This article explores themes in the political education and indoctrination of soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the 1948 War. It argues that the army command attempted to advance the notion that a form of militarism rooted in Judaism was the only way to win the war. Education officers explained to soldiers that 'the Jewish tradition' sanctioned the eradication of the invading armies and indifference to the fate of Palestinians. The article also traces the influence of Abba Kovner's lurid propaganda on the rest of the IDF's education apparatus. Kovner, the education officer of the Givati Brigade, believed that hate propaganda made killing the enemy easier, and his views were shared by many other education officers who saw his work as a road-map for the entire military. Nevertheless, there were some officers who opposed his work out of fear for the consequences that it would have on the future of Israeli society.
Empire and the French Public, 1880-1940
Tony Chafer and Amanda Sackur, eds., Promoting the Colonial Idea: Propaganda and Visions of Empire in France (New York: Palgrave, 2002).
Pascal Blanchard and Sandrine Lemaire, Culture Coloniale: La France conquise par son Empire, 1871-1931 (Paris: Autrement, 2003).
Claude Liauzu and Josette Liauzu, Quand on chantait les colonies (Paris: Syllepse, 2002).
Patricia Morton, Hybrid Modernities: Architecture and Representation at the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Paris (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000).
Jeffrey M. Zacks
This article is a précis of the book Flicker: Your Brain on Movies (Zacks 2014). Flicker aims to introduce a broad readership to the psychology and neuroscience that underlies their experience in the movie theater. The book covers a range of topics, including emotional experience, adaptation from texts to films, memory and propaganda, movie violence, film editing, and brain stimulation. Cutting across the specific topics are a few broad themes: the evolution of the brain and mind, the role of automatically evoked responses in film viewing, and the role of behavioral and neural plasticity in everyday experience.
Clarence Lusane, Hitler’s Black Victims: The Historical Experiences of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi Era (New York and London: Routledge 2002)
Review by Kader Konuk
Helmut Lethen, Cool Conduct: The Culture of Distance in Weimar Germany, trans. Don Reneau (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2002)
Review by Daniel Morat
Julia Sneeringer, Winning Women’s Votes: Propaganda and Politics in Weimar Germany (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002)
Review by Diane J. Guido
S. Jonathan Wiesen, West German Industry and the Challenge of the Nazi Past, 1945-1955 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001)
Review by Simon Reich
Learning about Each Other, from Each Other, with Each Other
I have a friend who believes that all governments lie – especially about going to war. He believes that people in power advance their own class interests by fomenting hysteria which results in a lust to destroy the enemy. Ordinarily sane people believe propaganda, he says, because they have no alternate information, and they accept the consequences of going to war because they have no idea of war’s realities. While there are other subjects we can discuss dispassionately, the emotions he displays on this topic are uncomfortably intense. The reason for his reaction reveals something important about the relationship between assumptions and reality.
Katja Weber and Paul A. Kowert, Cultures of Order: Leadership, Language and Social Reconstruction in Germany and Japan (Albany: State University of New York Press 2007)
Reviewed by Rainer Baumann
Simon Green, Dan Hough, Alister Miskimmon, and Graham Timmins, The Politics of the New Germany (London and New York: Routledge, 2008)
Reviewed by David P. Conradt
Jeffrey Herf, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006)
Reviewed by Thomas Freeman
Marc Fenemore, Sex, Thugs and Rock’n’Roll: Teenage Rebels in Cold-War East Germany (New York: Berghahn Books, 2007)
Reviewed by Henning Wrage
Francis R. Nicosia, Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi-Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)
Reviewed by Klaus L. Berghahn
The Berlin Wall was built three times: in 1961, in the mid 1960s, and again from the mid 1970s onwards. This article attempts to interpret each manifestation as political architecture providing insights into the mindset and intentions of those who built it. Each phase of the Wall had a different rationale, beyond the straightforward purpose of stopping the citizens of East Germany from leaving their own country and forcing them to suffer under communist rule. The deliberately brutal-looking first Wall was a propaganda construct not originally intended to exist for more than a few months. The functional but dreary Wall of the mid 60s was calculated to have a longer lifespan, but within few years it, too, became an embarrassment for the East German rulers. Yearning for international recognition, they demanded a smoother-looking, better designed Wall—supporting their fiction that this was "a national border like any other."
The Politics of Marcel Pagnol's La Fille du puisatier
From late 1940 through mid-1942 Marcel Pagnol accommodated to varying degrees the demands of the Vichy regime and the German occupiers in order to ensure the survival of his film production business. In so doing, he placed himself in the ambiguous grey zone of thought and action that stretched between the poles of proactive collaboration and proactive resistance. Pagnol's wartime activities, especially the history of his film La Fille du puisatier (The Well-Digger's Daughter, 1940), offer insight into how material interest, ideology, and necessity shaped French industrialists' reactions to the Occupation. Pagnol's itinerary also reveals the compromise and conflict that often lay below the surface of Franco-German politics, while highlighting the importance that both regimes attached to cinema as a tool of economics, cultural policy, and propaganda.
The re-traditionalising of sport games in post-Soviet Buriatiia
After a brief description of how Soviet policy influenced and changed the centuries-old traditional Buriat sports holiday called Surkharban, this paper discusses the changes that this festivity has been undergoing since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Under Soviet rule, this annual holiday, earlier linked to religious rituals, became secularised. Party and State propaganda infiltrated the event in a variety of ways and international rules were adopted for the games. The last 15 years have seen a reversal of this process, leading to a stormy re-traditionalisation of the holiday in general and of the games in particular. However, this did not occur in a uniform manner and is still far from being completed. On the contrary, the author has been observing a wide spectrum of local variants and new changes every year. He analyses the ways in which Buriat sports games are performed and how these public events mirror the manifold socioeconomic and political developments in post-Soviet Buriatiia.
Une nouvelle approche fondée sur un texte inédit
Senghor was a German prisoner of war for twenty months. The article examines his claims about his captivity in light of archival evidence, in particular an unknown report about his experiences in two POW camps that he deposited at the French diplomatic mission for POWs a few months after his dismissal. The article confirms that Senghor identified himself foremost as a French patriot but argues that his claims about having been a Gaullist and resister of the first hour rest on insecure ground. In particular, Senghor after the war dramatized the story of his combat experience and made dubious claims about having been sent to a reprisal camp as a punishment for helping some prisoners escape. His captivity report, however, provides much evidence on the effects of German pro-Islamic propaganda and on corrupt prisoner networks. The report also describes many experiences reflected in his poetry cycle Hosties noires.