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Broehm, Barbara / World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth
(December 2000)

World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth,   pp. [1]-30


Page 6

Broehm 6 
Opponents of propaganda viewed it as "tainted information" and
felt that the war 
should be portrayed to the public "with [a] more simple and forthright
description and.. 
less lofty principles." Proponents of propaganda believed if "forthright
facts" were 
revealed, the facts would "depress Americans to the point of suicide."12
To win this war, 
propaganda seemed "indispensable in maintaining civilian and military
morale.,13 
The impact of the war on Manitowoc's youth is varied. Those who had no family
members or friends in the military viewed the war years as personally uneventful.
One 
homefront girl said she participated in the war bond and salvage drives but
confesses, 
"I'm not sure my life is much different than it would have been without
the war."'4 
For others it was a very somber time. It was a period of worry and sadness.
Loved ones were away at war. Children faced challenges on the homefront because
their 
home environment was often stressful. Many children claimed that their fathers
struggled with the fact that the family farm had been lost during the depression.
Many of 
these men considered themselves failures, and became depressed. "My
dad did find ajob 
at the shipyards, and we welcomed the income," comments a homefront
girl. She adds, 
"Dad worked long hours, and when he was home, he was usually sleeping.
We always 
had to be so quiet ... things were sure different than they were on the farm."'5
A 
homefront teenager agreed that her dad could not get over the fact that the
family farm 
was gone. "My dad was depressed and couldn't hold a job. My mother also
became 
12 Blum, 28 
13 Clayton R Koppes and Gregory D. Black, Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics,
Profits and 
Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies (New York: Free Press, 1987), 48. 
14 Lola Klusmeyer, interview by Barbara Broehm, 18 November 2000. 
15 Susan Dick, interview by Barbara Broehm, 26 October 2000. 


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