Category Archives: Features

BBC’s WWII truth blitz

When BBC’s German language service began in 1938, the policy that seemed to hold the most promise was to tell the unvarnished truth, according to research reported in the Guardian recently.

In practice, telling the truth would mean that British defeats in battle would be reported accurately throughout the war, without exaggeration,  says Dr Vike Martina Plock of the department of English at Exeter University.

Plock discovered BBC memos at the archive center in Caversham Park, Reading.  “It is fascinating to see how the BBC provided the German public with accurate information during the war and thereby began to re-educate individuals who had been living, willingly or unwillingly, with 12 years of Nazi propaganda,” she told the Guardian. Continue reading

A mysterious photo

Mysterious Ukrainian newspaper photo c. 1925

This mysterious propaganda photo was taken in the Ukraine during the early period of Soviet control, probably around 1925.  The photo was collected in WWII by the Farm Security Administration and was found at the Library of Congress.

The photo raises questions. Would journalists really set type on the back of a truck in the middle of a wheat field?  Was it staged, or faked, or part of a serious effort to get journalists close to the people? Do the shadows in the truck line  up with the shadows on the field? Were two photos cut in together?

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