WWII: The Soviet Union Joins the Allies | Reporting the uneasy alliance made with Stalin's Russia
WRITTEN DOCUMENT 1941
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GERMAN WIRELESS PROM FINLAND.
[Handwritten note over the word GERMAN querying if this is Finnish and a note over the word FINLAND asking if it is actually from Poland.]
Sunday. 13 July, 1941. 1O.45 p.m. Wave length 31-33 m.
Long live the National Russian Army!
Proletarians of all countries unite for the war on the Bolsheviks!
They have brought Russia to complete disaster. They promised paradise on earth
but have not fulfilled their promises. They set up a power fashioned out of their
heads according to Marx and Lenin. As long as Lenin lived there were some vestiges
of equality, but then he died and his successors did nothing to fulfil his pledges...
Lenin: promised the land to the peasantry.
Stalin introduced collective farming and enslaved the peasantry in it. Lenin
introduced free education.
Stalin introduced payment for middle and higher education.
Lenin provided free medical treatment and medicine.
Stalin introduced payment for both.
Lenin freed the people from taxation.
Stalin imposed income tax, cultural tax and loans on the people
Lenin promised freedom of the press.
Stalin revoked it.
Lenin recognised freedom of meetings.
stalin condemned all who spoke freely to prison.
Lenin revoked the death penalty.
Stalin shoots all who are against him.
Lenin established freedom of association.
Stalin dissolved all except Communist societies.
Lenin established [handwritten] freedom of education.
Stalin drove all compulsorily into trade schools.
Lenin gave national power to the Soviets.
Stalin transformed the Supreme Soviet into a puppet show etc. etc. Stalin reduced
wages by introducing "norms", caused a complete lack of manufactured goods and a
beggarly existence. He [handwritten] abolished the People's Courts. He arrested
and threw into Soviet gaols 10 million Innocent people. Stalin led the Soviet Union
to slaughter and war. Stalin is a great criminal, a bandit chief and an enemy of
humanity. In his speech Stalin admitted that the Red Army is retreating but does
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Where has he dispatched Tukacheveky, Yakir and Egorov? Stalin is a primitive
Caucasian bandit. Stalin must be put in a cage in the zoo like a wild animal.
Retreating he ordered all stores to be destroyed. The Germans declared that this
will cause famine and that the Russian people will get nothing from the Germans.
It is clear that the war is played out. Citizens, it is impossible to continue the
war. The Communists must be wiped out. Citizens, you are the masters of the
country! Purify yourselves from the International Filth. Long live free Russia!
In three weeks of war Russia lost 1 million men and 400,000 prisoners. Half of her
tanks were lost, two-thirds of her aeroplanes were destroyed. An enormous amount
of territory was lost (enumeration of lost territories followed). We address
ourselves to you air force men. What sense is there in fighting if you are not
supported by the army.
Throw your bombs into the water! Down with war! Hail peace!
[Handwritten signature - illegible]
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Document Type | Report
13 July 1941
In this translated extract from a German broadcast to Russia, made on the day after Britain and the Soviet Union signed a Mutual Assistance Pact, the emphasis is very much on attacking Stalin as a poor socialist and proclaiming that the Soviet Army is almost defeated. The broadcast cleverly portrays Stalin's 'scorched earth' policy, in which the retreating Red Army were ordered to leave no supplies for the invading forces, as an attack on the Russian people themselves.
This transcript of German propaganda illustrates that the nations at war intercepted each other's broadcasts so they could combat their opponents' message. The department responsible for this in Britain was the Political Warfare Executive (PWE), which was set up in 1941 and worked extensively with the BBC. The PWE also managed to get hold of the twice-daily directive from Goebbels, which meant that they were always up to date with German news and propaganda.
The Director General of the Ministry of Information speaks on its wartime role.
The Home Service interrupts its programming to make a special announcement.
The Soviet Ambassador praises British workers for 'Tanks for Russia' week.
The British Foreign Secretary travels to Moscow as Germany invades Russia.
Colonel Britton introduces a broadcast to the occupied territories by Ambassador Sir Stafford Cripps.
A former British resident of Moscow describes life there during the war.
A member of the RAF's medical staff visits war-torn Moscow.
BBC bosses advise programme makers to tread carefully when referring to Russia.
The importance of wartime news and the dangers of listening to it in Poland.
As Germany invades Russia, the BBC ponders the appropriateness of humour.
Programme makers are warned of continuing sensitivities with Russia.
A German propaganda broadcast meant to appeal to christians in Britain.
Examples of how Russia tailored its propaganda to national identities.
Scrutiny of the BBC intensifies.
Evidence of Soviet atrocities in Lwow [Lviv] reaches the BBC.
'Stalin is a primitive Caucasian bandit.'
The Head of Talks details the problems with broadcasting features on the USSR.
How to balance news reporting with morale building.
'The Internationale' can now be played, if caution is taken.
Should the BBC try to temper public enthusiasm for Russia?
Should the BBC try to temper public enthusiasm for Russia?
'Let the false legend prevail', the government advises.
'As regards the recent crisis in Russo-Polish relations, we have been most circumspect.'
The theme for the special programme is described.
Plans for a night of programmes dedicated to Russia cause concern at the Foreign Office.
Press release describing the night's schedule.
Script set in an aircraft factory which supplies Russia.
The BBC inadvertently causes a diplomatic row with unvetted broadcasts from Russia.
Churchill's statement about his conference with Stalin must dominate the news.
The latest news on the war and how much can be shared with audiences.
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