Marshall and Molotov - amid toasts and greetings; suspicion.

Marshall and Molotov - amid toasts and greetings; suspicion.
Marshall and Molotov – amid toasts and greetings; suspicion.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Radio Moscow – Moscow Calling – March 9, 1947 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

No sooner had World War 2 come to a close, the parades finished and the task of rebuilding begun, than the ominous clouds of another conflict crept up on the horizon.

Characterized by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the birth of the Iron Curtain, the new threat; this time coming from old ally Moscow in the form of Communism, swept through Eastern Europe. Suddenly a war of ideologies was brewing and a popularity contest, aiming at the winning of hearts and minds began in earnest.

And with every popularity contest and battle for hearts and minds, comes the avalanche of propaganda; the well-worn tool to convince people to do what they wanted them to.

So began the popularity contest in the form of media – America had The Voice Of America, beamed at those Iron Curtain countries in order to make the sales pitch for life under democracy. While Russia had Radio Moscow; though not as slick as the VOA, still had a goodly amount of feel-good stories about life under Stalin.

Radio Moscow was a Shortwave station, broadcasting on several frequencies and in several languages, giving the news of the day (from a Russian perspective), the arts, culture and history.

Each day Radio Moscow would begin their programs with Moscow Calling, a news and special features service filling listeners in on the goings on, all with a Soviet slant.

This particular broadcast comes from March 9, 1947 – Secretary of State George C. Marshall had just arrived in Moscow for talks with Foreign Minister Molotov and covers his arrival and broadcasts his remarks to the Soviet Radio. The news also reports that Molotov and assistant Andrei Vishinsky were on hand to receive British Foreign Minister Bevan and French Foreign Minister Bidault. Other news discussed the return of the Soviet Trade Union Delegation from the Netherlands Amalgamated Trade Union Conference. And reports from Netherlands Trade Union officials denouncing Dutch resumption of involvement in the East Indies colony and a call for Indonesian independence.

In addition, news of the trial of alleged conspirators in an attempted coup in Budapest brought about by members of the Hungarian military, as well as reports on British involvement in Egypt by reinstating the Treaty of 1936 where Britain controlled Egypt as a Protectorate.

All that, and several other Cold-War era reports from Radio Moscow on this March 9th 1947. Since it’s a Shortwave broadcast, it can can make for some dicey listening, but it’s a fascinating document of Cold War propaganda which probably hasn’t been heard in the West since it was first broadcast.

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