Finally, during the war, one of the hallmarks of the Nazi regime was to control the flow of information to the German citizenry. I hadn’t realized that they actually built specialized radios whose sensitivity was so weak that they could only pick up German government signals, but generally not overseas views (such as the BBC). They viewed clandestine listeners to foreign broadcasts as traitors to the state, undermining the war effort. I’m certainly glad we live in a nation where such attitudes would be odious, to both Congress and the President.
All in all, it was a relief to leave the museum, and walk back across the mall toward the White House, secure in the knowledge that such things could never occur here.
Reading about the propaganda and the treatment of illicit listeners always reminds me of Pauli.
Pauli was a German technician that I worked with in Germany back in the 1980s. His father had had a radio capable of picking up the BBC. About 2 weeks before the end of the war the Gestapo and SS showed up at their door and hanged his father from the lamppost outside. Pauli had to watch.
It must have troubled him far more than anyone knew. He had been a telephone technician for the American Army since the early 1950’s. We put in an electronic switch in the early 1980s. The next day he went around saying goodbye to all his neighbors. (A bad sign) Then he went home and hanged himself.
He was another casualty of the Nazi Socialists. He just didn’t die until almost 40 years after their fall.