Black propaganda

Black propaganda

Black propaganda is false material where the source is disguised. It is propaganda 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.

It contrasts with grey propaganda, the source of which is not identified, and white propaganda, in which the real source is declared. The term is also sometimes used as a synonym for particularly malicious wartime propaganda or falsification of information that is captured by an enemy.

Black propaganda may also be used on one's own side, generated by altering genuine enemy propaganda in such a way as to distort its message. This is a particularly powerful tool if the target audience has a poor understanding of the language of the enemy, and is often used to insult the intended recipients, leading to a rallying effect.

Black propaganda in World War II

British

In Britain, the Political Warfare Executive operated a number of black propaganda radio stations. Gustav Siegfried Eins (GS1) was one of the first such stations — purporting to be a clandestine German station. The speaker, 'Der Chef' purported to be a Nazi extremist, accusing Hitler and his henchmen of going soft. The station focused on alleged corruption and sexual improprieties of Nazi Party members.

Another example was the British radio station Soldatensender Calais, which purported to be a radio station for the German military. Under the direction of Sefton Delmer, a British journalist who spoke perfect Berliner German, Soldatensender Calais and its associated shortwave station, Kurzwellesender Atlantik, broadcast music, up-to-date sports scores, speeches of Adolf Hitler for "cover", and subtle propaganda.

There were British black propaganda radio stations in most of the languages of occupied Europe as well as German and Italian.. Most of these were based in the area around Woburn Abbey.

David Hare's play Licking Hitler provides a fictionalised account based on the British black propaganda efforts in World War II.

German

German black propaganda usually took advantage of European racism and anti-Communism. For example, on the night of April 27, 1944 German aircraft under cover of darkness (and possibly carrying fake Royal Air Force markings) dropped propaganda leaflets on occupied Denmark. These leaflets used the title of Frihedsposten, a genuine Danish underground newspaper, and claimed that the "hour of liberation" was approaching. They instructed Danes to accept "occupation by Russian or specially trained American Negro soldiers" until the first disorders resulting from military operations is over.

The German Büro Concordia organisation operated several black propaganda radio stations (many of which pretended to broadcast illegally from within the countries they targeted).

Japanese

The Tanaka Memorial, a document describing a Japanese plan for world conquest, beginning with the conquest of China, is now believed by most historians to be a forgery.

The following message was distributed in black propaganda leaflets dropped by the Japanese over the Philippines in World War II. It was designed to turn Filipinos against the United States:

Guard Against Venereal Diseases

Lately there has been a great increase in the number of venereal diseases among our officers and men owing to prolific contacts with Filipino women of dubious character.

Due to hard times and stricken conditions brought about by the Japanese occupation of the islands, Filipino women were willing to offer themselves for a small amount of foodstuffs. It is advisable in such cases to take full protective measures by use of condoms, protective medicines, etc.; better still to hold intercourse only with wives, virgins, or women of respective character.

Furthermore, in view of the increase in pro-American leanings, many Filipino women are more than willing to offer themselves to American soldiers, and because Filipinos have no knowledge of hygiene, disease carriers are rampant and due care must be taken.

US Army

Black propaganda in domestic politics

Racist black propaganda

British media

United States media

Other black propaganda examples

See also

External links

References

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