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

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22 and 23 November 2019, Get-Together with Film / Lecture on 21 November, University of Bremen

Conference on November 22 and 23, November 21: Get-Together with Film-Lecture

From November 21 to 23, the Lab Communication History and Media Change (ZeMKI – University of Bremen) will be holding a conference on pro-democractic political communication in the Weimar Republic at the State and University Library Bremen. Specifically, it will focus on counterpropaganda against Nazi messages in the final phase of the Weimar Republic. Communication-scientific aspects of this defensive communication as well as research approaches from neighbouring social sciences and from historiography will be discussed. On the evening of November 21, the conference will open with a film lecture in the local cinema City 46. The documentary filmmaker Boris Hars-Tschachotin will introduce the life of his great-grandfather Sergej Tschachotin who fought the NSDAP with propagandistic means.

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 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 diffusion or termination of symbols and propaganda theories from the pro-democratic context after 1933 (also from a transnational and comparative perspective). 

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, held on the 21stof 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) and Prof. Jürgen Wilke (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) amongst others.   

Exhibition: As part of the conference, Prof. Dr. Patrick Rössler (University of Erfurt) opens his exhibition “Image Propaganda in the Weimar Republic” in the State and University Library Bremen.

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

More information about the conference schedule. [insert PDF here as link]

Supported by: Stiftung Presse-Haus NRZ, Axel Springer Foundation, State and University Library Bremen, Freundeskreis der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen e.V. and the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI).