Item 2 - Interview with Dr. David O'Donoghue, about his audio documentary Hitler's Irish Voices

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IE DCUA C4/2

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Interview with Dr. David O'Donoghue, about his audio documentary Hitler's Irish Voices

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  • 6 April 2021 (Creation)

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1 digital audio file

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(1952-)

Biographical history

Dr. David O'Donoghue is an Irish journalist and historian who has written two books on Irish-German relations during the Second World War. David has worked as a journalist for Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) and for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Paris, France. David was awarded a PhD from Dublin City University in 1995.

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Includes background about Dr. David O'Donoghue's PhD thesis 'Hitler's Irish voices: the story of German radio's propaganda service, 1939-1945', (1995) and subsequent audio documentary Hitler's Irish Voices (1998).

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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  • English

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O'Donoghue, David A. (1995) Hitler's Irish voices. The story of German radio's propaganda service, 1939-1945. PhD thesis, Dublin City University

Dr. David O'Donoghue's thesis examines the origins, direction and control of German Radio's Irish propaganda unit in World War II. Known as the Irland- Redaktion, this unit was founded by a small group of Germans, some of whom had studied Irish folklore and language in the Gaeltacht regions in the 1920s and 1930s. Drawing widely on archival sources in Belgium, Britain, Germany, Ireland and the United States - as well as incorporating interviews with key survivors of the Irland-Redaktion - the thesis attempts to define the structures, modus operandi and raison d'être of the radio service. A detailed analysis, quoting numerous published and unpublished sources, seeks to place the output of the Irland-Redaktion in context by evaluating its structures and content, personnel and target audiences, in addition to its guiding themes and ascertainable effects. The work endeavours to explore those features of the Irland-Redaktion which, it can be argued, set it apart from other propaganda services of Germany's wartime Europasender. These include the fact that overall control of the service from November 1941 to May 1945 rested with a member of the Irish civil service who had left Dublin for Berlin shortly before the outbreak of war. The thesis also examines the special position of Ireland as a target for both English-language and Irish-language radio propaganda from Nazi Germany. While German Radio beamed programmes in 3 0 languages to other states and regions in Europe, Ireland's case was unusual. The newly independent state straddled the Atlantic shipping lanes and shared a disputed land frontier with the United Kingdom which was at war with Germany. The thesis seeks to place these and other factors in their proper context in relation to the radio service. Finally, having dealt with the pre-war and war periods, the thesis describes the subsequent circumstances of those most directly involved in the operation of the Irland-Redaktion, through the immediate post-war years to the present day.

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