The military-political leadership of Germany is constantly strengthening the information and communication base of the Bundeswehr. This includes not only equipping the relevant services with advanced computer equipment and the development of modern production technologies for propaganda media products. The process of optimizing the information and propaganda activities of the Bundeswehr includes structural transformations of the information units themselves and the strengthening of their staffing by experienced journalists, PR specialists, advertisers, psychologists, and cultural studies.
With the creation of the Center for the Information Work of the Bundeswehr half a year ago (ZInfoABw), propaganda activities have undergone significant changes. The new center is positioned as a link in the relationship between the armed forces and society, a competent forum in the army’s dialogue with the public. “The information we offer should be up-to-date, transparent, and aimed at working with the public,” said Colonel Christian Dienst, head of the center. “Our relations with society,” he said meaningfully in an interview with Susan Lopez, “should not be gathering dust in black boxes.” The management of the giant propaganda apparatus of the Bundeswehr, including the production of high-quality campaign materials, the training and training of military and civilian specialists in the field of advocacy, is carried out from the headquarters of the new center in Strausberg (Brandenburg) near Berlin.
In accordance with the new concept for the development of the Bundeswehr, a central editorial board was formed as part of the center, along with 125 staff and 50 as reservists, 80 specialists are working under the contract. The editorial team is responsible for the production of all printed materials of the German Armed Forces: the weekly newspaper Aktuell - Zeitung für die Bundeswehr, the monthly Y-Das Magazin der Bundeswehr and Reader Sicherheitspolitik, published once a quarter by the magazine Innere Führung (if) and many other leaflets and brochures. The competence of the Central Editorial Board includes the maintenance of various Internet projects (“bundeswehr. De”, the online portal “Wir. Dienen. Deutschland”), and advocacy on YouTube and Facebook. Thanks to the propagandists of the new center, the German soldiers have their own channel on the Youtube video platform, where there are more than 100 thousand subscribers and more than 40 million comments have been recorded. Recently, a commercial broadcast was presented with just three commercials of 30 seconds each. Six months ago, the situation changed radically. The country's leading specialists in the field of advertising and the staff of the Bundeswehr’s PR service have begun mass production of television spots, which, in our opinion, can be interpreted as an intensive Web-based advertising of the German Armed Forces.
Currently, more than 1700 videos of the Bundeswehr’s own production are posted on social networks. They are successfully created by Bundeswehr-TV (BWTV). Well-known blogger Michael Schulze von Glasser already drew attention to the weak effectiveness of the army television channel "Bundeswehr-TV", the content of which required significant costs. As an example, he cited the US Armed Forces, which, thanks to the American Forces Network (AFN), acquired nine thematic army television transmitters. AND news Pentagon-Channel military channel is accepted by everyone via the Internet.
Formerly, BWTV films were intended exclusively for posting on the website of the Ministry of Defense. Now the studio is engaged in the manufacture and mounting of clips for placement on the Youtube channel. The Ministry of Defense was the first ministry in the country to officially post its media content on Youtube video hosting. “In our films,” the editorial staff said, “we will accompany our soldiers in the performance of official tasks and in everyday life.” Studies by military scientists from Munich indicate that due to the wide use of IT in the promotion of IT-technologies, the country's armed forces are perceived by the society as “attractive and modern”.
The propagandists of the Bundeswehr are attracted to the cooperation of genuine artists. The result of such cooperation was the triumphal premiere of the film “Between the Worlds” at the Berlinale (Zwischen Welten), directed by Feo Aladag with Ronald Zerfeld and Mokhzin Ahmadi. The film tells about overcoming difficulties in establishing contacts of German soldiers with the local population in crisis regions and zones of military operations. The correctly chosen context of informational impact allowed us to convey the positive image of the Bundeswehr officer as accurately as possible to the public.
PROPAGANDISTS OF THE CENTER IN SOCIAL NETWORKS
The employees of the center see the point of working in social networks in the dissemination of information and video content in order to ensure maximum interactivity and networking with other media. “Our Facebook lives for dialogue and interaction,” says Marco Jan, social media manager for the Bundeswehr. According to his confession, "Youtube, Facebook and Instagram channels strengthen and increase the official web presence of the Bundeswehr on the Web." Instagram Bundeswehr in the very first 24 hours of work scored more than 1500 subscribers. The social network was launched under the motto “Behind the Scenes”. Exclusivity to the project is added by the placement of amateur photographs received from the soldiers, which are processed using typical Instagrama filters. The mission of the channel is quite frankly expressed: “to support the image of the Bundeswehr on the Internet and to give an objective idea of the everyday life of the German Armed Forces, if possible”.
Information work center implements various projects. “Bundeswehr Takeaway” is the name of the application offered to owners of mobile smartphones. From the new resource, you can receive messages in the form of news information, photos and videos on your phone directly from the army barracks. The application is available for download on Bundeswehr apps and android. The Bundeswehr app is updated daily. Photos on Flickr. Photos from the first hands. Flickr, designed to store and use digital photos and videos, has become a photo hosting service that attracts journalists with the opportunity to get professional and amateur photos first hand. The center develops interaction with propaganda volunteers. Among them are experienced journalists and PR experts, Thomas Wigold, editor of the popular military news site Augen geradeaus! And legendary Sasha Stoltenov, a former officer, an expert in the field of psychological warfare, and now the creator of the blog Bendler-Blog, which received praise of scientists of the Munich Military University for its bright propaganda.
From the headquarters of the central editorial board of the Bundeswehr in the Berlin region of Zeneweide, a constant dialogue with the public is conducted through a so-called civil telephone. Here, experienced staff prepare responses to letters from the public. Under the roof of the Central Editorial Office is the country's largest special military-scientific library, which has a huge archive of photo, audio, video, film documents, which are open to editorial staff and representatives of civilian publishing houses. “We want to respond more quickly and professionally to social changes, to find the right answers to current political issues,” said Christian Dienst, head of the center. We are determined to communicate in confidence, seriously, intelligibly, in a language understandable to young people.
In the conditions of the daily life of the troops, the information and communication resources of the German Armed Forces are aimed at introducing into the public consciousness an attractive image of a German soldier. The press organs of the Bundeswehr, radio and television stations, Internet sites are organizers of all sorts of actions aimed at public approval of the government’s defense policy and citizens' understanding of the need for huge financial expenses to meet the material and technical needs of the armed forces in the face of new threats, first and foremost, of course from Russia.
Back in March of this year, the respected publication Tagesspiegel informed: “The European Union is preparing for an information war with Russia.” The press controlled by the Bundeswehr was immediately involved in the propaganda campaign against our country. An analysis of the speeches of the military press suggests that the propagandists of the Bundeswehr literally understood the call of the President of Germany Joachim Gauck to strengthen the role of the army in society. “Generals, officers, soldiers,” he said, speaking at the Hamburg Military University. Helmut Schmidt, return to the heart of our society! ”
The basis of the Bundeswehr media resources, abandoned at the behest of their masters in the crucible of information warfare, are newspapers and magazines published directly by the German Ministry of Defense. The official body of MO is the newspaper "Aktuell". It comes out every week on Mondays 51-th year in a row with a circulation of about 45 thousand copies. 50 releases per year. Today, it is read by more than a quarter of a million soldiers, officers and civil servants of the Bundeswehr. The newspaper is delivered to all locations of German troops, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Afghanistan and even the Horn of Africa. Readers are offered a printed version of the newspaper in an attractive tabloid format, as well as an electronic version in PDF format. Those interested can familiarize themselves with the content of the future number on Saturday thanks to the E-Paper newsletter. The latest issue of the newspaper Aktuell - Zeitung fur die Bundeswehr and its archive from 2002 can always be found in the public domain on the Bundeswehr website. The work of the editorial team is headed by the chief editor, Major Torsten Zandfuks-Hartwig.
PRESS BATS WEAPON
From the issue in the issue newspaper "Aktuell" contributes to the swelling of anti-Russian hysteria. The weekly reports with confidence "the readiness of the European Union to strengthen its course against Moscow." The newspaper published material on the largest military exercises since the Cold War — large-scale exercises by NATO airborne troops Swift Response 15 (“15 Rapid Response”), which ended in September 2015. The exercise involved about 5 thousand soldiers from the 11 of the countries of the North Atlantic bloc. According to the organizers, the Swift Response maneuvers demonstrated “the Alliance’s readiness for rapid deployment to maintain a strong and secure Europe.”
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Lyayen is ready to personally demonstrate the peacefulness of their subordinates. Photo from the page of the Armed Forces of Germany in Flickr
Another official organ of the Ministry of Defense, the monthly magazine of the Bundeswehr Y - Das Magazin der Bundeswehr, appeared with the participation of the headquarters of the press and information of the Bundeswehr (Pr- / InfoSt) from 2001. Employees of the Berlin-based Kircher Burkhardt agency have worked a lot on a fundamental change in the design and philosophy of the magazine itself. Now its volume is about 110 colorfully designed pages in the format DIN A-4. Magazine circulation is 50 thousand copies. In summer and winter there are two double rooms. The magazine’s addressee is the military, reservists, civilian personnel of the Bundeswehr and their family members. The main target group consists of citizens aged 20 – 29 years, and 18 – 35-year-olds are included in the extended target group. Inside the Bundeswehr, the magazine Y-Das Magazin der Bundeswehr is distributed free of charge. By its mission, the magazine sees the development of an inclusive political position among “citizens in uniform”. In 2014, the magazine won the prestigious award - the silver prize established by the German Professional Union of PR-specialists (DPRG). Anti-Russian articles periodically appearing in Y-Das Magazin der Bundeswehr are designed to convince readers of the fairness of the claims of the United States and the European Union to the Russian government. The magazine stirs up distrust of Russian politics, savoring the vicissitudes of the “propaganda battle raging around Ukraine”.
Under the name “if - Zeitschrift fur Innere Fuhrung”, a magazine is published which aims to inform officers on behalf of the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr. German scientific achievements historical Science shares the illustrated organ of the military historical research service magazine "Militargeschichte". The Bundeswehr sports magazine "Bundeswehr Sport-Magasin" reports on the victories and achievements of military athletes in various national and international competitions.
The “Reader Sicherheitspolitik” edition addressed to officers and military specialists is issued on behalf of the German Minister of Defense and the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr with the aim of “informing troops, spreading official information and for political education of personnel”. The publication publishes serious analytical articles, reviews and reports of public interest. The quality of materials is ensured by inviting authors from the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich. Recently, the conceptual article by Professor Natasha Tsovyslo-Grunewald and Dr. Franz Beizinger, “Digital Media for the Armed Forces: Borders, Dangers, and Perspectives”, devoted to the awareness of new tasks in the field of communication management, became the focus of attention.
Analysis of the personnel distribution and distribution of the functional responsibilities of the staff of the Central Editorial Board makes it possible to conclude that the leadership of the new propaganda center of the Bundeswehr aspires to make the fullest possible use of the service and creative potential of the military journalists, PR managers, media designers, psychologists, sociologists and others involved in it. Reader Sicherheitspolitik, reserve reserve lieutenant colonel Norbert Steblein, also heads up the editorial teams of two more Bundeswehr magazines, Y-Magazin and if-Zeitschrift fur Innere Fuhrung. His deputy and, at the same time, the head of the policy department, the former paratrooper Jan Marberg, simultaneously performs the functions of the lead editor of the magazine if-Zeitschrift fur Innere Fuhrung and the electronic version of the edition Reader Sicherheitspolitik. It has become the usual norm when not only the heads of editorial departments, but also ordinary employees are involved in their profile simultaneously in the publication of several Bundeswehr media. For example, the art editor of Y-Das Magazin der Bundeswehr magazine, Alexander Bukurescu, is responsible for issuing electronic versions of Reader Sicherheitspolitik and if-Zeitschrift fur Innere Fuhrung magazine. It can be assumed that this is precisely why the anti-Russian orientation of the press organs of the Bundeswehr differs only in form, but not in content.
Last year, the 40th anniversary was celebrated by the radio station "Radio Andernach", which is focused on "German soldiers abroad". The broadcasting network of the radio station covers all overseas locations of the German Armed Forces. Regional editions are successfully functioning in the host countries. “From Africa to Kosovo, on two oceans and in Afghanistan, we serve as a bridge home for our soldiers,” said a station employee in Kosovo. Radio Andernach broadcasts seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The Meet & Greet program is very popular with German soldiers abroad, in which you can say hello to relatives and friends from a distant homeland. “The hi-show is a real hit with the soldiers,” says Lt. Col. Heiko Rensch, editor-in-chief of the radio station. - Every year “we send more than 10 thousand greetings. Especially a lot of proposals for Christmas. Most of the greetings are accompanied by a variety of musical wishes, from football anthems to hits. "
The interest of the soldiers is attracted by the Saturday show "Radio Andernach Weekend" and the programs "X-Press", broadcast on the ships of the Navy through loudspeakers. The brand name of Radio Andernach was the nightly performance of the famous soldier Zong Lili Marleen. 60 editorial staff managed to make radio stations popular with the soldiers, which allowed Geiko Rensch to compare it with the fame enjoyed by the American military station AFN. Radio Andernach recently received high praise from Defense Minister Ursula von der Lyayen "for escorting troops in the best sense of the word."
INFORMATION WAR VOLUNTEERS
A powerful propaganda reserve in advancing the government's defense policy is represented by the activities of the press organs of “close to the armed forces institutions”. The Bundeswehr Information Center takes care of the development of relations with the press organs of various public associations and unions, and draws all new volunteers into the orbit of influence. The public interest in military service is supported by the weekly magazine “Bundeswehr-journal”, which marked its 2015 anniversary in March on 10. The print run of the magazine is 3500 copies and has more than 12 thousand readers. The magazine is published by Agentur mediakompakt. The editor-in-chief of the magazine and the founder of the agency is Lieutenant-Colonel of the Reserve Christian Devitz, who constantly declares the independence of his printed creation and at the same time declares his “close proximity to the armed forces” and “close ties with the Bundeswehr”. The editors are proud to inform readers that “the libraries and specialized information points of the Bundeswehr receive a magazine and recommend it for study.”
A trusted interactive communication channel and an excellent propaganda platform is the monthly magazine Bundeswehr, whose target group consists of military personnel and their families. The magazine is published by the German Union of the Bundeswehr (DBwV) in an edition of 166,3 thousand copies. The journal includes 77 regional applications, which are produced in the places of deployment of troops. The magazine is in the public domain and is distributed free of charge in barracks, canteens, reading rooms and rest rooms. The Bundeswehr actively cooperates with civilian media to spread the views of the military leadership. The Bundeswehr Advanced Training and Employment Service (BFD) participates in the publication of the magazine “Bund + Beruf”, calling it “the bridge between the Bundeswehr and the country's economy”. The magazine is published quarterly in 20 thousand copies and is distributed free of charge by the Army and BFD among the servicemen completing service under the contract.
Germany’s leading foreign affairs magazine, the monthly publication Internationale Politik, published by the German Foreign Policy Society (die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswaertige Politik), does not ignore the foreign mission of the Bundeswehr. The magazine "begins where the news ends." A skillful interpretation of the latter allows you to introduce the required ideological principles into the minds of readers. So, in one of the last issues of the magazine, a lengthy article appeared by the Federal Armed Forces General Inspector, Lieutenant General Volker Wicker, who called on the "potential aggressor" to improve weapons systems and strengthen the ties of the Alliance.
The Marine Forum magazine is very popular among officers of the German Navy. Information policy of the publication is devoted to topical issues of naval construction in Germany. The issue of the journal is carried out jointly by the union of naval officers (MOV) and the German Maritime Institute (DMI). The magazine discusses service issues in the German Navy.
The Kompass magazine is published on behalf of the Catholic military episcopate of the Bundeswehr, whose motto is "soldier in the world and the church." Published on behalf of the German Evangelical Church, Junge Soldaten Magazin - JS addresses religion and faith. The editor-in-chief of the magazine, Dorothea Sigle, in one of the telecasts enthusiastically described how “soldiers make a procession around the barracks”. She even quoted the text: “Hold on, faithful. The church will help you; faith will unite you. ” The journal publishes materials on all issues of interest to youth who came to military service. Readers are attracted by crosswords and valuable prizes to the winners. From month to month, JS magazine publishes funny jokes and funny stories under the heading “My Fun Adventure in the Bundeswehr.” It began with the publication of a jocular story by Jörg Ludeke entitled “On tank on the golf course. " The magazine is published every month with a circulation of 18 thousand copies, distributed in the places of deployment of the Bundeswehr and even "on a frigate off the coast of Somalia." The magazine “Infopost - das Jugendmagazin der Bundeswehr”, exclusively addressed to young people, is published quarterly in a giant edition. The magazine is designed to “inspire and encourage” young people to connect their destiny with military service as professional soldiers or as civil servants.
BUNDSAVER'S RESERVISTS TURN INTO PROPAGANDA FIGHT
The Union of Reservists of the Bundeswehr (VdRBw) publishes 11 once a year in Frankfurt-am-Mine “Loyal” magazine, among other things, covering the implementation of security policy and technical equipment of the armed forces. The magazine is published in a huge circulation about 130 thousand copies. Members of the Union of Reservists, and there were thousands of 2015 people at the beginning of 110, the magazine is delivered free of charge. About 1tys. copies sent to the Bundestag deputies, prominent politicians, scholars, artists, journalists. More than 6 thousand copies distributed in places of deployment of troops, including abroad. And only a small part of the circulation goes on sale at a retail price of 4,5 euros. The magazine is supervised by VdRBw vice president Sasha Ran, a former officer of the German Navy.
The propaganda means and media resources of the Bundeswehr are a complex, extensive, well-coordinated, multifunctional system of information and psychological influence. The target of this massive impact is the personnel of the regular troops and reserve components, civilian personnel of the Ministry of Defense, civilian youth, public organizations, retirees, retirees, and family members of military personnel. The propaganda activities of numerous newspapers and magazines, radio and television stations of the Bundeswehr are aimed at ideological consolidation of the personnel of the German Armed Forces around state, religious and moral values, mitigating the impact of critical and negative information, forming in the army and society an uncritical attitude to the government’s defense policy, including armament and participation of the German contingent in NATO’s military-political operations.
Today, the well-established propaganda machine of the Bundeswehr is implementing new tasks. Instead of its functions of cultural awareness of personnel and the formation of a highly moral appearance of military personnel, it is used in unbridled anti-Russian propaganda, the mechanism of which with surprising accuracy and frankness was revealed by Marko Seliger, editor-in-chief of Loyal magazine mentioned above, in the article “Information War” published in August double 2015 number of the year under the heading "Main theme". With sincere enthusiasm, he writes about two participants in this war. "Both women did not serve in the army," but they are true "soldiers of the propaganda battle that the Kremlin is waging against the Western media." Golina Atai and Kathrin Aygendorf are TV journalists working in Moscow for the popular German channels ARD and ZDF. “They are more dangerous for Vladimir Putin than the whole division of the US Army. They talk about the war in Ukraine, millions of TV viewers see their messages in the news, their comments influence the Germans' opinion about the conflict in Eastern Europe, and then political decisions in Berlin and other European capitals. ” Valuable recognition. You can't tell more precisely ...
In other words, the Bundeswehr zealously joined in the information war of the European Union against Moscow, the purpose of which is to justify the aggressive policy of the North Atlantic alliance against our country and justify the need for NATO activities to increase the military potential of the bloc. A massive anti-Russian propaganda campaign, in which the media resources of the Bundeswehr play a leading role, not only justifies military expenditures in the eyes of the population, but also leads to the militarization of people's consciousness, to the ideological militarization of the entire German society. And this is already a hidden global threat, the consequences of which twice shook human history in the twentieth century.