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5 - Information Wars

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2022

Jadwiga Biskupska
Affiliation:
Sam Houston State University
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Summary

Chapter 5, “Information Wars,” is the opening case study of four intelligentsia-built resistance systems, which consider how the intelligentsia responded to Nazi persecution with projects bent on maintaining national traditions and rebuilding a Polish state. It examines the one that undergirds the rest: underground information creation and trafficking that kept the elite connected and funneled news into and out of the city. In response to the closure of Polish-language press, radio bookstores, and libraries, a number of educated Poles created an underground world of secret newsletters and journals to keep the city informed about occupier behavior and the circumstances of the wider war. This project involved entangled networks of individuals who were brutally punished if caught, and the work of writing, editing, couriering, and reading underground press initiated many Varsovians into anti-Nazi “conspiracies.” Information sourced in the occupied city was not merely for local consumption but was painstakingly smuggled out by a sprawling network of Polish and international couriers toting encrypted information to the states of the Grand Alliance. This chapter argues that the ability of Poles in Warsaw to counter Nazi propaganda narratives with their own information was essential to all later successful opposition.

Type
Chapter
Information
Survivors
Warsaw under Nazi Occupation
, pp. 140 - 168
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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