Zwischen investigativer Recherche und Kollaboration
Ausländische Journalisten im ,Dritten Reich‘
Historical research has surprisingly until now largely ignored the activities of accredited foreign correspondents in Berlin during the ‘Third Reich’. Instead it has focused almost exclusively on ‘the other side’ of journalism, the state public relations and propaganda apparatus. This is even more surprising taking into consideration that foreign correspondents working in Berlin contributed to the international image of National Socialist Germany. By researching foreign correspondents working in the ‘Third Reich’ we can discover numerous new insights into the transnational perception of National Socialist Germany; not only through the extremes of rejection and approval the regime received internationally, but also fundamentally through the significance given in journalistic everyday life to news and commentary from National Socialist Germany. To date only a few individual biographies on foreign correspondents working at that time exist, although many of them wrote memoires soon after they were foreign correspondents and a surprising number of bequests have been preserved. Alongside these, classic state documents and records have been passed on. By interpreting these records of state propaganda attempts from a critical distance and comparing them with the testimonials of foreign correspondents especially from the United States, Great Britain and France, it is possible to create a comprehensive analysis of their work. It will cover their investigations, often using the assistance of local informants and stringers, their text production and the reception of printed articles and radio broadcasts in their home countries and worldwide. Until its downfall the ‘Third Reich’ wooed, persuaded, deceived and threatened its foreign correspondents. If all means of ‘direction’, ‘prescribed terminology’ and ‘press control’ failed, the regime did not hesitate to isolate, imprison and expel foreign journalists. Nevertheless, they remained a power which the National Socialist regime from a media historical perspective took account of in a modern way until the very end: different from the public spheres of the Allies it never formally introduced pre-censorship, except for radio broadcasts. This is yet another reason to focus on foreign correspondents in the ‘Third Reich’ as independent creators of and actors in media events.
Norman Domeier, Zwischen investigativer Recherche und Kollaboration, in: Vol 4 No 2 (2017): S:I.M.O.N. SHOAH: INTERVENTION. METHODS. DOCUMENTATION., 18-29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.23777/sn.0217/art_ndom01