You and the Atomic Bomb

Just months after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, George Orwell published an essay entitled You and the Atomic Bomb in the London Tribune. The first one to use the term "cold war," Orwell outlines in the prophetic excerpt below a rationale that would...

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Ernie Pyle Killed

Before he became a WWII correspondent, Indianan Ernie Pyle wrote a popular syndicated column for the Scripps-Howard newspapers about the lives and hopes of typical American citizens in the 1930s. In 1942, Pyle went overseas as a war correspondent where he covered the...

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Censorship WWII USA

This 1944 U.S. Army instructional film about censorship incorporates the humor, sexuality and racism of the time. During the war, U.S. government control of the news by the Office of War Information was comprehensive. All correspondence between active duty military...

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U.S. Pilot Defects

For years a devotee of the ultra-conservative radio ministry of Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a 23 year-old USAAF P-38 pilot named Martin James Monti defected to the Axis powers in October 1944. Why a young American might actually defect to the Axis is hard to...

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Japan Faces Defeat

  By the end of 1943, with no prospect of joining forces with its German allies who were being pushed out of Africa, and American forces penetrating its defensive ring, Imperial Japan was having great difficulty maintaining its distant holdings in the Western Pacific....

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Dietrich Bonhöffer

Dietrich Bonhöffer (1906 –1945) was a German Lutheran theologian and founding member of the Confessing Church that arose in opposition to government-sponsored efforts to permeate German Protestant churches with Nazi doctrine. An outstanding academic theologian,...

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Die Große Liebe

  Die große Liebe (The Great Love), which premiered in 1942, became the most commercially successful film in the history of the Nazi Germany. From the film's musical score: "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter" and "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n" became...

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Censorship – USA

We were all a part of the War Effort. We went along with it, and not only that, we abetted it. Gradually it became a part of all of us that the truth about anything was automatically secret and that to trifle with it was to interfere with the War Effort. By this I...

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Mutilation of Dead Japanese Soldiers

Despite official prohibition by the U.S. military, some American servicemen mutilated the bodies of dead Japanese soldiers throughout the Pacific campaign. Body parts (mostly skulls and teeth) were often kept as “souvenirs.” Early on, this grisly practice was openly...

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It’s Everybody’s War

With patriotic music and narration by Henry Fonda, this short subject about the home front in 1942 is fascinating. The Pearl Harbor attack was  "stab in the back by an enemy we had tried to help." The fall of Corregidor brought the grim reality of war to America. Now...

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Bugs Bunny

This 1942 Bugs Bunny cartoon plug for War Bonds also embeds blackface comedy (still deemed politically "OK" at the time). For most of 1942, the war was not going well for the USA. It is likely that an American theater audience singing the national anthem at the end of...

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Nazi Newspapers

“The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these slogans until the last...

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Listen, Germany!

Wikimedia Commons In 1940, Thomas Mann, the exiled German winner of the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature , began recording 5-8 minute monthly radio broadcasts via BBC long-wave radio under the title “Deutsche Hörer!” ("German Listeners!”). After the RAF firebombing of...

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German Newsreel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NsAkHtfieE Die Deutsche Wochenschau (German Weekly Review) was a weekly newsreel shown in German movie theaters throughout the war. Here victories on the eastern front, the Mediterranean and Atlantic are...

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Life Magazine

LIFE was published weekly from 1883-1972, originally as a humor and general interest magazine similar to the British PUCK magazine. When Henry Luce  (founder of TIME magazine in 1923) bought LIFE in 1936, he changed its focus to weekly news with an emphasis on...

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Signal Magazine

SIGNAL magazine, published in 20 languages by the Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht, was widely circulated in occupied Europe and neutral countries during WWII. In 1943 circulation of SIGNAL peaked at 2.5 million. With high quality color photos, extensive reviews and little...

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FRONT magazine – Japan

Front Magazine, Wikimedia Commons  With a format resembling Life magazine, FRONT magazine was created by the Japanese Intelligence Bureau with civilian editors, photographers, and graphic designers to represent the Imperial Japanese empire "in its true form in this...

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Ernie Pyle

Ernest Taylor "Ernie" Pyle was a roving correspondent who reported from Europe and the Pacific theaters during WWII. Writing wartime columns from the perspective of the common GI, Pyle was enormously popular in WWII USA and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944. In April...

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America Journalist a Japanese Agent ?

  Ralph Townsend worked as a journalist in San Francisco and taught English at Columbia University before joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1930. His controversial 1933 book Ways That Are Dark: The Truth About China was critical of Chinese society and supportive of...

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U.S. Censorship

After the Pearl Harbor attack, the American press began voluntary censorship.  On December 8, 1941, the First War Powers Act  granted broad  powers of wartime executive authority, including censorship. Executive Order 8985 then established the Office of Censorship and...

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Japanese Magazines

image via: tumblr_kxqjyiaO7Y1qaz1ado1_500.jpg 500×697 pixels. Low-priced monthly magazines were very important in Imperial Japanese culture with over 3,000 periodicals published for all age groups (60 for women). By 1940,  leading intellectual publications such as...

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