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Dr. Maja Adena: Bombs, Broadcasts, and Betrayal at the Home Front: High Treason in Germany towards the End of World War II

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Im Rahmen des Forschungskolloquiums des Institutes für Wirtschaftswissenschaften wird Dr. Maja Adena (WZB Berlin) am 7. Februar 2018 einen Vortrag an der Universität Freiburg halten.

Was
  • Vorträge
Wann 07.02.2018
von 11:00 bis 13:00
Wo 1036
Termin übernehmen vCal
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Abstract

Can foreign media and air power convince people to turn against their own government? We study this question in the context of Germany during WWII, when treason was punishable by death. Despite all the efforts of a totalitarian state, listening to the BBC German service was common. We exploit variation in the strength of radio signal over space to show that, where the BBC could be received easily, it encouraged resistance against the Hitler dictatorship. We also show that where places were bombed for exogenous reasons, more people turned against Nazi regime in the months following the air raids. The number of individuals tried for high treason (as derived from the records of the People’s Court) was markedly higher in places suffering more wartime destruction from the air, and with better reception of Radio London. We also demonstrate that heavy bombing, combined with good BBC radio reception, was particularly effective in convincing Germans to conspire against their own government. Finally, we show that pre-existing political attitudes, as reflected in 1933 vote shares , could amplify the effectiveness of foreign propaganda.

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