Voices of Europe; Dr. Renate Unkrodt
Voices of Europe. Milton Maier American author and broadcaster lecturer and professor of social research from the University of Frankfurt has been traveling throughout many of the countries of Europe recording the voices of a great number of people on a wide variety of subjects. People who can speak directly and candidly of their own feelings and their own aspirations. Today he interviews Fraulein Dr. Renate own crawled to the daughter of a judge in Prussia Dr. unquote attended university in Marburg Germany during the Nazi period and because she was not a member of the National Socialist Party was never able to begin her career as a journalist in 1045 she had an opportunity to join the staff of the newly revived daily newspaper in the city of Marburg. And she is now the woman's editor and also editor for arts and sciences. Here is Milton Mayer. Dr Tony kraut. When you described First the situation of the daily press in March or during the next C period the situation of the paper
in my book was no different from situation are small and bigger city than Germany. They got the news by one news agency which was of course influence and controlled by the National Socialist Party. And they couldn't alter these new laws they had to print them as they came in. So whether that any toy or they got by sending which was also controlled by either party. Are the ad just wrote on the line the party told them. Now does this mean that in your view it would be editors themselves had no responsibility for what was printed in the newspapers. He and nine fought in their debt to print something out maybe and they knew who was who would be better and was more the crew
was they had the danger that the newspaper would be published in the next day. Now if I understand correctly when the allies came into Germany and the National Socialist regime capitulated or was just draw and. Be allies one of the first things they did was to throw out all of the journalists. Where then the newspaper man. Yeah editors. They did in view of the fact that you think the editors have no control. And no real responsibility for what they print. Do you think it was the right or the wrong thing to do to throw out every journalist in the moment. The right thing because they had no other means to find out who really had been a national socialist or not. They could that files that are later on but not in the moment and they had to think that all the editors
who stayed on that up to 45 had been Nazis because there were a lot of us who said it was not going to get on with their conscience to stay on a newspaper and to print the thing they knew the truth so they better saw to leave that job. And because that was known the Allies had to thing that the people who stayed really believed what they did. But in your view were there many people working years editors of newspapers even to the end of the Nazi regime who were actually fairly nervous. I don't think that about so many but class time in 1945 when the newspapers in Germany were all closed. Yeah that would have been in May. Yeah and what happened in Marburg. Then there had been only one newspaper mindless paper head before 1933 that two newspapers and the UN was a
Democratic paper was forbidden. After things we after then there was only one Jewish paper that stayed up to 45. But most have been by the Allies. What was the circulation of this paper in World of those smart paper only covering the city of Moloch was a circulation of average eleven dollars 11 pounds. And how many people this is a hard question. How many people who read the newspaper. It was called White Van Doren went over on its side and was the Ogre has issued site that is the Nazi newspaper. How many people in my herd believed what they read. I think mob was always said he was a little bit out of the act live and they saw it was not good what was moderate and out of that we in their match against National Socialism too. During the Nazi time always thought they were against
National Socialism because of their believe. After a while they found out they were getting everything with water. Just more that you mean in Marburger since the town is so very very old and has so much tradition and people are generally so conservative they opposed anything that was minor. Yeah and they're hurting national socialism. They were so conservative that they stick stuck to the thing the rich have before our national socialism. Then how much influence would you say that a Nazi newspaper hair in a town like Maher during the Nazi period. It had some influence because it was read by nearly everybody it had to be read because it was the only way of making noble affairs a public to everybody and all the very important thing that you had to get your ration cards and all these things. And so a lot of people are aware that other things too and because they had no other means to get informed.
I think a lot of people didn't think so very much about everything. We believed a lot of the news too. Now in 1945 was that where the papers were closed in the spring and when was the Marburg paper Mabel was closed I think when the Americans came in that was March 27. And we started a new newspaper on my question I think the beginning of September. 25. In the meantime we had no paper we got some brown papers published by the American army. And that was the only way of getting information. And then. It started again in Germany. They could start when they got a license by the Americans in the bank and sold by the British throne of cards by the French by the French so yes. And the merit of some people who were interested in starting a paper contacted the American press
officer. And talked it over how possible to start a new newspaper. And the press office of the American army of occupation army selected some people they thought would be able to start a new newspaper and so they gave the license of a daily paper to different paper. The run was a mob publisher. He had been the owner of a Democratic newspaper which had been published in MA be found 90 33. And to give the license to an area from the nearby town of Easton who had been editor of the Social Democratic paper had been prosecuted by the Nazis had been in a concentration camp. And he wanted to work in the newspaper field again and so they put these two people together and gave the license of a daily paper to that. Now then the daily paper began in the fall of
1945 under an America. Can license yet to be edited by two to man to man one who had been the editor of the Marburg paper before the Nazis threw him out in 1933 and this man was as you say a member of the Democratic Party and became afterwards after the party by a member of the so-called Liberal Democratic Party which is now the FPP. The FPP that this is the credit part of the free democratic party and which is a middle of the road party and the other editor who was placed with this man had been the editor of a social democratic party paper. And this is more to the left and its right. The FPP supports the odd now. Government yet in Germany and the Social Democratic Party is the opposition from the way that's right.
So this paper which was then edited by two men one being a conservative. Middle of the road the other being a social democrat. That is somewhat to the left. As And roughly a middle of the road to a slightly left or we would say in America perhaps New Deal ish. Yeah that's right. And one of the conditions for getting the license for the paper was that this paper was not expressing one party opinion only. But fourth in going their way covering all of our parties and covering in the Italian stew our party opinion it was carved up the tiny side to uber partyer because cycling means overall darkest hour
was it actually such a newspaper or was it actually an Bieber partyer newspaper. Yes it was because. We had to give the space to our parties play expressed though. I mean especially in election time. We tried to find people lighting and toilets from all the parties. Of cause because of the two men publishing the papers put up the business between them as far as the the one became publisher and the other became editor and she the thing of the paper and the political page was a little bit it was a social democratic side because this editor and she well the man who was the member of the Social Democratic Party. I see now you have in Germany a party on the extreme left called a K PDV which is the Communist Party and a party on the extreme right calling
s r p which is sometimes spoken of as the neo nazi party or the extreme right you just are. That's right. How much space. But the Communist Party and the Nazi party if I may use those terms how much space where they get the communistic party in the beginning got the same space as the other parties and the few communistic party was a man Bob. And as a party and out in Germany and we knew after the war that Hershey had wop in the resistance and the Nazi party didn't exist. That after after the first year. Ever border where we live that the Communist Party was not democratic or thought. We went into opposition. And
from there we didn't give any space to them either. Then coming for nothing. Well there's that conditions still are OK. Yet that is there is no space given in the overhead social press of us with the newspapers comin out. There is no space given in the ober has such a presser either in the news article orany other Tarheels. To the Communist Party or to the S. R. P. There is the Nazi card while it is in the given all space to expose the press. Themselves. It's Givens based IF IT'S NEW was if they had a meeting someplace and there was a big discussion of calls we'd give that as the news if. Pardon me Doctor unquote. If they were going to have a meeting and they sent a notice to the overhead social press that they were going to hold a meeting and that
everybody was invited to come to this Communist Party meeting with this news be printed in advance in the overhead Fisher-Price. But they have to put it in informal been at Rutgers and have to pay played and there's no comment and comment on it. But then if for instance one of the more center parties or Democratic parties was going to have a meeting here in Marbury and they sent you an announcement of this meeting it would be printed as news. Yeah it would. Now then I think it is probably fair to say. This represents a really great distinction between the press in Germany today and the press in America. By and large most of our newspapers. I think it's fair to say. That most of our big newspapers at least would print the announcements of. Parties which were in
strong opposition. Is this decision not to print. News of meetings or news favoring the Communist Party or the so-called Nazi party. Is this decision made wholly by the German publishers of the paper. Or do you feel that there is also pressure from the American government. Or the American all fishbowls in view of the charges which have been made here in Germany by many persons including most notably pastor name our that the German newspapers are corrupted by the Americans by virtue of the fact that they receive subsidies or loans from the American government. Well some of the bigger peoples got some money credits from them that and but I don't think that that one in when Thing them in favor of something which
they were not in favor of far and my own papers and the smart paper I didn't get any money from outside. And still that wouldn't be any pressure on that. No I think that the publisher made up their mind to give no space which means danger to our own Constitution. As we look on the communistic party and under Nazi party doctrine on crop I think. But you told me when we were speaking earlier that your field was filled last AP When you were in the Marburg university as a student. That's right. Have you encountered in the course of your reading the writings of the Englishman John Milton the English poet. Have you by any chance read his essay on freedom of the press called area with Jessica. But I'm afraid I'm
not. Well one says Are we Americans an Englishman expected everybody else in the world has read and read everything that was ever written a thing of Bush or of course if you ask us did we already get to your hearing right when they say no we are not about to well leave you expressed by John Milton in this famous essay defending absolute freedom of the press. And it was a view that was taken up by Thomas Jefferson the author of the American Declaration of Independence. Was the freedom of the press should be accessible. To all news should be printed that things which were in error are which were opposed even to the form of government which we hare should also be given publicized. This does I think represent a distinct. Difference in viewpoint from the back of the German press.
That's right in a way but I don't think so that we are so different from the American people and I know the only restrictions are knives. And. The car forward usually. And we think that everything the communistic party in does it something like demining in the hood usually and disturbing the peace of the Constitution and the government well of course we quarrel about that problem in America a great deal especially nice day. There are many people who say the communist parties are fascist parties extreme right or left parties are working for a violent overthrow of the government even though they do not openly demand violent overthrow of the government. Now in Germany as far as I know neither the Communist Party nor the Nazi party.
The man's violent overthrow of the government. Is that true. Well the Communist Party does in a way. And not the new Nazi party does not. But that's the question. Couldn't publish anything like a meeting of the Nazi party because of this party and any of its meeting is forbidden in the state of Hesse in the state of Hessen and some other states too of western Germany now. So while we had no chance to publish any meeting because there wouldn't be any. Now you were in America on a visit several months ago. Yes and how you were there how three months. Naturally he asked what we would call and use paper one month I think in Europe you would call it a journalist. That's a little high. For our guards as a journalist I mention that you devoted a lot of your attention to reading the American newspapers. Did you find that the American newspapers. Tended to give
more publicity to movements which were opposed to the government. Than German newspapers now here. No I don't think so because of the danger of these movements. Another time to compare but between America and Gemini the communistic party and all what belong to it doesn't exist in such an extent extent like it is in Germany and it's that we are much nearer to the source of all of these are out there. Doctor what about the Nazi party in Germany. This is a very small party at the present time is it not. It is but we don't want to have any revival of a time which we had such a bent and Benteke big infection and a bad man with where we are. As a general practice under our Constitution. Our freedom to any speech or do any press.
Which does not present a clear and present danger. To the security of the state it must it must present a clear and present danger before we can suppress it. Now certainly you would not say that the new Nazi party presents a clear and present danger to the security of the German state. Would you know about it. Has a drawn up preventing such a pain at such a dangerous in some time. If we don't stop it early enough and all of reproach a device made to Germany that we didn't stop. Not pleasant that we don't want to do it again. And if that is the party which says. That everything what happened and that the idea that we are fighting now is the only not the idea but quite right. We think that it could be a present danger in some time. It would not even know.
Ah now I ask you a very very question question doctor. In order to prevent a revival let us say Nazi ism in Germany. When you yourself say that it does not present a clear and present danger to the security of the German nation. Are the Germans not compelled now to use the same means as the Nazis used in 1933 namely the suppression. Of opposition or revolutionary parties. No because either the SFP nor the communistic party is forbidden as a party. And the communistic party and as happy have man was in our House of Representatives. So we have the possibility to express their opinion. But you being a printer we print them when they are expressed in the.
Remember when we print and give the publicity. What is happening in the House of Representatives in our government. Sure we are on a cross. Do you think that Germany needs in the way of press. Needs and I think that the lack that our. Agencies or other government agencies. Material to the press. And a lot of people are still afraid. Of the material they have. And that the German people still have much more. Side in what is going on with their own government and wellness than in all the companies there. So they really can't see how they are governed. You mean that the government does not give enough information to the press. No. And as far as the actual freedom of the
press itself to you is concerned do you figure over under the Americans and under the British and under the French German press it is really free. Yeah it is real even if we agree and it could be free in Germany too and all the Newspaper Guild is fighting for a new law which is guaranteeing this freedom to the press. And there's been a lot of discussion just lately about the newer law and we found out that it has another restriction that shielding the government agencies and not giving all the material the press needs to give the food to its readers. But I can take it that you would be opposed to having a Nazi press freely publishing in German. I'm not opposing it but I think it would never come into we existence and only could come as a small party press in
itself. But that's the way it started before and I'm not quite sure whether they have noticed more information. The paper up for that party. I didn't see it yet but there are communist papers freely published they are in western Jervey are and they are coming this party and Europeans. Now for my last question. Dr Von Crowe What do you think of the American press isn't free is it freer than the German press in a way it's clear than the German press although I don't know whether we want just this we didn't I was very struck me very much when I saw the way the American people could talk about the president and even if they had to have another opinion that he had you could say it in a little more respectful way I think that would appeal more to John and then go ahead and spicy as a lot of American pay about herit
Letterman papers are more dignified and conservative usually I think in their treatment of persons. Now what about. The control you do the advertisers exert great influence on the newspapers in Germany a lot I think at the time. I'm not. Influencing the paper in their opinion in their news pages. There's not as much as they do when they enter America and what about parties do parties control in the British film we had some papers. Cut licenses by four belong to a special party where you have always had more of a party press in Germany. Isn't that true in former times we head for the Nazi period different newspapers support and different priorities. And did you have a much greater diversity variety of newspapers than we have in America.
Well we had papers who were much more opposed than I end up on the papers are in the mess that is you have a big paper must weigh all that when I write a way around the laugh and in the middle. Yeah. Then you have do you think that you have now in this sense a freer press than we had. That is you have more points of view represented than we here why are we not now because of the All we are the party people are not very big people. Are there the biggest papers are sort of about parties and is this really do you think a free development among the German people or was this compelled by now I think it is a free development and I think that what the German people want. Wants a possibility to get informed from different points. But in one paper which has to give space to different points of view. Do you think that the American press has a good or a bad influence on the German press or none at all.
I think they have some influence and has family influence in the make up and I think that they're necessary because of the papers a little bit and the American people are much more color. And I think that's very good in the whole make up of the story and the makeup of the pages to get some inference from the Mac and Fannie I think generally your news articles are. More or less honestly written than ours are in our news. But no I don't think so and I think that just a saying. Thank you very much Dr. Milton Mayer has been interviewing Fraulein Dr. Renate on growth in the series voices of Europe for starboard a young university student in an earlier program of this series had complained of the newspapers in Germany claiming that they suffered in the Western zones of Germany from pressures exerted by the allied governments which were equally oppressive and comparable to those pressures exerted by the communists in the eastern zone. This interview with
Fraulein Dr Renata own quote is an attempt to clarify those views to learn just what the conditions are under which newspapers are published in Germany. There is also in the interview a mention of the German political party vs R.P. or so-called neo nazi party. The interview took place before the SRP in Germany formally disbanded itself. The programme you have just heard is made possible under a grant from the fund for adult education an independent organization established by the Ford Foundation. These programs are prepared and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This program was introduced by Norman McKee and this is the end AB tape network.
- Voices of Europe
- Dr. Renate Unkrodt
- Producing Organization
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
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- Episode Description
- An interview with Dr. Renate Unkrodt, a German journalist.
- Series Description
- Interviews with noted Europeans on a variety of subjects, conducted by Milton Mayer, American author and broadcaster, lecturer and professor in the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University.
- Broadcast Date
- Global Affairs
- German newspapers.
- Media type
Interviewee: Unkrodt, Renate
Interviewer: Mayer, Milton, 1908-1986
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-37-14 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Voices of Europe; Dr. Renate Unkrodt,” 1953-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 9, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-5d8nh98t.
- MLA: “Voices of Europe; Dr. Renate Unkrodt.” 1953-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 9, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-5d8nh98t>.
- APA: Voices of Europe; Dr. Renate Unkrodt. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-5d8nh98t