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Jammin’ with Karlik’: The German-Polish ‘Radio War’ and the Gleiwitz ‘Provocation’, 1925–1939

Autor: Peter Polak-Springer
Revista: European History Quarterly Nº 43 (2)
Link: http://ehq.sagepub.com/content/43/2/279.full.pdf+html

This essay aims to shed light on the role of radio in state territorial conflicts during the interwar era, a topic that has hardly received serious attention from scholars. Its focus is on the use of radio in the German-Polish contest over the Upper Silesian borderland.

State actors of both countries built radio stations at the border with the explicit aim of integrating the largely culturally-mixed and ‘nationally indifferent’ population of locals on both sides of the borderland into – and thereby to secure the whole region for – their nation. A ‘radio war’ thus erupted by 1927, as the two sides competed against one another in this effort, and it lasted to the very end of the interwar era.

This essay focuses its analysis on the programmes of the Polish Radio Katowice as they were broadcast over and received in German Upper Silesia. It demonstrates that contrary to the views of Polish nationalists, the popularity of this radio station stemmed not so much from widespread Polish consciousness as the quality of the programmes and popularity of the performers