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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Information Services Division / RIAS, Berlin

What people say about RIAS: the Western press,   pp. 6-8 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 7

No.24 of the "Rundfunkspiegel" published by the German Industrial
Institute, carried an article headed:tt Radio as an Instrument for
Porming Political Opinion." The article said, in part: "Several
in the American Congress on the Voice of America showed that people are
aware of the problem of political propaganda,... But it-is hoped- surely
with justification - that there are points of approach promising an
effect behind the Iron Curtain. In Germany RIAS offers- the best example
of effective political work. Its principal audience is in the Soviet
Zone. It supports Soviet Zone residents in forming a free opinion.
RIAS 's work is made easier to some degree by the fact that its listeners
are willing to think over what is offered them. That is, RIAS broad-
casts are not, as was the case with Allied stations during the war,
branded as enemy propaganda and thus. listened to in a prejudiced frame
of mind."                                     X
Stockholm -
"Aftonbladet': "RIAS portrays Russian characteristics relentlessly."
"New. York Herald Tribune": "RIAS has long been a thorn in
the side of
the East German authorities, and was specifically singled out by the
Soviet commander-in-chief in East Germany, Gen. Vassily Chuikov, in a
note to Mr. Donnelly and the other Western High Commissioners protesting
'e's p i o n a g e   activities' against East Germany...."
"The New York<Times": "But both the Russians and the German
understand that East Germany cannot be considered a reliable ally so
long as RIAS reaches East German-homes...."
"New 'ork Herald Tribune': "One great trouble with our information
grams has been a certain grandiosity, a dealing too much in a wide field,
a reiteration of abstractions ill understood by the audience - if indeed
such- stuff has- had an audience. Another way of handling information has
been demonstrated for years by the Berlin Radio Station RIAS. RIAS, with
an audience in East Germany that it can check on, has ahown the relative
ineffectiveness of sober lectures, no matter how- high-minded, and of
descriptions of the American way of life, no matter how correct. It has
shown that an Iron Curtain audience will listen most closely to programs
dealing in local news and comment, and talking in the 'terms of the
listeners' daily lives, sometimes seriously, sometimes with humor...."t,
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