Berlin - September 1940

Berlin - an air of festivity around Berlin, this September 1940.

Berlin - September 1940
Berlin – an air of festivity around Berlin, this September 1940.

Sigrid Schultz Reporting From Berlin – Mutual Broadcasting – September 29, 1940 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

September 29, 1940 – News for this day, direct from Berlin and reported by Sigrid Schultz, correspondent for Mutual as well as The Chicago Tribune. The story was the signing of the Axis Tripartite between Germany, Italy and Japan – solidifying the Axis powers into one powerful force.

The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on 27 September 1940 by, respectively, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was eventually joined by Hungary (20 November 1940), Romania (23 November 1940), Bulgaria (1 March 1941) and Yugoslavia (25 March 1941) as well as by the German client state of Slovakia (24 November 1940). Yugoslavia’s accession provoked a coup d’état in Belgrade two days later. Germany, Italy and Hungary responded by invading Yugoslavia. The resulting Italo-German client state, known as the Independent State of Croatia, joined the pact on 15 June 1941.

The Tripartite Pact was directed primarily at the United States. Its practical effects were limited since the Italo-German and Japanese operational theatres were on opposite sides of the world, and the high contracting powers had disparate strategic interests. Some technical co-operation was carried out, and the Japanese declaration of war propelled the war despite not requiring a similar declaration of war from all other signatories of the pact.

Schultz describes the almost festive atmosphere in Berlin – Berlin radio reported on the importance of this pact and how it could influence the outcome of the war. Most Germans felt this pact would act as a deterrent to the U.S. joining in the war because, as many felt a union this powerful was virtually unstoppable and it would be pointless for America to become involved now.

Reports also claimed German air force attacks against Britain were now more frequent and more energetic. Latest news reported some 102 British planes had been shot down the night before and the German bombers were met with very little resistance on this night.

Needless to say, it was news under heavy censorship and Schultz does her best to skirt around the restrictions. But this is how it was sounding from Berlin to the rest of the world via Mutual Broadcasting on September 29, 1940.

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