“Atrocity propaganda is how we won the war. And we’re only really beginning with it now! We will continue this atrocity propaganda, we will escalate it until nobody will accept even a good word from the Germans, until all the sympathy they may still have abroad will have been destroyed and they themselves will be so confused that they will no longer know what they are doing. Once that has been achieved, once they begin to run down their own country and their own people, not reluctantly but with eagerness to please the victors, only then will our victory be complete. It will never be final.”
Re-education needs careful tending, like an English lawn. Even one moment of negligence, and the weeds crop up again – those indestructible weeds of historical truth.”
– Delmer, Sefton (1904-1979), former British Chief of `Black propaganda’: (Said after the German surrender, in 1945, in a conversation with the German professor of international law, Dr. Friedrich Grimm.)
Sefton Delmer, born in Berlin in 1904, with Lord Beaverbrook’s support, Daily Express correspondent of long standing, promoted in 1940 to be the leading correspondent for the British Information Secretary of State, Duff Cooper, and finally directed the German-language broadcasts of the BBC and the propaganda linked with it. About his first BBC radio broadcast Sefton Delmer wrote as follows:
For Hitler had chosen my first Friday – Friday July the 19th, 1940 – to make his triumphal Reichstag oration in celebration of his victory over France. More important still, he had chosen it as the occasion for his “final peace appeal” to Britain.
“It almost causes me pain,” I heard him piously intone as I listened in on the radio in the BBC studio, “to think that I should have been selected by Providence to deal the final blow to the edifice which these men have already set tottering… Mr. Churchill ought for once to believe me, when I prophesy that a great empire will be destroyed which it was never my intention to destroy or even to harm… In this hour I feel it my duty before my conscience to appeal once more to reason and common sense in Britain… I CAN SEE NO REASON WHY THIS WAR MUST GO ON!”
…Within an hour of Hitler having spoken I was on the air with my reply. And without a moment’s hesitation I turned his peace offer down. My colleagues at the BBC had approved of what I meant to say. That was enough authority for me.
“Herr Hitler,” I said in my smoothest and most deferential German, “you have on occasion in the past consulted me as to the mood of the British public. So permit me to render your excellency this little service once again tonight. Let me tell you what we here in Britain think of this appeal of yours to what you are pleased to call our reason and common sense. Herr Führer and Reichskanzler, we hurl it right back at you, right in your evil smelling teeth…”
…Duff Cooper rallied to my support with all his suave authority. He assured the House that my talk had the Cabinet’s full approval. And when the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax replied to Hitler a couple of days after me the sense of what he said was the same, although he used rather more restrained language. (Black Boomerang, pp. 16-18)
Sefton Delmer finally was entrusted with the command of a “Research Unit,” which, however, did not have anything to do with research – but was simply the cover-name – for special radio stations giving the impression, “as if they were working at some place inside the Europe occupied by Hitler.” His initial chief was Leonard Ingrams, a key employee in “the Cloak-and-Dagger Organisation S.O.2 later renamed S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) which was responsible for the organisation of resistance, sabotage, assassination and kindred enterprises” (pp. 36-37). Delmer’s remit: “There are no limits. No holds are barred” (p. 38).
Delmer’s instructions included the following:
“Accuracy first,” I used to tell the writers. “We must never lie by accident, or through slovenliness, only deliberately!”
And as we put out news bulletin after news bulletin and service programme after service programme an entire system of subversive campaigns developed. (p. 92)
We are waging against Hitler a kind of total war of wits. Anything goes, so long as it serves to bring nearer the end of the war and Hitler’s defeat. If you [Otto John] are at all squeamish about what you may be called upon to do against your own countrymen you must say so now. I shall understand it. In that case, however, you will be no good to us and no doubt some other job will be found for you. But if you feel like joining me, I must warn you that in my unit we are up to all the dirty tricks we can devise. No holes are barred. The dirtier the better. Lies treachery, everything.(p. 181)
The monitored conversations between the generals, the interrogations, the maps all travelled down to MB [Milton Bryan, near Woburn]. And there they were built up into news stories about the hitherto top secret private life of Hitler and his suite that tortured the ailing Führer with the suspicion that the British had their spies right inside his HQ. Clifton Child was a genius at freshening up a piece of intelligence with a new development that made it sound like something that had happened the night before…
Hitler’s suspicions reached their climax when the Soldatensender, using the same technique of intelligent deduction and anticipation which had served us so well in the past, reported an order issued by the Führer at a conference in his headquarters, and did so within twenty-four hours of his having given it and before it had been carried out. (pp. 207-208)
We never attempted to concentrate on individual coups. Our task as I saw it was to corrode and erode with a steady drip of subversive news and ‘evidence’ the iron system of control in which Hitler’s Police State had locked the body and soul of the German people. (p. 213)
Examples of such measures:
The first consisted of posting letters to the relatives of German soldiers who had recently died in German military hospitals in Italy. Fortunately for us the German hospital directors made a practice of sending radio telegrams en clair to the local party authorities in Germany asking them to break the news to the relatives. These telegrams were intercepted and passed on to me. And they gave us all the information we needed – the soldier’s name, the address of his relatives and the name of the hospital.
We now concocted a moving letter, written out in German longhand script on notepaper bearing the letter heading of the German hospital. Ostensibly the letter came either from a nurse or from a comrade of the dead man who had entrusted it for posting to someone going to Germany on leave. Whoever was the writer, he or she had been with the dead man during his last hours, and was now writing to comfort his relatives…
On other occasions we used the same technique to tell the relatives that their soldier had not died of wounds, but had been given a lethal injection. The Nazi doctor at the hospital, we explained through our nurse, had considered the man had no chance of becoming fighting fit again before the war was finished. The doctor had required the man’s bed for soldiers with a better chance of rapid recovery. (p. 133-134)
Next I decided to fake a letter allegedly written by Mölders expatiating on the doubts he and his comrades felt about fighting for the atheist Hitler… For it was in keeping with the character of young Mölders to have written such a letter. He alone could have denounced it convincingly, and he was dead – murdered, so everyone believed, by the Nazis themselves. (pp. 139-140)
To lighten my conscience a little – and help on our desertion campaign at the same time – I also arranged for food parcels to be sent to those relatives of dead soldiers whom we had hoaxed so cruelly with our ‘Red Circle’ letters. To reinforce their belief that the dead man was not dead at all but a deserter earning good money in a safe refuge abroad we gave the alleged sender of the food parcel the dead man’s Christian name. (p. 142)
British Ministry of Truth Said in 1944 That the Holocaust Must be Created to Distract from USSR Massacres
“There exists no document signed by Hitler, Himmler, or Heydrich speaking of exterminating Jews… and, the word ‘extermination’ does not appear in the letter from Herman Goering to Heydrich concerning the Final Solution of the Jewish question.”
Aryeh Leon Kubovy of the Israeli Center for Jewish Documentation
This is a February 29, 1944 letter to the BBCand higher members of the British clergy, from the British Ministry of Information. It lays out in no uncertain terms the following:
We all know the crimes committed by the Bolsheviks over the last 24 years in Russia and Eastern Europe
It is inevitable they will do the same in Central Europe We will cover up their crimes by lying about the Germans The public is not as stupid as it was, our lies will be better You (BBC & Church) must spread these lies, convincingly
I am directed by the Ministry to send you the following circular letter:
It is often the duty of the good citizens and of the pious Christians to turn a blind eye on the peculiarities of those associated with us.
But the time comes when such peculiarities, while still denied in public, must be taken into account when action by us is called for.
We know the methods of rule employed by the Bolshevik dictator in Russia itself from, for example, the writing and speeches of the Prime Minister himself during the last twenty years. We know how the Red Army behaved in Poland in 1920 and in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Galicia and Bessarabia only recently.
We must, therefore, take into account how the Red Army will certainly behave when it overruns Central Europe. Unless precautions are taken, the obviously inevitable horrors which will result will throw an undue strain on public opinion in this country.
We cannot reform the Bolsheviks but we can do our best to save them — and ourselves — from the consequences of their acts. The disclosures of the past quarter of a century will render mere denials unconvincing. The only alternative to denial is to distract public attention from the whole subject.
Experience has shown that the best distraction is atrocity propaganda directed against the enemy. Unfortunately the public is no longer so susceptible as in the days of the “Corpse Factory,” and the “Mutilated Belgian Babies,” and the “Crucified Canadians.”
Your cooperation is therefore earnestly sought to distract public attention from the doings of the Red Army by your wholehearted support of various charges against the Germans and Japanese which have been and will be put into circulation by the Ministry.
Your expression of belief in such may convince others.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant, (signed) H. HEWET, ASSISTANT SECRETARY
The Ministry can enter into no correspondence of any kind with regard to this communication which should only be disclosed to responsible persons.
This letter is reproduced in a 1958 book entitled: Allied Wartime Diplomacy: A Pattern in Poland by Edward J. Rozek.