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Joan Clinefelter
University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, CO 80639-6900)
Radio in the American Sector (RIAS), 1946-1963: A German-American Partnership in the Cold War

RIAS, the acronym for Radio in the American Sector, was a radio station located in West Berlin designed to broadcast programs that combatted Communism into East Germany. While most scholars only treat RIAS as a tool of American Cold War propaganda, I seek to analyze the station as a partnership between the US control officers at RIAS and its German staff. I argue that the Germans knew how to create entertainment programs that sustained a common German identity that fostered Western values even as they forged a virtual German radio nation. Although the programs were designed for East German audiences, Berliners and West Germans tuned in to listen to shows that became beloved by all Germans. This grant will enable me to conduct research at the George C. Marshall Library--which holds the records of Gordon Ewing, the RIAS director from 1949-1957--and the National Archives in College Park--which hold the records of the US offices in charge of RIAS.

Project fields:
European History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 7/31/2008