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RFE/RL Broadcasting and West German Society: Caught between Nature Protection Activism and Anti-Americanism
Publisher: Journals Gateway
Journal of Cold War Studies (2018) 20 (3): 180–206.
Published: 01 September 2018
AbstractView article PDF
This article contributes to the historiography of two separate topics that became intertwined in the final decade of the Cold War: wildlife protection activism and Cold War broadcasting. The article explains how the activities of Radio Free Europe (RFE), a U.S.-funded radio station based in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) that transmitted shortwave broadcasts to five Soviet-bloc countries, throw into sharp relief the fine line between the advantages of radio technologies and their pitfalls. The article focuses on a protracted conflict between RFE and the FRG's bird protection activists in the 1980s and early 1990s. Some U.S. officials viewed the fight over the station's superior “killer technologies” as reflecting anti-Americanism during Ronald Reagan's presidency, but West German officials saw it more as an outgrowth of the species protection movement that had recently become a part of the FRG's political mainstream. The article highlights the complex social and international political dimensions of the dispute.