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Pro-democratic Propaganda, Press Culture and Political Communication in the Weimar Republic


22 November 2019, Get-Together with Film / Lecture on 21 November, University of Bremen

On November 21 and 22, the Lab Communication History and Media Change will hold a conference on pro-democratic political communication in the Weimar Republic. Specifically, it will focus on counterpropaganda against Nazi messages in the final phase of the Weimar Republic. The discussion will cover aspects of this counterpropaganda from a communication studies-perspective. However, we will gladly welcome any research from the history of ideas, science and art; social, political and cultural history; political science and other social science disciplines.


The contributions should deal with – but are not exclusively concerned – with the following subjects:

  • the historical origins of counterpropaganda in the history of theory and ideas
  • the communication- and press-historical contextualization of anti-fascist campaigns
  • the organisational embedding of counter propaganda in the Weimar Republic
  • biographies of central communicators, spin doctors and theorists of pro-democratic campaigns
  • the contemporary press coverage of counterpropaganda
  • the semiotic analysis of pro-democratic campaigns in the Weimar Republic
  • the diffusion or termination of symbols and propaganda theories from the pro-democratic context after 1933 (also from a transnational and comparative perspective)
  • possibilities and limits of the comparison of interwar counterpropaganda with current debates on hate and counter speech


The conference aims to address and bring together experts on pro-democratic political communication in the Weimar Republic, it intends to transcend disciplinary boundaries, to redefine and condense the field of communication aimed at defending the Weimar Republic.


Networking: The conference will be held following a workshop on the history of communication of the League of Nations (DFG-Project "History of Communication of the League of Nations", project lead: Prof. Dr. Averbeck-Lietz, staff: Dr. Erik Koenen and Arne L. Gellrich). This workshop, hold on the 21st of November 2019, will be introduced with a keynote by Kaarle Nordenstreng (Prof. em. University of Tampere, Finland). Participation is also possible on request, but the number of participants is limited.


Contributions by: Boris Hars-Tschachotin (documentary filmmaker), Richard Albrecht (biographer of Carlo Mierendorff), Prof. Margarete Vöhringer (history of art, University of Göttingen).


Call for Abstracts: Please send your anonymous abstracts of maximum 500 word as well as a separate file with your address data by March 15 for the blind review process to: saxprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de. Approvals will be sent to participants by the end of May 2019 (see the entire CfA).



The following hotels have limited room contingents available:



Theodor-Heuss-Allee 12

28215 Bremen

Single room: 69,00 Euro per night excl. breakfast

Double room: 78,00 Euro per night excl. breakfast

Booking code: UVT19HB1

Available until September 25th, 2019


Novum Hotel Bremer Haus

Löningstraße 16-20

28195 Bremen

129,00 Euro per room / 20.11.19 incl. breakfast

64,80 Euro per room / 21.+ 22.11.2019 incl. breakfast

Booking code: „Tagung Kommunikationsgeschichte“

Available until October 21st, 2019


Select Hotel City Bremen

Bürgermeister-Smidt-Straße 24-30

28195 Bremen

Single room 19.-21.11.2019: 94,80 Euro per night incl. breakfast

Single room 22.-24.11.2019: 64,80 Euro per night incl. breakfast

Booking code: „Universität Bremen“

Available until October 19th, 2019


Contact: Simon Sax (ZeMKI, University of Bremen), saxprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Supported by:Stiftung Presse-Haus NRZ and the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI).