Onno Sinke is writing the history of the Dutch radiostation Radio Oranje (Radio Orange) (1940-1945). In 2004 Sinke earned a masters degree in Contemporary History from the University of Amsterdam. He wrote a thesis about the relation between propaganda and radiojournalism in the Second World War. His thesis was nominated for the Dutch National Thesis Competition 2004.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, radio was considered the fourt fighting arm, as important as the army, the navy and the airforce. Radio was the first medium that could transport the emotions of an event to the listeners, like they were actually witnessing the event themselves. The allies used radio during the war as a way to present the news to the people of occupied Europe, to maintain their morale and instruct them how to resist the German invader. Many celebrities, including the German writer Thomas Mann and the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, supported the allied war effort and broadcasted to their compatriots in the occupied territories. The Dutch language radiostations saw many wellknown writers and journalist, like A. den Doolaard or Loe de Jong, take up the cause and fight the Germans by the spirit of their talks. Radio Oranje was predominant among these Dutch language radiostations, like the Dutch Service of the bbc and wrulstation from Boston, Massachussetts.
Sinke studied archives in Berlin, London and Tel Aviv and spoke to former employees in the Netherlands and abroad to find the story behind the broadcasts. He looked for the motives of the Dutch government to create Radio Oranje, the problems Radio Oranje encountered broadcasting during the war, and the reception of the broadcasts in the Netherlands and abroad. He discovered that the broadcasts earned Radio Orange the respect of the Dutch people during the war but also aroused controversy. His research contributes to a new understanding of the way in which the Dutch government in exile exhorted the Dutch people to resistance against the Germans, the development of Dutch radiojournalism in the period 1935-1945 and propaganda in wartime. The research is supervised by Prof. Hans Renders, Prof. Hans Blom and Prof. Piet de Rooij.
PhD ceremony: 20 April 2009, 16.15, Academiegbouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Verzet vanuit de verte. De behoedzame koers van Radio Oranje.
Promotor: Prof. Hans Renders
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