Paging through this well-wrought collection can be slightly surreal, like looking into an alternative past, but also fascinating" - World War II magazine
Hitler's War: World War II as Portrayed by Signal, the International Nazi Propaganda Magazineby Jeremy Harwood
The downfall of Nazi Germany, as seen through its own media. The first issue of Signal magazine, Germany's biweekly army propaganda publication, hit the newsstands in April of 1940. The magazine's readership grew dramatically as the Nazi empire expanded across Europe, and by 1943 its circulation was roughly 2.5 million. At its outset,/i>/b>… See more details below
The downfall of Nazi Germany, as seen through its own media. The first issue of Signal magazine, Germany's biweekly army propaganda publication, hit the newsstands in April of 1940. The magazine's readership grew dramatically as the Nazi empire expanded across Europe, and by 1943 its circulation was roughly 2.5 million. At its outset, Signal was brashly optimistic, packed full of photographs celebrating the Third Reich's triumph over its enemiesbut the last issue would appear on April 12, 1945, just weeks before the Reich's surrender. In Hitler's War, historian Jeremy Harwood charts the downfall of the Nazi regime through the lens of Signal magazine, from the heady days of the Blitzkriegwhen a German victory seemed to be just around the cornerto the way the publication faced up to the Reich's ultimate decline and fall. Harwood's fascinating commentary supplements reproduced page spreads from actual issues of the magazine, placing modern analysis next to authentic period writing from the German military. As the tide of war swings inexorably against Nazi Germany, with no more victories to celebrate, Harwood traces the shifting of Signal's editorial emphasis from confident news and gossip to desperate, sensationalist heroism. Offering a brand-new window into the Third Reich's public strategy, Hitler's War puts the magazine content into accurate historical context, showing how, after 1943, the picture of Nazi Germany that Signal presented was ever more increasingly at odds with reality.
Modeled after Picture Post in Britain and Life and National Geographic in the United States, Signal magazine was Nazi Germany's most successful wartime propaganda publication; its peak circulation reached 2.5 million copies per issue. This chronicle of the magazine's life span, which mirrors that of the Third Reich (April 1940–March 1945), offers a fascinatingly rich and detailed German civilian-centric account and viewpoint of the war, world, and culture. In both full pages and snippets clipped from the publication, every front of the spectacle of war and the German perspective is examined and framed chronologically—the battles and conquests, articles, ads, graphics, human-interest stories, and entertainment/society coverage—with that selective intonation and controlled word choice we've become fascinated with in propaganda and that no doubt propels its enduring intrigue. Owing dually to the effective production value of the publication and Harwood's (The Secret History of Freemasonry) deft presentation of the material, though the story is understood (and it's impossible not to measure the text retrospectively, knowingly aware of the gravity and sensational delusion), this book feels immediate and intimate. VERDICT Carrying an organic empirical quality rarely facilitated by a historical text, this rich and fascinating study is for World War II enthusiasts, historians, socioculturalists, and journalists.—Benjamin Malczewski, Toledo-Lucas Cty. P.L.
- Zenith Press
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