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Evidence of Reception Reports

  2 of 15   | ARTICLES
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In an attempt to ascertain the effects of its clandestine psychological warfare, the Political Warfare Executive routinely monitored neutral and enemy media looking for comment and reaction to its radio broadcasts, underground rumour-mongering and leaflets. The comments of enemy prisoners of war, captured documents and other intelligence sources were also studied. Any comebacks to PWE propaganda campaigns were circulated to interested parties through the following "Evidence of Reception" reports.

PWE Intelligence Series

Ref: L 491.

7th September 1943

AUGUST 1943

Part II

RU's

GERMANY

Gustav Siegfried Eins

Most of the reactions this month come from Sweden. Of two intercepted letters from that country, one writer speaks of GS as being "so full of rich matter", and the other while calling it coarse and vulgar is delighted that it gave Fritzsche "one on the jaw". The newspapers there continue to quote its stories, occasionally referring to it by name as their source (Social Demokraten, 30th July), but more usually giving some vaguer description, such as "our Berne correspondent".

There are more reports of listening by prisoners of war. A member of the Luftwaffe listened on various occasions between February and April 1943 in Africa, and described it as "extremely improper and amusing". An Obergefreiter, captured from a U-boat in July, said he had often listened both at sea and at his home in Upper Silesia. He confirmed that many other naval men listen, but added that the broadcasts were not taken seriously. German soldiers captured in North Africa continue to provide further evidence of listening in the Army.

 

Atlantik

There is a large volume of Swedish press reaction. The sources given by the paper vary considerably, e.g. "secret German radio station", Zurich report, "German opposition circles", "information leaking out of Germany". The Atlantik stories put out by them are too numerous to quote.

DNB on August 2nd took the trouble to refute "an enemy radio" report that Italian troops in Udine had been disarmed by the Germans. This had been put out by Atlantik the previous day. Again, the German Press news service denied the statements made by "enemy agitation" about the difficult financial state into which the war increase in the death rate had driven German insurance companies. So far as is known, Atlantik was the only source of the allegations. (16th July and 15th August).

A report from Switzerland, via Washington, on harvest prospects in Germany repeats three of Atlantik's stories - its faked figures for the harvest, its estimate of the potato harvest, and its announcement that the German Food Ministry was considering the adoption of the collective farming system for small farms.

On 9th August Atlantik stated that, following on Berlin, Stettin was to be evacuated. Two days later the same story was put out by the Deutscher Volkssender (Russian RU), with an appeal to the workers to save their lives, and let the factories go to ruin.

 

German Priest

Evidence, possibly of reaction by the German Propaganda Ministry to the German Priest, but in any case proving that he is taking a line that hurts is contained in an article of the Westfaelische Neuste Nachrichten (22nd June) concerning the evacuation of children. The article attempts to answer rumours that the spiritual welfare of Catholic children suffered in evacuee camps, as well as their physical and mental well-being.

 

Part IV

Sibs

No new evidence.

 

Part V

Black Leaflets

BELGIUM

The blocks produced here and sent over for the clandestine press in Belgium are being used more and more. As an example, one or more of our blocks have been used in every one of the six consecutive issues of La Libre Belgique between 15th April and 1st July. Several earlier issues also published them.

 

GERMANY

PWE forged Himmler postage stamps

The stamp bearing the head of Himmler has now been referred to in the Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter, which carries a reproduction of it in its issue of 28th July with the comment that it is very unusual for a politician's head to be used on a stamp during this lifetime when he is not the leader of the country. The story of the Himmler stamp was also put out by Atlantik, and as a sib.

Fake Parole der Woche sticker

There are reports about several other black leaflets. The slogan "Hitler warm, Stube kalt: Hitler kalt Stube warm" (taken from a black leaflet) is said to be circulating in Germany. Another leaflet was obtained from the Norwegian Legation in Stockholm who said it was a piece of propaganda material which had arrived in North Norway by coal ship from Germany. A sticker caricaturing Hitler with an advertisement for the Berlin Scala on the back, has been sent by a Swedish theatrical manager to an English colleague. A prisoner of war, recently interrogated, mentioned that people had been shot for putting up one of our anti-Hitler stickers.

 

[Source: TNA HS 6/696, transcribed by www.psywar.org]

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