Atrocity propaganda is a form of political propaganda in which one tries to defame an opponent by attributing crimes or atrocities that were invented or not committed by him or by deliberately distorting and thus scandalizing actions taken by him . It is a frequent means of psychological warfare and can be used in war to motivate one's own armed forces and population or to influence the world public.
The term “atrocity propaganda” is not value-neutral , but rather accuses the originator of the (supposed) propaganda of deliberately falsifying facts and is often used for propaganda purposes. It was used in particular under National Socialism , after expressions similar to those used during the First World War .
Interpretation in National Socialism
During the time of National Socialism in Germany, atrocity baiting, horror news, horror tales or the distribution of atrocity propaganda were criminal offenses that were severely punished before special courts on March 21, 1933 according to the so-called ordinance to ward off insidious attacks against the Nazi government . A year later, the ordinance was replaced by the Malice Act. Although the terms were not used in the legal text, they were related to them. Victor Klemperer noted on March 27, 1933: "The world Jews drive atrocity propaganda and spread horror tales, and if we tell the slightest bit about what happens every day, then we are doing atrocity propaganda and are punished for it". In a press instruction issued in 1937 it said to avoid the term:
“You are asked not to misuse the word 'propaganda'. ›Propaganda‹ has become a legally protected term in the sense of the new state and should not be used for derogatory things. So there is no ›atrocity propaganda‹, no ›Bolshevik propaganda‹, only an atrocity baiting, atrocity agitation, atrocity campaign etc. In short - propaganda only if for us - agitation if against us ”
Example First World War
Reports appeared in Austrian newspapers that “the Serbian soldiers had a real penchant for gouging out the eyes of the Austrian wounded”. Carl Brockhausen uncovered these reports as atrocity propaganda by visiting numerous Austrian hospitals , but could not find any victims of such mutilation. So motivated he initiated the founding of the International Rundschau to combat “systematic and thoughtless sedition ”.
According to allied atrocity propaganda, German soldiers staked babies on bayonets.
Example of the Middle East conflict
In the Middle East conflict between Israel and various Palestinian / Arab organizations, one side accuses the opponent of war crimes (here: bombing raids on civilians), the other side accuses the opponent of propaganda, and both sides accuse each other of targeted forgery and disinformation (“war of images”) ). Exemplary excited here the "man with the green helmet" ( green helmet is ) suspected of following an attack by the Israeli army on the village of Qana in southern Lebanon dead in 2006 conspicuously many photos and injured children held in camera.
Example Second Republic (Austria)
In May 2018, the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described warnings that hospitals would be closed or the welfare state was in danger as pure atrocity propaganda . Also in May 2018, the President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Harald Mahrer , accused the employee representatives of the Chamber of Labor and the ÖGB with atrocity propaganda in connection with making working hours more flexible . In a press release in May 2018 , Gernot Darmann described the Carinthian Governor Peter Kaiser as the “mouthpiece for Kern 's atrocity propaganda”.
- Atrocity propaganda ( memento of the original dated December 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. from Wissen.de , accessed on June 22, 2011.
- Atrocity propaganda in Duden .de, accessed on June 22, 2011.
- Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vocabulary of National Socialism. deGruyter, 2000, p. 284, here online
- Arnd Brummer: Carl Brockhausen: So he exposed the atrocity propaganda in the First World War . In: chrismon , September 2012, accessed September 10, 2012.
- Alleged German atrocities: Bryce report . The National Archives. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
- Frank Nordhausen : In the war of images ( Memento from July 23, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: Berliner Zeitung. August 10, 2006, accessed June 23, 2011.
- Wiener Zeitung: Briefly criticizes "atrocity propaganda" . Article dated May 13, 2018, accessed May 18, 2018.
- derStandard.at: Social Insurance: Briefly speaks of "atrocity propaganda" . Article dated May 13, 2018, accessed May 18, 2018.
- Kleine Zeitung: Kurz criticizes "atrocity propaganda" in social debate . Article dated May 13, 2018, accessed May 18, 2018.
- Kurier: Flexible working hours: Mahrer calls for an end to "atrocity propaganda" . Article dated May 18, 2018, accessed May 18, 2018.
- diepresse.com: Mahrer calls for an end to "entrepreneur bashing" and "atrocity propaganda" . Article dated May 18, 2018, accessed May 18, 2018.
- FPÖ Darmann to apprentices: "Carinthian SPÖ stirs with conscious misinformation fears" . OTS notification dated May 15, 2018, accessed May 18, 2018.