the advertising industry's role in American society, deflecting earlier criticism. Campaign At first, the government wa ...more...

British propaganda during World War II


Britain re-created the World War I Ministry of Information for the duration of World War II to generate propaganda to influence the population towards support for the war effort. A wide range of media was employed aimed at local and overseas audiences. Traditional forms such as newspapers and posters were joined by new media including cinema (film), newsreels and radio. A wide range of themes were addressed, fostering hostility to the enemy, support for allies, and specific pro war projects such as conserving metal and growing vegetables. Media Cinema The story of the British cinema in the Second World War is inextricably linked with that of the Ministry of Information. Formed on 4 September 1939, the day after Britain's declaration of war, the Ministry of Information (MOI) was the central government department responsible for publicity and propaganda in the Second World War. It was the ministry's function to "present the national case to the public at home and abroad". The MOI was keenly aware of the va ...more...

Outline of public relations


The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to public relations: Public relations practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public. Nature of public relations Public relations can be described as all of the following: Academic discipline – branch of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines are defined (in part), and recognized by the academic journals in which research is published, and the learned societies and academic departments or faculties to which their practitioners belong. Communication – activity of conveying information Marketing – process which creates, communicates, and delivers value to the customer, and maintains the relationship with customers. Essence of public relations To create and sustain "shared meaning" or "common understanding" - NB this may be and usually is different from "shared b ...more...

Nazi propaganda and the United Kingdom


The position of Nazi propaganda towards the United Kingdom and its inhabitants changed over time. Prior to 1938, while Hitler tried to court Britain into an alliance, his propaganda praised the British as proficient Aryan imperialists. Later, as the Nazis realized that they would have to fight the United Kingdom, their propaganda vilified the British as oppressive, German-hating plutocrats . During the war, it accused " perfidious Albion " of war crimes, and sought especially to drive a wedge between Britain and France. History Pre-war Initially, the aim of Nazi foreign policy was to create an Anglo-German alliance, so before 1938, Nazi propaganda tended to glorify British institutions, and above all the British Empire . Even regarding it, along with France, as "decadent democracies", Goebbels set out to court them. Typical of the Nazi admiration for the British Empire were a lengthy series of articles in various German newspapers throughout the mid-1930s praising various aspects of British imperial history, ...more...

topic is a Canadian shock site owned by Mark Marek, which provides highly violent real-life news, photos and videos, with authored opinion and user comments. The site received media attention in 2012, following the hosting of a video which showed a real-life murder being committed by Luka Magnotta. As a result, Marek was arrested and charged under Canada's obscenity law with corrupting public morals. Background The site was launched on April 30, 2008 by Slovak-Canadian Mark Marek, and hosts explicit, real-life, photographic and video material of events such as murders, suicides, torture, mutilations and accidents. With an estimated 10–15 million monthly visits, Bestgore is currently the biggest shock site in the world. Controversies and legal issues Murder of Lin Jun In June 2012, the website was criticised for the inclusion of the graphic video titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, which depicts the dismemberment of a corpse following the murder of Lin Jun committed by Luka Magnotta. Police said that Ma ...more...

Nayirah testimony


The Nayirah testimony was a false testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by a 15-year-old girl who provided only her first name, Nayirah. The testimony was widely publicized, and was cited numerous times by United States senators and President George H. W. Bush in their rationale to back Kuwait in the Gulf War. In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah's last name was al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎) and that she was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by an American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government. Following this, al-Sabah's testimony has come to be regarded as a classic example of modern atrocity propaganda. In her emotional testimony, Nayirah stated that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators ...more...

Propaganda of Fascist Italy


Propaganda of Fascist Italy was the material put forth by Italian Fascism to justify its authority and programs and encourage popular support. Use The Fascist regime made heavy use of propaganda, including pageantry and rhetoric, to inspire the nation into the unity that would obey. At first, all propaganda efforts were grouped together under the press office; propaganda efforts were slowly organized until a Ministry of Popular Culture was created in 1937. A special propaganda ministry was created in 1935, with the avowed purpose of telling the truth about fascism, refuting the lies of its enemies, and clearing up ambiguities, which were only to be expected in so large and dynamic a movement. Doctrine A fascist doctrine was first set forth in The Manifesto of the Fasci of Combat, and further enumerated in The Doctrine of Fascism purportedly written entirely by Benito Mussolini, but he only wrote the second part, the first part was actually also written by Giovanni Gentile. Fascism's internal contradict ...more...

Bloody Sunday (1939)


Wehrmacht soldiers and journalists with German victims of Bloody Sunday. The photo was utilized by the Nazi press and bears the editor's cropping marks, showing the portion of the image that was intended to be used for publication. Bloody Sunday (German: Bromberger Blutsonntag; Polish: Krwawa niedziela) was a sequence of events that took place in Bydgoszcz (German: Bromberg), a Polish city with a sizable German minority, between 3 and 4 September 1939, immediately after the German invasion of Poland. The sequence started with an attack of German Selbstschutz snipers on retreating Polish troops and then was followed by a Polish reaction and then the final retaliatory execution of Polish hostages by the Wehrmacht and Selbstschutz, after the fall of the city. All these events resulted in the deaths of both German and Polish civilians. The Polish Institute of National Remembrance found and confirmed 254 Lutheran victims, assumed to be German victims, and 86 Catholic victims, assumed to be Polish civilians, as ...more...

Demoralization (warfare)


Demoralization is, in a context of warfare, national security, and law enforcement, a process in psychological warfare with the objective to erode morale among enemy combatants and/or noncombatants. That can encourage them to retreat, surrender, or defect rather than defeating them in combat. Demoralization methods are military tactics such as hit-and-run attacks such as snipers, disturbing the enemy with less-lethal weapons and incapacitating agents, and intimidation such as display of force concentration. Some methods on the strategic scale are commerce raiding, strategic bombing, static operations such as sieges and naval blockades, and propaganda. Front of leaflet Back of leaflet A Nazi propaganda leaflet used during World War II to demoralize American troops. Importance of morale Morale is often perceived as a necessary precursor to success in international relations because success most often goes to those who believe in their cause, as they more easily maintain a positive outlook that co ...more...

Racism in the Soviet Union


Racism existed in many manifestations within the Soviet Union, it came in the form of social discrimination to outright ethnic cleansing. Despite the Soviet Union's policy against racial hatred it enacted racially motivated laws and actions such as the population transfers. Central Europeans Germans Dead German civilians in Nemmersdorf, East Prussia. News of Soviet atrocities, spread and exaggerated by Nazi propaganda, hastened the flight of ethnic Germans from much of Eastern Europe. Young German women being released from a work camp in 1947. People of German heritage had resided in Eastern Europe for years, many years before even the outbreak of World War II. In the year 1937, two years before war, the NKVD began their mass operations as part of Stalin's Great Purge. The first of these operations called for the arrests of all German citizens and former citizens. The Germans were said to be Nazi agents. In total, the national operation against Soviet citizens of German descent resulted in the ...more...

The Crucified Soldier


The Crucified Soldier refers to the widespread atrocity propaganda story of an Allied soldier serving in the Canadian Corps who may have been crucified with bayonets on a barn door or a tree, while fighting on the Western Front during World War I. Three witnesses said they saw an unidentified crucified Canadian soldier near the battlefield of Ypres, Belgium on or around 24 April 1915, but there was no conclusive proof such a crucifixion actually occurred. The eyewitness accounts were somewhat contradictory, no crucified body was found, and no knowledge was uncovered at the time about the identity of the supposedly crucified soldier. During World War II the story was used by the Nazis as an example of British propaganda. Story On 10 May 1915, The Times printed a short item titled "Torture of a Canadian Officer" as coming from its Paris correspondent. According to the piece, Canadian soldiers wounded at Ypres had told how one of their officers had been crucified to a wall "by bayonets thrust through his hand ...more...

Joseph Goebbels


Paul Joseph Goebbels (German:  ( listen); 29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945) was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. He was one of Adolf Hitler's close associates and most devoted followers, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deep, virulent antisemitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust. Goebbels, who aspired to be an author, obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Heidelberg in 1921. He joined the Nazi Party in 1924, and worked with Gregor Strasser in their northern branch. He was appointed as Gauleiter (district leader) for Berlin in 1926, where he began to take an interest in the use of propaganda to promote the party and its programme. After the Nazi Seizure of Power in 1933, Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry quickly gained and exerted controlling supervision over the news media, arts, and info ...more...

Rape of Belgium


The ruins of the library of the Catholic University of Leuven after it was burned in 1914. The destroyed city of Leuven in 1915 The Rape of Belgium was the alleged German mistreatment of civilians during the invasion and subsequent occupation of Belgium during World War I. The neutrality of Belgium had been guaranteed by the Treaty of London (1839), which had been signed by Prussia. However, the German Schlieffen Plan required that German armed forces violate Belgium’s neutrality in order to outflank the French Army, concentrated in eastern France. The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg dismissed the treaty of 1839 as a "scrap of paper". Throughout the beginning of the war, the German army engaged in numerous atrocities against the civilian population of Belgium, including the destruction of civilian property; 6,000 Belgians were killed, and 17,700 died during expulsion, deportation, imprisonment, or a death sentence by court. 25,000 homes and other buildings in 837 communities were destr ...more...

Wellington House


Wellington House is the more common name for Britain's War Propaganda Bureau , which operated during World War I from Wellington House, a building located in Buckingham Gate, London, which was the headquarters of the National Insurance Commission before the War. The Bureau, which operated under the supervision of the Foreign Office , was mainly directed at foreign targets, including Allied nations and neutral countries, especially (until 1917) the United States. The building itself has since been demolished, and its former site is now occupied by a block of flats. History In August 1914, after discovering that Germany had a Propaganda Agency, David Lloyd George , the Chancellor of the Exchequer , was given the task of setting up a British War Propaganda Bureau. Lloyd George appointed the writer and fellow Liberal MP , Charles Masterman to head the organization, whose headquarters were set up at Wellington House, the London headquarters of the National Insurance Commission, of which Masterman was the chairman ...more...

Committee on Alleged German Outrages


The Committee on Alleged German Outrages, often called the Bryce Committee after its chair, Viscount James Bryce (1838-1922), is best known for producing the "Report of the Committee on Alleged German Outrages," published on 12 May 1915. The report is seen as a major propaganda form that Britain used in order to educate the world on the behaviour of Germany, which had invaded Belgium the year before. The Report was translated by the end of 1915 into every major European language and had a profound impact on public opinion in Allied and neutral countries, particularly in the United States. Though the findings of the Report have been substantiated by several scholars in the 21st century, the eyewitness testimony published in its 320-page Appendix A included some sensationalist accounts of mutilations and rapes for which there is no other evidence. These invented atrocities stigmatized the Report and have made it a target for revisionist historians and writers on propaganda. History By the middle of Septembe ...more...

Saddam Hussein's alleged shredder


In the runup to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, press stories appeared in the United Kingdom and United States of a plastic shredder or wood chipper into which Saddam and Qusay Hussein fed opponents of their Baathist rule. These stories attracted worldwide attention and boosted support for military action, in stories with titles such as "See men shredded, then say you don't back war". A year later, it was determined there was not enough evidence to support the existence of such a machine. Press reports The first mention of the shredder came at a March 12, 2003 meeting, when James Mahon addressed the British House of Commons after returning from research in northern Iraq. Ann Clwyd wrote in The Times six days later, an article entitled "See men shredded, then say you don't back war," saying that an unnamed Iraqi had said the Husseins used a shredder to gruesomely kill male opponents, and used their shredded bodies as fish food. Later she would add that it was believed to be housed in Abu Ghraib prison, and spok ...more...

Overview of 21st-century propaganda


Since the end of the 20th century, propaganda has evolved significantly. Today's propaganda is characterised by psych-ops and disinformation, whereas a few decades ago it was dominated by posters and simple films. This article delineates propaganda usage in the 21st century. Middle East Afghan War In the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, psychological operations tactics were employed to demoralise the Taliban and to win the sympathies of the Afghan population. At least six EC-130E Commando Solo aircraft were used to jam local radio transmissions and transmit replacement propaganda messages. Leaflets were also dropped throughout Afghanistan, offering rewards for Osama bin Laden and other individuals, portraying Americans as friends of Afghanistan and emphasising various negative aspects of the Taliban. Another shows a picture of Mohammed Omar in a set of crosshairs with the words: "We are watching." Iraq War Both the United States and Iraq employed propaganda during the Iraq War. The United States establis ...more...

Black Legend


A 1598 engraving by Theodor de Bry depicting a Spaniard supposedly feeding Indian children to his dogs. De Bry's works are characteristic of the anti-Spanish propaganda that originated as a result of the Eighty Years' War. In the historiography on conquest and empire, the Black Legend (Spanish: La leyenda negra) is a body of historical writing or propaganda demonizing Spain and the Spanish Empire, its people and its culture, as uniquely cruel and bigoted. These propaganda writings were "absorbed and converted into broadly held stereotypes" that assumed that Spain was "uniquely evil." Scholars have debated these issues over the years. "At least three generations of scholarship have produced a more balanced appreciation of Spanish conduct in both the Old World and the New, while the dismal records of other imperial powers have received a more objective appraisal." While those who defend the existence of the Black Legend acknowledge that there is much documented evidence of atrocities by all European nations ...more...

Themes in Nazi propaganda


The propaganda of the National Socialist German Workers' Party regime that governed Germany from 1933 to 1945 promoted Nazi ideology by demonizing the enemies of the Nazi Party, notably Jews and communists, but also capitalists and intellectuals. It promoted the values asserted by the Nazis, including heroic death, Führerprinzip (leader principle), Volksgemeinschaft (people's community), Blut und Boden (blood and soil) and pride in the Germanic Herrenvolk (master race). Propaganda was also used to maintain the cult of personality around Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and to promote campaigns for eugenics and the annexation of German-speaking areas. After the outbreak of World War II, Nazi propaganda vilified Germany's enemies, notably the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States, and in 1943 exhorted the population to total war. Enemies Jews Poster for occupied Poland: "Jews Lice - Typhus" German citizens, public reading of Der Stürmer "Die Juden sind unser Unglück". The diagram sho ...more...

To Sell a War


To Sell A War is a documentary film, first aired in December 1992 as part of CBC programme the fifth estate. The programme was directed and produced by Neil Docherty. It chronicles the Citizens for a Free Kuwait campaign efforts to spin public relations sentiment in the United States in favor of the Gulf War, focusing on the story of Nurse Nayirah, who was, in fact, Nayirah al-Sabah, the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the United States Saud Nasir Al-Sabah. Her infamous testimony about Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators, which was widely disseminated, was a result of coaching by PR firm Hill & Knowlton. Awards 1993 – American Film and Video Festival - Blue Ribbon 1993 – Canadian Association of Journalists Awards for Investigative Reporting - CAJ Award - Network Television Category 1993 – The New York Festivals - Bronze Medal 1992 – Columbus International Film and Video Festival - Chris Award 1992 – Columbus International Film and Video Festival - Bronze Plaque 1992 – International ...more...

Propaganda during the Yugoslav Wars


During the Yugoslav Wars, propaganda was widely used in the media of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia, and in Bosnian media. Serbian media In the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), one of the indictments against Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević was his use of the Serbian state-run mass media to create an atmosphere of fear and hatred among Yugoslavia's Orthodox Serbs by spreading "exaggerated and false messages of ethnically based attacks by Bosnian Muslims and Catholic Croats against the Serb people..." A falsified image (left) with a caption stating a "Serbian boy whose whole family was killed by Bosnian Muslims", published by Večernje novosti during the Bosnian War. The image was originally a painting (right) made in 1888 by Serbian artist Uroš Predić. The original title is "Siroče na majčinom grobu" (Orphan at mother's grave). Milošević's reign and control of media in Serbia Slobodan Milošević began his efforts to gain control over the media i ...more...

Nuremberg Trials (film)


The Nuremberg Trials is a 1947 Soviet-made documentary film about the trials of the Nazi leadership. It was produced by Roman Karmen, and was an English-language version of the Russian language film Суд народов (Judgment of the Peoples). Most of the film describes the Nazis' crimes in detail, particularly those committed in the Soviet Union. It claims that if not stopped, the Nazis would have "turned the whole world into a Majdanek". It also includes some elements of anti-capitalist propaganda, claiming that the real rulers of Germany were "armament kings" such as Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach. Of the Holocaust and the recovery of gold from its victims, the film states that the Nazis "even made death into a commercial enterprise", and this truly happened. It is noted in the film that the Soviet Union objected to the acquittal of Hans Fritzsche, Franz von Papen and Hjalmar Schacht, and to the fact that Rudolf Hess was given a sentence of life imprisonment, rather than a death sentence. The film shows ...more...

Nanking Massacre


The Nanking Massacre was an episode of mass murder and mass rape committed by Japanese troops against the residents of Nanjing (Nanking), then the capital of the Republic of China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The massacre is also known as the Rape of Nanking or, using Pinyin romanization, the Nanjing Massacre or Rape of Nanjing. The massacre occurred over a period of six weeks starting on December 13, 1937, the day that the Japanese captured Nanjing. During this period, soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army murdered Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants who numbered an estimated 40,000 to over 300,000, and perpetrated widespread rape and looting. Since most Japanese military records on the killings were kept secret or destroyed shortly after the surrender of Japan in 1945, historians have been unable to accurately estimate the death toll of the massacre. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo estimated in 1946 that over 200,000 Chinese were killed in the incident. China' ...more...

The Pinochet File


The Pinochet File is a National Security Archive book written by Peter Kornbluh covering over approximately two decades of declassified documents, from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), White House , and United States Department of State , regarding American covert activities in Chile. It is based on more than 24,000 previously classified documents that were released as part of the Chilean Declassification Project during the Clinton administration, between June 1999 and June 2000. Significance The Pinochet File was selected as one of "The Best Books of 2003" in the nonfiction category by the Los Angeles Times . The New Yorker said, "The evidence that Kornbluh has gathered is overwhelming." in its review. The Newsweek review of The Pinochet File describes it as "...actually two distinct but intersecting books. The first is a narrative account of the Nixon administration's involvement in Chile. Its mission was to make sure that Allende's election in 1970 didn't serve as ...more...

Jumana Hanna


Jumana Michael/Mikhail Hanna (born c. 1962) is an Iraqi woman of Assyrian Christian background who was imprisoned at the facility known as loose dog's during the rule of Saddam Hussein. After the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Hanna visited the Al Kelab Al Sayba prison in Iraq with a western reporter, resulting in a Washington Post front page story in which she related stories of the atrocities that she had allegedly suffered. During the visit, she told the reporters that she had been jailed and tortured in the facility, and that her husband had been killed in a nearby prison. The Washington Post story was later mentioned by Paul Wolfowitz while testifying before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Hanna was resettled to northern California by US authorities to protect her from possible reprisals. Sara Solovitch, a journalist based in California, became interested in the story and met with Hanna for a series of interviews, as she intended to write a book about her life. After their first meeting, ...more...

Harold Lasswell


Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902 – December 18, 1978) was a leading American political scientist and communications theorist. He was a PhD student at the University of Chicago, and he was a professor of law at Yale University. He served as president of the American Political Science Association (APSA), of the American Society of International Law and of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS). He has been described as a "one-man university" whose "competence in, and contributions to, anthropology, communications, economics, law, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry and sociology are enough to make him a political scientist in the model of classical Greece." According to a biographical memorial written by Gabriel Almond at the time of Lasswell's death and published by the National Academies of Sciences in 1987, Lasswell "ranked among the half dozen creative innovators in the social sciences in the twentieth century." At the time, Almond asserted that "few would question that he was the most origin ...more...

Unit 731


Building on the site of the Harbin bioweapon facility of Unit 731 Unit 731 (Japanese: 731部隊 Hepburn: Nana-san-ichi Butai) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) of World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Imperial Japan. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (now Northeast China). It was officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army (関東軍防疫給水部本部 Kantōgun Bōeki Kyūsuibu Honbu). Originally set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan, Unit 731 was taken over and commanded until the end of the war by General Shiro Ishii, a combat medic officer in the Kwantung Army. The facility itself was built between 1934 and 1939 and officially adopted the name "Unit 731" i ...more...

Edward S. Herman


Edward Samuel Herman (April 7, 1925 – November 11, 2017) was professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and a media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy. He also taught at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He developed, with Noam Chomsky, the propaganda model of media criticism which says that “market forces, internalized assumptions and self-censorship” motivate newspapers and television networks to stifle dissent. In 1967, Herman was among more than 500 writers and editors who signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse to pay the 10% Vietnam War tax surcharge implemented by Congress upon the initiation of President Johnson. Early life Herman was born in Philadelphia, to a Liberal Democrat family, the son of Abraham Lincoln Herman, a pharmacist and Celia Dektor, a homemaker. Herman received his Bachelor of Arts (in 1945), and later h ...more...

The Patriot (2000 film)


The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction war film directed by Roland Emmerich , written by Robert Rodat , and starring Mel Gibson , Chris Cooper , Heath Ledger , and Jason Isaacs . The film mainly takes place in rural Berkeley County, South Carolina , and depicts the story of an American Colonist, nominally loyal to the British Crown, who is swept into the American Revolutionary War when his family is threatened. Benjamin Martin is a composite figure the scriptwriter claims is based on four factual figures from the American Revolutionary War: Andrew Pickens , Francis Marion , Daniel Morgan , and Thomas Sumter . The film takes place during the events of the Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War but attracted controversy over its fictional portrayal of historical British figures and atrocities. Professor Mark Glancy, teacher of film history at Queen Mary, University of London has said: "It's horrendously inaccurate and attributes crimes committed by the Nazis in the 1940s to the Briti ...more...

Psychological warfare


Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PSYOP), have been known by many other names or terms, including MISO, Psy Ops, political warfare, "Hearts and Minds", and propaganda. The term is used "to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people". Various techniques are used, and are aimed at influencing a target audience's value system, belief system, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives, and are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. It is also used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress troops' psychological states. Target audiences can be governments, organizations, groups, and individuals, and is not just limited to soldiers. Civilians of foreign territories can also be targeted by technology and m ...more...

War Remnants Museum


The War Remnants Museum ( Vietnamese : Bảo tàng chứng tích chiến tranh ) is a war museum at 28 Vo Van Tan, in District 3 , Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam . It contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War and the first Indochina War involving the French colonialists. History Operated by the Vietnamese government, an earlier version of this museum opened on September 4, 1975, as the Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes ( Vietnamese : Nhà trưng bày tội ác Mỹ-ngụy ). It was located in the former United States Information Agency building. The exhibition was not the first of its kind for the North Vietnamese side, but rather followed a tradition of such exhibitions exposing war crimes, first those of the French and then those of the Americans, who had operated in the country as early as 1954. In 1990, the name was changed to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression (Nhà trưng bày tội ác chiến tranh xâm lược), dropping both "U.S." and "Puppet." In 1995, following the normalization of diplomatic r ...more...

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