...The reader of these essays will learn that Tillich’s analysis was not only profound, powerful, and polemical but also true. These radio speeches are the raw data of a theologian at war from 1942 to 1944, following the daily events and analyzing them theologically. These are not works from hindsight but represent engaged, political, and theological risk taking.
The many individuals who were recruited to write for the Voice of America were not expected to create Propaganda in the popular sense of the word. The Voice of America was the strongest section of the Radio Program Bureau of the U.S. Office of War Information (OWI). It was forbidden to use falsehood in its efforts. Another agency— the Office of Strategie Services (OSS) — was specifically mandated to serve as a subversive tool of the military. It was unabashedly engaged in psychological warfare. The OWI, in contrast, was committed to the truthful dissemination of information in the domestic and foreign sectors — a truth admittedly steeped in New Deal liberalism.
Did Tillich’s Service to the OWI nevertheless make him a Propagandist? The fields of Propaganda studies and communication research flowered in the years between the two world wars. While Propaganda studies focused on the truth or falsehood of media messages, communication studies concentrated on the impact of these messages on the hearers. The political scientist, Harold Lasswell, came to the conclusion that Propaganda was “no more moral or immoral than a pump handle.” Its truth or un-truth was irrelevant to its function. ln his eyes, it had become a necessary tool for moving the masses in the modern, technological era . 2 Jacques Ellul a Protestant, French theologian, later pointed out the inherent risk contained within a modern Situation in which Propaganda becomes technological civilization’s weapon against the autonomy of the individual .
Yeah right, "truthful", they mean they try to get as many facts straight as necessary to appear credible in order to transpose a lie against the enemy. The author is either very naive or malicious on purpose here. Funny how he insists to point out that the OWI or Tillich weren't lying and truthful (but admits that this may have been the case with the OSS). Did he check what's claimed itself? Where did Tillich have his information from? How was the facticity of it verified? Let's put it that way. OWI got it's info from another government agency, newspaper articles, exile organisations and the like. There is no way they could have done some fact checking during the war (and they didn't bother afterwards). But they still may have believed what they've been disseminating given that apparently independent sources repeated similar messages over and over again. That those sources may by themselves have gotten rumors from a single other source didn't pass their mind it seems.
Further The commentary reads like this:
...Before 1942 was over, Tillich was speaking of the Nazi actions of extermination of the Jews (September 12, 1942, and November 12, 1942). In December 1942, he was telling Germans of the trains of death, of the machine-gun executions of Jewish children and women, and of German physicians who joined in the slaughter in the camps. The Nazi guilt was a bürden to the country that had become the tool for Nazism. The essays from March 1942 to May 1944 detail the guilt of all responsible Germans, and Tillich’s own guilt fuels the passion of his writing....
https://archive.org/details/WarTimeRadi ... aulTillich
Here is an example with some Holocaust relevance:
COLLECTIVE GUILT August 9, 1943
...All Germans have heard of the horrible crimes that have taken place in the concentration camps. But they hardened their hearts and did nothing and, as a result, made themselves culpable. Every German knew of the extermination campaign against Jewish people. Everyone knew Jewish people about whom he felt sorry, but no protest arose...
https://archive.org/details/WarTimeRadi ... aulTillich
How does he know that "ALL GERMANS" heard about the "crimes in concentration camps" and "knew about the extermination campaign against Jewish People"? Obviously he's lying for rhetorical reasons here. Of course most Germans would have known or heard of concentration camps and deportations. That still isn't all and it's even less "knowing about extermination". I'd like to see the original wording on this to assess the ambiguity of phrases being used.
About a week later he spins the story further.
It seems as if he's preparing the Germans to accept the crimes being committed against, as atonement for the still to be named "Holocaust". That's of course a convenient device for population control for any future occupation and hegemony.Guilt— ATONEMENT— EXPIATION
August 16, 1943
...And today, when the trains with Germans who are fleeing from the cities roll from west to east, this is an atonement for the death trains that, filled with Jewish women and children and old people, drove out of all German cities from west to east to certain death. The German cities slept when the death trains rolled through their train stations with their bürden of indescribable misery. Now they are awoken by the fire from heaven; now their inhabitants themselves are filling the trains of misery.
Tillich extensively speaks about Jews and sometimes about extermination, but I don't find one place were gas chambers are mentioned. In fact given that his radio speeches were an appeal to Germans, he must have been kind of obsessed with the Jews. I wonder who did talk more about Jews, he or Goebbels? One would have to analyse the relevant texts further.
Feel free to go through the text, maybe we find something of use. Again, how did Tillich "know" about this supposed extermination, what were his sources? He was not present in Europe, hence how did he test the veracity of information played into his hands. I suppose he got his info via OWI, which was the propaganda arm of the American government. That leaves out several other hurdles. It's like the "Chinese Whispers" game, where a message is passed from one ear to the other. In the end you get something outlandishly different then the initial message. But apparently Tillich had an astonishingly naive faith in the American Government and it's agencies, something he himself accused his fellow Germans of.