Volume 135, Issue 2/3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



This article analyses the role which colonial issues, particularly in the Netherlands Indies, played in the propaganda war between supporters and opponents of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In 1940 and 1941 the main lines of communication between the European and overseas parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands were cut, and consequently propagandists used pre-existing colonial tropes to inform their narratives. In this early phase there was a polarization between national-socialist thinkers, who propagated a conservative and authoritarian view of the colonies, and Radio Oranje, which broadcast a more progressive and idealistic view. This propaganda battle over the colonies reached its peak between December 1941 and March 1942 during the Japanese conquest of the Indonesian archipelago. After a fierce exchange Radio Oranje gained the upper hand and its views on colonial issues dominated the later phase of the Second World War.


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