“Parisians awoke one spring morning in 1940 to find the streets littered with green leaves. But they weren’t ordinary leaves. Actually they were Nazi leaflets bearing this message: ‘If you fight England’s battle, your soldiers will fall like autumn leaves.’
“[T]he Parisians were badly shaken. Already they had been saturated by poison manufactured by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda chief, and fed by French traitors who spread defeatism through such remarks as ‘What’s the use?’ and ‘The English are fighting to the last Frenchman.’
“It was psychological warfare and it worked. France was whipped before the Germans ever reached the Maginot line.
“In his book, Paper Bullets, Leo J. Margolin, a news editor of the Psychological Warfare Branch in Europe for 16 months, gives graphic examples of how the enemy operated before, during and after wars. Margolin explains the pattern of such propaganda, then goes into our own efforts at it and how, finally, we made the enemy’s propaganda look amateurish.” (Jackson, TN, Sun, 7/9/1946)
Leo Jay Margolin (1910-1971) was born in Brooklyn and earned degrees from Long Island University and Brooklyn Law School. Though admitted to the bar, he entered journalism, working for the Herald Tribune and PM. He taught public relations at the NYU Graduate School, was head of Manhattan Community College’s business administration division, and was vice-president of Tex McCreery, Inc., a public relations firm. During World War 2, he worked in the Overseas Branch of the United States Office of War Information as a news editor.
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