By Edward Corse
A conflict for impartial Europe describes and analyses the forgotten tale of the British government's cultural propaganda association, the British Council, in its crusade to win the hearts and minds of individuals in impartial Europe in the course of the moment global conflict. The booklet attracts on a variety of formerly unused fabric from files from throughout Europe and personal memoirs to supply a different perception into the paintings of the major British artists, scientists, musicians and different cultural figures who travelled to Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey at nice own threat to advertise British existence and suggestion in a time of battle.
Edward Corse indicates how the British Council performed a refined yet an important function in Britain's warfare attempt and attracts jointly the teachings of the British Council adventure to provide a brand new version of cultural propaganda.
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Additional info for A battle for neutral Europe : British cultural propaganda during the Second World War
Dr. ’ Even Iceland was not forgotten. ’ The Council is probably the only institution which has ever been paid by a Government to propagate snobbery. If you don’t believe me, listen to this statement by one of its ex-chairmen: ‘We are not catering for the lower type who might like a cup of cocoa or a singsong. . ’ I know that our export trade is in a dreadful state, but snobbery is the one thing we cannot afford to send abroad. 55 It is not possible to verify the accuracy of the ‘ex-chairman’s statement’ as this is not documented elsewhere and if said, is unlikely to have been a written statement.
Britain was particularly concerned that its influence in its own possessions – Egypt, Palestine, Malta and Cyprus – was under threat from Italian cultural propaganda. 44 The Council made its arguments for funding not only on the basis that cultural relations were necessary for promoting commercial interests, but for promoting an understanding between countries which would, in turn, be vital in preventing a repeat of First World War. 45 Though it would be wrong to equate the rise of the British Council during this period with the rise of the policy of Appeasement – the details of the two were very different in many ways – their 28 A Battle for Neutral Europe overall aim of promoting British interests through non-aggressive and non-military means can be seen as complementary.
62 Only Portugal can be said to have been in a position geographically where the Council could operate without fear of German troops marching across the border directly. However, politically Portugal was still wary of antagonizing Germany and Portugal’s leader, Oliveira Salazar, had sympathies with many aspects of Nazi political thought. Within each of these four countries there were also separatist movements (for example Catalans and Basques in Spain, and Armenians and Kurds in Turkey) and an array of internal political and social differences which meant the Council had to act very carefully and have a good understanding of the position on the ground to ensure it did not antagonize these different elements to the detriment of the British cause.
A battle for neutral Europe : British cultural propaganda during the Second World War by Edward Corse