Spectrum - Germany Calling

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Tono kōrero mai

The work of amateur radio operators in New Zealand who monitored enemy broadcasts during World War II and brought comfort to thousands of families with news that their son or husband was alive and well but had been captured.
Archival material used includes interviews with the late Arthur Cushen, a well-known Invercargill DXer, who collated the information and contacted the families. Also, excerpts of archival wartime enemy propaganda broadcasts are interspersed throughout the programme. [These are probably drawn from the Basil Shepherd Collection, see ID319.]

The programme opens with a montage of archival World War II propaganda broadcasts by German and Japanese stations - announcers Lord Haw-Haw, Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose. Propaganda jazz song by Charlie Schwedler.
Excerpt of a German propaganda news item aimed at New Zealand.

New Zealand shortwave DXers were recruited to monitoring overseas broadcasts, men like Arthur Cushen and Jack Fox. Jack Fox talks about how he was recruited by the Security Intelligence Bureau in 1941
Excerpt of German broadcast about British women demanding protective headwear. Jack Fox explains how the Dunedin DX club set up a roster to listen to Radio Berlin's "Germany Calling". Arthur Cushen talks about monitoring Japanese broadcasts to establish what New Zealand news they were acquiring.
Further examples of propaganda jazz and swing songs.

Jack Fox recalls Arthur Cushen sending messages to the next-of-kin of prisoners of war whose names he heard in enemy broadcasts. They had no recording equipment so he made notes by hand. A note is read of a message from Corporal Frank Coleman of Gisborne to his parents.
Jack Perkins says there are no recordings of these New Zealand POW list broadcasts held, but an example of a U.S. POW list broadcast is played.
Arthur Cushen recalls being contacted by a veteran POW 50 years later who finally found out he had passed on a message to the man's mother.
An unnamed man (John Taylor?) give examples of hearing about New Zealand POWs via the DX listeners. His father was listed as missing in action but Jack Fox heard he was a POW which was incredible news for his family.

Radio Debunk gave names of prisoners of war being captured. Jack Fox and Arthur Cushen recall when Japan entered the war messages about people held at camps such as Changi in Singapore joined the German lists. An example of a message from a prisoner in Hong Kong passed on by Arthur, is read.

Radio Berlin International - a recreation of a broadcast of Christmas messages from New Zealand POWs.

Jack Perkins thanks Jim Sullivan and Dr David Black for their contributions to the programme, and acknowledges the Basil Shepherd Collection held in the Radio New Zealand Sound Archives.

Also held are raw interviews used in making this programme:
CDR 04/80/02
Jack Fox, is interviewed by Adrian Sainsbury of RNZI - excerpts used in the programme.
CA 04/80/03
John Taylor, is interviewed by Jim Sullivan - excerpts used in the programme.
CA 04/80/04
Nazi propaganda jazz songs used in the programme.
ORT 04/80/05 & 06
Interview with Jack Fox by Jim Sullivan.

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Request information

Year 2004

Reference number 30790

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Shortwave radio broadcasts
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits RNZ Collection
Perkins, Jack (b.1940), Producer
Cushen, Arthur Thomas, 1920-1997, Interviewee
FOX, Jack, Interviewee
Sainsbury, Adrian, Interviewer
Taylor, John, Interviewee
Sullivan, Jim, 1946-
National Radio (N.Z.) (estab. 1986, closed 2007)

Duration 02:00:00

Date 25 Apr 2004

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