German Language Radio Course
From the private collection of Arthur van Beveren
h 24 cm x w 16 cm
On Sunday 5 October 1941 listeners readied themselves with a textbook for their first German lesson, broadcast on a Dutch radio station from the city of Hilversum. Alfred Rügner began by telling his audience a little something about German pronunciation.
But this wasn’t any ordinary German lesson: this was about teaching National Socialist German. Those following the course learned military terms, translated the Nazi slogan-of-the-week and penned Hitler’s words to paper. The lessons in the book were interspersed with antisemitic illustrations and drawings of soldiers and members of the NSB (Dutch Nazi Party). As the war progressed, the Germans interfered with Dutch radio programming more and more. By mid-1941, all of the Dutch stations were incorporated into one Rijksradio (State-controlled) broadcaster. From then on, the propaganda transmitted via the radio simply continued to increase.