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Research Unit C.1 – Nova Europa & S.1 – Bradlo: Object, Method and Effect

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This Political Warfare Executive report is an appraisal of the object, method and effect of the clandestine radio station known as C.1 – Nova Europa & S.1 – Bradlo, broadcasting to Czechoslovakia.

Object

Czech RU

1. To stimulate resistance in the Protectorate, which is at present low, though the potential capacity is great, and to teach listeners to undermine German morale. One of the chief targets at present is labour conscription.

2. To serve as a channel of communication. (NB – it is at present the only channel of communication with the Protectorate, and its existence is vital in the opening-up of the other channels which we are at present planning in conjunction with SOE)

3. To enable us to undermine German authority. The RU is collaborationist on the surface – a role which obviously cannot be taken by the BBC.

Slovak RU

1. To undermine the authority of the collaborationist government and build up the spirit of resistance.

2. To increase hostility against the Germans and discontent with existing conditions under German domination; to win the people away from their leaders and prepare the ground for the time when an overt break with Germany will be profitable. NB there are a number of Slovak troops whose allegiance it is most important to undermine. The BBC is hampered in the pursuit of this policy by the fact that it must support the official policy of the Czechoslovak Government for post-war reunion – a policy which is not accepted by a large number of Slovaks.

3. To establish and afterwards maintain communication. As in the case of the Protectorate, there is at present no communication with Slovakia other than the RU, which is therefore an essential part of our political warfare in an area which is rapidly becoming of first-rate importance and will become still more so as our armed forces advance northwards in Italy and the Balkans.

A further point is that the RU adopts the attitude of begin a patriotic Slovak station. One of the best ways of gaining the confidence of Slovaks is to stir up trouble between them and the Hungarians. This can only be done effectively through the medium of the RU. As very many Slovaks understand Magyar, it is also essential that we should have means to prevent them from being adversely affected by any talks broadcast to Hungarians.

Method

1. The Czech RU is called “Nova Europa” and purports to be broadcasting from the Protectorate. It does not function as an official Czech station, but is a pseudo-collaborationist station purporting to give the views of the collaborationist elements, but in such a way as to turn the Czechs against them.

The Slovak station, known as “Bradlo”, also purports to be inside the country and is not an official station.

The Czech RU broadcasts twice daily, at 23.10 and 06.30. The Slovak RU gives five programmes a week, 3 at 21.30 hrs and two at 07.30 hrs (Three recording times). The present times are not unsuitable, thought they are not the best from our standpoint. They were, however, the only ones available when the RUs started broadcasting.

2. The Czech RU uses three voices (only two on any one programme), and the Slovak RU two voices – all men.

3. All broadcast material is recorded so that we may exercise censorship.

4. Recorded programmes are not repeated, as we do not wish to give the impression that we are broadcasting from records. Specially important items, however, are worked into subsequent records. Both RUs are used, particularly the Czech RU, to carry sibs. There has been no leaflet distribution within the area during the life of either RU and for geographical reasons it is improbable that leaflet distribution can be developed to any great extent, at any rate for the time being. Coordination with other broadcasts is to be undertaken as soon as possible. Specially useful results could be achieved in this direction in collaboration with German RU broadcasts addressed to Czechs and Slovaks inside Germany and by developing campaigns through our Czech listeners aimed at the many German-speaking people within the Protectorate.

Effect

In the Protectorate there was recently an attempt to eliminate shortwave listening, but we have no reason to believe that the attempt has been successful, as it was carried out hurriedly. Moreover the Protectorate is an industrialised area, its technicians are excellent and are perfectly capable of finding means of circumventing the regulations. As the country is overwhelmingly anti-German, the number of potential listeners is therefore great. Slovakia has a collaborationist government which has so far not placed very serious restrictions on listening and the country is therefore an excellent field for black propaganda.

The Czech RU was started three months ago and the Slovak RU one month ago. Direct evidence of the effect of either RU has therefore not yet reached us. This is quite normal in view of the fact that there is no WT working from either country and no escapees have reached this country during the life-time of the RUs. It is hoped that this situation will be remedied in the near future when the RUs will obviously become an important factor in maintaining two-way communication.



PWE RESEARCH UNITS: OBJECT, METHOD AND EFFECT



[Source: TNA FO 898/51, transcribed by www.psywar.org]

 

 

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