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Politics and Newspapers: The Allies and the NDH Press from the Battle of Stalingrad to the Fall of Berlin


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Labus, Alan. (2009). Politics and Newspapers: The Allies and the NDH Press from the Battle of Stalingrad to the Fall of Berlin. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, UNSPECIFIED. [mentor Jakovina, Tvrtko].

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From the battle of Stalingrad (1942/1943) to the fall of Berlin on May 2, 1945 and the end of WWII in Europe, the press of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was in the function of German and Ustasha war and political plans. The multi-layered political control of the media, especially the newspapers, through The State Office for Reporting and Propaganda (DIPU), The Chief Directorship for Propaganda (GRP), The Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MVP) and The Internal Supervision Service (UNS) will ensure a unified model of informing in the Independent State of Croatia. According to the guidelines of the Press Departments of DIPU and GRP, the most influential daily newspapers: Hrvatski narod, Nova Hrvatska, Hrvatski list and Novi list dedicated up to five pages to foreign war and political topics, while the weekly magazines Spremnost and Nedjeljne viesti/Novine dedicated two to three pages and the satirical weeklies Sparrow (Vrabac) and Awl (Šilo) used cartoon drawings on the front pages. The war reports in the newspapers of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) were sometimes exclusively based on information of the German press agency DNB and the Italian Stefania, while the news dedicated to the Allies was selected from the German, Italian, French, Bulgarian, Romanian and Finnish press. Political expedient news from the newspapers of neutral countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Turkey, Portugal and enemy countries Great Britain, the USA and the USSR were frequently chosen in order to achieve credibility of the newspapers. The foreign political contents of the press of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) consists mostly of the Ustasha view of the Allies, the relationship between the Allies and the National Liberation Movement (NOP) and the consequences of the decision of „The Big Three“ on the Independent State of Croatia and the Axis forces. The main editors, newspaper directors and column writers of Spremnost, Hrvatski narod, Nova Hrvatska: Ivo Bogdan, Tijas Mortigija, Milivoj Magdić, Franjo Nevistić, Petar Bareza, Vilko Rieger, Ive Vučićević and others tried to prove the correctness of the Ustasha military-political bonding with Germany and Italy (until September 1943) and portray the Ustasha „revolution“ as a fight for a Croatian state, and NOP as a great Serbian rebellion against the Croatain state under the leadership of communists supported by the Soviets. The portrayal of European and North African war affairs was distorted in the NDH newspapers.The battles for Stalingrad, El Alamein and Kursk in which the defeats of the Axis forces are portrayed as victories prove this. Despite the fact that the reports from the Eastern, African, Italian and Western fronts were confusing, incomplete and often untrue, the public could nevertheless see the victorious advances of the Allies on the pages of NDH newspapers, which is understandable. In the NDH press the alliance of the USSR, Great Britain and the USA is defined as an unnatural colaboration of „plutocracy“ and „communists“, an interest alliance whose cause was the enslavement of the „small nations“ and the mutual winning over of colonies. The question of Poland and Finland and the decision of the Allies' conferences in Casablanca, Quebec, Moscow, Tehran, Dumbarton Oaks, Jalta and San Francisco were to serve as crucial evidence of the imperial politics of the Allies for the NDH newspapers. In the negative criticism of the politics of theAllies, which is needless to say absurd, the Ustasha press frequently referred to the principles of the Atlantic Charter. After the Tehran Conference (November 28-December 1, 1943) Spremnost, unlike other newspapers in the NDH, used a more benevolent approach while reporting on western democracy, which corresponds with the political changes in the NDH. This is especially noticeable in the editorials of Spremnost in the summer and autumn of 1944, when some Ustasha leaders considered the possibility of NDH drawing nearer to Great Britain and the USA and in the spring og 1945 when the state leadership planned to retreat from the country and surrender to Western Allies far from Tito's partisans. The plan of the Ustasha leadership was discovered on May 6, 1945 ( the day the Germans retreated from Zagreb) in columns published in Spremnost, Hrvatski narod and Nova Hrvatska, which classified NDH as a democratic country, similar to the Memorandum of the Government of NDH directed to Western Allies.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Independent State of Croatia (NDH), “Ustasha” organization, politics, propaganda, newspapers, the Allies, Axis, war
Subjects: History
Supervisor: Jakovina, Tvrtko
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2012 14:16
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 13:09

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