2006 | 16 | 209-260
Article title

'Kurier Bialostocki' as an example of Hitlerite 'gadzinówka' press published in the Bialystok district in 1944

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The author attempts to describe 'Kurier Bialostocki' (Bialostocki Courier), a type of 'gadzinówka' newspaper published in 1944 in the Bialystok district ('gadzinówka' - a colloquial term for a tabloid propaganda newspaper published in Polish by German authorities occupying Poland during WW II) from the point of its structure, form and content. 'Kurier Bialostocki' was a weekly newspaper published in Białystok.from 1st January 1944 to 17th May 1944 and its editors and administrators were originally seated in 12 Erich-Koch Str. (Sienkiewicza street), then 9 R.-Heydrichstr. (Slonimska street). A single issue of the weekly, published in a 47 x 31,6 cm format, consisted of 4 pages and was sold at the price of 20 pfennigs (Rpf). The weekly, edited exclusiveluy in Polish, was divided into political, economic, culture and entertainment and advertisements sections, a section about living in Bialystok district, literary and religious sections as well as correspondence with the newspaper's readers. As a newspaper edited in Polish 'Kurier Bialostocki' was published under absolute control of German occupational authorities, and generally, did not differ from most other 'gadzinówka' type newspapers. These newspapers stigmatized communists and Jews severely. In contrast to most of them 'Kurier Białostocki's' characteristic feature was a column 'Editor's talks with Readers'. Selected fragments of readers' letters accompanied by editor's comments were put there. An editor hiding behind the nickname 'Jan of Lyna' was in charge of this column. The Bialystok 'gadzinówka' is one of numerous Hitlerite newspapers of propaganda information profile. Propaganda content played much more significant role in this aspect than information. News was entirely subdued to propaganda. Propaganda was used to attack Soviet Russia, the USA, England and Jews worldwide. An obscure story of Józef Mützenmacher's visit to Bialystok is connected with 'Kurier Bialostocki'. He was a well-known prewar communist activist and co-operator of the Polish Ministry of Internal Affaires counter-intelligence service. During the WWII, while working for the anti-communist intelligence service of the Polish Government in Exile Delegation, he agreed to cooperate with Gestapo. Disclosed by the 'Armia Krajowa' (Home Army) counter-intelligence he was relocated by Hitlerite authorities from Warsaw to Bialystok to conduct propaganda and sabotage work. He was entrusted with a post of publisher in charge and general editor of 'Kurier Bialostocki' and appeared in the editorial as Karol Ziemski. It is very likely that 'Jan of Łyna' was also J. Mützenmacher. Being an experienced conspirator and knowing a lot about social and political life of Poles, he could excellently feel moods of the Polish community and was able to take skilful advantage of this fact in propaganda work.
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  • M. Okulowicz, Uniwersytet w Bialymstoku, Instytut Historii, pl.Uniwersytecki 1, 15-420 Bialystok, Poland
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Publication order reference
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