Wartime radio: “The Chetniks” (1942), Treasury Star Parade

Review: “The Chetniks” (1942), Treasury Star Parade Radio Play. Starring Orson Welles and Vincent Price.

Treasury Department War Savings Staff Radio Recording, Program 101, Treasury Star Parade “The Chetniks” Starring Orson Welles and Vincent Price and David Broekman and his Orchestra and Chorus, 1942. G-1897-P-1 (matrix). “E.T. announcements included.” William A. Bacher, director and producer. 1 pressed radio transcription sound disc: analog, 33 1/3 rpm, mono; 16 in. Recorded on one side only. “This program for sustaining use only.” Manufactured by the Allied Record Manufacturing Company, Hollywood, California.

“The Chetniks”

“The Chetniks” radio play was a poignant and powerful dramatization of the resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia led by Draza Mihailovich and the Chetnik guerrillas. The play starred Mercury Theatre veteran Orson Welles, then at the height of his fame after the success of Citizen Kane (1941), and actor Vincent Price, who had starred in The Return of the Invisible Man (1940), the sequel to the 1933 James Whale classic The Invisible Man. The play was written by Violet Atkins for the Treasury Star Parade radio program in 1942. Vincent Price is the narrator, presenting the background to the events depicted in the play. Orson Welles plays Dushan, an ordinary Yugoslav who is swept up into the war after the German bombing and invasion of Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941. His wife Jovana is killed in the attack. Dushan then joins the Chetnik guerrillas led by Draza Mihailovich. Violet Atkin’s radio play is effective in focusing attention on the Chetnik resistance movement. The Chetnik guerrillas are relentless and undaunted.

Orson Welles played the character of Dushan in an emotionally overwrought fashion that was suitable for radio. He delivered the lines in a faux Slavic or Serbian accent that was similar to his accent in playing the Russian character Gregory Arkadin in the 1955 film Mr. Arkadin. Welles played the role in an overstated and over-the-top style that relied on histrionics and on emotion or sentiment. His performance was effective and worked well in the context of a melodramatic radio play. The play was a perfect fit with the Treasury Star Parade format and formula. All the shows in the radio series were similarly overdramatized, patriotic, and emotion-laden. These shows were meant to move and to stimulate listeners. As a dramatic production for radio during wartime, “The Chetniks” is highly effective and succeeds. Vincent Price as the narrator and the supporting cast are also effective in maintaining the urgency and passion of the story. Price makes a heart-felt and passionate appeal at the end of the show to urge American citizens to buy war bonds and stamps in support of the war effort. The background music provided by David Broekman and His Orchestra and Chorus create urgency and foreboding and match perfectly the tone of the play and the performances.

Private versus Government Media

After the war, the Treasury Star Parade radio program and other programs sponsored by the U.S. government like it were criticized as government-sponsored media. They were dismissed as government propaganda. This criticism is facile and illusory, however, because it is based on faulty premises and assumptions. The first erroneous assumption made is that only the government seeks to persuade or promote an agenda. Ipso facto, any government sponsored program is propaganda or manipulation. This ignores the fact that non-governmental actors also persuade and manipulate. In wartime, the distinction between the government and private sector is also largely nominal and illusory. The boundary between the two becomes gray and indistinct. For all intents and purposes, there is no clear-cut dividing line between the two. The central concepts are persuasion and control.

Media manipulation is central in a democracy. The critics of wartime radio assume it is only the government that engages in propaganda. This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding and ignorance of how persuasion works in a democracy such as the U.S. The statement attributed to newspaper magnate and media czar William Randolph Hearst is crucial: “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” This is what American public relations pioneer Edward Bernays said about media manipulation in a democracy in his seminal 1928 book Propaganda: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.” Thus, even in peacetime, there is an “invisible government” that controls and manipulates society.

Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He also studied the theories of Ivan Pavlov and conditioned reflexes. He developed his PR techniques and theories also based on the work of Walter Lippmann. He worked with Lippmann on the Committee on Public Information during World War I, the U.S. propaganda office. He also wrote this in Propaganda (1928) as well: “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.” Governments, in other words, are not the only entities engaged in propaganda.

Edward Bernays, the “father of U.S. public relations”, also wrote that “the public mind” is constantly subjected to manipulation in a democracy in Propaganda (1928): “In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”

Not only was Bernays the father of U.S. PR techniques and mechanisms, but he was also very influential in the development of so-called Nazi propaganda. This is what Bernays wrote in his autobiography Biography of an Idea: Memoirs of Public Relations Counsel (1965) about the influence his writings had: “[Joseph] Goebbels … was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me.”

In both peacetime and in wartime, we are persuaded and manipulated. The lines blur, however, between the private and government sectors in wartime.

Orson Welles

Orson Welles’ career in radio is legendary. Between 1936 and 1941 alone, he appeared in over a hundred radio drama productions as a writer, actor and director. He created the Mercury Theatre on the Air with John Houseman which dramatized major works such as Heart of Darkness, Dracula, A Tale of Two Cities, and Hamlet. Welles was Lamont Cranston as The Shadow in 1937 and 1938. He is most famous for his dramatization of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds on October 30, 1938 which caused a nation-wide panic in the U.S. In the 1950s he starred in a BBC radio series, The Lives of Harry Lime, based on The Third Man (1949). Orson Welles was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.

In 1962, he made The Trial in Zagreb, Yugoslavia based on Franz Kafka’s novel. While making the movie, he established a relationship with Croatian actress Oja Kodar. Welles continued to work in Communist Yugoslavia, where he filmed The Deep from 1966 to 1969.

Orson Welles as a Chetnik Senator on a 1969 Yugoslav movie poster for the film Bitka na Neretvi, The Battle of Neretva, directed and co-written by Veljko Bulajic, Bosna Film, Kinema Sarajevo.

In an ironic twist, Welles would again play a Chetnik guerrilla, but this time as a villain in a negative portrayal, in a Yugoslav Communist government propaganda epic in 1969. He played a Chetnik Senator in Tito’s Communist propaganda epic film The Battle of Neretva, or Bitka na Neretvi (1969). Yul Brynner, portrayed a Communist Partisan leader in the film. This movie had a massive budget that was personally approved by Yugoslav Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito. The film budget was estimated at $71,015,000. It took 16 months to complete the star-studded propaganda film. It was the first of the Yugoslav World War II Communist film productions that were sponsored by the Yugoslav Government. Funds were provided by fifty-eight Yugoslav state companies. This Communist propaganda epic is the most expensive Yugoslav movie ever made and at the time of its production was the most expensive film ever made in Eastern Europe outside of the Soviet Union. 175 minutes in length, the movie was released on October 7, 1969. It was overdubbed in 1971 for an international audience.

This movie was a total falsification and fabrication of history. Operation Weiss was launched by the German occupation troops against both the Chetnik guerrillas under Draza Mihailovich and the Communist Partisans under Josip Broz Tito. The German objective was to clear out the guerrillas in anticipation of an Allied landing on the Adriatic Coast. Ironically, it was following this offensive in March, 1943 that Tito and the Communist Partisans collaborated with the Nazis in Bosnia. In order to concentrate his forces on destroying Mihailovich’s Chetniks, Tito negotiated a deal with German commanders to collaborate against the Chetniks. Adolf Hitler, however, would not approve the deal. Moreover, the Partisans nearly escaped being totally wiped out by German forces. This defeat was turned into a military victory by Communist Partisan propaganda. Typically, Communist propagandists could transform white into black, defeat into victory, collaboration into resistance.

Welles continued to work with Croatian filmmaker Oja Kodar, who made the 1993 Croatian film Vrijeme Za… (A Time For…). Welles also worked closely with Serbian-American film director Peter Bogdanovich (Targets, The Last Picture Show, What’s Up Doc?) who wrote two books on his film career, The Cinema of Orson Welles (1962) and This is Orson Welles (1992). Welles also played J.P. Morgan in the biopic Tajna Nikole Tesle, The Secret of Nikola Tesla (1980) with Oja Kodar, who played Catherine Johnson. The movie was made in Zagreb, Yugoslavia by the Kinematografi production company.

Orson Welles created a critical and popular sensation with his first feature film, Citizen Kane (1941), which was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and is universally regarded as the greatest motion picture ever made. Welles won an Academy Award with Herman Mankiewicz for Best Writing (Original Screenplay). His major films included The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) for RKO, The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Macbeth (1948), The Third Man (1949), Othello (1952), Mr. Arkadin (1955), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes At Midnight (1965), A Man For All Seasons (1966), and The Voyage of the Damned (1976).

Vincent Price

Vincent Price, like Welles, had a long and extensive career on the radio. He appeared in the radio programs Bob and Ray, Lux Radio Theater, Hollywood Star Playhouse, Philip Morris Playhouse, Screen Guild Theater, and Suspense. He was also Simon Templar in the detective radio series, The Saint, from 1944 to 1951 on NBC Radio. In 1973, he was the host of the BBC radio series The Price of Fear. He made audio recordings for Caedmon which such as Poetry of Shelley which included “Adonais”, “Ode to the West Wind”, and “Ozymandias” and recordings of Edgar Allan Poe short stories, including “The Gold Bug”, Ligeia”, “Morella”, “Berniece”, and “The Imp of the Perverse”. His major movies included The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Song of Bernadette (1943), The House of Wax (1953), The Ten Commandments (1956), The Fly (1958), The Return of the Fly (1959), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), and Edward Scissorhands (1990).

Violet Atkins

Violet Atkins Klein wrote for radio, television, and for films. She began her career in New York but moved to Los Angeles in the late 1940s. She wrote for radio in the 1940s, writing scripts for Camel Caravan (“Afternoon Wedding”, “Sunday Morning in Our Town”) and The Camel Hour (“I Saw a Parade Today”, “Tonight… “), and for television in the 1950s, writing scripts for the TV shows Code 3, Waterfront, and You Are There. For the Treasury Star Parade radio series, she wrote “All God’s Children”, “Balcony Empire”, “The Bell of Tarchova”, “Education for Victory”, “I Saw the Lights Go Out in Europe”, “I Speak for the Women of America”, “Lyudmila Pavlichenko Leaves a Letter to the Future”, “The Murder of Lidice”, “No Victory without Sacrifice”, “Shostakovich”, “Sound of an American”, “There’s a Nation”, and “V for Victory”.

 Treasury Star Parade

Broadcast on 833 radio stations across the U.S. in 1942 and 1943, the Treasury Star Parade radio series was highly successful and was critically acclaimed. The purpose of the show was to promote the sale of war bonds and stamps.

Before the advent of television in the 1950s, radio was one of the dominant forms of media in the United States. Almost 80% of all American homes had at least one radio in the 1940s. Along with newspapers and newsreels, radio was how Americans followed the news. Radio was much more instantaneous, direct, and personal. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt became known for his fireside chats over the radio. The radio was in the 1940s what television would become in the 1950s and subsequently thereafter in American society and culture.

The U.S. Treasury Department sponsored and produced the Treasury Star Parade program, which was recorded in Hollywood and New York and syndicated to radio stations nationwide. The program debuted on April 11, 1942. William A. Bacher was the producer. Larry Elliot and Paul Douglas were the announcers.

Media accounts of the program showed that it was an immediate and smash hit. In the New York Times article “759 Stations, And Going Strong; Stars on ‘Parade,’ by Transcription, for The Treasury”, April 5, 1942, Edward Jenks explained that the show was produced to urge and to motivate Americans to “Buy a Share in America”:

“In Treasury Star Parade, newest series of transcribed programs under Treasury Department sponsorship, director William Murray and producer William A. Bacher are offering listeners entertainment by some of the best talent of the country and through it are giving new meaning and urgency to the slogan ‘Buy a Share in America’.”

In “The ‘Parade’ Goes On;  Being a Salute to the Treasury’s Fifteen-Minute Recorded and Star-Studded Shows, Now Heard on 833 Stations”, the New York Times, November 22, 1942, John K. Hutchens noted that the radio series was meant to sell war bonds and stamps:

“The more you listen to and think about them the more you are inclined to believe that the Treasury Star Parade shows are, in their way, just about the best of all those domestic wartime programs whose task it is to awaken, convince, entertain — and, not incidentally, to sell war bonds and stamps.”

In “War Bond Sales Goal Looms; Early Results Under Treasury’s Voluntary Plan Appear to End Compulsory Proposals” in the New York Times, June 21, 1942, Section Review of the Week Editorials, Page E6, John MacCormac reported that 800 out of 868 stations were then running the show:

“Almost 60 per cent of the radio stations throughout the country have installed payroll savings plans and some 800 stations out of 868 are now broadcasting the “Treasury Star Parade” series of programs three times weekly. Newspapers have carried front page editorials, photographs.”

In “Wanted: Script Writers — This Week’s New Shows — Other Items From Radio Row”, New York Times, June 14, 1942, the announcement was made that script writers for the series were sought:

“The Treasury Star Parade, whose fifteen-minute recorded shows have been among the better war programs, advises that it is facing a shortage of scripts — this despite the generosity of sundry well-known authors who have contributed their services . . . . Scheduled for Treasury Star Parade release this week are Norman Rosten’s ‘Ballad of Bataan,’ starring Alfred Lunt, and ‘I Saw the Lights Go Out in Europe’.”

The show was so popular that over 90% of American radio stations carried the program. In “One Thing and Another”, New York Times, August 9, 1942, it was reported that 828 stations were carrying the series at that time:

“Charles Gilchrist, chief of the radio section of the War Savings Staff, of Washington, was in town last week and reported that 828 out of a possible 868 stations were now carrying the Treasury Star Parade, a figure which has all the earmarks of a record.”

Even First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made recordings for the Treasury Star Parade program to promote her book This Is America. She appeared on the April 29, 1943 program, #169, “This Is America”. She introduced dramatizations from the book, which she co-authored with Frances Cook MacGregor, featuring Fredric March.

Not only were actors and playwrights recruited for the war effort, but songwriters and composers were as well. In God Bless America: Tin Pan Alley Goes to War, Kathleen E.R. Smith detailed how the government sought to sponsor songwriters to write songs that would support the war effort and boost morale. Such songs as “Goodbye, Mama. I’m Off to Yokohama,” “There Are No Wings on a Foxhole,” and “The Sun Will Soon be Setting on the Land of the Rising Sun” were written to support the war effort. She found that this effort was unnecessary because morale remained high during the war.

She examined how the U.S. government sponsored radio shows such as Treasury Star Parade to support the war effort:

“Prior to February 1,1943, the OWI sent complete pre-recorded programs to radio stations for broadcast once or twice a week; shows included Treasury Star Parade , by the Treasury Department; Victory Front, Victory Volunteers, and This Is Our Enemy, by the OWI; and Voice of the Army, by the US Army. Other distributed programs, based on ‘timely and topical’ war information, appeared only once. With the exception of Treasury Star Parade, the OWI discontinued after February 1 all of its pre-recorded shows. … From Feb 1 1943 the OWI sponsored a new program Uncle Sam.”

Government Propaganda

The Radio Star Parade program was criticized after the war, however, because of U.S. government involvement in producing and sponsoring the radio program. In Television and the Red Menace: The Video Road to Viet Nam (2nd ed., Praeger, 2005), J. Fred MacDonald analyzed the radio show in the chapter “The Emergence of Politicized Television”, arguing that the program was “propaganda” meant to sell the war to Americans:

“Government propagandists also used commercial radio to convince listeners that the United States was right in fighting World War II. The sting of Pearl Harbor did not ensure a lengthy popular commitment to wage a two front war. The patriotism evidenced on regular network programming was also insufficient to ensure acceptance of the protracted war. Instead, the federal government became a producer of propagandistic shows whose intent was to keep domestic morale committed to the national war policies.”

Treasury Star Parade was not unique. There were dozens of programs tasked with the same mission and objective. Music for Millions was another radio show produced by the U.S. Treasury Department which featured well-known musicians and vocalists to help raise funds for war bonds. The Army Hour was another which featured music and drama programs that were intended to stir the emotions of American listeners. Soldiers with Wings featured music, comedy, guest celebrities, a GI audience, and a positive image of the Army Air Corps sponsored by the Mutual network which was broadcast from military bases and installations. Glenn Miller had a similar radio program which he hosted entitled I Sustain the Wings which ran from 1943 to 1944 under his direction featuring music and dramatizations that promoted enlistment into the U.S. armed forces.

Treasury Star Parade was regarded, however, as the most flagrant government-sponsored radio program of the war:

“The most flamboyant of government propaganda pieces, however, was Treasury Star Parade. This program consisted of more than 300 quarter-hour shows produced for the Treasury Department and heard in 1942 and 1943 on more than 90 percent of American radio stations. In the hyperbolic rhetoric of propaganda, this show sold War Bonds and American involvement in World War II. The programs were recorded in Hollywood and distrib­uted free to all stations willing to air them—whenever and as often as the recipient station desired.

“This was radio in the service of government. Treasury Star Parade manipulated traditional social values, appealed for domestic unity, painted the enemy as demonic and the Allies as noble. It also intimidated listeners into buying War Bonds and supporting the war—all within a format that was well produced and highly entertaining. Typically, in one dramatic vignette, “The Second Battle of Brooklyn,” listeners were told that they, the noble common people, were indispensable, because this was a “little guys’ war.” As one character explained it, “Hitler ain’t fightin’ kings and queens, no more. We’re the only ones who can win it… the little people, all dressed up in our haloes and gas masks.”

These criticisms are largely disingenuous and off the mark. In wartime, the role of the government is to mobilize the population and to gain their support. Morale is crucial. Obtaining funding for the war is vital. To expect otherwise is illogical and irrational and not conducive to winning the war.

The methods and techniques of the program were criticized in particular:

“Treasury Star Parade was wartime government propaganda. Deep-voiced announcers projected the horrors of Nazi-occupied Chicago, and they spoke of the savagery of the Jap­anese attack upon Hong Kong. Nazis were associated with arrogance, the enslavement of women and children, and the barbarization of European culture. The Japanese were mentioned in racially disparaging terms that depicted them as monkey-like and subhuman. Consider the words spoken by Fredric March in a program called A Lesson in Japanese:

“Have you ever watched a well-trained monkey at a zoo? Have you seen how carefully he imitates his trainer? The monkey goes through so many human movements so well that he actually seems to be human. But under his fur, he’s still a savage little beast. Now, consider the imitative little Japanese who for seventy-five years has built himself up into some­thing so closely resembling a civilized human being that he actually be­lieves he is just that.

“These were emotional times. In many ways the Second World War threat­ened the American republic. But the war had begun in 1939 without the United States. For two years, while the official policy in Wash­ington was neutrality, the brutal Nazis and Japanese had slaughtered British, French, Chinese, Dutch, Polish, Russian, and other peoples. Yet, until the Americans joined the battle, commercial radio reported, but did not dramatize, the inhumanity of the German and Japanese conquests. Thus, rather than an accurate picture of Axis militarism that transcended government policy and public opinion to report the truth, accuracy seemingly had to wait until the United States entered the war. Then, it was rhetorically distorted, charged with emotion, and turned into propaganda supportive of the new government policy.”

In a time of war, however, which is an emergency or crisis period, the preservation of the country is paramount. The President and the Congress could sponsor and enact legislation which could control the media or greatly curtail its role. Under Article 606 of the Communications Act of 1934, moreover, the U.S. President had the power to confiscate all broadcasting facilities in time of national crisis. In wartime then, the media was not independent but existed so long as it furthered national or government objectives and goals. The distinction between government and private media, thus, drastically changes in time of war.

The Treasury Star Parade. Edited by William A. Bacher. New York: Farrar, 1942. “27 radio plays by Stephen Vincent Benet, Thomas Wolfe, Paul Gallico, Thomas Mann, John Latouche, Arch Oboler, Norman Rosten, Violet Atkins, and other distinguished authors as produced and directed by William A. Bacher with an Introduction by Henry Morgenthau, Jr. History is a Branding Iron!”

False Dichotomy

This whole analysis and critique of wartime radio in the U.S. during World War II, however, is based on faulty or questionable assumptions. He assumes that merely because the U.S.  government sponsored the radio program, it constitutes propaganda and control of the airwaves. But what he neglects is the fact that private broadcasts could, and in most cases were, much more racist, jingoistic, and propagandistic than so-called government-sponsored programs. This is the key point in understanding this issue. He makes a faulty assumption and creates a false dichotomy.

The assumption is that you can make a distinction during wartime between government and private sector persuasion. World War II was a total war. In Europe and in the United States. In total war, the lines between the private and the government sector blur. As embedded journalists have shown during the Iraq War of 2003, there is no distinction made between private and government sectors in wartime. The distinction is illusory. Everyone is 100% behind the war effort.  Everyone is a soldier. In wartime, the distinctions, if there are any, are far less meaningful. To not realize this is to oversimplify the issue to the point of absurdity.

Moreover, critics neglect the dangers of self-censorship and advocacy media or journalism. As we witnessed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian civil war and the Kosovo War in 1999, the private or commercial media can, in many instances, be a much greater danger than government media. Like Hearst, the private or commercial media has an economic or financial interest to “manufacture” a war in the manner of Hearst in the run up to the 1898 Spanish-American War. Private media can be jingoistic and militantly aggressive to a point that exceeds government media. The private media need not be as concerned with international laws and covenants or diplomacy based on the relations between nations. For the private journalists, the sky is the limit. They can manufacture and fabricate events and engage in persuasion and manipulation that is a greater threat than so-called government-run media. The only criterion would be financial gain. And in such run amok cases as in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, is there a meaningful distinction between government and private media at all?

Embedded journalists did not emerge for the first time in 2003 in the Iraq War. The concept originated during World War II. Robert Livingston Denig, Sr., a decorated Marine Corps veteran, organized the Division of Public Relations during World War II. Denig is credited with introducing the concept of embedding combat correspondents or reporters into the American armed forces to cover the war. For his work as director of the Division of Public Relations, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

During World War II, U.S. news reporting was controlled by the govenment. The Office of War Information (OWI) screened all news reports on the war and could suppress material that was deemed a danger to “domestic unity”. On January 15, 1942,  the  “Code of Wartime Practices for the American Press” was released which explicitly defined how news on the war was to be reported. An Office of Censorship was also created by the government. The government relied on self-censorship and the voluntary acceptance of the code requirements. Every major news service in the U.S. adopted the regulations. The 1,600 members of the press who were accredited by the military also accepted the code.

Novelist John Steinbeck, who was a reporter during the war, recalled how all correspondents became part of the war effort and manipulated the facts: “We were all a part of the War Effort. … [T]he truth about anything was automatically secret …  By this I don’t mean that the correspondents were liars … [I]t is in the things not mentioned that the untruth lies.” Control and conformity were achieved through government regulations and through voluntary, self-imposed restraints. All media in the U.S. was thus government controlled. There was no private media to speak of. The dichotomy between a private and government media thus is a spurious and dubious one.

In a speech in 1950 at the FBI National Academy, Niles Trammell, chairman of the board of NBC, explained the symbiotic relationship between commercial broadcasting and the war effort of the government:

“Radio in the United States shouldered arms and, together with the Amer­ican people and American industry, geared itself for total war. Throughout the long years until victory was won, it carried the responsibility of broadcasting for the United States government. The story of its contribu­tion is too large ever to be recorded in its entirety. Every wartime effort found its support in radio …. in every area of the war effort … Amer­ican radio proved itself a mighty weapon in the nation’s service….”

Conclusion

“The Chetniks” is a poignant and at times overwrought presentation that dramatizes the Yugoslav Chetnik resistance during World War II in concise and succinct terms. The radio play is not unlike the American World War II films Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver, or Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas, all produced in 1942.

The program demonstrated that Draza Mihailovich and the Chetnik guerrillas were allies of the United States, the UK, and the USSR during World War II. The program highlighted the chimerical nature between commercial and government media. In wartime, there is no meaningful distinction between government and private media. Whatever distinction exists is negligible. Both work together in a symbiotic relationship to achieve a result, military victory in the conflict.

Bibliography

Bacher, William A., ed.  The Treasury Star Parade.  New York: Farrar, 1942.

Horten, Gerd. Radio Goes to War: The Cultural Politics of Propaganda during World War II. University of California Press, 2002.

Lessner, Erwin Christian. “The Fight of the Chetniks.” Reader’s Digest, June, 1942, Vol. 40, No. 242, pp. 37-40.

“Fight of the Chetniks-The Lost Gold Piece”, Radio Reader’s Digest, Episode 3, September 27, 1942.

MacDonald, Fred. “Government Propaganda in Commercial Radio: The Case of Treasury Star Parade, 1942-1943.” The Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp. 285–304, Fall, 1978.

MacDonald, J. Fred. Television and the Red Menace: The Video Road to Viet Nam. 2nd ed. Chapter: “The Emergence of Politicized Television”. Praeger, 1985.

Smith, Kathleen E.R. God Bless America: Tin Pan Alley Goes to War. Lexington, KYKentucky, 2003.


2012-08-24

By Carl K. Savich

Source: Serbianna

Save

Save 

RELATED POSTS
Brexit: A Challenge to America’s Domination of Europe
A Unified Europe: Born In the USA While Brexit versus the continuation of the European Union is a hot news topic, few know the secret who and why of the EU’s creation. The lead financial writer at the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, wrote in 2000: Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. *** The head of the Ford Foundation, ex-OSS officer Paul Hoffman, doubled as head of ACUE [below, we’ll explain who these players are] in the late Fifties. The State Department also played a role. A memo ...
READ MORE
The West Versus Russia:  Towards The End Of A Pax Americana?
A peaceful dissolution of the USSR according to the agreement between Mikhail Gorbachew and Ronald Reagan in 1988 in Reykjavik brought a new dimension of a global geopolitics in which up to 2008 Russia, as a legal successor state of the USSR, was playing an inferior role in global politics when an American Neocon concept of Pax Americana became the fundamental framework in international relations. Therefore, for instance, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia capitulated in 1995 to the American design regarding a final outcome of the USA/EU policy of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in November 1995 (the Dayton Agreement) followed by even ...
READ MORE
Allies raped hundreds of thousands of German women after WW2
Western allies raped hundreds of thousands of German women, writes German historian Miriam Gebhardt in a book published under name “When the soldiers came” (Als die Soldaten kamen) and which received both praise and criticism in Germany. “At least 860,000 women and girls, but also men and young boys, were raped by ally soldiers after the fall of the Third Reich and in the postwar period. It happened everywhere,” writes Gebhardt, noting that US soldiers were the ones who did it the most. The book strongly echoed in Germany, where information on such crimes was known before, but was almost exclusively ascribed ...
READ MORE
Twenty Principal Misconceptions About The Kosovo Issue
1. Kosovo issue is a conflict between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs over the territory Wrong: It is a part of the conflict between Balkan Albanians and the surrounding populations, in Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece (ex. clashes between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia from 1991 onward including and open rebellion in 2001 & 2015 2. The issue is a fight of Albanians for their political rights Wrong: The crux of the matter lies at the biological level. The real rationale is a demographic explosion which is going on within the Albanian population for a century or so (rate of growth by Albanians ...
READ MORE
Memorial Day Ignores Millions of US Imperial Victims
The day commemorates lost lives of US servicemen and women sent to war for the wrong reasons – from the 18th century to today, notably America’s so-called War of Independence, its Civil War, WW I and II and all subsequent wars of choice. America’s only enemies in the past 70 years and throughout at least most of its history were and remain ones it invents. It could have been a model peaceful nation had it chosen a different path. Instead, its history reflects unbridled militarism, endless wars of choice, related violence and chaos, contempt for rule of law principles, along with unparalleled ...
READ MORE
US Human Rights Violations: Geneva Centre For Justice
Universal Periodic Review reveals longstanding unwillingness to fully commit to obligations of pertinent human rights treaties. On 11 May 2015, the United States of America participated in its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Universal Periodic Review is meant to be a mechanism by which all UN Member States are periodically assessed on their human rights record. The process allows countries to present a report of their efforts to promote and improve human rights within their country. It also affords the Working Group of the UPR, comprised of member countries of the Human Rights Council, the opportunity to assess the human ...
READ MORE
Is Political Islam Compatible with Democracy?
At the dawn of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, diplomats, politicians, and intellectuals debated a fresh question: what role can Islamist political parties play in a fledgling democracy? It wasn’t an esoteric or academic debating point. In the tumult that followed the collapse of dictatorial governments in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, groups of radical Islamists had organized themselves into political parties and attempting to use the ballot box to get them to where the cartridge box could never take them—control of national governments. This was a new strategy on the part of Islamists. Ever since their emergence in the 1940s and their ...
READ MORE
Western Imperialism ‘Must Go’
For years now, the Western elite have been incessantly pushing the slogan that ‘Assad must go.’ Under the pretext of removing an ‘evil’ dictator and helping the people of Syria, the West has been funding, arming and training an array of Al-Qaeda affiliated legions to force regime change in the country. Contrary to helping the people of Syria however, this has only worked to bring pain, misery and tragedy to Syria. Even the former US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, admitted that the insistence on ‘Assad must go’ has “paralyzed” any rationale Syrian strategy.  Whenever the West appears to have moved on ...
READ MORE
Mass Killings Of Serbs for organs only boosted in Kosovo, but it started earlier: in Croatia, Vukovar
Contrary to the popular belief, the bloodiest trade in history ( when organs were taken away from captured and imprisoned Kosovo Serbs),  did not begin in Kosovo, but in Croatia. As reported by the Serbian media in the process  conducted by EULEX mission in Kosovo , ” one of the accused confessed about  participating in human organ sale”. Driton Jiljta  pleaded guilty to the indictment charging him with “abuse of authority and illegal medical activity.” This case is  apart of larger process and the prosecution has charged seven Albanians and two foreigners for trafficking , organized crime and transplantation formulized as  “illegal ...
READ MORE
“We have the right to live”: NATO’s war on Yugoslavia and the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo
In the period before the 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) waged a campaign to secede and establish an independent Kosovo dominated by Albanians and purged of every other ethnic group. In October 1998, KLA spokesman Bardhyl Mahmuti spelled the KLA’s vision: “We will never change our position. The independence of Kosovo is the only solution…We cannot live together [with Serbs]. That is excluded.” Once NATO’s war came to an end, the KLA set about driving out of Kosovo every non-Albanian and every pro-Yugoslav Albanian it could lay its hands on. The KLA left in its wake ...
READ MORE
A Nature of the US and the American Foreign Policy
“If the Nuremberg Laws were applied, then every post-war American President would have been hanged” Noam Chomsky Eurasia Henry Kissinger, one of the fundamental figures in creating and maintaining the US policy of global hegemony during the Cold War[1], was quite clear and precise in his overviewing the issue of the American geopolitical position, national goals and foreign policy. His remarks can be summarized in the following points: The US is an island off the shores of the large landmass of Eurasia. The resources and population of Eurasia far exceed the resources and population of the US. Any domination by any single state ...
READ MORE
Before Columbus: How Africans Brought Civilization to America
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2014. On Monday [October 13 2014], America’s government offices, businesses, and banks all grind to a halt in order to commemorate Columbus Day. In schools up and down the country, little children are taught that a heroic Italian explorer discovered America, and various events and parades are held to celebrate the occasion. It has now become common knowledge amongst academics that Christopher Columbus clearly did not discover America, not least because is it impossible to discover a people and a continent that was already there and thriving with culture. One can only wonder how ...
READ MORE
Contribution To The 20th Annual Conference Of Central European Political Science Association
Vilnius, a capital of Lithuania, is a host of The 20th Annual Conference of Central European Political Science Association: “Security Architecture in CEE: Present Threats and Prospects for Cooperation”. The conference place is at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University, from September 25 to 26, 2015. It is organized by the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University and the Lithuanian Political Science Association. The conference sponsors are the Lithuanian Research Council, the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, and the ...
READ MORE
“Fake Scholarship” and the future of America’s university
Harvard University has established a modern version of the Catholic Church’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of prohibited online publications which are tagged as “fake” and “false”, broadly following the politically tainted “List” of censored independent and alternative media. As we recall the Catholic Church’s Index was a list of books “deemed heretical, anti-clerical or lascivious”.1  Ex Cathedra, Harvard has decided in one fell swoop that virtually the entire US based “Alternative Media” pertaining to tens of thousands of authors would be categorized not only as fake news, but fake science, knowledge and analysis. The Harvard Index however goes far beyond the Catholic Church’s Index which selectively banned books ...
READ MORE
Here’s How the US, Israel, al-Qaeda and ISIS Work Together in Syria
The Syrian battlefield is now witnessing an escalation of the war. This is despite the fact that it is supposed to be a time of cessation of hostilities brokered by the US and Russia. The Syrian war has two major fronts. The first and most important is in southern Syria, on the borderline with Israel and the occupied territories of the Syrian Golan Heights.  This area is divided into two areas:  the liberated area of Al-Quneitra, and the occupied area of the Golan Heights where Jabhat Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda’s base their fighters. Israel has been attempting to drive the Syrian army out ...
READ MORE
U.S. conceals thousands of airstrikes in Middle East
On February 5, Military Times published a report stating that Washington has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The investigation reveals that in Afghanistan in 2016 alone, the U.S. air force carried out at least 456 bombings. The open-source report published by the Air Force Command doesn’t include these figures. According to the Military Times, the information was obtained from “Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups” and it shows that much of what the Pentagon has disclosed may be misleading or simply ...
READ MORE
Dysfunction in the Balkans: Can the post-Yugoslav settlement survive?
The political settlement in the former Yugoslavia is unraveling. In Bosnia, the weakest state in the region, both Serbs and Croats are mounting a concerted challenge to the Dayton peace accords, the delicate set of compromises that hold the country together. In Macedonia, political figures from the large Albanian minority are calling for the federalization of the state along ethnic lines. In Kosovo, the Serb minority is insisting on the creation of a network of self-governing enclaves with effective independence from the central government. In Serbia’s Presevo Valley, Albanians are agitating for greater autonomy. In Montenegro, Albanians have demanded a ...
READ MORE
Kosovo history – Third part
For the Serbs as Christians, their loss of state independence and fall to the Ottoman Empire’s kind of theocratic state, was a terrible misfortune. With the advent of the Turks and establishment of their rule, the lands of Serbs were forcibly excluded from the circle of progressive European states wherein they occupied a prominent place precisely owing to the Byzantine civilization, which was enhanced by local qualities and strong influences of the neighboring Mediterranean states. Being Christians, the Serbs became second-class citizens in Islamic state. Apart from religious discrimination, which was evident in all spheres of everyday life, this status ...
READ MORE
Article In Saudi Daily: U.S. Planned, Carried Out 9/11 Attacks – But Blames Others For Them
On the eve of President Obama's April 2016 visit to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Congress began debating the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), that would, inter alia, allow the families of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue the Saudi government for damages. Also in April 2016, the New York Times published that a 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks had found that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. The commission's conclusions, said the paper, were specified in a report that has not been released publicly.[1] ...
READ MORE
75 Years Of Pearl Harbor Lies
Pearl Harbor Day today is like Columbus Day 50 years ago. That is to say: most people still believe the hype. The myths are still maintained in their blissful unquestioned state. “New Pearl Harbors” are longed for by war makers, claimed, and exploited. Yet the original Pearl Harbor remains the most popular U.S. argument for all things military, including the long-delayed remilitarization of Japan — not to mention the WWII internment of Japanese Americans as a model for targeting other groups today. Believers in Pearl Harbor imagine for their mythical event, in contrast to today, a greater U.S. innocence, a ...
READ MORE
Brexit: A Challenge to America’s Domination of Europe
The West Versus Russia: Towards The End Of A Pax Americana?
Allies raped hundreds of thousands of German women after WW2
Twenty Principal Misconceptions About The Kosovo Issue
Memorial Day Ignores Millions of US Imperial Victims
US Human Rights Violations: Geneva Centre For Justice
Is Political Islam Compatible with Democracy?
Western Imperialism ‘Must Go’
Mass Killings Of Serbs for organs only boosted in Kosovo, but it started earlier: in Croatia, Vukovar
“We have the right to live”: NATO’s war on Yugoslavia and the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo
A Nature of the US and the American Foreign Policy
Before Columbus: How Africans Brought Civilization to America
Contribution To The 20th Annual Conference Of Central European Political Science Association
“Fake Scholarship” and the future of America’s university
Here’s How the US, Israel, al-Qaeda and ISIS Work Together in Syria
U.S. conceals thousands of airstrikes in Middle East
Dysfunction in the Balkans: Can the post-Yugoslav settlement survive?
Kosovo history – Third part
Article In Saudi Daily: U.S. Planned, Carried Out 9/11 Attacks – But Blames Others For Them
75 Years Of Pearl Harbor Lies