Propaganda War?

Posted by John Rosenthal

In September 1939, Henri Rollin published his L’Apocalypse de notre temps - The Apocalypse of Our Times – a detailed study of German propaganda between the two World Wars and the pivotal role in it, more precisely, of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. One of the great services rendered by Rollin’s work was to have exposed the latter as a forgery. The French publishing house Editions Allia has had the good sense to re-issue Rollin’s nearly 800-page volume. It is high time that an American or British publisher thought of bringing it into English.

Rollin finished correcting the proofs of his volume on 27 June 1939. On that very day, as Rollin notes in the introduction to L’Apocalypse de notre temps, Prime Minister Edouard Daladier went before the French Chamber of Deputies to relate the evidence of German preparations for war. “In the last twenty years, the situation of Europe and the world has never been so delicate and so grave,” Daladier commented. “While all these events are occurring on our borders,” he added:

at the interior of our country we are witness to an active campaign of propaganda, the links of which to foreign influences have now been demonstrated. The point of the campaign is to break the unity of France and to open a breach in the combined energies of the French nation…, through which all sorts of intrigues and maneuvers will be able to pass.

The point is… to break the unity of the French people – sometimes by deploying the means of religious controversies or racial prejudices, sometimes by exploiting the seeds of rivalry with Great Britain….

We have been able to open investigations and we have seized various materials. And we are, in effect, convinced that there has been an attempt to envelop France in a web of intrigue, espionage and still worse…. We are committed to preventing the energies of the French nation from being dissociated in this way….

While reading the latest dispatch from the AFP, or the latest poll from Ipsos, or so many other supposed “revelations” in the American press, I leave it to the reader to reflect on whether Daladier’s words might not also be relevant to the situation of the United States in 2005.

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