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The Battle for Hearts and Minds in the High North

New Perspectives on the Cold War Series Editors Jussi M. Hanhimäki (Graduate Institute Geneva) Marco Wyss (University of Chichester)

VOLUME 1

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/npcw

The Battle for Hearts and Minds in the High North The usia and American Cold War Propaganda in Sweden, 1952–1969

By

Mikael Nilsson

LEIDEN | BOSTON

Cover illustration: Courtesy of Mikael Nilsson. The Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available online at http://catalog.loc.gov lc record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2016031344

Brill Open Access options can be found at brill.com/brillopen. Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill”. See and download: brill.com/brill-typeface. issn 2452-2260 isbn 978-90-04-33058-0 (hardback) isbn 978-90-04-33059-7 (e-book) Copyright 2016 by Koninklijke Brill nv, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill nv incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Rodopi and Hotei Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill nv provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, ma 01923, usa. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper and produced in a sustainable manner.

To my dear mother, sister, and late father



The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. […] Our invisible governors […] govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. edward bernays, Propaganda (1928).1



Propaganda is needed in the exercise of power for the simple reason that the masses have come to participate in political affairs. Let us not call this democracy; this is only one aspect of it. […] The modern State must constantly undertake press and opinion surveys and sound out public opinion in a variety of other ways. […] Does the State then obey and express and follow that opinion? Our unequivocal answer is that even in a democratic State it does not. jacques ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1965).2

∵ 1 Bernays, Edward, Propaganda (New York: ig Publishing, (1928) 2005), p. 37. 2 Ellul, Jacques, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (New York: Vintage Books, (1965) 1973), pp. 121–122, 124.

Contents Foreword and Acknowledgements xi Introduction 1 Analytical Framework: Hegemony and How to Define it 18 1 American Propaganda and the Working Class: The usis and the Swedish Union and Labour Movement 24 Introduction 24 The usis and Swedish Labour 24 usis in Sweden in 1959 35 Propaganda and Co-production in the Social Democratic Newspaper Arbetet 43 The usis and lo and abf 54 The usis and Swedish Labour during Kennedy/Murrow and lbj/Marks 57 Swaying the Swedish Working Class 65 2 Freedom from the Press? The Americans, lo, and the Closing of Stockholms-Tidningen 67 Introduction 67 A Mounting Problem 67 The Americans and Stockholms-Tidningen 76 Corporatism, the icftu, Anti-Communism, and the cia 87 Renewed Effort against lo’s Newspaper 94 Getting Rid of Vinde 98 The End 102 Plucking a Thorn from Everyone’s Side 107 3 American Propaganda and the Opinion-makers, Part i: The Placement of usis Articles in the Swedish Press 109 Introduction 109 How American Propagandists Worked with Swedish Journalists 109 The usis, Racial Segregation, and the Vietnam War: An Effort Doomed to Failure? 115 Sending Journalists on Propaganda Trips 127 Utilizing the usis’ Propaganda 139

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The Use of the usis News Bulletin 141 Co-producing u.s. Hegemony by Grey- and Black-washing usis Propaganda in the Swedish Press 156 Was Communist Propaganda in Sweden Any Different? 163 Co-opting the Swedish Press: The Power and Limits of Propaganda 167 4 American Propaganda and the Opinion-makers, Part ii: The usis and Swedish Radio and Television 170 Introduction 170 The usis and Swedish Television 170 Propagandizing Swedish Television and Radio in the 1960s 180 Battling Communism and Promoting ‘Western’ Values 184 A New Focus 192 American Motion Picture Propaganda 197 The usis Propaganda Effort in the Latter Half of the 1960s 200 Seducing the Swedes: Moving the Swedish tv and Radio Audiences 203 5 American Propaganda and the Swedish Educational Sector, Part i: The Fulbright Program, Cultural Exchanges, and Research Funding 205 Introduction 205 The Fulbright Program as a Tool of Hegemony 206 Sweden and American ‘High Culture’ Propaganda 222 Propaganda and Co-production in the Scientific Community: The u.s. Military’s Funding of Research in Sweden 231 Making Sweden a Part of nato Infrastructure through Science Funding 239 American Sponsorship of Swedish Scientists in International and Historical Context 250 Sweden and the Atoms for Peace Campaign 259 Financing the Shift: The Enrollment of Swedish Academics and Scientists 268 6 American Propaganda and the Swedish Educational Sector, Part ii: The usis, Academic Exchanges, and American Studies in Sweden 271 Introduction 271 American Studies as Propaganda 271

contents

American Lecturers in Sweden 277 The Salzburg Seminar in American Studies 283 Further Exchanges 291 Change through Exchange: Enhancing the Westward Drift in Academia 301

Conclusions: How the Swedish Hearts and Minds were Won by American Propagandists 303

Bibliography & Sources 319 Index 340

ix

Foreword and Acknowledgements This book has been long in the coming. Like all labour you put a lot of time and effort into it is with mixed feelings that you decide that it is finished. On the one hand you are pleased to see that you have produced something of value. On the other hand there is always the feeling that it could have been made even better with a little more time spent on it. It goes almost without saying that a book manuscript never ever gets finalized in the sense that no improvements could be made. However, at some point one must take one’s hands off the keyboard and leave the text to the reader’s eyes and minds. This is my contribution to a very exciting field in Cold War history. This book actually had its beginnings already in 2005, when as a Ph.D student, I spent four amazing months in Washington d.c., and as a visiting scholar at the University of Maryland. During this time I spent most of my days at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland (nara ii), digging up sources for my dissertation. I believe that no other scholar researching Swedish-American security relations has ever spent as much time at nara ii either before or since. As I was going through the various Record Groups (rg) looking for anything that could contain something related to Sweden I stumbled upon rg 306 containing the records of the United States Information Agency (usia). I quickly ordered a box and was amazed to see that in it were documents detailing a massive u.s. propaganda campaign in Sweden during the Cold War that was completely unknown to historians dealing with Swedish-American relations. Right then and there I realized that I had come across something highly interesting and out of the ordinary, a true treasure trove, and even though I did not need this material for my dissertation I decided to photograph every document I could find that related to Sweden. Two years later, in 2007, I finished my dissertation and received my Ph.D, and had to start thinking about what to do next. In the Swedish academic system the best chances for a newly baked Ph.D in history is to apply for funding for a post-doctoral research project. I decided to base my application on the usia material that I had collected in the u.s. The application was successful and I received funding from the Swedish National Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) for a two-year project about American propaganda activities in Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s (also the Ridderstad Foundation provided a stipend for a smaller study included in this book). The history documented in rg 306 was supplemented by documents from several other archives both in Sweden and in the u.s., and the project resulted in no less than three articles published

xii

foreword and acknowledgements

in international peer-reviewed journals and a book manuscript. However, due to the fact that I received new funding for a new project once the post-doctoral project was over the book manuscript kept sitting on various harddrives for five years. In 2015 I finally found enough time and energy to finish up the text and sent a proposal to Brill, and it is the peer-reviewed and revised text that lies before you at this very moment. It goes without saying that a book like this does not owe its existence to only one person, i.e. only to its author. It could not have been written without the diligent and generous assistance by the many archivists at nara ii; the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas; the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas; the Swedish National Archives ­(Riksarkivet, ra); and the Swedish Labour Movement Archive (Arbetarrörelsens arkiv & bibliotek, arbark). Many a librarian has also provided invaluable assistance over the years, but I think foremost of those at: Anna Lindh-biblioteket at the Swedish National Defense College, the Swedish National Library (snl), Kungliga biblioteket, and the libraries at Stockholm University and Uppsala University. I would like to say an extra warm ‘Thank you’ to a few special individuals. To my friend (and former co-supervisor during my Ph.D years) and colleague Niklas Stenlås, who has always been there for me whenever I need to discuss something and who has come with much valuable advice over the years, I send my deepest gratitude. You have taught me to go my own way and to trust my own instincts and ideas. I am indebted to Professor Gunnar Åselius, who read and commented an early version of this text, and to Bernard Vowles, who corrected my English. Naturally, I am very grateful to the anonymous reviewers who helped make this book much better through their insightful comments. Needless to say, all remaining mistakes remain my own. Nozomi Goto and Jason Prevost at Brill deserve all appreciation for making the publication process such a smooth ride. Especially, I want to thank (a friend and excellent scholar) Marco Wyss, without whom this book would not have been published. Our talks and discussions are always very interesting and rewarding and I hope that we will find ample opportunity to cooperate also in the future. Best of luck to you!

Introduction When we think of the Cold War, images of capitalist and communist armies, the arms race and proxy wars come to mind. While the arms race was certainly an important feature of the half-century long conflict between the two superpowers, the main battleground of the Cold War was actually not in the military field, but in the civilian sphere, in society—in the areas of culture, economy, science, and technology. All these factors were of course intrinsically intertwined with military and security policy. Yet the civilian battleground is, most certainly in Sweden but even internationally, the least explored aspect of the Cold War. In the day-to-day struggle for the hearts and minds of millions of citizens, propaganda was the weapon of choice of both the u.s. and the Soviet Union. The propaganda war was fought everywhere and every day, and countries conducting a policy of neutrality, like Sweden, were no exception to this rule. The policy of neutrality does make Sweden different from most of the countries that have previously been studied with regard to u.s. propaganda activities during the Cold War. This policy was in many ways a continuation of the government’s declaration of neutrality in the Second World War. Sweden had not been involved in warfare since 1815 and the government wished to keep it that way. Following a foiled attempt to form a Scandinavian Defense Union between Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in 1948–1949, Sweden remained outside nato (or simply nat (North Atlantic Treaty), as it was then known) while its neighbours decided to join the fledgling alliance in 1949. Instead, Sweden came to adopt a position of “non-alignment in peacetime, aming at neutrality in wartime,” as the government formulated its policy in 1956.1 After the war the u.s. government did not trust the Swedes, and the policy of neutrality was seen as a way for the Swedish government to refuse to take sides in the burgeoning Cold War against Communism. In Stockholm the American dislike of the official Swedish position was embodied by the u.s. Ambassador, H. Freeman Matthews, who made the refusal to grant the Swedes any respite until they were willing to join the Western alliance his personal policy objective.2 1 The development of Sweden’s Cold War security policy has been well covered in: Bjereld, Ulf, Johansson, Alf W., & Molin, Karl, Sveriges säkerhet och världens fred. Svensk säkerhetspolitik under kalla kriget [Sweden’s Security and the World’s Peace: Swedish Security Policy During the Cold War] (Stockholm: Santérus Förlag, 2008). This is a synthesis of the most important works published up until 2008. 2 For this, see: Nilsson, Mikael, Tools of Hegemony: Military Technology and Swedish-American Security Relations 1945–1962 (Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press, 2007), pp. 116–181. See also:

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_002

2

Introduction

The Swedish government however, wanted, and badly needed, access to American military hardware in order to build up the defense to make its policy of neutrality credible. This created a paradoxical situation where the government found itself wanting to keep its distance from the u.s. and nato while at the same time being absolutely dependent upon the West for arms deliveries, and thus running the risk of undermining the very credibility of the policy of neutrality it wanted to boost in the first place. The fact is that this ‘Neutrality Paradox’ also concerned Switzerland, which found itself in almost exactly the same position with regard to the u.s. in the late 1940s and early 1950s.3 The Swedish government was forced to give in order to receive. Besides taking part in the European Recovery Program, i.e. the Marshall Plan, it also had to tacitly agree to abide by the CoCom (Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls) trade embargo vis-á-vis Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Once Swedish cooperation had been secured in these areas, a process that was mirrored by the u.s. government with regard to Switzerland, the Americans agreed to give Sweden access to u.s. military material by making Sweden a beneficiary of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act (mdaa) in the summer of 1952.4 From that point on began a secret military cooperation with the u.s. that was designed to build up Sweden’s defenses so as to make it a bastion in Scandinavia, and far-reaching preparations to receive u.s. and nato support in case of war were made in Sweden. Swedish and American top military officers met to discuss common defense related problems; communications links to the usafe (u.s. Air Forces in Europe) headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, were established; runways at Swedish military airbases were strengthened so as to be able to accomodate heavy Western bombers; aircraft fuel and nozzles Aaalders, Gerard & Wiebes, Cees, The Art of Cloaking Ownership: The Secret Collaboration and Protection of the German War Industry by the Neutrals (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996). 3 The many parallels between Sweden and Switzerland in this area have been investigated in: Nilsson, M. & Wyss, Marco, “The armed neutrality paradox: Sweden and Switzerland in u.s. cold war armaments policy” in Journal of Contemporary History, April 2016, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 335–363; doi: 10.1177/0022009414564804. 4 Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 176–255. See also: Nilsson, M., “Aligning the nonaligned: a re-interpretation of why and how Sweden was granted access to us military materiel in the early cold war, 1948–1952” in Journal of Scandinavian History, Vol. 35, Issue 3, 2010, pp. 290–309. For the connection to the Swiss case, see: Nilsson, M. & Wyss, M., “The armed neutrality paradox…” See also: Nilsson, M., “Limiting Diplomatic Friction: Sweden, the United States, and skf’s Ball Bearing Exports to Eastern Europe, 1950–1952” in Scandinavian Economic History Review, November 2009, Vol. 57:3, pp. 273–288.

Introduction

3

were changed to nato standard; a large defense cooperation with Norway and ­Denmark was built up within which coordination of aircraft (using nato terminology) was practiced; Sweden became part of nato’s infrastructure in several ways, e.g. by allowing nato aircraft to use a flight path over southwestern Sweden; a top modern computerized air control system called stril 60, which only had radar coverage along the Swedish coastline, was built by British firms; the Swedish political, economic, and business elite were carefully made to accept the idea of cooperating with u.s. troops in wartime through the war games that the National Defense College [Försvarshögskolan] held each year; central persons in the military and government bureaucracy were war-placed in Britain and in nato headquarters et cetera. This cooperation also included the field of military intelligence, and Sweden, due to its geo-strategic position, became the most important supplier of sigint on Soviet defenses in the Baltic countries for the u.s. Several National Security Council (nsc) policy papers acknowledged the importance of Sweden for the defense of Scandinavia, and in 1962 Sweden was even granted what historians have called a ‘security guarantee’ wherein the u.s. government stated its intention to do its utmost to assist Sweden if it was attacked by the Soviet Union.5 As a consequence of the policy of neutrality Sweden strived for independence and self-sufficiency in terms of military materiel, and a large militaryindustrial (and scientific) complex (mic) was built up soon after the Second World War. This mic centered on a few large firms, such as Saab and Bofors, with which the Social Democratic government formed an alliance of sorts. These firms were given a monopoly on state contracts and a small but guaranteed profit. Saab eventually came to produce thousands of aircraft for the Swedish armed forces (a production that had already begun during the war), and already by the early 1950s Sweden had the fourth largest air force in the

5 For this and more about Sweden’s alignment with the West during the Cold War, see: Agrell, Wilhelm, Den stora lögnen. Ett säkerhetspolitiskt dubbelspel i alltför många akter. [The Great Lie: A Security Policy Double-Game in Too Many Acts] (Stockholm: Ordfront, 1991); Dalsjö, Robert, Life-Line Lost: The Rise and Fall of ‘Neutral’ Sweden’s Secret Reserve Option of Wartime Help from the West (Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press, 2006); Widén, Jerker, Väktare, ombud, kritiker. Sverige i amerikanskt säkerhetstänkande 1961–1968 [Guardian, Proxy, Critic: Sweden in American Security Thinking, 1961–1968] (Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press, 2009); Nilsson, M., “Amber Nine: nato’s Secret Use of A Flight Path Over Sweden and the Incorporation of Sweden in nato’s Infrastructure” in Journal of Contemporary History, April 2009, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 287–307; Gribbe, J., Stril 60: teknik, vetenskap och svensk säkerhetspolitik under kalla kriget [Stril 60: Technology, Science, and Swedish Security Policy During the Cold War] (Stockholm: Gidlund, 2011).

4

Introduction

world.6 The contacts between Sweden and nato soon ran so deep that some have even suggested that Sweden was a ‘hidden’ member of the nato alliance.7 Even though this is still a highly contentious view, and certainly dependent upon how one defines an alliance, the fact that such a suggestion can even be made speaks volumes about how involved the Swedish military had become with its British and American counterparts within nato. More research is needed, however, before this hypothesis can be confirmed with any degree of certitude.8 All of this did not mean that the policy of neutrality was without consequences.9 This policy became a central tenet around which the Social Democratic Party built its governmental power monopoly (the Social Democrats were in government continually from 1932 to 1976, and then again from 1982 until 1991), and it played a major role in both foreign and (not least) domestic policy in Swedish political life during the decades studied in this book. The 1950s and 1960s was a period of strong economic growth in Sweden and a time of big state-initiated scientific and industrial projects. The so-called ‘welfare state’ was built up and expanded, with a great focus on economic equality where the state took a large responsibility for providing housing, ­education, 6 For this, see: Stenlås, Niklas, “Military Technology, National Identity and the State: The Rise and Decline of a Small State’s Military-Industrial Complex” in Johan Gribbe, Per Lundin & Niklas Stenlås (eds.), Science for Welfare and Warfare: Technology and State Initiative in Cold War Sweden (Sagamore Beach: Watson Publishing International, 2010), pp. 61–84; Strandqvist, Kristoffer, Kritiska år: Formativa moment för den svenska flygplansindustrin 1944–1951 [Critical Years: Formative Moments for the Swedish Aircraft Industry, 1944–1951] (Stockholm: Ph. D diss., Stockholm School of Economics, 2008); Gribbe, J and Nilsson, M., “The Foreign Domestic: Hard Artefacts and Soft Politics in Sweden During the First Half of the Cold War, 1945–1967.” in Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology, icon, Vol. 11, 2005, pp. 51–62; Nilsson, M., “The Power of Technology: u.s. Hegemony and the Transfer of Advanced Military Technology to nato During the Cold War, ­1953–1962” in Comparative Technology Transfer and Society (ctts), August 2008, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 287–307. 7 Holmström, Mikael, Den dolda alliansen: Sveriges hemliga nato-förbindelser [The Hidden Alliance: Sweden’s Secret nato Connections] (Stockholm: Atlantis, 2011). 8 The most recent survey, and evaluation, of the scholarship in the field is: Nilsson, M., “Sweden and the Cold War: A Historiography of A Work in Progress” in Mauro Mantovani (ed.), International Bibliography of Military History, Vol. 33, Issue 1, 2013, pp. 35–71. 9 The most comprehensive summaries of Swedish security and foreign policy during the Cold War to date are: Kronvall, Olof and Petersson, Magnus, Svensk säkerhetspolitik i supermakternas skugga 1945–1991 [Swedish Security Policy in the Shadow of the Super Powers, 1945–1991] (2nd revised ed.) (Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press, 2012); Bjereld, U., Johansson, A.W., & Molin, K., Sveriges säkerhet och världens fred….

Introduction

5

healthcare et cetera to the nation’s citizens. But this state involvement in society also contained a significant military aspect. One could very well argue that during the decades studied in this book, Sweden became a country characterized by both welfare and warfare; the welfare state was also a warfare state.10 The Swedish neutrality policy thus continued to be a very real aspect for American propagandists to handle and adapt to. This policy also became a central myth upon which the ‘modern’ Sweden as a nation was founded. Sweden was a ‘neutral,’ and this was something that, as is characteristic of successful national foundation myths, was never really questioned even by the political opposition. No political party argued for Swedish membership in nato during the whole Cold War, and the Social Democrats managed to make themselves into both this policy’s founders and guarantors. Anyone who questioned the policy of neutrality concomitantly questioned the very basis of the nation state. Such criticism also came to be seen as highly­ irresponsible, since it was construed as threatening the basis for Sweden’s ­independence; since neutrality had kept Sweden out of the Second World War it was assumed that the policy of neutrality would also keep it out of future wars.11 The policy of neutrality also became the foundation for the so-called ‘active foreign policy’ that the government embarked on in the early 1960s; a policy that featured strong support for the anti-colonial movements in the so-called Third World. This, too, was long seen as something particularly Swedish, also by scholars, even though neutral nations such as Austria, Switzerland, and Finland all had their version of an ‘active’ foreign policy. In reality Sweden was just following an international trend wherein the neutrals became more ­active on the international scene, as a way to contribute to international development and break the (often) self-imposed isolation of these nations. This neutrality myth became, as Per Lundin and Niklas Stenlås have written, S­ weden’s Sonderweg— something that was seen as setting it apart from the other European n ­ ations.12 10 11

12

This perspective has been developed in: J. Gribbe, P. Lundin & N. Stenlås (eds.), Science for Welfare and Warfare:…. For more on the connection between the policy of neutrality as a foundational myth in Sweden, see: Lundin, Per & Stenlås, Niklas, “Technology, State Initiative and National Myths in Cold War Sweden” in J. Gribbe, P. Lundin & N. Stenlås (eds.), Science for Welfare and Warfare:…, pp. 6–9. A central point of reference concerning this issue is also the research done by Bo Stråth, see e.g. Stråth, Bo, “Poverty, Neutrality and Welfare: Three Key Concepts in the Modern Foundation Myth of Sweden” in Bo Stråth (ed.), Myth and Memory in the Construction of Community: Historical Patterns in Europe and Beyond (Brussels: pie Lang, 2000). For more on the ‘active foreign policy’ and citations of the relevant research, see: Bjereld, U., Johansson, A.W., & Molin, K., Sveriges säkerhet och världens fred…, pp. 224–275.

6

Introduction

In reality, however, Sweden was just one nation among several others which also conducted policies of neutrality, although in other contexts and with ­other possibilities and constraints.13 This is thus the political, military, and security policy backdrop against which the American propaganda activities took place during the 1950s and 1960s. This book makes use of a large amount of hitherto unused material in both Swedish and American archives. The ambition is twofold, namely to further the understanding of Swedish-American relations during the so-called ‘Total Cold War’ as well as investigating u.s. relations with the European ‘neutrals’ in the same period.14 Its main focus will be on the activities of the usia, and its foreign branch the United States Information Services (usis), located in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The book argues that the usia’s activities were an important part of building and upholding a positive image of American culture and science in Sweden, and that the civilian propaganda formed a base upon which the secret military cooperation could rest. The ultimate goal of the propaganda was to elicit Swedish consent to American leadership in world affairs. The book will examine how the usia/usis conducted its propaganda campaigns, and analyze which groups were primarily targeted, how and why. Moreover, the issue of how the propaganda was viewed by the target audiences will be examined. One feature of the book is the relationship between the usis and the Swedish labour movement (its leaders, press, and union and party organizations), because the influence of the left in Sweden (not only at the governmental level) seems, at first glance, to have been contrary to u.s. interests in Sweden and Scandinavia. This view is false, however. In fact, the Swedish economy was dominated by large privately owned export-oriented corporations, and even those few companies that were owned by the Swedish government were prohibited from being politically controlled. The book argues that while the American propaganda was intended to bridge the ideological divide

13

14

For the part of the Sonderweg, see: Lundin, P. & Stenlås, N., “Technology, State Initiative and National Myths in Cold War Sweden” in J. Gribbe, P. Lundin & N. Stenlås (eds.), Science for Welfare and Warfare:…, p. 8. The research on u.s. policy towards the Western European neutrals is summarized in: Nilsson, M., “Pretty Much Your Typical Love-Hate Relationship: The United States and the European Neutrals During the Cold War, 1945–1991” (forthcoming) in Journal of Cold War Studies, summer 2016. The term Total Cold War has been borrowed from Kenneth Osgood (Osgood, Kenneth, Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda War at Home and Abroad (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2006)).

Introduction

7

between the two countries, the gap was usually not that wide even from the beginning. On some issues though, as the book will amply illustrate, u.s. propaganda efforts were unable to rally support and understanding for American policies. The two fundamental issues of this kind were the civil rights violations against the African-American minority in the u.s., and later the American government’s abuses and terror policies in South and North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. International psychological activity was a critical component in the u.s. government’s strategy for winning the Cold War, targeting the capitalist ­nations even more than the Communist ones,15 and has even been called the American style of foreign policy.16 Far from being a peripheral aspect of the Cold War “the competition for hearts and minds—the cold war of words and of deeds—was one of its principal battlegrounds.”17 Propaganda and psychological warfare has in fact been at least as intrinsic to u.s. foreign policy during the postwar era as has the atomic bomb. In a sense it has been even more important because ideology and propaganda could be used on a daily basis while atomic weapons could not. The propaganda weapon could also be adopted for use against its own population as well as the public in allied countries.18 This book demonstrates how u.s. propaganda policy objectives were actually put to use, the aim being to show how the propaganda was implemented and received. It focuses on the interaction between u.s. propagandists and the Swedish target audiences, but it also takes time to look at the content of the American propaganda in order to say something about what kind of image of America the usis wanted the Swedes to have. In doing this, the book brings together several approaches that are either very rarely portrayed in the previous literature, or portrayed separately in different works. It is pertinent to study these activities in order to more fully understand Sweden’s role in the Cold War, including how and why Sweden came to align itself with the u.s. in the global battle between the superpowers. The book also contributes to an understanding of how the u.s. government operated to secure the ideological loyalty and support of the ‘neutral’ countries in Western Europe.

15 16 17 18

Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…, pp. 2–3, 362. Dallek, Robert, The American Style of Foreign Policy: Cultural Politics and Foreign Affairs (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983). Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…, p. 11. Simpson, Christopher (ed.), Universities and Empire: Money and Politics in the Social Sciences during the Cold War (New York: The New Press, 1998), p. xvii.

8

Introduction

The book is for the most part based on written or printed archival material found in archives and libraries in Sweden and the u.s., as well as on a few oral history interviews. The usia records that are deposited as Record Group (rg) 306 nara ii, have been used extensively. Related material has also been found in, for instance, State Department files (rg 59), State Department Foreign Service Posts files (rg 84), and in the Presidential Libraries. Oral history interviews with former usia service personnel accessible on the Library of Congress website have also been used as sources. On the Swedish side the archives at ra, and arbark, in Stockholm, have also been extensively researched in order to clarify the relationship between the usis, American propaganda, and the Swedish government, the Social Democratic Party, and the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen, lo). Moreover, the press archive at the snl in Stockholm, has been used in an effort to establish the degree of penetration of material contained in the usis new bulletin Ur USA-Krönikan (From the usa Chronicle) in Swedish newspapers. This method does not really convey the whole truth about the penetration of the Swedish media by u.s. propaganda material since it concentrates exclusively on the material included in one usis bulletin (because there were other bulletins too). This probably effectively leaves out the majority of officially sanctioned propaganda fed to the international media via news agencies such as Reuters, Associated Press (ap), United Press International (upi) and the like. It also leaves out all other ‘news items’ that served propagandistic purposes during the Cold War. For example, much of the news of the space race was covered in articles attributed to such agencies, sometimes routed also through Swedish Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå [The Newspapers’ Telegram Bureau] (tt). Since there has been no way to check the origin of such reports, they have been ignored completely when assessing the penetration of the Swedish press by u.s. propaganda during this period. In short, much remains to be done to complete the picture. Since the late 1960s, and increasingly since the 1990s, many studies have been published internationally of u.s. clandestine propaganda activities in general (involving agencies such as the cia), and some of the usia’s activities in particular.19 This shows that the international historical community 19

C.f. Bernhard, Nancy E., us Television News and Cold War Propaganda (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Caute, David, The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy During the Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…; Parry-Giles, Shawn J., The Rhetorical Presidency, Propaganda, and the Cold War, 1945–1955 (Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002); Snow, Nancy, Propaganda, Inc.: Selling ­America’s Culture to the World (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002); Belmonte, Laura A.,

Introduction

9

has come to realize the importance of this field for a more complete understanding of u.s. foreign policy during the Cold War. The usia, through its propaganda, served u.s. national security aims as an essential complement to traditional military, political, and economic factors.20 A few studies of the Americanization of Sweden have been published,21 but these do not pay any attention to the usia, nor do they relate their findings to the issue of security policy.22 International studies have long acknowledged the intentionality of the u.s. government in the process of Americanization of the Western European countries.23

20 21

22

23

Selling the American Way: u.s. Propaganda and the Cold War (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008); Hixson, Walter L., Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945–1961 (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997); Kuisel, Richard F., Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization (Berkley: University of California Press, 1993); Wagnleitner, Reinhold, Coca-Colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States in Austria after the Second World War (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1994); Berghahn, Volker R., America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001); Bogart, Leo, Premises for Propaganda: the United States Information Agency’s Operating Assumptions in the Cold War (New York: Free Press, 1976); Elder, Robert E., The Information Machine: The United States Information Agency and American Foreign Policy (Syracuse, n.y.: Syracuse University Press, 1968); Sorensen, Thomas C., The Word War: The Story of American Propaganda (New York: Harper & Row, 1968); Henderson, John W., The United States Information Agency (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, 1969); Green, Fitzhugh, American Propaganda Abroad: from Benjamin Franklin to Ronald Reagan (New York: Hippocrane Books, Inc., 1988); Cull, Nicholas J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945–1989 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). Henderson, J.W., The United States…, p. viii; Parry-Giles, S.J., Rhetorical Presidency…, p. xvii. Lundén, Rolf and Åsard, Erik (Eds.), Networks of Americanization: Aspects of the American influence in Sweden (Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 1992); O´Dell, Tom, Culture Unbound: Americanization and everyday life in Sweden (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 1997); Blanck, Dag, “Television, Education, and the Vietnam War: Sweden and the United States During the Postwar Era” in Alexander Stephan (Ed.) The Americanization of Europe: Culture, Diplomacy, and Anti-Americanism after 1945 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), pp. 91–114. There are other titles as well and also some articles in scholarly journals, but none of these deals with u.s. propaganda in Sweden. Dag Blanck mentions the usis and refers to some of its activities (Blanck has not utilized any American sources) in an article but does not draw any conclusions based upon this. Indeed, the usis seems to have been a minor player in Blanck’s account (Blanck, D., “Television…,” pp. 93–94.). C.f. van Elteren, Mel, “u.s. Cultural Imperialism Today: Only a Chimera?” in The sais Review of International Affairs, Vol. xxiii no. 2 (Summer-Fall 2003), pp. 169–189.

10

Introduction

Moreover, the bulk of the prior research concerned with Swedish-American­ security relations has had a clear Swedish bias, i.e. it has focused almost exclusively on what Sweden did in order to obtain u.s. technology, u.s. military assistance, et cetera.24 There are a few notable exceptions to this rule, however.25 But even in the latter studies the u.s. government’s efforts to conjure up Swedish support for its hegemonic enterprise has rarely been acknowledged.26 The lack of studies taking into account u.s. actions and strategies vis-à-vis Sweden is probably due to an implicit assumption, both in Sweden and elsewhere, that the u.s. was so dominant that it could afford to be without Swedish support in the Cold War. Hence, there has been no perceived need to study u.s. efforts to elicit Swedish support for the Western cause. On the other hand, much of the newer international Cold War scholarship has been criticized for suffering from a case of America-centricity, offering few or no views of a non-Anglo-American origin.27 Nicholas Cull, for example, in his magisterial book, focuses exclusively on the large developments.28 Laura Belmonte, in her Selling the American Way, focuses almost exclusively on the content of the propaganda, namely “on materials prepared for international dissemination by the State Department and the usia and openly identified as American.”29 Kenneth Osgood’s study Total Cold War, Frank Ninkovich’s The Diplomacy of Ideas, Walter Hixson’s Parting the Curtain, Scott Lucas’ Freedom’s War, and Gregory Mitrovich’s Undermining the Kremlin rarely touch upon the micro level.30 Other studies provide good 24

25

26 27 28 29 30

C.f. Cole, Paul Marion, Neutralité du jour—The conduct of Swedish Security policy since 1945. (Baltimore, md: unpublished Ph.D. diss., Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1990); Dalsjö, R., Life Line Lost:…; Kronvall, O. and Petersson, M., Svensk säkerhetspolitik…. Moores, Simon, “Neutral on Our Side”: us-Swedish Military and Security Relations during the Eisenhower Administration (London: unpublished Ph.D. diss., The London School of Economics and Political Science, September, 2004); Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…; Silva, Charles, Keep Them Strong, Keep Them Friendly: Swedish-American Relations and the Pax Americana, 1948–1952 (Stockholm: Ph.D diss., Stockholm University, 1999). For example, in Moores, S., “Neutral on Our Side”: … and Silva, C., Keep Them Strong… this is not mentioned at all. Caute, D., The Dancer Defects:…, pp. 613–614. Cull, N., J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. xvii–xviii. Belmonte, L., A., Selling the American Way:…, pp. 7–8. Osgood, K., Total Cold War…; Frank A. Ninkovich, The Diplomacy of Ideas: u.s. Foreign Policy and Cultural Relations, 1938–1950 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981); Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…; Lucas, Scott, Freedom’s War: the American Crusade Against the Soviet Union (New York: New York University Press, 1999); Mitrovich,

Introduction

11

coverage of the structural and operational issues of the usia, but do not analyze what the usia wished to accomplish by its campaigns.31 Reinhold Wagnleitner’s Coca-Colonization and the Cold War deals with the activities of the u.s. Cultural Mission in Austria during the occupation 1945–1955.32 However, Wagnleitner has not made use of the usia’s archival material (­Record Group 306) in his very interesting book (even though the usia was created in 1953); instead he has focused his attention on the State Department (rg 59) and the Records of the u.s. Occupational Headquarters (rg 260). The only other major study of American propaganda that is really similar to this book is Marek Fields’ so far unpublished dissertation Reinforcing Finland’s Attachment to the West from 2015.33 But since Fields is investigating both American and British propaganda efforts, as well as the cultural diplomacy of these nations, he has not been able to go into such detailed analyses of the propaganda work as this book does. The analytical perspective is also completely different since Fields does not use either the concept of ‘hegemony’ or ‘co-production’ (for a definition of these concepts, see below) when analyzing the findings of his research. That said, however, it is a highly interesting and groundbreaking study. Fields concludes that the Western propaganda effort in Finland was a success,34 but points out that there were different degrees of self-censorship, and thereby varying degrees of difficulty of placing material in the press, during different periods. For example, Fields shows that the so-called ‘Night Frost Crisis’ in 1958 and even more so the ‘Note Crisis’ in 1961, were turning points that worsened matters for the Western propaganda organizations.35 He also shows that

31

32 33

34 35

Gregory, Undermining the Kremlin: America’s Strategy to Subvert the Soviet Bloc, 1947–1956 (Ithaca, n.y.: Cornell University Press, 2000). Dizard Jr., Wilson P., Inventing Public Diplomacy: The Story of the u.s. Information Agency (Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004); Henderson, J.W., The United States Information Agency; Elder, Robert E., The Information Machine: The United States Information Agency…; Green, F., American Propaganda Abroad:…; Wieck, Randolph, Ignorance Abroad: American Educational and Cultural Foreign Policy and the Office of Assistant Secretary of State (Westport, Conn: Preager, 1992). Wagnleitner, R., Coca-Colonization and the Cold War:…. Fields, Marek, Reinforcing Finland’s Attachment to the West: British and American Propaganda and Cultural Diplomacy in Finland, 1944–1962 (University of Helsinki: unpublished dissertation, 2015). This is an impressive and well-researched study that is based on a wealth of archival, and other, material from four countries (Finland, Sweden, the u.s., and Britain). Ibid., pp. 341–342. Ibid., p. 347.

12

Introduction

c­ o-production was a key factor in this success also in Finland, although he does not use this terminology. He writes: In making all activities more efficient, the Finns played a central part. The majority of the nation was clearly Western-orientated, showing great interest in British and American news reports and cultural products. This formed a solid platform for any activity launched by the British and us governments. The Finns’ close involvement in the operations’ execution, both directly as producers of propaganda and indirectly as its distributors through the media and political parties, also played a key part in making the content more appropriate for the local market and increasing the activities’ overall credibility.36 This is more or less a mirror image of what happened also in Sweden, as shall become apparent in this book. The British seem to have dominated the post-war period up until the early 1950s when the American campaign started to gain speed after a somewhat slow start. Fields writes that: As both the fo [Foreign Office, m.n.] and the State Department were quick to learn that an aggressive campaign was unnecessary in the Finnish case as compared to other Western European countries, British and American propaganda in Finland focused more on the distribution of ‘straight’ information and the projection of their societies. The us campaign was particularly effective in this field, as the usis/Helsinki constantly bombarded the Finnish press with articles praising the American economy and the high living standards of the ‘Average Joe,’ and the country’s scientific achievements, as well as the general American message of freedom and opportunity for all, including African-Americans.37 Now, it has to be mentioned that much of the judgement about the success of the various efforts seems to be based mostly on the evaluation of their activities by the Americans and British themselves, which could be slightly ­problematic at times. Gauging the effect of propaganda is often a matter of arguing counterfactually, since it is impossible to know what things would have been like had these activities been different or completely absent. On the whole though, Fields’ study is a stable and well-documented piece of ­scholarship. And to be 36 37

Ibid., p. 342. Ibid., p. 346.

Introduction

13

fair, Fields does include a critical discussion of these evaluations and acknowledges that it is hard, if not impossible, to reliably determine the influence of these propaganda activities. He also remarks that  the usis was much more inclined to provide its own assessments than were the British.38 Another work that has to be mentioned here is Ali Fisher’s Collaborative Public Diplomacy. Fisher, in a way, deals with the same kind of relationships that John Krige does in his book (see below), i.e. the networks between the Europeans and the Americans during the Cold War. What makes Fisher’s book special is the heavy focus on network theory and his distinct use of the term collaborative public diplomacy, as opposed to “propaganda” or “co-production of hegemony,” which stresses the active role that the European intellectuals had in the establishment of American Studies in Europe. This is highly relevant to this study, since the founding of American Studies at Swedish universities is one of the main topics of this book (see Chapter 6). Fisher problematizes the relationship between the two groups of actors, and points out that u.s. public diplomacy could not in any way dictate the outcome of its endeavors, but that u.s. aims were always mediated through the Europeans’ aims and actions; thus the point Fisher makes about u.s. public diplomacy being a collaborative effort.39 This view has a lot of merit, but the focus on networks and collaboration does not really capture the very real power assymetry between the two parties involved in the collaborative transaction, and the European dependence on the u.s. This is why the idea of co-production of hegemony is a better analytical concept to use; it readily captures the assymetries while at the same time acknowledges the active role of the Europeans (or the Swedes in this case). It is also necessary to pin down why I choose to use ‘propaganda’ instead of ‘public diplomacy.’ The latter term has been used by many, including Ali Fisher, and does have its merits. However, the reason for why I will not be using it in this book is that the term propaganda signifies and makes clear that what is being dealt with here is a purposeful act of persuation. The term public diplomacy does not capture this fact in quite the same way, or as effictively. While public diplomacy may sound more neutral it is not as precise. Propaganda is, however, a concept that is notoriously difficult to define. The definitions risk becoming either too broad, including all communication between individuals, or too narrow, including only ill-willed messages touted by autocratic regimes. It is clear that a meaningful definition of propaganda needs to include what ‘we’ do as well as what ‘they’ do. It could also be argued 38 39

Ibid., p. 348. Fisher, Ali, Collaborative Public Diplomacy: How Transnational Networks Influenced American Studies in Europe (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

14

Introduction

that propaganda is the wrong term to use because the usia officers were not thinking about their work in terms of propaganda but rather as public diplomacy. This, however, is not entirely correct. While many would certainly have refrained from using the word propaganda, many others did, as is illustrated by authors of books about the usia who were intimately involved with the agency, such as Fitzhugh Green, in his American Propaganda Abroad (Green was a usia officer in Laos, the Congo, the Far East, and the u.n.), Leo Bogart in Premises for Propaganda, and Thomas C. Sorensen’s The Word War: The Story of American Propaganda (Sorensen was Deputy Director of the usia in the early 1960s). None of these authors uses the word propaganda in a pejorative sense. This shows that also some of the people involved at the time studied in this book also labeled their activities as propaganda.40 With this in mind, the following section will present the definition of the concept of propaganda used in this book. The literature on propaganda is immense and this is not the place to review what has previously been written on the subject.41 However, there are 40

41

It is not known how the usis employees in Stockholm viewed the term propaganda. But since this is not a word used in the reports sent back to Washington (or in any other material in the usia archive relating to Sweden) it is highly doubtful that they considered what they did to be “propaganda” or that they saw themselves as “propagandists.” C.f. Ellul, J., Propaganda…; Bernays, E., Propaganda; Aronson, Elliot and Pratkanis, Anthony, Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion (New York: Holt Paperback (Revised Edition), 2001); Edelstein, Alex, Total Propaganda: From Mass Culture to Popular Culture (Mahwah, n.j.: Lawrence Erlbaum Asociates, Publishers, 1997); Smith, Ted J. (Ed.), Propaganda: A Pluralistic Perspective (New York: Praeger, 1989); Sproule, Michael J., Propaganda and Democracy: The American Experience of Media and Mass Persuasion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); Doob, Leonard W., Propaganda: Its Psychology and Technique (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1943); Hummel, William and Huntress, Keith, The Analysis of Propaganda (New York: The Dryden Press, 1949); Kamalipour, Yahya and Snow Nancy (Eds.), War, Media, and Propaganda: A Global Perspective (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004); O’Shaughnessy, Nicholas Jackson, Politics and Propaganda: Weapons of Mass Seduction (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004); Szántó, András (Ed.), What Orwell Didn’t Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2007); Jowett, Garth S. and O’Donnell, Victoria (Eds.), Readings in Propaganda and Persuasion: New and Classic Essays (Thousand Oaks: sage Publications, 2006); Bernard, Nancy E., u.s. Television News and Cold War Propaganda, 1947–1960 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Taylor, Philip M., Munitions of the Mind: A History of Propaganda from the Ancient World to the Present Day (Manchester: Manchester University Press, (Third Edition) 2003); Chomsky, Noam and Herman, Edward S., Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York: Pantheon Books, 2002); Shabo, Magedah E., Techniques of Propaganda &

Introduction

15

­classics in the field. Two such classic studies are Jacques Ellul’s Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes from 1965, and Edward L. Bernays’ Propaganda written in 1928, both quoted above. Despite their differences (Bernays was a conservative American, and Ellul was a leftist French intellectual) they had a similar view of propaganda. For them (as apparent from the quotes above) propaganda was a pervasive necessity in modern society, something that could not be avoided. Moreover, the literature on propaganda, its use and effectiveness will be utilized in order to produce a better understanding of Sweden’s post-war relations with the u.s. In this book, propaganda is broadly defined as any technique or action designed to influence the emotions, attitudes, or behavior of a group, usually to serve the interests of the sponsor.42 Propaganda is indeed a broad phenomenon including feats of psychological persuasion reaching from advertising and public relations at one end to the wartime use of decoys in battle at the other.43 Ellul’s own definition of propaganda was that it “is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated in an organization.”44 The italicized part about passive participation stresses what must be considered to be a central aspect of usia propaganda, namely that it was not intended to get people out in the streets or to ‘activate’ the masses. Rather, it was a matter of getting the public to adopt a particular worldview; an action that I believe can be called passive action. However, in contrast to Ellul, this book will avoid the use of the verb ‘manipulate’ in its definition of propaganda simply because of its sinister connotations (it conjures up the image of an evil mastermind spreading lies to lead the people astray). It has long been acknowledged by propagandists that propaganda, contrary to popular assumptions, has to be based on facts and not lies.45 One could perhaps add that the message should at least be thought to

42 43

44 45

Persuasion (Prestwick House, 2008); Carey, Alex, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty (Chicago: University or Illinois Press, 1997). Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…, p. 7. For a good example of the latter, see: Rankin, Nicholas, Churchill’s Wizards: The British Genius for Deception, 1914–1945 (London: Faber, 2008). See also: Macdonald, Scot, ­Propaganda and Information Warfare in the Twenty-First Century: Altered Images and Deception Operations (London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 118–127. Among the many writers that define advertising as propaganda are Aronson and Pratkanis: Aronson, E. and Pratkanis, A., Age of Propaganda…. Ellul, J., Propaganda…, p. 61. Ellul’s definition is italicized in original. Ibid., pp. 52–61.

16

Introduction

be true by the propagandist. The cost to the cause of the propagandist is simply too great if caught red-handed telling a lie. It has been noted that telling ‘the perceived truth’ was as much a requirement for the main architect of Nazi propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, as it was for the usia, albeit the ‘truths’ used are selected very carefully. The fact itself should, desirably, be true; it is the interpretation of the facts that is spun by the propagandist in order to elicit the desired response from the audience.46 Goebbels himself ascribed to this position too. Credibility was for him a primary concern and it alone should, according to his seventh principle of propaganda, determine whether the content of propaganda should be true or false.47 Of course this rule is true for certain types of propaganda more than others. For instance, in war deceptive operations are by definition false and untrue, however, to be successful they must appear true until the purpose has been reached.48 The kind of propaganda that the usia was engaged in during the Cold War made selective use of true facts, rather than outright lies. Thus, for this book such a definition of propaganda makes more sense. Based on Ellul’s definition it will use the following definition of propaganda: Propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological persuasion. It must of course be acknowledged that while there can be little doubt that propaganda affects the human mind, these effects are more or less impossible to nail down and measure directly. As is evident from the quote from Edward

46

47

48

Cunningham, Stanley B., “Smoke and Mirrors: A Confirmation of Jacques Ellul’s Theory of Information Use in Propaganda” in Ted J. Smith iii (Ed.) Propaganda…, pp. 152–153. This point is most forcefully made by Chris Tudda in his book The Truth Is Our Weapon about Eisenhower’s rhetorical diplomacy. Eisenhower and his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles both regarded their strongest card to be that they were ‘telling the truth’, see: Tudda, Chris, The Truth Is Our Weapon: The Rhetorical Diplomacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006). Doob, Leonard W., “Goebbel’s Principles of Propaganda” in Daniel Katz et al. (Eds.), Public Opinion and Propaganda: A Book of Readings (New York: Dryden Press, 1954), pp. 513–514. Note the pragmatic view entailed in this principle, however. Lying was allowed if credibility could be preserved. C.f. Macdonald, S., Propaganda and Information….

Introduction

17

Bernays at the beginning of this book, the ‘father of spin,’ as he has been called, was certainly sure of its powerful influence on the public mind. Even so, there is just no way to discern what kind of effect usia propaganda had on the Swedish elites, much less on the public as a whole. While cognitive psychological and neuroscience experiments can help us understand how the human brain reacts to, computes, and deals with input intended to influence the output behavior of its owner, one cannot generalize these results in a way that enables one to say anything certain about the effects of u.s. propaganda on the Swedish target audience.49 What is possible, however, is to establish how pervasive the propaganda effort was and what constituted it. From there inferences can then be made regarding its effects. If, for example, Swedish newspaper editors often used material provided by the usis in their editorials, one can infer that a large portion of the Swedish public read it and that the message probably (at least in the cases where the readers shared the basic values and opinions of their newspapers, which was not always the case even though the concentration of media ownership was much smaller in this period) made an impression. As is evident, however, this causal chain is very weak indeed. The book is thus not expected to yield results that will tell us how much of the usia propaganda was believed or acted upon by the target audiences (in some cases this will be possible but in most not). But what it will attempt to do is to provide an authoritative account of u.s. propaganda activities in Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s, its methods, scope, and content. The fact that usia propaganda filtered into Swedish news media on a regular basis is itself something that has not been acknowledged by scholars before, and although it raises more questions than it answers, it certainly adds to our understanding of Swedish-u.s. relations. As this book will show, the available evidence points to the conclusion that propaganda was an integral part of the u.s. Embassy’s execution of u.s. foreign policy in Stockholm. How the u.s. propaganda activities feed into the general pattern of Americanization of Swedish society, popular culture et cetera, is a subject that has not even begun to be explored by Swedish scholars. Indeed, even internationally, such cross-fertilization is rare at best, since most studies of Americanization do not seem to pay any attention to u.s. propaganda efforts and vice versa.50 49 50

A book that contains fascinating examples of how the human brain is affected by propaganda is: Aronson, E. and Pratkanis, A., Age of Propaganda…. This conclusion seems reasonable. For instance, an index search of Mel van Elteren’s book on Americanization yields no entry for either usia or propaganda, see: van Elteren, Mel, Americanism and Americanization: A Critical History of Domestic and Global

18

Introduction

Propaganda will be divided into three different types, or shades, in this book, namely: white, grey, and black. The terms ‘white,’ ‘grey’ and ‘black’ have nothing to do with the truth-content, or accuracy, of the propaganda itself. The standard definition of these terms, as given in the Collins English ­Dictionary, is that white propaganda “comes from the source it claims to come from”; by grey propaganda is understood “that [which] does not identify its source”; and black propaganda is then “that [which] does not come from the source it claims to come from.” Black propaganda should not be confused with disinformation, which has to do with content. Disinformation can come in the form of either white or grey or black propaganda. The reason for why the source of a message is obscured can vary, but a general reason is that such propaganda for various reasons is considered more effective than if the true source had been revealed. As will become apparent in this book, the usia/usis produced almost exclusively white and grey propaganda. As a general rule the agency did not disseminate black propaganda. This was no coincidence but a natural consequence of the fact that the usia preferred to leave the field of black propaganda to covert agencies such as the cia. There is a notable exception to this rule, though, namely the so-called Project Kingfish.51 However, in the case studied here, special circumstances made it so that black propaganda became a reality anyway (see below). In fact, the usis’ white propaganda was habitually transformed into grey (and in a few cases into black) propaganda—a process called grey-washing (and black-washing) in this book—by Swedish journalists and newspaper editors, who obscured the true source of articles they published from the readers (see below).

Analytical Framework: Hegemony and How to Define it

Having defined propaganda it is now necessary to define the other important concept used in this book, namely hegemony. This definition will borrow from

51

I­ nfluence (Jefferson, n.d.: McFarland & Company, 2006). A similar search in Victoria de Grazia’s Irresistible Empire yields no entry for usia and only two entries for propaganda in the Cold War context (one of which refers to Communist propaganda), see: de Grazia, Victoria, Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through 20th Century Europe (Cambridge, ma: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005). In 1966 usia Director Leonard Marks had launched the so-called Project Kingfish, which was a covert subsidy to circulate a special Hearst Metrotone weekly newsreel in Africa and Asia, only to suddenly withdraw all usia support for the project on February 2, 1967 (Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, pp. 64–65).

Introduction

19

a wide variety of sources dealing with the concept of hegemony, in order to construct what is a comprehensive definition of the analytical apparatus.52 This approach to analysis is chosen because as Joseph Nye and Robert Keohane state: one model cannot explain all situations, but even so, an analytical framework is inescapable, because all empirical research rests on it.53 This book will offer a partly revised definition of hegemony, and suggest that hegemony, in order to make more sense and to separate it from other forms of domination, such as empire, excludes employment of (and threat of) armed force. This seems to make perfect sense at least with regard to the hegemonic state’s relation to its consenting allies. Examples of u.s. ‘hegemonic’ use of violence in the scholarly literature never include the use of force against consenting states.54 The most plausible reason for this is probably that there 52

53

54

The literature on hegemony is vast. For some examples, see: Sánchez, Peter M., Panama Lost? u.s. Hegemony, Democracy, and the Canal (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2007); Buci-Glucksmann, Christine, Gramsci and the State (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1980), p. 63; Bocock, Robert, Hegemony (London: Tavistock Publications, 1986); Joseph, Jonathan, Hegemony: A Realist Analysis (London: Routledge, 2002); Femia, ­Joseph  v., Gramsci’s Political Thought. Hegemony, Consciousness and the Revolutionary Process (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987); for a so-called post-Marxist analysis, see: Laclau, Ernesto and Mouffe, Chantal, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (London: Verso Press, 1985); Cox, Robert W., “Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method” in Stephen Gill (ed.), Gramsci, Historical Materialism, and International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). See also: Ives, Peter, Language and Hegemony in Gramsci (London: Pluto Press, 2004); Therborn, Göran, What Does the Ruling Class Do When It Rules? (London: Verso, 1980). For a Liberal/ Neo-Realist approach to hegemony, see: Keohane, Robert O., After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984); Calleo, David P., Beyond American Hegemony: The Future of the Western Alliance (New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, 1987); in cultural studies, see: Williams, Raymond, “Gramsci’s relevance for the study of race and ethnicity,” Journal of Communication Inquiry, 10 (1986), pp. 5–27, and Artz, Lee and Ortega Murphy, Bren, Cultural hegemony in the United States (London: Sage Publications, 2000). Keohane, Robert O. and Nye, Joseph S., Power and Interdependence (third edition) (New York: Longman, (1977) 2001), p. 4. For the same, see: Gaddis, John Lewis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 62, 109. C.f. Kohen, Marcelo G., “The Use of Force by the United States after the end of the Cold War, and its impact on international law” and Roth, Brad R., “Bending the law, breaking it, or developing it? The United States and the humanitarian use of force in the post–Cold War era” in Michael Byers and Georg Nolte (eds.) United States Hegemony and the Foundations of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 197–263.

20

Introduction

are no such examples (although the validity of this conclusion depends upon how one defines hegemony of course). How, then, should u.s. use of force in, for instance, Serbia or Iraq and Afghanistan be viewed? Well, rather than seeing these and other examples as applications of hegemonic force, they should be viewed as expressions of imperial force that bandwagon on u.s. hegemony, and depend on it for acceptance. What is meant by this is that hegemony’s role in these instances is limited to the creation of acceptance for unilateral (undertaken by the hegemonic nation alone) or multilateral (undertaken by a coalition under the leadership of the hegemonic state) use of force among the subordinated consenting nations. However, the fact that consent to the hegemonic nation’s use of force (against a non-consenting state) is sometimes given by subordinated states (either directly and enthusiastically prior to its application, or as indirect acceptance after the fact) should not be interpreted as an example of hegemonic use of force. The strength of the concept of hegemony, when defined in this way, is that it enables us to clearly differentiate between domination due to force/threat of force, i.e. imperial power, and domination due to consent, i.e. power and influence based on hegemony. This does not mean that other forms of coercion cannot fit the concept of hegemony. For example, considerable temporary political and economic pressure against consenting subordinated states should be compatible with hegemony. What has been said above is the main reason for why Geir Lundestad’s famous concept of ‘empire by invitation’ is not accepted here.55 The term empire, used in this context, confuses more than it clarifies; this is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Lundestad in his writings uses the terms interchangeably. The force/consent dichotomy should not lead us to view hegemony as exclusively the result of actions and plans of social agents, i.e. groups and/or individuals. This tends to lead to a conspiratorial view of hegemony, portraying it as being simply the result of conscious and cunning agents.56 This view ignores the structural aspect of hegemony, on which both the hegemon and the subordinate nations partly depend. In contrast to this, Charles S. Maier has acknowledged that the huge American predominance in the immediate postwar period almost inevitably had to give rise to American hegemony. “Hegemony,”­

55

56

Lundestad, Geir, “Empire by Invitation? The United States and Western Europe, 1945–1952” in Journal of Peace Research, September 1986, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 263–277; Lundestad, G., The United States and Western Europe Since 1945: From “Empire” by Invitation to Transatlantic Drift (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). Joseph, J., Hegemony: A Realist Analysis, p. 1.

Introduction

21

he wrote, “was in the cards […].”57 There is indeed a large consensus in the scholarly community today that the u.s. was hegemonic vis-à-vis Western Europe during the period dealt with in this book, i.e. 1945–1962.58 u.s. hegemony involved an effort to rally the Western European nations around a common set of values and ideas, and to isolate the governments that did not share the same ideology. In doing so, the u.s. government resorted to a great deal of bargaining, and used the appeal of a liberal ideology to establish a centrist political mindset among the European populace. A large part of this effort was of course to establish a new economic order in Western Europe, what Maier has called ‘the politics of productivity.’59 It is important to point out that the concept of hegemony, as defined and used in this book, is not specifically tied to the field of economics. As will become clear throughout this book, the usis did not really focus all that much on economic issues in its propaganda in Sweden. Rather, politics and themes such as science and culture dominated the material disseminated by u.s. propagandists in Stockholm. This is why ‘hegemonic stability,’ a concept used (and widely debated) to describe and explain the stability of the Western economy in the postwar era, is not put to use in the pages below.60 The aim of this book is not to explore ‘theoretically’ how the u.s. came to occupy a hegemonic position­in 57

58

59

60

Maier, Charles S., “Hegemony and autonomy within the Western Alliance” in Melvyn P. Leffler and David S. Painter (eds.), Origins of the Cold War: An International History (London: Routledge, 1994), p. 155. See for instance: Maier, C.S., “Hegemony and autonomy…” in M.P. Leffler and D.S. Painter (eds.), Origins of the Cold War:…, pp. 154–174; McCormick, Thomas, J., America’s Half-Century: United States Foreign Policy in the Cold War and After (2nd edition), (Baltimore, md: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995); Lundestad, Geir, The American “Empire” and Other Studies of us Foreign Policy in a Comparative Perspective (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990); Keohane, R.O., After Hegemony:…; Leffler, Melvyn P., A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992), p. 164. Although Leffler does not use the term hegemony to any considerable extent, his usage of the term preponderance largely corresponds with the concept of hegemony. See e.g. his own conflation of the two in his concluding arguments (ibid., pp. 499–500, 504, 516, 518). Maier, C.S., “Hegemony and Autonomy…” in M.P. Leffler and D.S. Painter (eds.), Origins of the Cold War:…, pp. 155–157. See also: Maier, C.S., “The Politics of Productivity: Foundations of American International Economic Policy after World War ii” in Peter J. Katzenstein (ed.), Between Power and Plenty: The Foreign Economic Policies of Advanced Industrial States (Madison, wi: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), pp. 23–49. The academic discussions regarding this concept is a broad one, but a good starting point is: Walter, Andrew, “The United States and Western Europe: The Theory of Hegemonic Stability” in Ngaire Woods (ed.), Explaining International Relations since 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

22

Introduction

the world economy, but rather to investigate how the usis went about building confidence in u.s. political hegemony in Sweden. Perhaps, one could say that this book addresses how hegemony (understood as American leadership in world affairs) was stabilized and achieved on the micro level, by pointing to the constant battle by American propagandists to do just that. This was a matter of so much more than stability in a liberal world economy. In order for the hegemonic power to be able to elicit consent from the subordinated nations, concrete material benefits have to be provided to the latter if continued support is to be maintained. This means that the hegemonic state has to transcend its own narrow self-interest. All of this meant that the price that the u.s. paid in order to sustain its leading role was quite high.61 Thus, the concept of hegemony is not rigid, i.e. in the sense that it does not permit quite a considerable degree of freedom of action for the subordinated nations. Maier has written that the degree to which the u.s. hegemony allowed scope for European autonomy is an intriguing question. “The relationship worked out between Washington and the European centers during the formative Truman years,” he says, “provided cohesive political purpose but simultaneously allowed significant national independence.”62 Another central concept in this book is ‘co-production,’ a term borrowed from John Krige.63 Co-production of hegemony is a concept that Krige uses to describe the process whereby European scientists willingly consented to u.s. hegemony, due to the benefits it entailed, and actively sought to extend the u.s. dominance in the scientific field during the postwar years. These scientists “selectively appropriated and adapted features of the u.s. agenda […] and made it their own,” Krige writes.64 This concept is extremely well suited for an analysis of the relationship of the Swedish actors studied in this book, because, as will become apparent throughout this book, this is exactly what happened also in Sweden. The concepts of hegemony and co-production will be utilized when analyzing the American propaganda effort in Sweden. The usia used propaganda 61

62 63 64

Calleo, D.P., Beyond American Hegemony:…, p. 14. For more, see: Pempel, T.J., “Restructuring Social Coalitions: State, Society, and Regime” in Rolf Torstendahl (ed.), State Theory and State History (London: Sage Publications, 1992), pp. 118–148; Ruggie, John Gerard, Constructing the World Polity: Essays on International Institutionalization (London: Routledge, 1998), pp. 85–101. Maier, C.S., “Hegemony and autonomy…” in M.P. Leffler and D.S. Painter (eds.), Origins of the Cold War:…, pp. 155–156. Krige, John, American Hegemony and the Postwar Reconstruction of Science in Europe (Cambridge, ma.: The mit Press, 2006), pp. 4–9. Ibid., pp. 4–5.

Introduction

23

as a complement to the traditional methods of foreign policy, as a means to influence foreign governments to view the u.s. more positively and to try and control the actions of other nations.65 The mission of the usia was to persuade other peoples that the u.s. was capable of wise leadership in the so-called Free World.66 Hence, the concept of hegemony is a suitable tool with which to analyze the usia’s activities. Prior research has shown it to be a fruitful ­analytical instrument for studying u.s.-Swedish security relations,67 as well as other areas, such as the reconstruction of the scientific community in post-war ­Europe.68 The concept of hegemony has a long tradition and a strong standing in the historical sciences.69 This book consists of six empirical chapters framed by the ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusions.’ The narrative is chronological within the thematic frames set by the empirical chapters. This structure has been chosen since the number of propaganda themes and areas was so great that a strictly chronological set up would have been quite confusing. The thematic structure allows the reader to easily follow the story being told and the line of argumentation without getting lost in a maze of different issues. Chapter 1 is the first empirical chapter and focuses on the usis’ propaganda effort against the Swedish labour movement and the working class. Chapter 2 takes a look at the American pressure put on the Labour Movement and the government to get the newspaper Stockholms-Tidningen to toe the ideological line, and connects this campaign to the closing of this newspaper in early 1966. Chapters 3 and 4 deal with the u.s. propaganda offensive against the Swedish opinion-makers in the press and radio/television respectively. Chapters 5 and 6, lastly, describe how the Swedish universities, schools, and the academic and scientific community were targeted in the American propaganda campaign.

65 Henderson, j.w., The United States…, p. viii. 66 Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…, p. 254. 67 Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony…. 68 Krige, J., American Hegemony and …. 69 C.f. Calleo, David P., Beyond American Hegemony: The Future of the Western Alliance (New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, 1987); Krige, J., American Hegemony and…; Leffler, M.P., A Preponderance of Power:…; Sánchez, P.M., Panama Lost?….

chapter 1

American Propaganda and the Working Class: The usis and the Swedish Union and Labour Movement1 Introduction This chapter addresses the usis’ propaganda activities aimed at the Swedish labour movement and working class. It will investigate not only the everyday working of the usis in Stockholm during the period covered, but also look at some major, worldwide propaganda endeavors undertaken by the usia. Many may reason that American propaganda was not important in Western Europe, full as it was of nato countries and friendly neutrals (and even some within the usia held similar ideas), but as the former Deputy Director of the usia during the Kennedy administration, Thomas C. Sorensen, has pointed out, it would be wrong to make this kind of assumption. Sorensen gives an example of the official usia attitude toward this issue when he writes that “[e]ven more than enemies and neutrals, our European friends constantly wanted to know exactly where we stood and often required reassurances on our intentions.”2 Even though he presumably included Sweden under the label ‘neutrals’, I nonetheless believe that Sorensen’s argumentation in the second part of the quote is also valid for Sweden, because the Swedish government also needed to know what the American position was so as to be able to adjust its consent to u.s. hegemony accordingly. The usis and Swedish Labour In the immediate postwar years, the u.s. did not take the matter of propaganda very seriously and the little that was done was badly coordinated and the efforts of the various government branches often clashed with one another. 1 Parts of this chapter has been published as: Nilsson, M., “American Propaganda, Swedish Labour, and the Swedish Press in the Cold War: The usia and Co-Production of u.s. Hegemony in Sweden During the 1950s and 1960s” in International History Review, June 2012; doi: 10.1080/07075332.2011.626579. 2 Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, p. 151.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_003

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Eventually, however, and much in response to the Soviet propaganda activities in Germany and Berlin, the u.s. government came around to organizing its propaganda in a more thought-out manner. The Soviets on the other hand had always understood and valued propaganda as a tool for promoting its views abroad and to combat the perceived threat of capitalism, especially in Europe. The American propaganda activities for long seemed obscure and even confused as to what their purpose really was, according to some observers. The u.s. propaganda machinery was created so much in response to the Soviet effort that Nicholas Cull may not be greatly exaggerating when he remarks that it could be said that “Stalin founded two global propaganda machines, as the us government’s Cold War propaganda structure was created in direct response to the scale of Soviet activity.”3 On June 30, 1953, The President’s Committee on International Information Activities, known as the Jackson Committee after its chairman Charles D. Jackson (special assistant for psychological warfare to President Eisenhower and head of the Psychological Strategy Board (psb), replaced by the Operations Coordinating Board (ocb) in September 1953), delivered its report to President Eisenhower.4 Eisenhower had established the Committee almost immediately after he moved into the White House in January 1953 with the explicit purpose of investigating all aspects of how the u.s. was conducting the Cold War. This was in line with the importance that Eisenhower gave to propaganda work during his time in the White House. Many of the President’s closest men in the administration were persons with extensive experience in intelligence and psychological warfare such as Allen Dulles, Walter Bedell Smith, Gordon Gray, Nelson Rockefeller, Robert Cutler, Abbott Washburn, and Lloyd Berkener.5 The bulk of the report is still regarded as top secret by the cia, but parts of Chapter six entitled “Covert Operations Within the Free World” have been released on its webpage following a Freedom of Information Act (foia) request. It states that due to the threat posed to several Western European governments from 3 Gienow-Hecht, Jessica C.E., “Culture and the Cold War in Europe” in Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Cold War, Vol. i, Origins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 402–411; Cull, Nicholas J., “Reading, viewing, and tuning in to the Cold War” in Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Cold War, Vol. ii, Crises and Détente (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 442–445, quote on p. 442. 4 The President’s Committee on International Information Activities Report to the President, June 30, 1953, http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp, accessed 2010-03-26. For C.D. Jackson, see: Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 55. 5 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 55. Osgood’s book stresses the point that Eisenhower saw psychological operations as a central feature of the Cold War.

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domestic Communism the u.s. felt compelled to support the anti-communist forces in these countries. But because communists were part of the government in some of these nations it was felt that covert action (i.e. hidden also from the governments involved) was the only viable way to counter the perceived threat. Therefore, an office for covert operations was formed within the cia in 1948.6 The organization in question was the Office of Policy Coordination (opc), established with President Truman’s approval of nsc 10/2 in June that year. The opc grew fast from having employed only 302 people in 1949 to a massive 2,812 with an additional 3,142 contract operatives. Its budget, too, swelled from $4.7 million to $82 million in 1952. But the opc was a cia organization and the different approaches to propaganda and psychological warfare within the government caused much bureaucratic infighting and squabbling over strategies and resources. In an effort to overcome these problems, President Harry Truman established the psb in April 1951. The psb combined the joint brainpower of the Departments of State and Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the cia, and was intended to coordinate all the u.s.’ nonmilitary activities in the Cold War. According to Kenneth Osgood, the psb represented a completely new way of thinking about propaganda in the u.s.—the idea that winning the Cold War was dependent upon winning the hearts and minds of the world public.7 With regard to the usia’s mission and purpose it was officially stated in ­October 1953 as follows: 1.

2.

The purpose of the u.s. Information Agency shall be to submit evidence to peoples of other nations by means of communication techniques that the objectives and policies of the United States are in harmony with and will advance their legitimate aspirations for freedom, progress, and peace. The purpose of paragraph 1 above is to be carried out primarily: a. By explaining and interpreting to foreign peoples the objectives and policies of the United States Government. b. By depicting imaginatively the correlation between u.s. policies and the legitimate aspirations of other peoples in the world. c. By unmasking and countering hostile attempts to distort or to frustrate the objectives and policies of the United States.

6 The President’s Committee on International Information Activities Report to the President, June 30, 1953, p. 79, http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp, accessed 2010-03-26. 7 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 39, 43, 45.

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d. By delineating those important aspects of the life and culture of the people of the United States which facilitate understanding of the policies and objectives of the Government of the United States.8 [Italics added.] It is obvious that what the usia was supposed to do was not to perform charity work for foreign peoples, but to “submit evidence” to other nations that the u.s. aims were conducive to those of the local population of the country in question. Of course things are never that clear cut in propaganda. Evidence is often contested and the meaning of it is never set a priori. Moreover, to ‘explain’ and to ‘interpret’ the meaning of a message or policy objective to someone are not the same thing. To explain something is much more neutral than to interpret something for someone. Interpretation ought to be left to the receiver of the message in question, although the latter might have to be explained first or laid out in terms that are readily understandable to the target audience. The usia’s mission, on the contrary, was to both explain and interpret its own message. Indeed, the act of interpreting was perhaps thought to be too important to be left to the audience. It is also hard to know exactly what it means to depict something imaginatively. Does it mean to portray the message in an imaginative way while staying true to its content, or does it mean to make up a new meaning for what is being explained? Although being a bit vague and non-specific as to how these goals were to be attained, the value of them during the nine years of its existence was reportedly that it gave the usia officers a boost in morale and a sense of purpose—it was a confirmation for them that their work mattered.9 The statement set out above thus represented the official tasks and objectives assigned to the usia. These were then turned into objectives in the Country Plans drawn up for a specific country, and later it will be shown how this was translated into Country Plans for Sweden. But what were the ideals that the usia should spread over the globe and that were not described in the citation above? A private memorandum from the Jackson Committee’s executive secretary Abbott Washburn (who would shortly become Deputy Director of the usia) spelled out what the u.s. was thought to have in common with most other peoples in the non-communist world, namely:

8 Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 101–102. See also: Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, p. 49. 9 Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, p. 50.

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Belief in God. Belief in the right to ownership of property and better living for each individual. Belief that the family is sacred. Belief in a better chance for our children (food, health, schooling, work of their choice). Belief in a peaceful world—in the common humanity of all men, negotiating and compromising their differences in the United Nations. The idea, according to the memo, was that if the u.s. could present these things as being basically American, then it could soon cash in on a far more favorable view of the u.s. abroad.10 The usia was not without precedent, however. Its most immediate predecessor was the Office of War Information (owi) that had been established by President Roosevelt in 1942 with the overt purpose of spreading ‘white’ propaganda to the American people to support the war effort and to win sympathy in foreign countries. The owi’s operations were drastically cut back after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, and it led a moribund existence until the Korean War provided the impetus to radically expand the overseas information program once again. The usia then became the weapon of choice for the propaganda warriors in Washington during the rest of the Cold War until President Bill Clinton closed it down in 1999. Perhaps the best known of the usia’s activities was the radio station Voice of America (VoA), broadcasting worldwide in 40 languages and heard by around 100 million people every week. But its activities included much more than that, e.g. the distribution of magazines, pamphlets, books and news bulletins in over 100 languages printed in tens of billions of copies; a global library network; the largest English-teaching program ever mounted, including training of tens of thousands of English teachers in foreign countries; exhibitions displaying American ideas, values, and culture to billions of visitors; the production of documentary films, newsreels, and television programs (even including soap operas) by the thousands; exchange programs that brought millions of students, educators, artists, and other professionals to the u.s. (and that sent u.s. counterparts abroad)—over 200,000 academics participated in the most famous of these programs, namely the Fulbright scholarship awards program.11 It was certainly the most ambitious propaganda campaign ever undertaken in the history of the world. Nevertheless, as some historians have pointed out, the propaganda 10 11

Belmonte, L.A., Selling the American Way:…, p. 58. Dizard Jr., W.P., Inventing Public Diplomacy:…, pp. 3–5.

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­ rograms never came close to getting the kind of money that the military p ­enjoyed during the Cold War. It has been estimated that out of the approximately $50 billion spent on the military annually in the 1960s, not more than one percent went towards financing the propaganda and information programs.12 However, one percent out of 50 billion is half a billion, or $500 million, annually, which is quite a respectable sum. Certainly, more could have been spent, but however you turn it military hardware will always be more expensive than leaflets, news bulletins, or radio programs. Moreover, these estimates only include the official programs (white propaganda) handled by civilian agencies, and do not include psychological warfare and black propaganda efforts conducted by the u.s. military or the cia in combat areas or elsewhere.13 Neither do they include the propaganda disseminated to the world via American commercial movies, art, music, literature et cetera, or the massive advertisement campaigns undertaken by u.s. corporations at home and abroad. The usis centers had in fact existed long before the usia was created and ­after August 1, 1953, they kept their wartime designation, which led to a situation where the organization was named usia in the u.s. and usis everywhere else. Initially it was not the intention of the Eisenhower administration to make the usia into a policy-making organ, and during the first four years it was simply an operational outfit performing policies set out for it by others in Washington. But eventually, as the organization managed to repair the badly hurt reputation that it had acquired during the Joseph McCarthy witchhunts, it gained a small, albeit subordinate, policy-making role.14 In 1955, first usia Director Theodore Streibert got access to the inner circle by gaining a seat on the ocb. Even though the usia Director did not officially have cabinet rank he received all agenda papers from the nsc, and also agreed on its policy papers, and, on occasions when matters concerned the agency, had the right to be present at nsc meetings. Streibert was pretty soon present at most nsc meetings, and the minutes from them reveal that the usia contributed much to the discussions during Eisenhower’s time in the White House—although this would not be the case under subsequent administrations. But by 1956, the usia Director also got a seat at the President’s cabinet meetings.15 All of this 12 13

14 15

Belmonte, L.A., Selling the American Way:…, pp. 178–179; Hixson, W., Parting the Curtain:…, 227. The former Director of Intelligence at cia William Colby later estimated that approximately 40 to 50 percent of the cia budget in the 1950s went to propaganda activities (Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 97). Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 89. Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, p. 101; Belmonte, L.A., Selling the American Way:…, p. 59. According to Kenneth Osgood, by 1957 “the usia

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chapter 1

r­ epresented an important step for the usia and was a testimony to the increasing importance given to propaganda by the government. The usis started to issue a Swedish news bulletin on September 1, 1956. Each week 345 copies were distributed to newspaper editors, news agencies, government officials, leaders, and other Embassies. The daily news bulletin was in English and was delivered to all the Stockholm newspapers by hand between 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. every day. The news bulletin was also provided for the Swedish News Agency tt, which distributed news telegrams to newspapers and the radio. The latter might thus have been a way for the usis to get at least some of its material into the state-owned radio broadcasts, something that otherwise proved difficult, as will be made clear later in this study. In addition to this news bulletin the usis also published three others: a weekly bulletin translated into Swedish for 190 newspapers and periodicals (including photographs), as well as top-level government officials, businessmen, economists, and free-lance journalists (in all about 400 copies of this bulletin were distributed); then there was the bulletin Nyheter i dag [News Today] that was a bi-weekly publication for newspapers accompanied by two or three sets of photographs; the third publication was called Arbetarnytt från u.s.a. [Labour News from the u.s.a.], which was also a translated bulletin that went out in 1,800 copies to the labour press, labour organizations, and labour leaders. One problem was identified though. The selection of the news items for translation was done by the local Swedish employees and it was felt that these persons had “developed too strong a control of the Press program content” with the result that the least controversial material tended to be selected—i.e. “anything with anti-communism is avoided.” The latter was particularly true with regard to the selection of cartoons for Swedish newspapers. The only one being used was one called “True Tales.” It was thus recommended that the usis post should pull the reins on the local employees and “institute stronger supervision of the employees in the Press section […].”16 The usis’ critique of the Swedish employees was most likely misplaced. Presumably, these people knew what would work in Sweden better than the ­Americans, and it is very likely that if more overt anti-communist material had

16

­director had become a full-fledged member of the nsc and ocb” (Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 89). National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, ma (henceforth: nara ii); rg 306 Records of the United States Information Agency; Inspection Staff (henceforth: is); Inspection Reports and Related Records, 1954–62 (henceforth: irrr); Sudan thru United Kingdom (henceforth: suk); Box: 9; “Operations Advisory Service Report on usis Sweden,” Sept. 22, 1956, pp. 11–14.

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been translated and disseminated to the Swedish press it had not been used anyway. Moreover, it may even have created an aversion towards propaganda material from the usis. In the end therefore, the Swedish employees were probably doing the usis and the American propaganda apparatus a huge favour by not selecting these particular articles and cartoons. After all, it was not as if there was a lack of anti-communist propaganda in Sweden at this time. The Swedish cultural historian Kim Salomon has shown, in his study of three popular Swedish weekly magazines, that there was ample critique against the Soviet Union and against Communism (including domestic Communism, which was seen as an act of treason) in them during the 1950s. The same magazines clearly took the side of the u.s. and the West in their feature articles.17 Salomon argues that these popular magazines acted as carriers of ‘cultural codes’ that offered their readers a way to make sense of the Cold War. The fact that they took the stance that they did is in itself indicative of what the understanding of the Cold War was like in Sweden at the time. They were, in this way, at the same time both passively reflecting and actively interpreting Swedish society and culuture in the 1950s.18 Hence, the Swedes were being fed the same kind of propaganda message via these magazines as they would have been by the usis, although the source of the information is probably of fundamental importance in this case, at least if one considers the credibility of the message with the target audience. Sweden was clearly part of the West, and the understanding of this sphere as having a democratic and pluralistic tradition, which was also propagated by the usis, was absolutely a central aspect of the message contained in these magazines. Other means of reaching the Swedish target audiences were pamphlets and motion pictures. The former were used both in translation and in English and were considered “extremely useful,” although the post felt that it could utilize more English language material related to Americana, such as social security, for distribution to schools and labour programs. The latter medium was extensively used, according to the report, and was given a wide geographical coverage by the usis both in Stockholm and Gothenburg. Since both posts had relatively small staffs they made extensive use of local indigenous labour and educational organizations to promote the material. Films were also used by program officers in conjunction with various representational contexts, and in exhibits and lectures in the usis libraries. The utilization of the usis’ films was 17

18

Salomon, Kim, En femtiotalsberättelse. Populärkulturens kalla krig i folkhemmets Sverige [A Tale From the 1950s: The Popular Cultural Cold War in the Swedish ‘People’s Home’] (Stockholm: Atlantis, 2007); especially pp. 67–117, 155–188. Ibid., pp. 35–37.

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apparently frequent and good. The estimate was that approximately 90 percent of the films at the library in Stockholm were in active circulation and in Gothenburg the number was about 500 to 700. These figures were apparently still thought to be too low and an interesting remark was made in this context. It turned out that one of the local employees felt that the films “‘contain too much propaganda.’” But instead of taking this remark seriously and perhaps promoting less overtly propagandistic titles the usia concluded that “this is another instance indicative of the need for indoctrination and retraining of local employees.”19 The information related above has been gathered from an inspection report filed by the usia Inspection Staff in late September 1956 detailing and evaluating the usis’ activities in Stockholm during the previous year. As is obvious from this, there were both praise and laments issued concerning the activities in Stockholm. The usis libraries in Stockholm and Gothenburg were another source of worry for the usia inspector. It appeared to him that the library in Stockholm was not as well coordinated with the rest of the usis’ operations as it could and should be, being too independent and coordinated only with the post’s cultural program. This was primarily thought to be a consequence of the “extremely poor location” on the fifth floor of an office building in the downtown area of Stockholm. The inspector felt that the lack of exhibit space to the street was a great weakness that made it extremely difficult for someone who did not already know of its location to find it. The library was used primarily as a reference library for Professors, students, critics, et cetera, with extensive use of magazines and periodicals. But there were worrying trends relating to both attendance and use of library materials. The inspector stated that attendance had been decreasing since 1953, the same was true for reference contacts since 1954, as for book circulation since 1952, and periodicals since 1953. All of these were on a consistent downward trend.20 The usis also had a book translation program going on, although it does not seem to have been very extensive. The last book that had been translated was a book by F.L. Allen called The Big Chance that had been contracted in June 1955 and delivered in December the same year. The report noted that while the results of this program “have not been impressive” the post had “made substantial efforts to get publishers to accept books.” This problem might not be a very serious one though because so many American books were being translated and sold that the usis should perhaps concentrate on putting its efforts into titles that were felt to be extra important for p ­ resentation 19 20

nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Box: 9; “Operations Advisory Service Report on usis Sweden,” Sept. 22, 1956, pp. 16–17. Ibid., pp. 17–18.

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­ urposes. Things were looking better with regard to the presentation program. p This part of the usis’ activities emphasized labour and educational groups and appeared to be well coordinated. It could, however, be made even more effective, it was felt, if the Embassy personnel were also to get involved in the program.21 At times, though, the usis activities came on collision course with the Swedish government’s security policy, i.e. the policy of neutrality. One such example was when the usis in the summer of 1956 wished to undertake an opinion poll in Sweden. The poll, which was to be conducted by the Swedish Institute for Opinion Research (sifo), intended to inquire about the attitude of ordinary Swedes towards the u.s., and was initially cleared with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs earlier that year. However, after having been made privy to the exact content of the questionnaire the Ministry for Foreign Affairs rejected the usis request just a few weeks later. The reason stated for this turnaround was that the questions were not to the liking of the Swedish government. The poll contained questions about American capitalism (not capitalism in general), but more problematically it inquired about the Swedish people’s attitude towards the policy of neutrality and in doing so interfered with both Swedish domestic and foreign policy. According to usia documents, a representative of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs expressed a fear that this poll might lead to a forced reversal of government policy. If the poll would have shown that the Swedish people actually did not support this policy and that they even might want to join nato, the government might actually be forced to reverse its policy, with perceived adverse effects for Finland, Sweden and the Social Democratic Party. This did not mean that the government was ­opposed to the usis getting answers to their questions in another way, however. Discussions involving the usis, the Swedish government, and sifo therefore continued throughout 1956 in order to try to come up with a solution that was acceptable to all parties, although the interests of the Swedish government naturally weighed more heavily than those of the usis. The problem was ­finally solved in April 1957 by including questions from the usis in a poll on the attitude towards the United Nations, conducted by sifo on the Swedish government’s initiative.22 A similar situation actually occurred in Pakistan in 1965, where the usia was forced to cancel a poll for the same general reason.23 21 22 23

Ibid., pp. 19–20. Series of documents in: nara ii; Entry 1021; rg 306; Office of Research; Country Research Correspondence, 1952–63; Rhodesia-Syria; Box no. 19. Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, p. 77.

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Polling is a way by which a propagandist can turn propaganda from a s­ oliloquy into a dialog of sorts. But it was a means that generated controversy even in the u.s. from the start in the early 1950s. From the beginning, the usia kept the results of the polls classified because of the potentially disrupting and embarrassing effect the answers might have in the target country. The agency could otherwise have been forbidden to conduct more polls in the future. But after the polls had become an issue in the 1960 Presidential campaign, where Kennedy used them to criticize the Republicans’ (and their candidate Richard Nixon’s) use of the usia, the agency had to agree to make the results public after a certain time period. Whatever the results of the polls may have been they were nonetheless pertinent as guides for policymaking and execution, according to Sorensen. He also states that Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, who never had any understanding or sympathy for the usia, banned the usia from using polls shortly before George Allen took over as Director of the usia in late 1957, but that Allen then eased them back in by both piggybacking on others’ polls or commissioning them from independent organizations.24 The Swedish case, however, shows that the usia did so even before the official ban— perhaps in anticipation of it and in response to Dulles’ attitude towards them. This episode shows that the Swedish government was well aware of some usia activities in Sweden, and that it (at least on this occasion) was prepared to help the Americans. The opinion poll was a common tool used by the usia to make itself aware of the public sentiments in a country so as to be able to adjust its own policies, as well as fine-tuning u.s. foreign policy as a whole towards the nation in question.25 The opinions of the people of the host country were sampled not out of curiosity, but in the hope of influencing them.26 A problem when evaluating the early work of the usis in Stockholm is the relatively scarce archival record. The smaller content of sources from 1953 to 1956 seems to indicate that the usis’ activities expanded somewhat during these years, but it could also be a consequence of documents having been weeded out of the archive or a different system of reporting to Washington about the usis’ propaganda work. It is now time to move forward to the year 1959 and see what the usis were doing in terms of propaganda towards the labour movement in that year. More information about the usis’ activities in 24 25 26

Ibid., pp. 76–77, 80, 106–107. Elder, R.E., The Information Machine:…, pp. 342–334; Henderson, J.W., The United States…, pp. 82–88. This is, according to Leo Bogart, the purpose of opinion polls in general, see: Bogart, Leo, Silent Politics: Polls and the Awareness of Public Opinion (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1972), p. vii.

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Sweden in other fields during these initial years can be found in Chapters 2 and 3 in this book.

usis in Sweden in 1959

Important guides for the usis officers in Sweden in their day-to-day work were the so-called Country Plans. The Country Plan spelled out what were the aims of usia policy in Sweden and how the usis should go about achieving these goals. For anyone interested in u.s. propaganda activities these plans are exciting to say the least. They provide a thorough overview of u.s. policy aims in the same vein as the nsc policy documents did on the level of state security policy, only the usia Country Plans are more extensive in scope and were revised annually, whereas the nsc policy documents were revised much more seldom. The Country Plans also give us an idea of what the usis field office in Stockholm thought it had achieved during previous years. Even more such information is provided by the yearly country assessment reports sent back to Washington describing what the usis had done to fulfill the goals set out in the Country Plans. These reports also restated the purposes of the usis activities. Unfortunately not all Country Plans relating to Sweden have been found in American archives, but enough of them have been preserved for posterity to allow us to reconstruct major parts of the history of u.s. propaganda in Sweden. The Country Plans were established by the Public Affairs Officer (pao) in a series of defined steps. Firstly, he (for the pao was always a he in the mid-1950s) carefully examined the situation in the country in question and specified how the usis could contribute to realizing u.s. foreign policy goals there. Secondly, he formulated the psychological objectives that the post should work to achieve, i.e. what the people in the country should be persuaded to think and feel about the u.s. Thirdly, he identified the target audience of the propaganda disseminating from the usis, which were persons of influence such as people within the media, the military, the political establishment, universities, grass-root organizations; basically anyone that made policy or that had the power and opportunity to affect policymaking. The pao then, in consultation with the Ambassador, drew up propaganda projects and activities that were intended to realize the psychological objectives.27 The assessment report for 1959 states that the primary objective of u.s. propaganda in Sweden was “[t]o portray u.s. foreign policy objectives in such a 27

Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, pp. 63–64.

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way as to identify them with the aspirations of the Swedish people and thus stimulate greater confidence in the u.s. as a leader in international affairs.”28 What is immediately evident is how well this objective fits the concept of hegemony. u.s. propaganda activities in Sweden during these years were aimed at eliciting consent to u.s. hegemony in international affairs. Certainly, this objective is interesting in that it aspires not only to gaining the consent of the Swedish government, but that the Swedish people as a whole should come to view u.s. foreign policy as in agreement with their own. The report then goes on to state what had been done during the year to achieve this policy goal. Firstly, the usis had made efforts to supply complete and authoritative statements of u.s. foreign policy to influential Swedes. These included officials within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other governmental leaders, journalists and editorial writers of the leading Swedish newspapers. This was done “through publication of an English and Swedish news bulletin sent to the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, cabinet officers, government officials, economists, party and labour leaders, military commanders, foreign policy commentators and writers, newspapers, radio and tv.”29 At first glance, this strikes the observer as an enormously ambitious venture, and the question about the effectiveness of this effort immediately comes to mind. While one should be careful not to take the usis’ own report of the effectiveness of its operations as being ‘the truth’, these evaluations are certainly valuable to us as a window into the minds of the usis propagandists. In assessing the effectiveness of the bulletin it was said that a good measure of its impact on the target audiences was “editorial comment and special requests for copies, as well as statements about its value from individuals […]. For example the editor-inchief of Fackföreningsrörelsen, official organ of lo, stressed the usefulness of the bulletin and asked that his deputy be sent a personal copy.” Another example stated in the report was that the Conservative newspaper Svenska Dagbladet had carried a Swedish translation of almost the full text of a speech by Secretary of State Christian Herter based on the English bulletin.30 28

nara ii; rg 59 General Records of the Department of State; Bureau of Cultural Affairs; Planning and Development Staff; Country Files, 1955–1964; R10n3 Annual Reports Rome to R10p9 Classified Effectiveness—Valletta; Lot 66D499; Box 217; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 1 (henceforth: rg 59; bca). 29 Ibid. 30 Ibid., pp. 1–2. See also: Blanck, D., “Television…,” p. 93. Blanck simply says that the material disseminated by the usis was “obviously intended for the use of Swedish newspapers.” He also mentions that the usis made material available to schools, institutions, and organizations “from at least the late 1950s to the beginning of the 1970s” (Blanck, D.,

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It is thus evident that u.s. propaganda did make an impact. How great this impact was is impossible to say with any certainty, but certain is that the material provided to these influential Swedes was carried out to the Swedish public by the working class’ own trusted newspaper editors. This secondary source no doubt made the message more effective since the source of the propaganda, i.e. the usis, was hidden from the readers. To them the message came from domestic sources, and it is hard to imagine that the readers of e.g. Fackföreningsrörelsen could imagine that what they were reading did not originate with ‘their own’ so to speak. Another thing worthy of attention is the fact that newspaper editors actively requested the usis materials. This is a perfect illustration of Jacques Ellul’s statement that “propaganda fills a need of modern man”: Naturally, he does not say: “I want propaganda.” On the contrary, in line with preconceived notions, he abhors propaganda and considers himself a “free and mature” person. But in reality he calls for and desires propaganda that will permit him to ward off certain attacks and reduce certain tensions. This leads to the following puzzle: “Propaganda by itself has no power over an individual. It needs certain already existing pillars of support. It creates nothing. And yet, the effectiveness of propaganda is undeniable, even though it seems impossible to define exactly those already existing pillars of support on which it builds.” The solution is that these pillars are the individual’s need for propaganda. The secret of propaganda success or failure is this: Has it or has it not satisfied the unconscious need of the individual whom it addressed? No propaganda can have an effect unless it is needed, though the need may not be expressed as such but remain unconscious.31 In this context the individual need for propaganda could perhaps be viewed as a need to ward off the arguments of Communism or the ‘left’ in general, depending upon who was unconsciously craving the propaganda. Another pillar that was surely preexisting in all these individuals was the conviction that Western democratic capitalism was superior in every way to the communist system in the East. This shared basis was perhaps the most crucial in providing fertile ground for usia propaganda in Sweden. The usis material clearly satisfied some need, be it unconscious or not, in these editors or otherwise they would not have requested more of it. The same must reasonably have been

31

“­Television…,” p. 93). However, Blanck did not have access to documents in u.s. archives and so missed a vital part of the picture. Ellul, J., Propaganda…, pp. 138–139.

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true with regard to the readers who would otherwise have complained about the content of their press and immediately forced the editors to toe the line. In this sense, a lot of the usis’ work had already been done for them. The other project to fulfill objective number one was to reduce editorial comment critical of u.s. policies in Social Democratic and Trade Union newspapers.32 This is a much more ambitious and controversial goal than it perhaps looks like at first glance. In essence it amounted to en effort to restrict the spectrum of political viewpoints in the free Swedish press. In order to achieve this goal, the usis had been serving the Social Democratic Party’s newspaper Stockholms–Tidningen and its chief commercial editor, Bengt Andersson, “with special material on the American economy and has assisted him to correct inaccurate statistical information used by his newspaper.” The post serviced the Social Democratic newspapers with exclusive material according to a special area list. In one instance, such an exclusive contained a report on u.s. space scientist James van Allen, and “twelve out of eighteen Social Democratic newspapers receiving the exclusive gave it prominent play.” Moreover, the usis thought that their material had been “especially well-received by Sweden’s second largest Social Democratic newspaper Arbetet in Malmö in the south of Sweden […] and with Norrländska Socialdemokraten in Boden […]” in the leftdominated northern part of the country. Apparently, it was “not exceptional for Arbetet to carry two or three usis articles, with pictures, on the same day.” The acting editor-in-chief, Alvar Alsterdal, who filled in for the ordinary editor who was currently serving as Minister of Agriculture (a fact that stresses the close connections between the Social Democratic press and the government in Sweden during this time), had told usis officials that he appreciated the usis press services and that he always found them useful. It was the view of the usis in Stockholm that “our relationship with these two very important and highly respected Social Democratic papers are extremely valuable and one of the best results of our efforts to win friends among Social Democratic and labour newspapermen.” Arbetet’s foreign policy commentator Gösta Bringmark was yet another influential journalist co-opted for the u.s. cause. Bringmark had visited the u.s. on a State Department leader grant, and he was a frequent contributor to various labour periodicals and trade union magazines and he had made frequent use of his experiences in the u.s. in his commentaries, according to the usis. It was also stated that Sveriges Radio (sr) [Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, the state owned radio monopoly] depended upon Bringmark’s skills

32

rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 3.

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for radio commentaries, the latest in the context of Castro’s Cuban revolution during which he gave a favorable review of u.s. investment in Cuba.33 The same view was expressed in an editorial about the Cuban revolution on January 14, 1959. Bringmark also published a series of articles about the u.s. from his traveling in the country during the summer of 1959.34 It is worth noticing that both Alsterdal and Bringmark would later come to reject the usis’ material on Vietnam and be highly critical of the u.s. war in South East Asia. This is once again a good illustration of Ellul’s thesis that propaganda needs fertile soil in order to be successful. When that soil was missing, as in the case of the u.s. Vietnam policy, there was nothing that the usis could do to persuade the editors to publish an article in defense of that policy. There were thus clear limits on what the usis could sell to various audiences. Even so, Bringmark furthered American propaganda goals on other occasions. One such example appeared in connection with a review of the usia film about Kennedy’s presidency Years of Lightning—Day of Drums, which had premiered in Sweden on January 22, 1965. The article was clearly a piece of usis propaganda, even though not included in the usis bulletin, written by a man called Tony Kaplan presenting the movie as the most brilliant and important film of the year. The day before, it had been screened in Malmö at a charity for children with learning disabilities. The headline read “A Brilliant Document” [Ett lysande document] and was a heavily biased eulogy to the dead President’s 1,000 days in Washington d.c. It said that it was deeply regrettable that the movie had so far only been showed at a few locations in “our country,” and it continued by asserting that “[a] wish would be that the movie theaters in every Swedish city placed the film on its largest movie theater and banged on the largest advertisement drum. It would moreover be desirable that this documentary and thoroughly moving film should become 90 minutes of school education.” Kaplan then provided some short bits from the movie in dramatic and highly excited language, only to conclude that hopefully the movie would be screened in Malmö again, and this time at regular hours, and that every inhabitant of Malmö then went to see “this unique film about one of the world’s greatest men of all time.” Arbetet also included a big photograph of Kennedy speaking, raising his right hand as if indicating that he was lifting something up and with his eyes gazing past the camera giving him a sense of seriousness and care for the future.35 33 34 35

Ibid., p. 4–5. Arbetet, “Kris i Latinamerika,” January 14, 1959, p. 2. See also: Bringmark, Gösta, Arbetet, series of articles on July 23, 25, 28, and August 3, 5, 10, 1959, p. 2. Kaplan, Tony, “Ett lysande dokument,” in Arbetet, November 28, 1965, p. 16.

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Bringmark later reviewed Arthur M. Schlesinger’s book about Kennedy with the fitting name The 1,000 Days in Arbetet on December 1, and used the same picture of Kennedy (and another one of Schlesinger) as in the former article by Kaplan.36 Whether the pictures were supplied by the usis or not is unknown, but it does seem plausible. A few days after the premiere of the movie, u.s. Ambassador Graham Parsons wrote to the Chief of Protocol at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to thank him for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ assistance in connection with this event. “The performance went off very well indeed,” Parsons wrote, “in large measure because of the able and effective help from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.”37 Parsons was here perhaps also alluding to an event that had had important consequences for the receptiveness of the Swedish government to u.s. aims and wishes. In the end of 1962, Sweden’s aged Foreign Minister, Östen Undén, a former professor of International Law that is often considered to be the father of Sweden’s policy of neutrality (and a conservative interpretor of that policy at that), had stepped down after 17 years in office. The much younger Torsten Nilsson, who was already a seasoned member of the Social Democratic Party elite, replaced him. The Americans expected this change to have far-reaching consequences, and to bring about a shift for the better, not only in the conduct of Sweden’s foreign policy, but in the secret military cooperation as well. Having recently arrived to take up his post in Sweden, Parsons had paid Nilsson a visit in October 1962 and the new Ambassador wrote to Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, to tell him that the meeting had been “notable for warmth of reception.” Torsten Nilsson had “reiterated [Sweden’s and his personal] desire for ‘close connection’” with Parsons, who underlined to Rusk that Nilsson was yet “another less leftward and more westward leaning of Social Democratic leaders in high office.” Furthermore, Parsons wrote to Rusk that while it would be premature to assert that the u.s. was “likely to have more influence than previously on Swedish policy,” the Americans could “be sure of better hearing and normal opportunity for contact through a friendly [and] receptive Foreign Minister.” Parsons told the Secretary of State that the atmosphere was “strikingly different” now that Nilsson had taken over.38 These expectations had 36 37

38

Bringmark, G., “Kennedys tusen dagar,” in Arbetet, December 1, 1965, p. 3. Riksarkivet, Stockholm (henceforth: ra); ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Filmer, 1957–1964”; Parsons to König, January 25, 1965. Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, p. 396. Undén had on several occasions been accused of being ‘soft’ on the Soviet Union, although this is perhaps an unfair description of his attitude. (For a study of Undén’s view of the Soviet Union, see: Kronvall, Olof, Östen Undéns sovjetsyn och sovjetpolitik 1945–1962 (Göteborg: Gothenburg University, 2003).

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clearly been realized. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, too, was now actively co-producing u.s. hegemony in Sweden. The film The 1,000 Days was actually part of a major usia propaganda campaign following the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. At VoA, as elsewhere in the u.s. (and the rest of the world), people were stunned, but all were working fervently in order to get the facts straight and get them out on the wire via the VoA news flash as soon as possible. What followed was the most intense activity at VoA in its history, and the service broadcasted via its English service for 22.5 hours a day during the five days after the President’s death. The VoA’s influence in the world really became apparent during the hours and days after the assassination as broadcasters all over the world cited the VoA as the source of Kennedy’s death. The newly sworn-in President Johnson wished to avoid this event tarnishing the reputation of the u.s. abroad and gave the usia the task of restoring the image of the u.s. in the world. Johnson needed to show that the u.s. government had not lost its sharpness and grip around the situation because of the assassination. At the usia, the chainsmoking usia Director Edward R. Murrow, who had been bedbound due to cancer in his lungs and an operation to remove one of them, understood that this could not be done without extra funding, and left his bed to lobby for an additional $9 million for the agency. He almost succeeded, because faced with the wheezing sound of a dying man, House representative, and longtime adversary of the usia, John B. Rooney, apparently felt embarrassed to underwrite the Congressional subcommittee’s cut of the usia budget to $5 million and approved an extra $8 million. During the following months the usia made good on its task to relay an image of a well-ordered transition to the world, and in the words of Nicholas Cull “demonstrated exactly what a properly funded communications machine armed with a powerful message could achieve.” During the eight days that followed Kennedy’s death, the usia poured out a never before seen amount of stories, photographs, briefing papers, and other documents to 110 usis posts in 103 countries (it is worth noting that Sweden was among these nations, see below). It was all achieved with amazing speed and coordination. The centerpiece of the agency’s campaign was John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums (divided into two films), which were built around the 35mm color footage of Kennedy’s funeral, and a ten-minute profile film on lbj called The President. The films, which were directed by Bruce Herschenson, were cleverly and masterfully made. Years of Lightning established what the memory of Kennedy would be in the world and portrayed the dead President as a man of power, strength, and control, but also one with great warmth, humor, and someone who strove for dialogue with the people. The President showed Johnson as a man who feared God, and loved freedom and

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peace, and emphasized his commitment to the exploration of space, and to the civil rights issue. The film about Johnson took only 45 days to complete, but the one about Kennedy was finished in October 1964 and premiered to mark the first anniversary of the assassination in November 1964 (and was shown in Sweden as well). Years of Lightning, which was narrated by actor Gregory Peck, received praise and acclaim from most critics, even though some dismissed the movie as half-baked propaganda. The success led to a noteworthy exception by Congress to the taboo on distributing usia propaganda to the American people that enabled the film to be screened in the u.s. The Warren Commission’s report that appeared on September 27, 1964, was also highly propagated by the usia, and the agency supplied a lot of supporting materials, including VoA features in 37 languages. Every usis library received all the 26 volumes of the report and film and television material, including a cbs documentary on the Commission’s findings that received mixed reviews.39 It is noticeable that Murrow’s successor as usia Director, Carl T. Rowan, put great value on the acceptance of the Warren Commission’s results by Western European opinion-makers. Two Daily Reaction Reports for President Johnson in September 1964 testify to this effect. The first report noted that the “first reaction of most editors to the Warren Commission report is to note that it should allay conspiracy rumors,” and it continued by stating that “an impression of general acceptance of the report’s findings prevails in initial comment from Britain, Sweden, Austria, and Italy. […] British and Swedish papers are most positive in their assaying of the report.” Rowan then cited Stockholms-Tidningen and Dagens Nyheter saying that the “Social Democratic Stockholms-Tidningen states that ‘if the report is late, it is all the more thorough,’ and Dagens ­Nyheter, Stockholm, finds that it ‘gives a convincing impression—a conviction of the Commission’s thoroughness and impartiality…’” Stockholms-Tidningen even commented on the usis’ role in spreading the Commission’s result by distributing 25,000 copies of the report worldwide by saying “‘Now that the ­seven-man Warren Commission had done its job, the American information bureau, usis, takes over […]’”40

39

40

Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 224–232, quote on p. 228; Dizard, Jr., W.P., Inventing Public Diplomacy:…, pp. 94–95; Green, F., American Propaganda Abroad:…, p. 37. Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum (lbjl); Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson President, 1963–1969; National Security File; Agency File; Box  73; Folder ‘United States Information Agency’ Vol. 2 5/15/64 [2 of 2]; Rowan to President Johnson, September 28, 1964, p. 1.

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The second report sent only two days later stressed that “editors continue to weigh the Warren Commission’s finding of Oswald’s sole guilt in the Kennedy assassination. In Europe, the Commission’s report has received widespread acceptance in Britain and the Scandinavian countries. […] Editorials in these countries generally cite the integrity of Commission members and the investigation’s thoroughness.”41 The reaction in the main Swedish newspapers was referred to also in another report.

Propaganda and Co-production in the Social Democratic Newspaper Arbetet

This section provides some examples of possible placements by the usis in Arbetet. They include articles about the u.s. space program in 1958; an unaccredited article about how the u.s. government was underwriting house loans (it will become clear later in this book why the fact that this article was not accredited to a source is a hint that the usis was involved) including a photo of a nice American two-story house; and a presentation of the new American Secretary of State Christian Herter.42 Since the news bulletins from this ­period are missing at the snl, it is hard to confirm that these articles are really based on usis material, but it seems likely considering their style and content. However, the limits of usis propaganda will also be traced, along with the fact that the usis could not place material that went against the convictions of the journalist/editor in question. On February 4, 1965, the new issue of the usia bulletin contained a piece on a recently launched satellite intended to study solar radiation, and ­Arbetet contained a small non-attributed article on precisely this subject, too, a­ lthough this article contained some information not included in Ur usa-Krönikan.43 Gösta Bringmark had been mentioned as one of the Swedish journalists who had traveled to the u.s. on a leader grant in 1959 (or perhaps some years before) and, according to the usia, had used his experience there 41

lbjl; Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson President, 1963–1969; National Security File; Agency File; Box  73; Folder ‘United States Information Agency’ Vol. 2 5/15/64 [2 of 2]; Rowan to President Johnson, September 30, 1964, p. 1. 42 Arbetet, “1958 händelserikt rymdår i usa,” “Oratande satellit,” and “Bemannad rymdfarkost,” January 5, 1959, p. 3; “usa bygger egnahem med statsgaranti,” January 20, 1959, p. 3; “Christian Archibald Herter: Ytterst berest—talar franska—var expert åt Woodrow Wilson,” April 19, 1959, p. 11. 43 “usa har sänt upp ett solobservatorium” in Arbetet, February 4, 1965, p. 4; Ur usa-­Krönikan, Number 4, February 4, 1965, p. 4.

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in his ­commentaries on u.s. politics. However, he was not always positive towards the u.s., especially it seems when it came to the issue of the treatment of the Afro-American minority in the American South. In a commentary entitled “How Does One Make the Rich America Humanly Decent?” on March 14, 1965, Bringmark commented on two usia bulletin articles about an initiative to clean up the countryside in the u.s. and an investigation of the effects of pesticides on nature and man. Bringmark was deeply critical of the racially segregated u.s. society and said that the contrast between the effort to clean up the natural environment and to do the same with the social environment could not be starker. This rich nation had not been able to accomplish the clean up sought by everyone, he wrote. He did, however, grant Washington as much as to say that in contrast to the Soviet government it displayed these flaws openly for everyone to see and judge. Bringmark actually included quotes from Ur usa-Krönikan and even mentioned the usis stating rather sarcastically that the information came from the “as much timely as loveable American information service.”44 The problem of the discrimination against the African-American population, or the ‘Nergo Problem’, as it was called back then, had been a main theme of Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal’s book An American Dilemma from 1944. This theme became common in Swedish books about the u.s., and and in the Swedish media, during the 1950s and 1960s, and it was more a rule than an exception that these texts, which otherwise tried to portray the u.s. in an as objective and disinterested tone as possible, became very emotional and heavy with moral condemnation when the issue of the racial segregation in the American South came up. To the Swedish observers it seemed as if this oppression was an anachronism in an otherwise progressive and liberal nation. It was disappointment that formed much of the basis for the criticism. At the sime time, however, it was not unusual for the Swedish travelers to use racial slants and discriminatory language about the African-Americans themselves.45 44

45

Bringmark, Gösta, “Hur gör man det rika Amerika mänskligt anständigt?” in Arbetet, March 14, 1965, p. 4. “den lika påpassliga som älskvärda amerikanska informationstjänsten.” See also: Ur usa-Krönikan, Number 7, February 25, 1965, pp. 1–2; Ur usa-Krönikan, Number 8, March 10, 1965, p. 7. Lagerqvist, Amanda, Amerikafantasier. Kön, medier och visualitet i svenska reseskildringar från usa 1945–63 [Fantasies About America: Gender, the Media, and Visuality in Swedish Travelogues the United States, 1945–63] (Stockholm: Ph.D diss. Stockholm University School of Journalism (jmk), 2005), pp. 223–229. For English versions of Lagerqvist’s work, see: Lagerqvist, A., “Swedes Visualize America: The Dynamics of Post War Americanization as Mediatization” in American Studies in Scandinavia, 35:2 (2003); Lagerqvist, A., “‘We

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The ninth 1965 issue of Ur usa-Krönikan, released on March 18, contained almost exclusively material on the American unmanned spacecraft Gemini 1, but this had to step into the shadow of the news of a great Soviet space achievement that broke on March 19. The Soviets had succeeded in letting one of their cosmonauts go for a full 20 minute space walk, the first of its kind ever, and this naturally made for better coverage than the yet to be realized Gemini program. Arbetet carried the story about the Soviet achievement on the front page and a full page inside the newspaper on March 19. It was also on the front page on the following day and got a half page inside the paper, sharing the page with news of u.s. bombings of North Vietnam and the expulsion of peace activists from South Vietnam.46 This was, one could argue, a true propaganda victory for the Soviets. But the usia got its revenge a few days later, because on March 22, Arbetet carried an ad verbatim shortened version of articles on the Gemini launch and the astronauts destined to be sent into space. Arbetet did not tell its readers that the usis lay behind the article, but simply cited the same source as in the usia bulletin “Cape Kennedy, Florida.”47 This in effect turned white propaganda into grey, as Arbetet hid the true source of the article from its readers. In a commentary on March 28 Bringmark favorably reviewed the American space program, stating that the Soviet achievements should not be brushed aside, but that one was struck by the impressive streak in the steady u.s. effort to cut back the Soviet advantage in the space race.48 The usis focus on the space race can in part be explained by the fact that the so-called Sprague Report that evaluated the u.s. propaganda work so far, as well as made recommendations for the future, had been presented to President Eisenhower on December 23, 1960. The report stressed that even though the American propaganda programs had become increasingly effective during the previous decade, the American inferiority with regard to space exploration was stressed as a big problem for the image of the u.s. in foreign countries. The Sprague Report marked a kind of last yell of the Eisenhower administration with regard to propaganda, and as Cull has remarked, Kennedy had more taste for counterinsurgency than for psychological warfare.49 See America’: Mediated and Mobile Gazes in Swedish Post War Travelogues” in International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7:3 (2004). 46 Arbetet, March 19, 1965, pp. 1, 4; Arbetet, March 20, 1965, pp. 1, 4. 47 “usa:s rymdtvillingar är startklara. Tre varv i cirkelrund omloppsbana” in Arbetet, March 22, 1965, p. 4; Ur usa-Krönikan, Number 9, March 18, 1965, pp. 1–6. 48 Bringmark, G., “Amerikas rymdframgångar” in Arbetet, March 28, 1965, p. 4. 49 Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 183–186. See also: Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, p. 192.

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The usia’s material on Vietnam does not seem to have made a favorable i­ mpression on either Arbetet or on Bringmark, who was consistently critical of the u.s. war in Southeast Asia.50 Alvar Alsterdal also commented on the criticism of the war, asking rhetorically if there was any other explanation for why so many American academics were taking a more critical view of the u.s. activities in Vietnam than that they were well founded beyond reproach?51 Alsterdal published four articles in different journals in 1965–1966 that were deeply critical of the war.52 Apparently, Swedish sociologist Göran Therborn made a small survey of the Swedish media’s critical reporting of the Tonkin incident in August 1964 (the manufactured event that provided the ostensible reason for Johnson’s decision to attack North Vietnam53) in an essay for his bachelor degree in sociology in mid-1965. Therborn concluded that besides Svenska Dagbladet, the sr newsman, Tord Gustaf Wickbom, and svt newsman, Tor Åhman, were most likely to uncritically accept the official American story of the events. Liberal Dagens Nyheter and Stockholms-Tidningen on the other hand, tended to view the u.s. and South Vietnam as the culprits. The essay and its results were discussed on the radio and in an editorial in Arbetet, where it was remarked that even though the essay was perhaps somewhat inexact and subjective due to its method of inquiry, it was still an interesting view of the Swedish media landscape. The editorial even had the headline “America’s Voice?” which seems very appropriate for this investigation.54 It also sheds more light on the campaign by the usis to influence the reporting on Swedish television that was to cause a considerable row a few years later. 50 51 52

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Cf. Bringmark, G., “Ur Vietnamkriget finns snart ingen chans till reträtt” in Arbetet, March 19, 1965, p. 5. Alsterdal, Alvar, “Varför just Vietnam?” in Arbetet, August 12, 1965, p. 3. Melin, Karin, Vietnamkonflikten i svensk opinion. 1954–1968. Bibliografi [The Vietnam Conflict in Swedish Opinionmaking: 1954–1968. Bibliography] (Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren, 1969), pp. 20–21, 24. The truth behind the so-called ‘Maddox incident’, Maddox being the name of the signal intelligence (sigint) ship that was thought to have been attacked, is detailed in: Bamford, James, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency (New York: Anchor Books, 2002), pp. 292–301. According to Bamford the incident was part of a deliberate American provocation intended to induce the North Vietnamese to attack Maddox so that there would be a pretext for war. That was why the sigint ship was ordered into the Gulf of Tonkin at the same time as the Americans were conducting shipbased raids there. It thus looked as if Maddox was somehow controlling, or maybe even taking direct part, in the attacks. False sigint raw data was then used to argue that attacks on Maddox had occurred, when in fact there had been none. “Amerikas röst?” in Arbetet, June 6, 1965, p. 4.

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The usia bulletin of July 1 contained a piece on Mariner 4’s planned tv footage of the surface of the planet Mars, and Arbetet carried an article about this coming event the day after. However, the article is not a direct quotation and is accredited to Erling Norlev, a Danish writer who apparently also worked as a freelance journalist.55 Norlev also wrote two other articles on the same subject a week later, including a drawing of the imagined Martian landscape and pictures of Mariner 4 and its magnetic tape recorder. The articles bear all the characteristics of a usia piece, but no direct quotation from the bulletin.56 The space race was probably considered to be much less problematic and less propagandistic than anything the usis had to say about Vietnam. In one sense this is of course correct, but only in the sense that it was less politically charged. It was just as much part of the propaganda effort as the Vietnam material, and definitely more successful. On August 17 Arbetet ran an unaccredited article about the Gemini 5 launch that was copy-pasted from Ur usa-Krönikan, ­including parts of the biographies of the two astronauts. The half-page article also included a photograph of the astronauts and a drawing of the planned rendezvous in space between the Gemini capsule and the Rendezvous Evaluation Pod.57 The next usis article on the Gemini project was published on September 5. This time the whole article was placed ad verbatim on page four together with a picture of the Lunar Excursion Module intended for the future Apollo project.58 It should be noted that Arbetet also published articles on the Soviet accomplishments in space. The difference between them speaks volumes, however. 55

56

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Norlev, Erling, “Rymd-tv från Mars med usa-raket i juli” in Arbetet, July 2, 1965, p. 5; Ur usa-Krönikan, Number 24, July 1, 1965, pp. 1–3. The biographical information on Norlev comes from a Google search. Some of his books were translated into Swedish. He moved from Copenhagen to the United States in 1955 where he apparently died in 1975. Norlev, E., “Amerikanska raketen avslöjar planetens mystiska ‘kanaler”’ and “21 tv-bilder sänds från jorden,” in Arbetet, July 11, 1965, p. 3. Norlev seemed to specialize in sciencerelated articles from the United States. On August 22 Arbetet published a piece by him having to do with an experiment in the waters off the Californian coast where a group of ten people would live 30 days 30 meters below the surface in a steel cylinder (Norlev, E., “Tio man i en stålcylinder bor en månad på havsbotten,” in Arbetet, August 22, 1965, p. 4). “‘Månresa’ för Gemini 5-paret. De stannar åtta dagar i rymden. Gör rendezvousförsök utan rymdpromenader” in Arbetet, August 17, 1965, p. 4. Swedish National Library [Kungliga biblioteket] (henceforth: snl); Ur usa-Krönikan, Number 30, August 13, 1965, pp. 1–5. “Gemini 7 gör tvåveckorsfärd—ett sjumilasteg mot månen,” in Arbetet, September 5, 1965, p. 4. snl; Ur usa-Krönikan, Number 33, September 2, 1965, pp. 1–2. The headline in Arbetet was also clearly inspired by the headline in the usis bulletin which read “Från Gemini till Apollo: tusenmilasteg mot månen.”

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The news about the Soviet flights were always taken from an international news agency, and almost never from tass (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union).59 Many articles about the u.s. space program also came from international agencies, but some did not. The only conceivable reason for this difference is that tass was not given as much credence as the usis material. But there is also another dimension to this problem—even when tass articles were published, they were accredited to this agency so that the reader had the opportunity to remain skeptical of the content. The usis articles were always unaccredited and the reader was thus more or less forced to assume that the source was the newspaper itself. Material having to do with the u.s. space exploration seems to make up the bulk of the usis articles used by Arbetet during this year. There are more examples. The search of the newspaper index system turned up around 19 articles that due to their content could be said to co-produce u.s. hegemonic aspirations. The first was a report from the divided city of Berlin written by Alvar Alsterdal, who apparently went to Berlin in person to report on the situation there. The editorial article, called “The Divided Berliners,” is very favorable to the Americans and what they had been doing for the Berliners since the blockade of 1948–49. It also contains a picture of the Berlin Hilton hotel with a caption that says that it stands just five minutes from the Soviet Sector as an exclamation mark of Americanism. These kinds of buildings were of great importance to the Berliners, it also stated, because they showed that the Americans were not going to leave. No doubt this article carried a clear propagandistic message, but if it was in any way inspired by the usia or if Alsterdal used such material when writing it is unknown.60 Nevertheless, it served the same basic purpose, as a usis article would have. Bringmark’s articles are a bit harder to evaluate since the usia only said that he had made frequent use of his visit to the u.s. in his articles. Obviously there is no way of knowing what resulted from his visit and what he would otherwise have said, but the articles that he wrote can be analyzed to assess what ideology is expressed in them. In an article entitled “Europe at the Crossroads” of March 9, Bringmark discussed an evaluation of the German problem written by George Kennan published in Foreign Affairs.61 How Bringmark got hold of the issue of Foreign Affairs, or how he came up with the idea of reviewing Kennan’s article is unknown, but his evaluation of Kennan’s article was p ­ ositive and 59

60 61

See e.g. “Perfekta bilder från månbaksidan,” in Arbetet, August 24, 1965, p. 4. The article dealt with pictures of the other side of the moon taken by the Soviet space station Sond-3 and was accredited to tt and Reuter. “De delade Berlinarna,” Arbetet, March 5, 1959, p. 2. “Europa vid vägskälet,” Arbetet, March 9, 1959, p. 2.

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­expressed confidence in the u.s. as the leader of the ‘free’ world. On the other hand he reviewed three travel guides to the Soviet Union and urged his readers to visit the big country to the east.62 This might very well have been ­because he thought that seeing the results of the communist system at first hand would surely yield a negative result for the Soviet Union. Bringmark’s agenda becomes quite clear when one reviews his articles. They have a clear anticommunist slant. In another review he wrote about the book A Room in Moscow by the American writer Sally Belfrage, highlighting her criticism of Soviet society and emphasizing that she helped the reader see that the Soviet people consist of individuals with hopes and dreams and that they are not some stereotypical amorphous anonymous mass.63 Bringmark was thus giving his readers a more multifaceted view of the Soviet Union, distinguishing the Soviet State and the Communist Party apparatus from the people over which they ruled. On July 21, Bringmark published the first in a series of articles from a tour of the u.s. The article contains some statistics on rail services and passenger flights in the u.s., and it is plausible that the usia supplied these figures since such information was a common ingredient in the news bulletin Ur usa-Krönikan, but this has not been confirmed.64 The article “Panama as a Symbol” discussed the formation of the Organization of American States (oas) and the u.s. role therein, as well as a suggestion to turn the ownership of the Panama Canal over to an international institution controlled by the u.n.65 His article “The Power and Powerlessness of Myths” criticized the banal carping at ‘Americanization’ and ‘Americanism’ and the alleged lack of high culture in the u.s. He does it in a very subtle way by acknowledging that while some of the criticism had some substance, i.e. there was indeed a lack of style and quality in some American popular cultural expressions and he called American television “an anti-intellectual distraction,” but at the same time he points out that few other cultured nations in the world show such an obvious desire to dissect themselves. The freedom of the u.s., as contrasted against the Soviet propaganda, is emphasized in the article.66 In doing this, Bringmark thus explicitly went against a common trope in the descriptions of the American popular cultural landscape at this time. Many Swedish writers and ­intellectuals really did find this phenomenon to be highly problematic and 62 63 64 65 66

“Reser ni till Sovjet i år?” Arbetet, March 21, 1959, p. 2. “Sovjetfolk i vardag,” Arbetet, April 20, 1959, p. 2. Bringmark, G., “På resa i usa,” Arbetet, July 21, 1959, p. 2. Bringmark, G., “Panama som symbol,” Arbetet, August 3, 1959, p. 2. Other articles in the same series: July 23, 25, 28, and August 5. Bringmark, G., “Myternas makt och vanmakt,” Arbetet, August 10, 1959, p. 2.

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worrying, and their critique of this aspect of American society was an ominuous warning for what the import of this part of American culture was doing to Swedish cultural life. Writers such as Olof Lagercrantz (who also was editorin-chief at Dagens Nyheter during the 1960s) and Vilhelm Moberg complained about how programs, films, and commercials mediated by mass communication technologies were having a devastating effect on people’s critical faculties and tastes, turning people into a kind of mass consumption zombies. This commercial steamroller, according to Lagercrantz and those who agreed with him, leveled all culture making quality a thing of the past. This apprehension and anxiety was, according to Amanda Lagerqvist, an expression of an overlooked aspect of the 1950s: the fear of the power of visual messages.67 This is a perfect illustration of the point made by Rob Kroes in his article “American Empire and Cultural Imperialism,” namely that the study of the transmission of American popular culture to Europe is really a study of how American culture was received, interpreted, and transformed. The u.s. government could not control this reception, and Kroes faults prior research for having concentrated too much on the sender and not enough on the receiver. American culture was always re-contextualized at the receiving end. But Kroes at the same time, very perceptively, notes that in doing this the Europeans (or Bringmark in this case) were only doing what the Americans themselves were doing; but the other way around. Because it could be argued that what America did (and does), perhaps better than any other culture, was to follow “the characteristic American bent for disassembling whatever presents itself as an organically coherent whole, only to reassemble it differently […].”68 What Kroes puts his finger on is the fact that American propaganda, in whatever shape or form, could also be turned against the u.s. There was simply no possibility for the usis, or anyone else, to control the way that these messages were received in the target country, and sometimes it backfired. However, it was not totally haphazard either, as Bringmark’s article also shows. In this case Bringmark tried to defend American culture by admitting that it did have its flaws. Following this logic it should not surprise us that counter-images to u.s. anti-Soviet propaganda also occurred in the Swedish press, and that these ­articles were sometimes written by the same people that at other times p ­ urveyed 67 68

Lagerqvist, A., Amerikafantasier…, pp. 158–162. Kroes, Rob, “American Empire and Cultural Imperialism: A View from the Receiving End” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 1999), pp. 463; quote on p. 470. Granted, Kroes’ article is now quite old and a lot has happened in the field since then. Furthermore, Kroes’ usage of ‘empire’ and ‘imperialism’ in this context is not accepted in this book for reasons explained in the ‘Introduction.’

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American propaganda images of the u.s. For example, an article ­entitled ­“Moscow—the Gateway to Asia” is interesting in that one of its themes closely resembles American propaganda against women labourers in the Soviet Union. The picture to the article apparently showed two Soviet women working in the park at Moscow University. The caption told the reader that it is not at all uncommon to see Russian women engaged in work roles that Westerners would consider typically male, and that one often sees them involved in heavy manual construction work and road-building.69 This motif was common when Western intellectuals tried to show how unnatural Soviet feminism was. This and a previous article (about Leningrad) were part of Arbetet’s preparations for the upcoming Khrushchev-Eisenhower meeting in the u.s. in 1959. The intention was to give fresh impressions from contemporary Soviet life.70 Alsterdal also wrote a series of articles under the common headline “Conversations in the Soviet Union” [Samtal i Sovjet] from a trip to the Soviet Union in October. The first article paints a picture of Moscow as truly a city of contrasts. On the one hand it was an enormously dull city where you had the choice of either getting so drunk on vodka that you lose consciousness, or living the official Presbyterian life since there were no night clubs where one could have fun, and on the other hand it showed a love of culture (literature, theater, and the arts) seldom seen in the West. Alsterdal even remarked that in Moscow it was possible to see people reading while walking down the street. The Soviet youth were also well educated. On the one hand there were modern buildings and rich areas built to the latest architectural standards, and on the other there were very poor areas. But nothing worse than could be found in New York or Paris, Alsterdal remarked. He was in fact surprised how open Moscow was to foreigners. He had had no problems getting through customs, he had moved about as freely as in any other city in the West, he had taken photographs without getting stopped by the secret police. In fact, he wrote, it was almost embarrassing to admit that he had not been harassed by police, had his luggage searched while he was out of his hotel room, or been followed by the kgb. Moscow, to the foreigner at least, looked so normal that one almost forgot that the people there were living under a dictatorship, he wrote.71 The article “Stalin’s Breath” dealt with Khrushchev’s role in the Soviet Union and contained the obvious criticism against his and Stalin’s rule, even though 69 70 71

Alsterdal, Alvar, “Moskva—port till Asien,” Arbetet, September 16, 1959, p. 2. Alsterdal, A., “Den röda flottans stad,” Arbetet, September 12, 1959, p. 2. Alsterdal, A., “Motsatsernas Moskva,” Arbetet, October 3, 1959, p. 2. Other articles in this series were published: October 4, 13, 21, 26, 29, and November 1.

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Alsterdal also said that the u.s.s.r. under Khrushchev was definitely a different country (in a positive sense) than under Stalin.72 In his article “Critique on Demand” Alsterdal discussed the alleged freedom to express criticism in the Soviet media, and concludes that although a lot of it seemed spontaneous enough some also bore the trace of a concerted effort. Most of the publicized criticism was thus probably a campaign coordinated on demand from above, he concluded.73 This was once again supposed to be in contrast to the West where writers formed their own opinions. Another article, “Marx with Butter,” declared that Marxism-Leninism was dead in the Soviet Union. There were a lot of museums dedicated to it, but in everyday life it was meaningless, Alsterdal wrote.74 The last of the articles was entitled “The Main Ideological Weapon,” referring to a statement by Khrushchev about the role of the Soviet press, and was a scathing criticism of the kind of ‘freedom’ of the press guaranteed in the Soviet Constitution.75 This criticism becomes somewhat ironic in the light of what will be shown in Chapters 2 and 3 regarding the use of usis material in the Swedish press, and considering what has been shown to be the case even on Alsterdal’s own newspaper. That Alsterdal was able to conduct his trip at all was a consequence of the much more relaxed tourism regulations that had been decided upon in the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. This was connected to a concomitant change in attitude towards cultural diplomacy and cultural exchange with the capitalist countries that was evident almost immediately after Stalin had died in March 1953. Under Khrushchev the exchanges expanded and formal agreements concerning cultural exchange were even signed between the Soviet Union and the u.s. Already in March 1954, the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party issued directions to the effect that the number of tourists given a visa to the Soviet Union should be raised from 2,000 in 1953 to 5,000 in 1954.76 So how should the fact that the u.s. State Department would give Swedish journalists grants without knowing for sure that they would publish proAmerican articles in the press after their return be interpreted? Would it not have been safer and more economical for the Americans to concentrate their efforts on the journalists that were already very enthusiastic about everything 72 73 74 75 76

Alsterdal, A., “Stalins andedräkt,” Arbetet, October 4, 1959, p. 2. Alsterdal, A., “Kritik på beställning,” Arbetet, October 21, 1959, p. 2. Alsterdal, A., “Marx med smör till,” Arbetet, October 29, 1959, p. 2. Alsterdal, A., “Det ideologiska huvudvapnet,” Arbetet, November 1, 1959, p. 2. Gould Davies, Nigel, “The Logic of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 27, No. 2 (April 2003), pp. 203–204.

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American, as Ellul’s motto seems to suggest? Well, not necessarily. The usis did indeed go against Ellul’s advice in some cases, trying to promote a change of attitude in people critical of certain aspects of the u.s. The grant programs were not always a smooth ride, especially when they involved people who had been highly critical of the u.s. An example from the late 1960s is revealing. The usis was preparing to send a young Social Democratic youth movement leader (unclear who it was) to the u.s. on an International Visitor’s grant. Just before he was about to leave there was a large anti-Vietnam War demonstration in Stockholm, and the next day this man appeared on the first page of the Swedish newspapers heading the demonstration together with four u.s. deserters from the u.s. aircraft carrier Intrepid called ‘Intrepid 4’, who were later granted political asylum in Sweden. The American Ambassador William Womack Heath did not take this lightly. Heath was a Texan crony of President Johnson, and according to William Bodde Jr., who was working for the usia in Stockholm between 1967 and 1970 (and then worked at the Swedish desk at the State Department in Washington between 1970 and 1972), he was what Johnson would have been if he had never left Texas. What happened, as remembered many years later by Bodde Jr., is worth quoting in full: The Ambassador called me in. Jerry was on leave and I had been there about two weeks. The Ambassador said, “Bill, I see you have sent me a memo asking me to approve sending this fellow to the United States. We’re paying for him to go to the United States, and there he is demonstrating against us with those American traitors” He went on to say, “Bill, where I come from, we don’t reward rattlesnakes” I’m standing there thinking to myself—I have only been here two weeks, and already the Ambassador thinks I’m on the side of the rattlesnakes. So I swallowed hard and said, “Well, Mr. Ambassador, I was born in Brooklyn. As far as I know we don’t have any rattlesnakes in Brooklyn. But if we had them, we wouldn’t reward them.” I told him that, “We can send the handful of people in Sweden who support u.s. policy, and we can keep sending them over and over if that’s what you want. What we’re trying to do is to send opinion leaders, some of who [sic] have been vocal critics of u.s. policy in the past, and try to get them to temper their views. You have to make up your mind whether you want us to preach to the choir or whether you want us to preach to the sinners in the hope we might even convert a few” He said, “All right,” and he approved the grant.77 77

Oral history interview with William Bodde Jr. on the Library of Congress website: http:// memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:11:./temp/~ammem_QsWx::, accessed 2010-01-28.

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The point that Bodde Jr. was making to Heath was an important one, and one that sums up the purpose of the program as such. Whether it actually worked like that or not is of course hard to say, but the ambition was there. The usis and lo and abf Another source of information about the usia’s daily undertakings comes from an annual inspection report from the usis office in Stockholm sent to Washington in September 1959. The report detailed the usis’ work in Sweden over the past year and among other things stated that the organization maintained a close and effective cooperation with the Adult Education Program (Arbetarnas bildningsförfund, abf) of the Swedish labour organization lo. The report viewed the program with lo as outstandingly effective. Moreover, the report ­revealed that 15 top lo representatives had been sent to the U.S in 1958/59 at the lo’s expense for study and orientation. Apparently, this program resulted directly from the close and effective relations established by the usis with young top leaders of the Swedish labour movement through the formation in 1952 of a venue for intellectual discussion called the ‘Thursday Club.’ Many of the labour movement representatives that had received grants for study in the u.s. were, according to the report, so favorably impressed that, now that they were in ­positions of leadership, they had instituted their own grantee program.78 In the report it was noted that the “usis program ha[d] been outstandingly effective in important fields and among the priority audience of labour and students” and the success was essentially long-term and cumulative in its results. It has to be kept in mind that the usis had reason to exaggerate its own effectiveness somewhat, but since this information comes from an inspection report filed by an inspector from the usia headquarters in Washington the risk of positive hyperbole is considerably smaller. Then an interesting thing was stated. The report found it particularly appropriate that the propaganda was mostly within the cultural sphere because the Swedish government “maintains an attitude of correctness by a careful balancing of the utilization by Swedish information channels of material from foreign government information services, both Free World and Communist.”79 This of course raises the q­ uestion: How much of the usis’ propaganda activities was the Swedish government

78 79

nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Entry 1045; Box No. 9; “Inspection Report” from usis Sweden dated September 2, 1959, p. 15. Ibid., see also p. 8.

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aware of, and did it treat Soviet and American propaganda in the same way? This issue will be dealt with later. The usis put virtually all its efforts into long-term propaganda, not expecting any sudden changes in attitude of the Swedish public, and with a great emphasis on the cultural side to achieve the political goals of increased understanding of the American people, their political institutions and foreign policy, and a strengthening of pro-Western sentiments. The usis was performing its activities with 5 Americans and 21 local employees, and with relatively limited economic resources. The budget for Fiscal Year (fy) 1960 was estimated at $98,700, of which 74 percent would be consumed by fixed costs leaving only $25,737 for “operating flexibility.” Another example of the effectiveness of usis propaganda provided in the report was the conversion of two communist metalworkers after a lecture by usis Labour Specialist Erik Södersten, at abf in the medium-sized city of Norrköping. The usis maintained a “close and ­effective” cooperation with the abf and many other organizations in Sweden such as the National Council of Swedish Youth, the Swedish counterpart to the usis the Swedish Institute [Svenska Institutet], the Swedish-American Society and the American Field Service in Stockholm, the Sweden-America Foundation, the American Club of Stockholm, the American Women’s Club in Sweden, as well as the National Society for Swedish Culture Abroad and the American-Scandinavian Foundation in New York.80 But the relations with the abf and lo, i.e. the Swedish Labour movement, were special and highly valued by the usis and had resulted in tangible results as referred to above. The usis library was another medium through which the Swedish target audiences were reached and propagandized. In Stockholm the library was located in the center of the city on the fifth floor of a large business building (owned by lo in fact), quite far from the Embassy. There had also been a library in Gothenburg, but its books had by 1959 been turned over to the ­Gothenburg Public Library on a long-term loan. The Stockholm library, however, contained 6,320 titles in English, 68 in Swedish, 197 periodicals, 9,500 usis pamphlets, and also a sheet music and record collection. The record collection, especially, makes one wonder what the connection to the victories celebrated by u.s. popular music during the same period is? The opening hours were somewhat limited though, with only 27.5 hours a week during the summer and 30 hours a week during the winter months. Even though the location on the fifth floor did not offer any opportunities for display it also meant that the visitors, who were estimated to number about 20,000 a year, were serious customers, and not just people sheltering from the weather. The 80

Ibid., pp. 8–9, 13–14.

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post recommended that the library should be open for at least 40 hours a week to increase its effect.81 Regarding the usis library’s effectiveness the author once received an ­enlightening comment from a former foreign news editor at Dagens ­Nyheter, Olof Santesson, at a lecture about usis activities in Sweden. After having stressed the library’s propaganda value during the lecture, Santesson somewhat disbelievingly said that he had never thought of it in that way, but that he had simply found it a calm and relaxing place to sit and read.82 This comment in itself illustrated the effectiveness of the library. Santesson was obviously ­unable to tell that he had in fact been propagandized when looking back some 40 years later. Lastly, the inspector turned his attention to exhibits arranged by the usis post in Sweden. There had not been that many apparently, but two of them had been reasonably effective. One was a small three-dimensional exhibit about the u.s. space program called “The Explorer”, and the other was an art exhibit called “Highlights of American Painting,” which had circulated widely in private art groups, labour unions et cetera.83 It has been noted that a study of the impact of propaganda and other clandestine activities must always guard against a conspiratorial view of interpreting the Cold War. Although the use of fronts and dummy foundations et cetera was a major feature of u.s. cultural foreign policy, the pursuit of who pulled the strings, or who paid the piper, must not lead to the naïve assumtions that everything was cleverly engineered by some power elite safely tucked away in Washington. The unwarranted conclusion that he who paid the piper also wrote the tune should never be drawn.84 There are many variables that have to be evaluated carefully before a balanced analysis can be produced, and it is not at all clear how to interpret the usia’s propaganda activities and their effects in Sweden. An acute awareness of the risks and pitfalls must therefore guide all interpretations. The usis also provided lectures to the Swedish labour movement. The usis Labour Specialist had given a series of such lectures to abf study groups throughout the country in 1959. Similar lectures had been given at the two ­labour schools, Åkers Runö and Brunnsvik near Stockholm, “where the young elite of the Swedish labour unions, a critical target audience, are given a 81 82 83 84

Ibid., pp. 19–20. Comment by Olof Santesson at a lecture by the author at the Swedish National Defense College, February 26, 2009. nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Entry 1045; Box No. 9; “Inspection Report” from usis Sweden dated September 2, 1959, pp. 23–24. Caute, D., The Dancer Defects:…, pp. 616–617.

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­three-month course in unionism.”85 The lecturer did not necessarily, or even preferably, have to celebrate all things American or try to convince or persuade the audience into taking one perspective or the other in order to be useful in furthering u.s. policy objectives. Indeed, the lecturer in question might stick faithfully to simply stating scientific facts. The key point, as Thomas C. ­Sorensen explains in his largely autobiographical account of the usia, was that his appearance told the audience something about the character of American society and about American cultural values, namely that it was open and democratic, “and that is good propaganda.” The usia did not, however, except perhaps occasionally by mistake, send anyone abroad to speak without a clear idea as to what the purpose of it all was, and how it might further u.s. policy objectives in the country in question.86 From all this it becomes evident that the labour movement in Sweden was considered a critical segment of Swedish society to win over to the u.s. cause. This was of course quite natural considering the total dominance of Social Democracy in Swedish political life. What is perhaps more surprising is that these representatives were so willing to be propagandized by the usis. There does indeed seem to have been a strong streak of innocence to Swedish Labour and journalists during this period. This was perhaps less surprising than it seems, because the connections between the Swedish and American Labour Movements ran very deep. To take only one of a myriad of possible examples of this one could look at the first woman representative on the lo board, and chairman of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (icftu) Women’s Council, Sigrid Ekendahl. Ekendahl had had close connections to u.s. Women Labour Organizations through her personal friend Esther Peterson since the Second World War; Peterson had worked for the u.s. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau at the Embassy in Stockholm. The two kept in contact over the years, and still saw each other at least once a year as late as 1989.87 The usis and Swedish Labour during Kennedy/Murrow and lbj/Marks The fy 1962 usis Country Plan provides highly interesting and detailed i­ nformation regarding the activities planned for the usis in Stockholm d­ uring 85 86 87

nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 5. Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, pp. 73–74, quote on p. 73. Oral history interview with Esther Peterson on the Library of Congress website: http:// memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:2:./temp/~ammem_uNSV::, accessed 2010-01-28.

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1962. Keeping in mind that this is of course a planning document, which might mean that some of the propaganda activities may not have been performed, it can still inform us of the tactics used by American propagandists in Sweden at this time. The intended actions entailed in the Country Plan will then be crosschecked against the Assessment Report from early 1963 and in this way one can find confirmation of what parts of the Country Plan actually materialized. The aims of the u.s. in this field are also readily available to us in this report; regardless of whether they were implemented in detail. Moreover, e­ stimations and judgments of the sentiments of the Swedish public, the media elite et cetera can also be gauged from the Country Plan and this will tell us important things about the kind of environment that the usis thought it would be, and was, facing in Sweden under President Kennedy and usia Director Edward Murrow. The Country Plan is a window allowing us to gaze back through the mists of time and see a tangible part of the minds of u.s. propagandists in Stockholm. The Report started by stating that, on the whole, the local situation for the usis was favorable although there were certain factors that could potentially affect the agency’s work negatively and which demanded careful attention both in planning and operations. After that the Report outlined the favorable factors in the form of six points, one of them sub-divided into three more. Point (1) was that Sweden was a democratic nation that supported the u.n. and championed individual human rights and freedoms. Sweden was decidedly on the side of the West in the present ideological struggle, it continued. Point (2) stated that the Swedes were proud of the contribution its many emigrants had made to the development of the life and culture of the u.s. This led Swedes to celebrate Swedish-America Days in many places annually. These celebrations were sponsored by a number of Swedish-American Societies and fraternal organizations and contacts with these were easily made by the usis. Point (3) informed Washington that after the Second World War English had replaced German in priority as the first foreign language taught in Swedish schools. Since 1961 English education had started in the fourth grade, which meant that future gymnasium (equivalent to American high school) students would have completed 11 years of English lessons by the time they graduated. This, noted the Report, was “extremely important to the usis program” and went on to list the reasons why this was so. Firstly, it meant that a large segment of educated youngsters would then be able to read American (not British, be it noted) books and periodicals. As a consequence, the educational level at which point usis materials were officially deemed to be effective could be lowered by four years. Secondly, exchange programs would not be stymied by language difficulties. Thirdly, the interest in American literature, history,

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­geography, and i­ nstitutions had increased greatly at all levels of the educational system, the Report stated, and this had generated “a constant and growing ­demand for materials on America by teachers of English, history and geography in the Swedish schools and universities.” As it turned out, official interest had been expressed even from the Board of Education, which had hired its first American language assistant for the secondary schools, and by the universities in establishing lectureships in American literature “in each of the four universities.” It was also said that the Swedish press, radio, and tv were all open “to high quality materials in English on a highly selected basis.” Moreover, it was said that schools and universities, as well as many adult education study circles (the abf is most likely referred to here) “utilize usis documentary films and presentation materials in English.” Point (4) stated briefly that commercial relationships between the two countries were good. Point (5) went into more detail regarding the usis’ relationship with the many study groups in Sweden; there were almost 60,000 of them according to the Report. “These groups,” it was said, “provide both receptive and effective audiences for numerous speakers on American subjects. Staff members are used to the maximum extent possible in making personal contacts with these groups as lecturers, discussion leaders, and American-language conversationalists.” Three of these groups studied all phases of the u.s. over a two-year period after which time they visited the u.s. at their own expense.88 The usis had thus clearly found a way to use the cultural phenomenon of the adult study groups to propagandize the Swedes. Presumably this was an effective strategy because in many of these groups the usis officers would be presented with people with wide open minds, eager to learn about the great nation on the other side of the Atlantic and surrounded by peers that were equally set on doing the same. Even if the groups included skeptics, the personal character of the propaganda situation would still probably yield good results for the usis. Then followed eight more points that listed matters less encouraging to the usis activities in Sweden summarized under the heading “unfavorable factors.” The first issue here was the Swedish alliance-free foreign policy, i.e. the policy of neutrality. This led to quite extensive contacts with the Soviet Union, stated the Report, such as exchange delegations in the economic, educational, labour, religious, and artistic fields. The usis also complained that at times the Swedish government used Finland “as the excuse for what appear to some Western observers as almost ingratiating bows to the Soviet Union.” The next point was 88

nara ii; rg 306; Foreign Service Despatches (fsd), 1954–65; Europe and Canada; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, August 8, 1961, pp. 1–2.

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that certain elements of the press corps and public opinion drew little distinction between the two superpowers in maintaining Cold War tensions. A third complaint expressed by the usis was that there was a lack of anti-communist organizations in Sweden with which the agency could cooperate. The agency contrasted this situation to that in the other Scandinavian countries. The only exceptions to this rule were apparently “certain refugee groups from the Baltic countries and a few isolated Social Democratic adult educators.”89 It is hard to tell which Social Democratic adult educators the pao was ­referring to, but an educated guess would be that it was some of the remnants of the circle around Ture Nerman and the Swedish national committee of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, who were in the process of dissolving after just over a decade of activities in Sweden. Included in that group were others that could certainly count as adult educators such as Gillis Hammar, who was the former headmaster of the Social Democratic Birkagårdens folkhögskola (1930–1952) for adult education in the center of Stockholm, and one of the most prominent personalities in adult pedagogy in Sweden.90 The third and final objective in 1962 was to: Expose the objectives of international communism and its threat to the free world, including neutral Sweden, by working through the Swedish press and sympathetic Swedish organizations and individuals.91 This objective was thus intended to mend the problem identified as the third unfavorable factor cited above. Considering that the usis had just stated that there were few, if any, organizations engaged in combating Communism in Sweden, perhaps it was the press that constituted the largest hope for the usis in this case. However, this point also betrays the aggressive character of u.s. propaganda in that it naturally tended to create more tension that it allayed. Portraying the Soviet Union as a threat to the security of the Swedish people would surely only put fuel on the Cold War fire and work against an understanding of the Soviets’ true intentions, fears, and motivating factors. Secondly, the usis would more directly target Swedish youth and student audiences among which English was a popular language, “the purpose being to impart a more extensive appreciation of American life and culture and a clearer comprehension of American foreign policy.” One should note how the foreign policy appendix was hooked onto the interest in u.s. culture, as if 89 90 91

Ibid., 2. I am currently working on a book manuscript about the ccf in Sweden. nara ii; rg 306; fsd; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, p. 4.

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i­nterest in the first would necessarily imply interest in the latter. The crisis of confidence in u.s. foreign policy, and the bad reputation generated during the Vietnam War from the mid-1960s onwards, would show that this assumption was terribly flawed. The last short term objective in the Report was to continue to introduce more usis material into adult education courses, as well as ­encouraging the establishment of more study circles studying things American “whose ultimate objective is a study tour to the u.s.”92 The latter was in fact realized in October 1962, when a group of about 120 Swedes traveled to the u.s. for a month-long stay. They had by that time studied various aspects of American society in study courses for about two years. The course was called “Vi åker till usa” [We travel to the u.s.a.], and the participants came to a large extent from the Swedish unions lo and Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation (tco)—the latter was the Central Organization of Salaried Employees. According to an article in The Christian Science Monitor, the course was a joint project between the usis and abf, and it had come into existence due to an initiative from the usis Labour Specialist in Sweden, Erik Södersten. The latter and Sven Jarl of abf were also the leaders of the tour that would take the participants from Boston, through Albany, New York; to Niagara Falls; Detroit; Chicago; New Orleans; Meridian, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama (the scene of widely known police brutality); on to Atlanta; then Knoxville, Tennessee; Roanoke and Williamsburg, Virginia; then Washington, d.c.; Philadelphia; and finally New York City. The tour featured a varied menu for the participants, including visits at Boston University and Museum of Fine Arts; a visit to the State Capitol in Albany to see how a state was governed; a visit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Detroit, courtesy of the United Automobile Workers; discussions of racial problems in New Orleans, as well as a trip to a supermarket; a visit to the White House, various departments, and unions. There were also scheduled opportunities for group discussions about youth problems, school and education, housing, media, and social care. Södersten hoped that the tour would be yet another step in the exchange of persons and ideas between Sweden and the u.s., and that it would strengthen the good relations between the two countries even further.93 Partly overlapping this visit was a tour of the u.s. conducted by lo President, Arne Geijer, the President of the Swedish Employers Federation (saf), Bertil Kugelberg, the Swedish Under Secretary of State for Labour and Social 92 Ibid. 93 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övrigt kulturellt samarbete. usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Södersten to Torsten Nilsson, October 4, 1962 (as well as appendices with schedules and an article from The Christian Science Monitor).

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Affairs, Ernst Michanek, and the lo Secretary, Edvard Vilhelmsson, between September 27 and October 14. The visit had resulted from an invitation from the u.s. Department of Labor, and the feeling was that the example of cooperative relationships between Swedish management and labour interests would be helpful to the u.s. As a part of the visit Michanek, Kugelberg, and Geijer turned up before the President’s Advisory Committee on Labor Management Policy in the White House on October 2.94 This trip to the u.s. generated a lot of publicity both in the u.s. and in Sweden, and even resulted in an article in the usis’ English-language news bulletin published in Sweden.95 lo also sent many persons to the u.s. on scholarships awarded by lo itself. On September 10, 1962, for example, 15 Swedes in leading positions in various union organizations received a total amount of sek 32,800, most of which paid for monthlong trips to the u.s.96 The second project focused on presenting American socio-economic, political and cultural life in certain chosen Swedish cities. This included the scheduling of two usa in Focus programs, one in the medium-sized town of Gävle on the Baltic coast of Central Sweden and one in another town to be determined at a later date. Similar programs had been presented in the town of Örebro some 200 kilometers west of Stockholm and the small mining town Kiruna in the far north of the country in 1961. Swedish former grantees, usis and Embassy personnel were to be used as lecturers on American civilization, and usis films would complement this effort.97 The fourth project intended to make the second policy objective come true stated that the usis should promote the dissemination of first-hand knowledge of the u.s. by Swedes who had been there to selected audiences. This should include having prominent Swedes speak at the usa in Focus programs, and former Swedish grantees ought to be enrolled as lecturers for the usis lecture bureau. Whenever possible, the Report stated, Swedish authors preparing articles or books on political, cultural, and economic subjects having to do with the u.s. and supporting usis program objectives should be encouraged.98 94

Arbetarrörelsens arkiv & bibliotek (Henceforth: arbark); Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 46; Secretary of Labour to Geijer, October 28, 1961; Program for the visit and biographies of the visitors by the u.s. Department of Labour, undated, 1962. 95 arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 46; usis “News Bulletin,” October 5, 1962, p. 5. See also various newspaper clippings. 96 “lo-stipendier till studieresor på 32 800 kr,” in Stockholms-Tidningen, September 11, 1962, p. 3. 97 nara ii; rg 306; fsd; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, pp. 6–7. 98 Ibid., p. 8.

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As stated above, yet another objective for the usis in 1962 was that of making the Swedes aware of the threat to the free world presented by international Communism. This goal was to be achieved by providing “all Swedish communications media”, and organizations and individuals sympathetic to the usis agenda, with propaganda materials that had “in the past proved effective in revealing the false nature of the communist peace front […].” From this one cannot but conclude that the usis assumed that communists, in whatever shape or form they might appear, did not want peace. In particular the Kremlin, i.e. the Soviet Union, did not really want peace. Their talk of peace was only a front, apparently for war and domination. In their endeavor, the usis would exploit the growing tendency of the Swedish press to treat Soviet foreign policy, especially regarding Berlin and the test ban talks in Geneva, with skepticism. The press corps was also to be presented with materials explaining the u.s. position and policy so that the Swedish people would sympathize with it. The Swedish press also had a great interest in photos, the Report stated, and therefore the agency would supply the newspapers with “anti-communist photos whenever the opportunity presents itself.” An activity that was supposed to continue was the distribution to editors, editorial writers, and political commentators of the “highly effective” usis journal Problems of Communism.99 This journal had been founded in 1952 under the aegis of the International Information Administration (iia) during the leadership of iia Administrator Wilson Compton, preceding the formation of the usia in August 1953. It was basically a copy of Ost-Probleme, the journal of the High Commissioner for Germany (hicog), the American provisional government in West Berlin, and was aimed at an intellectual and highly educated audience. The journal was published bi-monthly and contained articles, book reviews, and book extracts.100 The final programming activity connected to the third policy objective stated that the usis would utilize lecturers, both Swedish and American, “to set the record straight in areas of high communist voting strength, e.g. Göteborg [Gothenburg] and the northern cities of Norrbotten Province.”101 While this might not seem very different from the other measures that the usis were taking to ensure that the Swedish public remained a healthy skepticism of communist ideology, the targeting of areas where the Communist Party was able to muster significant support is worth raising an eyebrow over. This amounted to nothing less than deliberate and calculated interference in the 99 Ibid. 100 Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 71, 77. 101 nara ii; rg 306; Foreign Service Despatches, 1954–65; Europe and Canada (henceforth: fsd); Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, p. 8.

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domestic political process in Sweden. The u.s. government was, through its ­official information agency, trying to change the behavior of the Swedish voters by disseminating anti-communist propaganda. Of course, trying to change the ideological distribution pattern of the Swedish public was ultimately what all usis activity was about, but what makes the above programming activity so special is that it explicitly targeted voting practices. It is not known if the Swedish government was aware of this particular aspect of the usis’ work. The Report returned to the fact that there were no organizations dedicated to the Western alliance (i.e. nato) in Sweden, and therefore contacts with Swedish organizations that could be of assistance to the usis in its propaganda programs had to be developed through personal contacts with its leaders, a process that was considered “rewarding but also time-consuming.” In an especially candid manner the Report then recommended an increase in the State Department’s Educational Exchange program because: Sweden in many ways is the most powerful and important of the Nordic states and in a position to play an important part in resisting Soviet initiative in the formation of a neutral zone, the aim of which is to separate Norway and Denmark from nato […].102 We can thus see that Sweden was considered to have approximately the same role in matters of foreign policy in Scandinavia as it did in the field of military affairs, i.e. to act as a bulwark against Soviet intrusion into Scandinavia; but in this case ideologically and not militarily. The usis’ feeling about the exchanges was soon to be confirmed. In April 1963, the u.s. Advisory Commission on International Educational and Cultural Affairs presented a report with the title A Beacon of Hope: The Exchange-ofPersons Program, which confirmed the importance of the exchange program, to the House of Representatives. The report was based on interviews with 2,696 former grantees in 20 countries, as well as inquiries at usia posts in the same countries, and was the first of its kind. It concluded that there was now conclusive evidence that the exchange program was an essential and valuable part of the propaganda effort (although the report used the word “information” instead).103 A later example of a result of the lo and abf study groups program can be found in September 1964, when almost one hundred lo members traveled to 102 Ibid., p. 9. 103 Dizard, Jr., W.P., Inventing Public Diplomacy:…, pp. 92; Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 218–222, 224.

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the u.s. to exchange experiences with their American counterparts. The leader of the Swedish contingent was of course lo Chairman Arne Geijer, who would also meet President Lyndon B. Johnson during the visit.104

Swaying the Swedish Working Class

This chapter has shown how the Americans went about trying to influence the Swedish Labour Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. The usis did this by ­directly targeting the Labour newspapers, union organizations, study circles and so on, in a broad campaign that was impressive in terms not only of its size but also of its ambition. The usis supplied editors and journalists with material on which to base their articles and were often very successful in getting their material placed in the newspapers. Many of the articles take a distinctly anti-Communist viewpoint and show a clearly benevolent attitude towards the u.s. Moreover, the usis sponsored trips to the u.s. for Swedish journalists in order for them to get to see American society first-hand and at close range. The Americans also sponsored exchange and visiting programs for people within the lo leadership. Grants were given to persons that the Americans felt would have an important role or position within lo in the future, and in this way they hoped to affect the perception of the u.s. within the Swedish ­Labour Movement. This was supervised by the American Labour Specialist, Erik Södersten, at the American Embassy, one of the many Swedish employees that the usis had in Stockholm. In October 1962, over 100 Swedish Labour people went to the u.s. as a finish to a long study circle that they were part of. The usis exploited the Swedish Labour-owned media as much as possible during this time and also arranged exhibitions that toured the country propagating various themes and things American to the Swedish public. Another medium that the Americans made good use of was motion pictures, and usis films were placed in movie theaters, in Swedish schools and universities, as well as on Swedish television. It seems as if the usis was quite satisfied with the reception of these films and it reported a steady demand for them from the Swedes. The usis also distributed the journal Problems of Communism to editors and other influential Swedes. This too was considered to be much ­appreciated and successful propaganda, since its scholarly appearance made it seem much less propagandistic. But the usis did much more than that in the 1960s and also did things that were much more invasive of Sweden’s internal affairs than the usual ­propaganda 104 “lo-delegation reser till usa,” in Norra Skåne, September 19, 1964, p. 2.

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effort. In 1962, the usis actually set out as one of their policy objectives to change the political adherence and voting pattern of the highly Socialist and Communist areas of Gothenburg and northern Sweden. No previous Country Plan had been so explicit about the American willingness to interfere in Swedish domestic policy in order to bring about a change in foreign policy on the governmental level. Although it did not succeed in producing these changes in political attitude on the massive scale that would have been necessary to actually affect the national political landscape, it is still a controversial matter. We have also seen in this chapter that the propaganda program in Sweden had a higher purpose, so to speak, in that it was thought to contribute significantly to a resolute anti-Communist stance in Scandinavia as a whole, such as in resisting the continuous Soviet proposals for making the Baltic region into a nuclear-free zone et cetera. The propaganda program was thus aiming for a similar result in the ideological sphere as the military cooperation was aiming for in the sphere of defense, i.e. to make Sweden an anchor of sorts in Scandinavia that could hold down the nato allies Norway and Denmark and prevent them from drifting eastward or becoming conciliatory toward Soviet propagandistic offers and policy suggestions.

chapter 2

Freedom from the Press? The Americans, lo, and the Closing of Stockholms-Tidningen1 Introduction This chapter addresses the issue of the shutting down of the Social Democratic newspaper Stockholms-Tidningen in 1965/66, and the prior removal of its editor-in-chief in 1964/65. While this event does not seem to be obviously connected to the issue of u.s. propaganda activities, it will be shown that there are nonetheless reasons why it makes sense to reevaluate this event in the light of what the archival material reveals. It turns out that Stockholms-Tidningen in general, and its editor-in-chief, Victor Vinde, in particular, were politically awkward and something of an embarrassment to the Swedish government and lo because of their treatment of the American war in Vietnam. This chapter analyzes this matter, placing it within the long and onerous process to get rid of Vinde as editor-in-chief and, finally, to close down the newspaper for good.

A Mounting Problem

Even though many of the editors at the labour newspapers approved and even encouraged the distribution of the usis’ news bulletin and found it very useful, not all editors were prepared to adopt it uncritically and publicize the usis’ material. In the early 1960s, a cloud was gathering in the otherwise relatively clear sky in the form of Stockholms–Tidningen and its editor-in-chief, ­Victor Vinde.2 Stockholms-Tidningen was one of two newspapers in Stockholm owned by lo at that time after Morgon-Tidningen had been closed down in 1958, the 1 Parts of this chapter have been published as: Nilsson, M., “American Propaganda, Swedish ­Labour, and the Swedish Press in the Cold War: The usia and Co-Production of u.s. Hegemony in Sweden During the 1950s and 1960s” in International History Review, Vol. 34, Issue 2 June 2012, pp. 315–345. 2 A study of another Social Democratic newspaper’s view of the Cold War can be found in: Berge, Anders, Det kalla kriget i Tidens spegel. En socialdemokratisk bild av hoten mot frihet och fred 1945–1962 [The Cold War as Reflected in Tiden: A Social Democratic Image of the Threats to Freedom and Peace, 1945–1962] (Stockholm: Carlssons, 1990).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_004

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other one being the evening newspaper Aftonbladet. ­Stockholms-Tidningen had somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 readers but was not a labour newspaper by tradition. lo bought both Stockholms-Tidningen and Aftonbladet from engineer-entrepreneur Torsten Kreuger in 1956. The affair caused quite a stir at the time and was considered very important in breaking the Liberal press monopoly position in the capital. Geijer had chosen Vinde personally for the post of editor-in-chief in November 1958,3 and perhaps because of this Geijer would be extra sensitive to Vinde’s talent for getting under the skin of the Americans. It is interesting that the sale of the papers to lo, and the subsequent change of political ideology, was the consequence of Kreuger’s sentiments towards the Liberal/Conservative parties, which he felt had let him down by not providing funds for him at a crucial point, thus forcing him (as he saw it) to sell the newspapers to the Social Democrats. The leader of the Liberal People’s Party (Folkpartiet), Bertil Ohlin (together with representatives of Aftonbladet’s and Stockholm-Tidningen’s editorial clubs) tried desperately in the fall of 1956 to get Kreuger to reconsider his decision to sell the newspapers to lo, but Kreuger told them that it was too late. He stated that he had received no offer from the Liberal/Conservative bloc, although Ohlin vehemently disputed this. Apparently, Kreuger was trying very hard not to close down Stockholms-Tidningen, which the Liberal/Conservative bloc wished to do if they had bought them, he said. Kreuger did not want to add to the monopoly situation on the newspaper market by closing down one of his newspapers. He was clearly against the rationalizations going on in the newspaper market and complained that at least 20 newspapers had been closed down in Sweden recently. The lo side was different, he felt. He could talk to them, and they understood him. Kreuger kept repeating that the Liberal/Conservative bloc had let him down. He also orated about the influential Bonnier family’s press monopoly, and stated that their ownership of certain paper manufacturing plants had raised the price of newsprint and thereby made an already bad economic situation worse for him. The banks were also conspiring against him, he said, by not making money available to him. The representatives of the newspapers, on the other hand, worried about the change of ideological outlook that the sale would result in and wanted to know how many journalists would be made redundant, asking seemingly terrified if they would be forced to write socialist propaganda during the election campaign of 1958. While Kreuger tried to tone this matter down by saying that it was only a few political writers that would be affected, the others denied this and said that the layout workers would also be 3 ra; Victor Vindes Arkiv (henceforth: vva); Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen (Henceforth: hst); Signum: 4b; Vol. 1; Memory notes by Vinde, February 18, 1962, p. 1.

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affected—during the election campaign their political sympathies would surely surface. Kreuger defended himself by stressing that he had deliberately not sold the newspapers to lo before the latest elections, even though lo and the Social Democrats would probably have wanted two additional papers then.4 Initially, lo was supposed to have bought the two newspapers for sek 23 million, but debts and pension liabilities that had not been regulated by Kreuger raised this sum almost immediately to sek 32 million. There were therefore some economic uncertainties attached to the purchases from the start. As if this was not enough, talented journalists apparently left their jobs for other Liberal newspapers such as Dagens Nyheter and Expressen.5 The dominance by Dagens Nyheter and the other large Conservative daily in Stockholm, Svenska Dagbladet, made itself felt immediately after purchase in the form of a great loss of advertising revenue for Stockholms-Tidningen. The paper’s share of the total volume of advertisements in the three largest morning papers dropped from 22.3 per cent in 1956 to 16.1 per cent in 1958. By 1962, the paper had a deficit of sek 12 million.6 Between 1956 and 1957, the paper’s share of the total number of copies among the three largest morning papers decreased dramatically from 30.2 to 23.4 per cent, and by 1965, the year Vinde left the post as editor-inchief and less than a year before it was closed down, it was down to a mere 19.8 per cent.7 The financial situation had in other words always been negative for Stockholms-Tidningen, and was nothing that suddenly appeared when Vinde became editor-in-chief, and it is indeed very doubtful if there was anything that anyone could have done to rectify the failing finances of the newspaper. That Vinde had been given an impossible task ought, in other words, to have been recognized by the lo leadership from the outset. On the face of it, it does indeed seem as if Stockholms-Tidningen was the ­victim of a political boycott from advertisers protesting lo’s ownership. ­However, it may not have been quite so simple. An editorial in the Social Democratic Arbetet in Malmö the day after the decision to close StockholmsTidningen was made public stated that the paper’s share of advertisements had already begun to fall during Kreuger’s ownership. His decision to sell the paper 4 ra; Bertil Ohlins personarkiv; Arbetspaper; “Stockholmstidningen 1956”; Vol. 51; Notes from conversation between Kreuger, Ohlin, Öhman, and Danielson on October 6, 1956, pp. 1–10; notes from conversation between Kreuger and Danielson, undated, 1956, pp. 1–4. 5 Kassman, Charles, Arne Geijer och hans tid 1957–1979 [Arne Geijer and His Time, 1957–1979] (Stockholm: Tiden, 1991), p. 290. 6 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1; Memorandum from Planning Conference February 20–22, 1962, p. 2. 7 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1; Memorandum to the shareholders, April 27, 1966, p. 2.

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to the lo, instead of to the People’s Party, did not help the situation of course and many readers did not accept the change in political outlook.8 The decreasing advertising revenues were hence also a reflection of the fact that less people read the newspaper. Stockholms-Tidningen was also repeatedly referred to in a derogatory manner as being a lackey of lo and the Social Democratic Party by the Liberal press after the sale. Vinde’s view, however, was more nuanced than that. The paper’s connection to the labour movement was of course strong for ideological reasons, but that did not mean that it should be the mouthpiece of either lo or the government, according to him. It ought to be a “service organ” for the government and lo, he thought, in the sense that issues related to labour should be given more room in Stockholms-Tidningen than in the Liberal press, but it was pertinent that it always remained independent.9 In this view lay perhaps also a major part of the problem for lo and chairman Arne Geijer. But according to Vinde himself, the board of directors had accepted this editorial policy when Vinde assumed his position in November 1958.10 This is confirmed by the contractual agreement signed on January 1, 1959. It states clearly that Vinde was solely responsible for the content of the newspaper and its political line, as was customary for editors-in-chief.11 Geijer then apparently changed his mind, although any machinations to change the paper’s political line amounted to a breach of contract. Moreover, when lo took over the newspaper, Geijer was aware of the monumental task at hand. In May 1961, he told an information conference held in connection with the annual shareholders’ meeting that when, in the fall of 1958, he had received the “joy-bringing” (this was an ironic remark) task of assuming direct economic responsibility for Stockholms-Tidningen, he quickly understood that this was a long-term ­effort stretching over a ten-year period rather than a five-year one. Vinde had come to the same conclusion, according to Geijer, namely that “only long-term, ­patience-demanding, and in many cases a thankless job of reconstruction and reorganization could yield results.”12 At a board meeting in December 1960, Geijer had also ended several hours of deliberations over the newspaper’s ­future by launching into an emotional speech where he expressed the view 8 “st:s nedläggning,” in Arbetet, December 15, 1965, p. 2. 9 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1; Manuscript by Vinde, February, 1962, pp. 1–2. 10 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1; Memory notes by Vinde, February 18, 1962, p. 1. 11 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1; Contract of Employment, January 1, 1959. 12 arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 23; Manuscript for a speech held on May 5, 1961, p. 1. “endast ett långsiktigt, tålamodsprövande och i åtskilliga avseenden otacksamt uppbyggnads- och reorganisationsarbete kunde ge resultat.”

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that even though times were rough the psychological value of a labour press had to be taken into account, and that despite the fact that they might face hardship they had to keep fighting. The importance of breaking the Liberal press monopoly in Stockholm could not be expressed in numbers, Geijer had said.13 According to this reasoning, the newspaper ought to have been given at least until 1968 to turn the bad times around. Apparently though, Geijer changed his mind just a couple of years later—if he ever really meant what he said publicly at all. Because he clearly did not stick to this view. Unsurprisingly, prior research has portrayed the closing of StockholmsTidningen as being solely a matter of economics. The newspaper was simply losing too much and there was nothing that lo could do. This was also the ­explanation given in 1965 by the lo leadership, including Geijer. As already mentioned there is certainly merit to this explanation. The losses doubled from sek 9,498,000 to 18,900,000 between 1960 and 1965, so there is no doubt that the paper had major problems. But before judging Vinde too hard it is important to remember that Stockholms-Tidningen already had a deficit of ­almost sek 7,340,000 in 1957, one year before Vinde, and one year after the purchase. Since 1956, the losses had increased by almost sek 2,600,000 from sek 4,877,000.14 This clearly shows that Vinde was at least not the only reason for the newspaper’s poor finances, and that matters had gone from bad to worse after lo purchased the newspaper. But poor finances had led lo to close down newspapers before. The year that Vinde took over the post as editor-in-chief, lo closed down Morgon-Tidningen in Stockholm, and decided that of the losses incurred by Stockholms-Tidningen and Aftonbladet 50 per cent should be covered by lo and the rest by the member unions.15 Aftonbladet was thus also incurring losses, albeit not as large as those of Stockholms-Tidningen. Later in this chapter it will be argued that there seems to have been also a political reason for both the closing down of the newspaper as such and for Vinde leaving the post as editor-in-chief, namely that Vinde and StockholmsTidningen were too critical of u.s. foreign policy and the American war in Vietnam. This caused both the government and Geijer personally considerable 13 14

15

arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och ­Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 23; Minutes of board meeting, December 12, 1960, p. 3. arbark; Helmer Wikströms personarkiv; Vol. 1; manuscript “Landsorganisationens förvärv av Stockholms-Tidningen och Aftonbladet och min befattning med denna affär,” p. 49; arbark; Stockholms-Tidningens arkiv 1956–66; Vol. 2; “Stockholms-Tidningens ab Revisionsrapport för år 1957,” p. 1. arbark; lo:s arkiv; Handlingar rörande A-Pressen; F30A; Vol. 6; Memorandum for ­conference, April 1, 1958, pp. 1–5.

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embarrassment. This is evident from previously unknown documents found in American archives. However, this is a view that does not fit well with the official story. According to Lars Starkerud, who at the time was Geijer’s personal driver, but also confidant, and who later moved up in the lo hierarchy to become a better-paid official within that organization (Starkerud and Geijer remained close until Geijer’s death), there was a certain irritation over some of the foreign policy material in Stockholms-Tidningen, but he emphatically ­denies that this had anything to do with the decision to pull the plug on the newspaper. Vinde was not popular, according to Starkerud, but it was not ­because of what he wrote. He was no newspaperman, he said. He was simply a bad editor-in-chief.16 If this was true then Geijer and the board of directors had made a very bad choice, because it was they who had picked Vinde for this position, even though there were apparently people who thought Vinde an odd choice right from the beginning. One of them was Helmer Wikström, who was the ceo at Stockholms-Tidningen from the purchase of the newspaper in 1956 to Vinde’s ascendancy to the post of editor-in-chief in 1958 when C. Gösta Malmström replaced Wikström. He received word of Vinde’s employment at Stockholms-Tidningen from a friend he met on the street and had a very hard time ­believing it was true since the board had not said a word about this to him. He thought that Vinde was a bad choice, because Vinde had been a reporter in Paris for so long that he was unfamiliar with the new Swedish society, and also stated that it turned out he even had some language difficulties. However, it is also evident that Wikström, too, felt badly treated by Geijer and that the latter tried to escape his responsibility for the purchase of Stockholms-Tidningen and its unsound economy. Wikström complained that it was unreasonable for the board to hold the ceo responsible for financial matters when they had given him no opportunity to affect the factors most relevant to the result.17 From the manner in which Wikström presents this matter it seems as if Geijer and the board simply continued to sidestep their own responsibility when Vinde took command of the newspaper and make him into a scapegoat.18 16 17

18

Interview with Lars Starkerud, January 26, 2010. arbark; Helmer Wikströms personarkiv; Vol. 1; manuscript “Landsorganisationens förvärv av Stockholms-Tidningen och Aftonbladet och min befattning med denna affär,” undated, pp. 45–46. It is worth noting that nowhere in the memorandum distributed to the stockowners in April 1966 that summarized the reasons for the paper’s demise is the editor-in-chief given the blame for what had happened. Instead only factors of force majeur character are men-

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We should perhaps retain some healthy skepticism about Wikström’s words concerning Vinde, because this statement was made many years after this event. He also seems to have had some personal issues with Vinde that may have prejudiced him, and made him unable to make a fair description of the latter. Other journalists had different opinions. Ulrich Herz, for example, a journalist at Stockholms-Tidningen, thought that Vinde (whom he did not know personally) surely was “an independent fellow” [en självständig karl], who should have a more attentive and grounded opinion of society than the previous editor-in-chief (i.e. Wikström!), whose positive sides lay in totally different areas.19 Wikström’s judgement of the situation was perhaps also tainted by the fact that he felt unfairly treated. He, too, had been forced to leave his position b­ efore the contract ended (after being replaced in late 1958 he was to remain on the board until 1963). In a letter to Geijer in April 1961, he stated that he had never received any explanation for his replacement by Vinde, and he had never asked for one, but he wished to be compensated financially. The reasons for this were to a very high degree emotional, something he hoped that Geijer would understand under the circumstances.20 The idea that Vinde was not a newspaperman does not seem to be confirmed by the archival records. Instead, here was a man who expressed a deep understanding of the challenges ahead and who knew the importance of new technical resources (new printers et cetera), reorganization of the editorial office, and new layout and typography to draw new readers to the paper. It seems Vinde was doing what every responsible editorin-chief would have done in order to get Stockholms-Tidningen back on its feet, and no one seems to have voiced a different opinion at the time.21 Moreover, the economic responsibility to the board of directors lay not with the editorin-chief but with the ceo, which was Malmström.22 Wikström had protested that he had not been given any real possibility to affect the financial result,

19 20

21

22

tioned, such as flight of advertisers and readers (arbark; Helmer Wikströms personarkiv; Vol. 2; “pm om Stockholms-Tidningens ab 1956–1965”). snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Herz to Tingsten, December 12, 1958, p. 2. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 23; Wikström to Geijer, April 12, 1961, pp. 1–3; see also: “Konfidentiell pm angående Helmer Wikström” by Malmström December 23, 1959, p. 1. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 23; Protocol from board meeting, December 12, 1960, p. 3; Memorandum by Vinde “Den ‘nya st’,” undated. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 23; “Konfidentiell pm angående Stockholms-Tidningens redaktionsledning” by ceo C. Gösta Malmström, November 25, 1961, p. 3.

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however, so perhaps A-Pressen’s board of directors with Geijer as chairman were simply trying to avoid their share of responsibility.23 By mid-summer of 1961, Malmström does not seem to have had a lack of trust in Vinde’s ability as editor-in-chief, however. What he did express though, in a letter to Geijer, was a worry that the board was expecting too much of Vinde in that he should be able to handle both being a writing editor and at the same time manage the daily business at the editorial office. Malmström’s suggestion for a solution to the problem was to hire another editor-in-chief to work side by side with Vinde and manage the routine tasks at the office. In a rather prophetic statement he then asked if the board wanted him to stay as ceo for another three years (his contract ended on December 31, 1961), ­because he did not under any circumstances want to find himself in a situation where after a year or so he would have to receive word from lo that the organization was no longer prepared to shoulder the economic responsibility and decided to close the paper down.24 Malmström did continue as ceo; but his suggestions regarding the editorial situation do not seem to have elicited any response from Geijer (at least none visible in the archives), although it is worth remembering his suggested remedies later in this chapter. These show that as early as mid-1961, the idea that the newspaper might be closed down in the near future was not unthinkable to initiated persons. But by March 1962, Malmström had made a complete volte-face in his view of Vinde. On March 29, Vinde discussed his plans for reinforcements at the editorial office with Malmström. His suggestions were to hire an assistant head of the editorial office [biträdande redaktionschef] and to let another employee in charge of layout work with a first-class layout man for six months. Except for some changes on the editorial page, Vinde thought these changes enough to straighten out the situation. Malmström did not agree at all, and told Vinde that he would have to notify the board about their diverging opinions. While not bad in themselves, these changes should have been made a long time ago, thought Malmström, and wrote to Geijer that it was obvious that Vinde thought he was the only one who could hold the editorial office together in the current dire situation, and that if Kurt Samuelsson (who was then the editor-inchief of Aftonbladet) stepped in to take over some responsibilities this would be c­ onstrued as a sign of panic (Vinde was probably referring to the views of 23

24

A-Pressen was a company that managed the Labour Movement’s various newspapers and was owned by lo and the Social Democratic Party. It was founded in 1947 and went ­bunkrupt in 1992. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och ­Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 23; Malmström to Geijer, June 30, 1961, pp. 1–3.

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the employees). Malmström had the exact opposite opinion. He continued by stating that Vinde, if he came under even more pressure, might nonetheless suggest to Geijer that Samuelsson should step in when the new printing presses started working, but that all should remain the same until then, because indications were, said Malmström, that neither Vinde nor Samuelsson wanted a double editorship. Waiting for the new printing presses to start rolling would be “risky not to say catastrophic,” Malmström wrote, and then continued to drop a bomb out of a seemingly clear sky: Even so I have not delivered to vv [Victor Vinde] any formal suggestion or even less an ultimatum. It must be the chairman of the board’s [i.e. ­Geijer’s] responsibility to act here. My recommendation is that you give concerned party two options: either that vv remains as foreign news commentator with unchanged salary privileges, perhaps with continued title as editor-in-chief, or that vv at his own request quits in order to devote himself to other activities. In either case ks [Kurt Samuelsson] should step in as soon as possible and those concerned should be informed immediately after the board meeting. We have already lost three valuable months.25 [Emphasis in original.] Unfortunately the archival material does not tell us why Malmström now all of a sudden demanded that Vinde should lose his job, but according to Malmström the journalists at the editorial office were worried, and a big reason for this was that they were missing sturdy management and were waiting for some initiative.26 It is also clear that he considered Samuelsson’s arrival at ­Stockholms-Tidningen to be of the utmost importance. The use of the word ‘catastrophe’ is very dramatic, and it is not clear why Malmström considered Samuelsson so important. Did he really expect Samuelsson to be able to turn 25

26

arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och ­Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 24; Malmström to Geijer (marked “Confidential”), March 30, 1962, pp. 1–2. “Jag har emellertid inte till vv framfört något formligt förslag eller ännu mindre något ultimatum. Det måste åligga styrelseordföranden att här agera. Min ­rekommendation är att Du ger vederbörande två alternativ: antingen att vv kvarstår som utrikespolitisk kommentator med oförändrade löneförmåner, eventuellt med bibehållande av chefredaktörs titel, eller att vv på egen begäran avgår för att ägna sig åt annan verksamhet. I båda fallen bör ks träda in snarast möjligt och besked till dem det vederbör lämnas omedelbart efter styrelsens sammanträde. Vi har redan förlorat tre värdefulla månader.” arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och ­Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 24; Malmström to Geijer, March 15, 1962.

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the newspaper into a profit-making machine? It is furthermore not clear why Vinde was now considered to be the culprit. Malmström’s letter seems to support Starkerud’s statement that Vinde was not editor-in-chief material, but it does not prove that the precarious financial situation was Vinde’s fault. At least Malmström did not say anything to that effect in his letter to Geijer, and there is little reason to assume that he would keep this to himself if he had actually held this opinion. However, Geijer does not seem to have been willing to act against Vinde at this point. But it is at this time that some really interesting material starts showing up in American archives, and the narrative will now turn to the possible political aspect of Stockholms-Tidningen’s demise—an aspect that has so far remained in the dark.

The Americans and Stockholms-Tidningen

Stockholms-Tidningen’s foreign news comments had been a concern for the usis at least since 1960. In the Country Assessment Report for 1960 it was stated that while usis relations with a number of the most influential Social Democratic newspapers were excellent, Stockholms–Tidningen had “taken a very critical and often distorted view of u.s. policy as it relates to Laos.”27 The usis apparently knew the proper way to interpret u.s. policy in Laos without risking being biased or distorted. Even though Vinde was very friendly in person, and had been presented with the State Department’s White Paper The Situation in Laos, the report complained that “recent articles from his own pen have clearly demonstrated that he was not convinced either by the Department of State’s White Paper or the pao [Public Affairs Officer].”28 The American discomfort is to some ­degree understandable, especially when one considers the political slant the paper had on its foreign news pages. In a directive to the employees written in ­January 1959, Vinde instructed his foreign correspondents not to forget that ­although the news should be reported objectively, the newspaper now had a new ­political leaning that should make itself visible in the choice of news items (a surprisingly honest statement). He then issued orders on how to deal with ­certain people and subjects, i.e. the u.s. Secretary of State Dulles ought 27

nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1960–Sweden, Feb. 21, 1961, p. 3. This is confirmed in Eva Block’s study of Stockholms-Tidningen’s editorials on the subject: Block, E., Amerikabilden i svensk dagspress 1948–1968, p. 85. 28 Ibid.

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to be treated with a dose of “healthy skepticism,” the French de Gaulle regime should also not be treated “excessively respectfully” and so on.29 As chairman of A-Pressen, which was the consortium managing all of the labour movement’s newspapers, Geijer was aware of this directive, and it can be found in his personal archive in Stockholm.30 Geijer had thus agreed to it, at least tacitly. The usis had in fact begun its efforts to influence Vinde almost from the outset. The earliest contact between the Americans and Vinde to be found in the archives is a note in Vinde’s diary from August 14, 1959, when the American Press Attaché visited the editorial office.31 It is not known what the topic of discussion was, however, but a fair guess is that it involved the critique against the u.s. on the editorial page and in its foreign news reporting. The fact that Stockholms-Tidningen was taking a position that was not conducive to u.s. propaganda aims in Sweden put a certain twist on the policy of neutrality. As long as Swedish media remained positive towards u.s. policies the issue of whether or not this was problematic for the credibility of the policy of neutrality never came up. The u.s. generally viewed Sweden as a ‘neutral on our side’, as Simon Moores has shown.32 Naturally, it did not present a problem to the Americans if Swedish media was slanted towards the West in general, and in favor of the u.s. in particular. However, whenever a news source was not positive towards American policy it became a problem for American policy-makers and propagandists, and problems need fixing. Was there any real reason for the Americans to be concerned about ­Stockholms-Tidningen at this point? Well, perhaps there was. As the Swedish historian Andreas Linderoth has shown, the propaganda organization of the communist German Democratic Republic (gdr) considered Stockholms-­ Tidningen one of the most important propaganda targets among Swedish newspapers. The person that was seen as one of the most influential employees at the newspaper was the foreign affairs editor who was assumed to have a lot of pull, not only in the editorial office of Stockholms-Tidningen, but also in the Social Democratic party. For gdr propaganda it was therefore a great 29

30 31 32

ra; Stockholmstidningens Arkiv; Chefredaktörens korrespondens 1958–1964 A–Ö (under “U” for “utlandskorrespondent”); Signum: E 3; Vol. 12, Instructions for Foreign Correspondents, pp. 1–2. “sund skepsis” “alltför högaktingsfullt” This document is undated but the copy in Arne Geijers personarkiv shows that it was written on January 23, 1959. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och ­Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 24; Vinde to Geijer, January 23, 1959. ra; vva; hst; signum: 4b; Vol. 2; Vinde’s diary, August 14, 1959. Moores, S., “Neutral on Our Side”:….

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s­ uccess when this very foreign affairs editor visited the gdr in 1959. According to Linderoth, the gdr foreign ministry also stated that his visit gave the desired result because Stockholms-Tidningen was said to have published relatively positive articles about the gdr after this visit. Aftonbladet was another newspaper that was approached by the gdr representatives.33 Did the Americans know about this visit, and did they know that some relatively positive articles about the gdr in Stockholms-Tidningen might have been inspired by it? This is ­unknown. What is certain is that the Americans did not mention this in any of their criticisms of Stockholms-Tidningen. The point here was that such behaviour was not considered to be in line with Sweden’s policy of neutrality, i.e. a slant towards the West was fine, but a similar slant towards the East presented a huge issue. The Americans do not seem to have reflected upon the fact that the near total pro-Western, and pro-American, views in the Swedish media landscape was problematic for the credibility of the policy of neutrality. The reason, it seems, was that u.s. ­officials viewed pro-American statements and views in the Swedish press as a sign of credibility; however, not a sign of credibility in terms of the neutrality policy, but in terms of overall political reliability. It was only when opinions that expressed certain sympathy with the East, or with views that could be construed as leaning to the East, or when criticism of American policies was published that the credibility of the neutrality policy became an issue for the Americans. Such views were simply not regarded as ‘neutral’. Instead they signified defiance and opposition. This explains both why the Americans were so concerned about Stockholms-Tidningen, and divergent opinions in general, and why it also bothered the Swedish government so much. Despite the American efforts Vinde refused to budge, and this was taking its toll on the Americans’ nerves. In October 1962, a little more than six months after Malmström’s letter to Geijer, Stockholms-Tidningen published an article critical of the u.s. handling of Cuba that had some interesting consequences. Cuba was a very touchy subject for the u.s. government and any criticism was sure to elicit a response. Aftonbladet had also written critical articles on the 33

Linderoth, Andreas, Kampen för erkännande. ddr:s utrikespolitik gentemot Sverige 1949– 1972 [The Fight for Recognition: The gdr’s Foreign Policy Towards Sweden, 1949–1972] (Ph.D. Diss., University of Lund, 2002), pp. 79–80, 133. Some of this has been referenced in: Scholz, Michael F., “Active measures and disinformation as part of East Germany’s propaganda war, 1953–1972” in Thomas Wegener Friis, Kristie Macrakis, and Helmut Müller-Enbergs (eds.), East German Intelligence: Myth, reality and Controversy (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 121–122. Scholz’s article does, however, include some errors and unintelligible passages when referencing Linderoth.

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same topic and u.s. Ambassador Graham Parsons had then summoned editor-in-chief Kurt Samuelsson to a private lunch during which he proceeded to explain to Samuelsson where the newspaper had gone wrong. Since then the usis had detected an improved attitude on the part of Aftonbladet towards the u.s. policy on Cuba. An Embassy officer had been asked by an lo representative if the Americans had noticed the change for the better, the implication being that “the lo leadership had talked to Mr. Samuelsson.” The lo leadership now did the same to Vinde after Ambassador Parsons had delivered ap ­ rotest to Geijer.34 Geijer had just come home from a month-long pr tour of the u.s. together with saf’s Bertil Kugelberg and Ernst Michanek among others, so he was probably well attuned to the American viewpoint.35 Parsons had a very good relationship also with the Swedish military. In fact, Parsons rented a house from the Swedish Supreme Commander Torsten Rapp in Forsvik on Ingarö in the Stockholm archipelago, where he spent almost every weekend. This allowed the Ambassador and the Supreme Commander to develop a very close and personal friendship.36 Parsons’ approach about Stockholms-Tidningen’s article was made on October 23 in a letter to Geijer; a letter that has been preserved in the personal archive of Arne Geijer at the Labour Movement Archives in Stockholm. The letter concerned an editorial about the u.s. conflict with Cuba, which basically stated sympathy for Cuba by saying that Castro could not be expected to sit idly by while the u.s. Navy enforced a blockade on the island. The editorial stated that it was too much to ask of Castro that he should simply watch his people starve to death. In the letter, Parsons wrote that the u.s. government naturally “respect[ed] the right of an editorial writer to his own opinion […] It seems regrettable, however, that an editorial in the Stockholms-Tidningen, a newspaper which has so many readers in the lo, should be based on a factual misunderstanding of past events.” Parsons then launched into his own misrepresentation of what the u.s. government was doing or not doing, laying the blame for the blockade entirely at Castro’s door and saying that since Cuba was

34

35 36

nara ii; rg 59; Central Decimal File, 1960–63; From: 758.00(W)/6-862 To: 758.5/5-660; Box 1842; Airgram from Parsons to Department of State, November 10, 1962, pp. 1–2. Geijer was also the President of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (icftu) 1957–1965. Stockholms-Tidningen’s critical attitude on this issue is confirmed by Eva Block: Block, E., Amerikabilden i svensk dagspress 1948–1968, p. 93. Geijer arrived in Sweden on October 15. For this, see: “Geijers och Kugelbergs statistik förvånade usa,” in Stockholms-Tidningen, October 16, 1962, p. 12. Aftonbladet, “Här bodde usa:s ambassador i öb:s stuga,” April 27, 1967, p. 10.

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a naturally rich country the present situation was only due to Castro’s mismanagement. He then finished his letter of accusation by saying: […] it seems to me unfortunate that the Swedish public, and particularly lo readers of Stockholms-Tidningen, should be led to believe that the United States has been seeking to starve the Cuban people to death. I am sure that you know from your own reading of President Kennedy’s statements and many other sources that such an imputation is misleading and, in effect, mischievous, although it is certainly within the rights of a free press to print what it wants as we do in the United States. [Italics added.]37 By making it appear as if Stockholms-Tidningen was pro-communist, Parsons tried to get Geijer to discipline his newspaper and his editor-in-chief for taking the liberty of expressing views that were offensive to the Americans. The content of Parsons’ letter was also a striking example of the Manichean worldview so frequently associated with anti-Communism. The italicized sentence says all too clearly what freedom of the press meant to Parsons. His remarks that an editor was of course free to write whatever he wanted were only a confirmation of the limitations put on the freedom of expression. Parsons did not have to ask Geijer to ‘correct’ Vinde directly (that would have been too crude for a seasoned diplomat). This request was instead hidden between the lines in his letter. If Geijer valued the Swedish labour movement’s attitude towards the u.s. (and vice versa), which of course he did, he had better do something about it. The most serious part of this particular story is not that Parsons tried to affect the newspaper’s freedom of speech (that was after all only to be expected)—the most damaging part of it was that it worked. Geijer reproached Vinde for the article in question, and as a direct consequence of Geijer talking to him about his attitude towards u.s. policy Vinde told the usis pao a few days later that he apologized for the editorial about Cuba. The article, he said, had not been written by him but by his foreign affairs editor.38 It is certainly ­interesting that Vinde gave his foreign affairs editor the blame, considering that it was this man that had visited the gdr in 1959 with allegedly positive results. It is also worth noting that Vinde himself had visited the gdr sometime during 1962, and that another journalist from the newspaper also visited the gdr that 37 38

arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 14; Internationell korrespondens 1962; Parsons to Geijer, October 23, 1962, pp. 1–2. nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report–Sweden, March 22, 1963, p. 4.

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same year. Unfortunately, Linderoth does not provide any dates for these travels so it is not known if they occurred before the Cuba Crisis of after.39 But the fact that Vinde actually apologized for an article that simply questioned the legitimacy of Kennedy’s actions against Cuba is quite extraordinary. These are some confirmed examples of u.s. complaints about articles in the Swedish labour press that led to a change in the newspapers’ reporting on a certain issue. The context of the criticism of the article is special, however, in that the Cuban missile crisis was about to reach its high water mark. President Kennedy had revealed the existence of the missiles to the world public in a dramatic speech on tv and on the VoA, on Monday October 22, the day before Parsons’ letter to Geijer. The article was a direct comment on Kennedy’s speech in which he had said that the u.s. Navy would impose a naval blockade on Cuba to “quarantine” the island and conduct forceful searches of ships bound for Cuba on international waters.40 Pictures of the speech were transmitted to Europe via the communications satellite Telstar by the usia the next day.41 Sweden was one of the countries in which his speech could be seen that evening.42 Kennedy’s decision was presented formally to the Swedish government two days later on October 24, and another two days later the Swedish government delivered an answer saying that such actions contradicted the internationally recognized custom of freedom of the seas. Geijer was informed of this exchange of notes in early November in a secret memorandum from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.43 On October 24, the day after Parsons letter to Geijer, the front page of ­Stockholms-Tidningen featured an article about the Cuban Crisis and the Cold War signed by Vinde. This article was not very strident at all but in fact rather sympathetic to the American action. Vinde wrote that if it was true that the Soviets were placing missiles on Cuba, then the Soviet Union had gone ­beyond what could be considered allowed in this situation, and it would then cast serious doubt on Moscow’s policy of ‘peaceful coexistence’.44 The same view was expressed in an anonymous editorial on page two, in which it was said 39 40 41

42 43 44

Linderoth, A., Kampen för erkännande…, pp. 132–133. For the content of Kennedy’s message, c.f. Dobson, Alan P. and Marsh, Steve, us Foreign Policy Since 1945, (London: Routledge, 2001), p. 72. Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, p. 215. Kennedy’s speech was broadcasted at 7 p.m. on October 22 in the United States, which is 1 a.m. in Sweden the next day, i.e. on October 23. “Kennedys tal i svensk tv via Telstar i kväll,” in Aftonbladet, October 23, 1962, p. 1. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 16; Korrespondens 1958–1964, privat; “Meddelande angående vissa utrikesärenden, Nr. 9/1962 (avser oktober),” 1962, p. 1. Vinde, Victor, “Det kalla kriget,” in Stockholms-Tidningen, October 24, 1962, p. 1.

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that if the American accusations were true then the reaction of the American public was understandable. It even stated that the American action was tempered [måttfull] in that Cuba could still import foodstuffs and even weapons from Eastern Europe. The Americans thus kept a door open, the editorial commented.45 This gives the impression of being articles that were specifically written in order to mend the damage done by the article that had so upset the Americans. The following day Vinde again wrote about the crisis on the front page. In this article he again acknowledged the right of the u.s. government to prevent hostile bases being erected close to its borders, even though he simultaneously asked the rhetorical question whether the Soviets could not use the same ­argument with regard to the American bases around its periphery.46 Since it is not clear exactly when Geijer rebuked Vinde for the article it is not possible to know for sure what happened, but the following plausible scenario can be posed. Geijer may well have considered the matter to be so urgent and serious that he spoke to Vinde immediately after he had received the message from Parsons. He could then very well have ordered Vinde to address the issue in a less critical manner. One could thus assume that the articles that Vinde published during the following days, which were much more sympathetic to the American handling of the situation, were part of an attonement process of sorts. However, this did not mean that Vinde was safe. Cuba had been kind of a constant source of trouble for the usia ever since it had been left totally out of the loop concerning Kennedy’s and the cia’s failed invasion of Cuba in 1961 (an endeavor that Kennedy himself had inherited from the Eisenhower administration), one of the largest policy decisions of the decade, and then had to spend the next three years recovering, and controlling the resulting fallout, from the monumental disaster at the Bay of Pigs. Having been unable to convince the House of Representatives to increase the usia’s budget, Murrow angrily took steps to ensure that the usia could not be used as cover for the cia, a practice that could seriously damage the credibility of both the usia and the VoA—all cooperation between the two agencies would now have to be cleared by him personally.47 The usia was naturally heavily involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis, too, but this time as a fully briefed tool of the government. It distributed speeches and statements overseas to ­ensure that the American version of what took place would reach even the most d­ istant corners of the world. This approach fitted very well with 45 46 47

“Reaktionen på Kubablockaden,” in Stockholms-Tidningen, October 24, 1962, p. 2. Vinde, V., “Krisen,” in Stockholms-Tidningen, October 25, 1962, p. 1. Cull, N., J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 196–197.

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Murrow’s ­attitude that the mission of the usia was not simply to inform, but to persuade. Important pieces of ammunition for the usia were the U-2 spy plane photographs of the Soviet missile installations on Cuba—some 50,000 prints being distributed around the world. While the cia and the Pentagon had ­opposed the release, on the grounds that it revealed too much of u.s. intelligence gathering capabilities, the usia managed to get its way and the photographs were used with great effect in a stunning piece of political propaganda theater by Adlai Stevenson in the u.n. Security Council meeting. These pictures were also important instruments in convincing world opinion that President Kennedy was doing the right thing when confronting Khrushchev.48 Less than two weeks later, a very interesting conversation took place at the u.s. Embassy. On November 10 the former Director of Riksbanken [the Swedish National Bank], Ivar Rooth (who was also the former Head of the International Monetary Fund), had lunch with Parsons. What Rooth said during the luncheon deserves to be quoted in full from Parsons’ report to Washington: Mr. Rooth told me in great confidence that the editor of Stockholms–­ Tidningen, Mr. Victor Vinde, will be eased out of his position if the Social Democratic and lo leadership follows through on present plans. Both the party and the union leadership are dissatisfied with his handling of the paper, and he has already been approached with the offer of the ­Ambassadorship to Algeria. Although Mr. Vinde has lived in France for many years and prides himself as an expert on North Africa, he has thus far temporized and has declined to answer yes or no. Mr. Rooth said that in Sweden “kicking someone upstairs” is a delicate operation not to be rushed too much, but he hopes that he will in fact leave as he quite agrees that Stockholms–Tidningen has not been well handled and has all too ­often distorted the American viewpoint.49 A rumor that Vinde was to be offered the post of Ambassador in Algeria had been circulating for just over a week. The news was related by Malmström in a letter to Geijer on November 3, where he said that “as you surely already know” Vinde would be offered the position very soon, and Malmström would get back to Geijer with suggestions for what should be done in the editorial top 48

49

Dizard, Jr., W.P., Inventing Public Diplomacy:…, pp. 87–89; Cull, N., J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 196–199, 214–216; Green, F., American Propaganda Abroad:…, p. 36. Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, pp. 141, 146–150, 200–201. nara ii; rg 59; Central Decimal File, 1960–63; From: 758.00(W)/6-862 To: 758.5/5-660; Box 1842; Airgram from Parsons to Department of State, November 10, 1962, p. 1.

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in Stockholms-Tidningen after this.50 Vinde was thus approached sometime ­between November 3 and 10, and Rooth fed the news more or less immediately to the Americans. The elite in Sweden was therefore acutely aware of the American interest in any developments on the issue. One could discuss how Rooth’s statement that the leadership of lo and the Social Democratic Party was ­unhappy with how Vinde had “handled” the newspaper ought to be interpreted, because the implication could have been either economic or political. The latter seems more likely, and this view seems to be confirmed by Rooth’s later statement that Vinde had all too often distorted the American viewpoint. Furthermore, there seems to be little reason for both the Party and lo to be so unhappy with Vinde if all it was about was economics. Rooth also mentioned that Samuelsson was being considered as Vinde’s successor (as mentioned by Malmström in his letter to Geijer in March the same year), although Rooth thought that this was a bad choice since he did not think that Samuelsson had the intellect for the task. Parsons, however, while agreeing that Vinde was sharper than Samuelsson, argued that the latter might not be a bad choice after all because he had noticed that he was more pliable than Vinde. He then related the story about him talking sense into Samuelsson r­ egarding Cuba.51 Is it just a coincidence that Vinde was offered the Ambassadorship in Algeria only a few days after the complaint from Parsons to Geijer had resulted in the latter reprimanding Vinde? Was the decision to ease Vinde out of his position due to the American complaints? One cannot with confidence rule out this possibility. Incidentally, Samuelsson, while a journalist at Dagens Nyheter, had been in the running for the position as editor-in-chief of Stockholms-Tidningen at the same time as Vinde in 1958, but had been beaten on the finishing line by the latter.52 Samuelsson obviously expected to get the position because it had been offered to him by Geijer, apparently after Geijer had also offered it to Vinde. The reason for Geijer’s odd way of going about things is not clear, but according to Geijer himself (as he stated it to Samuelsson) he had not expected Vinde to say yes to the offer. Now Geijer was presented with a fait accompli and 50 51 52

arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Handlingar rörande Stockholms-Tidningen och Aftonbladet 1959–1961; Vol. 24; Malmström to Geijer, November 3, 1962, p. 2. nara ii; rg 59; Central Decimal File, 1960–63; From: 758.00(W)/6-862 To: 758.5/5-660; Box 1842; Airgram from Parsons to Department of State, November 10, 1962, p. 1. snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Samuelsson to Tingsten, October 21 and November 3, 1958. Apparently it had already been reported by November 3 in Svenska Dagbladet that Vinde would get the position so why Malmström did not say so in his letter to Geijer the same day is strange.

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had to follow through on his original offer to Vinde.53 According to Samuelsson’s colleague Sven Öste, Samuelsson was psychologically pushed down in his shoes by this event, because he was also forced to resign from Dagens Nyheter on account of a feeling there that he had double loyalties due to alleged connections with lo. He had been offered the position as political editor under Vinde but had declined since Stockholms-Tidningen would not be the independent and free newspaper that he had hoped for now that Vinde would lead it. Samuelsson had apparently thought, naively according to Öste, that he would have been able to conduct a campaign for atomic weapons and criticize the government’s policy of neutrality if he had been put in charge.54 The contrast to Vinde, who was a convinced Social Democrat, could not have been sharper. Sending the Ambassador out to do damage control was not the only way the Americans countered bad press, however. Other tactics were also used. According to the usis, the Embassy had on several occasions met such negative attitudes on the part of political party youth and student groups by meeting “these groups in person, on Embassy premises or in homes, and discuss with them the basic issues involved.”55 The Americans were naturally d­ oing everything they could to offset any bad press, and this continued in the 1970s and is in itself nothing out of the ordinary. According to the former u.s. A ­ mbassador to Sweden Davis S. Smith, “the Embassy gave great consideration whenever there was an article or editorial that was anti-American, and we took what steps we could to counter it.”56 Geijer and saf chairman Kugelberg were not the only people of influence that Parsons met with of course. Another such person was the People’s Party mp, and later party leader, Per A ­ hlmark. In late January 1966, Ahlmark had lunch with Parsons at the ­American ­Embassy t­ ogether with fellow Liberal mp Gunnar Helén. The main topic of discussion was the Vietnam War and what the Embassy could do about the current anti-American sentiments in Sweden. Helén then suggested that it could perhaps be ­arranged to send a number of opinion-makers to the u.s. in order to ­increase the understanding for u.s. foreign policy in Sweden, and he suggested to P ­ arsons that Ahlmark would be a good candidate for such a ‘political s­tipend’. Ahlmark 53 54

55 56

Fahlström, Jan Magnus, “När Kurt Samuelsson ‘svek’ Herbert Tingsten” [When Kurt Samuelsson ‘Betrayed’ Herbert Tingsten] in Presshistorisk Årsbok 1987, p. 90. snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Öste to Tingsten, undated, pp. 1–2. The reasons for, and the process leading up to, Samuelsson being fired from Dagens Nyheter is addressed in: Fahlström, J.M., “När Kurt Samuelsson…,” pp. 91–94. nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report–Sweden, March 22, 1963, p. 4. Oral history interview with Davis S. Smith on the Library of Congress website: http:// memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:1:./temp/~ammem_TBBd::, accessed 2010-01-28. Smith was Ambassador between April 1976 and April 1977.

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wrote to tell the former editor-in-chief of Dagens Nyheter, and fellow government critic, Herbert Tingsten, about the meeting the next day. Ahlmark stated that while he was very pleased with Helén’s suggestion, he was not sure about the Embassy’s ability, or will, to arrange such a trip.57 Not long after this meeting, however, Ahlmark received an invitation from none other than Henry Kissinger to take part in an international seminar (together with 39 other delegates from around the world) at Harvard University between July 5 and August 24—all expenses paid. Ahlmark, who had never been to the u.s., immediately accepted the invitation.58 Parsons had an apparently close and good relationship with both Geijer and Kugelberg. Geijer and Parsons met on at least two occasions in 1962—they had lunch on March 8, and Geijer, Parsons, and Kugelberg participated in a European Industrial Relations Seminar Group meeting in mid-March.59 Parsons reported to Washington about a conversation with the two influential leaders in mid-October 1963.60 Geijer also met with Parsons together with Olof Palme in April 1964, at which time Parsons expressed dissatisfaction with Vinde’s handling of some information he had got from Parsons, and Geijer was apparently “disturbed” to hear about this and once again stated that “he had had many troubles” with Vinde.61 The Ambassador met Kugelberg on at least one other occasion, namely in August 1965.62 Parsons and Geijer met 57 58

59 60

61 62

snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Ahlmark to Tingsten, January 26, 1966. snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Ahlmark to Tingsten, March 13, 1966, p. 1. Ahlmark went back to the u.s. in the end of 1968 and took part in a conference in Wisconsin (see: snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Ahlmark to Tingsten, December 21, 1968). Ahlmark was one of the relatively few Swedish opinion-makers that did not find the u.s. war in Vietnam despicable, and he remained a supporter of the war even after the Song My massacre in 1969. He wrote to Tingsten that “this village’s name will be carved into the memory of a young generation as Babij Jar or Lidice” (interestingly using the same example of Second World War atrocities as Palme would in 1972 when criticizing the Christmas bombing of Hanoi). It did not help to point out the differences, he said. Vietnam had so fundamentally transformed the image of the u.s. that it would take many years to nuance it (snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Ahlmark to Tingsten, November 22, 1969). arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 14; Utländsk korrespondens 1962; Parsons to Geijer, March 9, 1962, Parsons to Geijer, March 20, 1962. nara ii; rg 59; Central Foreign Policy Files (henceforth: cfpf), 1963; From: pol 30 Defectors & Expellees swe To: pol 2–1 Joint WEEKAS SWITZ; Box No. 4053; Parsons to State Department, October 15, 1963. nara ii; rg 59; cfpf, 1964–1966; Political & Defense (henceforth: P&D); Box No. 2676; Memorandum of conversation with Geijer and Palme by Parsons, April 28, 1964, p. 5. nara ii; rg 59; cfpf, 1964–1966; P&D; Box No. 2676; Memorandum of conversation with Kugelberg by Parsons, August 17, 1965.

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again in January 1966, when an American Congressional delegation visited Stockholm.63 It is now necessary to digress slightly in order to explain why the contacts between Geijer, Kugelberg, and the Americans are so significant.

Corporatism, the icftu, Anti-Communism, and the cia

The reasons why these meetings are important are multiple and many-layered. Firstly, while Geijer was the chairman of A-Pressen, which owned the labour newspapers including Aftonbladet and Stockholms-Tidningen, Kugelberg was the chairman of Libertas, formed in 1942, which was the corresponding organization (although technically a foundation and not a commercial enterprise) on the employer side that owned and financially supported many Liberal newspapers with large sums of money.64 Geijer and Kugelberg were perhaps the two most powerful media personalities in Sweden at this time (even counting the giant owner in the Swedish publication sphere: the Bonnier family), and in the corporatist Swedish postwar society there were probably no two more important people to have good relations with if you wished to influence the Swedish press. That these two men met with the u.s. Ambassador and discussed the Swedish press is thus quite significant. According to Parsons himself there was “clearly no important area in Swedish life in which these two men are not involved.” Kugelberg was also the President of Centralförbundet Folk & Försvar [Central Association People & Defense] (an association consisting of about 50 union and business organizations that met at the ski resort of Sälen in the north of Sweden every year to discuss and inform on defense issues) and Geijer was Vice President of the same organization. Moreover, there is evidence that Geijer did get rid of at least one other person because he did not approve of them, namely the head of lo’s publishing house Tidens Förlag, Arne Björnberg, whom he had fired due to his “inability to cooperate.”65 Both Geijer and Kugelberg had ‘close and personal’ contact with the ­Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, Nils Swedlund, who, 63 64

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arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 15; Korrespondens med utländska ambassader i Sverige; Parsons to Geijer, January 17, 1966. For more on the establishment of Libertas and the early work of the organization, including its support for the small-town liberal newspapers, see: Stenlås, Niklas, Den inre kretsen. Den ekonomiska elitens inflytande över svensk partipolitik och opinionsbildning 1940–1949 [The Inner Circle: The Influence of the Economic Elite on Political Parties and OpinionMolding in Sweden, 1940–1949] (Lund: Arkiv Förlag, 1998), pp. 109–122. rg 59; cfpf, 1964–1966; P&D; Box No. 2676; Memorandum of Conversation with Geijer by Parsons, Nov. 9, 1965, p. 3.

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evidently, ­Parsons knew intimately.66 On top of all of this Geijer and Kugelberg also headed the discussions between the trade unions and the employers that regulated salary increases and strikes in Swedish business life. They were the central figures of the so-called ‘Spirit of Saltsjöbaden’, which u ­ nderlay the ‘Swedish Model’ economy, the tradition of calm and peaceful relations ­between the unions and the employers that had dominated the Swedish ­economy since the historic agreement signed in Saltsjöbaden near Stockholm in 1938. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of these two men in Swedish postwar economic and political history.67 It would be a serious mistake to assume that lo or the Social Democratic Party was soft on Communism. In 1965, a collaborative organization between Swedish military intelligence and the Social Democratic Party (i.e. the government) was established. The organization was called ib, and its main task was domestic surveillance and registration of Swedish communists and so-called ‘fellow travellers’. The Social Democratic Party also organized about 20,000 working place officials whose only task was to keep tabs on communists. Over the years ib registered more than 100,000 Swedes, and many of these had been surveilled for a long period of time, had had their mail opened, and their phones wire-tapped. Many suspected of communist affiliations lost their jobs, or were denied work in certain companies deemed sensitive (the connection to national security and the security policy was here very clear). The organizations and its activities were illegal, however, since being a communist was not a crime in Sweden. ib was of course completely unknown to the Swedish public until two Swedish journalists, Jan Guillou and Peter Bratt, revealed its existence in articles in the news magazine Folket i Bild/Kulturfront in 1973. Both were sentenced to jail for espionage.68 66 67 68

Krigsarkivet, Stockholm (henceforth: KrA); Nils Swedlunds arkiv, Vol. 2c; “Personlig avlämnings-PM,” 7 June, 1961, p. 7. Lundin, P. and Stenlås, N., “Technology, State Initiative…,” pp. 6–9. The ‘ib Affair’, as it became known, and the many other forms of registration and surveillance of Swedish citizens was investigated thoroughly by the so-called Intelligence Service Commission, and its reports were published in 2002, see: Molin, Karl, sou 2002:93 Övervakningen av “SKP-komplexet”: Forskarrapport till Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen [The Surveillance of the ‘SKP-Complex’: Research Report to the Commission on Intelligence] (Stockholm: Fritzes, 2002); Lampers, Lars Olof, sou 2002:92 Det grå brödraskapet: en berättelse om ib. Forskarrapport till Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen [The Grey Brotherhood: A Tale About ib. Research Report to the Commission on Intelligence] (Stockholm: Fritzes, 2002); Eliasson, Ulf, sou 2002:89 Politisk övervakning och personalkontroll 1969–2002: förutsättningarna för säkerhetspolisens politiska registreringar och medverkan i personalkontrollen: forskarrapport till Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen [Political Surveillance and

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Secondly, Geijer was a very big fan of the u.s., and he had many close contacts with u.s. labour. The Swedish labour movement in general had many, long, and good contacts with their counterparts in the u.s. Among other things, Geijer was very close to the Reuther brothers who were in the top leadership of the afl-cio (Walter Reuther was the chairman of United Automobile Workers (uaw), and Victor Reuther was chief of the cio’s Paris office from 1951), the American counterpart to Swedish lo. In fact, they were such very good friends that Geijer’s daughter stayed for a year with the Reuthers when she was studying in the u.s. Several of the top lo and Social Democratic Party men and women shared this affinity for things American. Geijer’s secretary, Birger Viklund, also had many intimate contacts in the u.s. Viklund was also lo’s handler of issues relating to the icftu, and lo’s International Secretary, Torbjörn Carlsson, had been working for the Marshall Plan agency, the Economic Cooperation Administration (eca), in Sweden. The contacts between lo and the Americans were particularly strong between 1955 and 1965. The protest movement during the Vietnam War forced the lo leadership to circumscribe their overt contacts with the Americans, but behind the scenes relations remained strong and friendly. lo even had a three-man organization tied to the u.s. Embassy, whose sole purpose was to develop the relations between the Americans and the Swedish unions and spread ­pro-American propaganda within the Labour movement. These men were a part of a coterie that went under the colloquial term ‘Grängesbergsligan’ [The Grängesberg Bunch].69

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­Personnel Control, 1969–2002: The Preconditions for the Security Police’s Political Registrations and Participation in the Personnel Control. Research Report to the Commission on Intelligence] (Stockholm: Fritzes, 2002); Eliasson, U., sou 2002:88 Politisk övervakning och personalkontroll 1945–1969. Säkerhetspolisens medverkan i den politiska personalkontrollen. Forskarrapprt till Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen [The Political Surveillance and Personnel Control, 1945–1969: The Secret Police’s Participation in the Political Personnel Control. Research Report to the Commission on Intelligence] (Stockholm: Fritzes. 2002); Hjort, Magnus, sou 2002:90 Den farliga fredsrörelsen. Säkerhetspolisens övervakning av fredsorganisationer, värnpliktsvägrare och FNL-grupper 1945–1990. Forskarrapport till Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen [The Dangerous Peace Movement: The Secret Police’s Surveillance of Peace Organizations, and fnl Groups, 1945–1990. Research Report to the Commission on Intelligence] (Stockholm: Fritzes, 2002); Hjort, M., Hotet från vänster. Säkerhetstjänsternas övervakning av kommunister, anarkister m.m. 1965–2002. Forskarrapport till Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen [The Threat from the Left: The Security Services’ Surveillance of Communists, Anarchists et al., 1965–2002. Research Report to the Commission on Intelligence] (Stockholm: Fritzes, 2002). Interview with Lars Starkerud, January 26, 2010.

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One of them was probably Erik Södersten, the Labour Specialist at the u.s. Embassy in the 1960s. The Reuther brothers and the cigar-touting chairman of the afl-cio, George Meany, were also frequent visitors to Ambassador Gunnar Jarring at the Swedish Embassy in Washington in the early 1960s.70 ­Prime Minister Erlander was also close to Walter Reuther and the leader of the Democratic Party, Hubert Humphrey, who for him represented ‘radical America’.71 The afl-cio was one of the many non-governmental organizations that were used by the u.s. government to realize its foreign policy objectives during the Cold War—a cooperation that served both parties’ interests at the same time.72 Thirdly, besides being the chairman of both lo and A-Pressen, Geijer was also chairman of the icftu during these years, i.e. 1957–1965. The icftu (of which both lo and the white-collar union tco were members) had been formed in 1949 when the Western European trade unions and the American cio (before the merger with afl 1955) broke away from the Soviet-dominated World Federation of Trade Unions (wftu) and purged most of its communist leadership. The cia was instrumental in establishing the icftu, which was used to further u.s. foreign policy interests, including aspects of the Marshall Plan, and in the international struggle against Communism and the wftu. The cia worked through two very influential leaders within the afl, namely the former General Secretary of the American Communist Party, but now r­abid anti-communist and chief cia agent in labour matters, Jay Lovestone, and the omnipresent Irving Brown to break up the wftu. The Vice-President of icftu was George Meany, who was also the chairman of afl, an organization that was moreover secretly funded by the cia.73 The cio for its part received money from the Marshall Plan to build up the strength of the non-communist unions in countries such as Italy and France, funds that were later funneled 70 71

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Jarring, Gunnar, Rikets förhållande till främmande makt. Memoarer 1952–1964 [The Country’s Relations to Foreign Powers: Memoirs, 1952–1964] (Stockholm: Bonniers, 1983), p. 187. Blanck, Dag, “American Influences in Sweden? Reflections on a Trans-Atlantic Relationship” in Dag Blanck and Michael Nohan (eds.), On and Beyond the Mississippi: Essays Honoring Thomas Tredway (Rock Island, Il.: The Augustana Historical Society, 2004), p. 56. For a good overview of this relationship, see: Angster, Julia, “‘The Finest Labour Network in Europe’ American Labour and the Cold War” in Helen Laville and Hugh Wilford (eds.), The us Government, Citizen Groups and the Cold War: the State-Private Network (London Routledge, 2006), pp. 100–115. Carew, Anthony, “The Politics of Productivity and the Politics of Anti-Communism: American and European Labour in the Cold War” in Giles Scott-Smith and Hans Krabbendam (eds.), The Cultural Cold War in Western Europe 1945–60 (London: Frank Cass, 2003), pp. 83, 87; Kotek, Joël, “Youth Organizations as a Battlefield in the Cold War” in G. Scott-Smith and H. Krabbendam (eds.), The Cultural Cold War…, pp. 183–184.

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through the icftu for programs in Europe, and the icftu leadership went along with the project pretending that the money was simply a very generous gift from the cio. In order to disguise the origin of the funds the icftu set up an Educational Foundation that financed its education and training activities.74 Geijer’s candidacy had been backed and actively pushed by the Reuther brothers, and Meany, although he was in opposition to the Reuthers within the afl-cio itself, accepted it and Geijer was chosen as chairman by a unanimous congress. Walter Reuther, Meany, and the Englishman Vincent Tewson were elected vice chairmen.75 Irving Brown, on the other hand, was a veteran of the conflicts within the uaw who acted as Lovestone’s lieutenant and zigzagged across Europe to persuade union leaders to withdraw from the wftu.76 He also forwarded cia funds to organizations and individuals for battling communist unions and communist ideology wherever it was deemed necessary. Lovestone built and maintained a truly global network of informants and agents consisting of mainly ex-communists like himself for his and the cia’s war on Communism. Lovestone’s Free Trade Union Committee (ftuc) was one of the two main legs upon which the cia built its campaign using the non-communist left, the other one being the Congress for Cultural Freedom (ccf). Brown became the afl’s European representative in the late 1940s, a perfect cover for his work as a cia agent.77 The connections between the ftuc, the anti-Communist worldwide ­network of intellectuals known as the ccf, and the icftu were very close. Brown was central to the formation of the ccf in 1950 and provided, through the ftuc, the $100,000 for the founding conference in Berlin that summer, and paid another $170,000 of his cia funds to get the ccf on its feet and ­going. Brown also monitored the Berlin conference for his cia masters, and when the International Secretariat of the ccf met in Brussels in November 1950, he set it up in the icftu’s conference hall. Brown remained the main source of ­funding for the ccf until the fall of 1951, at which time Michael Josselson took over his role.78 Brown was furthermore part of the ccf’s Executive 74 Carew, A., “The Politics of Productivity…” 75 Kassman, C., Arne Geijer och hans tid, 1957–1979, pp. 212–213. 76 The afl and cio fight against the wftu is well covered in: Kofas, Jon V., “u.s. Foreign Policy and the World Federation of Trade Unions, 1944–1948” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Winter 2000), pp. 21–60. 77 Wilford, Hugh, The cia, the British Left and the Cold War: Calling the Tune? (London: Frank Cass, 2003), pp. 38–39, 92–94, 161. 78 Scott-Smith, G., The Politics of Apolitical Culture: The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the cia and postwar American hegemony (London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 75, 116.

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­Committee.79 Walter Reuther, too, had connections to the ccf, because he was a part of the American delegation to the founding conference in Berlin in 1950.80 Brown’s position within the icftu, and the contact network this awarded him, of course made his work much easier. The icftu was also used as a vehicle for spreading propaganda by the u.s. government. In 1953, for example, the icftu contacted foreign newspapers encouraging them to publish summaries of President Eisenhower’s speech dubbed “A Chance for Peace,” propagating the u.s. government’s alleged commitment to disarmament and peace, in approving editorials.81 This should not lead us to believe that the relations between the cia and its beneficiaries were always good. The ex-communists like Lovestone viewed themselves as the only ones who knew how to fight the communist unions in Europe and even had outright disdain for the professional spies. The cia wanted Lovestone to ­account for the money he spent, a wish that Lovestone thought was an expression of insolent bookkeeping and snooping. Neither was the cia funding forthcoming on a regular basis, and Brown’s operations in Europe were apparently often stymied by a lack of money. Moreover, the afl-cio was riddled with conflict between Meany, Lovestone and Brown on one side, and the Reuther brothers on the other, infighting that dated back to a row within the uaw in the 1930s.82 As already mentioned, this rivalry continued inside the icftu and was very pronounced during Geijer’s time as chairman. The Reuthers were part of the left-wing minority inside the afl-cio, and were not as overtly anti-communist as Meany was. Meany, however, on several occasions used icftu conferences to preach the anti-communist gospel (his belligerent rantings sometimes ­bordered on the nutty, as when in 1964 he asserted that icftu was ‘infiltrated’ by homosexuals) in a truly McCarthyist manner. But one should not be led to believe that the Reuthers were soft on Communism just because they were in opposition to Meany and Lovestone. Walter Reuther had led the purge of communists within the cio—the difference between Reuther and Meany was methodological rather than ideological. Geijer, too, was no dove when it came to communists. He had plenty of experience of battling them in the Swedish union movement, and his position on this issue was made clear already when he was elected chairman of the icftu. At the congress in Tunis that year, 79 80 81 82

Coleman, P., The Liberal Conspiracy…, p. 34; Stonor Saunders, F., The Cultural Cold War:…, p. 75. arbark; Svenska kommittén för kulturens frihet arkiv; Vol. 1; List of delegates to the ­Berlin Conference. Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 66. Wilford, H., The cia, the British Left and…, pp. 95–96.

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he said unambiguously that the breakup of the wftu was made necessary because of the control the Soviets had over it, and that the icftu could not accept the communist ideology.83 Geijer was thus a Cold War warrior just like the Reuthers and George Meany, only he chose to wage his war with different tactics and guided by a different strategy. It is not known if Geijer was involved in the icftu’s CIA-backed anticommunist operations during his time as icftu chairman or if he even knew about them. Geijer was close to the Reuthers, not so much to the Lovestoneites, although it is known that the Reuthers personally handled secret cia subsidies in the early 1950s.84 However, Geijer must realistically have had some idea about what was going on as chairman of the organization. In 1957, Meany managed to get Irving Brown the right to sit in on, as well as the right to speak at, all icftu board and Committee meetings whenever the Americans from afl-cio were not present. This meant, writes Charles Kassman in his biography of Geijer, that the afl-cio gained influence without responsibility in the icftu.85 It is reasonable to say, therefore, that it was not only the aflcio that gained influence without responsibility in the icftu through Brown’s presence. Brown’s paymasters in the cia did so too. Considering that he was so close to the Reuther brothers, and considering their hostility to Meany, Lovestone, and Brown, one would not be going out on a limb in assuming that the Reuthers mentioned the secret operations undertaken by the afl/ftuc clique to Geijer at some point. Geijer’s contacts with the Americans in Stockholm were both official and informal. One example of the latter kind of relationship is a dinner invitation to Geijer from the Labour Attaché at the u.s. Embassy, Jorma L. Kaukonen, in March 1966. The informal dinner was to take place in Kaukonen’s home on March 14, and it was held in honor of the Head of the School for Workers University of Wisconsin, Professor Robert Ozanne, who was leaving Sweden after a ten-day visit. Other invited guests included other people from lo, tco, abf, and the Swedish Board of Education, as well as the u.s. Embassy. Geijer apparently accepted the invitation because he wrote “Yes” with a red pen on the letter from Kaukonen.86 83

84 85 86

Kassman, C., Arne Geijer och hans tid, 1957–1979, pp. 227–233, 240. As the 1960s progressed the Americans gradually lost interest in icftu and in 1969 afl-cio left the organization, only returning in 1980 when Meany had been replaced as chairman by Lane Kirkland. Walter Reuther’s uaw split from the afl-cio at about the same time (ibid., p. 249). Wilford, H., The cia, the British Left and…, p. 98. Kassman, C., Arne Geijer och hans tid 1957–1979, pp. 218–219. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 52; Utländska ambassader; Kaukonen to Geijer, March 7, 1966.

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Renewed Effort against lo’s Newspaper

This was thus part of the context in which the affair with Stockholms-Tidningen played out during the first half of the 1960s. Geijer must clearly have felt that he had many American eyes on him, and must also have felt some pressure to rectify the situation. Despite Malmström’s call for Vinde’s replacement back in March 1962, and the obvious embarrassment he was to the lo and Social Democratic leadership (i.e. the government in the latter case), Vinde stayed in his position until the end of 1964. Moreover, Samuelsson did not succeed Vinde as editor-in-chief but instead became the newspaper’s ceo by New Year 1963/64. It is not known why the lo leadership apparently changed their minds regarding Samuelsson’s position at Stockholms-Tidningen. The job as editor-in-chief instead went to journalist Gunnar Fredriksson in March 1965.87 Perhaps to the surprise of the Americans this did not mean that their trouble with Stockholms-Tidningen ended. Perhaps Rooth was proven right in his opinion of Samuelsson, or perhaps Geijer should really have been made editor-in-chief instead of Fredriksson, because Stockholms–Tidningen continued to be a nuisance to lo and the Americans even under Fredriksson. Vinde, too, continued to publish articles critical of the u.s. war in Vietnam (many of them in Stockholms-Tidningen) and even published a book called Vietnam—det smutsiga kriget [Vietnam: The Dirty War]. No less than ten entries between 1965 and 1966 resulting from Vinde’s pen are listed in the Vietnam War-related bibliography of historian Karin Melin’s book about the Vietnam conflict in Swedish opinion between 1954 and 1968.88 Linderoth also lets us know that the gdr propaganda apparatus had relatively good contacts with Stockholms-Tidningen right up until the closing of the newspaper in 1966.89 Vinde leaving his position was thus clearly only half a victory for the Americans, and Geijer’s problem in essence remained as acute as ever before. Hence, instead of settling down after Vinde left his job, the Americans stepped up their criticism of Stockholms-Tidningen in early 1965. And they now went over even Geijer’s head in order to get their point across. At a luncheon with the Secretary General of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Leif Belfrage, at the Operakällaren Restaurant in central Stockholm in February, Ambassador Parsons delivered some scathing words. Parsons, in yet another blatant d­ isplay of his disregard for the freedom of the press, questioned how the g­ overnment 87 88 89

ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1, Letter by Lennart Ljunglöf, undated. Melin, K., Vietnamkonflikten i svensk opinion…, pp. 14, 25, 36, 42–44, 47. Linderoth, A., Kampen för erkännande…, p. 132.

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could allow its press to express views that diverged so much from the government’s own position. “While I knew that this was a free press and that the Government disclaimed control of the Social Democratic press,” the Ambassador wrote in the memorandum from the meeting, “I could not forget that lo picked up a $3 or $4 million tab each year for Stockholms-Tidningen’s deficit and lo was made up of governmental supporters and headed by close colleagues of Social Democratic leaders.” He continued with a rant stating that he was disappointed that these newspapers almost reversed the facts “so that we, not the Viet Cong and their supporters, appeared to be the aggressor, so that we, not they, seemed to be the prime violators of the Geneva accords, and so that we were portrayed as interfering in a genuine war of liberation, rather than helping people resist enslavement […].” Belfrage’s rather diplomatic reply was that the United States “had a very difficult case to sell” and that “there were people here [in Sweden] who didn’t understand the facts […].” However, he emphatically, and apparently eloquently, denied that the government had any control over Stockholms-Tidningen or Aftonbladet whatsoever, and asked rhetorically whether Parsons had ever tried to get Kurt Samuelsson to write what he wanted him to write. “Even for a Swede, this was impossible,” Belfrage assured him. The irony here was of course that Parsons had in fact managed to get Samuelsson to change his attitude on at least one previous occasion. Parsons continued to press Belfrage and said that he had a difficult time understanding what the government would do when it came to election time again, when it had been letting the press take views that were so much farther to the left of the government’s stance on the Vietnam issue. Would it be in opposition to the line that these newspapers had been taking? Belfrage avoided the question almost entirely by simply saying that this was the way it was in Sweden and that people were not much influenced by the press.90 It is hard to know whether Belfrage was really serious about the last ­statement. Reasonably he could not be, since the whole purpose of having a Labour-owned press would be lost if the public did not care what the press wrote (the political leaning of the paper would then make no difference). ­Indeed, the whole idea of having a press at all would be gone. The remarkable thing is that Olof Starkenberg, the Foreign Editor of the Liberal evening newspaper Expressen, had said the same thing to the Counselor at the u.s. Embassy Alfred le S. Jenkins during a lunch the day before. Jenkins said that he, too, was bewildered by the Swedish government’s attitude toward these newspapers and their extreme left-wing views, and asked indignantly “could not the 90

nara ii; rg 59; cfpf, 1964–1966; P&D; Box No. 2676; Memorandum of conversation with Belfrage by Parsons, February 18, 1964, pp. 1–3.

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Government control them?” This showed that Parsons was not alone in having difficulty respecting the freedom of the press in Sweden. Starkenberg’s reply was that of course it could if it was prepared to pay the political price for doing so, but the reality was that the government did not dictate to the editors what to write. On the other hand, he continued, it is obvious that the government tolerated what these papers said “because government influence with lo is such that the papers could not exist if they refused to take dictation which the government chose to give.”91 While Starkenberg was more realistic and truthful regarding the government’s ability to control the press if it wanted to than Belfrage had been, he seemed to share the strange idea that the press did not have much effect on the Swedish public. Did he really have such a low opinion of himself and his journalist colleagues, or was this simply a way to avoid the issue? But what Starkenberg said regarding the pull that the government had with lo is interesting. This reasoning could easily be applied when discussing lo’s influence on Stockholms-Tidningen also—the paper could not exist if it refused to heed the dictation that lo and Geijer chose to give. Was this in fact what happened? In November 1965, Geijer and Parsons had another intimate conversation about the newspaper’s future. Geijer now told the Ambassador that the newspaper was continuing to lose money and that “it was not doing anyone much good.” He also said that he was thinking of shutting it down the following year, although he had not yet spoken to his board. Parsons complained about Fredriksson and especially mentioned the latter’s decision to publish Sivar Arnér’s article entitled “Why We Hate the usa” (according to the article registry Svenska Tidningsartiklar this article was followed by 12 more on the same theme, most of them in the same newspaper92) on the very day that Erlander arrived in Washington for his visit there. Geijer’s reply was that “Fredriksson was young and foolish and was quite a headache for him.” Fredriksson had, however, recanted this article and Parsons stated that he was of course pleased with this, even though he did not think that the editor had changed his views on the matter. The Ambassador then tried to get Geijer to tell him who (Geijer or the government) had pressed this retraction out of Fredriksson, but Geijer apparently refused to answer this directly. Geijer’s comment about Fredriksson being young and foolish did, however, lead Parsons to believe that it was Geijer who was behind it, although he could not be sure. The American ­considered

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nara ii; rg 59; cfpf, 1964–1966; P&D; Box No. 2676; Memorandum of conversation with Starkenberg by le S. Jenkins, February 17, 1964, pp. 1–2. Svenska Tidningsartiklar, Årg. 13/1965, p. 312. “Varför vi hatar usa.”

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Geijer’s remarks to be “extraordinarily frank”, and recommended that the ­information should therefore be treated “most confidentially.”93 It is likely that the reason for why the Americans were so upset about the way that Stockholms-Tidningen described u.s. policy was that in their eyes they were faced with a newspaper in the Swedish capital that was speaking to, if not for, the Social Democratic Party and its many members. That a newspaper owned by the ruling party took a position with regard to u.s. actions that seemed to be contradictory to the position taken by the Swedish government was a difficult thing to swallow for the Americans. The usis had been, and was still, working hard to disseminate an attitude that was positive towards the u.s. among the members of Sweden’s labour organizations. They had been fairly successful at it too. But here was an important labour newspaper actively opining against this message, in effect threatening to undo much of what the usis had been working so hard for. The fact that the labour leadership expressed their sympathy with the u.s. position, but still did not stop the newspaper from expressing these dissenting views seems to have been difficult for the American officials to grasp, and in their ears this did this not chime well with the idea of Sweden as a ‘neutral on their side’. The former Ambassador to Washington d.c., Erik Boheman, was one of the few that seems to have tried to justify the u.s. war effort, and he did it with a ­response in Stockholms-Tidningen on December 2 entitled “To the Defense of the usa.”94 The Vietnam War was in a sense impossible to sell to many on the left because they felt that what the u.s. was doing was simply and plainly wrong. It did not matter that Bringmark and Alsterdal were fiercely anti-Communist. This latter point was perhaps something whose significance Washington, but not necessarily the local usis officers, did not readily grasp. Even the Liberal newspaper Dagens Nyheter published articles critical of the u.s. policy in Vietnam, and one article by the reporter Sven Öste stated already in January 1965, i.e. before the u.s. committed troops to Vietnam and became bogged down in the fighting with the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong g­ uerillas, that 93

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rg 59; cfpf, 1964–1966; P&D; pol 19 S.W. Africa-UN to pol 1 Gen. Policy. Background. swe; Box No. 2676; Memorandum of Conversation with Geijer by Parsons, Nov. 9, 1965, pp. 1, 3. Geijer apparently also told Parsons that Labour in Sweden did not want Olof Palme to take over as leader of the Social Democratic Party. It would be bad for the Swedish system of reaching agreement and compromise between labour and management, and also government, if Palme took over, he said. Parsons noted that this was perhaps more the personal views of Geijer rather than the actual attitude of organized Labour, but added that the Chairman of the Employers Association (saf) Bertil Kugelberg had said almost the exact same thing some months earlier (Ibid., p. 4). Svenska Tidningsartiklar, Årg. 13/1965, p. 312. “Till usa:s försvar.”

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it was a war that the u.s. could not win.95 Probably as a direct consequence of the “Why We Hate America” article in Stockholms-Tidningen, Prime Minister ­Erlander had to publicly deny that there were any anti-American sentiments in Sweden at a press conference in Washington d.c. during his visit to the u.s. in early November, a sure sign that the attitude of the public was considered a problem.96 Fredriksson continued to cause trouble, it seems, for later in November he wrote an editorial about the policies employed by the u.s. in the Cold War confrontation with the Soviet Union, in which he cited George Kennan’s insistence that the u.s.s.r. did not have aggressive intentions towards the West in the early postwar period, and used this to argue that u.s. actions since then had been ignorant and aggressive. This made Kennan himself so upset that he wrote a letter from his position at Columbia University in New York to S­ tockholms-Tidningen protesting at what he saw as a “tendentious article, ­replete with unsubstantiated assertions and direct misstatements.” Ambassador Parsons was kind enough to send a copy of the letter to Geijer.97

Getting Rid of Vinde

As mentioned above Samuelsson took over as ceo, not editor-in-chief, and thus replaced C. Gösta Malmström, who had requested to be relieved of his position since he did not feel he had the board’s confidence any more.98 But according to the chief of the international news desk at Stockholms-Tidningen from September 1963, Lennart Ljunglöf, Samuelsson did try to meddle in the 95

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Öste, Sven, “De döda på risfälten,” in dn, January 21, 1965, p. 23. This is supported by Eva Block’s study of Dagens Nyheter’s editorials about the Vietnam War between 1961–1968: Block, Eva, Amerikabilden i svensk dagspress 1948–1968 [The Image of America in Swedish Daily Newspapers, 1948–1968] (Lund: cwk Gleerup, 1976), pp. 82–84. “Inga antiamerikanska känslor i Sverige,” in Arbetet, November 5, 1965, p. 4. The term ‘antiAmerican’ is one that has been much abused and very seldom defined in a consistent way. Max Paul Friedman has remarked that this term was itself a product of the Cold War that in fact served a specific role in u.s. foreign policy (e.g. the term is only used in this book when the historical actors themselves use it, m.n.), and that it is “oversimplified and overused” (see: Friedman, Max Paul, “Anti-Americanism and u.s. Foreign Relations” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 32, No. 4 (September 2006), pp. 497–514; quote on p. 499). arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Vol. 15; Korrespondens med utländska ambassader i Sverige 1965; Parsons to Geijer, December 3, 1965. arbark; Arne Geijers personarkiv; Stockholms-Tidningen 1964; Vol. 26; Minutes of board meeting, February 10, 1964, pp. 1–2.

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editorial work although the journalists on the floor apparently fought back. Ljunglöf identified Samuelsson as a very bad choice for the position by the lo leadership.99 Vinde’s wife’s view of Samuelsson was as unambiguous as it was uncompromising—she called him the newspaper’s “undertaker.”100 There was c­ learly a lot of bad blood between Samuelsson and the Vindes. Samuelsson then made himself impossible as editor-in-chief of Aftonbladet. By late 1965, he had caused somewhat of a scandal by attacking the rest of the staff who in turn had retorted with a signed article in the newspaper’s news section. It is quite ­possible that Aftonbladet, too, was too leftist for the old Dagens Nyheter ­journalist. The man in the running for his position was Gunnar Fredriksson, and this was regretted by Per Ahlmark in a letter to Herbert Tingsten (the former editor-in-chief of Dagens Nyheter—and prior to that Professor in Political Science at Stockholm University—and a respected public intellectual) where he stated that this would mean an unfortunate “turn to the left” in matters like defense and foreign policy. These were areas where Ahlmark had actually a­ ppreciated Samuelsson’s position, and the difference would make itself felt very soon, he told Tingsten, if the latter happened to read an editorial in ­Aftonbladet by mistake.101 That the lo leadership had long wished to get rid of Stockholms-Tidningen had become known to Vinde in September 1964 at the latest, when he was told by Samuelsson that this had been the aim for over a year. Samuelsson’s candidness was commented on by Vinde in his diary, where he stated that this was contrary to what Samuelsson had told the editorial board of the paper in the spring of 1964, after he assumed his position as ceo. At that time he had said that his mission was to turn the paper around and make it more effective, and that nothing else would be touched. This would not affect the editorial office, he had said. The same assurances had come from Geijer—nothing would change. This had thus turned out to be a lie, and Vinde was notably disheartened by these news. The lo suggestion of making Stockholms-Tidningen into a weekly newspaper was really without foundation, Samuelsson had told him. The lo leadership wanted to close it down and was simply looking for a better way out in order to save face. Samuelsson’s own suggestion to save the newspaper was to make it into a tabloid, a prospect that apparently ­terrified both Vinde

99 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1, Letter by Ljunglöf, undated, pp. 1–3. 100 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 1, notation on envelope containing postcard from Samuelsson. 101 snl; Herbert & Gerd Tingstens samling; L 207:1; Ahlmark to Tingsten, December 21, 1965.

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and other leading persons at the paper.102 The suggestion somehow leaked to the media, because it featured on the television news program Aktuellt on August 11. This led to a somewhat hypocritical protest by Gunnar Fredriksson and Samuelsson that the information was not accurate, even though that was exactly what would happen.103 Geijer continued to play a double game, however, and assured Vinde when they met two days later that Samuelsson’s plans seemed a bit drastic to him. In his diary, Vinde noted that he thought there was a difference of opinion ­between Samuelsson and Geijer on this matter, with Geijer wanting the paper to remain basically unchanged. When Vinde told Geijer that he could not accept the plan to make Stockholms-Tidningen into a tabloid, Geijer faked a­ pprehension and stated “But you are not going to leave the company are you?”104 It is not entirely clear why Vinde believed Geijer. Perhaps his trust in Samuelsson was lower, and he therefore wished to give Geijer the benefit of the doubt. Geijer, it seems, had made lying in connection with closing down newspapers somewhat of a habit. When the Social Democratic Gothenburg-based newspaper Ny Tid was closed down (due to a dire financial record) in 1963, Geijer gave the audience at a union meeting in Lund understated numbers regarding the increase in the number of issues of Ny Tid during the last ten years, as well as the size of its current circulation. He also grossly overstated Gothenburg’s population increase during the same time (he said it had doubled), apparently to make the increase in issues appear insignificant. In reality the population had only increased by 47,000 from 363,000 to 410,000, the daily issue had grown by 7,000 copies from 37,000 in 1953 to 44,000 in 1963, and had even reached 49,800 in the summer of 1962 before Geijer increased the price of the newspaper.105 It soon became obvious that Geijer favored the idea of making the paper into a tabloid, although Vinde did his best to stop this development. When he met with Geijer on October 22 at the lo headquarters at Norra Bantorget in Stockholm, he warned against this option, and pleaded with Geijer not to do anything dramatic before the lo congress in 1966. After listening carefully 102 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 2; Vinde’s diary, September 18, 1964. Vinde’s diary notes from the period September 18 to December 17, 1964, have been published in Presshistorisk årsbok 1995 [Press Historical Yearbook], see: “Victor Vindes minnen: Striden med lo om Stockholms-Tidningen hösten 1964” [Victor Vinde’s memories: the battle with lo regarding Stockholms-Tidningen in the fall of 1964] in Presshistorisk årsbok 1995, pp. 11–26. 103 “Radiochefen svarar st och ab,” in Borlänge Tidning, August 17, 1965, p. 7. 104 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 2; Vinde’s diary, August 20, 1964. “Men du skall väl inte lämna företaget” Once again Presshistorisk årsbok 1995 states that this took place on September 20 (“Victor Vindes minnen:…” in Presshistorisk årsbok 1995, p. 12). 105 Kassman, C., Arne Geijer och hans tid…, pp. 295–296.

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to Vinde, Geijer told him that he should present his ideas to the board and let the board decide what to do. Vinde commented laconically in his diary that he got a feeling that the decision had already been made—that the meeting was but a formality. The meeting went just as Vinde had feared, with Samuelsson spelling out the case for a tabloid, but Vinde delivered a fiery speech against this idea, which apparently took the wind out of the meeting’s participants. Nonetheless, one by one they declared themselves in favor of a tabloid. This meant that the labour movement was capitulating and surrendering its arms to the Liberal press, Vinde thought, and he ended his speech by stating that it was the same as admitting that lo was unable to provide the Swedish labour movement with its own free and independent press. After the meeting, Vinde did not have any doubts as to what the board’s decision would be.106 When Vinde and some associates met with Geijer a few days later, they found a relaxed and smiling chairman who told them that it was regrettable that it had to be done but that there was no choice, although he was optimistic about the tabloid’s chances in the future.107 Discussions continued through the fall of 1964, but nothing could change Vinde’s opinion that a tabloid format would effectively kill StockholmsTidningen. It was obvious to Vinde that all that mattered to the lo leadership was to free itself from the burden of the debt-ridden newspaper. The clean-up of lo’s finances came first and the survival of the paper second.108 Things ­deteriorated during November, and on November 13 Samuelsson argued for immediate closure of Stockholms-Tidningen no later than January 1, 1965. Vinde was of the opinion that if there were absolutely no money then closing it down was the only option, but if lo had the ambition to have a press policy then the matter should be discussed at the lo congress in 1966 so that the members could say what they thought about it. This would also have the further benefit of mobilizing the national radio, tv, press, and the riksdag (the Swedish ­parliament) for a debate of this issue. His words were met with skepticism and it was thought that the congress would be neither willing nor able to discuss the issue. In his diary, Vinde reflected upon this by stating: “I more and more have a feeling that all decisions in lo are made by Geijer and by him alone. All the others just say yes and amen. The same goes not only for the Secretariat and the representatives but apparently also for the congress. They know beforehand what decisions it will and will not make.”109 It is clear from the 106 107 108 109

ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 2; Vinde’s diary, October 23, 1964. Ibid., October, 27, 1964. Ibid., November 5, 1964. Ibid., November 13, 1964.

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content of the newspaper Arbetet that it had no clue as to the role played by Geijer and the others in the affair. The view there was that the lo leadership had done everything in its power to save Stockholms-Tidningen.110 This episode shows that Geijer and the lo and Social Democratic leadership were concerned with the way the u.s. officials reacted to Vinde’s criticism, and the government’s dabbling in political censorship when trying to ‘ease’ Vinde out of his position is remarkable, and does indeed stain the Social Democratic government’s record. It also taints the image of Sweden as an open and democratic society where people were free to express dissenting opinions.

The End

The decision to close Stockholms-Tidningen down was announced by Prime Minister Erlander in a parliamentary debate regarding the subsidy system to the political parties of the riksdag in Sweden on December 14, 1965. Critics had argued that the government wanted the party subsidy system left intact because it channeled funds from it to its newspapers, and Erlander presented the news of Stockholms-Tidningen’s demise to counter such claims. A successful strategy it seems, since many of his opponents apparently had to rewrite their speeches.111 It is clear from Vinde’s diary, however, that his resignation was not entirely his own decision, but that he was asked to leave in a not so subtle manner. The business was taken care of at a meeting at lo on November 20, 1964, to which Samuelsson had summoned Vinde via a telephone call the day before. At the meeting, Vinde was told that the tabloid option had been preferred and even though it was known that Vinde did not want to stay on as editor-in-chief during these circumstances, the board hoped that he would still want to ­contribute to the paper in some way. The whole thing was arranged like an execution, Vinde wrote in his diary. Geijer did not want to take part in it so the meeting had been called while he was out of town. This was especially nasty, Vinde thought. “The board wants me to step down,” he wrote, “and I will not put up any resistance.” Vinde did not respond to the ‘offer’ to stay on as a ­contributor to the new tabloid, because he wished to think about his options and about the terms for his pension. “Would lo agree to decent terms?” he asked in his diary, “With Samuelsson in the wings one could expect a hard 110 “st:s nedläggning,” in Arbetet, December 15, 1965, p. 2. 111 “Statsministerns meddelande om st:s nedläggning bomb i partistödsdebatten,” in Arbetet, December 15, 1965, p. 9.

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and unfair fight. Brr [a Swedish expression intended to indicate disgust with something].” Vinde asked if his replacement had been appointed yet, to which Samuelsson ingenuously replied ‘no’ but that a name had been discussed. This showed, Vinde thought (correctly), that the whole thing had been carefully planned beforehand and probably for a long time, most probably ever since Samuelsson first presented the idea of a tabloid.112 In making the latter comment Vinde showed that he had at least some understanding of what had been going on. What is painfully obvious from Vinde’s diary though is that he never saw through Geijer’s Janus-faced machinations. While having aimed to get Vinde out of office for several years, he apparently never told Vinde about this to his face. Because of Geijer’s dishonesty Vinde continued to believe Geijer when he said that he wanted Vinde to keep writing for the new Stockholms-Tidningen even after he had left his post as editor-in-chief. In fact, Geijer let Vinde believe that Samuelsson had effected some kind of coup when he stated that Vinde was out. Geijer told Vinde that the idea had been to offer to let Vinde keep his position if he accepted the new format for the newspaper, and also said that Vinde was not sacked and could still regard himself as the editor-in-chief, thus ironically reviving Malmström’s suggestion from early 1962. Vinde was left very confused by all of this, writing in his diary that he did not know what to make of it, and noting that “as a rule ks [Kurt Samuelsson] and ag [Arne Geijer] never say the same thing, but in the end it is always ks who is right, that is to say things turn out the way he wants them to.” Considering the powerful man that Geijer was, a man that apparently always got his way, it is not plausible to believe that Geijer was in any way Samuelsson’s puppet.113 Geijer continued to try to get Vinde to remain as a writer and told him how much the paper needed him. Vinde argued against this option, but in the end told Geijer that if it turned out to be a real and good paper then he would write for it.114 The two met again the next day, at which time Geijer repeated his wish that Vinde should ­continue to write for Stockholms-Tidningen. The conversation was friendly; Vinde wrote in his diary, “I had the feeling that ag was a friend. […] He gave the impression of 112 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 2; Vinde’s diary, November 20, 1964. “Skulle lo kunna gå med på anständiga villkor? Med Samuelsson i kulisserna kunde man vänta sig en hård och ohederlig strid. Brr.” 113 Concerning Geijer’s tendency to always get his way: Interview with Lars Starkerud, 2010-01-26. 114 ra; vva; hst; Signum: 4b; Vol. 2; Vinde’s diary, November 23, 1964. “Men i regel säger ks och ag aldrig samma sak, men i praktiken blir det alltid ks som får rätt, det vill säga att det blir som han vill.”

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being fair through and through.”115 Vinde thus trusted Geijer completely and placed all the blame squarely at Samuelsson’s feet. The deception could not be much deeper and more complete than that. Why did Geijer try to get Vinde to stay if he had all along been trying to oust him? The reason is probably that Vinde was popular among the readers, and it would thus pay off to have him remain with the newspaper, but at the same time it would be much easier to control him once he was no longer the editorin-chief. Moreover, the legal problems involved in firing Vinde might have motivated him to try to get Vinde to stay. Another possibility, although somewhat more conspiratorial, is that Geijer was hoping that Vinde would be against such an arrangement on principle and turn Geijer’s pleadings down. That way Geijer could save face and still appear to be a man of some honor and dignity. In the end Vinde agreed to remain as a writer and commentator on foreign policy at Stockholms-Tidningen. The reason seems to have been the respect he felt for his replacement Gunnar Fredriksson, whom he thought of as not only a good journalist and writer, but also an independent person. How his personality would match with Samuelsson appeared to him a mystery.116 Vinde was of the opinion that he had somehow prevented an immediate closing of Stockholms-Tidningen and convinced the board to keep it running until the lo congress in the fall of 1966. At least this is what he told his colleague Sven Erik Larsson at a dinner in late November 1964. Larsson could spread the word to the whole Swedish press that Samuelsson’s effort to close the paper down had failed, he said. To add to the hurt and humiliation, Samuelsson sent Vinde some flowers and a card where he thanked Vinde for having remained with the paper. This act seemed strange to Vinde, who subsequently threw the ­flowers in the trash—where, as he pointed out in his diary, also Samuelsson belonged.117 Stockholms-Tidningen did not survive until the congress, however. The last issue came out on February 27, 1966. The decision to close the newspaper down meant that the Labour Movement then had an even lesser share of the Swedish daily newspapers, which 115 Ibid., November 24, 1964. “Jag hade en känsla av att ag var en vän. […] Han gav intrycket av att vara renhårig alltigenom.” This paragraph has been marked with an exclamation mark in the diary by Vinde’s wife Rita Vinde who also commented on this by stating that “v.v. had a dumb love for Geijer that I never understood.” (Ibid.) “v.v. hade en klockarkärlek til Geijer som jag aldrig förstod.” 116 Ibid., November 24, 27, 1964. 117 Ibid., November 27, 1964. Vinde’s comments about Samuelsson’s flowers have been ­excised from his diary, probably by his wife, but enough of them remained for me to confirm that this comment had been written by hand on the envelope containing Samuelsson’s card (for this, see: ra; vva; hst; notation on envelope containing postcard from Samuelsson).

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was 23 per cent before Stockholms-Tidningen was laid to rest. In other words, the opposition parties had control of 77 per cent of the newspapers. An editorial in Arbetet asked why this devastating propagandistic advantage had not resulted in greater electoral success, but could not offer a good answer.118 Part of the answer was most likely that television had become a much more effective way of getting the government’s message across to a broad base of the population, and paradoxically the publicity afforded it in the opposition press.119 Moreover, there is no simple connection between newspaper ownership and circulation and the readers’ ideological affinity, as the famous news journalist Åke Ortmark remarked in a book about the unknown power elite in Sweden in 1969. In 1962, the Conservative Party controlled 22.6 percent of the press, but could only count 15.5 percent of the votes. Even more noteworthy was that the People’s Party that controlled a whopping 45.9 percent, and the Center Party that could count only 3.4 percent of the newspapers in its own corner, got only 17.2 and an impressive 13.1 percent respectively. The Social Democrats, on the other hand, had only 23.3 percent of the newspapers but got no less than 50.4 percent of the votes. Ortmark also stated that this was not too remarkable, because the press could not be expected to be the sole factor influencing how people voted; it was only one of many factors that affected how people cast their votes in the elections. He even related the result of an informal survey of the voting patterns of the journalists at liberal Dagens Nyheter that showed that 22 out of 31 voted for the Socialist bloc. An important point that Ortmark acknowledged, however, was that none of this contradicted the statement that it was a handicap for the Social Democrats not to have had more than 23 percent of the press in 1962, or that the People’s Party managed to get 13.1 percent of the votes because of its large newspaper dominance. It might have been that the Social Democratic newspapers simply had the ear of large groups in society that were vital in the elections. Ortmark in fact mentioned Fredriksson and wondered if his critique of the Western indoctrination in Sweden would affect the content of school books in the early 1970s, and thereby the opinion regarding China in the 1980s and 1990s? He also commented on the closing of Stockholms-Tidningen stating rhetorically that there were hardly a lot of people that believed it would have been politically motivated for lo to inject sek 20 million annually into the newspaper. Probably no newspaper was that important, he said. Even though the percentage of Social Democratic votes had ­decreased drastically in Gothenburg after the demise of Ny Tid in 1963, it was 118 “Partistödet,” in Arbetet, December 16, 1965, p. 2. 119 This idea was expressed by Svante Nycander in an article in dn: Nycander, Svante, “Statligt stöd åt pressen,” in dn, January 19, 1965, p. 4.

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not possible to isolate the effect of this event so as to say with certainty that the loss was due to having a lesser share of the newspaper market, Ortmark wrote. On the other hand, there were obviously occasions when the press had a very clear ability to affect both the views and actions of both politicians and the public. Non-political themes such as traffic-related death or narcotics were examples of such issues, according to him.120 The issue of ‘the newspaper death’ was discussed in the press around this time but it had started way back in the early 1950s. In fact the number of towns with more than one daily newspaper had fallen since then from 51 to 22, and the number of towns with three or more from 20 to 5. In an article about this problem in Dagens Nyheter in late January 1965, Svante Nycander wrote that if all state subsidies to newspapers disappeared there would be nothing left but monopolistic newspapers, much like the situation in the u.s. at the time. The newspapers had closed down due to increasing costs or competition, or perhaps both.121 According to Ortmark’s book, there had been 177 newspapers in Sweden in 1945, but only 106 were still around 23 years later in 1968.122 Since Stockholms-Tidningen was not the only newspaper closed by lo for financial reasons around this time (others were the Stockholm-based MorgonTidningen in 1958 and Ny Tid based in Gothenburg in 1963), one has to conclude that the poor financial situation was no doubt an important factor in the decision of Geijer and lo to shut it down. It was said at the time that lo would find itself in serious trouble if it was to continue to support newspapers that were losing millions every year, and lo had in fact been trying to get the unions to take a much greater financial responsibility for the newspapers since 1958.123 But it is also very clear that political considerations did play a part (although uncertain how big) in the case of Stockholms-Tidningen. It is worth noting, too, that the Social Democratic press was far from the only group that had to battle against negative financial statements during the 1960s. Once again Ortmark provides some interesting figures for us to contemplate—the Conservative Svenska Dagbladet was losing sek 2 million annually between 1962 and 120 Ortmark, Åke, De okända makthavarna. De kungliga—Militärerna—Journalisterna [The Unknown Power Elite: the Royals—the Military—the Journalists] (Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 1969), pp. 360, 364–369. 121 Nycander, S., “Tidningsdöd och monopolisering,” in dn, January 15, 1965, p. 3. This article was part of a series of articles on the same subject published on January 19 (see the preceding footnote). 122 Ortmark, Å., De okända makthavarna…, p. 328. 123 Kassman, C., Arne Geijer och hans tid…, pp. 284–308.

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1963, then picked up during 1964 and 1965 before reverting again in 1966 to minus sek 2.6 million and in 1967 sek 1.9 million. As it turned out Svenska Dagbladet actually suffered from Stockholms-Tidningen’s demise even though it gained about 10,000 new subscribers, because the latter had been sharing the distribution costs in Stockholm with Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet. With Stockholms-Tidningen gone these costs skyrocketed for Svenska Dagbladet.124 Even though these losses were small compared to those incurred by ­Stockholms-Tidningen, this is yet one more confirmation that Vinde could hardly be blamed for the paper’s situation. It would of course have been much easier for the Swedes to simply tell the Americans that neither the government, nor anyone acting on its behalf, could engage in political censorship. But the sources seem to support the interpretation that Vinde was a political embarrassment to the government and lo. Perhaps he was even considered a security risk due to the antagonizing effect upon the u.s., a nation with which Sweden had a long and secret military cooperation. If Vinde and Stockholms-Tidningen risked upsetting the delicate security policy relationship between Sweden and the u.s., e.g. by seemingly reducing Sweden’s consent to American hegemony, that could have been reason enough for the government to do its utmost to get rid of this threat to status quo. The recalcitrance on Vinde’s and Fredriksson’s part, i.e. the unwillingness to toe the ideological line, added fuel to the fire and certainly did not make the lo leadership less inclined to shut the newspaper down.

Plucking a Thorn from Everyone’s Side

This chapter has dealt with the important Labour newspaper StockholmsTidningen, the sidelining of its editor Victor Vinde, and the eventual closing down of this newspaper in 1966. It has examined a neglected side to this affair by showing that not only was the newspaper, and Vinde, a great embarrassment to Arne Geijer, lo, and the Swedish government, and a great nuisance to the Americans, but it turns out that Geijer and lo actually acted upon the American complaints at least twice. The complaints resulted in changes in the attitude of lo’s newspapers and generated apologies on at least one ­other ­occasion. The LO-owned newspaper Aftonbladet reportedly became more sympathetic towards the u.s. policy on Cuba after receiving a complaint from the American Ambassador Graham Parsons in 1962. 124 Ortmark, Å., De okända makthavarna…, pp. 352–353.

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The chapter has also revealed that the lo leadership and the Social Democratic government had wanted to get rid of Vinde from the early 1960s, but was unable to do so for several reasons, only some of them of a legal character. Eventually, however, the newspapers’ continuing shaky financial situation made Vinde vulnerable and he was let go after many double-faced machinations by Geijer. The conclusion must be that while a failing economy was the main reason why this particular paper was the one that was closed down in early 1966, the politically problematic character of its foreign news reporting and editorial page was a factor too, since it brought lo and the government much embarrassment and expressions of dissatisfaction from the Americans. There are other interesting revelations as well, among them being that there was a high degree of understanding between Geijer of lo and Bertil Kugelberg of saf in matters concerning Swedish domestic and foreign policy, and that these two highly influential Swedes met with the American Ambassador on many occasions to discuss matters of joint interest. Considering that Geijer and Kugelberg were perhaps the two most powerful media personalities in Sweden at this time (due to their positions in A-Pressen and Libertas, the two big media conglomerates in Sweden), such close relations between them and an American government representative are significant to say the least.

chapter 3

American Propaganda and the Opinion-makers, Part i: The Placement of usis Articles in the Swedish Press1 Introduction A theme begun already in the previous two chapters will be continued upon here, but the focus will change somewhat. Instead of looking at the labour-­ related organizations and press the attention will now turn to the American propaganda effort vis-á-vis the press as a whole in Sweden. The chapter will show how influential opinion-makers co-produced u.s. hegemony, and present an intriguing picture of the assistance given to the usis (in the form of voluntary utilization of its propaganda material) by the Swedish press corps. A central part of this story is the transformation of usis propaganda from ‘white’ to ‘grey’ by Swedish newspaper editors. Unbeknownst to the hundreds of thousands of Swedish newspaper readers, their local newspapers were feeding them propaganda articles specifically designed by the usis to elicit a favorable response.

How American Propagandists Worked with Swedish Journalists

The third policy objective of the usis in 1959 was to expose the aims of international Communism and its threat to the free world, including Sweden, “by working through the Swedish press and sympathetic Swedish organizations and individuals.”2 Propagandizing the Swedish press corps was of course crucial to achieving this objective, and the usis thought that better relations with the Swedish press services had been established during the year. Several examples of this have been shown in the previous chapter, and now the activities targeting the majority of the Swedish press, that was not just representing and controlled by Labour interests, will be investigated. 1 Parts of this chapter has been published as: Nilsson, M., “American Propaganda, Swedish Labour, and the Swedish Press in the Cold War: The usia and Co-Production of u.s. Hegemony in Sweden During the 1950s and 1960s” in International History Review, Vol. 34, Issue 2, June 2012, pp. 315–345. 2 nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 24.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_005

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One such example is related in the Assessment Report for 1959, where it was stated that a usis picture story on China was provided to the Conservative Press Agency “with ‘suggested’ text that was served through the agency to its customers, without attribution to usis.” Conservative papers all over the country seem to have reacted favorably to the story, and about 25 newspapers with a combined circulation of almost 250,000 copies used the material, “some of them in full-page spreads.”3 The usis thus encouraged the Swedish press to turn white propaganda into grey, i.e. to hide the true source from its readers. The effect of this dissemination is of course impossible to estimate and the usis did not try to do so either. It is plausible to assume, however, that a sizeable portion of the readers of these newspapers read the article, saw and internalized the pictures, and integrated some of the information contained in it into their understanding of the world. The first policy objective in the usis’ fy 1962 report was: to present u.s. foreign policy objectives in such a way as to identify them with the aspirations of the Swedish people and thus to stimulate greater confidence in the u.s. as a leader in international affairs.4 But how was this to be achieved? The Report answered this by detailing no less than five ways in which the aims of the primary objective were to be attained. The propaganda campaigns were called “projects,” and “programming” efforts intended to realize each project were also specified. The first of these five projects intended to make the Swedish public familiar with the new Kennedy administration through the Swedish media in order to increase the Swedish public’s understanding of the workings of the American political system. This was to be done by providing Swedish tv with films and clips of important policy statements by the President and his staff, guaranteeing that Kennedy’s ‘New Frontier’ policy became known, and distributing to carefully selected organizations in Sweden key publications by Kennedy and his advisors. The second project was similar to the programming connected to the first project. The usis would provide the Swedish press corps, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and other government leaders (as well as the missions of other countries in Sweden) with authoritative and comprehensive statements on American policy. The programming for achieving this project aim was the production and

3 Ibid., p. 25. 4 nara ii; rg 306; fsd; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, p. 3.

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distribution of news bulletins (such as Ur USA-Krönikan), releases and special features in both English and Swedish.5 Project No. 3 was laconic but very ambitious: it was simply to reduce comments critical of u.s. policy in the Swedish press. This was essentially a program designed to limit the freedom of the press in Sweden by circumscribing what should be allowed to be said about the u.s. The usis, as always, took a very personal approach to this problem and it deserves a full quotation: (a) Follow closely key journalists, commentators and editorial writers, supplying them with supplementary materials when indicated, and make their acquaintance and discuss the policies treated. (b) Ensure that all principal newspapers receive their fair share of usis’s ‘area exclusive’ feature article service. (c) Give due consideration in exchange programs to editors, editorial and feature writers.6 Through a propaganda campaign heeding the idea of Eisenhower’s People-toPeople program, the usis would thus act as personal ambassadors and also see to it that prominent persons in the news media would get to travel to the u.s. to experience it first hand. This particular part of usis programming in Sweden was a long-term one. Another matter addressed by the usis in connection with Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 was how to counterbalance the iconic propaganda image of Kennedy disseminated by the usia with that of the new President Lyndon Baines Johnson. The agency set to work immediately after Kennedy’s death to shape the image of the Vice President as a capable and worthy replacement for Kennedy. The usis report tells us that: the usis press section was operating at full tilt within half an hour [after the news of the assassination broke, even though the press service was closed for the weekend, m.n.]. From the first, our output emphasized the continuity of u.s. constitutional processes, the orderly transfer of power and the skill and experience of President Johnson. One of the most gratifying by-products of the tragedy came with the revelation that many newspapers throughout Sweden maintain files of usis materials issued over the years. In answer to many press queries, we were able to refer 5 Ibid., p. 5. 6 Ibid., p. 5.

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editors to usis materials already in their possession. When we told the Foreign Editor of Dagens Nyheter (Sweden’s most influential daily) that he would find what he wanted in our pamphlet “Kennedy and His Men” he replied, “Thanks, I have it on my desk.”7 Note that what is said above does not reveal wether or not the Foreign Editor of Dagens Nyheter actually used usis’ material. What it does show, however, is that the usis had been successful in its dissemination of its material, and that their contacts with Swedish journalists and editors were close. Be that as it may, the usis thought that their efforts had paid off, and said that the results “were soon apparent in the press as well as in statements by leading public figures,” quoting statements from both Göteborgs Posten and Stockholms-Tidningen, as well as Prime Minister Erlander to that effect.8 On another note, the usis office drew attention to the fact that the usis was the only foreign source of documentary films listed in two National Labour Market Board (Arbetsmarknadsstyrelsen) circulars obtained by the agency. The Board not only administered government labour policy, but also directed the vocational training of youth and re-training of adult workers, something that according to the usis provided strong evidence “that one of the most powerful organizations in Swedish labour has tested and accepted usis materials as useful to their programs.”9 The other psychological objectives were now also somewhat different compared to the ones in 1959. The secondary objective in 1963 was to convince the Swedes that they would benefit from broader participation in international organizations, “especially those seeking European economic integration, disarmament and cooperation in scientific research,” while the third objective stated that the usis should persuade Sweden that greater initiative in aid to lesser developed countries is in their national interest.10 The latter is of course rather ironic considering that aid to the developing countries has been a matter of considerable pride for the Swedish government. The fourth objective was reminiscent of the assessment from 1959, in that it aspired to strengthen confidence in American scientific and technological achievements in order to maintain the Western orientation of Swedish science. It is thus fair to say that a large portion of the Swedish media elite willingly participated in disseminating u.s. propaganda during the years studied here, 7 nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report—Sweden, Feb. 17, 1964, p. 2. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid., p. 4. 10 Ibid., pp. 5, 7.

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albeit that they had probably abhorred (to use the term cited by Ellul) the term ‘propaganda’ itself. Rather, they probably only thought of the usis as a fairly unbiased source of ‘information’, ready to be tapped at a moment’s notice. It is probably fair to assume that these editors, journalists, and newsmen never thought that they were propagandizing anyone, and even less that they were being propagandized. When compared to the crudeness of some communist propaganda, the material supplied to them by the usis must indeed have appeared impeccably unbiased. Moreover, they were already predisposed to the world-view expressed in the usis material by being inadvertently socialized in a Western democratic, capitalist market economy. Swedish society, no matter how ‘leftist’ after decades of Social Democratic rule, was still infinitely more similar to the u.s. than to the Soviet Union. It has to be acknowledged that while infiltration of things American into Swedish culture and society has been undeniable and profound during especially (but not only) the postwar period, the introduction of primarily American popular culture in the form of comics, tv shows, movies, books, and music has also regularly generated harsh criticism (or ‘moral panic attacks’) from the Swedish cultural elite. These reactions do however seem to have been largely limited to the intellectual and cultural elite. The Swedish public in general loved and embraced American pop culture. Indeed, even as late as at the end of the 1970s American-made shows were the only ones that could compete successfully with Swedish-made programming.11 The process has thus been dialectic, resulting in a domestication of American culture into a Swedish context. Orvar Löfgren has noted that the Americanization of Sweden “happened in a very Swedish way.”12 Dag Blanck has confirmed this view by saying that this is one of the most important ways that American cultural products “are mediated into a Swedish context.”13 Both of these quotes confirm Rob Kroes’ point about the re-contextualization of American cultural products and images, and that “international repertoirs become national” in their new setting. Kroes even goes as far as to argue that what happens is a two-staged process where in the first step, when the receiving culture uses American cultural language, the country in question has become Americanized. But in the second step, wherein these cultures do their own thing with this content, “Americanization is no longer the proper word for describing what has gone on.”14 The 11 Blanck, D., “Television…,” pp. 96–98, 102–104. 12 Quoted in: Blanck, D., “Television…,” p. 92. 13 Ibid. 14 Kroes, Rob, “American Empire and Cultural Imperialism: A View from the Receiving End” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 1999), p. 474.

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usis was, of course, doing all it could in order for the Swedish audience to receive its message as undistorted and as unrecontextualized as possible. That included carefully staging the venues where the product and the message was consumed. Such an example occurred when on March 20 and 26, 1965, the coastal town of Kalmar in the southeast of Sweden hosted an ‘America Week’. Ambassador Parsons and his wife visited the town for the inauguration and the Mayor of the Swedish-American city of Wilmington, Delaware, which also was Kalmar’s sister city, John Babiarz was also present. The opening of the event on the Saturday saw a performance of Clifford Fears’ jazz dance ensemble, and there was an American theme in all the town restaurants. The jazz dance group also performed a longer program on the following day. Every day of the week had a specific theme. Monday was ladies’ day and the usia also showed the K ­ ennedy documentary Years of Lightning, Day of Drums for the first time in Kalmar; Tuesday was dedicated to American social policy and called Labour day with arrangements by the Kalmar section of Rotary International and abf; Wednesday was a day of culture (including an ‘emigration evening’), while Thursday’s theme was sport. The American running star Dyrol Burleson visited Kalmar to tell the Swedes about his sport and to train with promising local runners. Trade and education were the topics for the final day, providing information about stipends for Swedish students wishing to go to the u.s. Among the lecturers were two American Professors from the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to all of this, there were several exhibitions that ran for the whole week, e.g. a space expo in the Peoples’ Hall (Folkets hus), an American photography exhibition and an architecture showcase, as well as a display of American books in the town library, and photos of u.s. sports at the local sports arena.15 The official aim of the whole event was to increase even more the understanding and sense of community between Sweden and the u.s.16 Even despite the best efforts of the usis, however, there was a certain amount of criticism of America in Sweden too and at times, especially in connection with the Vietnam War, a very forceful criticism.17 The criticism of the American War in Vietnam was not limited to sub-groups in Swedish society, but was also expressed at the governmental level, most notably by Olof Palme, and it even resulted in a diplomatic crisis between the u.s. and Sweden in the

15 16 17

Ur USA-Krönikan, No. 9, March 18, 1965, p. 7; Kalmar Läns Tidning, March 19, 1965, p. 3. Kalmar Läns Tidning, March 19, 1965, p. 1. Blanck, D., “Television…,” pp. 103–106.

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late 1960s and early 1970s.18 The more serious diplomatic crises were still in the quite distant future during the timeperiod discussed so far, however. There was also another issue that the usis struggled with, and never succeeded in, convincing the Swedes about the virtue of the u.s. government’s position: that was the civil rights issue. The usis, Racial Segregation, and the Vietnam War: An Effort Doomed to Failure? This question was so problematic because there was just no way that the usis could counter all the negative propaganda that was being spread by the affront to human dignity that the segregation system in the American south represented. There was always bad news that drowned out the message of improvement coming from the official propaganda outlet. The events in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the fall of 1957, received “‘major play’ and ‘slanted headlines [of] disapproval’” in Western Europe and Scandinavia, according to Walter Hixson.19 Another example occurred in late February 1965, when a federal judge wrote off the charges brought against the Sheriff Lawrence Rainey, his righthand man Cecil Price and 15 others for conspiracy to murder the three students Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner (of which two were white), who had been found shot and buried outside the small town of 18

19

For this, see: Leifland, Leif, Frostens år: Om usa’s diplomatiska utfrysning av Sverige [Years of the Deep Freeze: When the United States Froze It’s Diplomatic Relations with Sweden] (Stockholm: Nerenius & Santérus, 1997). Today it can perhaps be a bit hard to understand the outrage that Palme’s criticism of the u.s. war in Vietnam caused in the u.s., even if the reponse was not the same among everyone even there, and it can therefore be instructive to view a quote from an oral history interview with the former Ambassador to Sweden, James Cowles Hart Bonbright, made in April 1986 not long after the shooting of Palme by an unknown murderer in Stockholm: “Well, just a few days ago, when the Swedish Prime Minister was killed, Olaf [sic] Palme, one article I saw in a Washington paper said he was more American than Swedish, and said that he had all these friendly feelings toward the u.s., he’d spent a lot of time here as a young man in college and different things. Hell, he was our worst enemy! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I looked at the front page of The Washington Post, and here were hard cases like Henry Kissinger and Senator Ted Kennedy wiping tears from their eyes over the death of this son of a bitch! I am sorry he ended the way he did, of course, because that he was a great friend of this country, he simply wasn’t. It annoys me to have him have sainthood thrust upon him by our press and politicians.” (Oral history interview with James C.H. Bonbright on the Library of Congress webpage: http://memory .loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:28:./temp/~ammem_8Opy::, accessed 2010-01-28.). Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, p. 131.

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Philadelphia, Mississippi, after having been missing for six weeks. In Dagens Nyheter the comment was made by its correspondent in the u.s., Sven Åhman, that the decision further strengthened the rule that a white man could not be convicted of killing a black man, and that it furthermore suggested that a white man could get away with murdering another white man as well if the latter was in the company of a black man. Moreover, this was the third time the charges had failed in court, and this time it was a federal judge and not some local stooge who had dropped the case, even though the fbi had proof of at least Price’s involvement. The judge Harold Cox, however, was himself a Southerner and was known to share the view of colored people that was so common to the South. It thus seemed to be a confirmation that the bigotry was not confined to the South, but was a ubiquitous feature of America even in the Liberal North, even though it was federal authorities in Washington that had tried to get the case into court in order that it should not be allowed to pass with no reaction at all from the government. The whole thing was indeed an international embarrassment to the United States and very bad propaganda.20 No propaganda in the world could spin this in a positive way to an audience that was already negative towards these features of u.s. society. The issues of racial segregation and discrimination (predominantly) in the Southern states were thus the hardest nut for the usia to crack. In the Swedish case, this campaign did not make much headway during the 1950s and 1960s, but in other countries the usia noted considerable success with certain issues and occasions related to this problem. Indeed, it was so problematic, that before Edward Murrow became usia Director in early 1961, American propagandists had given race relations little thought, according to the former Deputy Director of usia, Thomas C. Sorensen. In fact, he writes, “usia would have liked to avoid the matter, but that was often impossible […].” The reason was that the communist propaganda seized every opportunity to exploit this open festering wound in the American body politic. Sorensen argues that race relations received completely new and serious attention under Murrow.21 As Amanda Lagerqvist has shown in her dissertation, where she studied how Swedish visitors to the u.s. in the period 1945–1963 wrote about the country once they had returned, books and reports in the Swedish media were quite unforgiving when describing the situation in the American South. However, 20

21

Åhman, Sven, “Federal domare underkände åtal för morden på frihetsstudenter,” in Dagens Nyheter, February 26, 1965, p. 12. See also: Unsigned article on the editorial page, “Våldet och lagen,” in Dagens Nyheter, February 27, 1965, p. 2. For confirmation of this conclusion, see: Block, E., Amerikabilden i svensk dagspress 1948–1968, pp. 106–114. Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, pp. 171–174, quote on p. 171.

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and as already mentioned, these texts too did on occasion have a problem refraining from using racially based negative and condescending descriptions of African-Americans. They were said to be “superstitious,” “negroes,” and they were often described in terms that feminized them. It is clear that the AfricanAmericans were considered to be an ‘other’ also by the Swedish visitors, and Lagerqvist concludes that for the visitors during the 1950s it was the white America that was the true America. The white and heterosexual middle class (and a stereotypical view of this group at that, m.n.) became somewhat of a norm in these depictions. Ironically then, the Swedish visitors, eager as they were to set themselves apart from the unattractive society that they witnessed, follwed the more or less official American norm regarding representations of the u.s. as often presented in magazines such as Life.22 One can thus argue that even when criticized, the u.s. managed to retain control of the way in which such criticism was framed. In this way, propagandandistic representations of the u.s. were extremely successful both domestically and abroad. This was so even though foreign onlookers never accepted racial segregation itself (but then again, neither did the federal u.s. government, even though it could certainly be argued that it tolerated it by turning a blind eye to it most of the time). Walter L. Hixson has also pointed out that the racial issue was what left the u.s. most vulnerable in the developing world. The Soviet propaganda apparatus exploited the situation to the fullest extent possible, emphasizing that the African-Americans in the American South faced constant discrimination; were generally very poor due to low wages; were forced to tolerate an unequal juridical system; and lived under the constant threat of physical abuse by whites. A good and illustrative example of how the Soviets exploited this shameful situation occurred in 1946, when Secretary of State James F. Byrnes complained that the Soviets denied people in the Balkans the right to vote. The Soviets retorted that the same right was denied the blacks in Byrnes’ own home state of South Carolina, and that Byrnes should perhaps attend to the situation in his own backyard first. To this Byrnes had no comeback. Even so, American propagandists felt that they could not sit idle by and watch as the Soviet propaganda apparatus fired away at the America they so loved and cherished, so they opted for an approach that in effect played down the suffering of the blacks in the South; i.e. they posed “a small number of negro lynchings” against millions of slave laborers in the Gulag camp system in order to make lynching seem like an insignificant matter.23

22 23

Lagerqvist, A., Amerikafantasier…, pp. 222–229, 237. Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, p. 129.

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The racial issue was so sensitive to the u.s. administration not only because it represented a shameful treatment of fellow human beings, but also because it cast a dark shadow over American capitalism. According to the propaganda message, capitalism benefited everyone in society, but the state of things in the u.s. showed clearly that this was not the case. In fact, the issue had been problematic for the u.s. even before lynching and police brutality made their way into the international media in the mid-1950s and 1960s—it truly tainted people’s view of the u.s. Communist propagandists had of course seized upon this issue and they exploited it to the full and with much success, for the simple reason that it lay closer to the true state of things. As Kenneth Osgood has commented, however, it was not foremost due to the communist propagandists that the problem caused a lot of antipathy in the world. For a long time, a major problem for Washington had been the fact that visiting non-white dignitaries were often treated in the same deplorable manner as the American blacks, a fact that once caused a minor diplomatic crisis between the u.s. and Haiti after Haitian government officials had been forced to stay in the servants’ quarters at a Washington hotel. Between 1957 and 1961, 14 similar incidents involving foreign state representatives from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean were reported by the State Department. The horror that the press in these nations expressed was a serious problem for the u.s. in the post-colonial era, as it tried to position itself as the friend of newly independent countries. For these countries, anti-colonialism was a much more urgent theme than anti-communism, and for the European colonial powers, who often found themselves at the other end of u.s. criticism of imperialism, wondered how Washington could offer advice about their foreign policy when it had not properly cleaned up in its own backyard.24 For the usia it was never an option to flatly deny that racism was a problem in the u.s., for the simple reason that it was there for everyone to see.25 The u.s. was not like the Soviet Union and the American administrations, in contrast to the rulers in the Kremlin, were in dire need of international goodwill in order to extend and retain their hegemony. And since the propaganda-making ideal that the usia adhered to, with Eisenhower’s support, was to stick to ‘the truth’ as far as possible so as not to be caught red-handed disseminating lies, the consequence was that the usia was forced to admit that racial discrimination was a reality in the u.s. Instead, the usia flooded the international media with the message that things were moving in the right direction—progress for the African-Americans became the tune frequently played, and examples of 24 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 275–278. 25 Ibid., p. 278.

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how things had improved for this group since the emancipation in the 1860s. Every possible example of such occasions was to be made into a propaganda message, according to the guidelines for the usia’s activities. Likewise, when the international media reported on abuses perpetrated against blacks in the u.s., the official policy was to place these instances in perspective by supplying even more evidence of progress. This was the obvious solution to the conundrum of how not to sit idle and take the beatings by Soviet propaganda—the deplorable lingering racial discrimination was contrasted with the much worse situation in a not so distant past. Thus the u.s. propaganda machine could turn shame into an inspiring story of progress and the proud achievements of u.s. democracy.26 In other words, the policy was to downplay the seriousness of the problem. Moreover, it was always tales of individual progress and success that the usia told, because as a group the African-American population was still seriously disadvantaged. Osgood concludes that the usia was not at all that successful in convincing world opinion that America was making significant progress on the racial question. Part of the explanation for this result was the fact that Eisenhower consistently refused to take a strong stand, even rhetorically, against segregation in the South. Apparently, Eisenhower felt that his words would not be able to change public attitudes on the racial issue, a stance that was quite the opposite of his strong advocacy of propaganda and rhetoric as a strategy for winning the Cold War. Even though Eisenhower did sign the Civil Rights Act in 1957, an act that was very unpopular among the white population in the South, Osgood writes that this legislation did not change the facts on the ground much. Instead, it was the Supreme Court that provided the usia with the ‘evidence’ of progress (such as the Brown vs. Board of Education verdict) that it was so desperately seeking.27 Even so, u.s. policy was not consistent on this issue, and as a consequence the VoA could tell Polish listeners after the Brown decision that segregated schools did not in any way mean that African-American children received worse education than white children. A VoA broadcast in 1954 had likewise fed outright lies to the Poles when it stated that there had for a long time been no restrictions in the economic field separating the black population from the white.28 The reason why this question was so problematic for the usia was simply that reality did not match the propaganda message, and no propaganda 26 Ibid., Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, pp. 129–130. 27 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 279–280. Eisenhower’s ambivalence about civil rights is also confirmed in: Dizard, Jr., Inventing Public Diplomacy…, p. 119. 28 Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, p. 130.

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campaign, no matter how cleverly devised and executed, can hope to turn a justifiably indignant public opinion around, as long as the facts are out in the open.29 Even Eisenhower’s decision to send 1,000 federal paratroopers to Little Rock high school in 1957 to protect nine black children from a frantic mob of whites when exercising their constitutional rights to desegregated schooling backfired—it simply did not look good in the media.30 Eisenhower’s decision had come as a desperate last resort after the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, had deployed the National Guard to prevent the children from entering the school. This action had generated blazing headlines in the international media such as “Armed Men Cordon Off White School” and “Troops Stop Negroes Going to School.”31 Although the usia did not admit as much in public, polls of the public attitude in 13 major foreign cities towards what had happened in Little Rock, made hastily after the incident, showed that the u.s. had suffered a major setback and propaganda defeat. A majority in half of the 13 cities thought that most Americans were against desegregation.32 It seems as if Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles’, refusal to take the civil rights issue seriously as a factor for u.s. foreign policy, was for a long time an important reason for u.s. inaction, although the Little Rock crisis also forced Dulles to reconsider his standpoint. Dulles himself stated in connection to the Little Rock incident that this would be more damaging to u.s. foreign policy than the invasion of Hungary in October 1956 had been to the Soviet Union. The usia eventually set up a special minorities affairs unit under the leadership of former newspaperman William Gaussman, a man with good connections in the civil rights organizations. Under Gaussman the usia produced a documentary called Nine from Little Rock, which won an Oscar for its portrayal of the conflict in the South.33 The message that Eisenhower sent to the public was that even though Little Rock was a blemish “upon the fair name and high honor” of the u.s., desegregation was creeping along under orderly forms for the most part. Thus the strategy was to ‘balance’ Little Rock against positive news about the success of integration in other places.34 It must have been strange indeed for the 29 30 31 32

33 34

The same point has been made in: Dizard, Jr., Inventing Public Diplomacy…, p. 119. Dizard, Jr., Inventing Public Diplomacy…, p. 119; Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 281; Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, p. 131. Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 281. Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, p. 101. Interestingly, Scandinavia and Holland were the only places where a majority of the population did not think that race relations had worsened during the previous several years. Dizard, Jr., Inventing Public Diplomacy…, pp. 119–120; Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 281. Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 282.

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­ frican-American population in the South to hear this, since the implication A of it was that he had not sent the paratroopers to protect them from being lynched by white mobs, but to counter bad publicity internationally conjured up by communist propaganda wizards. As far as the speech went one could well have wondered if there really was a problem in Little Rock if it had not been for the bad publicity generated by it. In reality the u.s. was not a government based on human rights for the African-Americans of the South, a point that Eisenhower seemed unable to grasp. To be fair, though, the President was caught in a very difficult situation because the Republican Party was dependent upon Southern votes, and he no doubt felt unable to take a strong stand against the violations of human rights that were everyday life for the blacks in this region of the u.s. This, however, was probably of little comfort to those that were exposed to this racist system. Even though usia’s propaganda continued to ensure the world that progress was being made on the matter of segregation and racism in the u.s., the white mob and police violence continued to throw monkey wrenches in the machinery: in the fall of 1962, there were riots at the University of Mississippi over the enrollment of a single African-American student, James Meredith, and President Kennedy, just like Eisenhower, had to send in 20,000 federal troops to thwart them; and then again in the spring of 1963, repressive police violence in Birmingham, Alabama, made huge headlines in the world media. Later that summer, a usia report reviewing its own information activities with regard to race relations concluded that the agency itself had contributed to the incomplete and inaccurate image of the situation for African-Americans in other countries.35 But the usia worked hard to ‘correct’ the view of the international onlookers. usia guidelines told its information officers to stress the great improvements for blacks in areas of education, employment, rising wages, the desegregation of the armed forces et cetera that was seen as a clear proof of “the ‘tremendous strides [that] have been made in removing racial barriers in the u.s.’” Among other things, the agency placed cover stories in newspapers in Geneva and Paris that announced that “Despite Little Rock Segregation Is Dying,” together with large photographs of interracial mingling in a school environment. The usia also engaged in a kind of blame game and pointed out that racial segregation and conflict was not a problem confined to the u.s., but that it was an international phenomenon, giving examples of it in India and in slum areas in London. The President’s use of force in Little Rock was also contrasted with the use of force in the Soviet Union, and it was stressed that while in the former 35

Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, pp. 174–177.

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case force had been used to protect the rights of a minority, in the latter force was used to deprive people of their rights. While this form of reasoning might seem justified, or even self-evident, it did not really justify the bad situation for African-Americans in the u.s. Moreover, in the American South Eisenhower’s actions were seen as divesting the white population of their rights—in other words, for them there was no real difference between what the u.s. government had done and what the Kremlin was doing to the Soviet population or to the Hungarians.36 C.D. Jackson, Walt Rostow, and others within the u.s. psychological warfare establishment did, however, do their best to spin this disaster in a positive direction, and they did come up with an idea for the 1958 Brussels Universal and International Exhibition that, at least initially, seemed to be a stroke of genius. Instead of following the path taken by the other nations present at the fair, the u.s. exhibit not only pointed to all the fantastic achievements, but also included a section called “Unfinished Business,” which quite courageously acknowledged the bad aspects of American society. This idea had been born during a three-day symposium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit) in March 1957, drawing together a number of Cold War intellectuals. The mit group concluded that many of the usual slogans used to sell America were too corny, and instead opted for a strategy that would stress that the u.s. was a land of upward-and-forward-striving people engaged in (consciously borrowing from Marxist terminology) a continuous revolution. This way the u.s. could at once show the accomplishments and problems of American society—all the while emphasizing that the problems were being continuously dealt with. That was where the unfinished business came into the picture; a true stroke of propagandistic genius from the mit intellectuals. From a propaganda point of view this way of displaying the u.s.’ dirty laundry was a superb idea, and many of the visitors expressed admiration for the fact that the u.s. dared to be open and honest about the problems and challenges facing the nation. However, once again, this propaganda trick did not fall on good soil in the American South. In fact, there was an outcry against the presentation of desegregation as unfinished business, and a Senator from Georgia demanded that Dulles should explain why the u.s. was apologizing for racial segregation. Others thought it was downright unpatriotic and even denounced it as a communist plot. For many of these critics the exhibit was anti-Southern and quite offensive in the way it took the side of the African-Americans. Moreover, the President was not always in touch with reality when it came to this issue, and Osgood provides 36

Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 283.

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his readers with an appalling example of this fact when he relates the following from a personal letter written by Eisenhower in 1951: “The real fact that our propaganda should be able to emphasize […] is that there is no lynching in the United States, that no worthwhile citizen is really kept from voting because of any poll tax, and that no man is kept out of employment merely because of race or religion or other factor of this kind.” The year Eisenhower wrote this, there had been two lynchings and seven instances of racially motivated mob violence. Five Southern states still used poll taxes to prevent blacks from voting.37 [Italic in original.] This should make one wonder whether Eisenhower really cared about people being discriminated against, abused, beaten, and murdered in the South every year. Osgood points out that at the very least it can be said that the usia’s propaganda “deviated from their professed ‘strategy of truth’ on the subject of race relations.”38 Eisenhower’s real position of the race issue also became apparent from the way he handled the controversy surrounding the “Unfinished Business” exhibit. Ironically, the Europeans defended the exhibit against its American critics, but Eisenhower was enraged by what he interpreted as too narrow a presentation of American society and told the press that it would be enlarged and made fairer. The President was not alone in being critical— Secretary of State Christian Herter held the same view. Eisenhower, however, apparently changed his mind, because instead of broadening the exhibit he closed it down, ten weeks after its première, and replaced it with one on public health.39 But the way that the usia handled this issue was just an example of how the u.s. propaganda machinery dealt with difficult issues during these years. Osgood remarks that the usia never pointed to anything as being ‘the first’ step in any direction. Everything was presented as a general trend in a positive direction, and thus wage discrimination against both blacks and women could be presented as a trend towards greater equality in the workplace. Indeed, what the usia did was not so much to present the fact, because facts can be used to promote almost any cause, but to present a certain kind of facts in a certain 37

38 39

Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 284–285, quote on p. 285; Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, pp. 141–142, 145, 147. The Brussels exhibit has been dealt with more exhaustively by Hixson, see: Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, pp. 141–150. Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 285–286. Hixson, W.L., Parting the Curtain:…, pp. 147–148.

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kind of light—this is after all what propaganda is all about.40 The principle is that even if you cut a small piece of a cake you can still make it look like a whole cake if you display it from the right angle and from the right distance. The civil rights issue, and the propaganda challenge it presented for the usia, was inherited by the Kennedy administration as it assumed its position in the White House in January 1961. The problem of American racism was also extremely obvious to foreign black diplomats who were often forced to live in poor housing in the segregated American capital Washington d.c. The situation presented the usia with a major uphill struggle worldwide, although it did go a long way itself in trying to correct the injustice by hiring AfricanAmericans. As a consequence, the number of colored persons employed by the usia doubled between 1960 and 1963, and by the end of Kennedy’s time in the White House, African-Americans held one in ten of all senior and midlevel positions within the agency. To a large extent these officers were used in Africa, for example as lecturers in schools and universities, where they proved to be valuable ambassadors for a free and democratic America.41 The irony of the usia’s placement of African-Americans in Africa to such a high extent was of course that this in a way re-segregated the agency. In 1964, however, the usia got its first, and only, African-American Director when Carl T. Rowan, the former u.s. Ambassador to Finland, took over after Edward Murrow. The appointment of Rowan was just as much domestic as foreign policy, though, because President Johnson wanted to demonstrate his commitment to civil rights, and he made that very clear in a private conversation in his particular Texan vernacular by stating that “I want a nigrah in the cabinet but I haven’t got a place.” Instead, thus, Rowan got the position as Director of the usia because at least then he had a place on the nsc, as Johnson explained to Roy Wilkins of the naacp. There were those within the administration that feared that the appointment would cause problems with the South if Rowan decided to push the desegregation issue in usia propaganda. Johnson, however, assured those who were worried about such a scenario that Rowan, as a Tennessee boy who understood how things were handled in the South, had more sense than that. The new usia Director also proved willing to work with the government when it came to Martin Luther King, Jr., and King, who stood under close surveillance by the fbi (as Rowan was well aware) did not feature prominently in the usia’s output. Rowan also personally regretted King’s stance on the Vietnam War.42 40 41 42

Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 286–287. Cull, N., J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 211–212. Ibid., pp. 233–236, quote on p. 233. An interesting anecdote is that Rowan, while Ambassador to Finland, had come up with the idea for Johnson’s Scandinavian tour (then as

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Not surprisingly, Rowan did not intend to exploit his position to argue for reforms in the area of civil rights. Indeed, he seemed genuinely uninterested in the plight of the African-American population in the South, and was convinced that progress could be achieved within the law. Asked by a reporter, he stated that he could not see any reason for him to push the race issue just because he was black. He also felt that the press, both abroad and in the u.s., was not reporting adequately the progress made in this area.43 Not surprisingly then, as Thomas C. Sorensen writes, “American race relations would continue to be a problem for usia for long years to come, and the problem would grow worse.”44 Things were of course moving in the right direction in terms of civil rights, albeit very slowly. But this meant that American propagandists had to seize the chance when it presented itself. The first major opportunity that the usia got to repair the American reputation with regard to racism was the Supreme Court decision in the spring of 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education, that ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Within minutes after the decision had been announced, the usia had sent the full text to every usis post, and the VoA carried a commentary on the decision in all of its many languages. The wireless file served foreign newspapers with stories about the historic ruling for two consecutive weeks. The reason for this was simple: it was felt that the Supreme Court had dealt the communists and their anti-American propaganda the severest blow so far. The usis staff also worked in close contact with foreign reporters and furnished them with copy, statistics, and pictures that would present the situation for African-Americans in as positive a light as possible. In Scandinavia these efforts seem to have paid off at least a little bit, because in 1956 the usia reported that a number of left-wing newspapers that had previously been very skeptical to the American line had changed their view somewhat, among them being the Social Democratic Arbeiterbladet in Oslo, Norway.45 Things did not

Vice President) in September 1963. Jussi Hanhimäki has written that the visit was a way for Rowan to further his career (he obviously had a good sense for public relations campaigns) by getting the White House’ spotlight shone on him. In this effort he was therefore quite successful, as Hanhimäki points out. It was also Rowan’s idea to have Johnson hand out pens and other freebies to crowds of interested Finns (Hanhimäki, Jussi M., Scandinavia and the United States: An Insecure Friendship (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997), p. 119). 43 Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, pp. 251–252. 44 Ibid., p. 179. 45 Cull, N., J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, p. 113.

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go smoothly in Sweden though. And that was true also of the other contentious issue at this time: the Vietnam War. With regard to Swedish opinion on Vietnam, the usis was basically fighting an already lost battle. Not only did most of its articles on the issue fail to make it into the Swedish press, it turned out that 45 per cent, a clear majority of all those who had a definite opinion on the subject in 1965, did not approve of the u.s. policies in Vietnam.46 And this was before the majority of u.s. troops had arrived in Vietnam and before the great outcry, both at the political and at the grass-roots level, in Sweden against the war in 1968–1972 had even begun. Eva Block’s study of the image of America related to the Vietnam War in Stockholms-Tidningen, Svenska Dagbladet, and Dagens Nyheter editorials confirms this conclusion.47 Eva Queckfeldt’s dissertation, in which she analyzes the view of the Vietnam War in the same three newspapers as Block (plus Aftonbladet), also supports what has been said above but adds some details that nuances the image somewhat. For example, she found that the editorials in the Conservative Svenska Dagbladet had the highest amount of material regarding the view of North Vietnam that corresponded to the official u.s. view (Stockholms-Tidningen and Aftonbladet had the lowest). It also became obvious that Svenska Dagbladet stuck to its more conservative view of the Vietnam War, while the other newspapers underwent a change over time, with the interesting result that Dagens Nyheter ended up much closer to the Social Democratic papers than to its conservative competitor. An interesting thing here is that Queckfeldt uses the usis pamphlet called Angrepp från norr [Attack from the North] published in February 1965 to define the official u.s. view.48 Not much of this seems to have hit home with the Swedes, however. On March 6, 1967, u.s. Ambassador Graham Parsons presented the official American view of the war in Vietnam, and the comments in Dagens Nyheter two days later were probably indicative of how most Swedes felt about the kind of arguments that the Ambassador put forward. Parsons had repeated the by then ancient so-called ‘Domino Theory’ and asked rhetorically who—if the communist aggression in Vietnam were to be successful—could then stop a similar attack on, for example, Thailand or other nations in the area that, like India, had already experienced Chinese aggression? Dagens Nyheter remarked 46 47 48

“Nästan hälften av alla svenskar ogillar usa:s politik i Vietnam,” in Norra Skåne, October 4, 1965, p. 5. Block, E., Amerikabilden i svensk dagspress 1948–1968, pp. 82–90, 129–130. Queckfeldt, Eva, “Vietnam” Tre svenska tidningars syn på vietnamfrågan 1963–1968 [“Vietnam”: Three Swedish Newspapers’ View of the Vietnam Question, 1963–1968] (Lund: cwk Gleerup, 1981), pp. 51, 55, 69–80.

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that as far as anyone knew there were no Chinese soldiers in Vietnam, and the Vietnamese were fiercely nationalistic and nothing indicated that they intended to subordinate themselves to China. Even North Korea, which had received massive assistance from Chinese ‘volunteers’ during the Korean War, Dagens Nyheter stressed, was definitely not a Chinese puppet regime. Parsons argumentation was thus seriously flawed.49 The question now arises whether there is good reason to assume that the pattern noticed in Block and Queckfeldt’s studies was true of the Swedish press in general, with only a few extreme exceptions, or whether their studies were perhaps too restricted in terms of newspapers considered? It is true that many Swedish journalists and editors had great trouble sympathizing with the Americans, mainly due to the fact that the political and cultural landscape was totally different in Sweden.50 The fact that Svenska Dagbladet’s views often aligned with the official u.s. standpoint as expressed in the usis white book begs the question whether the editorials were directly inspired by, and consciously followed, the usis propaganda material, even though it did not use direct quotations? It is easy to see why the editorials would preferably not contain direct quotes since the newspaper was aware that the same material had been sent, or was available, to the other newspapers as well. A too blatant use of this material could thus easily have blown up in its face, so to speak, and its views might have been dismissed as simple propaganda. Due to the nature of this study, and the fact that it is limited to counting only the verifiable cases of utilization of usis material, such hidden influences and propaganda will remain unseen. But the fact that the Conservative Svenska Dagbladet lined up with the Americans should make us wonder what the other Conservative newspapers in Sweden were thinking on this issue. As this chapter will show it was the small-town largely Liberal and Conservative press that used most of the usis news bulletin material. But was the same true in this case?

Sending Journalists on Propaganda Trips

Well, there is certainly evidence that points in that direction. In the mid-1960s, the usis, the u.s. State Department, and the u.s. Department of Defense had 49 “usa:s ambassador i Stockholm,” in Dagens Nyheter, March 8, 1967, p. 2. 50 It is of course true that many Americans too were critical of the war in Vietnam, and of the racial segregation in the American South, but what I am getting at here is the attitude towards how the u.s. government acted and handled these themes, and the explanations provided in the usis’ propaganda.

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launched a program in Western Europe under which European journalists were sent to Vietnam on all-expenses-paid trips. The intention of this propaganda program was of course to generate positive press in the journalists’ home countries afterwards. Some Swedish journalists were included in this program, and according to the usis reports they did write favorable articles after their return home that got extensive circulation. In March 1966 a young feature writer for the leading Conservative newspaper in Malmö, Kvällsposten, by the name of Claes-Allan Lundin spent 20 days in Vietnam—all arranged and paid for by the u.s. government. It is worth pointing out, however, that Lundin had approached the usis in Stockholm on his own initiative. This, too, is thus a prime example of co-production. His trip resulted in six articles that were very positive to the u.s. presence in Vietnam. But rather than focusing on the war per se, Lundin stressed the financial and technological aid that the u.s. was supplying to South Vietnam. This was no doubt a clever spin on the subject. His articles were considered so valuable by the usis that they were also sent to, and published in, Norway, Denmark, and Finland.51 This example shows us that co-production of u.s. hegemony could also generate material that travelled in the other direction so to speak. Naturally, the usis could not use Lundin’s articles in this way without the latter’s permission. Some kind of deal had thus been struck; perhaps this was even part of the terms under which Lundin undetook the trip. By April 1967, the Americans had sent yet another Swedish journalist to Vietnam. This time it was Clas Johnson, the foreign editor of the Conservative Press News Service in Sweden, who got to make the trip.52 Johnson had completed his trip by December 1, 1966.53 The expressed purpose of this ­propaganda program was to increase the favorable reporting on the u.s. war in Vietnam. An internal usia document distributed to all usis posts worldwide in October 1966 stated that past experience had shown that the posts’ efforts to send third country journalists to Vietnam were highly desirable since they had exceeded expectations in many ways. Over 70 journalists from 30 countries had so far been sent to Vietnam, but the focus was not on the quantity, but on the quality of the candidates. The purpose of the program was: 51

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lbjl; Papers of Leonard H. Marks (henceforth: lhm); Director United States Information Agency (henceforth: dusia), 1964–1967; Box 18; Folder: “Foreign Correspondents”; “European Journalists Traveling to Vietnam, Using pl 480 Funds,” p. 3. lbjl; lhm; dusia, 1964–1967; Box  18; Folder: “Journalists (E. Asia, Pacific, Vietnam)”; Oleksiw to Marks, April 25, 1967, p. 3. lbjl; lhm; dusia, 1964–1967; Box  18; Folder: “Journalists (E. Asia, Pacific, Vietnam)”; Oleksiw to Marks, December 1, 1966, p. 2.

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[…] to obtain more positive news coverage of the non-military side of the Viet-Nam situation, particularly the Government of Viet-Nam’s struggle with communist infiltration and the social and economic progress. These aspects are best viewed in the light of the benefits of the u.s. Aid program, other Free World assistance projects, as well as the gvn Revolutionary Development Program. The Agency has a special interest in coverage of the multi-national character of the positive effort of the Australian, New Zealand, and Korea contingents who are serving alongside Vietnamese and u.s. Forces.54 The usia wished to turn attention to the so-called ‘other war’ in Vietnam, that on poverty and development. It is thus obvious that Lundin’s articles for Kvällsposten perfectly followed the usia purpose in sending him to Vietnam. Lundin was hence doing exactly what the usis wanted him to do. Clas Johnson’s 30-day trip also gave the usia the result that they were looking for. His trip resulted in a series of five “highly favorable articles,” each about 1,500 words long, that by January 26, 1967, had been published in 23 Swedish dailies with a combined circulation of 578,000 copies “covering every geographical area of the country.” This positive media exposure came “at a time when the pages of the Swedish press were virtually closed to any exposition of the Allied position in South East Asia,” said the pao in Stockholm in a report, and continued by stating that “the Johnson series gave the u.s. cause in Sweden its greatest boost in nearly two years.” Just like Lundin’s articles, Johnson’s focused entirely on the anti-communist struggle of the South Vietnamese government, and on the combating of poverty by the Allies. All of the newspapers that published the articles were Conservative in outlook; they were: Barometern, Borlänge Tidning, Borås Tidning, Enköpingsposten, Falköpings Tidning, Haparandabladet, Hjo Tidning, Jönköpings Posten, Mariestadstidningen, Katrineholms-Kuriren, Nordvästra Skånes Tidningar, Norra Västerbotten, Norrköpings Tidningar, Sala Allehanda, Sundsvalls Tidning, Södermanlands Nyheter, Trelleborgs Allehanda, Nya Wermlands-Tidningen, Västernorrlands Allehanda, Västerviks-Tidningen, Hudiksvalls Tidning, and Ystads Allehanda.55

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lbjl; lhm; dusia, 1964–1967; Box  18; Folder: “Journalists (E. Asia, Pacific, Vietnam)”; “usis Sponsorship of Third Country Journalists’ Trips to Viet-Nam,” October 19, 1966, pp. 1–2. lbjl; Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson President, 1963–1969; National Security File; Files of Robert W. Komer (1966–67); Box 5; Folder “Leonard Marks (usia)”; Swan to usia Washington, January 26, 1967, pp. 1–4.

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The program that sent Lundin and Johnson to Vietnam was probably part of the offensive that the u.s. government had launched in late 1966. The increasing criticism of u.s. warfare in Vietnam in the latter half of the 1960s created a lot of concern at top policy levels in Washington, and efforts were made to try to stem the tide. The initiative for this push seems to have come from usia Director Leonard H. Marks, who in the summer that year had sent a circular to all the usis posts directing them to boost their propaganda efforts in order to enhance the public view of the u.s. government’s war in Vietnam. Marks stated that the Vietnam issue continued to be the u.s.’ “primary foreign policy consideration” and he urged “all Agency officers consider best means by which can improve and sustain public understanding issues involved and goals established both by u.s. and our adversaries.”56 In reaching out to his colleagues in the field, however, Marks apparently felt obligated to spell out for them what their suggestions could not include by listing the four basic tenets of the u.s. standpoint on Vietnam. Wrote Marks: […] our posture re[garding] Viet-Nam must be founded on (1) our absolute and continued determination [to] resist aggression by Hanoi, (2) fact that Hanoi simply cannot defeat u.s. and that North Vietnamese failure is inevitable, (3) that peace [is] equally inevitable but being delayed only by Hanoi’s unwillingness thus far rpt [repeat] thus far to come to [the] negotiating table and (4) that u.s. remains ready—indeed, eager—[to] pursue cessation of hostilities and road to lasting peace by unconditional negotiations at any time and any place, as suggested so often by President and other American officials. Your advice to Country Team and your ideas forwarded to Washington should parallel this line of thought.57 [Italics added.] The above citation is an excellent example of the kind of ideas that the Johnson administration wished its officials should spread to their target audiences. The irony in all of this is of course that the usis officers were no more nuanced in their propaganda message than their counterparts in Hanoi. With hindsight it is possible to conclude that Marks was wrong about the second point, and historians have also debunked the third and fourth points.58 56 57 58

lbjl; Handwriting File; Lyndon B. Johnson, June 1966 [5 of 5]—August 1966 [1 of 4]; Box 16; Folder “Notes, instructions, doodles”; Rowan to all usis posts, July 25, 1966, p. 1. Ibid., p. 2. For a recent, and excellent, study of the u.s. policy vis-á-vis Vietnam and how the country became bogged down in war in South-East Asia, see: Logevall, Fredrik, Embers of War: The Fall of An Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam (New York: Random House, 2012).

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The last point was preposterous, and even contradicted the other points. On the contrary, there was a major precondition to negotiations, and that was that Hanoi had to give up its claim to be the legitimate ruler of a unified Vietnam. President Johnson of course loved Marks’ message and scribbled “Excellent—I want more of this” on the memorandum containing the circular.59 The journalist program was indeed also an invention of Marks in 1966,60 and judging from the resulting articles in the Swedish press, the same kind of carefully regimented thought patterns were planted in the minds of the foreign reporters undertaking the trip as were propagated within the u.s. Foreign Service corps. The negativ attitude of much of the Swedish press was not simply a matter for the local usis station. In fact, it drew the attention of the highest levels of policy-makers in Washington. Something had to be done about the situation it was clearly felt. In October 1966, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board put together a meeting among policy planners in Washington with the aim of: achieving in Sweden improved understanding of and attitudes toward significant policies being pursued by the United States in international affairs.61 The meeting brought together people from the State Department with senior representatives of the usia, including the Chief of the Political Section of the u.s. Embassy in Stockholm. The notes from the meeting reveal that the usia had made critical changes in its organization in Stockholm, and that “an even more vigorous and extensive operation in support of us foreign policy objectives and actions” was now being undertaken. The Ambassador and his staff had “continued their effective educational campaign, focused on Government and political figures and other public opinion leaders and molders.” At first, it may seem that this statement was a bit hyperbolic, considering that the meeting was held precisely because more effort was considered essential in order to correct the situation. But this effort had, said the usia representative, been 59

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lbjl; Handwriting File; Lyndon B. Johnson, June 1966 [5 of 5]—August 1966 [1 of 4]; Box 16; Folder “Notes, instructions, doodles”; Memorandum by Robert E. Kintner for the President, July 26, 1966. lbjl; Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson; National Security File; Files of Robert W. Komer (1966–67); Box 5; Folder “Leonard Marks (usia)”; Memorandum from Marks to Komer, February 13, 1967, p. 1. lbjl; National Security File; Country File, “Sweden, Volume 1, 11/63–9/68,” Box: 205; Llewellyn Thompson to Walt W. Rostow, Oct. 31, 1966, p. 1. I thank Jerker Widén for originally pointing this document out to me.

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“instrumental in securing a toning-down of a recent Swedish Federation of Labour Unions resolution hostile to u.s. actions in Viet-Nam.” The fact that the Vietnam issue had only played a very minor part in the Swedish municipal and provincial elections campaign was seen as a success for this effort.62 In other words, the usis in Stockholm felt that without its daily toil things would have been a lot worse. In doing this, the usia would utilize everything from films to individuals to get their message across. Private Americans of prominence, especially “those with a known ‘liberal’ outlook or a labour background,” would visit Sweden to speak to important groups. This should best be done “under Swedish sponsorship.” They were also looking into the possibility of sending one or several famous British journalists sympathetic to the American cause to speak in Sweden under the auspices of the British Information Service. This was desirable because British journalists “would probably have greater credibility.” Another measure that was under consideration was to ‘inspire’ an article by a prominent u.s. journalist in a newspaper such as the New York Times “pointing to the lack of balance in Swedish comment about Viet-Nam as a mean of helping to damp criticism of the u.s.”63 The latter suggestion points to a real propaganda savvy, and furthermore shows that the usis would sometimes rely on assets not overtly tied to the usia in order to create pressure in favour of the own position. To the Swedes this would look like an influential American newspaper criticizing the country’s media landscape, when in fact it was propaganda planted by the u.s. government. But even though they were making this effort, the Americans were all the time conscious of the fact that “only the end of the war in Viet-Nam, or at least a deescalation of military activities, will sharply increase Swedish approval of u.s. policies in the Far East.”64 It was thus seen as important to avoid any resemblance to an official propaganda campaign. The source of the message should be hidden from the target audience to generate the greatest effect, i.e. this ought to be all grey propaganda. The Vietnam War provides us with an illustrative example of the limits of propaganda. As pointed out by Ellul, propaganda is almost useless against an audience that does not want to be addressed by it. It needs a favorable base upon which to work its magic. There was no such base present with regard to the Vietnam War, something that the Americans were also entirely aware of. However, not everyone in the Swedish public had an opinion on the Vietnam 62 63 64

Ibid., p. 2. Ibid., p. 3. Ibid., p. 4.

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War, and these intensified efforts could thus perhaps hope to turn some of these people into supporters of the American cause, and at least add to the numbers of those supportive of u.s. policy. The problem connected to the situation in Sweden, and what to do about it, reached also the highest person in the usia. In December 1966, the usia Director, Leonard H. Marks, wrote a memorandum in which he stated that “in view of the many problems which we have in communicating to the Swedish press, it occurred to me that you might do a film interview with the Swedish Ambassador and his wife which could be offered to television systems.”65 Marks had made similar suggestions in the past on at least one occasion, namely in November 1965. This memorandum deserves to be quoted in full: Your recent report on the views of the leading Swedish newspapers on Vietnam disturbs me. I agree with your suggestion that we should send as soon as possible u.s. speakers who could be effective in discussing Vietnam with newspaper editors and in public meetings. I would like to suggest Esther Peterson, Assistant Secretary of Labour, who lived in Sweden for a number of years and who is a close personal friend of Prime Minister and Mrs. Erlander. In addition, I would like you to consider Aline Saarinen who has just returned from a month’s stay in Vietnam. In my opinion, both would be competent to handle the subject and have established reputations in Scandinavia which would make their remarks very effective.66 It is perhaps remarkable that Marks recommended two women as the best candidates for this very important task. The recommendation, however, was most likely not made because of any wish to bring more women into the usis. More likely, it was simply a matter of the fact that these two individuals happened to be well connected in Sweden and knew the language well. Esther Peterson appeared already in Chapter 1, and this suggestion by Marks shows that she remained an important liaison to influential Swedes. The awareness that nothing that the u.s. government could do would change Swedish sentiments completely around did not discourage the usis from keeping up, and even increasing, its propaganda efforts in Sweden. This might seem a paradoxical course to follow, but there was always the chance 65 66

lbjl; lhm; dusia, 1964–1967; Box 20; Folder “Director’s Memos to Area and Media Directors: August–December 1966”; Marks to Stevens, December 6, 1966. lbjl; lhm; dusia, 1964–1967; Box 20; Folder “Director’s Memos to Area and Media Directors: 1965”; Marks to Lincoln, November 18, 1965.

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that the usis would manage to convince at least some Swedes that the American cause was just. So what did the usis do in Sweden in the latter half of the 1960s? Well, the usis Country Plan reporting on fy 1967 gives us at least an idea of the kind of activities the office was conducting in the years after the Washington meeting of October 1966. The usis program in Sweden at this time centered on the “Swedish press, forums, and American program among teachers and skeptical students.” The press was still a major target for u.s. propaganda, and English language full text articles of u.s. foreign and domestic policy statements were distributed to editors, government officials, and business leaders in a bulletin with a total circulation of about 700 issues weekly. The usis also distributed two Swedish language bulletins, one on a weekly, and one on a monthly basis. The latter was a special labour bulletin. Both of these bulletins emphasized u.s. scientific achievements, as well as general cultural and social welfare developments.67 The usis success must, however, be said to have been rather limited. The protests against the Vietnam War continued unabated into 1968 despite the usis’ efforts to try and stem the tide. The usis Information Center and library was of course the target for much of this criticism, because it was the most visible and tangible example of u.s. propaganda in Sweden, and in other countries as well. The protests intensified in early February 1968. But rather than seeing this as a legitimate expression of popular dissent usia Director Marks saw Moscow’s hidden hand behind these protests, and this was the view that he presented to President Johnson on February 14, 1968. Marks wrote: During the past ten days we have witnessed throughout Europe a wellcoordinated and planned attack on the u.s. position in Viet-Nam. There have been demonstrations against usis libraries and events at Cultural Centers in Germany, France, Spain, Austria and in Scandinavia. In reviewing reports from our missions, I came to the following conclusions: 1. The demonstrations and public outrages appear to be the work of professional anti-Americans who have been on the European scene for the past two decades. They will continue to hate America, if not for Vietnam, then for some other reason. It also appears that they have clear ­associations with Communist organizations and accept the “line from Moscow.” […]

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lbjl; lhm; dusia, 1964–1967; Box 19; Folder “Country Programs: West Europe, Special Europe, Soviet Union and East Europe”; “usis Program Sweden,” p. 3.

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3. As part of this background, I want to quote from a secret report from one of our officers: “European scholars who are sympathetic to the u.s. position in Viet-Nam told me that there is a terrible tyranny being enforced on academics in Europe, especially in Sweden, Italy and Britain. Their complaint seemed to be that the anti-Viet-Nam forces control the universities, which means that they control faculty appointments, promotions, decisions on publishing, etc., and thus can and do bring great pressures to bear on what they consider the deviants, those not totally hostile to u.s. and Viet-Nam, including scholars who seek simply to maintain scholarly objectivity.”68 As always, it seemed impossible for American officials to understand that it could actually be the American conduct in Vietnam that was causing the protests worldwide. Although the communists were a part of this movement, they were also simply riding the waves of the popular uprising that was taking place. The counter-culture movement was not something that was confined to the West; the Eastern Bloc also saw a rise in popular dissent during this period. This indeed shows that popular unrest was part of a worldwide phenomenon that no government could hope to contain or control completely. Jeremi Suri has described the origins of the counter-cultures in a recent article as a consequence of the rising expectations and affluence of the postwar generations on both sides of the so-called Iron Curtain, and the contradictions generated by the Cold War. The expectations of this generation of young urbanites clashed violently with the broken promises of their governments, and made them question even the most basic assumptions about what the official instances considered ‘the good life’.69 It is unclear if Marks was implying that Moscow was also controlling the university scholars or if this was simply a corollary of the general sentiments in society. Moscow did not, and indeed could not, control this surge of discontent that swept Western Europe and the u.s., even if it encouraged it with regard to the Vietnam War. But by projecting the responsibility for the situation onto the Kremlin leaders the American officials avoided having to take responsibility for their own policies and actions. Withdrawing from Vietnam was not an 68

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lbjl; Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson President, 1963–1969; Confidential File, Agency Reports; Box 135 [2 of 2]; Folder “United States Information Agency 1967 [2 of 3]”; Marks to the President, February 14, 1968, p. 1. Suri, Jeremi, “Counter-cultures: the rebellions against the Cold War order, 1965–1975” in M.P. Leffler and O.A. Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Cold War, Vol. ii…, pp. 460–481.

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option for the Johnson administration and thus it could do little but increase its propaganda activities in the countries concerned and hope for the best. Such hopes were to little avail though. Marks was here displaying the kind of analysis of protests against specific u.s. government policies that Max Paul Friedman has called oversimplified and overused. He has also shown that the use of the term ‘anti-American’ became a policy instrument for u.s. government officials during the Cold War. In fact, Friedman argues that the idea about anti-Americanism hampered the u.s., making its foreign policy much less effective than it could have been. He writes that “the concept of anti-Americanism served to prevent u.s. officials from gaining access to better assessments of conditions on the ground, and from considering alternative policies that might have been more successful.” Friedman takes the CIA-sponsored and organized coup in Guatemala in 1954, u.s. policy against Cuba, and the Vietnam War as such examples.70 The same interpretation was thus made of Swedish criticism against u.s. policies towards Cuba and Vietnam. Despite the increasing American propaganda activities, the Swedish political criticism of the u.s. war in Vietnam continued. It reached unprecedented levels in the years to come, leading to two diplomatic crises in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first such crisis appeared after Olof Palme (at the time Minister of Education) had walked in a protest march in Stockholm beside North Vietnam’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Nguyen Tho Chanh, and held a fiery anti-Vietnam War speech in January 1969. This led to the recall of u.s. Ambassador William Heath to Washington in late February the same year. President Johnson, however, did not opt to make this a long break in diplomatic relations, and Heath returned to Stockholm six weeks later in April. The other incident was more serious and lasted much longer, for almost two years to be exact. This time too it was Palme who brought American emotions to the boil. The u.s. started bombing the North Vietnamese capital Hanoi on December 18, 1972, and an outraged Palme held a speech in which he compared the bombings to the crimes committed at Guernica, Katyn, Sharpville and Treblinka. The last comparison in particular infuriated the Americans, who announced that no new Ambassador to Sweden would be appointed, and the Chargé d’Affaires John C. Guthrie, who was vacationing in the u.s., would not be returning. Moreover, Yngve Möller, who was scheduled to replace Hubert de

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Friedman, Max Paul, “Anti-Americanism and u.s. Foreign Relations” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 32, No. 4 (September 2006), pp. 506–514; quote on p. 506.

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Besche as Ambassador in Washington, was not welcome there. Ambassadors would not be exchanged again until late May 1974.71 In November 1973, Secretary of State Kissinger received the Head of the Secretary General of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Wilhelm Wachtmeister, in Washington. This was the beginning of normalization of relations between the two countries. Earlier research has suggested that this episode was a consequence of a conscious choice by Kissinger to break off the freeze.72 But the reason that relations returned to normal at the point that they did was actually largely a coincidence. Wachtmeister was coming to the u.n. headquarters in New York and had asked the State Department whether he could be received by someone at State. The European desk (eur) thought that it could not make this decision and prepared a staff study for Kissinger including two options, the first that Wachtmeister should be received but at a low bureau level by, for example, Assistant Secretary of State Art Hartman. Kissinger, however, was in a hurry and read the paper sloppily, noticing only the phrase saying that Wachtmeister should be received. When Kissinger the next day got a question in the Foreign Relations Committee when relations with Sweden were going to be warmed up Kissinger responded “Not to worry, I’m receiving the Secretary General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.” This thus became policy and much to the surprise of eur the warm up leapfrogged six months.73 At the same time as the protests against the u.s. war in Vietnam were running high in Sweden, the crowds of young people, and most of them it seems 71

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Logevall, Fredrik, “The Swedish-American Conflict over Vietnam” in Diplomatic History, Summer 93, Vol. 17 Issue 3 (1993), pp. 432–433, 440–441, 443. Logevall’s informative overview of the crisis seems to have been completely forgotten, or remained unknown, among Swedish historians because none of the major works dealing with this issue lists this article in their bibliographies. The diplomatic freeze between 1972 and 1974 has been covered in greater detail by Leif Leifland in his book Frostens år, and the Swedish reaction to the Vietnam War in general is described in Yngve Möller’s Sverige och Vietnamkriget, see: Leifland, L., Frostens år…; Möller, Yngve, Sverige och Vietnamkriget. Ett unikt kapitel i svensk utrikespolitik [Sweden and the Vietnam War: A Unique Chapter in Swedish Foreign Policy] (Stockholm: Tiden, 1992). Möller, Y., Sverige och Vietnamkriget…, pp. 325–326; Leifland, L., Frostens år…, pp. 156–157. The freezing of relations with Sweden by the Nixon administration had been severely criticized in Congress, mostly by Democrats like Hubert Humphrey. Also economist John Kenneth Galbraith lobbied for the Swedish case in the New York Times. This fact has also been seen as contributing to Kissinger’s decision to meet with Wachtmeister (c.f. Leifland, L., Frostens år…, pp. 145–170; regarding Galbraith’s op-ed piece: Logevall, F., “The Swedish-American Conflict…,” p. 442.). Oral History interview with Samuel R. Gammon iii at: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ query/D?mfdip:1:./temp/~ammem_z6sm::, accessed 2010-02-20.

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were girls, were standing in line outside a store in a Stockholm suburb to get their hands on a u.s. Army field jacket for sek 25. The jackets were hugely popular, and an article in Dagens Nyheter showed the girls packed inside the small store.74 Moreover, even the anti-Vietnam War movement was Americanized in its own particular way because it, too, took large parts of its musical and pop-cultural role models from the u.s. The protesters also dressed in u.s. Army jackets, sneakers, and bandanas. Indeed, it could be argued that the whole protest movement was imported from the university campuses of the u.s. (not to mention the Hippie and Flower Power movements). Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jimi Hendrix, Noam Chomsky, Allen Ginsberg, Jane Fonda, and Martin Luther King Jr., all of them were Americans criticizing the war and inspiring protesters and protests around the world. Even the drugs that so many of these pop icons (and the American soldiers in Vietnam) used and abused were imported and abused by the Swedish radical youth movements, in many cases mediated by the u.s. intelligence community such as the cia.75 This point is also made in Queckfeldt’s study of the Swedish press debate about Vietnam, where she points out that the Swedish debate utilized the same arguments as the Americans did. Out of 309 themes she identified 188 of those occurring in the Swedish debate also appeared in the American debate. Queckfeldt is careful about drawing too rash conclusions from this, or inferring too much about the reasons for this concurrence, but she lists such factors as the common Western cultural heritage, language similarities, and easy access to u.s. material as instrumental in this process. She also remarks that there are many other examples of the Swedish debate following the American one, such as racial discrimination, the women’s issue, environmental problems, and the use of nuclear power.76 It is not implausible to view this as a possible result of the Americanization of Swedish society in general during the postwar period.

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“Vårjacka m/US Army,” in dn, March 31, 1965, p. 13. Much the same point is made by Max Paul Friedman regarding the anti-Vietnam War protestors in West Germany: Friedman, Max Paul, “Anti-Americanism and u.s. Foreign Relations” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 32, No. 4 (September 2006), pp. 499–500. See also: Wagnleitner, Reinhold, “The Empire of Fun, or Talkin’ Soviet Union Blues: The Sound of Freedom and u.s. Cultural Hegemony in Europe” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 1999), p. 515. Wagnleitner writes that it is no coincidence that this protest movement, which was supposedly anti-American, wore jeans and T-shirts and sang We Shall Overcome. Queckfeldt, Eva, “Vietnam” Tre svenska tidningars syn på vietnamfrågan 1963–1968, pp. 53–54, 64–68.

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Even those critical of the u.s. could not help but get their arguments from the country they criticized. History, indeed, is not without its ironies.77

Utilizing the usis’ Propaganda

We will now take a look at some Swedish newspapers and their use of the articles contained in the usis news bulletin Ur USA-Krönikan. There is an obvious difficulty in knowing how much of usia’s material was actually used by the Swedish press. As already mentioned, one problem is the sheer volume of newspapers and articles. One would have to go through every newspaper and compare the articles in it with the material from Ur USA-Krönikan to see what had been used. Marek Fields notes the same in his dissertation: As the usis/Helsinki apparently did not provide Washington with detailed lists about the articles it distributed and managed to have published in Finnish newspapers, a thorough content analysis of American print propaganda implemented through the Finnish press in the mid1950s is more or less impossible to conduct, or at least would require an overwhelming amount of work browsing through the papers. A glance at some national and provincial publications does, however, give an indication of what kind of topics the articles provided by the usis covered and from what angle.78 A complete coverage has of course not been possible in this book either, but a more detailed method than Fields’ has been chosen in order to get closer to the real degree of penetration and usage (note that any detailed lists of articles destined for Washington is not necessary in order to know what articles were distributed—the bulletins themselves are enough for that). Some methodologically problematic issues were dealt with in the ‘Introduction’, and there is no point in repeating this here. Suffice it to say that the editions of Ur USAKrönikan prior to 1965 are missing at the snl. This makes a chronologically complete comparison impossible. 77

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That the arguments of American critics of the Vietnam War were popular may of course also be due to the fact that it lessens the critcism a foreign opinion-maker has to withstand if he/she can show that the view in question is held by Americans as well. It could thus be a consequence of argumentation technique. Fields, M., Reinforcing Finland’s Attachment to the West:…, pp. 248–249.

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There are, however, copies of the Swedish-language news weekly bulletin Nyheter i dag from the period March 1946 to May 1947, and of the Englishlanguage daily news bulletin usis from February to May 1951 in the Information Division of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs archive. The fact that these bulletins are located at ra, and the newspaper archive on microfilm is located at the snl, makes it difficult to conduct the kind of systematic comparison that is possible with Ur USA-Krönikan. However, an overview of the former shows that they have more or less the same kind of content as the latter. The articles are overtly propagandistic in tone in much the same way as the articles in Ur USA-Krönikan.79 Note that this is an important difference between the usis material in Sweden and that which was distributed in Finland, at least if Marek Fields’ evaluation of the latter propaganda material, which he found to be rather neutral in tone, is correct (it could be that this is simply due to a difference in judgement of the content of the articles). It would be interesting though to make a similar comparison to the one undertaken in this book between Nyheter i dag and usis, and a number of Swedish newspapers, to see if the degree of penetration was the same in the earlier period. But fortunately enough the Swedish Foreign Ministry made their own study of the usis’ activities during this early period. Some information can therefore be drawn from there. The practice of sending official news bulletins of some kind to the Swedish press was something that was common for all foreign Legations and ­Embassies in Stockholm in 1950, but according to the Information Division of the Swedish Foreign Ministry’s own research, the usis was by far the best developed news service. Around a hundred Swedish newspapers received Nyheter i dag at the time, and the Information Division concluded that the material was frequently used by many of these newspapers every week. The material was often published in the form of pretty long chunks of “Special Telegrams” from Washington (something that indicates that the usis was not mentioned as the true source of the information). Apparently, this kind of propaganda placement was seen as not completely innocuous, although the memorandum did not ­express great concern over the material from the usis. However, it did stress that “the most dangerous material from the Legations” was that which was spread via official news agencies and free-lance reporters. A Swedish news agency that got this material had no idea where it originated, it was said, thereby indicating that the lack of opportunity to evaluate the source of the message was problematic. Such material could travel through many hands before it reached the newspapers, and might even come via a trusted Swedish free-­lancer that could not be suspected of running the errands of a foreign g­overnment. 79

For these, see: ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; Information Division; F1C; Vol. 144–145.

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­Another group of people that the memorandum worried about were the foreign refugees that were currently “working very energetically to ‘pry open’ the pages of the Swedish press to foreign propaganda.” A common feature of these articles was that they were aimed against the Soviet Union, but pro-Soviet material was also becoming more frequent. According to a source at Aftonbladet there were so many of these kinds of propagators that the newspaper now routinely declined all such efforts. In order to get a clearer picture of how foreign propaganda found its way into the Swedish press, the Information Division would try to trace as many “suspicious” articles and telegrams as possible, and establish a list of foreign and domestic free-lancers that worked with such materials.80 What became of this ambition is unknown. What becomes obvious from this analysis is, however, that it was not at all considered unproblematic that foreign propaganda material was presented to the readers (or in some cases even to the journalists and editors) without its true source being clearly stated in the article. The change from Nyheter i dag to the usis bulletin seems to have occurred sometime in October 1950, because at that time a memorandum from the Information Division entitled “The Press and the Foreign Propaganda” ­[Pressen och den utländska propagandan] noted that the American Embassy was now distributing long folio sheets of typed text, in contrast to the previous short news clips, and it was thought that this change would result in less use of the material by the press because of a lack of space.81 The American bulletin was judged to be a faster service than the Soviet counterpart in that the former was based on daily telegrams from Washington, and Sven Backlund at the Information Division estimated in October 1956 that the Americans got more results from their bulletin than the Soviets did with theirs.82

The Use of the usis News Bulletin

The Swedish language bulletin Ur USA-Krönikan was distributed to some 400 persons, and according to a usis report from 1959 there “was extensive 80

81 82

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2A “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Allmänt, 1947–”; Vol. 361; Unsigned memorandum, October 2, 1950, pp. 4–6. “specialtelegram,” “Det farligaste materialet från legationerna,” “arbetar mycket energiskt för att ‘bända upp’ den svenska pressens sidor för utländsk propaganda,” “misstänkta.” ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2A “…1947–”; Vol. 361; “Pressen och den utländska propagandan. (15.10–22.10),” undated 1950, pp. 2–3. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2A “…1947–”; Vol. 361; Backlund to Böök, October 16, 1956.

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evidence of use of foreign policy material from [it].” For example, some editorials and articles regarding the Tibet and Berlin issues had made use of it, but there were other examples as well. The use of Ur USA-Krönikan was not limited to any particular political affiliation, but was common to Conservative, Liberal, and Social Democratic newspapers alike. Some papers even “used our articles in full as editorials or in the form of foreign policy columns.”83 If nothing else, this ought to change the view of Swedish journalistic practice and ethics during the period in question. A major reason why the usis materials were so sought after might very well have been that it saved the editors and journalists precious time. Instead of analyzing an issue yourself, why not copy something that has already been written for you? However, doing this suspends the process of critical thinking, so important for a free society. If large segments of the country’s intellectual and journalistic elite had willingly checked their professional judgment at the door by handing it over to foreign propagandists, how was the general Swedish population supposed to ward off efforts to control their views and actions? This is a question that will never be answered, but it is nonetheless asked as a means of raising a few eyebrows and provoking a pondering on this issue in the mind of the reader. Other examples of how the usis propaganda was fed to the Swedish public abound. In the area of Scania in southern Sweden, says the report, a spot check revealed that three of the local newspapers (Nyaste Kristianstadsbladet, Norra Skåne, and Nordvästra Skåne Tidningar) drew on usis material for their editorial pages. This is a variant of black-washing that has not been encountered so far in this book. In a very illustrative example a usis article predicting a favorable u.s. market during 1960 was used by Svensk Export, the organ of the Swedish Export Association (Exportrådet). This was in turn picked up by tt “which fed it to all papers. The roundabout routing of the story boosted its credibility and thereby encouraged its use by many papers.” This form of blackwashing was thus apparently promoted by the usis. According to the usis the acceptance of its reports by Swedish newspapers was “wholly satisfactory” and it was estimated that every day about “ten Swedish newspapers carried an item from a usis source.”84 Another matter of interest is perhaps the fact that Norrköpings Tidningar ran a series of articles on the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, located at the Rococo-style Schloss Leopoldskron, set beautifully on the outskirts of Salzburg, Austria, in September 1965. An article about the Seminar’s summer courses had been included in Ur USA-Krönikan in April, but it is doubtful 83 84

nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 2. Ibid., pp. 2–3.

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whether the two were related in any direct sense. The connection was instead that the political editor Gunnar Henrikson had been invited to take part in one of the summer courses, namely the one on “Social Issues in the United States.” The course—one of the most interesting that year, according to Henrikson— was given between June 13 and July 10, and featured special sessions on both American education issues as well as the so-called ‘Negro Problem’. The usia presented the Salzburg Seminar as an independent institution financed by private interests, and according to Henrikson, the foundations funding the Seminar included the Kellogg and Ford Foundations. The Seminar had, according to him, been established in 1947 by a group of American intellectuals and academics who wished to create a tool for increasing understanding between the new and the old world. Henrikson took care to mention that there were no governmental influences on the Seminar. He managed to say this even though the u.s. Educational Commission in Sweden provided information about the courses.85 According to the usia, the Seminar had been created by three Harvard academics, and it was featured in a usis article on September 9 due to the fact that the 100th month-long course was currently being held at Schloss Leopoldskron. Over 5,000 people from both Western and Eastern Europe had attended the Seminar since 1947, the usis boasted.86 The ‘genesis story’ is familiar and strikingly similar to the official roots of the ccf. But the Salzburg Seminar was not the ccf. To sort out the true purpose and origin of the seminar it is necessary to indulge in a short digression. What role the Salzburg seminar played in establishing American Studies in Sweden in the early 1960s will be dealt with in Chapter 6, but it can already be said in this context that the Fulbright Program in Europe was deliberately used by the u.s. government as a means to stimulate the build-up of American Studies departments. This was part of the American strategy to introduce ­American research tools and results into Europe and thereby legitimate the u.s. claim for hegemonic leadership also in the universities in Western Europe.87 The ­American National Student Association, which was the organization that 85

86 87

Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 11, April 1, 1965, p. 5; Henrikson, Gunnar, “Unikt USA-forum i Salzburg för diskussioner med européer” in Norrköpings Tidningar, September 16, 1965, p. 4. For more on the Ford Foundation, and how it was used by the cia to funnel money abroad, see: Berghahn, V., America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe…, pp. 143–249; Stonor Saunders, F., The Cultural Cold War…, 135–144. Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 34, September 9, 1965, p. 6. Scott-Smith, Giles, “Building A Community Around the Pax Americana: The us government and exchange programmes during the 1950s” in H. Laville and H. Wilford (eds.), The us Government, Citizen Groups…, p. 89. See also: Cull, N.J., The Cold War and…, p. 32.

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o­ fficially launched the Salzburg Seminar, was used as a cover for the cia until the exposure of this relationship in Ramparts magazine in 1967.88 However, there is one very good reason to conclude that the cia was not behind the first seminar, taking place in Salzburg. As Ali Fisher, who has studied the way in which the u.s. government cooperated with European intellectuals in the field of American Studies, has remarked: that seminar took place on July 15, 1947, 11 days before Truman signed the National Security Act that created the cia.89 Nonetheless, this did not mean that other u.s. intelligence agencies were not involved (see Chapter 6) and the connections between the American Studies program at Schloss Leopoldskron and the Cold War intelligence and psychological warfare community were ample and direct. The u.s. government needed a venue to promote the ideals of freedom and democracy and to form partnerships with European intellectuals. The Truman Doctrine had just been declared, and this also implied that the fight would have to be taken to the field of culture as well. This is where the Salzburg Seminar became important; it provided exactly the type of framwork within which American values could be promoted at the same time as an air of free intellectual discussion could be upheld. Thus, the u.s. government came to use it for its purposes. By working together with European intellectuals “through a collaborative network,” i.e. by letting the Europeans co-produce American hegemony, valuable links to the European intelligentsia could be established and developed. It is no coincidence that the Salzburg Seminar was called “the Marshall Plan of the Mind.”90 Of course it is not known whether Henrikson started to write the series of articles because it marked the 100th seminar, or as a consequence of the usis bulletin. It is not even known if Henrikson ever received the bulletin, although a qualified guess would tell us that he did. As a consequence of his presence at Schloss Leopoldskron, Henrikson uncritically fed his readers the official American propaganda story as presented in Ur USA-Krönikan. In fact the themes of the Salzburg Seminar and the usia’s propaganda material was remarkably similar—too much so to have been coincidental. For example, Henrikson’s following article told the hopeful story of President Johnson’s Great Society 88

89 90

Paget, Karen M., “From Cooperation to Covert Action: The us government and students, 1940–52” in H. Laville and H. Wilford (eds.), The us Government…, pp. 76–77. Paget, K.M., “From Stockholm to Leiden: The cia’s Role in the Formation of the International Student Conference” in G. Scott-Smith and H. Krabbendam (eds.), The Cultural Cold War…, pp. 138–139. Fisher, A., Collaborative Public Diplomacy:…, p. 21. Ibid., p. 20.

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c­ampaign and his War on Poverty, a theme which had been featured on many occasions in Ur USA-Krönikan, most recently in the usia’s bulletin on September 16, just four days before Henrikson’s article was published.91 The third article in the series dealt with the so-called ‘Negro Question’ and the problem of racism in the u.s. This time Henrikson did keep some critical distance from his subject, and remarked that it was not only through new laws enacted by Congress that the African-American population had begun to emerge from the most extreme depths of poverty and oppression, but also due to the fact that they had taken the matter into their own hands.92 It is easy to understand why this problem was one of the most difficult issues that the usia had to deal with—it was almost impossible to spin this situation in a positive way, and the usia was acutely aware of the problematic nature of the issue.93 However, Henrikson did also stress the positive development in his article. The race issue was also brought up in the final article in the series regarding the state of the u.s. education system.94 Borlänge Tidning, a smaller local newspaper, carried an ad verbatim reprint of a usis article on December 31, 1965.95 The theme was the u.s. space program during the past year and was entitled “The Results of the Space Year in the usa.” Hans G. Nordwall, who was probably a local employee at the usis in Stockholm, had signed the article both in Ur USA-Krönikan and in the newspaper. That he was not a regular contributor to Swedish newspapers is clear from the fact that his name only surfaces once in Svenska Tidningsartiklar 1965. Signed articles were very rare in Ur USA-Krönikan, which usually just stated the city of origin of the news item in question. What is even more interesting is that at the end of the article there is some editing advice to the editor-in-chief of any prospective newspaper recommending that two specific sections could be excised before publication, and the editor-in-chief of Borlänge Tidning 91

92 93 94 95

Henrikson, G., “Kriget mot Fattigdomen i Amerika en maning till varje medborgare” in Norrköpings Tidningar, September 20, 1965, p. 4. For usia articles on Johnson’s Great Society project, see: Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 23, June 23, 1965, pp. 1–2; Ur USAKrönikan, Number 28, July 30, 1965, pp. 1–2; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 35, September 16, 1965, pp. 1–3. Henrikson, G., “Angelägnaste sociala uppgiften i usa: Positiv lösning av negerfrågan” in Norrköpings Tidningar, September 21, 1965, p. 6. C.f. Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…, pp. 275–287. Henrikson, G., “Växande tonårskullar ger problem för det amerikanska skolväsendet” in Norrköpings Tidningar, September 24, 1965, p. 6. Nordwall, Hans, “Facit av rymdåret i usa” in Borlänge Tidning, December 31, 1965, p. 10; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 49, December 21, 1965, pp. 1–5.

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seems to have followed this recommendation.96 This also means that the usis’ white propaganda had effectively been turned into grey propaganda since the real source was hidden from the readers’ eyes. For them the article was written by just any old Swedish journalist, when in reality it was a carefully selected piece of American propaganda. Either Nordwall only signed his articles on rare occasions, since his name is nowhere to be found before 1965, or his articles were otherwise anonymous. But in 1966, 1967, and 1968 (in Svenska Tidningsartiklar and Ur USA-Krönikan), his name appears with one article per year (there are actually two in 1968). All of these had to do with the u.s. space exploration program, and all were published in smaller local newspapers. The articles were published ad verbatim from the usia bulletin but with different headlines at times.97 The article in Skånska Dagbladet in 1966 also includes two photographs of u.s. astronauts. On one of them one of the astronauts on the Gemini project strides an Agena rocket during a space walk, while the other is a staged propaganda shot featuring an astronaut in the right bottom corner of the picture gazing past the viewer/reader with a confident smile on his face while standing in front of a model of the lunar landing module.98 After this Nordwall’s name disappears and is not assigned to any articles listed in Svenska Tidningsartiklar after 1968. What these smaller local newspapers had in common was of course that they did not have the economic resources to employ foreign correspondents. Thus they might have been more tempted to accept usis material. This, of course, does not explain why the editors consistently chose to hide the true source from their readers. The usis was selecting articles for publication according to a standard pattern. A local foreign national usis employee (i.e. a Swede in the case of Sweden) monitored the wireless file, and items were selected for translation into Swedish by an American officer, and then compiled into a weekly (or more frequent) bulletin. In 1959, the bulletin was then sent out to more than 300 newspapers, individual editors, radio, and tv newscasters and so on. An E ­ nglish ­bulletin 96 97

98

Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 49, December 21, 1965, p. 5; Nordwall, H., “Facit av rymdåret i usa” in Borlänge Tidning, December 31, 1965, p. 10. Svenska Tidningsartiklar, Årg. 14/1966, p. 326; Svenska Tidningsartiklar, Årg. 15/1967, p. 382; Svenska Tidningsartiklar, Årg. 16/1968, pp. 35, 153. See also: Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 44, November 17, 1966, pp. 1–4 and Nordwall, H., “usa siktar nu på månlandning. Tre man i Apollokapsel klarar det?” in Skånska Dagbladet, November 22, 1966, p. 2; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 46, November 24, 1967, pp. 1–3 and Nordwall, H.G., “Lärdomar ur rymden” in Bohusläningen, December 5, 1967, p. 4. Nordwall, H., “usa siktar nu på månlandning. Tre man i Apollokapsel klarar det?” in Skånska Dagbladet, November 22, 1966, p. 2.

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went out to a similar list, but included also Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs officials and other diplomatic missions in Sweden. An English bulletin, intended for Labour publications and the trade union adult education groups, was produced about 10 times a year. A bi-weekly cultural feature was also produced and plans had been drawn up for four pamphlets during the coming year. The usis post found the International Picture Service photographs ­extremely saleable, and the post’s translated illustrated feature stories had had “a high rate of placement.” The report stated that most of the placements were in the provincial newspapers, although the metropolitan newspapers in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö did use usis output as well when serviced with Swedish translations. Nonetheless, there was a potential for increasing the placements in provincial papers if sufficient personal contacts with editors could be established, it was argued.99 That the provincial newspapers were more likely to use usis material is something that has been confirmed by the investigations made in this book. In order for us to get a better picture of what kind of articles that were published in Ur USA-Krönikan 1965, the investigation of all the issues of the b­ ulletin during that year has been arranged and sorted into categories in a table below (see: Table 1; p. 148). The table is arranged according to month and the number of articles in the different categories. The categories are economy, science/ technology, domestic policy, foreign policy, miscellaneous. Certainly, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding in what category some of the articles should be sorted. This is particularly the case where an article straddles two or more categories, i.e. when the content could reasonably fit several categories. However, in these cases the article has been listed under the subject category that dominates it. The category ‘Miscellaneous’ has been included to cover those articles that do not readily fit into any of the other categories. There were thus a total of 247 articles published in Ur USA-Krönikan during 1965, and an overwhelming majority of those were articles with a science/ technology theme (see Table 1 below). That particular category contained no less than 83 texts. No other category came even close to that number. Second, in terms of number of articles, was the ‘Foreign policy’ category, containing a little less than half as many with its 41 articles. Then it was a close call for third place between the ‘Economic’ and ‘Domestic policy’ categories, with 35 and 32 texts respectively. The final two categories, i.e. ‘Culture’ and ‘Miscellaneous’ tied at 28 each. Five newspapers of varying size, political adherence, and geographical location have been studied in order to see how many articles from Ur 99

nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Entry 1045; Box No. 9; “Inspection Report” from usis Sweden dated September 2, 1959, pp. 17–18.

148 Table 1

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Total:

chapter 3 Number, and types, of articles in Ur USA-Krönikan 1965

Science/ Economy Domestic Foreign tech. pol. pol.

Culture

Misc.

4 9 5 11 8 7 7 6 5 7 9 5 83

1 1 0 2 2 4 3 0 7 4 1 3 28

2 4 2 9 1 3 2 0 2 2 0 1 28

3 0 3 2 5 6 5 1 6 1 2 1 35

6 5 3 1 1 2 2 1 3 2 2 4 32

0 5 4 3 4 4 5 2 3 3 5 3 41

Total number of articles: 247

USA-Krönikan were used during 1965. These newspapers are: the medium-sized Social Democratic Arbetet based in Malmö in the Scania region of southern Sweden; the Agrarian Party’s small Norra Skåne from the northern part of the same area; the small, Liberal Borlänge Tidning based in Dalarna in mid-Sweden; the large, Liberal Dagens Nyheter based in Stockholm; and the medium-sized Conservative Sydsvenska Dagbladet Snällposten, also based in Scania. The study shows that the ‘Science & Technology’ articles were the ones most frequently used. ‘Foreign Policy’, however, did not take second place; instead this place was taken by the ‘Domestic Policy’ category. This can no doubt be explained by the fact that the Vietnam War, which was the theme of many of the articles in the former category, was such a controversial subject in Sweden.100 It is important to note that not all of the usis articles were used in the newspapers studied, although many of them were. Articles about the situation for the African-American population in the u.s. were almost never used by 100 Based on a thorough study of all issues of these five newspapers during 1965 in the microfilm archive at the snl.

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the sampled newspapers; reasonably for the same reason that the ones about Vietnam were not used. The only exceptions to this rule were Norra Skåne and Borlänge Tidning, which on one occasion published an article about the Watts riots in Los Angeles that basically blamed the riots on the African-Americans by stating that they, coming from the countryside, had not yet got used to living in cities.101 Co-production thus had a clear bias in this respect. However, in 1959, three major articles “pointing to the progress but not glossing over unsolved problems, were widely used by Swedish newspapers,” a usis Country Assessment Report stated. No less than 25 provincial newspapers “with a combined estimated readership of over one million” published one or more of these articles.102 Perusal of all editions of the five newspapers during 1965 reveals another clear pattern. The large newspapers did not use much of the usis material at all, the medium-sized used a little more, and the smallest ones made frequent use of it. Dagens Nyheter published only four usis articles; Arbetet published 11; Sydsvenska Dagbladet Snällposten 27; Norra Skåne included 46 usis articles; and Borlänge Tidning reprinted no less than 49. The newspaper that published the most usis material thus included one in five of the total number of articles in Ur USA-Krönikan that year. It can also be assumed that, since the absolute majority of the Swedish newspapers were such small ones, this amount could be assumed to be about standard for a newspaper of this size. The explanation for the reversed correlation between size and use is most likely that the larger a newspaper was, the more could it afford to send its own reporters to the u.s. to report about matters. However, and it is important to point this out, since the topics reported on were largely the same anyway, this meant that the readers of the larger newspapers did not necessarily get less propaganda content. It only meant that they did not get it via the usis in Stockholm. This particular type of co-production was thus dependent upon the financial and manpower resources of the newspapers. The investigation also shows that the political stance of the newspapers did not cause it to use more or less of the usis material provided to it. Science and technology features thus stood for about 33 percent of the content in the usis bulletin this year (compared to only 16 percent for the second category). That this theme was so dominant may come as a surprise to anyone 101 “Upploppen i Los Angeles. Bakgrunden och botemedlet” [The Riots in Los Angeles: The Background and the Cure] in Norra Skåne, 20 Sept. 1965, 17; “Negerproblemet i usa.” [The Negro Problem in the usa], in Borlänge Tidning, 31 Aug. 1965, 6; snl; Ur USAKrönikan, no. 31, 26 Aug. 1965, 1–2. 102 nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 18.

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who would have expected the people at the usis to focus their attention on the political side, and especially the foreign policy question. However, it should not really surprise us that a seemingly apolitical and non-propagandistic topic such as science received priority over the other subjects. In fact, part of the explanation for the usis preference for this topic was no doubt that it did not appear to be propaganda at all. The same reason probably goes some way toward explaining why most newspapers were more prepared to publish articles from this category than from the other ones. Even so, the fact that the usia chose to let the usis in Sweden focus on this category to such a degree is, in and by itself, very good testimony to the effectiveness it was thought to have as pro-u.s. propaganda. A very common theme within this category was, predictably, the space race and u.s. achievements in this competition. This bias was no accident either, and judging from the frequency with which many of these articles were published this decision was a good one. These texts had a quite high degree of penetration into the Swedish press—and if extrapolating from the newspapers investigated to Swedish newspapers in general, it can safely be assumed that this was true in most other cases too.103 But there were other reasons as well why science and technology was such a prominent part of the usis’ propaganda, not only in Sweden but in general, namely the increased importance of this field in the Cold War struggles (for they were plural) between the superpowers since the advent of the space age. As Allan A. Needell and Ronald E. Doel have remarked, prowess in the field of science and technology became increasingly important during the 1950s as symbolic indications of national and ideological pre-eminence.104 Science and technology became potent weapons in the Cold War, both as contributors to the superpower armament arsenals and in the field of propaganda in the 103 An investigation of another small-town newspaper Motala-Vadstena Tidning during the year 1969 confirms the findings in my study, see: Uhlin, Ida, The United States Information Agency i Sverige. En studie av Ur USA-Krönikan i Motala-Vadstena Tidning från 1969 [The United States Information Agency in Sweden: A Study of Ur USA-Krönikan in MotalaVadstena Tidning in 1969] (Unpublished student essay [B-uppsats], Uppsala University, 2015). For a study of the themes in Ur USA-Krönikan that same year that also confirms the result presented in this book, see: Rönnbäck, John, Propagandakriget i Sverige. En komparativ analys av amerikansk och sovjetisk propaganda i Sverige 1969 [The Propaganda War in Sweden: A Comparative Study of American and Soviet Propaganda in Sweden, 1969] (Unpublished student essay (B-uppsats), Uppsala University, 2016). 104 Doel, Ronald E. and Needell, Allan A., “Science, Scientists, and the cia: Balancing International Ideals, National Needs, and Professional Opportunities” in Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones and Christopher Andrew (eds.), Eternal Vigilance? 50 Years of the cia (London: Frank Cass, 1997), pp. 66, 71.

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battle for the hearts and minds of people everywhere. A document produced by the President’s Committee on Information Activities Abroad, the so-called Sprague Committee, from 1960, illustrates that science and technology continued to be a central feature in u.s. foreign policy in the 1960s. The document bore the title “The Treatment of Science and Technology in the u.s. Information Program” and stated that the objectives of the usis’ use of this subject in its propaganda programs were: 1.

2.

3.

To establish or strengthen among foreign peoples attitudes favorable towards the us by explaining and interpreting the place of science and technology in modern life and progress, with special reference to the application of science and technology in the us for the betterment of the general welfare. To ensure understanding by foreign peoples of past, present, and future us and Free World scientific and technological achievement, particularly as such achievement may demonstrate that the us and Free World systems are in harmony with and will advance their aspirations for freedom, progress, and peace. To reduce the psychological impact of Soviet scientific and technological achievements by full exploitation of us and Free World achievements.105

The hegemonic aspirations in this program are obvious, as are the direct link to the Soviet achievements in this field. Science and technology were indeed at the center of the Cold War conflict. “The emergence of the Soviet Union as a leading nation in science and technology had added a new aspect to the continuing ideological struggle,” the paper stated, and continued by saying that the launching of the Sputnik brought the Soviet achievements quickly to the attention of the world public.106 The problem, according to the Sprague Committee, was that u.s. technological and scientific developments had not been put into context, and the world public thereby tended to misunderstand how the products of American science and technology were put to good use in bettering society as a whole. A basic misunderstanding was “that the us is a materialistic nation,” it was said.107 This put the finger on a central issue for the u.s. 105 Dwight D. Eisenhower Library (henceforth ddel); u.s President’s Committee on Information Activities Abroad (Sprague Committee) Records, 1959–61; Box 5; Folder: Science & Technology # 23 (5); “the Treatment of Science and Technology in the u.s. Information Program,” p. 1. 106 Ibid. 107 Ibid., pp. 1–2.

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government: the feeling of inadequacy and inferiority complex vis-á-vis the Soviet Union that had plagued u.s. policy makers for so long—and continued to do so during the following decades. Was it not then a strange thing to put such heavy emphasis on this field if the usis wished to dispel the notion of Americans as materialistically preoccupied and lacking in finesse and high culture? Well, it would perhaps seem that way at first glance, but the Committee went on to explain their reasoning by stating that “to diminish impressions of American preoccupation with material things, it is necessary to treat science and technology in perspective and to distinguish between the two, both in their purposes and in their impact on the people of the us and the world.” What this meant was that while science was “the systematic pursuit and classification of knowledge,” technology was “the application of science to the industrial and engineering arts.” Moreover, while science was international in scope, technology was more national in character.108 That the first point in the quote above mentions “modern life and progress” is extremely important. Modernity was something that had been closely associated with the u.s. in Sweden for a very long time. In Swedish popular culture, in magazines, and in advertisements, the United States had become almost synonymous with modernity. In advertisements in Sweden in the 1950s the word ‘u.s.a.’ indicated sophistication, modernity, style, quality, and a sense of being first with the latest. The American lifestyle was frequently associated with success and a wealthy existence. This was true for women as well, and magazines (that often had women as an important target audience) in the 1950s often featured stories of American women having gone from rags to riches. Products were sometimes advertised with no other slogan than the fact that it was made in the u.s., and mass consumption was often portrayed as a democratic endeavor (being both a democratic right and a requirement for democracy) bringing equality to everyone.109 The u.s. was thus getting considerable help in their effort to sell itself as the harbinger of modern life and progress. Even though the Soviet achievements were considered to pose problems for the u.s., it was recommended that “treatment of science and technology in the us Information program should not be based directly on us-ussr competition,” because, “treatment on an accomplishment-for-accomplishment basis […] could indicate undue anxiety.” As a corollary to this line of reasoning, the U.S.-Soviet competition in this field should “not be given undue weight as a basic element in the ideological struggle; it must be kept in mind that this 108 Ibid., p. 2. 109 Salomon, K., En femtiotalsberättelse…, pp. 124–139.

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struggle exists at a level far more fundamental than that of dramatic scientific or technological achievement.”110 By refraining from a tit-for-tat comparison with the Soviets, the Americans also avoided the risk of being viewed as second to their rival. Then the paper stated a theme that would later be heard in u.s. propaganda all around the globe. The technological development in the u.s. had led to the gradual replacement of human muscles with machines, and “it could even be stated that technology […] is succeeding in moving toward what the Communists have preached but themselves have never approached—the truly classless society.”111 These were no small words, to be sure. And it could certainly strike the attentive reader as a bit strange that the Sprague Committee would consider moving toward a classless society a good thing. Likely, however, this was not the intended meaning of the comment. But the focus on science and technology was quite natural considering the central place that this development had in the 20th century and even more so during the postwar period, and so-called ‘Big Science’ became a catch phrase of the 1960s. Science was seen as the ‘endless frontier’ that would continue to be pushed onwards through history to the benefit of all of mankind. David Reynolds has remarked that the American inferiority complex, and the lagging behind the Soviet Union in the space race, especially in the Sputnik case in 1957, had more to do with the internal rivalry between the u.s. Navy and Army than with the competition between the superpowers. Once the American efforts were centered on one single development program, it did not take long for the u.s. to catch up with the Soviets.112 The Soviets were able to track the u.s. for a long time, however, because their military-industrial complex received a great deal of funding at the expense of popular consumer demand. The latter fact was what nurtured the eventual demise of the Soviet Union itself. The American science and technology development was symbiotically integrated into a dynamic civilian economy, and this gave important impulses to both the civilian and military sectors.113 110 ddel; u.s President’s Committee on Information Activities Abroad (Sprague Committee) Records, 1959–61; Box  5; Folder: Science & Technology # 23 (5); “the Treatment of Science and Technology in the u.s. Information Program,” p. 3. 111 Ibid., p. 4. 112 Reynolds, David, “Science, technology, and the Cold War” in M.P. Leffler and O.A. Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Cold War, Vol. iii, Endings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 378, 387. 113 Ibid., p. 399; Bluth, Christoph, “Science and Technology” in Sali R. Dockrill and Geraint Hughes (eds.), Palgrave Advances in Cold War History (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), p. 193.

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The dominance of the science and technology theme in usis propaganda in Sweden does not mean that the usis did not try also to get their more overtly political propaganda across to the Swedish public, however. After all, foreign policy was the next biggest category, and a look at the actual content shows that what took precedence in the foreign policy propaganda was indeed the issue of Vietnam. However, as has already been noted several times, this did not go the way the usis wanted it to. Most of the newspapers investigated in this book stayed away from this category; only Borlänge Tidning published some of them. The usia’s view of the war in Vietnam, and the u.s.’ role in it, was simply too extreme for the Swedish taste. This was true for Dagens Nyheter too, even though its Liberal stance positioned it further right in the political spectrum.114 A similar fate befell the issue of the situation of African-Americans in the u.s., especially in the southern states. Here too, the American and Swedish (or perhaps European) views of reality were simply too far apart for them to be able to get along well together. Borlänge Tidning seems to have been the only exception to the rule in this case too, for example when it published the article about the reasons for the Watts Riots. In fact, none of the more overtly propagandistic material in any category seems to have had much success in getting into the Swedish daily newspapers. This conclusion holds also for the economic category, where some of the ­articles definitely contained some high-pitched, self-congratulatory bombast. The usis had a tendency to ‘overdo it’ when it came to giving the President or Congress praise for reforming the social security system for the elderly or ­ensuring that black Americans could register to vote without risking their lives. For the Swedish audience these steps probably did not seem like such a big thing, although they undoubtedly were an improvement, because most were appalled by the fact that a special law for ensuring that a large percentage of the African-American population would not get killed while exercising their democratic rights was needed in the first place. In a way it became a proof of how bad the situation really was in the u.s. The usis did not seem to have understood this point, however, because it continued to supply the Swedish media with the same type of material. So what does the fact that the larger newspapers made less use of these articles than the smaller newspapers mean for the overall evaluation of the 114 Where a particular ideology or idea falls on the ideological curve between left and right depends upon the prior definitions made. For an American reader it may seem strange that Liberal is classified as a ‘rightist’ ideology. This is because in America Liberal basically means ‘leftist’, or perhaps ‘middle of the road’. However, for a European reader this classification would seem much more natural and intuitive.

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usis propaganda effort? Must it not have been a problem for the usis that the largest newspapers in Sweden did not use their material? Once again, the intuitive answer will lead us wrong in our analysis and understanding of this ­issue. The usis obviously did not see this as a problem at all. In fact, not a single case has been found where the usis brought this up as an issue that needed attention in its reporting back to Washington. The reason for this state of affairs is that the largest daily newspapers in Sweden in the latter half of the 1960s, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, were Liberal and Conservative respectively, i.e. these newspapers were already basically positive to American leadership in world affairs. This is not to say that they necessarily always and unreservedly approved of the way the u.s. was conducting its warfare in Vietnam. This is especially true with regard to Dagens Nyheter, which was very critical of the war. But apart from this contentious issue they much more readily put their trust in the u.s. government as a worldleading force, and thus essentially approved of the hegemonic project. Their readers were probably also much more likely to have already had a sympathetic view of the u.s. This trend was perhaps amplified by the fact that these newspapers had their largest audiences in the metropolitan areas in Sweden. This latter fact would have meant that there was less need for usis propaganda to appear in these papers. One could thus venture to say that the lack of usis material in Svensk Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter was counter-weighed by the degree of u.s. propaganda already present in these newspapers in the form of articles with the same themes as those contained in the news bulletin. The readings of these newspapers for the year 1965 do indeed show that this was the case. These newspapers’ own reporters on location in the u.s. still did not choose different topics, or add any more critical thinking to their articles, than did the ­articles taken from Ur USA-Krönikan that were published in other newspapers. This does indeed provide the best explanation for the absence of many of the articles that appeared in Ur USA-Krönikan during the years investigated in this book, and for why this absence did not cause any alarm with the usis. The alternative would be to assume that the large Liberal and Conservative newspaper editors scrutinized the American propaganda much more carefully than their Labour and smaller Liberal/Conservative counterparts. This seems very implausible. On the face of it, the usis’ articles did correspond much more readily to their worldview than to, say, that of the Labour editors and journalists. Even if this assumption is not true, it is not very likely that they would have more to object to in the propaganda, or that they would find it to be too crude and propagandistic in the political and pejorative meaning of the word.

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Another possibility is of course that the right-wing press employed ­editors and journalists that had a higher journalistic standard than the Labour newspapers, and that they simply found the usis articles poorly written or too propagandistic. If this was the case then it could have one of two results. Either it could lead them to reject the material altogether and rely on the copy provided by their staff of foreign correspondents, or it could make them revise and rewrite the usis articles. If the former were true then that would of course explain the absence of usis material in a heartbeat. If the latter is what happened, however, then it means that the usis material is there after all, but that it could only be traced as articles inspired by the usis bulletins, and that presents a serious methodological problem because there is no way of knowing which articles were inspired in this way and which were not. However, the idea that the journalistic standards were generally so much higher at Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet than at Arbetet and Norrländska Socialdemokraten (nsd) is not convincing. There is no evidence to support the assumption that the Labour newspapers settled for a lower journalistic standard. But did not the usis news bulletin address items on the agenda concerning important political issues of the day, and if so was it not inevitable that the press would write about the same topics even though they were not inspired by the usis articles? Well, it is certainly true that some of the materials in Ur USAKrönikan reported on major political issues that the Swedish readers would expect their newspapers to address. But from this it does not follow that they had to adopt the usis propaganda material uncritically, ad verbatim, and not revealing the source, which is what they did in all cases. Moreover, the usis material that appeared in the Swedish newspapers investigated here often dealt with seemingly trivial matters and not with the large political issues of the day—for example, articles on the Vietnam War and the racial conflicts in the u.s. were only rarely taken from the usis. The articles that were used dealt mostly with subjects that were not highly dependent upon the present to be of interest to the readers. Many of them were even anecdotal in character and could just as well have been published later. Some of the newspapers also illustrated this point when they published articles from old issues of the usis news bulletin. Co-producing u.s. Hegemony by Grey- and Black-washing usis Propaganda in the Swedish Press It is now time to address one of the most important, and interesting, findings in this investigation, namely the universal practice of these newspapers of publishing the usis material without stating usis as the source. The usis

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was never revealed as being the source of these articles. In other words, Swedish newspaper journalists and editors were grey-washing the white American propaganda by hiding the source from its readers. It was otherwise standard practice in these newspapers that the source of an article was clearly stated. In the case of the usis articles there were certain consistent exceptions to this rule, however. A source was stated in those cases where the articles in Ur USA-Krönikan contained either the name of the local usis employee who had typed it up, or something more obscure, such as “Washington, spec.” An example of the latter is an article from Norra Skåne ridiculing Fidel Castro and Cuba for the state’s poor finances.115 In those cases the newspapers always gave that as the source, but still refrained from telling the readers of the ultimate source behind it, i.e. the usis. It is reasonable to count these instances as examples of when usis propaganda was black-washed in the Swedish press, because stating a source that is not the true and ultimate source is no different in its effects than making a source up. But surely, the critical reader may ask, Swedish journalists and editors never resorted to such blatant black-washing? Unfortunately, the truth is that they did do exactly that. It turns out that there are several instances where articles have been falsely stated as being either a product of the newspaper’s own journalists, or an established Swedish or international news agency, as if to give the appearance of being bona fide. This cannot possibly be due to happenstance. Instead, this was conscious manipulation of the public’s mind by ascribing articles to faked sources. Co-production of u.s. hegemony in Sweden, by Swedish journalists by black-washing propaganda, was a very real thing. One such example is the article about Cuba and Castro mentioned above. This article was actually also published by the Social Democratic newspaper nsd. This was the largest newspaper in the north of Sweden, with 40,312 issues per day in 1965. The article had the headline “Castro i Hav-a-a-na han har inga pengar kvar” [Castro in Hav-a-a-na he has no money left]. It was thus the same as in Ur USA-Krönikan, with the important change that Havanna was written “Hav-a-a-na” in nsd. Why was it changed? The reason was most likely that the headline alluded to a song by a very famous Swedish songwriter and poet, Evert Taube, who once sang “The girl in Havanna, she has no money left” [Flickan i Havanna, hon har inga pengar kvar]. This was no doubt what the local ­employee at the usis office was aiming for when the headline was written in the 115 For a case of “Washington, spec.,” see: “Castro i Havanna—han har inga pengar kvar,” in Norra Skåne, January 13, 1965, p. 5. snl; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 1, January 8, 1965, p. 6. See also: “Fri sjukvård åt 19 milj. i usa. En genomgripande socialreform,” in Norra Skåne, September 6, 1965, p. 4. snl; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 28, July 30, 1965, pp. 1–2.

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first place. All the nsd did was simply to emphasize it even more. The article was of course an ad verbatim reprint. However, the newspaper then chose to add a false source, namely “Washington (nsd),” as if it had originated with an nsd reporter in Washington, and not with the usis.116 The same false attribution practice was used also by another Social Democratic newspaper, namely Arbetet. In this instance it concerned an article published on November 28, dealing with the development of a combination of a giant aircraft, a bus, and a helicopter in the u.s. The headline, and sub headlines, were all copied ad verbatim from the usis bulletin, but the source was stated as “Washington, Arbetet.” This was clearly meant to imply that a reporter at the scene in the u.s. had written it.117 In both of these cases it was hence Social Democratic newspapers that practiced this elaborate deception. But other newspapers did it too. The small Borlänge Tidning will serve as an example of this. In this case, an article about the coming installation of Lyndon B. Johnson as President, which was published ad verbatim and in extenso, was given the false signature “s.b.”118 Then, on March 10, Norra Skåne published an article about President Johnson’s decision to make America more beautiful, taken from Ur USA-Krönikan, complete with headline and signature by O. Trollsved.119 In the latter case, of course, the source was not entirely made up, even though the true source was still hidden. Another interesting example of black-washing can be found early in 1965 in Norra Skåne, which carried an article from the latest issue of the usis bulletin. The article told the readers about the large salary increase for American legislators in Congress, their high standard of living, and their otherwise fortunate working situation, with many staffers and assistants to help them do their job. In this case the source in the newspaper was stated as the Swedish news agency tt, or more precisely: “Washington (tt).” This implies one of two possible things: either the newspaper black-washed the source, as being tt, or this is an example of tt black-washing usis material when sending it out to Swedish newspapers. The second option is probably the correct one, and this conclusion is based on the fact that the article was not published in its entirety, which 116 “Castro i Hav-a-a-na han har inga pengar kvar,” in Norrländska socialdemokraten, January 12, 1965, p. 9. snl; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 1, January 8, 1965, p. 6. 117 “Jätteplan och flygbuss under utveckling i usa,” in Arbetet, November 28, 1965, p. 6. snl, Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 44, November 18, 1965, pp. 3–4. 118 “Framtidens skola,” in Borlänge Tidning, January 13, 1965, p. 8. snl; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 1, January 8, 1965, pp. 4–5. 119 “Ett vackrare Amerika,” in Borlänge Tidning, March 3, 1965, p. 8. snl; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 7, February 25, 1965, pp. 1–3.

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was otherwise the rule. Some paragraphs had been excised and tiny bits had been slightly altered especially for the Swedish audience—e.g. the amount in Swedish kronor had been added next to the dollar figures.120 That tt did black-wash for the usis is also corroborated by another example. This article appeared on October 9 in Borlänge Tidning. It is basically an ad verbatim reprint of a usis article about the visit of the Swedish Minister for Agriculture Eric Holmqvist to the u.s., but the article is not attributed to the usis but to tt. The beginnings of the articles are identical except that where the usis bulletin says that the two week-long visit was to end on October 9, the article in Borlänge Tidning says that it ended “today,” which of course was true. This seems to imply that someone at tt had simply rewritten the part that did not fit, and made it more up to date for publication on this particular day. The article was not published in extenso, however, because only the first half of it was re-printed. It told the reader that the visit had been very worthwhile, and that increased exchange, and cooperation, between the two countries could be valuable, and the newspaper’s (or perhaps tt’s) own headline stated that Holmqvist was learning agriculture from his American counterpart.121 The latter issue is of some consequence for the propaganda value of the article. If it was tt that said that Holmqvist learned from the Americans then the value of the statement could be assumed to increase somewhat. Be that as it may, the central issue here is that this is the second piece of evidence that tt sometimes re-routed usis’ material to the Swedish press. This exemple is also interesting for the reason that it was the only usis article in Borlänge Tidning that appeared on the news pages, and not in the culture section or as a feature article. This once again highlights the problem of evaluating the penetration of usis material in the target country’s press. How many other usis articles were re-written and black-washed by tt and then sent to, and used by, Swedish newspapers? There is no way of knowing except through much more research and comparisons between the usis material and tt’s telegrams of the period. It should be made perfectly clear that no evidence of the usis requesting that their material should be either grey-washed or black-washed has been found. However, absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence. It is a pattern that demands an explanation, and pure coincidence is certainly ­extremely implausible; so implausible that it can be ignored completely. Left is thus the hypothesis that the usis had come to some sort of tacit agreement 120 “150.000 dollar om året senator-arvode,” in Norra Skåne, February 1, 1965, p. 7. snl; Ur USAKrönikan, Number 3, January 28, 1965, pp. 1–2. 121 “Holmqvist lär jordbruk av USA-kollegan Freeman,” in Borlänge Tidning, October 9, 1965, p. 11. snl; Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 38, October 7, 1965, pp. 4–5.

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with the editors-in-chief of Swedish newspapers, or at least that there was some kind of understanding of how to treat the usis material among the latter group, i.e. to never state the usis as the source of their articles. That is to say, there must have been some kind of agreement to turn white propaganda into grey. But is there any direct evidence of this? Well, a clue is provided in Thomas C. Sorensen’s book The Word War. Sorensen, who was Deputy Director of the usia (Policy and Plans) in the 1960s, writes that it was often desired by the usia that material originating with the agency should not be directly, or obviously, attributable to it. The simple reason for this was that it risked raising a warning flag in the mind of the target of the propaganda in question, which said “‘watch out, this is something the Americans want me to believe’.” Although the agency would not deny that the material originated with the usis if asked, it preferred to keep it a secret anyhow. This, writes Sorensen, is an example of “‘grey’ non-attributed but attributable propaganda,” which together with white (i.e. attributed) propaganda was the most common type of material disseminated by the usis posts. Only “seldom” did the usis engage in so-called black, or wholly non-attributable, propaganda. Thus, while this type of propaganda was basically left to the cia it does seem, if one reads Sorensen correctly, that the usia did use this form of propaganda occasionally also.122 In fact, the Jackson Committee had concluded already in 1953 that “‘a much greater percentage of the information program should be unattributed’.” Propaganda was only to be attributed to the u.s. “‘when such attribution is an asset’.” As a consequence, about half of the usia’s propaganda was non-attributed by 1960.123 It is thus a safe supposition that when the usis sent their articles to tt it was certainly expected that some of them would be used in TT’s own telegrams to the newspapers, which in turn would inevitably result in the material appearing in newspapers all over the country. When this happened there is a good chance that the editors did not even realize that they were in fact using USIS propaganda. As already discussed, the articles contained in Ur USA-Krönikan were wholly attributable white propaganda when they were sent to the newspapers, but were turned into grey and black propaganda by the newspapers themselves. This is a clear case of Swedish journalists and newspaper editors co-producing 122 Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, pp. 64–65. 123 ddel; u.s President’s Committee on Information Activities Abroad (Sprague Committee) Records, 1959–61 (henceforth: pciaa); Box 20; Folder: pciaa #2; “The Roles of Attributed and Unattributed Information and the Division of Responsibility Between usia and cia,” May 9, 1960, p. 1.

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u.s. hegemony in Sweden. The Americans did not have to request or demand this practice, since the Swedes themselves did it spontaneously. This practice was obviously not something that bothered the usis, because no trace of any complaints or comments about it can be found in the archival material. Most likely, the agency viewed this as a positive thing, because it significantly ­reduced the risk that the Swedish public, an important (if not the most important) target audience for American propaganda, would become apprehensive about the message of the articles that they consumed. No warning flags were raised. Sorensen himself disclosed as much when he wrote: “Just as a story on the Berlin Wall in the New York Times will carry more weight with an American reader than would the same item if he read it in a handout from the German Embassy in Washington, so a non-attributed usis story in the London Times defending the u.s. position in Vietnam will be more persuasive to British readers than if they see it in a bulletin issued by USIS-London.”124 Grey propaganda was material “whose content is such that the effect will be increased if the hand of the u.s. Government [was] not revealed,” as the Sprague Committee put it in 1960. It was a means for the u.s. government to present viewpoints to foreign audiences that would be acceptable or more ­acceptable, to the target groups than an official government statement would be.125 Whether this should be interpreted as meaning that the usis posts ­actively encouraged the local news media not to disclose the source of the ­article is unclear, but it is not an unreasonable interpretation at all. One must point out once again, however, that no direct evidence of this occurring in the Swedish case has been found. But, again, that all the newspaper editors should make the same decision independent of both the usis and of eachother, without there being some kind of tacit agreement between the parties, is so highly unlikely that it can be disregarded. This grey-washing and black-washing seems to mark an important difference in how usis propaganda was transformed through co-production in Sweden as compared to Finland. Marek Fields concludes in his dissertation that: Although British and American propaganda in Finland can in general be labelled as ‘white’ propaganda, i.e. objective truth-telling from an open source, the reasonably successful placement of anti-communist articles in Finnish newspapers, together with the transmission of political ­radio programmes and the publication of the American field magazine, 124 Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, p. 66. 125 ddel; pciaa; Box 20; Folder: pciaa #2; “The Roles of Attributed and Unattributed Information and the Division of Responsibility Between usia and cia,” May 9, 1960, p. 1.

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indicate that a fair share of the content clearly belonged to the category of ‘grey’ propaganda, i.e. the distribution of biased information and partial truths from an indeterminate source. The difficulty to push direct criticism of the Soviet Union for publication in Finland only increased the share of this type of propaganda. Indeed, the British and Americans as well as the Finns were more or less forced to develop a new way of attacking the Russians and communism in general indirectly, namely by directing the sharpest sting at the smaller Eastern European countries. A very small share of Western propaganda in Finland could also be called ‘black’ as the true source of the stories was sometimes disguised. Furthermore, the covert and indirect distribution of hard-hitting anti-communist material through indigenous agencies was also likely to include misleading information.126 Although Fields’ definition and understanding of the terms grey, white, and black propaganda is different from mine, he has not identified any practice comparable to the grey-washing and black-washing that has been discovered in the Swedish case, i.e. systematic concealment of the original source by journalists and newspaper editors.127 However, this apparent difference could also be due to the fact that Fields did not study in depth how the material distributed to the Finnish press was actually used in the newspapers. The question of whether the same practices were as common in Finland should perhaps remain an open one. In summary, the usis estimated that its propaganda efforts towards the Swedish press corps “have continued to serve as the major source of authoritative information in Sweden. This is particularly true for the approximately 75 leading provincial newspapers which do not have their correspondents in the u.s. and do not subscribe to American wire services. The receptivity of these newspapers and the frequency of their use of usis materials have resulted in the post being able to get u.s. policy before a very broad public as well as to leaders of public opinion.”128 It is worth remembering Edward Bernays’ words about the “invisible government” that are “the true ruling power” in modern society. The usis’ propaganda approach basically confirms Bernays’ analysis. The language used by the usis is telling. It was not a matter of encouraging Swedish newspaper editors and journalists to be critical thinkers, or to 126 Fields, M., Reinforcing Finland’s Attachment to the West…, p. 346. 127 E-mail from Fields to the author 16 February, 2016. 128 nara ii, rg 306 Records of the United States Information Agency; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Box: 9; “Operations Advisory Service Report on usis Sweden,” Sept. 22, 1956, p. 11.

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supply only yet another source for their reporting on matters regarding u.s. policy. ­Instead, ‘receptivity’ was what was sought. Material was being ‘fed’ to the Swedish media elite, implying that the audience should be a passive receptacle that could be filled with ideas and ‘information’. If one were to extend this metaphor then what has been swallowed must be digested, and finally discharged from the system. It is not clear if the disposed items were what ended up in the newspapers or if the publication was part of the digestion process. Anyway, it must be assumed that it was not the usis’ intention to draw the metaphor quite this far.

Was Communist Propaganda in Sweden Any Different?

The fact that the more overtly political themes also were seemingly more overtly propagandistic does not mean that the other articles were neutral in tone and content. As already mentioned, even the scientific and economic material was formulated in a way that clearly aggrandized the u.s.’ achievements in these areas. This may come as a surprise to anyone with the preconceived notion that American ‘information’ material was less propagandistic than the Soviet dito. This seems to be a misconception. But it is a common misconception though. In an article in an anthology, Swedish historian Håkan Arvidsson has stated that in the struggle for the Swedish mind the Eastern Bloc was far less effective than its counterpart. “The East told its worldview far less splendidly and efficiently than the usa told its,” he writes. The Soviet propaganda from the start happened to fall into a position where it had to defend itself, he says. He then makes a comparison between Western and Soviet propaganda as the latter was presented in Nyheter från Sovjetunionen [News from the Soviet Union], a regular newsletter published by the Soviet Embassy in Stockholm (i.e. the counterpart to Ur USA-Krönikan), and states that the editorials frequently analyzed problems concerning economic planning, world politics, and warmongering in the West, and made critical attacks on u.s. foreign and domestic policy. It also dealt with the progress and victories of socialism and (Soviet) democracy. Even though there were sometimes articles about fashion and art, his conclusion is that “for a contemporary reader it is boring and tedious to read.” Even disregarding the anachronistic component in that statement, it is still a bit beside the point. According to Arvidsson, the Western propaganda could allow itself a breadth and freedom that the Eastern one never could, or wanted to, achieve. It became a chorus where every voice was perfectly tuned and therefore came to sound false and unnatural. The Western propaganda also told the story of

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the downside of Western society, writes Arvidsson, of poverty in the middle of affluence, of hardship and sadness, and therefore presented a picture that people could identify with.129 But the way that the Soviet propaganda was formulated in Nyheter från Sovjetunionen cannot in itself explain why the Americans were more successful. Neither can it explain why Soviet movies and music did not cut it in the competition with American youth culture. The explanation for this state of affairs must be sought in the context of which these propaganda messages were a part, a context consisting of a society that was already heavily biased in favor of things American from the start. The reasons for this are historical (Sweden and Russia have really never ever been a part of the same cultural sphere), and not a question of the quality of the cultural products being advertised. Arvidsson is, of course, well aware of this fact. He writes that Sweden was extremely accepting of American cultural products during the postwar period, even that it was the most Americanized country in Europe, a path that it had already started to tread before the war in the 1930s.130 But at the same time Arvidsson seems to think that the reason for this state of affairs was the sheer amount of American popular culture that overwhelmed Europe at this time, an offensive that the Europeans could not escape, and thus could not help but take into their hearts.131 There are, however, plenty of reasons to assume that this is a really simplistic view. There simply is no reason to think that Sweden would have suddenly become a part of the same cultural sphere as Russia, had Western Europe not been swamped with u.s. pop-culture after 1945. Even though it is a conjecture, it seems safe to assume that Sweden would have ­remained a part of the Western European Kulturkreis. Moreover, when one studies the Nyheter från Sovjetunionen, it becomes obvious that this thesis is wrong. The fact that a population is constantly being fed a certain diet does not mean that they will like it, or that they will reject influences coming from the outside. Instead of viewing Western popular and consumer culture with distrust, the people of Eastern Europe embraced it .

129 Arvidsson, Håkan, “När krigets mål var freden” [The the Aim of War Was Peace] in Håkan Arvidsson, Lisbeth Larsson, and Kim Salomon (eds.), Hotad Idyll. Berättelser om svenskt folkhem och kallt krig [Threatened Paradise: Tales About the Swedish Peoples’ Home and Cold War] (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2004), pp. 207–211. “Öst berättade sin världsbild långt mindre glänsande och effektfullt än usa berättade sin.” “Det är för en nutida läsare trist och tröttsam läsning.” 130 Arvidsson, H., “När krigets mål var freden,” p. 192. 131 Ibid., p. 193.

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eagerly whenever they got the chance. The reactions of the Moscow citizens to the American exhibition in 1959, and the way that American music and news were consumed in secret via the VoA, Radio Free Europe (rfe), or Radio Liberty are illustrative examples of this point. Propaganda analysis, like Ellul’s thesis that propaganda needs a pliable piece of clay to mold, also contradicts this assumption, as does everything known about human cognitive psychology. The consumer culture, of which the u.s. came to be the most prominent proponent, was equally attractive to people in both the East and West. The most likely reason of this fact is that this culture satisfied certain basic urges developed in the early evolutionary history of the human mind—it satisfies our brain’s natural penchant for wanting to be attractive to potential partners, quick and easy access to things that trigger the brain’s natural reward system, and the hardwired desire for sex. Fashion, style, music, material wealth, are all things that are pleasant to look at and listen to and they give a person status, which in turn is one of the most basic human desires. Any ideology that revolts against that is bound to encounter problems as soon as it tries to go beyond the ideological avant-garde. Force will need to be applied to get the rest to accept it. Instead, it seems that the true reason for why the u.s. came to dominate this competition was, as Reinhold Wagnleitner has put it, “the American economic and cultural attraction that really won over the hearts and minds” of the Western Europeans (and indeed people in general). A central aspect here is that a happy and fulfilling life, something that the comfort-starved European populace was thirsting for immensely (and that goes also for the Swedes), ­became equated with consumerism. And, Wagnleitner writes, as soon as “real consumption climed into the ring, chances were high that real socialism had to be counted out.” Modernity and consumerism became equated with the u.s., even though there was really nothing specifically American about these two phenomenon from the outset, and production of consumer products became perhaps the most important weapon in this fight. And produce the Americans did. In fact, in 1945 the u.s. produced almost as much goods as all other countries in the world combined; it manufactured 100 times as many cars as the Soviet Union, and eight times the joint production of Britain, Germany, and France. It also produced entertainment that catered to peoples’ tastes and that captured their imaginations, a fact that cannot be underestimated in this process. It is absolutely clear, writes Wagnleitner, “that the instruments of the Soviet orchestra were completely out of tune with the wishes of the majority of the European audiences, in the West as well as in the East.” In the Sovietdominated East a large amount of resources had to be put into scrambling Western radio transmissions playing Western pop music. Nothing like that was

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ever necessary for the Western countries.132 It was thus never just a matter of quantity, but above all about content as well. Arvidsson’s conclusions are also flawed by the fact that he in a sense compares apples and oranges. While the Soviet propaganda is represented by ­Nyheter från Sovjetunionen, the Western propaganda that Arvidsson analyzes is made up of Hollywood movies and popular culture. This is hardly a fair comparison. Why Arvidsson does not compare Nyheter från Sovjetunionen to Ur USA-Krönikan is hard to say with any certainty, but a guess would be that he did not know that the American news bulletin existed. If he had done so he would have seen, as others have, that the content of these two newsletters did not differ all that much. The method was the same because the target audience was the same, namely journalists, editors, politicians, and other people in a ­position to influence the public through their positions in Swedish s­ ociety. If the method and content did not differ much, then the question why the Soviets were much less successful in planting their material becomes more interesting. Clearly there was already a bias in favor of the West and the u.s. that made the American material seem more attractive to Swedish newsmen. Nyheter från Sovjetunionen differed from its American counterpart mainly in that it focused on cultural themes, rather than scientific or technological ones, and also in that it had a larger (and then negative) focus on u.s. policies.133 Propaganda never works in a vacuum. The Americans were engaged in defending their way of life just as much as the Soviets were. They too provided the reader with articles about the superiority of the capitalist system, world politics, the warmongering in the East (and the Soviet guilt in every conflict), and criticized Soviet foreign and domestic policy. To a contemporary reader they are often just as tedious and boring. But that is because they were not intended to be entertaining or fun; the purpose was to ‘inform’, to propagandize the public with seemingly apolitical material. And in this context it is important to remember the result of the analysis of the usis’ use of Ur USA-Krönikan, namely that it was far from all the material that was frequently used by Swedish newspapers.

132 Wagnleitner, Reinhold, “The Empire of Fun, or Talkin’ Soviet Union Blues: The Sound of Freedom and u.s. Cultural Hegemony in Europe” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 1999), pp. 499–524; quotes on pp. 506 and 518. For some recent studies on consumption in Europe in the postwar period, see: Lundin, Per and Kaiserfeld, Thomas (eds.), The Making of European Consumption: Facing the American Challenge (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). 133 Rönnbäck, J., Propagandakriget i Sverige....

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Swedish historian Andreas Linderoth has studied the issue of East German propaganda in Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s in his dissertation, and he shows that the gdr was mostly concerned with its recognition as an independent state by Sweden. This was by far the most central theme on the minds of East German propagandists up until the Swedish government did recognize the gdr in 1972. The propaganda was designed to achieve this goal, and thus differed greatly from the American and even the Soviet propaganda. Other ­areas where the gdr was active in Sweden were economy and trade, sports, culture, and politics. In the latter area the contacts with the Swedish Communist Party (skp) were important. Culturally, it seems, the gdr was not very successful. It got off to a very slow start in the 1950s and took a serious nosedive in the aftermath of the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The gdr cultural center that opened in Stockholm in 1967 did not become particularly successful either (in great contrast to the usis equivalent). Although there was a Swedish-gdr friendship association in Sweden, it never had a lot of members. Moreover, the gdr also propagandized the Swedish press corps, but the results do not seem to have been anywhere near as successful as the work of the usis.134 Naturally, there was no ambition on the part of gdr to make the Swedes view it as ­hegemonic in any way. The gdr’s activities were instead much more limited in scope and objective.

Co-opting the Swedish Press: The Power and Limits of Propaganda

This chapter has presented a review of the content of the usis propaganda bulletin Ur USA-Krönikan from 1965. These articles were sorted into six specific categories to get a sense of what kind of articles were used in order to realize the propaganda aims of the usis in Stockholm. The categories were: science/ technology, economics, domestic policy, foreign policy, culture, and miscellaneous (for those articles that do not obviously fit under any of the other ­labels). The result of this review was actually quite intriguing because contrary to what one might intuitively expect, the usis propaganda was not dominated by foreign, or even domestic, policy, but by science and technology. This was a result of the careful analysis of the Swedish public opinion made by the usis in Stockholm, and the estimation of which topics that would have the best chance of generating a positive response to things American from the Swedish public. This was a theme that was becoming an increasingly important one 134 Linderoth, A., Kampen för erkännande…, passim.

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in the Cold War battle for the hearts and minds in the world. It was thus no coincidence that a majority of the articles happened to belong to this category. It turns out that the usis success in placing material in the Swedish newspapers was on a scale unknown, perhaps even unthinkable, to anyone prior to this study. Not only did the usis easily distribute their material to the editors and journalists—many of whom actively requested it. The newspapers actually printed the propaganda as it stood, sometimes editing out certain parts but for reasons obviously having more to do with space than with content. It was a certain type of newspapers that used the absolute majority of the usis’ ­material, or at least that published it ad verbatim, namely mid-sized and s­ maller newspapers based outside the large cities. The bulk of these ­papers were Liberal or Conservative in political outlook, a state of affairs that can be explained by two facts: (1) most of the newspapers in Sweden were in fact of this political persuasion, despite the long reign of Social Democracy in Swedish politics (and the latter’s share of the press gets smaller and smaller the further into the 1960s one gets); (2) these were the newspapers that were more inclined to ­accept the American worldview to begin with. However, the fact that the Social Democratic newspapers studied here also made frequent use of this material indicates that their worldview agreed with the usis’ to a very high degree too. These newspapers were also too small to be able to afford to have their own reporters in the u.s., and so were anyway dependent upon o­ ther sources for this kind of content. The Americans thus had three important ­advantages with regard to these newspapers. The investigation has also shown that the large daily newspapers such as Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet hardly used anything originating with the usis, at least not in 1965. Note, however, that there is an important caveat to this conclusion, namely that it is unknown if the usis bulletins, which they did receive, in some way gave rise to ideas or features for them, although they could afford to send their own reporters out in field and thus produce their own copy. The problem of knowing if the larger newspapers were influenced in their news reporting, or in the topics of editorials and the arguments contained in these, is not possible to overcome in a study like this. A lot of the articles dealt with matters, the space race for example, that the newspapers simply could not afford not to report on, and very often these articles were taken from nasa press releases or news agencies of different kinds. Needless to say, nasa’s press releases were pumping out their own propaganda. With regard to the other international and national news agencies it is a fact that the usis also sent their bulletin to tt, and that, on at least some occasions, this material was circulated back into the news loop and entered the Swedish newspapers that way, through the back door, so to speak. tt thus acted as a

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sort of go-between for the usis. In this process the content was black-washed, i.e. white propaganda was turned into black, and the newspapers themselves may not even have realized that they were publishing official American propaganda. How common this was remain unknown, and this study has not tried to quantify this practice in any way. It would, however, be of considerable value with a comparison of the tt news telegram archive at ra (in Arninge outside Stockholm) and Ur USA-Krönikan. The most significant results of the comparison between the articles in the five investigated newspapers and Ur USA-Krönikan are: (1) that these articles were always either published entirely without a source, i.e. grey-washed; or (2) they were given a source that was not the true source, i.e. black-washing. In some of the latter cases these articles were consciously black-washed. No matter whether this process was voluntary or not, the result of this was that the reader got the impression that the article had been written by someone other than the ultimate and true source, i.e. the usis. When sources were stated, it was either when the usis article itself had a name or attribution in it. Then the newspapers simply copied that too. By using the usis material, and hiding the true source from the readers, the newspapers in effect turned white propaganda into black, and it is a clear case of journalists and editors co-producing u.s. hegemony in Sweden. This process has been called grey-washing and blackwashing in this chapter. These terms denote the process whereby white propaganda is being washed, or cleaned, of the tainting effect that the true source would have on the credibility of the article in question.

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American Propaganda and the Opinion-makers, Part ii: The usis and Swedish Radio and Television1 Introduction The investigation will now move on to other parts of the Swedish media and look at how the usis interacted with, and did its best to affect, it. This chapter will look at how the usis targeted the Swedish state-owned radio and television stations. The Americans put a great deal of effort into influencing also these types of media, and the usis knew to make connections with prominent persons on the Swedish side in order to do just that. Films and radio programs were placed in the Swedish state media. This chapter also reveals that the usis managed to come to a tacit arrangement with the board of Swedish state ­television, with the implication that the latter should do its best to convince the Swedish public that it belonged with the West in the Cold War. The usis and Swedish Television It has been remarked that even though a nation and a culture has many ways to join together its various parts, it is undeniable that television is one of the more important technologies used for this purpose. Television is a medium that presents a symbolic message to the audience at home. These audiences in turn use these messages to create meaning, but one could argue that the content has to be packaged in such a way that the audience can make sense of it, i.e. it already has to be made comprehensible to the culture that it is directed towards. Most of this is of course completely unnoticable to the viewer immersed within the culture (while someone coming from the outside may be able to spot these cues more or less immediately). The viewer is not a passive victim of the television content, however, but is actively engaging with 1

1 Parts of this chapter has been published as: Nilsson, M., “American Propaganda, Swedish Labour, and the Swedish Press in the Cold War: The usia and Co-Production of u.s. Hegemony in Sweden During the 1950s and 1960s” in International History Review, Vol. 34, Issue 2, June 2012, pp. 315–345.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_006

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it through interpretation. The audience is heterogenuous and will respond to the same programming in many different ways.2 Television, as propaganda, is thus pre-packaged for the viewers in a way that allows them to uncode the messages embedded in its programming, or (at least) in a way that the sender thinks will generate the kind of un-packing and understanding intended. It is this that gives television its enormous potential as a tool for propaganda, and this once again confirms Ellul’s thesis about the importance of propaganda being adjusted to pre-conceived notions and desires. At the same time, of course, television constantly re-negotiates established interpretations and offers new messages and experiences to the viewers, i.e. it is a technology that both re-affirms old messages as well as establishes new ones. The American influences on Swedish radio and television during the Cold War date back to at least 1950, when a representative of Radiotjänst (the company charged by the Swedish parliament, the riksdag, with collecting fees for the financing of public radio and television), Henrik Hahr, traveled to the u.s. on behalf of the Radiotjänst Board of Directors. Hahr spent two months in the u.s. and was instructed to gather information and study American radio in general, but especially their education and documentary programs, as well as the news broadcasting. He also studied methods of modern mass communication research at various universities. In addition, he was to make contact with the VoA and the u.n.’s Radio Division “for certain practical collaboration issues.” Moreover, he studied the new medium of television and tried to gather a picture of developments in this area in the u.s.3 The result of this trip is unknown, but it is certainly interesting that Hahr was instructed to seek out the VoA to discuss practical collaboration issues. Unfortunately, no documents that could answer the question of whether this contact resulted in any such collaboration have been found. The propaganda features for television distributed by the usia included a documentary series called This Is the United States, which introduced the foreign audience to u.s. geography and history, as well as nearly two hours of news and feature material every week. The agency was pretty successful in placing this program, and by the summer of 1954 it had been sold to 19 countries. By 1956, the usia was distributing a total of 460 programs to 2 3

2 Dahlgren, Peter, “tv och våra kulturella referensramar” [tv and Our Cultural Frames of Reference] in Ulf Hannerz (ed.), Medier och kulturer [Mediums and Cultures] (Stockholms: Carlssons, 1990), pp. 59, 68–71, 78–81. 3 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2I “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Radio i upplysningsverksamheten 1949 okt.–mars 1952. 6”; Vol. 371; Henrik Hahr to Ole Jödahl, September 19, 1950, p. 1. “vissa praktiska samarbetsfrågor.”

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150 tv stations with an estimated audience of around 40 million people. Among these shows was a series of monthly programs called Report from America that had been produced in cooperation with the bbc—a program that proved so popular with the British audience that it was moved into prime time on Sundays in early 1956.4 Radiotjänst also started an exchange program of sorts with the American television company cbs in 1955, i.e. prior to the start of official television broadcasting in Sweden, through which cbs made some of its material available for the Swedish broadcasts that were to start officially in September the next year.5 rfe’s Scandinavian Bureau sent copies of the rfe Press Wire and its Iron Curtain Briefs to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Information Division during early 1960 (and perhaps late 1959), but apparently the Swedes never made any use of it.6 It is clear that while the Swedish authorities kept a close eye on the content of Radio Moscow’s Swedish-language broadcasts, it did not pay nearly as close attention to the usis material being placed in the Swedish media.7 As was the case in Chapters 1 and 2, important sources of information about the usis’ propaganda activities aimed at Swedish television are the Country Plans written by the pao, and the inspection reports written by the usia inspectors. No Country Plan for Sweden had been filed in 1955 (the latest being in July 1954), but there was a preliminary draft for such a plan for 1956 made by the pao in December 1955. However, this draft was not in accordance with the usia’s instructions and was therefore under revision when the 1956 inspection was made.8 The usis was already by this time making continual use of media resources in Sweden. But as far as radio went there was very little of that in 4 5 6 7 8

4 Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 111–112. 5 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2I “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Radio och television i upplysningsverksamheten 1954 Sept.–1956 Dec. 8”; Vol. 372; Memorandum regarding the exchange of television films between cbs and Radiotjänst, January 26, 1955, p. 1. 6 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2I “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Radio och television i upplysningsverksamheten 1957 Jan.–1961 Dec. 9”; Vol. 372; Frederick B. Opper to Sven Backlund, March 8, 1960. 7 C.f. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2I “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Radio och television i upplysningsverksamheten 1964 mars–juli 1967. 11–19”; Vol. 373–375. These volumes contain nothing but the transcripts of Radio Moscow’s Swedishlanguage broadcasts during this period. 8 nara ii, rg 306 Records of the United States Information Agency; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Box: 9; “Operations Advisory Service Report on usis Sweden,” Sept. 22, 1956, pp. 8–9.

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Sweden in 1956. The reason was that the state-owned radio carefully guarded against political programming. It was possible to listen to the VoA, however, but the reception was not the best—“spotty” was the word used in the report, and the local pao felt that it was “of marginal value.” Television was a completely new medium in Sweden in 1956. There was experimental broadcasting in the early 1950s, but official and regular broadcasting began on September 15, 1956. Despite it being such a new thing, or perhaps because of it, the usis had been highly successful in placing material there so far, and relations between the usis and Swedish tv programmers were “excellent.” In fact, relations were so good that the only limiting factor on the post’s ability to place its material was the extent of the material, according to the pao.9 In this context it is worth noting that such cooperation between Swedish television and the usis existed alongside tough criticism of the strong influence of American movies, jazz, and other popular culture phenomenons on the Swedish youth. Such imports had caused alarm in official circles and in 1945 the governmental report Ungdomen och nöjeslivet [The Youth and Entertainment] concluded that Swedish youngsters were led astray, and were adversely affected by American culture. There was, however, nothing new in this kind of critique of American culture in Sweden. Swedish culture and ‘Swedishness’ has been said to be threatened by American culture for a long time. In the early 1900s, it was the import of the so-called Nick Carter literature (Nick Carter was a fictional private detective character in cheap American novels that were published from the mid-1800s onwards) that caught the officials’ attention and was thought to have a degenerating effect on the people.10 Critique of the u.s. has always existed in Sweden, alongside with admiration for its culture. Sweden was, in fact, the first neutral country to recognize the u.s. as a sovereign nation in 1777, and a trade and cooperation agreement was signed between the two states in 1783. Since then the Swedes have, in the words of Erik Åsard, loved to love and hate the u.s. Swedes have always traveled to America and offered their thoughts about it, and made comparisons with their own Swedish culture. Sometimes these comparisons resulted in positive, even idealizing, imagery, while in other instances they resulted in negative, or even damning, verdicts. The idea that Sweden was being ‘americanized’ started in the aftermath of the First World War. At least 70 percent of the movies shown 9 10

9 10

Ibid., pp. 10–11. Löfgren, Orvar, “Medierna i nationsbygget. Hur press, radio och tv gjort Sverige svenskt” in Ulf Hannerz (ed.), Medier och kulturer [Mediums and Cultures] (Stockholms: Carlssons, 1990), p. 85. There was a racial (and racist) dimension to this critique, too, especially regarding jazz music, which was thought to purvey “negroid” sexuality.

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in Swedish movie theaters in the 1920s were American in origin. Already at this time did these movies spawn off Swedish imitations that in turn became hugely popular in Sweden. The cultural critics and intellectuals (but also some politicians) of the time were sometimes scathing in their criticism of American film.11 According to Dag Blanck, the best word to describe the Swedes’ relationship to the u.s. over these two centuries is perhaps “ambivalent.” The u.s. was praised by many for its liberal traditions and portrayed as an in many ways egalitarian society—a “liberal Utopia,” as the founder of Aftonbladet, Lars Johan Hierta, put it in the mid-1800s. On the other hand, others simultaneously criticized it for its materialism, egocentristic individualism, vulgarity, and soulless mass consumption culture.12 These two diametrically opposed interpretations, which could sometimes be held by the same person (with regard to different aspects of American life), was naturally a great challenge for the usis in its propaganda work. Despite this, however, u.s. propaganda officials obviously thought they had a very good relationship with representatives of Swedish television, especially in the 1950s; a golden age of sorts in the postwar relations between the two countries. The usis office in Stockholm in 1956 was the workplace for quite a number of people. In charge was pao Nils William Olsson. Under his command he had the Information Division and Information Officer, Merle M. Werner, who oversaw four branches, namely: Press Relations, Motion Picture, Radio-TV, and Distribution. Then came the Cultural Division headed by Cultural Affairs Officer, William H. Morris, and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, Lawrence O. Carlson, who was also the chief of the usis Library. The Cultural Division housed the branches for Educational Exchange, Translations, Exhibits, and Presentation. Lastly, there was the Branch Public Affairs Officer Allan Nelson, at the usis local office in Gothenburg.13 The post in Gothenburg was a library staffed by one American and three Swedish employees.14 11 12 13 14

11

12

13

14

Åsard, Erik, “usa—landet vi älskar att älska och hata” in Åsard et al. (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret. usa:s närvaro och inflytande i Sverige [The Blue and Yellow Star Spangled Banner: The usa’s Presence and Influence in Sweden] (Stockholm: Carlssons, 2016), pp. 11–38. Blanck, Dag, “Svenska uppfattningar om usa under två århundraden” [Swedish Opinions About the usa During Two Centuries] in E. Åsard et al. (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 39–51. nara ii, rg 306 Records of the United States Information Agency; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Box: 9; “Operations Advisory Service Report on usis Sweden,” Sept. 22, 1956, p. 32. It is indeed unfortunate that the information about the number of employees and the usis’ organizational outlay are not from the same period, however, I hope to be able to correct this in time. Ibid., p. 8.

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Thus there were five Americans and probably some Swedish nationals. The usis offices were housed on the first floor of the American Embassy in Stockholm. Former u.s. Ambassador Graham Parsons wrote in his memoirs that the usis was one of the departments at the Embassy that had quite a large staff in the latter half of the 1960s. The usis staff consisted of 25 people, four of whom were American citizens and 21 were locally employed Swedes, and most of them worked outside the Embassy (such as in Gothenburg, the usis Libraries et cetera).15 This station size was typical of usis posts during this period.16 The number of Americans employed had hence decreased by one person since 1956. Strangely, Isabel Cumming, who worked at the usis in Stockholm from 1964, remembers the usis as being housed in “a very small office” in a very small section in the back of the Embassy, listing only a pao, a Cultural Affairs Officer, an Information Officer, herself, and about ten nationals.17 The number of Americans is the same, but there is a huge difference in nationals working for the usis in her recollection. If Cumming was only thinking about the Swedes working inside the Embassy the two figures might be compatible after all. A look at the tv programming schedule for late 1956 does reveal some titles of programs that were most likely placed by the usis. It must be said that this method is flawed by the fact that there is no way to make absolutely certain that the programs exemplified in this section really originated with the usis. What has been done for this study is that the programming schedules have been gone through looking for titles that seem likely to have come from the usis. This method could certainly lead to both false positives and false negatives. Nonetheless, it is argued here that it is reasonably accurate; at least enough to point the finger in the right direction. On November 4, for example, the tv broadcast in Gothenburg offered Presidentval i Amerika [Presidential Election in America] and Bridging the Golden Gate, which certainly originated with the usis, perhaps even with the usis library in Gothenburg.18 On November 6, a film about the Presidential elections was shown in the Stockholm broadcast.19 This was most likely the film that had been shown in Gothenburg two days earlier. Another example comes 15 16 17 18 19

15 16 17 18 19

Widén, J., Väktare, ombud, kritiker…, pp. 98–99. Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, p. 57. Oral history interview with Isabel Cumming on the Library of Congress webpage: http:// memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:35:./temp/~ammem_8Opy::, accessed 2010-01-28. Dagens Nyheter, “Television Göteborg,” November 2, 1956, p. 30. Dagens Nyheter, “Television Stockholm,” November 5, 1956, p. 34.

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on November 13, when Stockholm broadcasted a program entitled TV-resan: Med Alfred Vogel i Nya Guinea [The tv Trip: With Alfred Vogel in New Guinea].20 On December 18 the same year, a film about current space exploration projects was broadcasted over the Stockholm area. This too must surely have been placed by the usis.21 Other examples can be found on March 3, 1957, when a program about Traffic in the u.s. was aired; on March 6, 1957, with the third episode of nbc’s series about world history (this time a feature about the Nazi swastika) and a re-run on March 10; and on March 12 and 13, 1957, when the program Under de sju haven [Under the Seven Seas] was shown in both Stockholm and Gothenburg.22 An interesting post in the report concerned the ability of the usis to place items on Swedish radio, tv, in the press and publications, and at the cinema. The possibility of placing programs on the state-owned radio was very limited, because foreign programs with political content were not acceptable in this venue, the report said. What the Swedes got via radio were the English broadcasts of the VoA that apparently enjoyed “a large listenership,” and a proof of this fact was that the VoA headquarters in Washington got more mail from Swedish listeners than from any other country (amazing as this may sound). The usis also distributed lists containing VoA news and frequencies on a regular basis every month. The television medium was different, however, even though that too was state-owned. tv in Sweden in 1959 was still a very new phenomenon, broadcasting only on a single channel and no more than 20 hours per week. The first broadcast had taken place in 1956, and yet only three years later there were approximately 450,000 receivers throughout the country. Dispite having stated that the usis’ ability to place programming was very limited, the report stated that “virtually all” tv material available to the post had been placed on Swedish tv, and that usis featurettes were regularly used by the Swedes. This is no small statement. Moreover, a series from the European Broadcasting Union, as well as four other films, had been successfully placed. It was also noted that a number of American commercial tv series were regularly used. Outright political programming was still a problem in this forum, however, but the Swedish participation in the Eurovision provided “an excellent method of reaching the Swedes,” it was said, and the usis 20 21 22

20 21 22

Dagens Nyheter, “Television Stockholm,” November 12, 1956, p. 32. Dagens Nyheter, “Television Stockholm,” December 18, 1956, p. 32. Dagens Nyheter, “Television Stockholm,” March 2, 1957, p. 29; “Television Stockholm,” March 6, 1957, p. 32; “Television Stockholm,” March 10, 1957, p. 28; “Television Stockholm,” March 12, 1957, p. 34; “Television Göteborg,” March 13, 1957, p. 32.

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cited an example of a televised meeting between President Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in London that “drew a tremendous number of Swedish viewers.”23 As the reader may remember, the primary propaganda objective for the usis in 1959 was “[t]o portray u.s. foreign policy objectives in such a way as to identify them with the aspirations of the Swedish people and thus stimulate greater confidence in the u.s. as a leader in international affairs.”24 Then there were a number of projects designed to accomplish this objective, and the last of these was to make “available to political, governmental and communications leaders publications and lecture presentations which are particularly lucid in portraying the historical background to America’s foreign policy and the consistency of its development.”25 One way in which this was done was by showing short ‘informational’ films, such as one reel on Berlin that was deemed to have had “enormous success.” The film dealing with the latest Berlin Crisis of November 1958 was timed to coincide with Willy Brandt’s visit to Stockholm in order to capitalize on the increased interest in Berlin at the time. According to the usis’ estimate, “the film was shown to approximately 150,000 Swedes at theatres throughout the country.” Certain films, however, were considered too propagandistic for a Swedish audience and were thus not screened. Others, on the other hand, had been so carefully edited that they carried basically no message at all, and were thus not screened for that reason.26 The secondary objective of u.s. propaganda in Sweden at this time had to do with culture. In essence, it was to “show aspects of u.s. life and culture in an understandable way, utilizing the common heritage and strong blood ties which link the u.s. and Sweden, as a basis for clearing up misconceptions of the American political, social, and cultural scene.” The main way to do this was by giving “evidence of solid American accomplishments in the fields of music, literature, and the graphic arts.”27 Culture and the arts thus had an explicit political purpose in usis propaganda, although this was but a minor trickle in the much larger flood of American culture that washed over Europe after the 23 24 25 26 27

23 24 25 26

27

nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Entry 1045; Box No. 9; “Inspection Report” from usis Sweden dated September 2, 1959, pp. 15–16. rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 1. Ibid., p. 9. Ibid., p. 10. Willy Brandt had lived in Stockholm during the war years on Finn Malmgrens väg 23 in Hammarbyhöjden in southern Stockholm. The area now has a park named after him and on the building where he lived there is a small plaque telling the passer-by of the building’s historic tenant. Ibid., p. 12.

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war. One should, however, be careful to point out that the usis was only using so-called high culture in its propaganda. Thus, when the Swedes were enjoying this high culture they were thus being thoroughly propagandized with the spectacular achievements of modern America. A complete listing of the usis library’s films, including tv rights, together with a brief description of each film had been sent to the program coordinator of Swedish tv. However, it was acknowledged that tv was an especially difficult problem in neutral Sweden due to the reluctance of the state-operated network to air content supplied by a foreign information service, and because of the limited telecasting time (approximately 3 hours per day). Even so, movies on cultural subjects were thought quite easy to place.28 A look at the tv programming schedule for some months in 1959 reveals the following programs as most likely placed on Swedish tv by the usis. In April, a televised Gershwin concert from the Concert Hall in Gothenburg featuring several American musicians, and songs from the musical Porgy and Bess (one of the usia’s most successful musical exports) was broadcasted.29 Swedish television also broadcasted a series of films about the communist countries that may very well have originated with the usis. On April 16, such an example appeared. It was a film about communist China presented by the editor-inchief of Aftonbladet, Kurt Samuelsson, and followed by another program in the same series 12 days later about the communist nations’ assistance to developing countries.30 In the same month, a film was shown about the nature reserve Yellowstone National Park.31 Similarly, under the headline “Disneyland” another program about u.s. geography was aired on May 17.32 The Swedish viewers could watch a program called Berlin—delad stad [Berlin—Divided City] on May 23, a title that sounds very much like a usis production, and even though it was said to be a report from the city in question by the Swedish reporter Bo Bjelvenstam, there is a good chance that it was based on usis material.33 The film about the liberation of Paris was most likely also placed on Swedish tv by the usis, and broadcasted on August 17.34 Then on August 29, Swedish viewers could 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Ibid., p. 13. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” April 14, 1959, p. 34. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” April 16, 1959, p. 37 and April 28, 1959, p. 36. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” April 26, 1959, p. 51. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” May 17, 1959, p. 31. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” May 23, 1959, p. 29. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” August 17, 1959, p. 29.

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see an American film about flying called Mellan liv och död [Between Life and Death] based on authentic footage.35 The meeting between Eisenhower and Macmillan was broadcasted on August 31, 1959, between 7.15 and 7.45 p.m.36 In October there were some other titles that suggest involvement by the usis, namely Operation djuphav vii [Operation Deep Ocean vii], the film Brinnande bombplan [Burning Bombers] based on authentic footage, a motion picture telling the audience about the red planet Mars in fantasy and reality.37 On November 8, a quite political film called A Far Cry, about help for refugees in South Korea, was shown to the Swedish viewers.38 These are but some of the films placed on Swedish tv during 1959, and more could no doubt be found if a more thourough investigation of every day’s programming schedule were undertaken. u.s. propaganda also came in the form of popular tv series such as westerns, and the first western series premiered on Swedish television in the summer of 1959. The Program Director of Sveriges television (svt) [Sweden’s Television], Nils-Erik Bæhrendtz, even introduced the first episode on-air, and a translated Time article in svt/sr’s magazine Röster i Radio-TV [Voices in Radio-TV] stressed how popular the series was in the u.s. The week afterwards Baehrendtz followed this up with an article in the same magazine where he compared the mythology of the American western narrative to Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad, because both entailed “tales of ‘incomparable heroes, life-or-death struggle, [and] physical courage […].’”39 One must remember that Swedish television was in its infancy in the 1950s and 1960s, and one important reason for why American programs became so successful in Sweden was that while there was a considerable lack of Swedish original programming, there was an abundance of American dito. Not even the British or the French had come much further than Sweden in the 1950s, and programs from these nations were therefore not as readily available. American television programs were also cheap to purchase. This was so even though Swedish television was airing programs only nine hours a week in 1956–1957, a total that had grown to 44 hours by the mid-1960s. In 1963 svt purchased 41 percent of its programs 35 36 37 38 39

35 36 37 38 39

Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” August 29, 1959, p. 23. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” August 31, 1959, p. 36. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” October 6, 1959, p. 39; October 12, 1959, p. 39; October 17, 1959, p. 33. Dagens Nyheter, “Radio och tv,” November 8, 1959, p. 47. Björk, Ulf Jonas, “Swedish Television and American Imports, 1956–1978” in Dag Blanck, Rolf Lundén, and Kerstin W. Shands (eds.), Notions of America: Swedish Perspectives (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2004), p. 61.

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from abroad, and in the early 1970s the share of foreign shows had grown to 45 percent.40 Then there were the usis films. The usis in Stockholm had a film library containing about 300 titles in Swedish and 200 titles in English. Important audience groups for these films were the abf, district school film libraries, and civic clubs. It also had an over-the-counter loan system. The post estimated that these films were shown to 1,250,000 people in 1958 alone. As if that was not enough, the report stated that the theatrical market for usis films was very good and that about 345,000 people had seen these movies in the first half of 1959 through the screening of 27 usis films (with titles such as Nautilus, Explorer in Space, Berlin Story, Pattern for Space) in commercial movie theaters. It was remarked that no usis film had ever failed to pass the government censoring board. An extra effort to reach Swedish youth through the film medium had been successful and a proof of this was the fact that the National Council of Swedish Youth had requested 10 films for the coming winter.41

Propagandizing Swedish Television and Radio in the 1960s

The objectives for the usis’ operations in Sweden remained basically the same between 1959–1962, as is evident from a look at the Country Objectives for 1962. These objectives were six in all, the first and main objective being: To present u.s. foreign policy objectives in such a way as to identify them with the aspirations of the Swedish people and thus to stimulate greater confidence in the u.s. as a leader in international affairs.42 We can easily see how well this, too, corresponds to the concept of hegemony. In these terms, what the usis was to do was to amass consent to u.s hegemony in Sweden essentially by making the Swedish public believe that such consent was in their own best interest. This would not be done mainly by persuading the Swedes that the u.s. was the most capable world leader, but rather by convincing their target audience that American foreign policy was nothing less than a manifestation of the aspirations of the Swedish people. Expressed like

40 41 42

40 41 42

Björk, U.J., “Amerikansk film och television i Sverige” [American Film and Television in Sweden] in E. Åsard et al. (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 128–129. rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, pp. 18–19. nara ii; rg 306; fsd, 1954–65; Europe and Canada; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan— Sweden, August 8, 1961, p. 3.

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that, this goal does not only seem a very ambitious one, but also a very difficult one to achieve. It is also worth noting that this primary aim of the usis’ activities was strikingly similar to the usia’s mission and purpose, as it had officially been formulated in October 1953: The purpose of the u.s. Information Agency shall be to submit evidence to peoples of other nations by means of communication techniques that the objectives and policies of the United States are in harmony with and will advance their legitimate aspirations for freedom, progress, and peace.43 The usis’ first priority thus closely followed the overall aim of the usia’s activities worldwide, which in a way of course made perfect sense. The second objective was to portray u.s. culture and life in such a way as to correct “misconceptions of the American political, social and cultural scene.” In doing this, the usis was to emphasize the common heritage and strong family ties that existed between Sweden and the u.s. As has been shown previously in this book, besides factors favorable to the u.s., the usis reports on occasion listed matters that were considered unfavorable for the usis’ operations in Sweden. One of them in 1962 (point number four) stated that both television and radio were subject to governmental regulations (they were also state-owned) and therefore they reflected the government’s alliance-free policy. This was thus considered to be something that hindered the placement of certain material in these forums. However, at the same time it was remarked that the directors of television and radio nonetheless continually searched for foreign material to support their programs of political significance, such as tv and radio news broadcasts. The sixth point stated that “[c]riticism of u.s. race relations is perennial,” and the report continued by explaining that this fact was “perhaps best explained by the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude of a highly homogeneous people with no racial problems.” Nonetheless, it was said, this criticism was an important factor in Sweden’s evaluation of the u.s. declared devotion to democratic principles. And even though Sweden was a democracy, ideologically clearly in the Western camp, Communism was a political force to be reckoned with in certain areas, especially in the north where they had taken over the largest local miners’ union in the country. The last unfavorable point stressed to Washington that Sweden was a very large country; too large to be covered by one single post in the capital, and only one 43

43

Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 101–102.

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reference library service (located at the u.s. Consulate General in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast) served by only one local usis employee.44 The second policy objective, having to do with American life and culture and the contribution by Swedish emigrants to the development of the u.s., would be realized through four projects. The first project was all about presenting “solid evidence” of the great accomplishments in the fields of graphic arts, music, theater and dance. This was to be done by providing Swedish television with “top quality cultural materials”, and this was considered especially important since direct tv broadcasts from the Soviet Union to Sweden were expected to begin in 1962. The usis would also sponsor an issue on American art of the Swedish art magazine Paletten. To ensure distribution of this rather obscure magazine the agency would purchase 1,000 copies that it could then distribute to selected target audiences and individuals considered important, but that did not subscribe to the magazine. The pianist Thomas McIntosh would play concerts in Stockholm, and in other places as well, and make recordings for Swedish radio and television. Furthermore, the Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra would be featured in Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Uppsala as part of a President’s Special International Cultural Presentation Program targeting Swedish student audiences.45 The report ended with a discussion regarding the potential for usis operations in Sweden, both short-term and long-term. This section started by pointing out that usis planning had to take into consideration that the molding of opinion in Sweden could only be done slowly and in small steps. It was the same basic formula as the one used also by the Swedish government, the ­report pointed out. Even more importantly, the usia could not expect the usis in Stockholm to be able to change Sweden’s non-aligned foreign policy, or its middle-way approach in the u.n. “Nevertheless,” it was then stated, “usis can, on the basis of long-term planning, effectively influence Swedish thinking concerning American life and institutions, and thus help build greater confidence in the United States as a leader in world affairs.” With only some restrictions regarding radio and television, all media of communication were open to high quality materials emanating from the usis. The extent of utilization of this material, however, was dependent upon the degree to which the usis had managed to establish personal relationships “with both the leaders and working-level personnel of Swedish communication channels.”46 The importance of personal relationships with influential persons in Swedish 44 45 46

44 45 46

nara ii; rg 306; fsd; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, p. 3. Ibid., p. 6. Ibid., p. 9.

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­ edia, and other organizations, has become apparent already in the previous m chapters. While movies were readily available from a variety of nations, such as Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and even the Soviet Union, it was a whole other matter with regard to telelvision series. Here there were only two suppliers for svt, namely Britain and the u.s. One such show that was aired already the first week of regular broadcasts in Sweden was I Love Lucy. The u.s. was of course the greatest supplier of such series, not only because they were cheap and in abundance, although this was certainly an important factor, but also because they proved to be very popular. Of the 14 series that aired between 1956 and 1958, ten were produced in the u.s., and the other four in Britain. By 1959–1960, the u.s. supplied 18 of the 23 series broadcasted that year. However, the real success for American series in Sweden had to wait until the summer of 1959, when svt started broadcasting its first Western series called Gunsmoke. An inmportant person for the initiative to start airing Westerns was the Program Director, Nils-Erik Bæhrendtz. The unusual thing about Gunsmoke was that svt decided to do a poll after its first season to find out how the audience responded to it. It turned out that no less than 75 precent thought more Western series should be aired, and Gunsmoke was followed by Bröderna Cartwright [Bonanza] that turned out to be an enormous success with the Swedish viewers. Other American programs that got a very warm reception in Sweden were children shows from Disney, and detective series such as Perry Mason.47 However, the numbers concerning foreign and domestically produced programs are a bit complicated by the fact that many of the early Swedish shows were actually direct copies of American ones. Such an example were the quiz show 10 000 kronor—Kvitt eller dubbelt [sek 10,000—Double or Nothing] that also featured svt Program Director Bæhrendtz as host. The success of this show led svt to copy more American programs. Another such show, which became a huge success, was the talk show Hylands Hörna [Hyland’s Corner] lead by the charismatic Lennart Hyland, a show modeled on The Jack Paar Show. svt even had a representative in New York in the early 1960s, Claes Dahlgren, whose job it was to watch an enormous amount of American television and find great ideas that could be ‘translated,’ so to speak, into a Swedish version. In 1969, another great audience success called Partaj [Party] was aired for the first time. This comedy show was a copy of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, something that did not escape Swedish telelvision critics. At the same time, however, these shows were not carbon copies of the American originals, but 47

47

Björk, U.J., “Amerikansk film och television i Sverige” [American Film and Television in Sweden] in E. Åsard et al. (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 131–135.

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tailored into specifically Swedish versions of them.48 Thus, the ways in which the u.s. influenced Swedish television in the 1950s and 1960s were multiple and dynamic. Many Swedish programs were not wholly Swedish, nor were they completely American. This process was a fluent one, although there can be no doubt that the u.s. heavily influenced this new medium in Sweden in more ways than one. Once again, this may seem like a contradiction to the fact that telelvision acted as a cultural cement in the formation of Sweden as a modern nation. But this is only seemingly so, because the establishment of a national identity has always been an international process where nations have borrowed parts from other nations and turned them into expressions of their own distinct national identity, often to re-export them as such.49 Nowhere is this more obvious than in the American case.

Battling Communism and Promoting ‘Western’ Values

So how were the plans of the usis transformed into real propaganda activities and what were the results of their endeavors? The Country Assessment Report from March 1963 reveals what the usis had been up to during the past year. Indeed, the propaganda effort had seen some significant developments in that a totally new attitude on the part of Swedish tv officials was apparent, according to the usis. In connection with the new primary propaganda objective for that year, which was to “stimulate and reinforce Swedish determination to stand with the West, in spite of her neutral position,” the agency had noticed a “significant change in attitude of top programming authorities of Swedish tv, from one, three years ago, of almost automatic rejection of usis programs carrying a u.s. foreign policy message, to one today of open-minded review of offered material […].” This had subsequently resulted in “greatly increased utilization.” One must be careful enough to point out that this presented a big change compared to how it had previously been. The Assessment Report then went on to state something truly extraordinary:

48 49

48 49

In conversations with a new Programming Director, usis was informed that a decision had been made in top tv circles to convince Swedish tv viewers that they definitely belong with the West. Involved in that policy decision is the planned presentation of more information about the United States, from numerous sources, including usis, emphasizing Björck, U.J., “‘Se på amerikanerna’: Amerikanska mediformer i Sverige” in E. Åsard et al. (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 158–166. Löfgren, O., “Medierna i nationsbygget…,” pp. 86–87.

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individual liberty and human values. As a result of this decision, Sverige tv [sic] requested rights to the series “Scenes from American History” to start their new program.50 The Program Director in question was Nils-Erik Bæhrendtz. As it turned out, however, this particular program series was not available at that time. But Swedish radio, at the usis’ suggestion, broadcasted a speech on Cuba by President Kennedy in October 1962 via an arranged voa relay, and tv aired excerpts from Kennedy’s “Rocking Chair Chat” on his first two years in office in December the same year.51 It is also interesting to note that the objective of building “in the Swedish public mind an image of the United States as a mature, powerful but responsible nation; worthy of its position of leadership in world affairs […]” had slid down to number five from being the primary aim in 1959.52 One could speculate that the reason for this was that the Swedish support and consent to u.s. hegemony was much stronger in 1962 than it had ever been before, and that the issue therefore had diminished in importance somewhat. The estimation must have been that the usis had made considerable progress on this particular point. At the same time, it should be pointed out, however, that it is not clear what the usis meant when they wrote “top tv circles.” This is very unfortunate. If one wants to interpret this phrase in the narrow sense then it could mean simply a few highly placed and influential persons, but in the broad sense it could mean anything from the svt/sr board of directors to perhaps even the political level in the Department of Communications. The board of directors consisted of representatives of different organizations such as Labour and the People’s Movement [folkrörelsen], business and industry in the form of saf and the Industrial Association [Industriförbundet], the press, and the government. All these persons tried to push the agenda of the organization, or interest that they represented in the first instance, and saw to the company’s interests only in the second. The Chairman of the board, Per Eckerberg, was appointed by the government and was also considered to represent its interests, as was the ceo of svt/sr, Olof Rydbeck.53 In the corporative society that was Sweden at this time, such a combination of interests in a public service company was 50 51 52 53

50 51 52 53

nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report–Sweden, March 22, 1963, pp. 1–2. Ibid., p. 2. Ibid., p. 4. Tjernström, Sune, En svårstyrd skuta. Företagsledning i det svenska public service-företaget. Försvaret av sårbara värden [A Ship Hard to Control: Corporate Management in the Swedish Public Service Corporation. The Defense of Vulnerable Values] (Stockholm: Stiftelsen Etermedierna i Sverige, 1999), pp. 134–135.

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only to be expected, and it perhaps opened up an opportunity for usis. Many of these persons already had an established relationship with the usis and the American Embassy. The idea that a decision could be made on this level to the effect that more usis material should be used is thus not only possible, but very plausible. However, according to Sune Tjernström, Rydbeck’s time as ceo (1957–1970) was characterized by a process where svt/sr’s role as public educator was gradually replaced by a tendency to scrutinize the government and the establishment. The reporting on the current events was allowed to get more controversial, he writes, so much so that many viewed svt/sr as being leftist.54 The Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, Nils Swedlund, was of the opinion that svt/sr could not be trusted. Rydbeck was not the problem, however; Swedlund considered him loyal, but Rydbeck was unable to control some of his more unruly employees, and svt/sr had therefore aired some “unfortunate” programs lately, according to Swedlund.55 Moreover, the dependence upon imports of tv series and television films from the u.s. later led svt to formulate a policy intended to increase the share of European programming at the expense of American programs, and by 1966, the u.s. share of programs in svt had dropped from 61 to 39 percent. But this means that for the first ten years of television broadcasts in Sweden, the u.s. contributed a very large percentage of the programs. How much of it was supplied by the usis is unknown, but most of it no doubt served a propaganda purpose anyway. Bæhrendtz’ role was also somewhat ambiguous because at the same time as he was instrumental in helping the u.s. propaganda effort, he also actively contributed to decreasing the share of u.s. programming in Sweden and Scandinavia by convincing the heads of the other Nordic broadcasting services to purchase the bbc series Inspector Maigret.56 In fact, the trend was the same with regard to Swedish imports of American films, which also show a downward pattern in the period from 1950 to 1967. The peak year was actually 1951 with 213 American films and the bottom year was 1966 with only 97. It was foremost imports from France and Italy that increased in this period, while the imports of British films lay pretty steady.57 American films always accounted for the greatest number of imports; however, 54 55 56 57

54 55 56 57

Ibid., pp. 171–172. KrA; Nils Swedlunds arkiv, Vol. 2c, “Personlig avlämnings-PM,” 7 June, 1961, p. 7. Swedlund called Rydbeck’s unruly elements “frifräsare.” Björk, U.J., “Swedish Television and…,” pp. 64, 66. Guback, Thomas H., The International Film Industry: Western Europe and America Since 1945 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1969), p. 49.

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the increase in the Italian and the French share does imply that the Swedish movie-going audiences also enjoyed films that were perhaps less commercial in style and content. This might seem like a contradiction: how could svt/sr make more use of usis material due to a decision to make the Swedes understand where they belonged in the Cold War, and at the same time decrease the American share of tv programming? One answer could be that commercial tv series and more factual reporting and documentaries were not necessarily connected in the minds of the Swedish tv executives. Therefore, it was probably not seen as a contradiction by Bæhrendtz and the others to decrease the u.s. programming share in the form of tv series or commercial movies, at the same time as it pledged to convince the Swedish public it belonged to the West. Moreover, ‘the West’ did not in any way equate with the u.s. The u.k. was part of the West as well, and thus, in the minds of the tv executives, a larger share of bbc programming probably did not clash with the intention stated to the Americans. Moreover, the remaining American programming appears to have fared very well with the Swedish public. Even a decade later, in the mid-1970s, American series were immensely popular.58 While svt did receive some criticism from certain viewers for its heavy reliance on American films during 1956 to 1961, Bæhrendtz did not shy away from defending svt in public by stating that in reality American film only made up about 10 percent of the movies shown on svt. This answer was perhaps somewhat misleading. On other occasions he also acknowledged, however, that the u.s. share of telelvision series was much greater than that. In fact, the early 1960s marked a high point in terms of American programming on Swedish televison, and by 1963, the production of telelvision films in Europe had increased considerably, which signaled the growing share of European programming as a whole. By 1977, the u.s. share had decreased to 24 percent. These tv series also received some heavy criticism. This criticism was often moral in content, saying for example that they were too violent (in the case of Westerns and detective series) or that they had a “narcotic” and “addictive” effect (as in the case of American entertainment programs). Bæhrendtz, who himself liked Westerns a lot, defended svt’s choice of programming in public.59 There was thus no contradiction between 58 59

58 59

Björk, U.J., “Swedish Television and…,” p. 67. Björk, U.J., “Amerikansk film och television i Sverige” [American Film and Television in Sweden] in E. Åsard et al. (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 135–136; Björk, U.J., “Motstånd mot amerikanska medier” [Opposition to American Media] in E. Åsard et al. (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 181–188.

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the two trends since they concerned different aspects of svt programming, and since the share of Western programs did not decrease at all. There is also other important evidence that supports the findings and arguments presented above. In his biography of Olof Palme, Kjell Östberg writes that during Palme’s time as Minister of Communications (1965–1969), the Radio board [Radioledningen] still actively edited programs it deemed to be too skewed to the left. This practice led to a protest signed by 21 employees in 1967 against what they saw as the excessively U.S.-friendly foreign news reporting.60 This was the so-called ‘Vietnam Petition’ [Vietnamskrivelsen] presented to the svt/sr Director Olof Rydbeck by journalists that felt the news programs relied too heavily on Western sources for their reporting on the Vietnam War. Ironically, this event could easily be seen as a confirmation of the view that svt was leftist, at least in terms of the political views of the journalist working there. At the same time, the leadership of svt/sr was initiating an investigation into the leftist bias in many programs (the news program Aktuellt being just about the only exception), and the culture programs in particular, that were considered to confuse culture and politics. What the issue was about was thus a conflict between many of the journalists and the leadership, with Rydbeck as the champion of the latter. Rydbeck even felt that the fact that the protesters had gone public with their critique was an act of disloyalty to svt and to their colleagues.61 Many of the producers at svt/sr told Dagens Nyheter that they had experienced censorship from their bosses and that they had been told to “lie low” with regard to “controversial” programs and themes. There thus seem to have been conflicting tendencies within svt/sr during this time. The issue of proAmerican news reporting is also one of the subjects in Göran Palm’s book Indoktrineringen i Sverige published in 1968. Palm gives examples of how the reporting from Vietnam was skewed to portray the u.s. as the defender of freedom and the Vietnamese as communists first, and nationalists and defenders of their country, last.62 Palm’s book is used here not to prove that the news was pro-American in style and content, but to show that even after the journalists 60 61 62

60 61 62

Östberg, Kjell, I takt med tiden. Olof Palme 1927–1969 [In Pace With Time: Olof Palme, 1927–1969] (Stockholm: Leopard Förlag, 2008), pp. 328–329. Dagens Nyheter, “‘Vänstervridning’ huvudpunkt då avdelningscheferna hörs” [‘Turn to the Left’ Main Point When the Department Chiefs are Heard], March 9, 1967, p. 16. Palm, Göran, Indoktrineringen i Sverige [The Indoctrination in Sweden] (Stockholm: PAN/ Norstedts, 1968), pp. 57–60. Kjell Östberg also points to Palm’s book in his Palme biography, see: Östberg, K., I takt med tiden…, p. 329.

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had protested against exactly this tendency in 1967, there was still a feeling, at least on the left in Sweden, that the practice continued in 1968. This does indeed seem like a contradiction, because how could Swedish tv become both more radical and conservative at the same time? It is perhaps not so difficult to explain the two simultaneous tendencies after all. Much of this was of course in the eye of the beholder, and it is not strange that what looks like progressivism to some looks like conservatism to others. Another factor to consider is that the different factions within the corporation were probably pulling in different directions, and therefore both views may very well have been true. The news programs could have become more conservative at the same time as the cultural programming became more radicalized. The information about the usis’ conversation with Bæhrendtz is quite remarkable, however, especially since the Board of Directors in 1961, when discussing the development of Swedish television programming during the 1960s, argued that use of foreign “goodwill” material was sometimes limited by the propagandistic character of some of this material.63 There was no explicit reference to the usis made in this context, so it is not certain that the comment referred to the material coming from the u.s. Embassy. Unfortunately, but perhaps not unexpectedly, no further evidence of this decision has been found in the archive of svt. An item that vaguely resembles something having to do with emphasizing individual liberty and human values is included under the sub-heading “Freedom of Speech” in the document entitled “Rules for Programs Concerning Politics” that was approved by the svt/sr Board on August 24, 1962. It stated that sr clearly sympathized with the democratic values and that “regarding undemocratic opinions the main rule is that they should only very rarely be allowed to speak, and that their utterances cannot then be left without rebuttal. Furthermore, Swedish Radio can let democratic opinions appear on shows, state the democratic values and criticize violations of these without giving undemocratic opinions a corresponding right to appear or right to defend or counter criticism.”64 63 64

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Sveriges Radios arkiv (henceforth: sra); Centrala Kansliet (henceforth: ck); Styrelsens protokoll (henceforth: StPr), månadssammanträden; A2AA; 1961–62; Vol. 26, “Råskiss på svar på Radioutredningens fråga om den kommande TV-utvecklingen i Sverige,” October 16, 1961, p. 2. sra; ck; StPr, månadssammanträden; 1962–63; A2AA; Vol. 27; “Regler för program rörande politik,” July 27, 1962, p. 3. “Beträffande odemokratiska riktningar är dock huvudregeln, att de endast i undantagsfall får komma till tals, och att deras uttalanden därvid icke får lämnas oemotsagda. Vidare kan Sveriges Radio låta demokratiska riktningar framträda i program, hävda de demokratiska värdena och kritisera övergrepp mot dessa utan att

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This document had been up for discussion at a Board meeting on June 21 at which time part of the content had caused some discussion and a decision had been referred to a future meeting. It turns out that the paragraph quoted above was one of those that were changed in the new version of the document. In a paragraph preceding the above part in the old version it became apparent that the term ‘undemocratic’ referred to the Communist Party. It stated that “as long as undemocratic opinions are not illegal, but even have the opportunity to be represented in the riksdag and other public bodies, Swedish Radio do not think it should refuse them the right to appear in programs.”65 This paragraph had been excised in the new document, probably because it so obviously pointed out the Communist Party (which was indeed legally represented in the Swedish parliament, the riksdag). But in practice the rules for political programming followed exactly the formulation from August 1962. In fact, Göran Elgemyr has shown that sr already had a long track record of such treatment of communists by the early 1960s, a history which had begun in the late 1940s, especially after the Prague coup, when their participation even in election programs was questioned, and demands were raised from, among others, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter to ostracize the Communist Party completely. To shut them out completely was not regarded as possible by Prime Minister Tage Erlander and the government, however. Radiotjänst then decided that ‘Western democratic values’ were going to guide the programming on the radio, and this apparently excluded the Swedish communists, and the sr Board determined that a communist should always be rebutted and never be allowed to have the last say.66 Elgemyr also confirms that the limitations applied to the communists.67 If anyone wonders why the communists never received a larger following during these years, perhaps this is at least perhaps part of the answer. Even though this discriminatory censorship was not a new policy with regard to Swedish radio, it seems to have been so in the context of svt’s 65 66 67

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därför ge odemokratiska riktningar motsvarande möjligheter att framträda eller rätt till försvar eller motkritik.” sra; ck; StPr, månadssammanträden; 1961–62; A2AA; Vol. 26; “Regler för program rörande politik,” June 14, 1962, p. 3. “Så länge odemokratiska riktningar inte är olagliga utan till och med har möjlighet att bli företrädda i riksdagen och andra offentliga organ, anser sig Sveriges Radio ej böra vägra dem att framträda i program.” Elgemyr, Göran, Får jag be om en kommentar? Yttrandefriheten i svensk radio 1925–1960 [May I Ask for a Comment? Freedom of Speech in Swedish Radio 1925–1960] (Stockholm: Stiftelsen Etermedierna i Sverige, 2005), pp. 282–308. Ibid., p. 309.

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programming policy, it thus could be that it was this decision Bæhrendtz was referring to when he told the usis that svt would convince its audience that Sweden belonged in the West. The regulations are quite extraordinary considering that the Swedish Communist Party was just as democratic as the other parties in the riksdag, and worked according to the same rules of the game as everyone else. That they had their sympathies in the East rather than the West was really beside the point. As the first draft of the rules for political programming correctly stated it was a legal party that did not agitate for taking over the government by force. The policy assumed that something in what the communists often said was somehow inherently undemocratic, and that the sr Board members could judge when their words were undemocratic and when they were not. A fickle and arbitrary policy, to say the least; one could even call it undemocratic. In reality, the problem with the communists was not that they put forth undemocratic views. The problem was that they did not do so, but they were nonetheless assumed to have them. The fear was that the Swedish people would be unable to see through the fog of communist lies (to paraphrase Clausewitz) and realize that when the communists talked about democracy, they actually meant the opposite. Perhaps the paragraph was removed precisely because it made the discrimination too blatantly obvious, even to the ardent cultural Cold War warriors on the sr Board. Anti-Communism was thereby an officially sanctioned ideology and it was tacitly applied in the daily workings of svt/sr. It did not matter that the Communist Party had a sizeable portion of the Swedish constituency. The idea seems to have been that the communists were potential traitors in the event of war, and was therefore dealt with appropriately (according to this view) even in peacetime. It was a preemptive strike of sorts against possible undesirable communist influence in the Swedish political debate. In this sense it eroded the legitimacy of the Swedish democratic political process in a serious way. At the same time, the secret security relations between Sweden and the u.s. were deepening. The first couple of years in the 1960s had seen a not only a new nsc policy document on Scandinavia (that included much about Sweden), but a series of other policy documents and agreements. In November 1960, the policy document nsc 6006/1 was approved, which stated (among else) that in case of a general war in Europe the u.s. should “encourage and assist” Sweden, and in the case of an isolated attack upon Sweden by the Soviet Union the u.s. would “be prepared to come to the assistance of Sweden as part of nato or u.n. response to the aggression.” As the State Department concluded in its related ‘Operations Plan’ for Sweden in January 1961, the security of Sweden was a matter of both “political and military interest to the United States,” and any Soviet aggression “whether direct or indirect” would “challenge the free

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world, primarily in nato.” The same document acknowledged that Sweden’s position in the event of general war could “not be predetermined,” but that it was of central importance “if Sweden does not become a co-belligerent […] that it remain a friendly neutral.” The State Department understood moreover that “any preferential assistance guarantee to a neutral non-member” would potentially upset “some nato powers.” On the other hand, since the Swedish government’s “careful avoidance of identification with nato” was a real factor, it was said that “any u.s. contingency preparations to assist Sweden” should be done “with utmost discretion” and “only on a unilateral basis.”68 The State Department’s planning document make it sound as if no such contingency preparations had yet been made. However, the State Department does not seem to have been completely updated on u.s. military planning at the time. Already in October 1960, the nsc Chairman had questioned whether the State Department really knew the facts; “u.s. and nato war plans take into account the possibility of Swedish involvement in a general war,” he said.69 The State Department’s Operations Plan eventually became official policy, hence replacing the part concerning Sweden in nsc 6006/1, in June 1962, under the title “Guideleins for Policy and Operations: Sweden.” This document contained a slight change in the language in that it now stated that the u.s. should “undertake,” as opposed to “be prepared,” to assist Sweden in case the Soviet Union attacked it.70 This difference may in fact have been a reflection of the nsc Chairman’s comment referred to above.

A New Focus

The year 1963 saw a significant shift in the overt aims in the usis Country Plan and the usis’ propaganda activities. Until this point in time, the usis had been very careful not to address the policy of neutrality in its propaganda. But by 1963, something had changed that brought this aspect of Swedsh security policy to the forefront of u.s. propaganda policy. The primary objective for the usis’ activities in Sweden (now called ‘Psychological Objective’) was now:

68 69 70

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To convince the Government and the people of Sweden that Swedish neutrality is meaningful only in the context of their Western orientation and behind the shield of Western power, and to counter the attitude held Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 386–389. Ibid., p. 387. Ibid., pp. 390–391.

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by certain individuals in the Swedish Government, business community and the ruling Social Democratic Party, that Sweden can “do business as usual” with the communist bloc without compromising her economic and political independence.71 Note that the first part of this objective explicitly has to do with the security relations between Sweden and the u.s. This confirms the connection between the u.s. propaganda effort and the secret military and security cooperation between Sweden and the u.s., and that the propaganda was intended to strengthen also this relationship. It is not known what the usis was referring to exactly in this paragraph, but obviously it was thought that certain people within the Swedish elite had become a bit complacent and careless in American eyes. The Wennerström spy case72 that had exploded on the Swedish scene in 1963 had no doubt served to prove the American point that the Soviet Union could not be trusted. The usis did indeed consider the Wennerström case “a golden opportunity” to remind the Swedes, albeit through personal contacts, of this fact.73 In May 1963, the usis and the u.s. Ambassador had a private screening for the Swedish King of a film about an archeological excavation on the Yucatan Peninsula. The film had been re-recorded and Swedish sound had been added by svt and the usis, and the Ambassador then wrote to Program Director Nils-Erik Bæhrendtz thanking him for the work done by two of Bæhrendtz’s employees. Parsons also thanked him for the loan of a film projector.74 The usis wrote to Bæhrendtz again on June 7, 1963, and informed him that they would receive two “highly topical and promising” filmed interviews in English about the ongoing race riots in Birmingham, Alabama, which the usis hoped would “be of interest to your tv programming.” The Press Attaché, Thomas Hiltunen, at the usis pleaded with Bæhrendtz that “in the view of the present unfortunate situation in the u.s. and the headlines the Birmingham riots are receiving, we hope that you will take these programs into consideration.” 71 72 73 74

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nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report–Sweden, Feb. 17, 1964, p. 1. Stig Wennerström was a Colonel in the Royal Swedish Air Force and former Air Attaché in Moscow and Washington, d.c. who was arrested in 1963 for espionage for the Soviet Union. Wennerström had been recruited during his time in Moscow in the late 1940s, and had been feeding military secrets to the Soviets ever since. For more on this affair, see: Widén, J., Väktare, ombud, kritiker…. nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report–Sweden, Feb. 17, 1964, p. 4. sra; TV-Kansliet (henceforth: TV-K); Programdirektörens externa korrespondens (henceforth: Prek) I–Ö; 1963; E I a; Vol. 10; Dennis and Parsons to Baehrendtz, May 13, 1963.

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One of the films featured Attorney General Robert Kennedy appearing before a panel of journalists answering questions about the riots, and the other included Larry Le Suer of Mr. Burke Marshall, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, who described the Birmingham situation and the integration problems in general. The usis wished to know whether Bæhrendtz would wish to screen them.75 The reply to this request has unfortunately not been found in Bæhrendtz’ correspondence. That the usis chose to write to Bæhrendtz is of course not strange considering his position within svt, but he was perhaps a good choice for another reason too. Bæhrendtz had been to the u.s. for a study trip in mid-May 1962, at which time he had the opportunity to gain more intricate knowledge about u.s. television. After his return he briefed his colleagues at svt/sr over lunch about the situation in the u.s. He told them about the Cold War tension and competition between the East and West in the tv and radio industry, about Edward R. Murrow (unclear if he met him or not, but he probably did), about the ‘bad conscience’ of u.s. television, about its fear of federal involvement in the tv programming, and that he had some intellectual reservations regarding u.s. television.76 He was thus quite familiar with u.s. programming and had perhaps made some valuable contacts during his stay. It is not known who arranged the trip, or why it was undertaken, or if the usis had anything to do with it. By the time the Kennedy administration took over the White House in January 1961, the usia had 202 posts in 85 countries and employed a total of 3,771 Americans (3,000 of whom worked in Washington, d.c.) and 6,881 foreign nationals; the VoA had an estimated daily audience of about 50 million (although Moscow, Beijing and Cairo all broadcasted more hours than the VoA); the International Press Service (ips) produced a daily wireless file of some 40,000 words, around 500,000 people saw its film reels every year, and usia television programs were broadcasted in 47 nations. On top of that came the formal influence of policy making that the usia had gained during Eisenhower’s tenure, where the usia Director was a member of the nsc, attended cabinet meetings and also met privately with the President at the White House every three weeks or so. At first Kennedy’s advisors suggested that the usia should be given an even bigger role within the nsc, but Kennedy rejected this idea. This weakened the usia’s position within the government bureaucracy. The agency’s stature was saved by Kennedy’s second move in the field of ­propaganda, 75 76

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sra; TV-K; Prek I–Ö; 1963; E I a; Vol. 10; Hiltunen to Bæhrendtz, June 7, 1963. sra; ck; Anteckningar från chefskollegiets lunchsammanträden; 1960–65; A 3 C; Vol. 1; May 15, 1962.

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­ owever, which was to select the famous journalist (his reports from London h during the Blitz have been credited with drawing the u.s. into the war), and cbs newsman, Edward R. Murrow, as Director of the usia subsequent to Allen’s resignation in late 1960. Murrow was a man of contradictions—he had been one of the few to openly stand up against Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts, but would now combat international Communism fervently himself; he professed to tell the true story of America to the world, at the same time as he counted on being able to manipulate the content of usia output and VoA broadcasts as policy dictated.77 The first trace of usis material in Bæhrendtz’ external correspondence is from October 1962, at which time he received a list of films available to svt, but it is not known whether any of them were used.78 In 1967, svt was doing a documentary about the u.s. election, apparently on its own initiative, and the Staff Assistant to Robert Kennedy, Timothy L. Hogen, wrote to Bæhrendtz to tell him that the Americans were very interested in the film, and wanted it to be shown in other countries as well, particularly the u.s. The letter ended with Hogen thanking Baehrendtz and svt “for taking such an interest in American political life.”79 The Kennedy assassination was also thoroughly exploited by the agency, which made Swedish tv and radio coverage of the incident “reflect usis efforts.” Within one hour after the assassination report on November 22, the usis provided 13 films related to Kennedy’s Presidency (such as “Inauguration of President Kennedy,” “The Civil Rights Speech,” and “A Strategy of Peace”), many of which were broadcasted on Swedish tv during the night.80 Swedish television was also offered a number of films by abc Films Inc. about Kennedy on the first anniversary of his death.81 Considering the confusion surrounding the assassination, the usis’ ability to provide all this material for Swedish consumption within an hour of the first news report is impressive to say the least. These films helped set the tone for how Kennedy’s death was interpreted in the Swedish collective psyche, such as “Kennedy the Liberal,” “The Civil Rights Proponent,” “A Man of Peace” et cetera. It was a cue indicating how the Swedish public ought to feel, i.e. that the assassination was a tragedy that concerned them too, even though they were not Americans. It appealed to their 77 78 79 80 81

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Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 187–188, 190–191, 194, 196–197. sra; TV-K; Prek I–Ö; 1962; E I a; Vol. 8; usis to Bæhrendtz, October, 1962. sra; TV-K; Prek Su–Ö; 1967; E I a; Vol. 30; Hogen to Bæhrendtz, March 3, 1967. rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report–Sweden, Feb. 17, 1964, p. 2. sra; TV-K; Prek A–B; 1965; E I a; Vol. 9; George Tyler to Bæhrendtz, June 3, 1965.

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conscience and tried to elicit their grief over a man they had never met, and whose policies they had no direct experience of. The u.s. might have taken many beatings in Swedish radio and television during the latter half of the 1960s, but the same mediums were also used to counter this bad publicity. The pao in Stockholm, Patrick E. Neiburg (1970– 1972), arranged a conference about Vietnam sometime in 1970 with all the major television commentators and executives, at which he “insisted that we [the u.s.] get a fair shake.” The tv people did not take this kindly, according to Neiburg, understandably perhaps, and it got him into trouble with the Chargé d’Affaires at the u.s. Embassy. Anyway, Neiburg went on Swedish television to defend u.s. foreign policy. He survived some rough questioning, and it did apparently yield some positive results for the usis. Slowly, according to Neiburg, editorials that were positive towards u.s. policies began to appear in the Swedish press. This was at a time when U.S.-Swedish diplomatic relations were at a nadir (the u.s. had not had an Ambassador in Sweden between January 1969 and February 1970 and the situation would be repeated in 1972–1974) and the conflict with the Chargé d’Affaires continued unabated. The latter was of the opinion that the usis should not do anything to risk upsetting the Swedes even more, but simply sit tight and ride out the storm. Neiburg and the usia in Washington did not agree and continued their work. The conflict between the two men climaxed when the Chargé d’Affaires suggested that the u.s. Vice President should visit Sweden, shortly before the Swedish elections in September 1970, in order to defuse the situation somewhat. Neiburg then, according to an oral history interview with him, went over his head directly to the Deputy Director of usia in Washington, Henry Loomis, and explained to him that this would look like u.s. support “for those who were the main antagonists of the United States.” Loomis consequently squelched the visit by intervening at the White House. The Chargé d’Affaires countered by cutting the usis off from the Embassy’s normal activities, but was eventually replaced and so was his political counselor.82 The efforts to counter bad publicity went higher than the pao at times, even including the u.s. Ambassador. According to Neiburg, u.s. Ambassador Jerome H. Holland, who was an African-American, was a man who readily understood the situation and said to him: “Pat, anytime you want to use me, use me in any 82

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Oral history interview with Patrick E. Neiburg on the Library of Congress website: http:// memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:14:./temp/~ammem_uNSV::, accessed 2010-01-28. It, of course, has to be acknowledged that all the information about this affair is based on Neiburg himself, and so may not be entirely accurate; or more precisely, the episode may very well have looked a bit different from the Chargé d’Affaires’ point of view.

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way […] you see fit.” It made a lot of sense, thought Neiburg, to use the Ambassador without the pao as a middleman, “especially in a country like Sweden where a black face carries extra credibility.” Holland thus went out on the usis’ account and gave speeches and engaged in a lot of public affairs work.83 There was considerably less tension between the Swedes and the Embassy during Holland’s tenure than during Heath’s, so the strategy apparently worked well.84 This practice also continued in the latter half of the 1970s. Former u.s. Ambassador to Sweden, Davis S. Smith, stated that he went personally to the radio and TV-stations “on more than one occasion” to object to things that he felt were “unfair” to the u.s.85 This is telling of the importance that the u.s. gave to the media coverage of u.s. foreign policy in Sweden.

American Motion Picture Propaganda

The usis also placed motion picture propaganda in Sweden using various methods and channels. There are comparatively few traces in the Swedish archives of this activity (compared to reports of placing of films in the usis reports to Washington), which seems to indicate that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Information Division did not pay much attention to American propaganda films being shown in Sweden. The first evidence of official use of motion picture propaganda in Sweden by the u.s. Embassy is a document from May 1946 containing an offer of 25 tickets to a film screening at the Embassy arranged by the Military and Naval Attachés. The tickets were to be distributed to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and government officials, which they were.86 Later, in June the same year, the u.s. Office of Education sent the Swedish Legation in Washington a catalog containing educational and instructional films from the Office of Education, Navy & War Departments, Department of Agriculture and Public Health Service. The Office of Education was inquiring about the possibility of distributing these films in Sweden, and the Legation sent three copies of the catalog to Stockholm. The Information Division wrote back to 83 84 85 86

83 Ibid. 84 Oral history interview with Richard J. Smith on the Library of Congress website: http:// memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:17:./temp/~ammem_8Opy::, accessed 2010-01-28. 85 Oral history interview with Davis S. Smith on the Library of Congress website: http:// memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?mfdip:1:./temp/~ammem_TBBd::, accessed 2010-01-28. 86 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Filmer, 1946–1947”; Vol. 362; Randolph Higgs to Ove Ramel, May 2, 1946; Ramel to Higgs, May 3, 1946.

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the Swedish Legation little over a month later to request that five more copies of the catalog be sent.87 It seems as if these catalogs were to be sent to the School Film Department at the Swedish Film Industry [Svensk Filmindustri] (sf), the Swedish state-owned film production and distribution company; the School Film Department at the publishing house P.A. Norstedt & Söner; the Association Army, Navy, and Air Force Film; the Board of Education [Skolöverstyrelsen]; the Board of Health [Medicinalstyrelsen]; and the Agricultural Association [Lantbrukarförbundet].88 The Swedish Legation did indeed send five more catalogs to Sweden in August that year.89 The same catalog, which contained many different titles related to various scientific fields, was distributed to many of the same recipients in 1947, and in conjunction with this O.G. Bjurström at the Information Division wanted information from the Legation in Washington on whether any of them had ordered the films. The answer turned out to be something of a surprise. Crafoord wrote that F. Brooker of the u.s. Office of Education had told him that he had received about three or four letters from Sweden, but that the briefcase in which he had this correspondence had been stolen during a trip to the American west coast, and because of this he had been unable to reply to the letters. According to Crafoord, Brooker was devastated over the incident and wanted the Swedes to accept his apologies and send their letters again.90 A positive response came from ab Europa Film, a company that had not received a request the first time around. The company was very interested in distributing some of the films though their school film department, but wished to have the distribution costs covered in some way or another due to the intense competition for market shares for distribution of school films in Sweden. This reply caused great activity on both sides of the Atlantic. The Legation in Washington had been in frequent contact with both the Office of Education and relevant parts of the State Department, and the Americans had contacted the Embassy in Stockholm to find out how best to solve the distribution issue in Sweden. A representative of sf also visited the Office of Education and the State 87 88 89 90

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1946–1947”; Vol. 362; Crafoord to Hagen, June 14, 1946; Hagen to Crafoord, July 5, 1946. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1946–1947”; Vol. 362; Sven Dahlman to respective recipient, July 9, 1946, and September 9, 1946. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1946–1947”; Vol. 362; Crafoord to Hagen, August 17, 1946. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1946–1947”; Vol. 362; Crafoord to Bjurström, July 30, 1947; Bjurström to Crafoord, August 14, 1947; Crafoord to Burström, August 27, 1947; see also catalog: “u.s. Government Films for School and Industry.”

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Department in October 1947, which had apparently hastened the matter on the American side. Whatever the arrangement for distribution would be, the Americans planned to make the Swedish case into a precedent for the rest of Europe. The Information Division was enthusiastic about the possibility of establishing some kind of deal on the matter, because this would mean reciprocity, i.e. that Swedish films could be distributed to a whole new extent in the u.s. The Information Division stated that it was of great interest to get an exchange of school films going with the Americans in order to scale up the exchange, which previously had consisted of only a few copies of American films being sent to Sweden every now and then.91 Unfortunately, it has not been possible to find out how the question was resolved in the preserved archival material. But it is known that the American film catalog was also distributed in Sweden in the early 1950s, and some kind of agreement between the u.s. Office of Education and the Swedish National Board of Vocational Training and Education was in place by 1953.92 In March 1953, the National Swedish Road and Water Construction Board [Väg- och Vattenbyggnadsstyrelsen] wrote to the Legation in Washington to ask for assistance in acquiring a film entitled Maryland Test Road from the u.s. Bureau of Public Roads, for which the Swedish Board was prepared to pay all expenses.93 After this there is a three-year lacuna in the archive, until the Royal Swedish Railway Board [Kungl. Järnvägsstyrelsen] (rsrb) bought a film entitled The New New Orleans from the Texas Pacific-Missouri Pacific Terminal Railroad in 1956.94 Nothing of the above seems to have involved the usis in any way, in fact, not much of the material that the Information Division handled was related to the usis. A rare exception in the Information Division’s archival material from the period 1951–1956 is a Swedish-language film catalog entitled Livet i Amerika [Life in America] containing hundreds of usis films available in 1952 and 1953.95 91 92 93 94 95

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1946–1947”; Vol. 362; E. Skaar to Bjurström, September 18, 1947; Bjurström to Crafoord, September 22, 1947; Crafoord to Bjurström, October 17, 1947, pp. 1–2; Bjurström to Crafoord, November 4, 1947; Bjurström to Mård, Ljungberger, Kjellberg, Rydberg, and Lindström, November 4, 1947. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Filmer, 1951–1956”; Vol. 363; Legation to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, November 16, 1951; Douglas to Undén, October 26, 1953. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1951–1956”; Vol. 363; Braunerhielm to Liljegren, March 10, 1953. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1951–1956”; Vol. 363; Gunnar Dryselius to Undén, May 7, 1956. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “…1951–1956”; Vol. 363; Livet i Amerika. Upplysnings- och dokumentärsmalfilmer, 1952–1953.

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The next document relating to American propaganda films in Sweden is from September 23, 1959, and deals with the shipping of a film from the American Automobile Association via the Swedish Embassy in Washington. The ceo of the Swedish National Association for the Advancement of Traffic Safety [Nationalföreningen för Trafiksäkerhetens Främjande, ntf], Alvar Thorson, had purchased the film in question.96 In January 1962, however, Swedish tv began broadcasting a series of 13 27-minute films from the u.s. National Academy of Sciences. The films dealt with topics related to research performed during and after the International Geophysical Year 1957–58.97 These films were intended to display American prowess in the geophysical sciences, and the Director of the Information Division of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Bengt Odhner, expressed great appreciation to Annemarie O’Quinlivan of the u.s. National Academy of Sciences for drawing his attention “to these interesting programmes.” The tone in the letter was very friendly and personal. Odhner stated that he was glad to hear that O’Quinlivan had enjoyed her stay in Sweden the past summer and that she should let him know if she was to return.98 The next trace of American propaganda films in this archive is from an offer from the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Co. for the appropriate Swedish government agency or institution to borrow a movie called The Golden Link dealing with the quick and effective method for ferrying trains over Lake Michigan. It turned out that the rsrb was very interested in the film. The rsrb intended to show it to special audiences at the state railway company sj (Statens ­Järnvägar) in Stockholm and Trelleborg.99 The usis Propaganda Effort in the Latter Half of the 1960s The usis Country Plan for Sweden for 1967 also contained matters related to radio and television. The report stated that the VoA did not broadcast directly to Sweden, but that background materials and recordings were offered to the Swedish state radio sr. Furthermore it was said that “Swedish tv uses (and 96 97 98 99

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Filmer, 1957–1964”; Vol. 364; Ternström to Rösiö, September 25, 1959. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F; Vol. 364; O’Quinlivan to Odhner, January 8, 1962. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F; Vol. 364; Odhner to O’Quinlivan, January 22, 1962. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2F; Vol. 364; Jarring to Undén, March 7, 1962; Malcolm Björkman to the Information Division, March 29, 1962.

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pays for) some program materials supplied by usis.”100 It is not known if sr ever used anything of the VoA materials provided to it by the usis, although it is reasonable to assume that perhaps some of it did find its way into the homes of the Swedish listeners; at least the report seems to imply this. Unfortunately, the information regarding Swedish television’s use of usis programs does not tell us what kind of programs they were, or how often they were shown, but it is nonetheless interesting to see that the usis still managed to place material on Swedish television more than a decade after regular broadcasts had begun in Sweden. This was also at a time at which the protests concerning the Vietnam War were gaining in intensity and strength. The usis also maintained its libraries in Stockholm (the usis Information Center) and Gothenburg (reference library only), and the Information Center in Stockholm featured weekly cultural programs such as lectures, film screenings, exhibits, and seminars. Personnel from the u.s. Embassy also provided the same activities outside Stockholm. An important part of this effort was the film program. The usis supplied ‘documentary’ propaganda films “to Swedish youth, educational, farm and business organizations”, and there were also commercial distribution channels reached through local film distributors. According to the usis over 1,341,500 Swedes had viewed these films in 1967 alone.101 The aims of the Country Program stressed the hegemonic ambitions of the u.s., the main purpose being to “strengthen Swedish confidence in u.s. leadership—political, social, economic, scientific and cultural.” Other aims were to encourage a closer relationship between Sweden and international organizations relating to the broader Atlantic Community, as well as to persuade the Swedes to contribute more to the democratic development of newly independent countries. In order to achieve these aims, the usis had a staff of 25 people in Stockholm, five of whom were American nationals; the rest were Swedes. The five Americans were the pao, the Cultural Affairs Officer (cao), and Information Officer (io), a Secretary, and a special Student-Youth Officer. Four Swedish nationals were involved in the cultural activities (not including the library); four were employed in Gothenburg; one worked in the office of the io; four were responsible for handling the activities relating to bulletins, press production “and other placement activities”; three dealt with distribution activities; and the last four worked with tv, radio, and motion pictures. The number employed was expected to be the same during 1968 and 1969.102 100 101 102

100 lbjl; lhm; dusia, 1964–1967; Box 19; Folder “Country Programs: West Europe, Special Europe, Soviet Union and East Europe”; “usis Program Sweden,” p. 3. 101 Ibid. 102 Ibid., pp. 4–6.

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chapter 4 Cost of usis activities in Sweden 1967–1969 in u.s. dollars

Local employee costs: Radio activities: Information placement: Pamphlets, leaflets, etc.: Mopix and tv distribution: Info center operations: Exhibits: Presentations: Cultural activities: Research: Program direction: Total costs:

1967

1968

1969

100,146 70 8,403 6,653 1,353 4,222 978 633 4,936 420 807 218,312

104,259 180 8,482 7,200 2,983 4,763 700 575 6,725 450 1,300 245,257

110,551 180 8,482 7,200 2,983 29,763 700 575 11,725 450 1,300 287,817103

The fact that so much work was done by Swedish nationals is even further testimony to the great degree to wich consent to u.s. hegemony was being co-produced by centrally placed Swedes. For the usis it was certainly an expedient way of going about things, saving American manpower and making sure that those involved understood the target audiences tastes, expectations, and demands. What is interesting about this Country Plan compared to the others that have been found in American archives is that this one contains the actual costs of the usis’ activities in 1967, as well as estimates for the next two years. This provides us with a unique insight into the usis’ work in Sweden and the costs in dollars presented below are based on this document (see Table 2 above). What is evident from these figures is that the usis’ propaganda activities were to be expanded during 1968 and 1969. It was foremost the Information Center and cultural activities that would increase greatly in these years. This is of course to be expected if the Americans were to intensify their propaganda in Sweden as a consequence of the sharp Swedish criticism of the Vietnam War. In connection with this effort, personnel costs were expected to rise somewhat also. 103

103 Ibid., p. 6. The figures included here are not complete, and therefore the total costs presented are greater than the individual posts in the table combined.

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Seducing the Swedes: Moving the Swedish tv and Radio Audiences

This chapter has shown that the usis made frequent use of the radio and television media in Sweden by supplying them with films and documentaries. The Americans also lobbied centrally placed decision-makers when deemed necessary. The usis produced the content itself using its Press Service division and adapted it to fit the local circumstances, even arranging public movie screenings.104 Until now the extent of these activities, and the degree of collaboration in the American hegemonic project by the Swedish opinion-making elite, as well the possible effects on the Swedish public, have been almost entirely unknown. With this the question of how much the usis managed to affect the output of sr and svt programming arises. It is unfortunately not a question that has been possible to answer in great detail. The question is an acute one, however, because the public generally had a lot of faith in the reliability in their news media, and due to the state monopoly, sr and svt were major sources of information about the outside world for the Swedish population in the 1950s and 1960s. The fact that these sources of information were in several ways influenced by the purposeful propaganda activities of a foreign power is a matter in which scholars ought to be very interested.105 Perhaps the most startling of the revelations made in this chapter is the usis’ relationship with svt, and the apparent deal struck in the early 1960s according to which the television executives decided to convince the unsuspecting Swedish viewer that he/she belonged to the West. Even if one allows for the fact that most Swedes probably already shared this view, it is still an astonishing thing to discover that the Swedish state-owned television channel made such a decision. This suggests that the American propaganda campaign during these decades was perhaps more successful than previously thought.

104 105

104 Bogart, L., Premises for Propaganda:…, pp. 150–177. 105 In relation to this theme, an interesting article appeared in Dagens Nyheter on February 27, 1965, condemning the effects of the inadvertent introduction of American television in Iceland. The u.s. television station on the Keflavik airbase had been revamped but had been made so powerful that all of Iceland could now watch American tv (including ‘information’ about Communism) and it was felt that American tv was colonizing the country via the airways. Olof Lagercrantz wrote that Iceland now provided the world’s sociologists with a perfect material to study the effects of this new influence, and compared the introduction of this foreign element on Iceland with the invasion of new life forms on the volcanic island of Surtsey (see: Lagercrantz, Olof, “Egil Skallagrimsson eller Al Capone?” in Dagens Nyheter, February 27, 1965, p. 4). This is of course in line with Lagercrantz’ critical attitude towards American popular culture as shown in Amanda Lagerqvist’s study (Lagerqvist, A., Amerikafantasier…).

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However, as the example of the television executives shows us, the usis could not do any of this by itself. The Americans were always dependent upon the willing assistance of Swedish journalists, editors, program directors et cetera for their effort to be successful. This also includes, as has been noted, the Swedish nationals working for the usis at the American Embassy in Stockholm. This fact presents us with some interesting issues regarding the integrity of Swedish news journalists during this period. The chapter has shown that the Swedish public was unwittingly consuming considerable amounts of official American propaganda during the period studied in this book. This no doubt raises many questions as to what effects this had on Swedish history, culture, economics, and politics during the Cold War, as well as what consequences of this activity Swedes are still living with today? This ties into the issue of the Americanization of Swedish popular culture during the same period, and how the usis propaganda campaign is related to this process, although this particular problem lies outside the scope of this book. Here is a potentially enormous field of research for scholars to take on in the future.

chapter 5

American Propaganda and the Swedish Educational Sector, Part i: The Fulbright Program, Cultural Exchanges, and Research Funding1 Introduction So far, several aspect of American propaganda in Sweden has been dealt with in this study. But there is yet another side to these activities in Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s, and that is the subject of propaganda targeting the educational sector. A theme of this chapter is the activities of the Fulbright Commission in Sweden. The Fulbright Commission was established in Sweden in 1952 and awarded over 600 fellowships between 1953 and 1977.2 The so-called Fulbright Act provided for use of foreign currencies received from the sale of surplus property abroad to bring foreign students to the u.s. and to send American teachers and students abroad. In fact, the usia’s local usis offices administered the exchange program.3 The exchange of persons was considered a highly effective method “of modifying the competence and/or general attitude of an individual foreigner.” Correctly handled, it was thought to have “powerful psychological effects.”4 To this should be added that almost a quarter of the Fulbright grants were ‘leader grants,’ specifically targeting influential foreigners. By the end of the 1950s, the u.s. was spending $30 million annually on Fulbright exchanges.5 The educational exchange program was thus a highly political activity with explicit propagandistic aims, under the aegis of the usia. The connection between the u.s. student exchange programs, the cia, and the usia has been treated in a 1 Parts of this chapter has been published as: Nilsson, M., “Science as Propaganda: Swedish Scientists and the Co-Production of u.s. Hegemony in Sweden During the Cold War, 1953– 1968” in European Review of History–Revue Europeenne d’historie, Vol. 19, Issue 2, April 2012, pp. 275–302. 2 Blanck, Dag, “The Impact of the American Academy in Sweden,” in R. Lundén & E. Åsard (eds.), Networks of Americanization:…, p. 82; Blanck, D., “Television…,” p. 93. Blanck does not draw any conclusions as to the importance of this exchange to the attitudes of the grantees, or the consequences for u.s.-Swedish relations as a whole. 3 Henderson, J.W., The United States…, pp. 79–82; Elder, R.E., The Information Machine:…, p. 39. 4 Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…, p. 304. 5 Ibid., p. 305.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_007

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number of international studies.6 What have not been studied at all are these connections as they played out in relation to the Swedish-American academic exchange. It also traces another matter that has previously been only briefly known to scholars, namely the u.s. military’s financing of research in the natural sciences performed by prominent Swedish scientists. This issue made the headlines in early 1968, when the evening newspaper Aftonbladet revealed this fact to the Swedish public. This funding that for decades pumped huge amounts of American dollars into Swedish universities and research institutions had both a political and military rationale, and this chapter will explore both of these. Some of the questions that this chapter aspires to address and answer are hence: what was the role of the Fulbright academic exchange program in Sweden, and how was it used for propaganda purposes? How extensive was the u.s. military’s financing of Swedish scientists and their research? What kind of research did the Americans pay for, and did this research serve a possible military purpose? How did the Swedish authorities and the concerned scientists handle this sponsoring when it was brought to the notice of the public?

The Fulbright Program as a Tool of Hegemony

In late 1952, Sweden was finally made a Fulbright nation, and the u.s. Educational Committee in Sweden (usec/s) was established at this time. The Fulbright Program concerned exchanges of students and teachers and was funded by the Americans using the revenues from sales of surplus material to Sweden. This was how the Fulbright Program was funded all over the world, i.e. in reality it was the foreign governments themselves that paid for the exchanges. The arrangement was cleared with the Ministry of Education and Ecclesiastical ­Affairs in October.7 The purpose of the program was, as Reinhold Wagnleitner shows in his study, “‘designed to indoctrinate as well as educate.’”8 This 6 C.f. Scott-Smith, G., “Building A Community…” in H. Laville and H. Wilford (Eds.) The us Government, Citizen Groups…, pp. 83–99; on the relationship between the u.s. government and international student organisations, see: Paget, K.M., “From Cooperation…” in H. Laville and H. Wilford (Eds.) The us Government, Citizen Groups…, pp. 66–82; Paget, K.M., “From Stockholm to Leiden:…” in G. Scott-Smith and H. Krabbendam (Eds.) The Cultural Cold War…, pp. 134–167. 7 ra; Ecklesiastikdepartementet; Hemliga arkivet; Hemliga koncept; Vol. 1; Ecklesiastikdepartementet to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, October 29, 1952. 8 Wagnleitner, R., Coca-Colonization and the Cold War:…, p. 156.

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c­ omment was made with reference to the American program in Austria, but there is little reason to believe that the same logic did not apply also to Sweden. The agreement provided for $110,000 to be used for this purpose and was signed on November 20 that year. The problem was that the funds intended to pay for the exchange only lasted until fy 1955/56. Because of a lack of additional funding the Fulbright exchange between Sweden and the u.s. was suspended between fy 1956/57 and fy 1959/60, when new funds became available through a Fulbright agreement between the u.s. and Italy, under which the u.s. could spend $600,000 worth of Italian currency for exchange activities with a third country. That country then became Sweden, and a new agreement was signed on November 20, 1959, covering four additional years of exchanges.9 There is a certain aspect of the concluding of this exchange agreement that is very interesting because it ties into the Swedish consent to American hegemony in Western Europe, and the gradual inclusion of Sweden in the Western defense network in Europe at the same time. This factor is chronology, because the two processes (i.e. the scholarly exchange and the military cooperation) coincide in time to a surprising extent. Prior research has shown how Sweden was gradually incorporated into the Western sphere during the early 1950s, ­until the signing of the Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement (mdaa) in the summer of 1952 definitely made Sweden eligible to buy American military hardware. Elsewhere it has been argued that this process should be seen as a gradual Swedish consent to u.s. hegemony, and that the mdaa agreement was the Americans’ way of confirming, and rewarding, the Swedish consent. This process hinged on Swedish acceptance of the trade embargo rules ­towards Eastern Europe set up by CoCom in 1950.10 Could it be that the scholarly ­exchange via the Fulbright Act was also used as a confirmatory ­device to ­reward Sweden for finally having consented to u.s. hegemony? This section will ­explore this hypothesis a bit further. Let us start by looking at the timeline. That the Swedes wished to be included under the provisions of the Fulbright Act from very early on is clear from the correspondence in the archive of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In two volumes entitled “Cultural Cooperation through Grants, u.s.a.” it is possible 9

10

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kulturellt samarbete genom stipendier.” “usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Sten Sundfeldt to Minister of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs, May 25, 1962, p. 1. Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 186–255; Nilsson, M., “Aligning the Non-Aligned: A re-interpretation of why and how Sweden was granted access to us military materiel in the early Cold War, 1948–1952” in Scandinavian Journal of History, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2010, pp. 290–309.

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to follow the process whereby Sweden became a Fulbright nation. In October 1950, the Swedish Cultural Attaché in Washington, Tore Tallroth, sent a list of American scholars going abroad during 1951 as part of the Fulbright exchange with other nations to the Director of the Information Division of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Olle Jödahl. Tallroth concluded that it was a very impressive gathering and that the Embassy hoped that something similar could be arranged between the u.s. and Sweden too. It is worth noticing that the countries included in the exchange program were either countries that had signed the North Atlantic Treaty, or countries that the u.s. had some other military cooperation with (such as Burma and New Zealand). In Stockholm there was agreement on the desirability of including Sweden in such an exchange program and the Embassy wished to keep the Information Division informed about any developments in this area.11 Nothing happened, however, and a similar list was sent to Stockholm in June 1951. In conjunction with a remark on 23 Americans going to Norway in 1952, the question was raised of how the subject was progressing with regard to Sweden.12 Still, no headway seems to have been made in this area until February 11, 1952. On that day the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Östen Undén, received a letter from the u.s. Ambassador in Stockholm, W. William Butterworth, including a draft proposal for a Fulbright Exchange Agreement between the two countries.13 What should be made of the fact that there is no trace of any negotiations taking place regarding the matter in the archive? There are two possible explanations: (1) there were negotiations that finally resulted in a draft agreement, but the documents have been lost, or (2) there were no negotiations and the Americans simply suddenly decided to offer Sweden the opportunity to become a Fulbright nation. The first option seems unlikely. Considering how much such an agreement meant to Sweden it is highly improbable that the document recording this process has been lost. But if the second option is right, why did the Americans suddenly decide to offer Sweden an agreement? Had something else just happened that could motivate this move? 11

12

13

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kulturellt samarbete genom stipendier. usa” ­(henceforth: “Kstip usa”), 1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; Tallroth to Jödahl, October 5, 1950; Rynell to Tallroth, November 21, 1950. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa,1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; Tallroth to Jödahl, June 19, 1951. The countries receiving American scholars were: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Burma, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, and the uk. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa ,1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; Butterworth to Undén, February 11, 1952.

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In fact, something major had just occurred that could provide an explanation for the American offer. On February 28, 1952, President Truman announced that Sweden was now eligible to buy American military hardware. This announcement had come as a consequence of Sweden’s consent to abide tacitly to the CoCom embargo rules vis-à-vis Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The decision had effectively already been made on January 8, however, with the new policy paper on Scandinavia entitled nsc 121, which Truman then signed on January 17.14 The timing of these two events does indeed suggest that they were connected. The new policy paper was laid before the President only three days prior to the u.s. Embassy offering the Ministry for Foreign Affairs the draft Fulbright agreement. A further indication that there was a connection is the propagandistic purpose of the Fulbright Program. It was in this sense a hegemonic apparatus designed to increase the exchange of ideas and people between the u.s. and other nations, and in this way act as ideological cement drawing the u.s. closer to its Cold War allies. But the exchange also had important ramifications for Sweden. Through the exchange Swedish scholars would get a chance to acquaint themselves with the state of the art of research environments in the world, and American scholars would spread their knowledge to Swedish students, university teachers, and researchers. It was a great opportunity for Sweden to gain knowledge. In this way the offer to include Sweden in the Fulbright partnership could very well be regarded as a reward for Swedish actions in other fields. A matter that might not be ­entirely irrelevant in this context is that it was the Swedish Minister without Portfolio, Dag Hammarskjöld, and u.s. Ambassador to Sweden, W. Walton Butterworth, which signed the Fulbright Agreement.15 These were the very same people that had signed the so-called ‘Stockholm Agreement’ confirming the tacit Swedish abidance by the CoCom embargo in the summer of 1951, which in turn had led to President Truman’s announcement in February 1952.16 Moscow was not unaware of the ­increasing Swedish-American contacts, and in January 1952 Radio Moscow’s

14 15 16

Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 216–232. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6;” Vol. 810; Telegram from the u.s. Embassy, June 27, 1963, p. 1. For more on this, see: Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 202–203. See also: Ahlström, Christer, Stockholmsöverenskommelsen rörande den svenska öst-väst-handeln—ett folkrättsligt bindande avtal? [The Stockholm Agreement Concerning Sweden’s East–West Trade: An Internationally Binding Agreement?] (Stockholm: Utrikespolitiska Institutet, 1996).

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Swedish-language program gave a skit about the establishment of an Association for the Preservation of the Americanization of Sweden prominent play.17 The proper Swedish authorities then studied the draft articles and a memorandum stating that the draft was acceptable to the Swedish government was handed over to a representative of the u.s. Embassy on ­August 26, 1952.18 After the agreement had been signed on November 20, the question arose of who from the Swedish side would make up the usec/s. According to article 4 of the agreement the usec/s should consist of eight members, four of which should be Swedes.19 The very next day, Ivar Persson of the Swedish Ministry of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs received a letter containing proposals for two of these positions from the Chairman of the committee in charge of the international course for English-language students at Stockholm University, Olof H. Lamm. The two names mentioned in the letter were the Director of the Sweden-America Foundation, Adèle Heilborn, and the Dean of the Social Institute at Stockholm University, Professor Gunnar Heckscher (who had both studied and lectured in the u.s.). It was Lamm’s understanding that the American Ambassador would be most pleased to see both of these persons on the usec/s.20 This means that not only did the news about the signing of the agreement travel fast, but the American Ambassador had already been in contact with Lamm about the possible Swedish members of the usec/s. The Americans thus used Lamm to effectively lobby the Swedish government for them. American members became the usis pao, Nils William Olsson; the Cultural Attaché, Clarence Clausen; the Scientific Attaché, Harald H. Nielsen; and the Managing Director of General Motors Nordiska ab, Lawrence S. Barroll.21 Heckscher did not make it into the usec/s the first year, but Heilborn did. 17

18 19

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ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2I “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Radio i upplysningsverksamheten 1949 okt.–mars 1952. 6”; Vol. 371; “Summary of the Swedish-language broadcasts from Moscow January to March 1952,” undated, 1952, p. 2. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; Memorandum to u.s. Embassy, August 21, 1952, pp. 1–2. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; “Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Sweden for Financing Certain Educational Exchange Programs,” undated, 1952, p. 4. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; Lamm to Persson, November 21, 1952, p. 1. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, December 4, 1952.

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The other members were: the Managing Director of the Swedish Institute, ­Gunnar K.L. Granberg; the Vice-Chancellor of Stockholm University, Professor C. Harald Cramér; and civil engineer, Gunnar A. Hambraeus.22 When the positions came up for re-election in January 1954, Heilborn retained her seat while Granberg and Hambraeus had to make their seats available to Tallroth, who was now the new Director of the Swedish Institute, and Heckscher.23 This exchange program was one of the major activities of the usis in Sweden, and according to the inspector it was also effectively conducted. In 1956, there was one major concern, however, and that was that the Fulbright Program exchange was about to end, and this was considered to have detrimental effects on the exchange program at large. Otherwise this program was considered to fulfill the responsibility of the usis in Sweden, namely to create sympathy for American culture, economy, and political motives and actions. It was recommended that the post should make more effort to maintain continuing contact with former grantees, so as not to lose these persons, and so as to be able to use them in various propaganda contexts. But if there were worries with regard to the exchange program, the complete opposite was true for the usis’ work in establishing personal contacts with Swedish organizations. The inspection officer felt that the activity “in this field is outstanding for its excellence.” Several independent sources had stated that the usis pao in Stockholm was the best-known American in the whole country, and the American usis officers in general seemed to be “extremely well liked and ­respected.” The effectiveness of this side of the usis’ work was evident in the cooperation received from Swedish organizations regarding the screening of films, and in the requests for materials from Swedish labour organizations. The American officers also traveled extensively in Sweden lecturing to indigenous organizations.24 The problem was that the exchange was financed by Swedish purchases of u.s. surplus agricultural equipment, and that American law mandated that half of this equipment (the so-called ‘50 percent rule’) should be transported on u.s. ships. The Swedish government had refused on principle to accept such an agreement, and the exchange was therefore suspended due to a lack 22 23 24

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; Ministry for Foreign Affairs to u.s. Embassy, December 5, 1952. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; Press Release, January 15, 1954. nara ii, rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Box: 9; “Operations Advisory Service Report on usis Sweden,” Sept. 22, 1956, pp. 22–23.

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of funding.25 The issue was thus not solved until November 20, 1959, when a new Fulbright agreement was signed between Sweden and the u.s.26 The Fulbright program was of the utmost importance for the fulfillment of the way in which other objectives were to be achieved, too, since it was intended to encourage the dissemination of first-hand knowledge of the u.s. from Swedes to other Swedes.27 As Dag Blanck has shown, the increasing number of Swedish students that traveled to the u.s. on a scholarship from the usec/s, or the Sweden-America Foundation, during the postwar period did have significant effects on Swedish academic life. The academic contacts reflected the general turn in cultural orientation away from Germany and towards the u.s., which had started already after the First World War, but became much more pronounced after 1945, Blanck remarks.28 At that time, it has been said, the whole country turned westward “like a super tanker with a new destination.”29 The English language gained in stature, and the amount of speakers in Sweden increased at a steady rate. During the 1950s, courses in English were frequently advertised in newspapers and magazines, and knowledge of English became associated with a good career and general success in life. These were often aimed at men in particular; the idea being that English was a language that a Swedish so-called “coming man” had to master.30 After the establishment of the Fulbright Commission in Sweden in November 1952, 680 students and researchers were awarded scholarships during the 1950s and 1960s (and this is not including the equal or even larger number of Swedes going to the u.s. on other scholarships). Most of these students seem to have had a positive view of the u.s., but there were other concequences as well, Blanck states. Among them (in the mid-1950s) was the grantees’ feeling that they had matured during their time abroad; that they had gained a broader view of the world. They also came to see Sweden in a new light (the ­importance of the latter aspect has not been much studied). It also turned out to be a very good thing for their professional careers. A survey of 108 former 25

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1955, nov.–1959. 5”; Vol. 810; “P.M. ang. Tillsättande av ledamöter i den s.k. Fulbrightnämnden” by C.G. Bielke, December 10, 1956, p. 1. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1955, nov.–1959. 5”; Vol. 810; Press release, November 20, 1959, p. 1. rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 22. Blanck, D., “The Impact of the American Academy…,” pp. 81–82. Blanck, D., “American Influences in Sweden? Reflections on a Trans-Atlantic Relationship” in Dag Blanck and Michael Nohan (eds.), On and Beyond the Mississippi: Essays Honoring Thomas Tredway (Rock Island, Il.: The Augustana Historical Society, 2004), p. 53. Salomon, K., En femtiotalsberättelse…, p. 126.

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Fulbright grantees from the 1960s conducted in 1977 showed that about 20 percent had managerial jobs in private industry, 20 percent worked in the higher echelons of the civil service bureaucracy, and another whopping 40 percent held permanent academic positions in Swedish higher education (mostly ­economics, mathematics, physics, and business administration).31 A 1956 study by Franklin D. Scott of fifty Swedish returnees from studies in the u.s. showed that even though their degrees were at that time largely worthless in Sweden, the returnees were very positive towards the u.s. that they had experienced, and many even stated that Sweden needed to become more like the u.s. The study also concluded that personal associations (especially in Stockholm) “give sanction to the retention of Americanisms.” The American influences through media and personal meetings, made sure that “the urban returnee is not allowed to forget America. He may attend the monthly meetings of the American Club, or play poker in its room at the Grand Hotel.”32 As Scott’s results indicate, the bonds with the u.s. continued to be strong for these persons after their return to Sweden. That many, if not most, of them came to occupy positions that allowed them to influence developments that resulted in Sweden’s becoming more like the u.s. is certainly also a fundamental point. Blanck reflects upon the fact that many of these students spent time in the u.s. during a period in life when people are more easily influenced by new impressions, and states that they “may have brought back important thoughts, ideas, and maybe even ways of looking at the world,” even though he acknowledges that the significance of their experiences is hard to assess.33 Scott’s study confirms much of this. The feeling of a broadened outlook and increased selfconfidence, for example, was attested to almost unanimously. A more open and friendly manner was noticed among half the subjects. There were also subtle changes in political outlook, and several returnees expressed a more ambivalent attitude towards the Swedish welfare state, which meant that after the stay in the u.s. they were more inclined to also see its drawbacks. A common experience was also that the conservative Swede found himself defending the Swedish system that he was criticizing back home, and conversely that those more inclined towards the left tended to see the value in “a less restrictive and less protective system.” One subject even stated that the sojourn in the u.s. moved him definitely away from the Swedish Communists, which he almost 31 32 33

Blanck, D., “The Impact of the American Academy…,” pp. 81–82, 85, 88–89. Scott, Franklin D., The American Experience of Swedish Students: Retrospect and Aftermath (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1956), p. 94. Blanck, D., “The Impact of the American Academy…,” p. 92. Blanck does not base his conclusions on Franklin’s study.

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surely would have joined otherwise (all his friends apparently did). ­Another important result from a propaganda perspective was that most also had “the peculiar satisfaction of feeling that he belongs to two societies.” Almost universal was also the feeling of “amazement and gratitude for the outpouring of hospitality on them,” something which of course added to their affectionate reminiscence of the u.s.34 The latter of course meant a much larger roster of friends and contacts across the Atlantic, but even at home as the returnees felt connected through their common experience. This is central for the formation of elite networks. Blanck remarks that the list of former grantees sometimes looks like a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of the Swedish political, academic, economic, and business elite; including two Swedish Prime Ministers (Olof Palme and Ingvar Carlsson), and two additional political party leaders (Gunnar Heckscher of the Conservative Right Party [Högerpartiet], between 1961 and 1965, who was also a member of the usec/s,) and Bertil Ohlin of the People’s Party, 1944–1967), as well as many intellectuals, journalists, and radio and tv personalities.35 Scott’s study states that the former grantees “have attained directive positions in Sweden, and they have incorporated American methods into Swedish industry, commerce, and science.” One of them had been “instrumental in promoting concrete highway construction in Sweden.” Another one was “director-general of the state telegraph and telephone system,” and practically the whole first generation of Swedish doctor-anesthesiologists had been trained in the u.s.36 The person promoting highway construction was most likely the engineer Stig Nordqvist, who had received a ‘dollar stipend’ from the Swedish Road Federation (srf) [Svenska Vägföreningen] to study for one year at the Bureau of 34 35

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Scott, F.D., The American Experience of Swedish Students:…, pp. 96–99, 109–118. Blanck, D., “The Impact of the American Academy…,” p. 92. Blanck also writes that much of the Swedish educational system was inspired by the American one through the influence of Gunnar and Alva Myrdal in the 1940s, and their admiration for the American pedagogic icon John Dewey’s progressivism (ibid., p. 91); for more on the Myrdals and u.s. education, see: Blanck, D., “The Myrdals and America” in Dag Blanck, Rolf Lundén, and Kerstin W. Shands (eds.), Notions of America:…, pp. 95–104; Franklin supports this, and notes that the new system of medical education proposed in 1953 was surprisingly similar to the American one, see: Scott, F.D., The American Experience of Swedish Students:…, pp. 105–106. The influence of American management methods on the Swedish Business community has been extensive and substantial (c.f. Furusten, Staffan and Kinch, Nils, “Swedish Managerial Thinking: A Shadow of America” in R. Lundén and E. Åsard (eds.), Networks of Americanization:…, p. 80). Scott, F.D., The American Experience of Swedish Students:…, pp. 102–103.

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Highway Traffic at Yale University in the early 1950s. When he got back in 1954, he spread his experiences to a broad audience through several articles and lectures. The way that Swedish society was transformed to make way for the car during the 1950s and 1960s took the u.s. as a role model, and Nordqvist was absolutely central to this massive transformation of Sweden to accommodate the perceived needs of the car.37 In this and many other fields there was thus a very manifest Americanization of Swedish society due to the experiences of men and women who had studied in the u.s. and then pursued a career in influential positions. The part that this process played on the Americanization of Swedish roads and cities cannot be exaggerated. That many politicians were former grantees does not mean, however, that Swedish politics was Americanized to the same extent, according to Erik Åsard. The Swedish political system in this sense follwoed its own rules and logic. ­Indeed, it looks as if politics was one of the few areas in postwar Sweden that was not Americanized but remained “very ‘Swedish,’” he says.38 However, this conclusion is reached only by comparing the political systems and election campaign methods et cetera, and does not take into account that the central themes in Swedish postwar politics (such as road planning, and education) were Americanized to a considerable degree. It is thus more or less certain that the content of Swedish politics was Americanized, even though the form may have remained peculiarly Swedish. Finally, it is perhaps worth noting the kind of persons that have been serving as chairmen on the board of directors in the Sweden-America Foundation, an organization absolutely vital for the exchange of ideas and ideologies between Sweden and the u.s.: J. Sigfrid Edström, managing director of asea (now asea Brown Boveri, abb), was chairman 1931–1952, the manager of Electrolux Gustaf Sahlin held this position 1952–1962, and ­between 1962 and 1970 the post was held by Axel Iveroth, the managing

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Lundin, Per, Bilsamhället. Ideologi, expertis och regelskapande i efterkrigstidens Sverige [The Car Society: Ideology, Expertise, and Rule Making in Postwar Sweden] (Stockholm: Stockholmia Förlag, 2008), (all through the book but especially) pp. 17–18, 28–30, 84–87, 90–92, 220–223. See also: Blomkvist, Pär, Den goda vägens vänner. Väg- och billobbyn och framväxten av det svenska bilsamhället 1914–1959 [The Friends of the Good Road: the Road and Car Lobby and the Growth of the Swedish Car Society, 1914–1959] (Stockholm: Symposium, 2001). Regarding the role of the oil industry in Europe’s recovery and the Marshall Plan, see also: Yergin, Daniel, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (New York: Free Press, 1991), pp. 423–425. Åsard, Erik, “Why is Swedish Politics so Thoroughly ‘Swedish’” in R. Lundén and E. Åsard (eds.), Networks of Americanization:…, pp. 161–171.

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d­ irector of the Swedish Federation of Industries [Industriförbundet].39 This ­foundation was thus intimately connected to the Swedish business elite during the Cold War. Both the Swedish and American delegates of the Fulbright Committee ­regarded the program a success in achieving its objectives, and thought it pertinent to prolong the exchange.40 These hopes were in vain, however, and the Fulbright exchanges would be put on ice for almost two and a half years until the end of 1959. One way in which the primary objective of usia propaganda in Sweden for 1959 was supported was by giving the Swedes continuing evidence that American science was “well prepared to support our role as a leading world power.”41 Once again, this ties closely into the hegemonic project, and to the importance of eliciting consent from the Swedes. In connection with this, the signing of the new Fulbright agreement between Sweden and the u.s. on November 20, 1959, was utilized to stress past scientific exchanges between the two nations. By that time Heckscher had left the usec/s, and the Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien], Professor Erik Rudberg, took his place.42 These people remained on the Committee from 1961 to 1964.43 The number of persons being exchanged during 1957 and 1958 therefore dried up almost completely, with only one Swedish graduate student and eight American lecturers in 1957, and two American lecturers in 1958, on funds remaining from the allotment in 1952.44 But after this point, however, as the program received new funding, this state of affairs changed considerably. During the period from 1959 to 1961, no less than 140 lecturers, researchers, teachers, graduate students, and various specialists had been involved in the exchange program, and 60 percent of these had been Swedes going to the u.s. In a letter from the Vice-­Chancellors of the five Swedish universities (Uppsala, Stockholm, Lund, Gothenburg, and 39

40 41 42 43

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Blanck, D., Sverige-Amerika Stiftelsen. De första sjuttio åren 1919–1989 [The SwedenAmerica Foundation the First Seventy Years, 1919–1989] (Stockholm: Sverige-Amerika Stiftelsen, 1989), p. 78. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “…1950 okt–okt. 1955. 4”; Vol. 810; “P.M. angående Fulbright-medlen,” October 26, 1955, pp. 1–3. rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 7. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1955 nov.–1959. 5”; Vol. 810; Memorandum regarding delegates to the Committee, January 19, 1962. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Telegram from the u.s. Embassy, June 27, 1963, p. 1; Memorandum regarding the appointment of delegates to the usec/s, December 21, 1962. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Swedish Fubright Committee members to His Majesty the King, October 25, 1962, pp. 4–5.

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Royal Caroline Institute in Stockholm) to Swedish Ambassador Gunnar Jarring in Washington, the program’s importance “especially for improving ­mutual ­understanding between the two countries” was stressed, and the hope that ­additional funds could be made available for the future was expressed.45 This letter made Jarring look more closely at the problems associated with the ­financing of the Fulbright exchanges. He concluded that the Americans were likely to make any country that suggested a sharing of costs for the program a top priority, because such an offer would be interpreted as an acknowledgement of the importance of the exchange for the nation in question. This would not necessarily have to be a 50/50 arrangement, but could very well mean a much smaller Swedish commitment. Therefore Jarring asked Leif Belfrage at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs if he could not indicate to the Americans a Swedish willingness to agree to such a cost-sharing arrangement.46 In the eyes of the Embassy and the usis in 1959, this exchange was “the best thing we do” in Sweden, even though it was limited in size considering that part of it had been inactive for almost two years. New funds (around $300,000) had become available for the coming year though, so the usis was now preparing to expand the Fulbright exchange again. The exchange program was seen as highly effective, and one example of this was taken from Uppsala University where a former grantee had been instrumental in the establishment of a Nordic Association for American Studies in February 1959 (more about this in Chapter 6). It was feared, however, that without outside financial support this association would most likely abort itself, since funds for American Studies were hard to find in Sweden.47 The Chief of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Information Division, Sten Sundfeldt, thought that although it could be argued that Sweden was already carrying large enough costs for other forms of exchanges with the u.s., he thought that the Americans were after a more tangible proof of the importance of the Fulbright Program for Sweden. He thus suggested to the Minister of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs that Sweden might perhaps offer to pay for the American grantees’ living expenses in Sweden. Another possibility would be to increase the amount of governmental scholarships to American students and perhaps include these under the Fulbright Program. Sundfeldt 45 46 47

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Vice Chancellors to Jarring, February 6, 1962, pp. 1–2. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Jarring to Belfrage, February 14, 1962, pp. 1–4. nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Entry 1045; Box No. 9; “Inspection Report” from usis Sweden dated September 2, 1959, pp. 23–24.

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wished to be rapidly advised as to how to proceed.48 After deliberations within the Swedish government, Jarring was told on June 6, 1962, that he was authorized to tell the State Department that Sweden was willing to share some of the costs of the exchange.49 Discussions continued during the summer of 1963 until a new agreement was signed on June 28 that year. Sweden was to add at least sek 50,000 to the $100,000 that would be used for exchanges annually until 1966.50 Some new members were added to the usec/s in late 1963. Heilborn and Rudberg were still on it but Cramér, who had reached the age of 70, and Tallroth, who was no longer the Director of the Swedish Institute, were replaced by the Chancellor of Stockholm University, Professor Håkan Nial, and the new Director of the Swedish Institute for Cultural Relations (as it was now called), Per-Axel Hildeman, respectively. These delegates remained in place at least until the end of 1968. The exception was Nial who left his position as Chancellor of Stockholm University in July 1966 and was replaced on the usec/s by the new Chancellor, Professor Dag Norberg.51 It is obvious that it was not the person’s personal qualities that determined whether he or she was considered fit to serve on the usec/s, but his or her position in the Swedish university/scientific, and ­governmental, bureaucratic community. Senator Fulbright himself visited Sweden in December 1966 together with his wife and took part in the Nobel festivities in City Hall in Stockholm. Fulbright had been invited by the Swedish government and spent a week in Sweden ­before returning to the u.s. This was the first, and only, visit that the Arkansas Senator made to Sweden, and it was viewed as being a very important one by the Swedes.52 The number of Swedes of all ages and categories ­going westward was very high all through the 1960s, because of the multifarious foundations and organization that awarded grants and scholarships for studies 48 49 50 51

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Sundfeldt to Minister of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs, May 25, 1962, pp. 1–5. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Sundfeldt to Jarring, June 6, 1962, pp. 1–2. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Press Release, June 28, 1963, pp. 1–2; Torsten Nilsson to Alfred Le Sesne Jenkins, June 28, 1963. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1963 aug.–1967. 7”; Vol. 811; Ministry for Foreign Affairs to u.s. Embassy, December 20, 1963; Ministry for Foreign Affairs to u.s. Embassy, February 18, 1965; Ministry for Foreign Affairs to u.s. Embassy, November 26, 1965; Protocol regarding appointment of new delegate to the usec/s, June 27, 1966; Ministry for Foreign Affairs to u.s. Embassy, January 25, 1968. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1963 aug.–1967. 7”; Vol. 811; Hildeman to Gunnar Lonaeus, December 2, 1966.

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in the u.s. In 1968/69, for example, the organization Youth for Understanding awarded 161 scholarships, the American Field Service 122, Rotary International 65, International Christian Youth Exchange 24, and the Sweden-America Foundation 68.53 All in all, thousands of Swedes went to the u.s., and almost as many Americans went to Sweden during the years studied in this book. This was a true victory for the American effort at people-to-people propaganda. Many, if not most, of the Fulbright returnees became influential persons in Swedish society in some way or another, and many of the most influential Social Democratic politicians (including the two Prime Ministers Olof Palme and Ingvar Carlsson) had studied in the u.s., and thus knew this country well, and had much affection for it, despite Palme’s strong anti-Vietnam War sentiments. It is impossible to evaluate the true importance of the Fulbright exchanges for the good relations between Sweden and the u.s., and for the secret military and security cooperation, but it is undeniable that it was considered to be of great importance to the people involved in arranging these exchanges at the time. It is certainly true that the change in focus in many sciences in Sweden from the Germanic to the Anglo-American sphere did not begin with the Cold War. Already in the aftermath of the First World War had this process been evident. Economists were among the first to be heavily influenced by America. Gunnar and Alva Myrdal spent a year in the u.s. in 1929–1930, on a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship, where they became heavily influenced by the so-called Chicago School. They returned in 1938, when Gunnar had been chosen by the Carnegie Corporation to conduct the study of America that was published under the title An American Dilemma in 1944. Bertil Ohlin had studied economics at Harvard University already in 1922–1923. But it is after the Second World War that the really great flow of academics going to the u.s. started. The personal experiences by Swedish scholars in the u.s. were very important for how certain subjects developed at Swedish universities later on. One such example is sociology, which was more or less created in Sweden through the personal meetings between Swedish scholars and their American counterparts. The first Professor in sociology in Sweden, Torgny Segerstedt, started to work at Uppsala University in 1947, and in the early 1960s the contacts were allegedly so frequent that Swedish sociologists were practically commuting between Uppsala Univeristy and Stanford University and Columbia University. Practically all of

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the first visits by these academics were made due to them having recevied an American scholarship of some sort.54 An early source of inspiration was Gunnar Myrdal’s book Kontakt med Amerika [Contact with America] published in 1941. Psychology was another subject where the influences from the u.s. became utterly dominant efter the war. Many of the most influential Swedish psychologists had been to the u.s., and kept the networks that they established there going after they returned, something that did not require much work. The u.s. was “where the new and exciting happened,” as the famous Swedish psychologist Torsten Husén put it. American journals became standard reading for these scholars. Another important subject that was equally heavily influenced by these transatlantic contact networks was, as has already been mentioned, economics. Here, the tradition also went back further than the Second World War, and by the time that the so-called Stockholm School was formed in 1930, English, rather than German, had already become the language of choice for these economists. During the 1940s, about 40 percent of the study trips conducted by economists at the Stockholm School of Economics [Handelshögskolan] went to the u.s. By the end of the 1960s, that same figure had risen to 70 percent. It was more or less standard to spend one’s post-doc time in the u.s. if you were an economist, sociologist, or in the medical sciences in Sweden after 1945. English had become the sciences’ new lingua franca, and the u.s.’ position as No. 1 has not been threatened since. However, as Sverker Sörlin has remarked, if one was to use bibliometric measurements, adjusted according to the level of publications produced in each country, in order to get an idea of from where Swedish scientists get their influences, the American dominance becomes a bit more nuanced. Then it becomes clear that European, and foremost Scandinavian, scholars dominate in terms of citations in Sweden.55 This is perhaps not surprising if one considers tha fact that most Scandinavian scholars work on matters concerning Scandinavia, and therefore need to cite such research much more often in their works. American influences can of course still be considerable on a theoretical and methodological level. In a pamphlet called Swedes Looking West produced by the Swedish Neo-Liberal think-tank Timbro and the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in 1983, it was stated as an almost self-evident truth that the subject of political science had been imported straight from the u.s. The author of this article, then Associate 54

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Sörlin, Sverker, De lärdas republik. Om vetenskapens internationella tendenser [The Learneds’ Republic: On the International Tendencies in Science] (Malmö: LiberHermods, 1994), pp. 203–205. Ibid., pp. 206–217.

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Professor of Political Science at the Department of Government at the University of Uppsala, Evert Vedung, even called it “American Political Science”, and he said that this subject had “exerted a profound and extended influence on the study of government and politics in Sweden.” Not even all the other influences on the political science community taken together could match the impact the u.s. had had in Sweden, Vedung concluded. It was of course indispensible for Swedish political scientists to have intellectual exchange with their American counterparts, and conferences in the u.s. offered an excellent opportunity to network and make important contacts for the future. Vedung also mentioned the annual Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Summer School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as an excellent venue for Swedish scholars.56 Swedes Looking West is of course itself a splendid work of pro-American Propaganda, as well as a glowing example of co-production of u.s. hegemony (and thus shows that this activity continued long after the period studied in this book), and the interesting thing here is not if Vedung was right about what he said (he may well have been), but that he wanted the readers to think that he was. The booklet even contained a reflection on Swedish-American relations by (by then) Prime Minister, Olof Palme, in which Palme stated that Swedish-American relations went far back in history and that Swedes had much admiration for the u.s. He did mention that u.s. foreign policy, as well as other aspects of American society (he mentioned the race issue and Gunnar Myrdal’s book An American Dilemma specifically) were sometimes criticized by Sweden. Nonetheless, Palme concluded, “however critical they may be of certain phenomenon in American society and of the United States’ actions on the international scene, they are nevertheless all convinced that constructive development is possible.” In the end of the article Palme added the following important statement: “I must also emphasize that Swedish neutrality is not a question of ‘ideology.’ We fully believe in Western democratic ideals and in a mixed economy.”57 56

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Vedung, Evert, “American Political Science: A Swedish Import” in Sture Lindmark and Tore Tallroth (eds.), Swedes Looking West: Aspects on Swedish-American Relations (Stockholm: Stockholm Chamber of Commerce & Timbro, 1983), pp. 123, 133–138. Palme, Olof, “Swedish-American Relations” in S. Lindmark and T. Tallroth (eds.), Swedes Looking West…, pp. 20, 22. This last point, as well as the fact that the booklet was published in English, shows that the audience for this piece of propaganda was not only, or even mainly, the Swedish public, but the u.s. This has to do with the fact that the onset of the so-called New Cold War in the 1980s, after Ronald Reagan had become President, had caused some major problems in Swedish-American relations. The problems were perhaps especially pronounced in the field of technology, and the CoCom trade embargo that was

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In a sense, then, the usis found itself in an environment extremely conducive to the influences it was propagating. Indeed, this is yet another illustration of Ellul’s idea that propaganda works best in such an environment. However, the accelerated development in the 1950s and 1960s was in large part due to the active reinforcement and encouragement of these tendencies by the usis in Stockholm during this period. This was a win-win situation, and, Swedish academics took a very active part in this development, thereby co-producing u.s. scientific hegemony in Sweden, and making sure that Swedish academia remained an environment deeply entrenched in the u.s.

Sweden and American ‘High Culture’ Propaganda

“High culture” was also a part of the American propaganda campaign in Sweden, although it was by no means overwhelming, and the number of theater groups, orchestras et cetera that traveled to Sweden seems to have been relatively limited. This is at least the image one gets by the number of such events traceable in the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ archive pertaining to foreign countries’ concert and theater propaganda activities in Sweden. To be sure, not all of the performances of American artists in Sweden left a record in this material, but the number is sufficient to allow us to draw some more or less accurate conclusions. The first thing that is clear is that the u.s. was, not surprisingly, far from the only country to promote this type of activities in Sweden. Groups from countries all around the world, including many from the Soviet Bloc, visited and performed in Sweden.58

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policed with renewed intensity under Reagan. A reason for why Sweden became a target was the so-called ‘Datasaab Affair’ that became public in 1980, where the company Datasaab had exported a system for civilian air traffic control containing American parts to the Soviet Union (the company was sentenced to pay the record sum of $3.12 million in 1984). Sweden had become a transit country for embargoed goods to the East (Sweden was not formally a member of CoCom), and both the government and private industry became involved in the affair that continued to affect Swedish-American relations during most of the 1980s. For this and more, see: Mörth, Ulrika and Sundelius, Bengt, Interdependens, konflikt och säkerhetspolitik. Sverige och den amerikanska teknikexportkontrollen [Interdependence, Conflict, and Security Policy: Sweden and the American Export Control of Technology] (Stockholm: Nerenius & Santérus Förlag, 1998); for the Datasaab Affair, see pp 103–109. This could explain why the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce was involved in making the booklet. All of this is evident from an overview of the material in: ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utländska konserter, utländsk musik och teater i Sverige (henceforth: Utl kul) 1951–1968”; Vol. 366–368.

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The first visit by an American performer to leave a record in the archives was one by the Swedish-American musician and Professor, Paul M. Oberg, from Minnesota. Oberg was scheduled to perform a piano concert at the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm on Sweden-America Day on September 18, 1955, and give two lectures: one at the u.s. Embassy and one on Swedish national radio.59 Then there was a one-year gap until the 50-man Robert Shaw Chorale, “one of the foremost choral groups in America,” according to the usis, performed in Gothenburg on May 23 and in Stockholm on May 25, 1956. That same year the Boston Symphony Orchestra would also perform in Sweden in the fall. These tours and performances were all subsidized by the u.s. government, and the usis assured the Swedes that, musically, the Robert Shaw Chorale was “one of the finest [chorals] in the world.”60 There was of course some irony in official cultural propaganda coming from a country that traditionally had considered culture to be for private entertainment only and that had never seriously considered to create a culture department within the state bureaucracy. However, as the ideological struggle against the Soviet Union increased after 1945, an increasing number of u.s. diplomats came to insist that culture be made a permanent part of the American diplomatic toolbox. The usia, the Fulbright Program, and other such undertakings were a reflection of this change of attitude and awareness that culture really mattered. But making culture a part of propaganda was not something that was unproblematic. In the late 1950s and 1960s, several academics, as well as journalists, offered scathing critique of the u.s. government’s efforts in this field, which they considered to be far too insufficient and inferior compared to how much the Soviets were focusing on this theme. But then in the later 1960s a quite different tune was heard. Now scholars were offering the opposite critique, i.e. that u.s. culture was imposing itself on the rest of the world; the term ‘cultural imperialism’ was being used to describe this phenomenon.61 But the usis did not simply swamp Sweden in American culture. It did its best to remind the Swedes of the many ways in which American culture was similar to Swedish culture. One way of doing this was to make use of the shared history between the two nations in the form of the large number of Swedes who had emigrated from Sweden in the late 1800s and early 1900s and settled in the 59 60 61

ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1951–1957. 4”; Vol. 366; Bo Alander to Bengt Pleijel, July 5, 1955; Alander to Hellström, July 29, 1955. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1951–1957. 4”; Vol. 366; Nils William Olsson to O.K. Thyberg, February 29, 1956; Merle M. Werner to Sven Backlund, April 9, 1956. For this and more, see: Gienow-Hecht, Jessica C.E., “Shame on us? Academics, Cultural Transfer, and the Cold War—A Critical Review” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Summer 2000), pp. 465–472.

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u.s. Minnesota was one of the areas where many of the Swedish i­mmigrants had settled, and so there was a certain affinity between this area and Sweden. This was used for propaganda purposes in April 1958, when a request from a theater group at the University of Minnesota was presented to the Swedish Consulate in Minnesota. Gösta af Petersens at the Consulate wrote to the Director of the Information Division that although it was not part of the Consulate’s mission “to promote American cultural propaganda in Sweden,” he felt that this occasion warranted an exception since the University theater had recently performed Strindberg plays in Minnesota, and since the suggested performance seemed able to promote the good relations between Sweden and the u.s.62 Then on June 5, 1958, the Philadelphia Orchestra performed one concert in Stockholm, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra performed in Stockholm and Gothenburg on October 6 and 8 respectively in 1959.63 The Americans also sent ballet dancers to Sweden for propaganda purposes, as when the Jerome Robbins’ Ballet u.s.a., and the American Ballet Theatre, under the auspices of the Department of State’s Special Cultural Presentation Program gave two performances in Stockholm in late September 1959 and one in Gothenburg in June 1960.64 The same ensemble was then invited by a Swedish organization for another six performances in Malmö and Stockholm in September 1961. The u.s. Embassy stated that these performances would “further cultural exchange between the two countries.”65 The State Department, under the auspices of the President’s Special Program for Cultural Presentations, sent an American theater ensemble to Sweden to perform modern American drama—namely Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth, William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker, and Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie—at the Royal Dramatic Theatre [Dramaten] in Stockholm.66 Not all such visits by American performers were appreciated though. In the spring of 1955, for example, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs found it best to reject a request from the u.s. Embassy for a visit to Sweden by the u.s. Air 62 63

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ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1958–mars 1961. 5”; Vol. 366; Philip A. Benson to af Petersens, April 21, 1958; af Petersens to Backlund, April 24, 1958, pp. 1–2. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1958–mars 1961. 5”; Vol. 366; Ministry for Foreign Affairs to u.s. Embassy, July 12, 1958; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, June 10, 1959. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1958–mars 1961. 5”; Vol. 366; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, September 4, 1959; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, May 19, 1960. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1961 april–mars 1963. 6”; Vol. 366; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, August 21, 1961, p. 1. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1958–mars 1961. 5”; Vol. 366; Gunnar Lonaeus to Backlund, March 3, 1961; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, March 7, 1961.

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Force Symphony Orchestra. The Americans had asked the Ministry for Foreign Affairs if it would be acceptable for the orchestra to perform in uniform, but the Swedes had replied that perhaps it was best not to bring it to Sweden at all, since such a visit might “awaken attention in some circles in Sweden, which would hardly contribute to increasing the goodwill intended by the visit.”67 The matter of American uniforms on Swedish soil was a sensitive matter due to the government’s policy of neutrality. The uniforms were a powerful symbol, even though they did nothing to affect the actual relations between the two states. But these worries had apparently loosened its grip on the Swedish officials by 1961, because in September that year the Seventh u.s. Army Band performed two concerts at the Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg.68 The year 1961 appears to have seen a significant increase in the number of American performances in Sweden. Actually, when compared to other years, it stands out as one when the Swedish “high culture” audiences and the cultural elite were heavily propagandized, and the State Department’s Special Cultural Presentation Program apparently sponsored most of them. Another example of this from that year is the performances by the Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra in the Concert Hall in Gothenburg on December 15, and at Uppsala University two days later. Once again, it was felt that these performances would “contribute materially to the furtherance of cultural exchange” between Sweden and the u.s.69 While these visits were taking place there were major things happening in the area of military cooperation between the u.s. and Sweden. On August 7, 1961, Lage Thunberg, who was the Vice Chief of the Royal Swedish Air Force Board (rsafb), the organization in charge of procurement for the Swedish Air Force, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (mou 1961) that was a cooperation agreement concerning aircraft technology. The mou 1961 was technically not an agreement between the Swedish and u.s. governments, since it was signed by the rsafb, and regulated cooperation between the latter and u.s. firms. However, in practice this made little difference, since the government had given its tacit agreement to it, and this was quite significant because the mou 1961 contained a series of far-reaching stipulations. It gave the u.s. 67

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ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1951–1957. 4”; Vol. 366; Memorandum by Gunnar Jarring, March 18, 1955. “väcka ett uppseende på sina håll i Sverige, som knappast bidroge till att öka den goodwill, som var avsedd med besöket.” ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1961 april–mars 1963. 6”; Vol. 366; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, September 7, 1961, p. 1. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1961 april–mars 1963. 6”; Vol. 366; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, November 14, 1961.

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government the right to all information “for defense purposes,” data, and “all inventions, improvements, and discoveries” made under the provisions of the agreement.70 In 1962, however, it seems that fewer groups visited Sweden than the year before. In fact, the only performance referred to in the archive is one by the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Royal Opera [Kungl. Operan] in Stockholm on December 4 and 5.71 The visits continued in early 1963, however, with a visit by the La Salle String Quartet from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, which performed eight concerts in Sweden between January 24 and February 2.72 But 1963, too, was a slow year with regard to the number of American groups visiting Sweden. The Los Angeles Chamber Music Orchestra, which played four concerts in Sweden in November, was an exception to this ‘high culture’ drought.73 There was no other such performance until the North Texas State University Choir appeared in the country for one concert date in Umeå, in the north of Sweden, in March 1964.74 Especially when comparing the much larger number of performances by artists from the Soviet Union one is forced to draw the conclusion that the Americans chose to put the emphasis on their propaganda effort in other fields than ‘high culture.’ During the period 1962–64, there were only a few visits per year by American performers. In 1965, however, the number increased somewhat and the first groups to travel to Sweden were the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and Cleveland Orchestra, scheduled to perform in April and late May respectively.75 During the summer the Idyllwild Youth Symphony from the University of Southern California toured Scandinavia and made a stop in Sweden.76 Then in late October a group called the “American Players” staged eight performances in Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg, Lund, and Umeå. This last 70 71 72 73 74 75

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Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 364–365. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1961 april–mars 1963. 6”; Vol. 366; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, October 31, 1962. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1961 april–mars 1963. 6”; Vol. 366; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, May 22, 1962. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1963 april–1964 dec. 7”; Vol. 367; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, August 30, 1963. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1963 april–1964 dec. 7”; Vol. 367; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, March 9, 1964. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1965 jan.–1965 okt. 8”; Vol. 367; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, February 12, 1965; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, April 9, 1965. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1965 jan.–1965 okt. 8”; Vol. 367; Lars G. Carlsson to Sten Sundfeldt, March 26, 1965, p. 1.

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visit in 1965 was sponsored by the u.s. Cultural Presentation Program and arranged in cooperation with the Swedish-American Society of Stockholm, the Student Theaters of Uppsala and Gothenburg (also the Students’ Union in the latter case), the Academic Society of Lund, and the Anglo-American Club of Umeå.77 The next group to perform in Sweden did not do so until June 1966, when the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra played a concert at the royal residence Drottningholm Castle near Stockholm, and took part in a recording session at Swedish Radio (sr).78 The first jazz artists on record in the archive, the Archie Shepp Quartet and the Horace Silver Quintet, also visited Sweden in 1966 to play three shows at the jazz festival Stockholms Festspel in September.79 The New York Company also played at least 19 concerts, in as many cities (large and small), between September 20 and October 21 that same year, and several American ballet dance groups made numerous appearances in Stockholm in March and April 1967.80 Once again, however, not all of the American performances were well received. This is exemplified by the handling of a request by the Emory University Glee Club regarding the chance to perform in Sweden forwarded to Skansen, Konsertbolaget (which promoted many of the foreign artists that wished to perform in Sweden), the Central Organization for the Swedish People’s Parks—Folkparkerna—[Folkparkernas Centralorganisation] (these were popular outdoor venues where people went to dance and listen to music), and the sf Concert Bureau [sf Konsertbyrån] by the Swedish Consulate in New York in March 1967. While Skansen replied that the open-air museum might be able to place the choir in the summer program, it stated that it was dependent upon what it would cost Skansen since previous such performances, although popular with the audience, had been unprofitable. The same message came from Folkparkernas Centralorganisation, which stated that a short survey had shown that there was no interest in the said choir, because similar performances in the past (by American student square dance groups and ­student choirs) 77 78 79 80

ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1965 jan.–1965 okt. 8”; Vol. 367; u.s. Embassy to Ministry of Finance, October 27, 1965. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1966 juni–1967 febr. 10”; Vol. 368; Sträng to Björne, June 29, 1966. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1966 juni–1967 febr. 10”; Vol. 368; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, September 16, 1966. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1966 juni–1967 febr. 10”; Vol. 368; Sträng to Björne, October 14, 1966; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, December 19, 1966.

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had resulted in big financial losses.81 This shows that the Swedish audience did not swallow everything just because it happened to come from America. Culture from the u.s. did not hold some kind of magical sway over people that forced them to love and embrace things American. It should be noted too that these latter performances have not left a record in the archive, and this confirms that not all visits by American performers left a paper trail behind them. But this might also have been because these particular groups were not regarded as ‘high culture’, and therefore not sponsored by the u.s. government and State Department programs. The year 1967 was one when many American performers came to Sweden, and all of them will not be listed here, but one of these features of cultural propaganda was Donald McKayle’s 17-people strong dance production Black New World that performed at the City Theater [Stadsteatern] in Gothenburg on October 1 and 2. This was one of the many groups scheduled to appear in Sweden in March and April that year. There was apparently a dearth of male ballet dancers in Sweden, and the Cullberg Ballet thought it necessary to engage foreign dancers in order to achieve the necessary artistic standard.82 Two more American dancers performed at the Stockholm City Theater [Stockholms Stadsteater] and for the Cullberg Ballet in October 1967. One of them, Moris L. Donaldson, gave as many as two or three performances a week between October and December.83 Donaldson continued to tour with the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden from January to early April 1968.84 In July that same year, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (Arizona’s Cowboy Ambassadors), a group of no less than 80 people, performed at the amusement parks of Gröna Lund in Stockholm and Liseberg in Gothenburg.85 Other choirs also performed at 81

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ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1967 mars–dec. 1967. 11”; Vol. 368; Lonaeus to Harriet Albert, March 7, 1967; M. Tullander to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, March 13, 1967; E. Järnklev to Albert, March 31, 1967. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1967 mars–dec. 1967. 11”; Vol. 368; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, August 29, 1967; Inger Fagrell to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, August 28, 1967. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Utl kul 1967 mars–dec. 1967. 11”; Vol. 368; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, October 19, 1967. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “Främmande länders upplysnings- och propagandaverksamhet. Utländska konserter, utländsk musik och teater i Sverige (henceforth: FrProp) 1968 jan.–augusti. 12”; Vol. 368; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, March 27, 1968. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “FrProp 1968 jan.–augusti. 12”; Vol. 368; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, April 4, 1968; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, April 11, 1968.

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Gröna Lund that summer, namely the Midland College Choir and The Clef Dwellers from Fremont, Nebraska.86 To the many American dance groups that had already been in Sweden was added yet another in May 1968, when the Paul Taylor Dance Company performed four times at the City Theater in Stockholm, and another American dancer, Jeffrey Delson, toured with the Cullberg Ballet during the fall of 1968 and spring of 1969.87 During the first week of July the latter year the Swedish audiences could also watch performances by the California Youth Symphony Orchestra.88 As this section has made clear the u.s. did try to do something about the image of the u.s. as a nation lacking in the area of ‘high culture’. This was a real issue in the competition with the Soviet Union, a nation that was very good in promoting its accomplishments in this area. But it does not seem as if the American effort really was proportional to the worry it appeared to cause among u.s. policy makers and propagandists. Judging from the archival material these visits did not occupy a central place in the American propaganda strategy. Nonetheless, these exhibits of American cultural depth certainly did add to, and support, the claims to cultural hegemony, even though the real winner in this field was American popular culture. This particular aspect was not promoted actively by the usis, however. But this did not mean that there were no connections between them. On the contrary, the Sprague Report had mentioned the contribution to the government’s propaganda campaign made by Hollywood. These movies were seen by approximately 150 million people every week overseas, and the committee viewed the usia’s informal collaboration with the Hollywood studios over shaping content as a very positive contribution to the other information activities. The collaboration seems to have consisted of a ‘voluntary’ arrangement between the usia and the film industry, through which the agency could modify certain types of objectionable material during the production stage, and at least at this time the potential gains of going any further with this arrangement were not considered worth the risks involved. This highly sensitive relationship remained a well-kept secret.89 This 86 87

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ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “FrProp 1968 jan.–augusti. 12”; Vol. 368; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, April 11, 1968. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “FrProp 1968 jan.–augusti. 12”; Vol. 368; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, May 9, 1968; u.s. Embassy to Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, August 28, 1968. ra; ud; 1920 års dossiersystem; I2H “FrProp 1968 jan.–augusti. 12”; Vol. 368; Jansson to Berliner, July 19, 1968. Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 183–186. See also: Sorensen, T.C., The Word War:…, p. 192.

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does, however, open up a potentially very important connection between the usia and the Americanization of Sweden’s popular cultural scene. The Sprague Committee was here, perhaps not unintentionally, alluding to the power of American popular culture that had been noted already by the Time-Life owner and editor-in-chief, Henry Luce, in his famous Life article “The American Century” in 1941. Thanks to popular culture expressions such as Hollywood movies, jazz, American slang, and more, the u.s. had conquered the world more or less by happenstance. “Blindly, unintentionally, accidentally and really in spite of ourselves,” wrote Luce, “we are already a world power in all the trivial ways—in very human ways.”90 Indeed, culture was the essence of how the u.s. should dominate and influence the world after the war, according to Luce. It was actually a responsibility that the Americans ought to accept with honor. But American culture carried with it important consequences for gender relations and gender roles. American culture was consumed, and a consumer-based market eceonomy wants to spread consumption to as many as possible in society. An important aspect of all of this was to turn women into consumers of popular culture. The modern woman was a consuming woman, as Emily S. Rosenberg has remarked. This was not something that was always construed as unproblematic. In the eyes of many intellectual European critics (both on the left and the right) the American woman was the symbol of what was wrong with consumerist culture. These criticisms were, however, unsuccessful in stopping the spread of American popular culture and the consumerism that went with it.91 Sweden was no exception to this. There were plenty of examples of the latter phenomenon in Swedish depictions of the u.s. from the end of the war and the early 1960s. Amanda Lagerqvist shows that in the descriptions of the mass consuming American public the exotization of the u.s. reached its zenith. All Americans were depicted as mass consumers, and mass consumption was itself coded as a feminine thing. Mass consumption in the u.s., according to the Swedish visitors, was connected to bodily attributes and states of emotions and pleasure; it was uncontrolled, careless, and even hedonistic. Because of this fact, the description of American 90 91

Quoted in: Rosenberg, Emily S., “Consuming Women: Images of Americanization in the ‘American Century’” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 1999), p. 479. Ibid., pp. 479–497. It has been remarked, however, that “as they have followed Singer sewing machines and Hollywood films overseas, u.s. foreign relations historians have missed the boat at home—the container ship, that is, that has landed trillions of dollars of imports on American shores.” For this see: Hoganson, Kristin, “Stuff It: Domestic Consumption and the Americanization of the World Paradigm” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 30, No. 4 (September 2006), pp. 571–594; quote on p. 572.

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women had a lot in common with the representation of mass consumption as a societal phenomenon, and it was perhaps construed as most problematic when connected to young male consumers. Men doing things “just for fun” became, if not synonymous with, then at least associated with women and the feminine.92 It was as if Cindy Lauper’s mega-hit from 1983 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was presaged in this view of consumption.93 But when attention is turned to the sphere of science one gets a completely different picture. Here the u.s. government really did make a serious effort to spellbind its target audience, and it was the u.s. military that spearheaded this endeavor.

Propaganda and Co-production in the Scientific Community: The u.s. Military’s Funding of Research in Sweden

In February 1968, the Social Democratic evening newspaper Aftonbladet revealed what had until then been a veritable secret: Swedish scientists had for many years received substantial amounts of research funding from the u.s. military. The headline on the front page on February 7 read: “Swedish Scientists Get Millions From the u.s. Military.” It was stated in the newspaper that this had taken place almost completely without the knowledge of the Swedish government. Only the Minister of Research had known about the matter, it was said. The Swedish Minister of Defense, Sven Andersson, commented that one had to understand that the Pentagon’s interest in spending money on research was related to its military significance. The universities that had accepted the grants were, according to Swedish law, obliged to report any amount exceeding sek 50,000, but in this case they had not bothered to do so, and it was questioned whether this practice somehow affected the credibility of Sweden’s policy of neutrality in a negative way. The government would thoroughly investigate the matter, it was said. The source of information for Aftonbladet appears mainly to have been the official statistics from the Pentagon’s Board of Statistical Services. As a rule it was the scientists themselves that had sought contracts with the Pentagon, but sometimes the u.s. services looked up the reputable scientists. The article stated that the Pentagon had awarded research grants to foreign beneficiaries to a total value of sek 30 billion. According to Aftonbladet, the money was usually funneled via the 92 93

Lagerqvist, A., Amerikafantasier…, pp. 172–177. It is perhaps not without symbolic relevance that this song was originally written by ­Robert Hazard in 1979, and then recorded by a man with a lyric from a male perspective.

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American Embassies, but in Europe it was the u.s. Air Force in Brussels, Belgium, that handled most of the funding. The newspaper had even managed to get its hands on a contract and published it in facsimile—a contract between the u.s. Air Force and the Professor at the Speech Communications Department at the Royal Institute of Technology, Gunnar Fant, signed in February 1967. The article dealt with grants awarded between 1965 and 1967. The statistics showed that while a majority of the research was made in the u.s. and the nato ­countries, there were also posts for other neutral states, i.e. Austria, Switzerland, and in at least one case, in 1966, Finland. The official statistics also showed that nine Swedish research institutions had received money from the Pentagon during the last three years and that it was the universities that had received the largest amounts. At the top was Uppsala University, followed by Gothenburg University, and Stockholm University. But the Pentagon statistics were not complete, however, as the article remarked, because each of the services in the u.s. military also awarded grants and these were not included in the Pentagon statistics.94 The Minister of Education at the time was none other than Olof Palme, and he claimed that he had had no knowledge of the fact that American money paid for research in Sweden. But the Minister of Research, Sven Moberg, had known about it for a long time. According to him, the Americans had been paying for research for decades, and although there was nothing strange about this fact alone, the government would have to look into the matter more closely, if the press was to make a large fuss about it, to make sure that it was only basic research without specifically military applications. Moberg also stated that contracts between the u.s. military and individual researchers in Sweden were none of the government’s business, because it was classified as ‘work on the side’ and was perfectly legal. The American funding was thus not a threat to academic freedom, but a consequence of that freedom. Prime Minister Erlander also commented that as long as it concerned basic research that was published, so that everyone could get hold of the results, it did not matter where the money came from. The government thus wished to play down the whole matter and not make a thing out of it. Aftonbladet also remarked that there was also an exchange of scientists with the Soviet Union, although there was no indication of Soviet funding of Swedish scientists in Sweden. The newspaper had also interviewed Professor Gunnar Fant at the Royal Institute of Technology, who likely had supplied the contract published in the article, and 94

Aftonbladet, “Svenska vetenskapsmän får miljoner från usa:s militär” and “Svenska forskare får miljon-anslag från usa,” February 7, 1968, pp. 1, 6. For a brief summary of the Aftonbladet headlines on February 7, see: Palm, G., Indoktrineringen i Sverige, p. 204.

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who said that he had built his whole speech research institution with American money. Since 1956, the Royal Institute of Technology had received about sek 737,000 from the Americans. Fant studied the transmission of speech via telephone to computers, and stated that he had tried to replace his American funds with Swedish ones, but that this had been impossible due to a lack of money and will on the part of the Swedish government. It was a shame that the Swedish government could not pay for the research done by Swedish scientists, he told Aftonbladet. The article pointed out that Fant’s research could very well have military uses as well.95 This was certainly true. Fant was a pioneer in the research on synthetic speech and studied man-to-machine, and machine-toman speech, intended for computer application and to decode speech for communication over low capacity links.96 Aftonbladet continued to report on the subject on February 8 and in an editorial the next day.97 One of the researchers, Professor Ulf von Euler at Stockholm University, defended himself by stating that the u.s. Navy was not putting any military aspects into his research. There was such a thing as idealism, von Euler stressed, implying that the u.s. Navy was idealistic for sponsoring his research with no strings attached. In 1968, there were apparently 40 ongoing projects funded with American money, and the article mentioned some of the scientists by name. One of those receiving money was Professor Sten von Friesen, known to most Swedes for his participation in the expert panel in the popular tv show Fråga Lund [Ask Lund]. The article also revealed that Sweden was the seventh largest recipient of Pentagon money outside the u.s. The American National Science Foundation had made a summary of the approximate amount of money awarded to Swedish scientists in 1964, 1965, and 1966, and published the figures $743,000, $443,000, and $454,000 respectively. Including the individual services’ funds these figures grew to $2,181,000, $1,708,000, and $1,544,000.98 One of the scientists interviewed by Aftonbladet, a physicist at Uppsala University by the name of Carl Nordling, stated that it was the Americans that had approached them and offered them money for ­research. He also stated that with hindsight he could understand that this 95

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Aftonbladet, “Regeringen: Det gäller forskningens frihet” and “Professorer i Stockholm om usa-pengarna: Sverige bör kunna betala forskning med egna medel,” February 7, 1968, p. 7. ra; ud, 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övrigt kulturellt samarbete. usa (henceforth: Övr Kult usa), 1967, okt. 25.–1968 april. 27”; Vol. 860; “Swedish Science Sessions” information material by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, November 8, 1967, p. 1. Aftonbladet, February 8, pp. 8–9; Aftonbladet, February 9, 1968, p. 2. Aftonbladet, “Pentagon har beställt 40 uppdrag från Sverige,” February 8, 1968, p. 8.

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might be a matter that could affect the credibility of Sweden’s policy of neutrality, but that he had never thought along those lines before, because the results of the research were not secret. The Administrative Director at the university, Jan Harald Lövberg, even said that the university itself had no idea how much money had come from the u.s. military. The heads of the university had not seen the necessity of asking for permission to accept the grants because they could see no reason for it (even though, again, they were required by law to do so). The great thing about the American funding, they said, was that it came with no strings attached. Aftonbladet had tried to get comments from two of the Professors that had taken the American money, phycisist Kai Siegbahn and Lennart Lövdin, but both were, ironically, visiting the u.s. at that time. Siegbahn was at the University of California at Berkley, and Lövdin was at the University of Florida.99 One person who did not agree with the idea that money from the u.s. military was unproblematic was the Director of the Defence Research Establishment [Försvarets forskningsanstalt, foa], Martin Ferm, who said that if some of the research turned out to be applied research for war, then this could indeed cast a shadow of doubt over Sweden’s policy of neutrality. He was of the opinion that all research projects funded by foreign sources should be decided upon by the government and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, with a special eye on the effects on Swedish foreign policy. Even though it was hard to draw a line between a normal international exchange of research, and what could be debilitating for Sweden, Ferm stated, Sweden should not become overly dependent upon foreign funding.100 The newspaper had dug up the directives for American support of research abroad as stated by Congress in July 1967, and published a facsimile of a section that stated that “research and exploratory development by foreign performers may be supported by DoD components only when it has been determined that it is clearly significant in meeting defense needs of the u.s. […].”101 The facsimile could leave no doubt in anybody’s mind that the research funded by the u.s. military in Sweden was thought to have at least some value for the defense of the u.s., in American eyes, even if the results were published openly. It is indeed hard to see why the u.s. military would have funded the research otherwise. Ferm’s worries were not without merit. And perhaps Ferm was also familiar with the mou 1961, which in more than one way had presaged the issue that 99

Aftonbladet, “Uppsala-forskare: Pengarna kan beröra vår neutralitet,” February 8, 1968, p. 8. 100 Aftonbladet, “foa-chefen: Regeringen måste ha full kontroll,” February 8, 1968, p. 9. 101 Aftonbladet, “usa:s krigsmakt måste ha nytta av betald forskning,” February 8, 1968, p. 9.

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the foa Chief was now referring to. The mou 1961 stipulated the u.s. government had the right to use anything resulting from this agreement for its own defense. Considering that much of the technology concerned had to do with the Swedish license manufacturing of guided missiles, this was certainly much more problematic than the research conducted at the Swedish universities. But the mou 1961 remained unknown to the public, and the fact is that the consequences of this agreement are unknown to historians too. It is simply unknown if the u.s. military used any of the resulting improvement or innovations in warfare.102 This agreement was followed by another mou in 1962 detailing the exchange of technical information between the Swedish and u.s. military.103 The discussion hence seems to have been more about whether the grants compromised the Swedish policy of neutrality, as Ferm’s reaction indicated, rather than whether it compromised the academic freedom of Swedish scientists and universities. That the fields sponsored by the Americans were within the natural sciences perhaps made this distinction easier to make, and there might have been another reaction if it had turned out to be social science research that had been subsidized by the u.s. Air Force. An indication that this conclusion has some merit can be gauged from the fact that while national foundations for technological, medical, agricultural, and natural science research were established in Sweden between 1942 and 1945, a corresponding foundation for social science was not created because of opposition from the universities due to fears that the integrity of this research would be threatened by such a foundation.104 Social science was in other words seen as being far more in need of academic freedom than other scientific fields. There was no mention of this affair in the Social Democratic newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten in the days following the revelations in Aftonbladet, but the Liberal Dagens Nyheter did publish a retort in its issue of February 8. It was based on an interview with Gunnar Fant, the same Professor interviewed and quoted by Aftonbladet as saying that it was a shame that Sweden could not pay for the research going on at Swedish universities. Fant now characterized the whole matter as “much ado about nothing”, and stated that “it must have been known to everyone that Sweden has received grants, e.g. from 102 Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 364–366. 103 Ibid., pp. 393–395. 104 Agrell, W., Vetenskapen i försvarets tjänst. De nya stridsmedlen, försvarsforskningen och kampen om det svenska försvarets struktur [Science in the Service of Defense: The New Weapons Systems, Defense Research, and the Struggle for the Structure of the Swedish Defense] (Lund: Lund University Press, 1989), pp. 70–71.

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u.s. Air Force […].” He also stated that the results of the research were made available to everyone (including the Soviet Union), and that it was absolutely false to claim that his research had anything to do with the war in Vietnam (as if he would know anything about what the Americans possibly used his research results for), and concluded that therefore there were no moral qualms to be heeded when taking money from the u.s. Air Force. This was certainly not an uncontroversial thing to say during the height of the protests against the Vietnam War. Minister of Research, Sven Moberg, also commented on the information and stated assuredly that he would be very surprised if any of all the research assignments paid for by the u.s. military was contrary to Swedish neutrality, thereby inadvertently indicating that he did not know if that was the case or not. He also stressed that the grants did not come from the Pentagon, but from the individual services’ foundations and institutions, and that these were no different from any other foundations in the u.s. Moberg also underlined that the results could be utilized by everyone, and that the research therefore did not benefit one person more than another.105 The Dagens Nyheter article was thus clearly intended as a reply, and a critique, of the articles in Aftonbladet. It looked like an effort by Dagens Nyheter to immediately put any doubts about the integrity of Swedish scientists to rest. In doing so the newspaper also inadvertently guarded against any questioning of the credibility of the government’s policy of neutrality—an interesting twist concerning how the same newspapers had lambasted this policy not even ten years earlier under Herbert Tingsten’s leadership. Moberg’s statement that funding from the u.s. Air Force could be compared to funding from a civilian private American foundation was disingenuous to say the least, and clearly intended to allay any fears that the unknowing public might have as to the character of this funding. Fant’s comment that it must have been well known that Swedish scientists received funding from the American military was probably true with regard to large parts of the government, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (as will be made clear below), and large parts of the Swedish industrial and engineering science elites. Fant himself had been part of the large Swedish Technical and Scientific Mission to the u.s. in the late fall of 1967. This Mission had lectured on Swedish scientific achievements in Los Angeles between November 7 and 15, and in Seattle between November 15 to 17 that year, and Fant held a talk about his research in both cities.106 In this way Fant was able to spread the results of his research financed by the u.s. Air Force to an American 105 Dagens Nyheter, “Pentagon ger forskningsstöd ‘Storm i vattenglas,’” February 8, 1968, p. 3. 106 ra; ud, 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1967, sept.–24 okt. 1967. 26”; Vol. 860; “Program in Los Angeles” and “Program in Seattle,” p. 8 and p. 3 respectively.

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audience as well. There was of course also an irony in all of this, i.e. Fant was part of a mission to impress the Americans with the achievements of Swedish science, yet his research was paid for by American dollars. But no matter how many members of the Swedish elite knew about the American funding of Fant’s and others’ research, it was certainly a surprise to the Swedish public. The communist newspaper Norrskensflamman in Luleå in northern Sweden picked up the subject on February 8 too, but its take on the matter was not surprisingly very different from that of Dagens Nyheter. According to Norrskensflamman it had now been shown that Swedish research was “intimately tied to the Pentagon,” and that it concerned special research assignments intended to support the war in Vietnam. Thereby, the communists’ prior suspicions had been vindicated, the newspaper stated, i.e. that neutral Sweden was taking “the Pentagon’s bloody money” in order to help the u.s. military to become even more effective. Swedish universities had taken around sek 5 million during the course of the Vietnam War, and the government was now becoming scared, and therefore it had planted a red herring by stating that the money did not come from the Pentagon but from an independent foundation (referring to Moberg’s comments in Dagens Nyheter). The Pentagon and the cia did not waste money on charity, Norrskensflamman stated, but only on matters that served their dirty purposes. Neutral Sweden now had its hand in this dirty laundry, and the government was trying to cover it all up with an inquiry.107 It is interesting to note that the communist newspaper mixed a reasonable and factual analysis with statements that were essentially baseless. For example, it could not know if this research had increased the effectiveness of the American war machine. That was simply assumed as an ideological truism. The following day Norrskensflamman also published a small article about the fact that the Geophysical Observatory in Kiruna in northern Sweden, and its Professor Bengt Hultqvist, was one of the institutions that had received American money. According to Radio Norrbotten such funds had been given to the Observatory for 20 years, ever since 1948.108 Another comment appeared on February 10, in which it was said that no thinking person could be convinced that it was a matter of charity on the part of the u.s. military, and not even Olof Palme’s declarations to the contrary could persuade anyone.109

107 Norrskensflamman, “Sverige hjälper Pentagon,” February 8, 1968, pp. 1, 12. “intimt knuten till Pentagon.” “Pentagons blodiga pengar.” 108 Norrskensflamman, “usa-pengar även till Kiruna,” February 9, 1968, p. 12. 109 Norrskensflamman, “usa-pengar även till Kiruna,” February 10, 1968, p. 4.

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The Conservative newspaper Svenska Dagbladet also commented on the information in Aftonbladet the next day. Svenska Dagbladet published the same commentary from Sven Moberg that Dagens Nyheter did on the same day, and stressed that the money did not come from the Pentagon. It did, however, point out that Sweden was in sixth place after only the largest nato countries and Israel with regard to the amount of funding awarded to foreign scientists, and that only parts of the sek 3.4 million went to basic research. The newspaper did not make a big thing of the information though and tacitly showed its readers how insignificant it was by tucking away the article on page 14 among the culture pages.110 The Social Democratic Arbetarbladet in Gävle in the north of Sweden published only tt’s telegram with Moberg’s official comment on the matter without any critical reflections. The government had demanded information about the extent of the financing, according to Arbetarbladet.111 Perhaps Arbetarbladet’s careful attitude can be explained by the fact that the communists were stronger in the north, and that it simply wished to counterweigh the communist commentaries, such as in Norrskensflamman, and not make a big deal out of it. After this the theme seems to have been laid to rest in the press and no more articles about it appeared in either Aftonbladet, Norrskensflamman, or Dagens Nyheter that month. The communist Norrskensflamman thus held on to the subject for one day more than the Social Democratic Aftonbladet, and two days more than the Liberal Dagens Nyheter. Not even Göran Palm, who otherwise criticizes many other sides of the indoctrination and propaganda of American origin in Sweden in these years, spends more than half a page on this affair, even though his book is contemporary with the issue.112 How come that this issue could just die out, even though it would seem to be a rather interesting and important question? Although there is no simple answer to this question, one might speculate that as long as tv, radio, or the morning newspapers did not make it a big issue, it was destined to be forgotten pretty quickly. It was a fact that the evening newspapers were considered unreliable by a majority of the Swedes at the time. In fact, a study by the Preparedness Committee for Psychological Defense [Beredskapsnämnden för psykologiskt försvar], published in the fall of 1978, showed that 56 percent of the population

110 Svenska Dagbladet, “usa-anslag till forskare kommer ej från Pentagon,” February 8, 1968, p. 14. 111 Arbetarbladet, “Undersökning av anslag från usa för forskning,” February 8, 1968, p. 6. 112 Palm, G., Indoktrineringen in Sverige…, p. 204.

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in 1969 had stated that the evening newspapers were u ­ nreliable.113 Perhaps as a consequence, the readers of Aftonbladet did not think that there was much to this information when the rest of the media did not pick it up. All of this makes it interesting to ask what the situation may have looked like before the late 1960s, the period covered in the articles in Aftonbladet. When did the u.s. military start funding research in Sweden? How much money was being spent in Sweden every year? Which universities/institutions and scientists received this money? Was it really unknown to the government, what had been going on under its nose for so long? These are some of the issues that this part of the investigation will try to answer.

Making Sweden a Part of nato Infrastructure through Science Funding

Although the financing of research in Sweden might have started in the late 1940s, or even before the end of the war, the institutionalization of u.s. Air Force funding to Swedish scientists seems to have started in mid-1953. At that time, after the signing of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act (mdaa) a year earlier, a cooperation arrangement between Swedish and American scientists had been established and contacts had been made between Swedish science institutions and the u.s. Air Force Air Research and Development Command (usafar&dc) in Brussels, Belgium. In Aftonbladet it was stated that the name of this organization was “Systems Command,” but that is therefore wrong. The Royal Institute of Technology, Uppsala University, and foa had undertaken research for the usafar&dc and the results were, following the “rules for offshore procurements,” also available to the Swedish Air Force.114 The researcher at Uppsala University that received $16,000 for a study of variations in the electromagnetic field caused by lightning discharges, Harald Norinder, stated in a letter to Arne Lundberg, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, that while the results were to be openly published he had no intention of announcing beforehand 113 Törnqvist, Kurt, “Opinion 78. En opinionsundersökning hösten 1978” [Opinion 78: An Opinon Poll in the Fall of 1978] in Psykologiskt försvar, No. 92 (Stockholm: Beredskapsnämnden för psykologiskt försvar, 1978), p. 21; found in: arbark: Tage Erlanders arkiv; Vol. 4.8:015; folder “Försvaret 1930–1980.” 114 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1952 okt.–mars 1956. 16”; Vol. 856; Memorandum, July 24, 1953; Ralph J. Nunziato to u.s. Air Attache, u.s. Embassy, Stockholm, July 16, 1953. “reglerna för off-shore procurements.”

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that the money for this research came from the u.s. Air Force.115 The Ministry for Foreign Affairs did not have any problems with the u.s. Air Force funding the research of Swedish scientists.116 The fact the research was performed under the provisions of the Off-Shore Procurement Program (osp) is significant information, because the osp was a nato endeavor by which the Americans outsourced R&D and production for nato and u.s. forces in Europe. Evidence of Swedish participation in the osp has been dealt with elsewhere.117 It is significant that the u.s. Embassy in Stockholm was arguing forcefully for Swedish participation in the osp in the spring of 1953, and the Swedish government also actively sought to participate in it, and several osp contracts had already been placed in Sweden by April 1953.118 Note that it is also around this time that the first of usafar&dc’s contracts were placed in Sweden. Perhaps these are one and the same. The participation in the osp was a way for the Swedish government to show its consent to American hegemony and to tacitly contribute to the Western defense while remaining non-aligned. It also made Sweden a de facto part of nato infrastructure in Western Europe. The Swedish government knew full well that the osp was a nato arrangement, but pretended that it was simply an opportunity for Swedish industry to find lucrative contracts.119 It now turns out that the American funding of Swedish scientists was also a part of the osp arrangement, and that this particular fact was known to, and accepted by, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Having established this fact, it seems very unlikely that the government was unaware of what was going on. However, after this one document from 1953 there is a large gap in the records, possibly because there were so few contracts placed during these years (see below), until the issue came up again in April 1958, when Ambassador White visited the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to give a briefing about the contracts that had been entered into since 1953, after which time this matter was continually reported to the Ministry. After this date it is thus even more unreasonable to assume that the government did not know of the existence of these contracts. A list of contracts showed that there had been one such project in 1954–1956 (Norinder at Uppsala University), four in 1955–1957 (Royal Institute 115 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1952 okt.–mars 1956. 16”; Vol. 856; Norinder to Lundberg, July 29, 1953. 116 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1952 okt.–mars 1956. 16”; Vol. 856; Memorandum by Hägglöf, August 14, 1953. 117 Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, pp. 257–263. 118 Ibid., p. 257. 119 Ibid., pp. 258–260.

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of Technology, the Royal Caroline Institute, Brosarps Station, Uppsala University), and no less than 22 covering the period 1956 to 1959 (including eight at Uppsala University, three at the Royal Caroline Institute, three at the Royal Institute of Technology, and three at Stockholm University). Several more proposals were awaiting availability of funds. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, again, did not have any objections to the research projects funded by the u.s. Air Force.120 Why White was called up to report on the matter is unknown, but one apparent reason could be that the number of contracts placed in Sweden had increased significantly between 1956 and 1958, and that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs had been told by the government to start keeping track of what the Americans were doing with their money, i.e. what kind of research was being done, and so on. The projects were funded by differing amounts of money, some with as little as a couple of thousand dollars, and others with considerable amounts up towards $100,000 spanning several years.121 The number of research projects at Swedish universities and other research institutions then increased sharply in the late 1950s, so that by the spring of 1959 there were 36 ongoing contracts worth a total of $1,028,195.122 A number of new contracts and supplemental agreements were concluded during the course of that year and by the end of 1959 there were 18 additional projects funded by the u.s. Air Force to a total value of $450,491, giving a total amount of 54 research projects worth no less than $1,478,686 (sek 7,393,430 in 1959, which is equivalent of sek 90,328,427 in 2015).123 It is perhaps important to note that there was no signed agreement between Sweden and the u.s. providing for this cooperation. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs had simply been briefed about the arrangement on two occasions (in 1953 and 1958), and it appears to have considered this practice satisfactory.124 The Swedish government was thus handling this collaboration in much the same way as it did most of the military and intelligence 120 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1956 aug.–1958, maj. 18”; Vol. 857; Memorandum with appendix, April 10, 1958. 121 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1958 juni–maj 1960. 19”; Vol. 857; list of contracts for April and May 1958, undated, pp. 1–2. 122 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1958 juni–maj 1960. 19”; Vol. 857; James C.H. Bonbright to Leif Belfrage, March 2, 1959 (and appendix). 123 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1958 juni–maj 1960. 19”; Vol. 857; Bonbright to Belfrage, May 12, 1959; Andrew E. Donovan ii to Belfrage, June 18, 1959; Bonbright to Belfrage, July 22, 1959; Bonbright to Hubert de Besche, November 2, 1959; Bonbright to de Besche, December 2, 1959. The last sum is equal to about €9,000,000. 124 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1956 aug.–1958, maj. 18”; Vol. 857; Memorandum by Hennings, May 7, 1958, p. 1.

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cooperation between the two countries—preferably putting as little as possible on paper in the form of signed agreements, and instead letting the matter be handled by the parties concerned. Here it is interesting to compare these amounts with the figures reported by Aftonbladet in February 1968. According to the article referred to above, the total sum for all research paid for by the Pentagon and the individual services in 1965 and 1966 was not much higher than what the u.s. Air Force alone paid for in 1959. One thus has to ask if this was because the figures for 1965/66 were understated, or if money from the Pentagon and the u.s. Army and Navy was funneled via the usafar&dc in Brussels in 1959, or if the funds available for Sweden decreased dramatically between 1959 and 1965/66? The figures in Aftonbladet do indeed indicate a dramatic drop of just over $1,000,000 between 1964 and 1965, so this might be the explanation for the discrepancy. The research performed under these contracts was not specifically military in nature, although it certainly had military applications too, which of course was why the American military chose to sponsor it in the first place, and the results were indeed not classified. The Swedes, too, could use them for either civilian or military purposes. To distinguish between ‘applied’ and ‘basic’ research in this field is basically useless since the results could always have some application in another field. This was why the u.s. military poured hundreds of millions of dollars into outstanding American academic physics research laboratories, such as those at mit and Stanford.125 But whether the research was military in nature or not, is not the point at issue here. The point is instead that by funding this kind of research the Americans showed their dedication to science, and the scientific principle of openness and academic freedom. Indeed, as von Euler expressed it in the interview in Aftonbladet in 1968, the usafar&dc, and thereby the u.s. government, appeared to be idealistic patrons of science. It was a great propaganda tool for bringing Swedish scientists and academics closer to their American counterparts, and did a lot to make the scientists involved view the u.s., and even the u.s. military, more positively. Thus, the Americans could kill two birds with one stone, since it at the same time could draw Sweden closer and more deeply into the osp program. More contracts and supplemental agreements were added every year after that. In 1960, for example, 31 new contracts or supplemental agreements to old outstanding contracts, worth $950,405 were concluded (in reality there were 125 For a wonderful overview of the u.s. military’s involvement in physics research at these universities, see: Leslie, Stuart W., The Cold War and American Science: The MilitaryIndustrial-Academic Complex at mit and Stanford (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), pp. 133–211 ; for the point about ‘applied’ and ‘basic’ research, see p. 146.

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more, but one of the lists sent to Belfrage at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is missing from the archival material).126 But in the annual summary that u.s. Ambassador Bonbright sent to Belfrage on January 19, 1961, Bonbright listed 54 projects to a total amount of $1,817,233 (sek 9,086,165 in 1961, equivalent to sek 104,338,005 in 2015). That is a considerable amount of money. The discrepancy may be accounted for by the missing list. This sum was also considerably more than the amount for 1959, but taking into account that the annual summary for 1959 is missing, it may be that the sum for 1959 was higher as well. Thus it is reasonable to assume that the u.s. Air Force had an annual amount of funding intended for Swedish scientists that was more or less the same every year. Some old contracts were also closed each year of course, but the numbers nonetheless give a good indication of the amount and total value of research in Sweden that was funded by the u.s. Air Force. The latter is perhaps worth stressing, i.e. that this was only the projects funded by the u.s. Air Force; not the many other projects funded by the Department of Defence (DoD), and the other services. That there also were research projects funded by the u.s. Navy and u.s. Army is evident from the 1960 annual summary where Ambassador Bonbright listed three additional contracts funded by the u.s. Navy worth $50,900 and two additional projects funded by the u.s. Army worth $11,713.127 One of the u.s. Navy contracts was completed during 1961, and one new was added, leaving the total number, i.e. three contracts, unchanged by early 1962. The new contract was only partly funded by the Americans ($22,000), while Stockholm University and the Swedish Research Council [Vetenskapsrådet] covered the rest.128 The year 1961 otherwise saw 32 additional contracts, grants, and supplemental agreements funded by the u.s. Air Force. These represented a value of $1,109,327, and the largest single contract was for $225,000 (i.e. sek 13,368,940 in 2015 prices) awarded to Professor Per-Olov Lövdin at Uppsala University for 126 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1958 juni–maj 1960. 19”; Vol. 857; Bonbright to Belfrage, January 5, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, March 23, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, May 19, 1960; ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1960 juni–1960 dec. 20”; Vol. 857; Bonbright to Belfrage, March 2, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, March 23, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, April 26, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, May 19, 1960; B.E.L. Timmons to Belfrage, June 27, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, August 1, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, September 27, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, October 18, 1960; Bonbright to Belfrage, November 15, 1960. 127 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Bonbright to Belfrage, January 19, 1961. 128 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Alfred le S. Jenkins to Belfrage, February 14, 1962.

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research into “Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems.”129 The contracts stipulated that the u.s. government had the right to inspect and evaluate the work performed, and have access to all research-related materials up to three years after the contact had ended. More interesting, however, was the fact that a contract concluded between the u.s. Air Force and Uppsala University in 1960, which presumably is similar to all the other contracts, stipulated that the scientist had no right to utilize “any supplies or services originating from sources within Soviet-controlled areas […].”130 Research was thus not entirely free under these contracts. What may also be worth noting is that some scientists appear to have been more successful in securing the American funds than others. It is of course not known who applied for this money, but the tendency is still clear. For example, of the 54 contracts concluded in 1960, Professor Bolin at Stockholm University received three contracts for meteorological research on weather prediction; Professor Kai Siegbahn at Uppsala University also received three contracts for physics research; Dr. Bengt Hultqvist at the Kiruna Geophysical Observatory also got three contracts; Professor Harald Norinder at Uppsala University was awarded two; Professor Arne Engström at the Royal Caroline Institute was awarded two; Professor Olof Rydbeck at Chalmers Technical University in G ­ othenburg ­received two, and so on.131 Another scientist that frequently received grants from the u.s. Air Force, and who was also tied to the Kiruna Geophysical Observatory, was Hultqvist, who had also received a one-year grant from the u.s. National Science Foundation (nsf) in 1958 for the amount of $25,000.132 Many of the same names then reappear on the lists of contracts awarded in 1961 and 1962 onwards. Hence, one can safely conclude that a small elite of natural scientists in Sweden was pampered with large amounts of research 129 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Bonbright to Belfrage, February 23, 1961; Timmons to Belfrage, March 22, 1961; J. Graham Parsons to Belfrage, May 24, 1961; Parsons to Belfrage, July 12, 1961; Parsons to Belfrage, December 29, 1961; le S. Jenkins to Belfrage, January 4, 1962. 130 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Memorandum by Gunnar Gerring, December 4, 1961, pp. 1–2. 131 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Bonbright to Belfrage, January 19, 1961. 132 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Parsons to Belfrage, July 20, 1962. The nsf had awarded two more grants since 1958: (1) a three-year grant of $120,000 to Arne Tiselius at Uppsala University in October 1961, and (2) the nsf was also supporting the annual “International Summer Institute in Quantum Chemistry” under the leadership of Per-Olov Löwdin, also at Uppsala University, with $9,000 per year.

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funding from the u.s. Air Force during the 1950s and 1960s. Whether these scientists received these funds in honest competition with other researchers is unknown, but the documents seem to point to another conclusion, namely that this was a privileged elite that, although certainly very talented and gifted, were favored by the u.s. Air Force, and thus did not have to compete for their research funds to the same extent as other scientists had to. In the summer of 1961, Docent Markus Båth at the Seismological Laboratory at Uppsala University told the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that the u.s. government had donated seismographic instruments to be put into service at the seismological station in Umeå in northern Sweden. The donation was a step in the establishment of a worldwide network of seismographs. Båth did not state explicitly what the ultimate purpose of this network was, and it did not  seem as if he cared much about it. “We are grateful to get a portion of the rich American spoon,” he told the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. However, the real reason for the American generosity was hinted at when Båth remarked that the great interest in the world for seismological research had been stimulated by the Geneva conference on nuclear testing.133 The Americans wished to include Sweden in the worldwide net of seismographs in order to get Sweden to report on possible Soviet nuclear tests. Båth intimated as much himself when he said that a considerable exchange of seismological data was going on in the world, so it was just natural that the Americans would get the data recorded on their instruments in Sweden.134 In 1962, another 20 Swedish research projects were paid for by the u.s. Air Force to a total amount of $618,780 (or sek 34,999,659 in 2015). However, the list is not complete, because after April 26 there are unfortunately no more such lists to be found in the Information Division’s archive.135 The same is true for the period from March 1963 to December 1964.136 It is possible that the lists were sent to another division within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs after this point, but it has in any case not been possible to locate them. There are a few remarks worth making about the lists that are there though. For e­ xample, Markus Båth, who had been so grateful for the American seismographic 133 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Memorandum, June 15, 1961. “Vi är tacksamma att få en släng av den rika amerikanska sleven.” 134 Ibid. 135 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; le S. Jenkins to Belfrage, January 4, 1962; Parsons to Belfrage, January 24, 1962; Parsons to Belfrage, February 20, 1962; Parsons to Belfrage, March 28, 1962; Parsons to Belfrage, April 26, 1962. 136 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1963 mars–dec. 1964. 22”; Vol. 858.

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instruments, was one of the scientists receiving a contract that year, a contract worth $19,120 for a study of the rheologic properties of the solid earth.137 And Båth’s colleague at Uppsala University, Harald Norinder, was awarded two big contracts with a total value of $95,000 to be finished in 1963.138 The Aftonbladet article proves that the American military did not stop funding research in Sweden, so this is not the reason for the absence of lists. But what happened after Aftonbladet’s revelations, and what was the result of the request from the government to the Office of the Chancellor of the Universities [Universitetskanslerämbetet] for a full disclosure of all the foreign funded research in Sweden? Well, the result of this ‘investigation’ was made public in a statement to the press on June 28, 1968, from the Ministry of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs under the direction of Olof Palme. The press release hid more than it revealed and only gave a number to the amount received during 1967—a total of sek 9.4 million—of which sek 1.5 million had allegedly come from the u.s. military. All of the research was basic research, it was concluded, and it was specifically stated that it had no “immediate” application for the military purposes. Furthermore, none of it had been limited by any special preconditions regarding the use or publication of the results, it was said.139 The choice of the word ‘immediate’ is significant. As Stuart W. Leslie shows in his book The Cold War and American Science, however, the American military could find application for “even the most apparently esoteric postwar physics,” so the phrase ‘no immediate application’ is hardly meaningful.140 Moreover, the statement to the press remained silent as to the sums accepted during the previous two decades. In a strictly confidential memorandum from Göran Ryding at the Political Division of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, it was stated that after the press campaign against the American funding, and the government’s decision to investigate the matter further, the u.s. authorities had temporarily halted the awarding of grants to Swedish scientists. The Americans had, now that the result of the investigation had been presented, decided to continue awarding grants to Sweden. The Americans had not gone 137 Rheology is the science the deals with the time-dependent deformation characters of liquid and hard materials, such as asphalt, paints, plastic and rubber materials. The purpose of the research performed in this field is to point to the connections between pressure and deformation in various materials. 138 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1961 jan.–1963 feb. 21”; Vol. 858; Parsons to Belfrage, March 28, 1962. 139 ra; ud, 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1968, maj-dec. 28”; Vol. 860; “Pressmeddelande.” 140 Leslie, Stuart W., The Cold War and American Science:…, p. 146.

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public with their decision to halt the funding, and likewise did not wish to make the resumption of the funding public either.141 Interestingly the Minister of Education, Olof Palme, had received much the same information on May 10, 1968, from none other than Gunnar Fant at the Royal Institute of Technology. Fant had found himself and his research ­department in a bit of a fix because of the American decision to suspend the financing of research in Sweden, and Fant now wrote to Palme to ask the government to expedite the matter so that the funding could get going again. Fant had asked the u.s. Science Attaché what would be necessary for the Americans to approve his unsigned contract with the u.s. Air Force in Brussels for $25,000 for 1968, and received the answer that the Americans simply wished the Swedish government to declare (if just only orally) that these funds would be accepted “‘without causing embarrassment.’” Prior statements from the Swedish government had been considered too vague. It was a political matter, wrote Fant, “whose origin ought to be clear.” Fant also told Palme that his institution had received funding from the u.s. Air Force since 1957, and stated that he and his employees were dependent upon the outstanding and unsigned contract, but that he did not intend to apply for more funding from the u.s. Air Force for 1969, because he now considered this source too volatile and he therefore ‘preferred’ Swedish funds. In an interesting choice of words he then told Palme that his research on speech communication had “no immediate military application.”142 Even though this may have been literally true, it could not have been hard for Fant to conceive of areas of military application for his research. The last quote in the paragraph above is pertinent because what Fant ­actually said to Palme was not that his research did not have any military ­applications, which would have been a direct lie, and which was also something that Fant did not know or have any control over, but that the contract was not intended for a specific military project. This is also the exact formulation that appeared in the Ministry of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs’ press release about a month later. If Palme and the Ministry of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs chose to borrow Fant’s expression, or if other scientists and university departments used the same phrasing is unknown, but it can hardly be a coincidence that the press release and Fant’s letter contain the exact same formulation. 141 ra; ud, 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1968, maj-dec. 28”; Vol. 860; Memorandum entitled “Frågan om amerikanska anslag till forskningsmål i Sverige” by Ryding, July 18, 1968. 142 ra; ud, 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult usa, 1968, maj-dec. 28”; Vol. 860; Fant to Palme, May 10, 1968, pp. 1–2. “vars ursprung torde vara klart.”; “föredrar”; “utan omedelbar militär tillämpning.”

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What was so good about this particular phrasing was that it gave the government an opportunity to appear to be saying that the research did not have any military applications at all, when in fact it could very well have concrete military application. The contracts were just not tied to a specific development project within the u.s. military. By stating that the contracts did not have an immediate military application the government could not be caught telling a lie. Despite having said to Palme that he would not apply for more American funding, Fant continued to receive money from the u.s. military until 1973, at least according to a paper written by Fant published in 2000. In it he states that he received grants from the u.s. Air Force, the u.s. Army, and the u.s. National Institute of Health from 1959, but to Aftonbladet he had said that the Americans had paid for his research since 1956, and he did not say if that was when the funding had started. According to the interview, American money had practically built Fant’s entire research department, which he said had been established in 1951 after an early beginning in 1948.143 It will have to be assumed that the year given in 1968, when the actual event was only 10–15 years away, is more reliable than one given more than 40 years afterwards. This does not mean that it should be assumed that Fant was telling the whole truth to Aftonbladet either, only that he would be unlikely to have lied about taking American grants for longer than he actually had. It is also clear that the Americans simply wanted a confirmation that this part of the hegemonic cooperation had the consent of the government. Naturally the u.s. government did not want their funding to be used in a political campaign by leftist forces, in Sweden or anywhere else, and therefore it wished to receive assurance that the support to Swedish scientists by the u.s. military was consented to. Palme was apparently aware of the importance of not upsetting the balance between Sweden and the u.s. in this area. The press release issued by the Ministry for Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs on June 28 gave the Americans the assurance they needed to continue funding the Swedish scientists. Unfortunately, there is no further documentation of this issue in Olof Palme’s correspondence from his time as Minister of Education at Riksarkivet in Stockholm. The same is true for the Minister of Research, Sven Moberg. Even though the index of incoming and outgoing correspondence of the latter lists one letter from Gunnar Fant to Olof Palme dated May 15, 1968, entitled “New Research Contracts to Swedish Institutions,” as well as a memorandum 143 Fant, Gunnar, “Half A Century in Phonetics and Speech Research,” pp. 2–3, accessed at: http://www.speech.kth.se/~gunnar/halfcentury.pdf; 2010-06-16.

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from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs regarding a communiqué about American funding of research from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, these documents are not present in the volumes.144 Neither Aftonbladet nor Dagens Nyheter commented on the press release, so the issue indeed seems to have been dead in the water after those initial days in February. It is worth considering that many of the scientists receiving u.s. military grants were not just anybody, but were and remained really influential names both in Sweden and in some cases also internationally. Kai Siegbahn, for ­example, was the son of Physicist, and 1924 Nobel laureate, Manne Siegbahn, and eventually received the Nobel Prize in Physics himself in 1981. Kai Siegbahn had been a Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology between 1951 and 1954, and after that held his father’s professorship at Uppsala University from 1954 until his retirement in 1984. When the Aftonbladet article was published, he was also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (since 1958), as well as the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (from 1968).145 Olof Rydbeck had received his Doctor of Science degree at Harvard in 1940 and was Professor of Radio technology 1945–1948, of Electronics 1948–1963, and of Electro-Physics between 1963 and 1979 at Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg. From 1947, he too was a member of both the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Another member of these academies was Harald Norinder who concentrated most of his active scientific career on research on thunderstorms and the electrical discharges generated by them. Gunnar Fant was also a prominent Swedish scientist who became world famous for his research on synthetic speech. He had worked both at the Swedish telephone manufacturer lm Ericsson and mit (1949–1951) after the war, and was Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology from 1966 to 1987. Like all the other scientists listed above, he was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences from 1963 and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1979. In the latter half of the 1980s, he also became a member of the Danish Academy of Sciences and the u.s. National Academy of Engineering.146 144 ra; Ecklesiastikdepartementet; Statsrådskorrespondens; E iv; Olof Palme 1968, Vol. 2; Sven Moberg 1968, Vol. 1–2. See especially correspondence index in Sven Moberg, section “tu,” pp. T:1, U:3, Vol. 1. The reason is conceivably that these documents have been taken out due to their sensitive content. 145 http://www.ne.se/lang/kai-siegbahn, 2010-11-19; http://www.ne.se/lang/manne-siegbahn, 2010-11-19. 146 Fant, Gunnar, “Half a Century in Phonetics and Speech Research,” p. 2, accessed at: http:// www.speech.kth.se/~gunnar/halfcentury.pdf; 2010-06-16.

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American Sponsorship of Swedish Scientists in International and Historical Context

The u.s. military’s interest in Swedish science and research did not come out of nowhere of course—it had a long history that intrinsically tied it to the Cold War contest with the Soviet Union. It was but a natural part of the ­establishment of what has been called a military-intellectual complex after the end of the Second World War. As Ron Robin has shown, American academics were deeply involved in analyzing and making sense of the American wartime experiences in Korea, and a growing number of scholars have written about how the u.s. military, propaganda, and intelligence communities tapped into both the natural and social sciences in the u.s. during the Cold War.147 The universities got this role simply because that was where the experts were, and especially when it came to the natural and engineering sciences the ­military 147 C.f. Robin, Ron, The Making of the Cold War Enemy: Culture and Politics in the MilitaryIntellectual Complex (Princeton, nj: Princeton University Press, 2001); Simpson, C., Universities and Empire:…; Simpson, C., Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 1945–1960 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994); Diamond, Sigmund, Compromised Campus: The Collaboration of Universities with the Intelligence Community, 1945–55 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992); Horowitz, Irving Louis (ed.), The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot: Studies in the Relationship between Social Science and Practical Politics (Cambridge, ma: The mit Press, 1974); Horowitz, I.L. (ed.), The Use and Abuse of Social Science (New Brunswick, n.j.; Transaction, 1971); Biderman, Albert and Crawford, Elisabeth, Political Economics of Social Research: The Case of Sociology (Springfield, Va: Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, 1968); Biderman, A. and Crawford, E., Social Scientists and International Affairs (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1969); Nelkin, Dorothy, The University and Military Research: Moral Politics and m.i.t. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972); Kaplan, Fred, The Wizards of Armageddon (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983); Leslie, Stuart W., The Cold War and American Science:…; Chomsky, Noam et al., The Cold War and the University: Toward an Intellectual History of the Postwar Years (New York: The New Press, 1997); Gendzier, Irene, Managing Social Science: Social Scientists and the Third World (Boulder, Co: Westview, 1985); Trompbour, John (ed.), How Harvard Rules: Reason in the Service of Empire (Boston: South End Press, 1989); Feldman, Jonathan, Universities in the Business of Repression (Boston: South End Press, 1989); Bernstein, Michael A., “American Economics and the National Security State, 1941–1953” in Radical History Review, Fall 1995(63), pp. 9–26; Waring, Stephen P., “Cold Calculus: The Cold War and Operations Research” in Radical History Review, Fall 1995(63), pp. 29–51; Herman, Ellen, “The Career of Cold War Psychology” in Radical History Review, Fall 1995(63), pp. 53–85; Welch Larson, Deborah, “Deterrence Theory and the Cold War” in Radical History Review, Fall 1995(63), pp. 87–109; Kleinman, Daniel Lee and Solovey, Mark, “Hot Science/Cold War: The National Science Foundation After World War ii” in Radical History Review, Fall 1995(63), pp. 111–139.

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involvement in funding research at academic institutions in the u.s. was often enormous. Already by the end of the Second World War, mit was the largest non-industrial contractor for the u.s. military, and it kept this position all through the Cold War, well ahead of Caltech and Harvard in second and third place respectively. By the end of the 1960s, mit was in 54th place on a list of all defense contractors in the u.s. Most of the hundreds of millions of dollars invested by the military at mit went into the Research Laboratory of Electronics, the Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Engineering, and Lincoln Laboratory.148 But the natural and engineering sciences were not the only ones to be targeted by the military in their search for an edge over their communist counterparts; the social sciences suffered the same fate. Probably the most ambitious projects along these lines were Project Camelot and Project troy. The former was established in 1963 by the u.s. Army’s Special Operations Research Office (soro) and was a major effort to generate models for foreseeing and dealing with social unrest in developing countries. It was a project designed to get academics to work out a blueprint for effective counterinsurgency. Needless to say the aim was to affect such movements in a conservative direction in order to maintain established patterns of power and influence, and it was intended to spend $4–6 billion over three years. Project Camelot, which engaged many of the u.s.’ most prominent social scientists, became a major embarrassment to the u.s. government in 1965 when Chilean academics involved in the project found out that it was not the National Science Foundation that financed their research, as University of Pittsburgh anthropologist Hugo Nuttini had told them when he enrolled them, but the u.s. Army. In fact, members of the Chilean legislature viewed it as espionage in the guise of social science, even though Chile was not one of the countries that were supposed to be studied in Project Camelot. The u.s. invasion of the Dominican Republic in May 1965 probably enraged the Chileans even further, and provided a very tangible example of what the results of Project Camelot were intended to be used for. The controversy forced u.s. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, to cancel Project Camelot on July 8, 1965.149 It is perhaps worth noticing that the controversy surrounding the exposure of Project Camelot occurred not very long before the revelations in Aftonbladet, and perhaps this scandal was in the back of the minds of u.s. officials when they temporarily halted the funding to Swedish scientists while awaiting an 148 Leslie, Stuart W., The Cold War and American Science:…, pp. 14–15. 149 Robin, R., The Making of the Cold War Enemy:…, pp. 206–207, 210–212; Welch Larson, Deborah, “Feature Review: ‘The Cold War and the University’” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Winter 2000), p. 153.

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official clearance from the Swedish government to continue the project. Funding research in the natural sciences was also perhaps easier in that the greater objectivity within the natural sciences made it harder to claim that the results and research problems were tainted or compromised by the source of funding. Project Camelot had indeed had a very specific aim and an ideological bias to it. Project troy, on the other hand, had been formed in October 1950 as a group of prominent scientists, social scientists, and historians funded by the State Department, and organized by a $150,000 contract with the mit in Boston. The purpose was to bring together the best brains in the u.s. and come up with a solution to the psychological warfare problem of getting the ‘truth’ into the Soviet Bloc. Project troy presented its final 81-page report (the report also contained 26 annexes in three additional volumes) to the Secretary of State in February 1951. Allan A. Needell, who has researched Project troy’s history, has stated that it was an extension of an already extensive network of government contacts with members of the American engineers and academic elite and that, even though Project troy in itself was a brief enterprise, the connections that it established between the government and various academic milieus are crucial for an understanding of the role of the military-intellectual complex later in the Cold War. One of the many psychological warfare recommendations included in the report was given in one of the annexes signed by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Medical Science Director, Robert S. Morison. It stated that groups of young American volunteers ought to be recruited to go and live for two or four years in villages in Asia in order to demonstrate the superiority of Western medical and agricultural techniques—the similarity between this suggestion and the u.s. Peace Corps that were subsequently formed is perhaps more than coincidental, as Needell writes. It was truly an arrogant colonial project. According to Needell, Project troy also directly influenced President Truman’s decision to establish a Psychological Strategy Board in early April 1951. One of the academics involved in the project, mit economist Max Millikan, went on to become an assistant to the Director of the cia, a position from which he could influence this policy decision. Then in 1952 Millikan went back to mit, established the follow-up to Project troy, the present-day Center for International Studies (cenis) at mit funded by the Ford Foundation and the cia, and became its first Director.150

150 Needell, Allan A., “‘The Truth Is Our Weapon’: Project troy, Political Warfare, and Government-Academic Relations in the National Security State” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Summer 1993), pp. 399–401, 407, 409, 412–413, 415–417.

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cenis was the center of controversy too, just over a year after Aftonbladet had published its articles, when on October 10, 1969, about 150 students at the mit protested against its war-related research and Millikan, who was still the Director of cenis, and several other members of cenis were tried by a mock revolutionary tribunal and declared guilty of crimes against humanity. The mit’s problems had begun in the fall of 1968, and the protests resulted in a major reversal of university policy when on May 20, 1970, the President of mit, Howard W. Johnson, announced that the university could no longer manage the Instrumentation Laboratory (i-Lab), an institution well known for its R&D on inertial guidance systems and many other military research projects, such as the Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle (mirv) for icbms.151 The Americans were thus about to get their own version of the controversy over research funded by the military at universities not long after the one in Sweden. The analogy should not be taken too far, however, because there was a considerable difference between the research supported in Sweden and that funded at the i-Lab at mit—in the latter case the research was very explicitly intended to find solutions to military problems. The sums involved were of course also much larger. Thus, while Sweden received somewhere between one and two million dollars (sek five to six million) annually from the u.s. Air Force during the 1960s, the i-Lab at mit received no less than $14.3 million in 1967 alone.152 But perhaps the type of research conducted by the Swedish scientists was also a consequence of the fact that it was the u.s. Air Force that funded most of it. Irving Louis Horowitz relates a statement by one participant in Project Camelot (that was funded by soro which was a u.s. Army outfit) to the effect that the u.s. Army tended to exercise “a far more stringent intellectual control of research findings” than the u.s. Air Force did, and took as a case in point the difference between the intellectual milieus in soro and rand.153 As Ron Robin shows, however, the rand Corporation, too, was caught in a social scientific paradigm that made it replace its psycho-cultural explanations and theories for human behavior with an equally rigid paradigm promoting rational choice as the prime motivator for people, leading to particularly 151 Nelkin, D., The University and Military Research:…, pp. 1–2, 48–50, 110–111. 152 For some examples of the research performed at the i-Lab and the organizations paying for it, see: ibid., pp. 41–42. 153 Horowitz, I.L., “The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot” in I.L. Horowitz (ed.), The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot:…, p. 9. For the same point, see: Boguslaw, Robert, “Ethics and Social Scientists” in I.L. Horowitz (ed.), The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot:…, pp. 109–110. Boguslaw was one of the academics at the American University that took part in Project Camelot.

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horrific recommendations on how to deal with South Vietnamese peasants’ support for the communist guerilla in Vietnam.154 This should not make us forget that the funds given to Swedish scientists were very large in their day and provided the basis for much of these scientists’ research for many years. These figures could also be compared to what the Swedish National Technical Research Council [Tekniska Forskningsrådet, tfr] awarded Swedish scientists annually during this period. In 1960, tfr awarded just over sek 5 million, a sum that had increased to about sek 8 million by 1963, and soared to about sek 17 million by 1965.155 It is surely amazing that the u.s. Air Force awarded Swedish scientists much more money in 1960 than the tfr, i.e. sek 9,086,165 compared to just over sek 5 million. Indeed, it was not until 1964 that tfr gave Swedish scientists more money than the u.s. Air Force.156 Since there are no reliable figures including all the other grants awarded by the other American armed services or the Pentagon, there is a good chance that the American dominance continued even further into the 1960s. One is forced to draw the conclusion that the u.s. military was one of the largest (if not the largest) single financer of research in the natural sciences in Sweden until at least the mid-1960s. This, however, suggests that what was true of the u.s. could be true also of other countries. As Christopher Simpson has written in the introduction to his edited book Universities and Empire, “military, intelligence, and propaganda agencies provided by far the largest part of the funds for large research projects in the social sciences, making up more than 75 percent of the total funding at certain research centers at certain universities, in the United States from World War ii until well into the 1960s […] designed to support the full range of national security projects of the day, from the benign to the horrific.”157 An important reason for this may have been that up until the 1940s, the technical universities had not viewed themselves primarily as institutes for research, but as institutes for education. Although this changed over the following decades,158 this change could have led to a discrepancy between 154 Robin, R., The Making of the Cold War Enemy:…, pp. 11, 13–14. 155 Weinberger, H., Nätverksentreprenören. En historia om teknisk forskning och industriellt utvecklingsarbete från den Malmska utredningen till Styrelsen för teknisk utveckling [The Network Entrepreneuof Technological Research and Industrial Development Work from the Malmska Commission to the Board for Technological Development] (Stockholm: Department of the History of Science and Technology, 1997), p. 135. 156 For the figure for 1964, see: ibid. 157 Simpson, C., Universities and Empire:…, pp. xii–xiii. 158 Pålsson, Carl Magnus, “Strategisk teknisk forskning—förnyelse av ett historiskt arv?” [Strategic Technical Research: A Renewal of A Historical Heritage?] in Sverker Sörlin (ed.), “I den absoluta frontlinjen” En bok om forskningsstiftelserna, konkurrenskraften och

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the science community on the one hand, and the politicians and grant foundations on the other, so that less money was awarded the universities for research in the natural sciences than was actually sought. The change had begun in the mid-1950s with the so-called ‘Rigoletto Conference’ at the movie theater Rigoletto in central Stockholm in 1955, which was important in generating questions about the development of technology and how research could affect it. A governmental inquiry into this matter resulted in the establishment of a fund for natural science research in 1961 to a value of sek 200 million, of which half went to atomic research, sek 50 million to defense-related research, and trf and many other research foundations got to share sek 15 million. By 1967/68, however, tfr was awarding no less than sek 22.4 million.159 The mit was of course not the only university caught in these types of controversies in the latter half of the 1960s. Michigan State University (msu) was another institution that was heavily criticized in 1966, when Ramparts magazine revealed that the cia had trained South Vietnamese police forces on the msu campus from 1955 until at least 1962, and that several of the msu’s faculty and officials had worked intimately with the cia and the South Vietnamese government on counterinsurgency matters.160 But the examples abound: Columbia University, University of Illinois, George Washington University, University of Chicago, American University, Princeton University and dozens more, and what almost all have in common is that the government frequently initiated the research into a certain area, and that the academic elite then followed this lead and not the other way around.161 Communications research was such a subject that would never have gotten off the ground if the u.s. government had not wished to fund it in order to improve its psychological warfare abilities.162 Area Studies and International Studies are other examples of subject areas that were built up largely by funding from the u.s. intelligence community from the late 1940s and onwards into the 1960s. The intelligence community not only supplied the money, but also

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politikens möjligheter [“In the Absolute Frontline”: A Book About the Research Foundations, Competitiveness, and Politics’ Possibilities] (Nora: Bokförlaget Nya Doxa, 2005), p. 91. Stevrin, Peter, Den samhällsstyrda forskningen. En samhällsorganisatorisk studie av den sektoriella forskningspolitikens framväxt och tillämpning i Sverige [The Publically Controlled Science: A Societal Organizational Study of the Sector-Based Research Policy’s Establishment and Utilization in Sweden] (Stockholm: Liber Förlag, 1978), pp. 127–128. Horowitz, I.L., “Michigan State and the cia: A Dilemma for Social Science” in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist 22 (September 1966), pp. 26–27. Simpson, C., Universities and Empire:…, pp. xiii–xiv, xix. For this, see: Simpson, C., Science of Coercion:…

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set the agenda for the research performed to a surprising degree, as historian Bruce Cumings has shown.163 Development Studies, i.e. studies focusing on the so-called Developing World or Third World as it has also been designated, is yet another such subject initiated in order to export corporate liberalism to these nations.164 But why did the u.s. military bother to involve civilian academics in their research at all? Could not the military hire their own researchers and establish their own research institutions? Well, to a certain degree they did, but the reason why the u.s. military chose to go to the universities and keep the academics at those institutions seems to have been the simple fact that those involved in making the decisions understood that the academic freedom, and the spirit of the universities, fostered a good research climate that tended to generate good and reliable research results. The same rationale that lay behind the decision to start Project Camelot, Project troy, or the funding of the i-Lab and cenis at mit also lay behind the establishment of the institution that is perhaps most often thought about when the subject of a military-intellectual complex is brought up—Project rand. Although not part of a university, but established as a non-profit corporation, rand was created by the u.s. Army Air Force specifically because the military was seen as needing to integrate the knowledge and techniques developed outside it, and to incorporate them in a civilian-military collaboration, but on a private and voluntary basis. The latter was important because for mit Professor Edward L. Bowles, who was one of the key figures behind the creation of rand, private “firms came better equipped to do the job than the military was.” rand became an intellectual and creative nexus where the finest brains of industry and the universities could get together and ponder the issues confronting the u.s. military during the Cold War. The most enduring legacy of rand was probably the method of Systems Analysis (sa), whereby mathematical methods were applied to solving policy problems that seemingly had nothing to do with mathematics at all.165 163 Cumings, Bruce, “Boundary Displacement: Area Studies and International Studies During and After the Cold War” in C. Simpson (ed.), Universities and Empire:…, pp. 163–173. See also: Diamond, S., Compromised Campus:…, pp. 50–110, for a detailed study of the establishment of, and the research and intelligence activities performed at, Harvard’s Russian Research Center. 164 Gendzier, I.L., “Play It Again Sam: The Practice and Apology of Development” in C. Simpson (ed.), Universities and Empire:…, pp. 57–95. 165 Collins, Martin J., Cold War Laboratory: rand, the Air Force, and the American State, 1945–1950 (Washington, d.c.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002), pp. 56–68, 213–224, quote on p. 66.

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Regarding the intellectual atmosphere at rand, one participant in Project Camelot allegedly stated that “during the fifties there was far more freedom to do fundamental research in the rand Corporation than in any college or university in America.”166 The sa method was also established in Sweden during this period, a process that has been described by Arne Kaijser and Joar Tiberg.167 The cia in fact still remains a large employer of fresh Ph.D.’s in the social sciences and international studies.168 Simply put: the universities had the expertise needed by the u.s. military, intelligence, and propaganda communities, and many of them also proved willing to be enrolled (although some may have been oblivious of where the funding supporting their research came from) on the side of the u.s. government in the Cold War ideological and military struggle against the Soviet Union. There is an even wider context in which one has to view the American funding of research in the natural sciences in Sweden during the Cold War, and that is the u.s. sponsoring of the reconstruction of science in Western Europe after the war and its connection with American hegemonic policy, as described by John Krige in his book American Hegemony and the Postwar Reconstruction of Science in Europe. Krige shows that supporting research in European countries was a way for u.s. policymakers to support their effort to gain acceptance of u.s. hegemony, and he gives several examples of this practice in the six case studies that make up his empirical chapters, such as the Rockefeller Foundation’s funding of cern in France and the cnrs, and the Ford Foundation’s funding of physics in Europe, as well as its part in the establishment of the nato Science Committee and the “Trained Manpower for Freedom” program. He also addresses the mit’s role in this process. What Krige does not do, however, is to look at the military funding of research at foreign universities. Instead he focuses on the activities by the civilian Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.169 In fact, it seems as if very few scholars have studied the particular kind of u.s. military-foreign university connections that has been the focus in this chapter. The large body of prior scholarship nonetheless shows that the funding of research in Sweden by the u.s. military was part of a much larger venture that 166 Horowitz, I.L., “The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot” in I.L. Horowitz (ed.), The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot:…, p. 6. 167 Kaijser, Arne and Tiberg, Joar, “From Operations Research to Future Studies: The Establishment, Diffusion, and Transformation of the Systems Approach in Sweden, 1945–1980” in Thomas P. Hughes and Agatha C. Hughes (eds.), Systems, Experts, and Computers: The Systems Approach in Management and Engineering, World War ii and after (Cambridge, ma: The mit Press, 2000), pp. 385–412. 168 Simpson, C., Universities and Empire:…, pp. xix–xx. 169 Krige, J., American Hegemony and … pp. 57–251.

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was intimately tied to the American quest for hegemony in the early 1950s, and then for the maintenance of that hegemony during the rest of the Cold War. Swedish scientists were thus made members of a worldwide network of academics, scientists, and researchers funded by the u.s. government. The glaring absence of any examples of funding of Swedish social science research, however, makes one wonder if this is due to an actual lack of u.s. money in this field or if historians simply have no knowledge of it yet? It is likely that future research into this area will reveal something similar to Project Camelot and troy also in Sweden.170 Perhaps even more serious than the fact that the u.s. Air Force provided funding for the research performed by these Swedish scientists were the power relations revealed when the u.s. government decided to suspend its funding temporarily in response to the public controversy surrounding the grants in Sweden. By turning off the source of funds the Americans seriously limited the ability of the scientists to go about their work and enjoy the academic freedom that they argued they still had. It was a form of official censorship, and in the words of Bernard Shaw (as related by Horowitz) “censorship, mild or severe, is

170 Another matter completely is the issue of funding of research at Swedish universities by the Swedish military. This is something that has been almost entirely ignored by Swedish historians. Wilhelm Agrell’s book about the establishment of foa (Agrell, W., Vetenskapen i försvarets tjänst…, pp. 69–244) and Jan Annerstedt’s book about Swedish research policy until the early 1970s (Annerstedt, J., Makten över forskningen…) are no exceptions to this rule. Neither Agrell nor Annerstedt touches upon the eventual collaboration between Swedish universities and the u.s. military except from a brief passage about research at Swedish universities sponsored by the Swedish military in Agrell, where he writes about research on protection measures against chemical weapons at the University of Lund in 1926 and at Uppsala University in 1928 (all of this ended in 1936 when this research was transferred to the newly established Defense Chemical Establishment [Försvarsväsendets kemiska anstalt, fka], see: ibid., p. 85). Another example is mentioned by Agrell in his book about the R&D efforts regarding Swedish chemical and atomic weapons, and concerns a study of the effects of lsd conducted at the University of Lund and Stockholm University in 1962 and 1964–1965 respectively, as well as an experiment carried out by the Military Psychological Institute [Militärpsykologiska institutet] around 1967 and 1968. But while the effects of lsd were clearly of interest to the Swedish military, Agrell does not state that the experiments in Lund and Stockholm were paid for, or ordered by, the military (Agrell, W., Svenska förintelsevapen. Utvecklingen av kemiska och nukleära stridsmedel 1928–1970 [Swedish Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Development of Chemical and Nuclear Weapons, 1928–1970] (Lund: Historiska Media, 2002), pp. 252–254).

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severe.”171 When discussing the implications of the u.s. government’s cancellation of Project Camelot Horowitz writes that: […] it was political expedience, rather than Camelot’s lack of scientific merit that led to its termination: it threatened to rock State Department relations with Latin America.172 Similarly, it was the fact that the public discussion and criticism of the American grants in the Swedish media was conceived as a threat to the u.s. government’s hegemony in Sweden that led to the temporary suspension of the funding. The problem of having to rely on a foreign government in order to be able to conduct one’s research was clearly expressed by Fant in both Aftonbladet and Dagens Nyheter, and most certainly in his letter to Palme. The freedom from that kind of constraint is also a central part of the ideal of academic freedom, although this was apparently not realized by Fant and the other Swedish scientists, and government representatives, interviewed by the newspapers, or by most of the journalists. When the government declared in June that all was well because there had been no overt controlling of the research problems or results, it was expressing the same kind of changing perception of the academic corps as Ron Robin has identified with respect to the participants in Project Camelot, namely that they “appeared resigned to the fact that value-free science was not a prerequisite for their scientific activity, but a utopian and, perhaps, unrealistic goal.”173

Sweden and the Atoms for Peace Campaign

Most of the propaganda themes and campaigns launched by the usia were carefully tailored to suit the local environment on the ground where the usis officers were working. Some of them, however, were part of larger worldwide campaigns intended to portray a certain generic image of the u.s. to the rest of the world. Two such programs were launched during the first three years of operation 1954–1956, namely Atoms for Peace and People’s Capitalism. President Eisenhower had initiated the Atoms for Peace campaign on December 8, 1953, in a speech to the u.n. General Assembly. The basis for this was a call from 171 Horowitz, I.L., “The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot” in I.L. Horowitz (ed.), The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot:…, p. 42. 172 Ibid., p. 40. 173 Robin, R., The Making of the Cold War Enemy:…, p. 212.

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the nsc’s Planning Board that summer for the need to generate domestic support for the u.s. government’s large nuclear expenditures. Coupled with this need was the simultaneous necessity to reveal just enough information abroad about the American nuclear arsenal to deter enemies and reassure friendly nations, a plan approved as nsc 151. This need had been stressed by the Defense Department a few weeks before the tests of the first u.s. thermonuclear bomb in October 1952. The advent of the thermonuclear age, it was thought, necessitated a positive spin on the atomic program. The terrible destructiveness of the hydrogen bomb needed to be somehow offset by cultivating a constructive image of atoms for peaceful purposes.174 The idea for a public speech was later proposed by C.D. Jackson who, together with the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (aec), Lewis L. Strauss, and a team of writers worked out the details during the months prior to the speech. The British had been briefed about the plan during the Bermuda Conference earlier that December, and on their way back Eisenhower, Jackson, Strauss, and Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, hammered out the final draft hours before the President was to appear at the u.n. The President’s aircraft allegedly circled the airport so that a final document was ready to be handed out to the press as soon as the plane landed. The 3,500 delegates in the audience heard Eisenhower give a general, rather than a specific, but captivating description of the destructive capacity of the u.s. nuclear weapons, which instead of focusing on the horrific consequences of an atomic duel between the two superpowers threw down a gauntlet for the British and Soviet governments to pick up challenging them to divert some of their uranium supplies to an international atomic energy agency to be placed under u.n. auspices. This later became the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea).175 Since the British had already been notified it was reasonably only the Soviets who were surprised at this challenge. The speech has been described as “a splendid piece of political theater,” and it was indeed a stroke of propaganda genius. Whether the Soviets accepted Eisenhower’s proposal or not, the u.s. would come out ahead—either as leading the way in an international collaboration or making the Soviets appear to be spoiling a great vision and chance for world peace. Eisenhower stated that the u.s. “pledges its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma— to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to death, but consecrated to his life.” The speech did the trick and the 174 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 156. 175 Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 104–105; Belmonte, L.A., Selling the American Way:…, p. 62.

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entire Assembly rose and gave the American President standing ovations.176 The problem that the u.s. policy makers wished to address with the Atoms for Peace campaign was a delicate and complicated one. The root cause was that from the very beginning the word ‘atom’ had been intimately connected with the word ‘bomb,’ not least because of the u.s. demonstration of the terrifying power of this technology in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The Soviets had recently also announced their possession of a thermonuclear weapon and the media, both in the u.s. and internationally, had been running a train of articles addressing the possible consequences of a nuclear exchange between the superpowers. While a small amount of terror propaganda was not harmful, a lot of it could lead to a sense of paralysis among the public, sap morale, and public support for the American nuclear force, and weaken the steadfastness within the Western alliance. It also risked increasing the tendency of foreign governments to choose the neutralist path, and American officials indeed identified nuclear fear as the leading cause of neutralism due to the feelings of hopelessness it generated in the public mind. What the men in Washington feared more than the bomb itself was that the ‘peace at any price’ attitudes would lead to “increased public pressure for disarmament.”177 And disarmament was not something that Eisenhower was keen on. The Atoms for Peace campaign was only the first in a row of similar propaganda strategies used by the Eisenhower administration during its following eight years in the White House and beyond to ‘inform’ the world public about the ‘friendly’ atom. It was truly massive in scope and it had the support of every arm of the federal government, as well as private individuals and organizations, and the usia exploited it on an unprecedented scale. As Kenneth Osgood has remarked, instead of being an effort to make the world secure for peace and prosperity, it was first and foremost a way “to help world public opinion adapt psychologically to the presence of nuclear weapons in their everyday lives.”178 Even so, the way to this position had been long for Eisenhower, and the launch of the Atoms for Peace initiative did not mean that the secrecy surrounding the nuclear weapons tests ceased to be a factor. The President resisted pressures to let the public know the facts about the leap from fission to fusion weaponry, and he ordered the aec to keep the American people confused as to the meaning of the two technologies. The thermonuclear tests done in October 1952, were not made public until April 1954, and even

176 Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, p. 105. 177 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 154, 159. 178 Ibid., p. 155.

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then the ocb stage-managed and sanitized the information to downplay its significance.179 Following the speech in the u.n. assembly, a massive propaganda campaign was drawn up. The ocb created an atomic energy working group consisting of senior staff members of the Defense and State Departments, aec, cia, usia, as well as the Federal Civil Defense Administration (fcda) headed by C.D. Jackson, and this group drafted the plans for how to market the Atoms for Peace program at home and abroad. The campaign was given three areas of equal priority, the first being to publicize Eisenhower’s speech to the highest degree possible. Both the government and the private interests were enrolled in this endeavor. The VoA and rfe broadcasted the speech over and over again (they also broadcasted it live), and Jackson and his group ensured domestic and international media coverage. Even though the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act forbade the propagandizing of the u.s. people by its own government, the Eisenhower administration circumvented this proscription by making sure that the Atoms for Peace material distributed to Americans did not resemble that which targeted foreign populations. As a result there was no real difference between the domestic and foreign propaganda campaigns. The usia director even stated that never before had a speech by the American President been so widely distributed over the globe. Transcripts of the speech were sent to newspapers worldwide, and major papers in 25 countries printed it ad verbatim. Some 16 million pamphlets, posters, and booklets were distributed in 17 languages in addition to the VoA and rfe broadcasts, and films of the speech were sent to 35 nations. About 14 news stories on atomic energy were churned out every week by the American propaganda machinery, and they emphasized almost every aspect of atomic technology except the ones having to do with applications for war. According to Nicholas Cull, 266 private u.s. firms were enrolled by the usia to distribute some 300,000 translations of Eisenhower’s speech in their international correspondence. The usia even added a page in its What Should I Know When I Travel Abroad pamphlet for u.s. tourists going to Latin America, and persuaded such organizations as Rotary and the Lions to integrate the Atoms for Peace message in their international materials. Hollywood, too, took part in this campaign; Universal released and screened the usia movie Atomic Power for Peace in theaters overseas in 1954. The second area had to do with diplomacy and economic policy, in which the u.s. government worked hard to convince the rest of the world that the u.s. was seriously committed to disarmament, and to put the blame for the failure to implement Eisenhower’s plan at the Soviet doorstep. Within this effort the u.s. worked to 179 Ibid., p. 157.

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position itself as the leading supporter of peaceful utilization of atomic energy, and offered technical assistance and material for the construction of nuclear reactors in other nations. This aspect in fact became more important for Eisenhower than the establishment of the iaea with Soviet participation, and by the end of the 1950s, 38 bilateral agreements for building nuclear reactors had been signed and 30 such construction schemes had been approved. This strategy involved a sophisticated reasoning about the effects of technology transfer, namely that these nations would become tied to the u.s. by becoming dependent upon u.s. designs, constructions, and maintenance. In fact, it was talked about as a great opportunity for a kind of industrial imperialism whereby “‘an advanced technology would be embedded in a culture not yet ready to exploit its full potential as a means of getting both a technological and economic foothold […].’” The third leg of the apparatus aimed to present the u.s. as the number one nation with regard to peaceful applications of nuclear power. The usia arranged traveling Atoms for Peace exhibits; large ones for major cities in Europe (including even communist Yugoslavia), Asia, and Africa, and smaller ones to 217 usis posts in various countries. The exhibit and media campaign in Rome was so successful that even newspapers in several other countries, including Sweden, reported from it. The usia certainly thought that the ­Atoms for Peace was its most successful and effective propaganda theme to date. Many of the usis posts reported considerable improvements in foreign attitudes towards the atom, and it even helped the u.s. alleviate the Japanese fear of atomic energy only a decade after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The enormous success of this campaign was due not only to the amazing skills of the American propaganda wizards but also, as Kenneth Osgood points out, because of the tremendous power of the atom in popular imagination. The atom, and what could be done with it, truly fascinated people, and would have done so even without the help of the Eisenhower administration, but this fact does not to any real extent diminish the effect the propaganda had on world opinion.180 Ironically, the Soviets were apparently the only ones that saw through the smokescreen created by the usia and the other interests involved in publicizing the Atoms for Peace project. While the official Soviet response, delivered on December 22, 1953, and also distributed worldwide, reiterated the familiar Soviet call for a total ban on atomic weapons, it hit the mark when it stated that the Eisenhower proposal would lead to an arms race instead of disarmament 180 Ibid., pp. 161–163, 169–176, 179–180, quote on p. 169; Belmonte, L.A., Selling the American Way:…, pp. 62–63; Cull, N.J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 104–106, 110. For more on the domestic u.s. propaganda effort, see: Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 163–166.

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by lessening people’s fear of atomic weapons.181 Eisenhower’s new defense posture, the so-called New Look, depended upon nuclear weapons, however, so banning them was never an option. Washington thus quickly rejected the Soviet proposal.182 So what mark did the Eisenhower campaign Atoms for Peace make on the Swedish scene? This international campaign also targeted the Swedish audience directly and specifically, and it was a protracted campaign extending over several years in the 1950s. Moreover, there is the question if the Swedish atomic energy program was in any way connected to, or influenced by the Atoms for Peace effort? When thinking about and analyzing these issues it is pertinent to remember that the ocb, or the usia, did not invent research into peaceful usage of the atom. As Kenneth Osgood has remarked, such research predated Eisenhower’s initiative and would have progressed even without the Atoms for Peace campaign.183 Even so, the massive propaganda effort backing it up certainly contributed to popularizing such research and technologies, and to making the u.s. into an iconic nation in the modern atomic age. On 15–16 November, 1955, a conference called “Tekniken och morgondagen” [Technology and the Society of Tomorrow] took place in Stockholm. The conference gathered not only people from the Swedish government, including Prime Minister Tage Erlander, but scientists, industrialists, economists, and union representatives. All in all over 400 people turned up for the event, which was also covered extensively in Swedish media. Even long before the conference, Torsten Gustafson, who was a physicit and the informal science advisor to Erlander, had remarked to the Prime Minister that it was not possible to ­develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes without at the same time, and very quickly, producing a tremendous amount of material available for military needs. Gustafson noted that Sweden could in this way become a respectable nuclear player even internationally. Once it became clear that Sweden would not join nato this idea was put into effect in the Swedish atomic bomb development program. By 1955, this program had reached a high point. The focus of the conference, however, was the peaceful usages of science, and this was perfectly in line with the Atoms for Peace program; an initiative that had really opened up the possibilities of peaceful development of atomic power also in Sweden. Nevertheless, the idea that Sweden should strive to self-sufficiency in this field underlay the whole gathering. Otherwise, as Gustafson expressed it

181 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 167. 182 Tudda, C., The Truth Is Our Weapon:…, p. 88. 183 Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 178.

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at the conference, Sweden would lose its freedom of action.184 The policy of neutrality in this way clearly affected the way in which the government viewed vital technologies and fields of science. The Atoms for Peace campaign did not initiate research into peaceful uses of the atom either internationally or in Sweden. Such research had begun much earlier. For instance, the decision to build Sweden’s first research reactor, the so-called R1 (located underground on the premises of the Royal Institute of Technology in the center of Stockholm), had been made back in 1949. The Swedish policy of neutrality also affected the choice of fuel and moderator for the reactor, namely natural uranium and heavy water, which would allow Sweden to become self-sufficient with regard to these materials. This was later designated the ‘Swedish Line.’ Such a reactor also had the additional benefit of being particularly suited for producing weapons grade plutonium for future domestic nuclear weapons production. Interestingly enough though, there were clear connections between the Swedish nuclear power program and the u.s. already at this stage. One of them was that Sigvard Eklund, who was a laboratory technician at foa between 1945 and 1950, before he moved (with the rest of his department from foa) to the nuclear power corporation ab Atomenergi,185 and who would be a central figure in the Swedish nuclear development program, went to the u.s. at the end of the 1940s, at which time he received the construction plans for the CP3 reactor in Chicago. The CP3 reactor then became the model for the construction of R1. What is interesting about this is of course that this was long before Atoms for Peace, when nuclear technology was still surrounded with great secrecy, and Maja Fjæstad rightly asks why the Americans let Sweden take part in this vital information. Her answer, that the Americans may have done it because Sweden was strategically important to the u.s., and because of a fear of Soviet access to the Swedish uranium deposits, is not wholly satisfying, however.186 Fjæstad is certainly right in 184 Lundin, P. & Stenlås, N., “Technology…” in J. Gribbe, P. Lundin & N. Stenlås (eds.), Science for Welfare and Warfare…, pp. 1–3. 185 ab Atomenergi was established in 1947 by the Swedish government together with 24 private companies. The enterprise became the main conduit for funding of atomic energy research in Sweden (Annerstedt, Jan, Makten över forskningen. Om statlig forskningsorganisation och forskningsplanering i dagens Sverige [The Power over Research: On Governmental Research Organization and Research Planning in Today’s Sweden] (Stockholm: Bo Cavefors Bokförlag, 1972), p. 68). 186 Fjæstad, Maja, Visionen om outtömlig energi. Bridreaktorn i svensk kärnkraftshistoria 1945–80 [The Vision of Never-Ending Energy: The Breed Reactor in the History of Swedish Nuclear Power, 1945–80] (Stockholm: Gidlunds Förlag, 2010), pp. 48–51. For more on the later aborted Swedish nuclear weapons development, see: Agrell, W., Svenska

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stating that Sweden was strategically important to the u.s. A State Department policy statement from August 1949 stated that: Our interest in Sweden in present circumstances is enhanced by its strategic geographic location and its position of influence among the northern countries. It occupies a vital positon on the northwestern flank of the ussr and has a commanding position in respect to both the Baltic Sea and the Danish Straits. In the light of our military commitments to Norway and Denmark under the North Atlantic Treaty, an attack on Sweden could not fail to create the most serious effects for us. We would be subjected to extreme pressure from Norway and Denmark to intervene, and we would be faced with the fact that hostile occupation of Sweden would render infinitely more difficult any future defense of thos countries.187 But there seems to have been also another reason for the u.s. attitude, one that followed the same kind of logic that provided the basis for the massive transfer of American reactor technology through the Atoms for Peace campaign in 1954 and after, i.e. that it was a way of tying Sweden to the u.s. by making the Swedes dependent upon American technology. This was a reason more tied to u.s. hegemonic aspirations than to military considerations. In this respect, and at that time, Sweden was indeed a culture not yet ready to exploit the full potential of the technology being embedded, and this would give Washington leverage over both the civilian and military nuclear development programs in Sweden. Another connection between the u.s. and the Swedish nuclear program includes the Atoms for Peace directly, and it has to do with the fact that Eklund became the Director General of iaea in 1961, a position he would hold until 1981.188 It just so happened, in fact, that in 1955, the year of the conference in Stockholm, saw another testimony of the importance of Sweden in u.s. security policy. In the nsc policy paper nsc 5515/1, dated April 1 that year and entitled “Study of Possible Hostile Soviet Actions”, it was concluded that an attack upon Sweden by the Soviet Union should be considered a threat to the continental u.s.189 Nonetheless, the Swedish Line in nuclear technology, with its ability to m ­ assförstörelsevapen ; Andersson, Stellan, Den första grinden. Svensk nedrustningspolitik 1961–1963 [The First Gate: Swedish Disarmament Policy, 1961–1963] (Stockholm: Santérus, 2004). 187 Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, p. 391. 188 Fjæstad, M., Visionen om outtömlig energi…, p. 49. 189 Nilsson, M., Tools of Hegemony:…, p. 391.

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produce weapons grade plutonium, was a clear threat to u.s. plans to restict the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world. This alternative had been chosen because it was thought to serve Swedish security policy goals in a very effective way. The Atoms for Peace program upset the government’s plans in this regard. Already in 1956, Sweden signed a cooperation agreement with the u.s. that enabled Sweden to purchase enriched uranium. However, as part of this agreement Sweden had to promise not to use this material to produce nuclear weapons, or to export the material to third nations. Through successively lowering the price for enriched uranium (which at the same time made it much more economic to build light-water reactors, which could not produce weapons grade plutonium) the Americans made any alternative to buying the fisionable material from them more and more costly. This struck at the heart of the Swedish government’s plan for self-sufficiency in the atomic energy field. Through the Atoms for Peace program Swedish scientists in industry, research establishments (such as foa), and at the universities got access to technical data, as well as the possibility to cooperate with research establishments in the u.s. While this made matters easier for Swedish scientists, at the same time it increased the u.s. government’s leverage over Swedish nuclear research and production. The new nuclear power reactors that were built in Sweden had  to accept u.s. inspection of their activities in exchange for technology and know-how. Little by little, and bit by bit, the Atoms for Peace cooperation was eating away at the Swedish Line, and at Swedish independence in the field of nuclear power. This was the price Sweden had to pay for becoming a part of the ­Atoms for Peace initiative. Even though the government kept the Swedish atomic bomb research program alive on the side during the 1950s and most of the 1960s, the government finally, after having signed the non-proliferation treaty in 1968, ended this development. Only two years later, in 1970, the last heavy-water reactor was closed down. The Swedish Line was officially dead.190 The Atoms for Peace campaign was thus in no way restricted to the time around Eisenhower’s u.n. speech in November 1953. The third way in which the primary objective of usia propaganda in 1959 was supported was by giving the Swedes continuing evidence that American science was “well prepared to

190 Fjæstad, M. & Jonter, Thomas, “Between Welfare and Warfare: The Rise and Fall of the ‘Swedish Line’ in Nuclear Engineering” in J. Gribbe, P. Lundin & N. Stenlås (eds.), Science for Welfare and Warfare…, pp. 153–172. For the part about the signing of the non-proliferation treaty, which is not mentioned in Fjæestad’s and Jonter’s chapter, see: Lundin, P. & Stenlås, N., “Technology…” in J. Gribbe, P. Lundin & N. Stenlås (eds.), Science for Welfare and Warfare…, p. 28.

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support our role as a leading world power.”191 Once again, this ties closely into the hegemonic project and to the importance of eliciting consent from the Swedes. The Atoms for Peace program did exactly this in the field of nuclear power; it established the u.s. as the leading force in the Western world, and due to the Swedish government’s cooperation it acknowledged this hegemonic position, and in the end abided by it completely. The u.s. did this in a very clever way, which did not include applying threats or force, but instead relying on a strategy that simply made the American alternative much more economic and benefitial. For as long as the Swedish atomic bomb development was kept up and running, however, the government showed that it was making an effort at retaining some independence in this area. Another example of this leadership was the signing of the new Fulbright agreement between Sweden and the u.s. on November 20, 1959. This was utilized to stress past scientific exchanges between the two nations, and atomic science was an important area in this collaboration. The state-owned company ab Atomenergi, which was in charge of the Swedish atomic energy program and the construction of nuclear power plants in Sweden, was also used as a propaganda outlet for the popular A is for Atom exhibit, which “was shown to army units, civil defense groups and the public as part of a six-month exhibition of defense equipment in Stockholm, to a total audience of 75,000.”192 ab Atomenergi was thus co-producing American hegemony by spreading usis propaganda. There was certainly less reason for the audience to guard against foreign influence on their minds when the apparent source was a ­domestic semi-official entity. This effect was made stronger by the fact that u.s. propaganda was incorporated into a context involving Swedish defense. This means that the decade ended with a spectacular propaganda success for the usis in Sweden.

Financing the Shift: The Enrollment of Swedish Academics and Scientists

This chapter has shown that the American propaganda activities also reached into the academic world, targeting the elite of Swedish intellectuals, scientists, and academics. No prior investigation has described this process in such detail in so many fields as the present study. The facts are certainly quite startling and the u.s. propaganda campaign was impressive in its scope and aims. 191 nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 7. 192 Ibid., pp. 7–8.

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We have seen that the Fulbright scholarship program established between Sweden and the u.s. in late 1952 was used by the Americans as a way of bringing Swedish academics and labour leaders to the u.s. for the purpose of giving them a positive and rewarding experience. The idea being that they would come home from the u.s. with a pro-American attitude on which they would later act in various ways, and in so doing further the good relationship ­between the two countries. This was the ideal result anyway. The Fulbright Program was a way in which the Americans tried to ensure that their hegemony was consented to, and that the consent was perpetuated among influential Swedish citizens. This may sound far-fetched, but the fact that the inclusion of Sweden in this exchange hinged on Swedish consent to u.s. hegemony through its tacit abidence by the CoCom embargo proves that the Fulbright Program was used as a hegemonic tool by the u.s. government. Far from being only an academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program was at its heart an instrument of u.s. propaganda in Sweden. On the other side of this coin, American academics were sent to Sweden so that they could make personal contacts that would serve to give the Swedes a positive view of Americans and, it was hoped, American foreign policy. But the Fulbright Program was also yet another example of co-production, because the Swedes were actively seeking to take part in it. We have also seen that the u.s. military, especially the u.s. Air Force, sponsored research performed in Sweden by prominent Swedish scientists. The usaf was a large contributor of funding although at least the 1950s and 1960s, and seems to have been one of the largest grant-givers during the period covered in this book, providing a privilaged elite of Swedish scientists with tens of millions of Swedish kronor (equivalent to hundreds of millions in today’s currency value). This funding produced a brief storm in early 1968 when the Swedish evening newspaper Aftonbladet revealed this practice to the public. However, after only a few days the matter died down, probably because the large media outlets in the country did not push the story any further. The lid was quickly put back on, and the government issued a statement some months later to the effect that none of the research funded by the Americans had any obvious connection with the American war in Vietnam—it was simple basic research and the results were available for everyone. Nonetheless there were special clauses in the contracts giving the u.s. government privileged access to all documentation and background material concerning the projects for a specified period of time. Although it is unknown at present what results were used by the u.s. military and for what purpose, it seems clear that the aim of the funding of foreign research was to apply it to problems encountered by the u.s. military in its

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many operations around the world. What supports this assumption is the fact that the Swedish case was part of a well-researched pattern of similar sponsoring of research in the u.s. and in other countries in Western Europe. The chapter has also noticed that there is a lack of knowledge concerning the funding of research in the social sciences in Sweden by the American military. This was commonplace in the u.s. and elsewhere and it is not known if there was a Swedish counterpart to Project troy for example. There may thus be a lot to do in this field for future researchers.

chapter 6

American Propaganda and the Swedish Educational Sector, Part ii: The usis, Academic Exchanges, and American Studies in Sweden1 Introduction This chapter continues on the topic of the prior one, but changes focus and looks at the promotion of American Studies as an academic subject by the usis in Sweden. The usis hoped that this would encourage a greater interest in, and understanding of, American society and culture. This, too, was part of a campaign pursued by the usia worldwide. Previous international research has shown how the State Department, “operating in a ‘discreet fashion,’” worked to encourage the establishment of chairs in American Studies at foreign universities.2 The result makes it evident that American Studies as an academic subject was promoted by the usis in Sweden too as a way of strengthening the ties between Sweden and the u.s. It provides a good illustration of how the u.s. government used education as a political tool of hegemony. The other major focus of this chapter is the educational and academic exchanges and visits that was a central part of the American propaganda effort. The goal in this case was not only, or even foremost, to spread ideas acceptable to the u.s. government in the lecture rooms, but to see to it that Swedish academics and students got to establish personal relationships with Americans. This was a part of what was called Citizen Diplomacy, which was a central theme of President Eisenhower’s Person-to-Person program. It was the firm belief of American propagandists that such relationships would foster a feeling of community and belonging between those involved.

American Studies as Propaganda

The end of the Second World War provided the u.s. government with an opportunity to influence the way in which European intellectuals viewed the u.s. 1 Parts of this chapter has been published as: Nilsson, M., “Science as Propaganda: Swedish Scientists and the Co-Production of u.s. Hegemony in Sweden During the Cold War, 1953–1968” in European Review of History–Revue Europeenne d’historie, Vol. 19, Issue 2, April 2012, pp. 275–302. 2 Osgood, K., Total Cold War:…, p. 309.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_008

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that seemed too good not to take advantage of. There was a hunger for studying and understanding America among European intellectuals, and the new field of American Studies opened up unprecedented possibilities. Because it was a new subject, it was deemed easier to influence since it did not have rigid pre-existing structures. Scholars could easily act as important bridge-builders between the two continents at a point in time when there was a scarcity of resources in Europe. By promoting American Studies, and encouraging exchanges of ideas and persons in relation to this, the u.s. government could potentially create important good-will, as well as lasting and positive impressions and interpretations of American culture and society. The fact that this took place in a European context, at European universities, was all the better from the American point of view, since it made the impression of imperialistic projection of foreign values less apparent. The endeavor was made even easier by the fact that many of the scholars interested in the subject were already positive towards the u.s., and while there were certain drawbacks in studying the u.s. from abroad, it simultaneously entailed the benefit of providing the European academics with a certain degree of intellectual freedom. Thus, it seemed to be a win-win situation.3 This was a central way in which the Cold War was fought in the intellectual and academic arena. The best propaganda was, again, one that was ­co-produced by the Europeans themselves. By using this clever approach the u.s. government could convey desirable ideas, values, and interpretations of the u.s., and thus reach their propaganda and policy goals, and the European intellectuals would not even realize that they were being propagandized—in large part because they were doing it to themselves. True, the Americans did not have complete control over this process, and the Swedes still interpreted the content in ways specific to the local context that the usis sometimes had no ability to affect (as was obvious in the cases of how the usis material on civil rights and the Vietnam War was handled by the Swedish press). However, regarding less contentious issues the frames of analysis were very similar, and could be made even more so. One should thus not be surprised by the fact that, for the usis, an important measure when trying to promote greater understanding for the u.s. was “to bring American studies into the curricula of Swedish educational institutions.” Progress in this area was made already in the late 1950s. One successful result of this effort had been the establishment of government funds for employment of an American lecturer in the field of American Literature at 3 Fisher, A., Collaborative Public Diplomacy…, pp. 12–14.

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­ othenburg University. Furthermore, the Swedish Board of Education had G agreed to i­ntroduce an experimental course in American studies “in the best secondary school in Stockholm for the coming academic year. Evidence of effectiveness indeed!” The usis in Stockholm was very proud of the effort to make American Studies an accepted discipline in the Swedish school and university system. The Swedish Board of Education [Skolöverstyrelsen], the Director of which just happened to be a former grantee in the u.s., had organized and partly financed the first seminar in American Studies at Uppsala University for secondary teachers of English in 1958, and operated a similar seminar at the University of Lund in 1959. The Board of Education had also, on the initiative of the Acting Counselor of Education in charge of language instruction, Martin Melander, he too a former Fulbright grantee, hired its first American language assistant in 1958, and had allocated funds for an American successor in this position for the 1959/60 academic year. Moreover, the Swedish government had allocated funds to pay for a lecturer in American Literature at ­Gothenburg University. All of these things had been highly successful, according to the usis in Stockholm.4 Furthermore, tutoring in American language and literature had begun at the universities in Lund, Gothenburg, and Stockholm.5 The Nordic Association of American Studies was also formed in 1959, and in fact arranged its first conference at Sigtuna, just south of Uppsala, on August 1, 1961. The theme for the conference was “The Impact of America on Scandinavia,” which resulted in a book called Amerika och Norden [American and the Nordic Countries] published in 1964.6 By 1962, there were two positions in American Studies at Uppsala University, one in history and one in literature, financed by the American Council of Learned Societies (acls).7 The American propagandists were not only establishing a brand new academic subject in Sweden, they were also ­doing their best to mold this subject to fit their policy goals.

4 nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Entry 1045; Box No. 9; “Inspection Report” from usis Sweden dated September 2, 1959, pp. 8–9; nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 20. The americanization of the Swedish educational system, going back to the 1940s, has been dealt with briefly by Dag Blanck, although Blanck does not mention the usia in connection with this process. See: Blanck, D., “Television…,” pp. 98–102. 5 nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 20. 6 Blanck, Dag, “The Impact of the American Academy in Sweden” in R. Lundén and E. Åsard (eds.), Networks of Americanization:…, p. 80. 7 Lundén, R., “The Eternal, Irresoluble Tensions in American Studies” in David E. Nye (ed.), Beyond the Crisis in us American Studies: Scandinavian Perspectives (Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark, 2007), p. 35.

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The establishing of American Studies at Swedish universities was indeed one of the four principal goals for the Fulbright Program formulated by the usec/s, i.e. the Fulbright Commission in Sweden, in their annual proposal for 1963. The American language assistant with the N ­ ational Swedish Board of Education was also considered important for strengthening English language education in Swedish schools. The aim of the usec/s for 1963 was to renew the two lecturing positions in the American language that were currently established at the universities in Gothenburg and Stockholm in 1962, and to establish two additional such lecturers at the universities in Lund and Uppsala. An American teacher was proposed to assist that American language assistant at the Board of Education, two Swedish teachers were to receive grants to go to the u.s. and participate in a group seminar on the subject of ‘American Civilization,’ and one Swedish researcher would receive a grant to study American literature, history and political science.8 It is thus clear that the Fulbright Program was used to further the establishment of American Studies in Sweden too. Yet another case where American hegemony was co-produced by key Swedish decision-makers. The usis Library had apparently also “contributed to the encouragement of American studies by consolidating its contacts with Stockholm’s teacher’s college.” Lists of books at the usis Library were made available to Swedish ­librarians through the Swedish Library Service [Svensk bibliotekstjänst] on a regular basis. The purpose of this arrangement was “to keep Swedish librarians aware of Agency approved books.”9 There are a few facts worth noting about these lists and the practices that produced them. The lists were the end result of a carefully organized examination program, where the usia screened a large number of books to select the ones deemed suitable, and safe, for foreign audiences to consume. Even though the blacklists of the early Eisenhower years were no longer in operation, this did not mean that the agency did not remove books that were judged politically undesirable. The pao officers and the librarians were allowed to order other books too “if they have a need for them,” although it goes without saying that most books on the shelves in the usis libraries around the world, and in Sweden as well, were books cleared by the u.s. government’s censors. Every year the usia examined about 8,000 books

8 ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Kstip usa, 1960–1963 juli. 6”; Vol. 810; Swedish Fubright Committee members to His Majesty the King, October 25, 1962, pp. 3–6. 9 nara ii; rg 59; bca; Country Assessment Report for 1959, Dec. 8, 1959, p. 22.

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in this way and only 1,500 or so were “finally recommended for the libraries, translation, and presentation to important foreigners.”10 By 1962 the usis relations with the Swedish educational sector were considered among the most favorable aspects of its activities in Sweden. One of the main tasks drawn up for 1962 was to exploit the gains made in stimulating the interest in American Studies, and to give sponsorship to the newly founded Nordic Association for American Studies, and the seminars and projects under its aegis.11 Lastly, the idea was to circulate book lockers containing high quality publications in Swedish schools, libraries, and institutions as a way of exploiting the heightened interest in American Studies. The third project was closely related to the latter point, namely to encourage American Studies at all levels of the Swedish educational system, and this point had a large number of programming activities attached to it. For example, the usis was to continue to encourage and assist the University of Uppsala in the fledgling American Studies program, which it was trying to get funding for from the Ford Foundation. The usis would continue to supply long-term deposits of usis films at 16 Swedish district school film libraries, and in this process cultivate contacts with the Audio-Visual Advisor at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs. The same Ministry was also to be assisted in locating suitable American speech consultants for the Ministry’s newly established program requiring increased study of American language and literature. If possible, these efforts were to be supplemented by travel grants to the u.s. At least one seminar for teachers and school administrators in American Studies should be arranged during 1962, in line with similar seminars evidently held in Uppsala, Lund, and Gothenburg, in 1959, 1960, and 1961 respectively. Furthermore, the usis should continue the practice of sending Swedish participants to such seminars in the other Nordic countries. Once again it was stressed that the activities of the Nordic Association for American Studies should be encouraged in cooperation with other usis posts in Northern Europe. The practice of assisting in the recruitment of visiting lecturers in American Studies at these four institutions of higher education was to be continued, as well as the support in the form of guidance and teaching materials given to the American lecturers teaching American literature at these universities, and also to the American language assistant at the Board of Education.12 10 11 12

Sorensen, T C., The Word War:…, p. 66. nara ii; rg 306; fsd; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, p. 4. Ibid., pp. 6–7. It is not known if the university got funding from the Ford Foundation, or, if they did, if such funds originated within the u.s. intelligence community (i.e. the cia).

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This focus on the Swedish educational arena is an understudied topic, so no one really knows how much of the increasing Americanization of the Swedish educational system is due to simply unavoidable cultural processes such as early globalization trends, or if a significant part of this development is connected to the usis’s propaganda activities in Sweden. However, what is clear is that the establishment of American Studies as a subject in Sweden was essentially wholly a product of the American propaganda effort. It is very hard to imagine that it would have come about otherwise. The educational system is basically at the heart of the nation-building process and absolutely central for forming the minds of a society’s new generations of citizens. Propaganda is of course the most crucial element used by governments in turning their young citizens into proper national subjects by establishing what they should know and why, and therefore the interference in this process by a foreign power can be a sensitive matter. This certainly seems to indicate that the Swedish government apparatus and educational institutions contributed actively and willingly to imbuing the Swedish educational system with American values, i.e. co-produced u.s. hegemony within the educational sphere. That the Ford Foundation, a known conduit for cia funding, apparently contributed money for the American Studies program at Uppsala University is also interesting, and deserves to be looked at more closely. The Swedish schools were featured in one of the chapters of Swedish socialist Göran Palm’s book Indoktrineringen i Sverige from the politically charged year of 1968. At that time, the Leftist counter-culture movement was at its peak in Sweden, and Palm’s book is interesting in several respects, only one of them being that he touches upon several themes that are also the themes in this book.13 In the chapter on Swedish school books entitled “Skolan och antikommunismen” [The School and the Anti-Communism], Palm argues that this literature, which was intended to educate Swedish children on the types of government in the world, and the countries that represent them, displayed an image that skewed the view of Communism (often portrayed by the Soviet Union) and Western democracy (often portrayed by the u.s.) in a way that constantly was to the detriment of the former and to the benefit of the latter. In the examples, u.s. foreign policy is invariably portrayed as good, progressive, and liberating and Soviet foreign policy as bad, regressive, and oppressive.14 Basically, all these examples are taken from books published in the early or mid-1960s, i.e. the period when the Country Report was written, and the time 13 14

Palm, G., Indoktrineringen i Sverige, pp. 24–66. Ibid., pp. 26–33.

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dealt with in a large part of this book. Palm of course does not go into the issue of whether some of these books might have been sponsored by the usis, or if the authors had based some of their statements on information materials from the usis, because he was most likely ignorant of most of the agency’s activities in this field. Palm’s book does demonstrate that the Swedish educational system was most likely a highly conducive environment for pro-American propaganda materials, however. The usis did not cause this environment, but it certainly exploited it to the fullest, and therefore arguably strengthened it.

American Lecturers in Sweden

An issue that has already been touched upon is the matter of how much of the usis’ activities the government was aware of, and how it viewed this propaganda work by a foreign power in Sweden. As must have become quite clear to anyone who has read to this point, the Swedish government knew about a lot of these activities, and even actively supported and, it seems, encouraged them. The 1959 Inspection Report mentioned that the Swedish government took care to balance the input into Swedish media from information services from both East and West.15 But can any evidence of this balancing be found in Swedish archives? Did the government try to supervise the activities of foreign information services? The answer is: to some degree, yes. In the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Information Division’s archive there are records designated “Foreign Nation’s Propaganda Activities in Sweden” and some of this information offers a unique view of the kind of activities the Swedish government found it important to keep tabs on. In this archive there are files for foreign lecturing activity and propaganda films during the period from 1953 to 1968, basically the whole period covered in this book. These records do not provide a chronology of all the use of Swedish communications media channels in Sweden, but they do target some important fields of American, and other foreign, propaganda activities. The difference in approach to lecturers and motion picture placement from the u.s. and the Soviet Bloc is especially interesting. By 1948, the Americans were already sending people to Sweden to lecture about different topics in various contexts. The first person in question was Professor Stanley T. Williams from Yale University, who came to lecture at Uppsala University financed by Gottesman Foundation. Williams lectured there 15

nara ii; rg 306; is; irrr, 1954–62; suk; Entry 1045; Box No. 9; “Inspection Report” from usis Sweden dated September 2, 1959, p. 15.

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on American 19th century literature during the whole spring semester.16 This exchange of lecturers, financed by the Gottesman Foundation, was being subjected to political censorship. In this case it was not the u.s. government that saw to it that persons considered unfit for political reasons did not partake, but a private foundation. An example of this kind of censorship occurred in late 1948, as the plans for next year’s Gottesman lecturer to Uppsala University were being discussed. The person suggested, Professor Merle Curti at the University of Wisconsin, was refused by the Gottesmans Foundation “because of Curti’s political views,” which were stated to be “far to the left.” So far, in fact, that the Foundation “did not consider him really ‘safe.’” The State Department, however, had not raised any objections to the choice of Curti. But since it was up to the Foundation to decide how its money was going to be spent, Curti was out. Instead the choice fell upon Professor Dexter Perkins at the University of Rochester, New York, a choice that the Gottesman Foundation supported without hesitation. In the same letter, the Royal Consulate of Sweden in New York City recommended the Headmaster at Uppsala University, Fredrik Berg, to invite Professor Edward S. Corwin from Princeton University to Uppsala for the spring semester of 1950, so that Corwin had plenty of time to arrange the trip.17 Letters of invitation were then sent to both these Professors before the end of 1948.18 Perkins accepted the invitation already a week later.19 In June 1949, the u.s. Office of Education contacted the Swedish Embassy and expressed a wish to establish an exchange of schoolteachers between Sweden and the u.s. Under this collaboration u.s. authorities would pick an American teacher from the old Swedish settlements in the mid-West with proficiency in the Swedish language. The Swedish Embassy answered that while these plans deserved to be investigated further, nothing concrete could be said at that time.20 The Board of Education gave a positive response to the ­American

16

17 18 19 20

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1947, Mars–Juni 1948 xii”; Vol. 855; Nylander to Uppsala University, January 1, 1948; Nylander to Rektor Magnificus Universitetet Uppsala, January 2, 1947. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Nylander to Rektor Magnificus Fredrik Berg, December 3, 1948, pp. 1–3. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Nylander to Perkins, December 21, 1948; Nylander to Corwin, December 21, 1948. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Perkins to Nylander, December 27, 1948. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Boheman to Undén, June 13, 1949, pp. 1–3.

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idea a month later, but stated that since the summer break had now begun, it was not possible to arrange an exchange for the fall semester of 1949.21 As it turned out, however, Professor Perkins’ Gottesman lectures at Uppsala University did not go as planned. The lectures apparently drew such small audiences that the Gottesman Foundation started to wonder whether their money was worth spending on scholarships to Sweden. Worries were also expressed from the Swedish side that the same situation might occur with Professor Corwin’s lectures. The idea was then put forward by Naboth Hedin, at the Swedish Consulate in New York, of splitting Corwin’s activity between Uppsala and Stockholm. This way a larger audience could be guaranteed, Hedin thought. It was also stated that the editor-in-chief of Dagens Nyheter, and former Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University, Herbert Tingsten, held Corwin in the highest regard, and therefore it was believed that Tingsten would whole-heartedly work for the realization of this plan. Tingsten could also draw even more people to the lecture through his newspaper, it was stated.22 The suggestion to split Corwin’s time between the two universities was approved by the u.s. Embassy in early August 1949, and the usis, too, felt that Corwin would “undoubtedly have a better following in Stockholm […] through professors Tingsten, Herlitz, Håstad, and Heckscher.”23 In the end, though, Corwin had to cancel the visit due to the fact that his wife had become very ill. The Consulate in New York recommended that perhaps the new candidate should be a representative of a subject other than History or Political Science, for example contemporary American literature.24 Tingsten would turn out to be an important ally of the u.s. during the following decades. As editor-in-chief of Dagens Nyheter from 1946 to 1959, he propagated for a closer Swedish relationship with the u.s. and his often sharp, but eloquent and witty, polemics drew admiration from supporters and opponents alike. Tingsten’s support for the u.s. in the Cold War struggle against Soviet Communism was always unwavering, and he was the only public intellectual to argue for a Swedish membership in the Western alliance nato. 21 22 23 24

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Karl Kärre to His Majesty the King, July 1, 1949, p. 1. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Memorandum by Tage Palm, June 9, 1949, p. 1. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Eric C. Bellquist to Henrik Ramel, August 3, 1949, pp. 1–2. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1948, Juli–Okt. 1949 xiii”; Vol. 855; Consulate General of Sweden in New York to Nylander, August 31, 1949, pp. 1–2; Corwin to Nylander, September 6, 1949.

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The admiration for the u.s. expressed by Tingsten went back a long time, all the way to the 1920s, and his dissertation in political science dealt with the American election system. For him, America was a true liberal utopia and he held it up as a rolemodel for the European nations. In 1947, he traveled in the u.s. and his published reflections from this trip gave his readers exactly this image. Nonetheless, Tingsten realized that the country he so much admired had its fair share of difficult problems. As for so many other Swedish observers, Tingsten regarded the systemetic discrimination and racism in the South as a huge flaw, but even so he remained hopeful that the liberal tradition in the u.s. would find a way to solve this problem within a not too distant future.25 Tingsten was also involved in the establishment of the CIA-financed, and controlled, Congress for Cultural Freedom (ccf), which was an organization for anti-communist intellectuals, as well as in the founding of its Swedish subbranch Svenska kommittén för kulturens frihet [The Swedish Committee for Cultural Freedom] (SKfKF) from 1950 and onwards, and even became a member of its International Secretariat that year. When the ccf officials were considering the formation of a sub-branch in Sweden in the early 1950s, it was Tingsten that they contacted to discuss the idea. Although he did not take a very active part in the ccf’s activities, Tingsten remained in contact with the ccf and the SKfKF well into the 1960s. He made Dagens Nyheter a forum for the SKfKF, published reviews of ccf conferences, and he wrote articles in various ccf journals. Tingsten also became a vocal proponent in Sweden of the so-called ‘end of ideology’ thesis (an idea that he himself had helped spawn already in the 1930s but that he began pushing again after his involvement with the ccf), which became the ccf’s main propaganda idea from the mid-1950s onwards. By the early 1960s, the ccf considered him to be its most valuable contact in Scandinavia.26 Here was thus an important liaison for the Americans. Another guest lecture was held by the Dean of the University of Chicago, Robert M. Hutchins, who came to Stockholm University, where he had been given an Honorary Doctorate degree the year before, in May 1950. Hutchins lectured on the themes ‘education’ and ‘America in the World’ at Stockholm 25 26

Blanck, D., “Svenska uppfattningar om usa…,” pp. 52–54. Nilsson, M., “The Editor and the cia: Herbert Tingsten and the Congress for Cultural Freedom—A Symbiotic Relationship” in European Review of History–Revue Europeenne d’historie, Vol. 18, Issue 2, April 2011, pp. 147–174). It should be pointed out that this article claims that Tingsten took part in two ccf conferences, one in Milan in 1955 and one in Berlin 1960, which he never actually attended. Tingsten was invited, accepted the invitation and was about to attend, but changed his mind at the last minute.

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University and Lund University between May 16 and 17. The Swedish Prime Minister, Tage Erlander, was also very interested in meeting Hutchins and attended a luncheon in Hutchins’ honor.27 During the 1950/51 academic year, Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Harvey J. Locke, was to teach sociology at Uppsala University.28 This was certainly an important step for the fledgling subject that had been more or less carbon copied from the u.s., with its first professorship created in 1947.29 Through visits such as Locke’s, sociology was provided with a firm grounding in Sweden, and it made sure that American scholars would be the dominant source of inspiration for aspiring Swedish sociologists. In October 1950 the Truman administration had asked Congress for a larger budget for information activities abroad, and this, wrote Tallroth at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, opened up new possibilities for inviting Swedes to the u.s., as well as sending Americans to lecture at Swedish universities. Tallroth had discussed the matter with a person in charge of the exchange program in the State Department, and the American had said that the State Department was counting on having a budget of $85,000 under the Smith-Mundt Act for activities in Sweden. This would basically double the amount of money available for this exchange program, and at the State Department they were hoping for even more the coming year. The program would involve scholarships for students, but also ‘exchange of leader and specialists,’ and Tallroth suggested that suitable persons for such a visit (which would last three months) would be Arne Lundberg of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the editor-in-chief of the Social Democratic newspaper Ny Tid. Tallroth stated that the current State Department plans envisaged inviting eight Swedes, primarily ‘labour leaders,’ teachers, some historians, and some journalists. Tallroth thought that the possibility of this exchange was great considering that Sweden was not yet part of the Fulbright exchange program.30 It is thus clear that the Americans were targeting Swedish Labour and leaders also with regard to this particular exchange program. Likewise, it is 27

28 29 30

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1949, Nov.–Sept. 1950 xiv”; Vol. 855; Stockholm University to Dag Hammarskjöld, March 22, 1950; Ramel to Rydberg, May 4, 1950; telegram from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the Embassy in Washington, March 24, 1950. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Embassy in Washington to Jödahl, September 27, 1950. Sörlin, S., De lärdas republik…, pp. 203–205. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Tallroth to Jödahl, October 12, 1950, pp. 1–2.

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obvious that the Swedish government was actively involved in the American plan to educate these key individuals about the benefits of Western values in general, and American values in particular. The co-production of u.s. hegemony in this instance thus took place at the highest levels of the Swedish government bureaucracy. The Social Democratic government was, through its Embassy in Washington, actively working with the u.s. State Department to propagandize members of its own Ministry for Foreign Affairs and newspapers. October 1950 was also the time when the Rockefeller Foundation decided to give grants to Swedish Historians of Literature, and the foundation had therefore awarded Professor Gunnar Tideström of Uppsala University $4,200 for an eight-month stay in the u.s. at Harvard University.31 Sociology was thus not the only subject that got its early inspirations from the u.s., and that continually followed the American path laid out before it. Economics in Sweden was another such subject, as shown previously. As early as 1919, the economist Johan Åkerman had spent a year at Harvard University, and three years later the future long-time leader of the People’s Party, Bertil Ohlin, did the same. By the 1930s, it was more or less mandatory for Swedish economists to travel to the u.s. to study. When economics was established as a subject at Uppsala University, Sune Carlsson (who was the first Professor to have earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1936) underlined the importance of his experiences in the u.s. when building up the department. Through the u.s. Information and Educational Exchange Act (Smith-Mundt) passed by Congress in 1948, the creation of transatlantic networks and exchanges became u.s. government policy.32 This was nothing less than official propaganda in the form of education and science. The Swedish Professor of Political Science, Olof Ruin, who himself has spent a lot of time in the u.s., published a book in 1994 in which he reflected upon what these exchanges and networks had meant for Swedish academic life. According to Ruin, it was the Swedish universities that was the best example of “a ‘conscious ‘americanization’ of Swedish societal life.’”33 This was not a process that was only one way, in the sense that the u.s. was the only part making its hegemony a reality. The Swedes were actively co-producing this dominant position, not least through institutions such as the private Sweden-America 31 32 33

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Tallroth to Jödahl, October 17, 1950. Blanck, D., “Amerikanska akademiska influenser i Sverige” [American Academic Influences in Sweden] in Åsard et al., (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 99–100. Quoted in ibid., p. 85.

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Foundation [Sverige-Amerika Stiftelsen] that had been founded already in 1919. This marked, as Dag Blanck has written, the beginning of the re-orientation from the German to the American academic sphere for Swedish scholars and scientists. This foundation was for more than 30 years the only organization on Swedish soil giving stipends to Swedes who wanted to go to the u.s. This naturally gave the Sweden-America Foundation a hugely dominant position. The Sweden-America Foundation was of course complemented by large foundations on the American side of the Atlantic, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American-Scandinavian Foundation. The importance of the hegemonic position of the u.s. in the postwar world is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that despite that the Sweden-America Foundation had existed since 1919, no less than 80 percent of all stipends was awarded ­between 1950 and 2006.34 April 1964 saw a new kind of grant being introduced on the Swedish scene. The usis wrote to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs asking for the government’s permission to award the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship to a Swedish citizen in 1965. The purposes of this fellowship were spelled out in the letter and were basically the same as for the Fulbright Program, i.e. to further the understanding of American culture and society, and to provide an opportunity to gain new knowledge in his or her particular field of expertise, so that they would be “better able to serve the interests of [their] country on [their] return home.” The u.s. Ambassador would appoint a selection committee consisting of three Swedes and two Americans.35 The Swedish government was very glad to approve this request.36

The Salzburg Seminar in American Studies

Then, in December 1950, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs received information about the February session of the American Studies seminar at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. Those eligible to apply were students who had finished their university degree, and were preferably no more than 35 years of age. For Sweden, two spots had been set aside, but one or even two more 34 35 36

Ibid., pp. 88–92. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1963 Aug.–1967. 7”; Vol. 811; Earl A. Dennis to Leif Leifland, April 22, 1964. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I14Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1963 Aug.–1967. 7”; Vol. 811; Leif Leifland to Earl A. Dennis, April 29, 1964.

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places could be made available to exceptionally talented students. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs was able to find two suitable persons, one of which did apply to the course. His name was Hans Sköld and he was working at the Legal Division at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the European Director for the Salzburg Seminar, Shepard Brooks, could happily inform Sköld two days after his application had reached Salzburg that he had been awarded a scholarship.37 At about the same time as Sköld got his positive news, disappointing information reached Tallroth regarding the possibility of establishing an exchange of schoolteachers between Sweden and the u.s. Apparently there was no room in the educational budget for this kind of endeavor, and even though there was an interest in going to America, there was also just as much, if not more, interest in visiting Britain and France, probably due to the traditional contacts between Sweden and these countries in the field of education.38 Sköld reported in a memorandum on his experiences in Salzburg when he got back from Austria in March 1951. While several lectures and seminars had been very good, Sköld also had some complaints. For example, the group of participants, which consisted of 45 persons between the ages of 20 and 40 from various European countries, was too heterogeneous. It included diplomatic officers, journalists, and other professional people on the one hand, and younger students on the other. This led to a split in the group and to an unfortunate philosophical discussion at the seminars without focus on real problems, according to Sköld. The accommodation at Leopoldskron also left a lot to be desired, he wrote. His recommendation was that if any other person from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs were to apply to the course in the future, it should be a younger diplomat who was perhaps to be sent to the u.s. or another English-speaking country.39 The other Swedish participant seems to have been the Aftonbladet journalist Jörel Sahlgren Oswald, who wrote an article about the seminar on February 27, 1951. The article repeated the common genesis story about the seminar, i.e. that it was founded by a group of Harvard students, and that the whole idea was to “keep all propaganda at a distance, lest the whole purpose 37

38 39

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Richard W.B. Lewis to Torsten Brandel, Decemmber 9, 1950; Brandel to Lewis, January 16, 1951; Sköld to Lewis, January 16, 1951; Shepard Brooks to Sköld, January 18, 1951. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Gunnar Granberg to Tallroth, January 31, 1951. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; “vpm ang. Kurs i internationell politik vid Salzburg Seminar i American Studies, Salzburg, Österrike, under tiden 7 februari—9 mars 1951” by Sköld, March 29, 1951, pp. 1–5.

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of the seminar would be corrupted.”40 The purpose of course was to spread propaganda, but a tacit form of propaganda under the guise of American Studies. Just a few weeks later, in April 1951, Brooks sent a brochure from the Salzburg Seminar for its summer courses that year. Brooks also stated that he hoped Sköld had enjoyed the seminar, and that Brandel at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs would give the Seminar some publicity and perhaps recommend Swedish diplomats to apply.41 Continuing on the science and academic track in its diplomacy, the u.s. established a Science Attaché at the u.s. Embassy in Stockholm in mid-June 1951. The purpose of this move was simply to establish a closer cooperation between Swedish and American scientists and create stronger bonds between these two groups.42 In the meantime the exchange visits between academics continued and in the fall of 1951, Elis Håstad, Gösta Netzén, and Ivar Harrie visited the u.s. for a few months of studies. Besides these Professors, the State Department had also invited a couple of Swedish teachers and two or three grantees, and a number of Swedish experts and groups were scheduled to arrive later.43 Håstad had, as already shown, been mentioned as a person who could provide support for the planned visit of Professor Corwin. The activities in Washington were thus quite intense. The Salzburg Seminar was not in fact the idealistic educational effort that the usia portrayed it as being. Instead, as has already been mentioned, it was the cultural and intellectual counterpart to the Marshall Plan. Günter Bischof has written that no other institution was of such profound importance for the Americanization of European intellectuals, and for the establishment of American Studies at European universities, as the Salzburg Seminar at Leopoldskron. The European Association of American Studies (eaas) even had its inaugural meeting there in 1954. It was an important card up the American sleeve in the diplomatic effort to establish u.s. cultural hegemony in Western Europe. The Seminar was indeed initiated by a group of Harvard students in 1947 against the backdrop 40

41 42 43

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; see news clipping “Internationell högskola,” February 27, 1950. “hålla all propaganda på avstånd, om inte hela syftet med seminariet skulle förfelas.” ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Brooks to Brandel, April 6, 1951. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Gunnar Hambraeus to Boheman, May 18, 1951, p. 1. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Tallroth to Jödahl, September 13, 1951, p. 1.

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of the burgeoning Cold War, but the u.s. intelligence community was also involved. One of the participants in the first seminar was an Austrian former oss collaborator by the name of Fritz Molden. Molden denounced the famous Harvard American Studies scholar Francis O. Matthiesen (who was on file at the fbi for his alleged communist sympathies since the 1930s), and the Austrian expatriate and co-founder of the seminar Clemens Heller, as socialist and communist/un-American respectively. As a result, Heller was denied a visa to go back to his homeland Austria for the second seminar in 1948 by the u.s. Army, and Matthiesen was so destroyed that he committed suicide in 1950. The seminar, writes Bischof, was “the grand central station of the intellectual Americanization of Europe.”44 The fact that the first seminar was “infiltrated by us agents,” as well as the denouncements, is used by Ali Fisher to argue that the u.s. intelligence community did not control the Salzburg Seminar.45 While this is of course partly true, it does at the same time play down the degree of control over the seminar that the u.s. government was trying to establish from day one. The political control of the seminar was made utterly obvious from the start when the secret service of the u.s. Army intervened after mild criticism of the u.s. had been uttered during the seminar’s first session in 1947. This led the organizers to quickly realize that “the free expression of ideas could not include openness to critical analysis of the United States […].” This control and ‘ideological conformity’ imposed on the seminar by the u.s. Army initially caused some uneasiness in the State Department, not least because the open debate climate in u.s. academic life was one of the things that very much impressed the European seminar participants. But even the State Department was forced to take the position that “‘universality would have to reflect American national values, and not the reverse.’”46 The idea was that the exchange programs behind the Salzburg Seminar, whereby Europeans and Americans intermingled, would lead to a spread of American cultural ideas, like ripples on the water through the networking of the former students. They would become ‘citizen-diplomats’ forwarding the American gospel to their fellow men (and women). The expectations were high and it was estimated that each participant would talk to approximately 44 Bischof, Günter, “Two Sides of the Coin: The Americanization of Austria and Austrian Anti-Americanism” in Alexander S. (ed.), The Americanization of Europe:…, pp. 159–162. For the fbi’s file on Matthiesen, see: Stonor Saunder, F., The Cultural Cold War…, pp. 52–53, 194. 45 Fisher, A, Collaborative Public Diplomacy…, p. 21. 46 Wagnleitner, R., Coca-Colonization and the Cold War:…, pp. 164–165.

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150 people about what they had learned in Salzburg. The result would presumably be that journalists reported more evenly and justly about the u.s., that politicians would take a less anti-American stance and join in the Cold War fight against the Soviet Union, that businessmen would bring the u.s. ‘politics of productivity’ back to their factories, and that educators at all levels would deliver the American intellectual message to their students. Bischof states that although the effects cannot be quantified “individual testimonials tell us again and again that it was enormous.”47 The impact in Sweden is equally hard to appreciate, but the number of participating Swedes at Leopoldskron was apparently quite high—almost 300 Swedish poets, politicians, economists, diplomats, and journalists took courses on American politics and society between 1947 and 1965, i.e. 16 people each year, a truly incredible number.48 This should at the very least tell us that the Seminar cannot have been a complete failure. It does indeed seem like the assumption that the minor flaws, complained about by Sköld, were later rectified is justified. About a year later, in May 1952, the pao at the u.s. Embassy sent Ole Jödahl at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs a list of the people to whom LeaderSpecialist grants, and other similar grants, had been awarded for 1952. The list included 21 names belonging to different categories such as: ‘Grants already awarded’; ‘Partial Grants’; ‘Full grants requested but not yet awarded’ (but soon to be); ‘1952 Teacher training program’; and ‘Students.’ Many interesting and influential names appear on this list, many of whom were among the elite of Swedish opinion-makers, including: Olof Sundell, President of the Swedish News Association tt and member of the Board of sr; Anders Pers, editorin-chief of Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (influential Liberal newspaper in Västerås); Harald Wigforss, assistant editor-in-chief of Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning (one of Sweden’s most influential Liberal newspapers, published in Gothenburg); Ivar Ivre, cultural editor of the Stockholm newspaper of lo; Herman Stolpe, director of the publishing house of the Cooperative Movement in Sweden (Kooperativa förbundet, kf); Sven-Arne Stahre, Director of abf. All of these were recipients of grants already awarded by May 1952. Partial grantees already awarded and accepted included: Roland Eiworth, producer-director at Radiotjänst; Bengt Plaijel, assistant manager of the Swedish-American News Exchange and editor of Musikrevy (a Scandinavian music journal). Full 47 48

Bischof, G., “Two Sides of the Coin:...”, p. 162. Ur USA-Krönikan, Number 34, September 9, 1965, p. 6. The article contains a note saying that those who are interested in the Seminar should contact that usis’ Press Section for more information.

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grants requested but not yet awarded included: Sigrid Ekendahl, trade union official and only woman member of the lo Board; Ragnar Edenman, UnderSecretary of the Ministry of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs; Paul Björck, editor-in-chief of Norrländska Socialdemokraten; Sven Aspling, Secretary General of the Swedish Social Democratic Party; Ingeborg Heintze, chief librarian in Malmö and member of the Library Board of the Royal Office of Education; Arthur Hald, editor-in-chief of two industrial arts publications in Sweden said to be “a prolific writer and lecturer and […] considered one of the most intelligent men in the field of industrial arts in this country”; Albert Eskeröd, Curator of Folklore at the Nordic Museum [Nordiska muséet] in Stockholm and eminent Ethnologist; as well as Eyvind Johnson, one of Sweden’s leading contemporary novelists “deeply engaged on the side of the West in the ideological East–west debate.”49 The last remark was no doubt connected with the fact that Johnson was engaged in the formation of a Swedish sub-branch of the ccf together with fellow-writers Ture Nerman, and Wilhelm Moberg. It deserves to be mentioned that out of the 16 grantees in 1952 that were part of the opinion-making group, three would soon be involved with this group, namely Eyvind Johnson, Herman Stolpe, and Harald Wigforss.50 Johnson had caused considerable controversy a year earlier, in the spring of 1951, when he in a speech to university students in Uppsala stated that even though the u.s. was not perfect it was the safe rock against which Sweden could (and should) lean, and he condemned all the Swedish intellectuals that did not take a clear stand for the u.s. in the Cold War.51 It turns out, however, even though Johnson was actually offered the grant by the State Department, he did not make use of it. In fact, he never set foot on American soil in his life. At least not as far as his daughter, Maria Ekman, is aware. Ekman did not know anything about Johnson being offered a grant either.52 This might make us question whether Johnson actually was offered the grant or if he was just on the list of potential candidates. But in fact it is known that he was awarded the grant, because Johnson mentioned this grant in a letter to Wilhelm Moberg in the fall of 1952. According to Johnson, he had received 49 50 51

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Albin E. Johnson to Ole Jödahl, May 20, 1952, pp. 1–3. Nilsson, M., Work in progress. Oredsson, Sverker, Svensk rädsla. Offentlig fruktan i Sverige under 1900-talets första hälft [Swedish Fear: Public Fear in Sweden During the First Half of the 20th Century] (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2001), p. 304. Email from Ekman to the author, 13 March, 2013.

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an “informal offer” from the State Department concerning a 120-day long trip, paid for by the u.s. government, and an additional $10 stipend per day. But Johnson was hesitant as to whether or not he should actually go. He wrote to Moberg that he had heard that the $10 would not cover the costs of living in the u.s. Although he could already go that fall, he stated that he did not dare to do so because of the American election campaign, the book he was writing, and the spiritual and mental stress that he would no doubt experience being new in the country and hardly knowing any English. He would, though, make an effort to go in the spring of 1953.53 One could easily imagine that the fact that Johnson did not speak English was a major factor in the decision not to take advantage of the State Department offer. There is nothing in the correspondence between Johnson and Moberg that indicates that the former travelled to the u.s. that spring or at a later time. Even so, the letter makes clear that Johnson was not at all, on principle or on political grounds, against going. Moberg is an excellent example of how many Swedish intellectuals had a complicated relationship with the u.s. On the one hand they idolized it, but on the other hand, they often demonized it too. Especially American popular and mass culture was the target of this type of criticism. Moberg concluded in Att upptäcka Amerika 1948–49 [To Discover America, 1948–49], in which he summarized his impressions from his travels in the u.s. that this particular side of American culture had sunken so low that no other culture could ever surpass its degenerating state. It was in Hollywood, Moberg said, that the really antiAmerican propaganda was produced and disseminated. Through it, all the deviations in American culture were magnified and then spread across the world in millions and millions of copies. Even in the u.s. this flawed image of the u.s. had now become confused with the truth.54 Moberg’s verdict was no doubt shared by many of the officials within the u.s. government in charge of propaganda activities, who desperately tried to purvey a positive image of the u.s. Among the five teachers to receive a grant were two involved in the teaching of English and two, Torsten Philipson and Sven Lagerstedt, members of the Royal School Board. Six students were also about to receive full grants for the 1952–53 academic year, and of these, three were to study subjects specifically connected to the u.s., namely American Literature, American Modern ­History and International Politics, and American Theatre.55 The visits of 53 54 55

snl; Vilhelm Mobergs Samling; L144:1A; Letter from Johnson to Moberg, 17 Sept. 1952, pp. 4–5. Lagerqvist, A., Amerikafantasier…, p. 162. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1950 Okt.–Sept. 1952. 15”; Vol. 856; Albin E. Johnson to Ole Jödahl, May 20, 1952, pp. 4–5.

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­ merican scholars in Sweden continued in 1953, and in March that year the A Swedish Embassy in Washington d.c. wrote to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to inform the government that the Dean of the University of California School of Business and Administration, Ewald T. Grether, had been appointed by the State Department to lecture at Stockholm University for two months during the spring semester of 1953. Nothing negative was said in the report regarding Grether’s visit.56 This can be contrasted with how the government dealt with a request in 1955 from the Social Institute at Stockholm University to invite a Hungarian psychiatrist and Director of a psychiatric polyclinic in Budapest, Ender Almássy, to lecture at the Social Institute. Professor Gunnar Heckscher, who had previously worked at the said institution, and who was now a member of the Fulbright Committee, had been asked to advise on the prudence of inviting Almássy to Sweden. Heckscher wrote to the Acting Chargé d’Affaires at the Swedish diplomatic post in Budapest, Östen Lundborg, to inquire whether the psychiatrist in question “could be regarded as a trustworthy person worth bringing here [to Sweden].” The reason for Heckscher’s inquiry was that it was “always a bit precarious with people from the East”, and he therefore wished to know “what reputation this Almássy has.”57 Whether or not the Hungarian was eventually invited or not is not known, but that is not really the point. The point is instead the great difference with which visits such as these were evaluated beforehand. In the American case there was no questioning of Grether’s trustworthiness or reputation. The fact that he was from the University of California was apparently enough. The same thing was apparent when in January 1956 a request was received from the Soviet Embassy in Stockholm to send a Russian scientist (a physicist) to Sweden to lecture on matters regarding atomic energy. The lecture was called ‘Classification of Particles,’ and it was noted that according to the state-owned atomic energy company ab Atomenergi, the lecture concerned “only basic science.”58 The last point seemed to indicate that the visit might be safe because there was no risk of overt Communist propaganda in the lecture. Although there were visits by Soviet lecturers on various subjects, 56

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G “Utländska föredrag och föreläsningar i Sverige, 1953– 1964” (henceforth: I2G); Vol. 364; Carl Douglas to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, March 31, 1953. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Gunnar Heckscher to Östen Lundborg, January 20, 1955. “kan anses vara en tillförlitlig person och värd att taga hit.”; “alltid en smula ömtåligt med personer österifrån”; “vilket anseende denne Almássy har.” ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Memorandum by Stig Rynell, January 12, 1956, p. 1.

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most often related, however, either to specifically Soviet subjects (such as Soviet economy or language) or to general scientific issues, these seem to have been very badly handled by the Soviets. The planning for them was often very poor, and complaints to this effect were presented from the Swedish Institute to the Swedish Embassy in Moscow in May 1966.59 The Salzburg Seminar in the spring of 1955 got at least one Swedish attendee, namely Torsten Hylander, another diplomat with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.60 The 1955 summer courses at Schloss Leopoldskron were attended by at least three Swedes. These were: Hubert de Besche (a diplomat who would later become Swedish Ambassador in Washington 1964–73), Curt Leijon, and judge [rådman] Anders Bruzelius from Lund. The latter had only positive things to say about the seminar that had dealt with the subject of ‘Institutional Framework of American Litigation.’61 The Salzburg seminar also provided the Ministry for Foreign Affairs with its course syllabus for the winter of 1956, and the Assistant Director of the Seminar, Robert O. Mead, was coming to Stockholm in October 1955 to interview prospective students at Hotel Malmen in Stockholm.62 An American Week was held in Malmö from July 1–8, 1956, featuring exhibits about American culture and politics as well as naval visits. It was the Southern Association of Journalists [Södra Journalistföreningen] that arranged the week in collaboration with the u.s. Embassy in Stockholm.63

Further Exchanges

The year 1955 was an eventful one for the usia and saw yet another large propaganda program initiated, namely a campaign called People-to-People. Essentially, this was an endeavor to make ordinary Americans act as Ambassadors for their country when traveling abroad. This, too, was a collaborative

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G “Utländska föredrag och föreläsningar i Sverige 1965–”; Vol. 364; Ahlström to Swedish Embassy in Moscow, May 26, 1966, pp. 1–2. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1952 Okt.–Mars 1956. 16”; Vol. 856; Norinder to Lundberg, ‘Hylander to Salzburg’, December 9, 1954; Adams to Hylander, December 10, 1954. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1952 Okt.–Mars 1956. 16”; Vol. 856; Bruzelius to Jarring, August 30, 1955. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1952 Okt.–Mars 1956. 16”; Vol. 856; Kollberg to Nyman, September 15, 1955; Mead to Alander, September 23, 1955. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 April.–15 Aug. 1956. 17”; Vol. 856; S.A. Johansson to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, April 18, 1956, p. 1.

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venture between private and public interests that included individuals and corporations, as well as non-profit groups.64 The People-to-People campaign was a part of this selective use of culture and cultural exchange that was formulated in close cooperation with private pr agencies in order to remake the image of the u.s. abroad. The aim was to turn America into a country associated with positive artistic, cultural, and material values and products. This demanded that ordinary American citizens should get involved in the government’s propaganda work, and the People-­ to-People program was the perfect way to make sure this was realized. The idea for this campaign apparently so caught Eisenhower’s imagination that he wished to lead the program personally—he allegedly also came up with the slogan. Thus the President issued a plea to the American people in the summer of 1955 to join him in the cause to create worldwide sympathy for u.s. foreign policy objectives and for an enduring peace. The People-to-People campaign was officially launched on November 11, 1956, at a White House reception party, and soon turned out to be a success. Before the year was over, 28 People-to-People committees covering such diverse themes as farming and sport had been formed by volunteering private organizations, and the Industrial Cooperation Council changed its name and became the Business Council for International Understanding, counting 50 companies in its membership. This latter organization arranged exhibits, screened films, and also held English classes. Yet another major initiative of the campaign was the collection of used textbooks that were then donated to people overseas.65 The People-to-People propaganda endeavor was a response to the increasing openness of the Soviet regime, which after Stalin’s death had immediately opted to loosen its grip on its citizens and to show a softer image to the rest of the world—to symbolically dismantle the Iron Curtain. Already in April 1953, the Soviet leadership started to grant American tourists visas, and all kinds of u.s. citizens traveled to the u.s.s.r. Communist participation in international trade fairs quadrupled after 1953, and in 1954 communist countries took part in no less than 60 such exhibitions in 26 different nations, a number that rose to 170 fairs in 45 countries the following year—the year when the Peopleto-People idea was born. All of this made it much harder for the Eisenhower administration to convince its own and foreign citizens that the Soviet Union was the monstrous creation it used to be. Eisenhower also had to battle ­Congress

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Belmonte, L., A., Selling the American Way:…, pp. 71–72. Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, p. 215; Cull, N., J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency:…, pp. 118–119.

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for appropriations for the cultural propaganda program. In late March 1955, he addressed Congress and urged that it should not slash the $88.5 million request for the usia’s budget, and stressed that the Soviets were spending more money on propaganda in Germany than the u.s. was worldwide—an alleged $2 billion. The new Soviet openness also clashed with u.s. visa rules for the citizens of the communist countries, which were much more restricted, and the u.s. now seemed to be the nation upholding the Iron Curtain. The situation was serving Soviet propaganda aims, and a few days after Eisenhower’s speech to the Congress the National Security Counsil advised the u.s. Attorney General to do something about the situation. Surely, foreign visitors to the u.s.s.r. were not free to go anywhere or do whatever they liked; the Kremlin authorities carefully circumscribed their freedom of movement. But the situation was no different for Soviet Bloc citizens visiting the u.s—in the u.s. too internal safeguards and short-term visas would guarantee the security of the u.s. Anyway, the threat posed by this Soviet cultural offensive was apparently construed to be so great that even a fiscally conservative Republican like Eisenhower thought it absolutely necessary to spend many millions of the American taxpayer’s money to counter it. The u.s., argued Eisenhower, had to show the rest of the world that it was a cultural and spiritual superpower, as well as a material and military one. This cultural offensive was unique in the American political experience, and nothing similar had been seen since the 1930s, when Roosevelt had created such a program (under the direction of Nelson Rockefeller) for Latin America to combat Nazi influence in the region. The rule adhered to by u.s. governments had otherwise been to keep its hands off this area, which had been left to private interests and non-profit groups. And even though the Fulbright and Smith-Mundt Acts had served to make cultural and educational exchange a permanent part of u.s. government activities, these efforts had at least officially been independent of government propaganda programs. This now became one and the same.66 As part of the People-to-People Program, a group of 50 American boys ­between the ages of 13 and 18 visited Sweden in the summer of 1956. These ‘Newsboys,’ newspaper distributors that had entered and won a contest for a trip to Europe arranged annually by Hearst-owned newspapers in the u.s., were part of what the Americans referred to as a Junior Diplomat program. This corresponded to the People-to-People Program’s idea that every person should be an Ambassador for the u.s. when traveling abroad. As well as m ­ eeting

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Osgood, K., Total Cold War…, pp. 216–219; Belmonte, L., A., Selling the American Way:…, pp. 67–68.

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Swedish boys of the same age, the American boys would also meet Prime Minister Erlander and the Swedish Ambassador to the u.s., Erik Boheman. The usia in Washington was also planning to use the boys for explicit propaganda purposes. Approximately 200 copies of the pamphlet Window to America, which the usia had “found to be very effective in correcting distorted views of the u.s. entertained by far too many of our overseas neighbors,” were sent to Europe with the boys. It was the hope of the usia that the Junior Diplomats would “be able to place them with friends they are certain to make during their tour of Sweden and Holland.” The trip, it was thought, was “truly an example of People-to-People Partnership at its best.”67 This is a good example of the fact that the usia did not avoid propagandizing even young foreigners or make propaganda disseminators out of unsuspecting young Americans. Well, they were certainly unsuspecting of the propagandistic nature of their visit, even though they had all received a letter from President Eisenhower before their trip telling them that the President was convinced that they would “do your best to cultivate the good will of the citizens of the countries you will visit. In so doing you will serve the causes of international peace and understanding.”68 No small words for an American teenage boy in the 1950s. This message was not really candid about the real purpose of the visit, however, because it is hard to see how world peace could be better secured by the Junior Diplomats’ trip to Sweden and Holland. Sweden and the Netherlands were not anti-American or hostile to the u.s. in any way. The trip would also be used to propagandize the American public, even though it was illegal for the usia to engage in such activities. A motion picture from the visit to Europe by these boys would be produced, and the usia wished to assist in making this film available to Sweden and Holland, but also for use “domestically to stimulate similar youth activities toward the creation of greater international understanding.”69 The movie was sent to the Swedes a little over a year later in October 1957.70 The visit resulted in a lot of press coverage both in the u.s. and in Sweden. The ‘newsboys’ also met the young Crown Prince Karl Gustaf (the 67

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ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 April.–15 Aug. 1956. 17”; Vol. 856; Backlund to Carl Albert Anderson, May 29, 1956, p. 1; Press release, July 16, 1956; M- Lorimer Moe to Arthur Settel, July 12, 1956. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 April.–15 Aug. 1956. 17”; Vol. 856; Eisenhower to the members of the Junior Diplomats, July 20, 1956. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 April.–15 Aug. 1956. 17”; Vol. 856; Moe to Settel, July 23, 1956. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 Aug.-1958, Maj. 18”; Vol. 857; Settel to B Sellden-Beer, October 22, 1957.

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current Swedish King, Karl xvi Gustaf), and issue No. 33 of the Swedish gossip journal Se in 1956 contained one photograph of the Crown Prince receiving a gift in the form of a cowboy outfit (complete with hat and two revolvers), and another large photograph of him dressed up in the costume with his hands on the pistols ready to draw them from their holsters.71 This experience must surely have made a deep and lasting impression on the future Monarch. Perhaps as a consequence of the successful visit by the ‘newsboys’ in 1956, the American Field Service for International Scholarships decided to send more teenage students to Sweden for the summer of 1957. The 37 students would live in Swedish homes, and in that way function as excellent propaganda disseminators for the American government.72 The year 1958 was the 175th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sweden and the u.s., and the usis celebrated this fact by launching a propaganda campaign in Sweden to mark the occasion. The theme of the project was “175 Years of Peace and Friendship” and would go on from April 3 until the end of the year. The project, wrote the usis, was suitable for “exploitation through exhibits, library and window displays, radio, tv, press, American Studies and English teaching in schools, club study programs, and lectures.” While the campaign was a usis initiative the agency hoped that organizations in Sweden would get involved, so that it could become a program consistent with the People-to-People concept. Organizations that the usis had in mind were the Vasa Order of America, the American Club of Stockholm, the American Woman’s Club, the Swedish Institute, the Swedish-American News Bureau (Exchange), the Swedish-American Society, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Swedish chapters of Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, and Odd Fellows. The usis also wished to establish a tie-in with the upcoming Minnesota Centennial, and to gain the cooperation of American firms operating in Sweden, as well as Swedish firms operating in the u.s., to make them use the 175th anniversary theme in their advertising, correspondence and stories in in-house organs. In addition, it wanted the usia’s assistance in putting together a ‘Friendship Kit’ for schools and study groups, material for magazine and newspaper features and radio and tv programs.73 In 1962 the Vasa Order 71 72 73

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 Aug.-1958, Maj. 18”; Vol. 857; press clippings. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 Aug.-1958, Maj. 18”; Vol. 857; Stephen Galatti to Boheman, June 6, 1957, p. 1. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1956 Aug.-1958, Maj. 18”; Vol. 857; Memorandum with copy of usis report to the usia in Washington, February 15, 1958, pp. 1–3.

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of America initiated a Sweden-America Day in Halmstad on the Swedish west coast, to be held annually on July 4, and the public interest in this day was allegedly still great in 1968.74 In December 1958, the Swedish Embassy in Washington wrote to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs regarding a lecture tour in Sweden describing the first Swedish settlements in North America, which had been undertaken that fall by Dr. Esther Meixner.75 Meixner herself had been in Sweden on numerous occasions, according to the National Association for the Preservation of Swedishness Abroad [Riksföreningen för svenskhetens bevarande i utlandet], e.g. she and a group of other American women had visited Sweden in 1956 (a visit that has left no trace in the archives).76 Then in 1959, the famous American economist John Kenneth Galbraith visited Sweden and lectured on the relations between economic policy and foreign policy. Galbraith had been invited by the Swedish Embassy in Washington and visited Sweden between May 31 and June 4. He took part in a luncheon hosted by Skandinaviska banken (the bank owned by the powerful banking family Wallenberg); lectured to prominent Swedish economists at Uppsala University; visited Prime Minister Erlander at his retreat at Harpsund near Stockholm; and then attended a corporate leader conference in the summer resort Tylösand, arranged by the business-friendly think-tank Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle (sns) [the Study Association for Business and Society]. At Harpsund, Galbraith also met with Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, Olof Palme, the editor-in-chief of Social Democratic newspaper Aftonbladet Kurt Samuelsson, and a young (and later very prominent) Social Democratic economist by the name of Assar Lindbäck. The previous day Galbraith had also met with the lo economists Rudolf Meidner and Gösta Rehn and the visit was on the whole considered “exceptionally successful.”77 74 75 76 77

Dagens Nyheter, “Sverige-USA i Halmstad,” June 28, 1968, p. 13. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Björn Ahlander to S. Backlund, December 18, 1958. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; “P.M. angående Riksföreningens kontakter med Doktor Esther Ch. Meixner, Philadelphia” by Åke Olauson, January, 1959, p. 1. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Kjell Öberg to S. Backlund, January 30, 1959; Öberg to Backlund, March 26, 1959; Backlund to Olof Palme, May 26, 1959; Backlund to Öberg, June 18, 1959. Quote from last document. “utomordentligt lyckat.” These two economists were the originators of one of the most famous economic models in modern Swedish history, the so-called ‘Rehn-Meidner Model.’ This model was developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and laid the foundation for the Social Democratic government’s official economic policies over the next three decades. The ‘Rehn-Meidner Model’ broke with the traditional Keynesian economic policies in suggesting an active labour

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Another prominent American that visited Sweden was the writer, critic, and theater specialist, John W. Gassner, who was Sterling Professor of Playwriting and Dramatic Literature at Yale University. Gassner visited Sweden in April 1962 and lectured on modern American drama.78 What all of the visits mentioned above had in common, however, was that none of them seem to have been initiated by the usis and there is nothing in the archive indicating that the usis was involved in them in any way. This suggests that there were also a sizeable number of lecture visits that took place outside the official propaganda activities of the usis in Stockholm. In the previous chapters the usis fy 1962 report, and the propaganda objectives it contained, have been referred to. There were specific projects and programming activities attached to each of the objectives intended to realize the latter. The fourth project designed to realize policy objective No. 1 is particularly relevant to the subject of this chapter, because it stated that the usis should provide continuing evidence “that American science is well prepared to support our role as a leading world power.”79 Note how instrumental the view of the role of American science was, and how nicely this too fits with the analytical framework of hegemony with its emphasis on reassuring the allies of the good intentions and capabilities of the hegemonic state. Achievements within the u.s. science community would be swiftly and accurately presented to the press, government, information sections at research institutions and university research laboratories. Especially important were achievements within the u.s. space program and the usis was going to stress that in a free society both successes and failures were frankly revealed to the public and to the world. The analysis of the content of Ur USA-Krönikan indicates that this project received a high priority during the 1960s since so many of the articles dealt with this subject. It was also said that the usis was going to utilize the many strong connections that existed between the research communities in the two nations with an emphasis on the areas of collaboration in fields closely related to u.s. foreign policy, such as atomic energy, instrumentation of space vehicles, weather research, et cetera. The last project intended to make the first policy

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market policy consisting of three elements in order to achieve the Social Democratic goal of full employment, low inflation, an equal distribution of incomes, and high growth of the economy. The three elements recommended by the Model were (1) a general policy to lessen demand, (2) a wage policy based on solidarity, and (3) an active labour market policy including efforts to ease adaptability and mobility in the labour market, and selective employment-creating measures. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Gunnar Jarring to Crafoord, June 26, 1961, p. 1. nara ii; rg 306; fsd; Box No. 4; fy 1962 Country Plan—Sweden, p. 5.

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objective come true was to make available publications and film presentations stressing the consistency of the development of American foreign policy to government, political party, and communications leaders. This implied that in its programming activities the usis should continue to make such materials available to influential groups in Sweden.80 One very interesting visit that also does not seem to have had any connection with the official American propaganda apparatus was the visit to Sweden in 1964 by an African-American by the name of James Meredith. Meredith had stood at the center of attention in the world media in October 1962 when he, as the first African-American student ever at the University of Mississippi, had to have the backup of thousands of federal troops as protection in order to exercise his constitutional right of higher education—an incident also reported in the Swedish media, e.g. Stockholms-Tidningen. At the Swedish Embassy in Washington it was thought that a number of Swedish organizations, in particular the Swedish Federation of Student Unions [Sveriges Förenade Studentkårer], would be interested in inviting Meredith, who also hoped to receive a stipend covering his travel and living expenses.81 Meredith himself had written to the Swedish Embassy asking if he could be invited to lecture in Sweden. Meredith wrote that after graduating from the University of Mississippi in August 1963, he had lectured frequently at colleges and universities as well as various educational, social, cultural, religious, civic, and humanitarian groups in the u.s. on matters of social justice and equality, racial conflict, and race relations. Meredith was planning to start his post-graduate studies at the University of Ibadan, in Ibadan, Nigeria, in September 1964, but in the meantime he hoped to visit various countries including Sweden. According to Meredith, during his “ordeal” at the University of Mississippi he had received thousands of letters from all over the world expressing “a very sincere concern for the racial crisis that exist in this country.” The letter was signed by Meredith with the added title “Crusader for Humanity.”82 Crusader for Humanity does 80 81

82

Ibid. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Nils-Gustav Hildeman to Leif Leifland, April 29, 1964. For examples of the media attention in Sweden, see: “Sydstatsguvernör trotsar öppet Kennedy,” September 27, 1962, p. 6, “Kennedy lät mobilisera nationalgardet i Mississippi,” “Skolan till reträtt ‘Inskrivning’ men ej på helgdagen,” “Exgeneral smädade domstolen” in Stockholms-Tidningen, October 1, 1962, p. 6. “Tegelstenar, buteljer och tårgas vapen i rasstriden. 4000 soldater förstärker polisen mot pöbeln,” “Whiskey-upproret blev prejudikat,” “Hårda straff för revolten,” “Socialt U-land,” in Stockholms-Tidningen, October 2, 1962, p. 6. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Meredith to Swedish Embassy in Washington, April 28, 1964, pp. 1–2.

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indeed sound a bit like President Eisenhower’s campaign Crusade for Freedom in support for rfe, but there is no indication that there was any official sanction behind Meredith’s offer.83 By 1965, an exchange of researchers on a fellowship basis between the Swedish Medical Research Council [Statens Medicinska Forskningsråd] and its corresponding American agency had also been operating for three years. Up until that point, four Swedish researchers had traveled to the u.s. every year, and two American researchers had come to Sweden for one year of paid research at some institution of their choice. Apparently, the agreement had been very rewarding for Swedish research in medicine. But in the spring of 1965, the Swedish Medical Research Council had received a request from its French counterpart, and even though such an agreement would in principle be of interest, said Professor K.G. Gustafson at the Council, it was now worrying that if it replied positively to this request it might become much harder to turn down requests from various countries that did not have much to offer Swedish medicinal researchers. The countries that Gustafson had in mind were Belgium and Czechoslovakia. Carl Gustaf von Platen at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs replied that it was totally up to the Council which countries it entered into agreements with, but remarked that the communist states tended to exaggerate the importance of such agreements for political purposes. Gustafson agreed with the latter statement and thanked von Platen for his advice.84 The State Department organized a lecturing program for the Chair of the History Department of the University of Minnesota, Harold C. Deutsch, in October 1966, under which Deutsch would lecture in Sweden between October 23 and 27. Olof Landenius at the Swedish Consulate in Minneapolis, who was a personal friend of Deutsch’s, recommended that the 60-year-old Professor of Contemporary European History should meet with Professor of history Sten Carlsson at Uppsala University, historian Nils Andrén at Stockholm University, and the Director of the Foreign Policy Institute [Utrikespolitiska institutet] in Stockholm.85 Another prominent American Professor, this time in 83

84 85

In 1966 Meredith was shot several times by a white racist during his solo 220-mile ‘March Against Fear’ from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. Incredibly, he survived. The intention of the march was to highlight the continuing racism in the South, something that could not have been more clearly illustrated than by the attempted assassination. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1965 Jan.–Dec. 23”; Vol. 859; Memorandum by von Platen, March 18, 1965. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Landenius to Lonaeus, September 14, 1966, pp. 1–2.

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­economics, Walter Heller, visited Sweden in 1967. Heller was one of the American opinion-makers given top priority by the Swedish Consulate in Minneapolis as he had been part of the Marshall Plan delegation to Germany in 1951 and the Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors 1961–1964. Another person suggested by the Consulate was the Mayor of Minneapolis, Arthur Naftalin, who had on several occasions expressed his desire to lecture at a Swedish university. Naftalin had also lectured at the American Studies seminar in Salzburg, Austria.86 At this point, however, the disapproval of the American war in Vietnam had increased in strength in Sweden, and Heller wrote to Landenius stating that he and his family were “somewhat concerned about the intensity of anti-­ American sentiments in Sweden. Has this reached a point where it might interfere with our enjoyment of travel and sightseeing in Sweden?”87 Landenius ­assumed that Heller was thinking about Bertrand Russell’s ‘Vietnam war crimes tribunal’ that had recently taken place in Stockholm. He assured Heller that the Swedish government had not been in favor of this tribunal, but “according to Swedish laws and practices, concerning freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, it was not possible to prevent the meeting from being held in Stockholm.” He also remarked that the anti-American feelings were confined within a very small section of the Swedish population, and assured Heller that this would in no way interfere with his plans for sightseeing.88 The Anti-Vietnam War sentiments do not seem to have presented a problem for Heller. But the protests against such official visits did incur some problems in other cases. For example, a planned lecture in Uppsala by the Head of the American oecd delegation in Paris was canceled by the u.s. Embassy to avoid another embarrassing incident, such as the protests that had taken place when the Director of the State Department’s Cultural Exchange Bureau lectured in Uppsala on October 16, 1967. The Embassy therefore advised official representatives of the u.s. government not to be seen in the open in Uppsala.89 Nonetheless, Embassy officials still lectured on various subjects at Swedish universities. In early April 1968, for example, the Embassy Secretary D.A. Bowen, Jr.,  lectured at the Student Union at Gothenburg University on the

86 87 88 89

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Landenius to Anders Pers, May 11, 1967, pp. 1–2. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Heller to Landenius, May 17, 1967. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Landenius to Heller, May 19, 1967. ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Memorandum by Leif Leifland, October 20, 1967.

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subject of ‘Alliance for Progress.’ Naturally, however, the local police had undertaken proper security arrangements.90 Before this chapter is summed up it is pertinent to underline that the academic exchanges, and the networks and experiences created through them, cannot be overrated in terms of what they meant for the Swedish scholars that took part in them. Many of them have testified to the immense importance the time spent studying in the u.s. had on their lives. They developed a strong sense of identification with the u.s. and the values it represented, and many of them claimed to have gained a new and lasting perspective on the world. These individuals then often came to position themselves in central roles in Swedish society, positions that allowed them to take active part in the thoroughgoing transformation of Swedish society during the postwar years. Herbert Tingsten and Gunnar Myrdal were just two of many Swedish scholars, engineers, and politicians to make this trip and to have a significant impact on Sweden afterwards. The fact that the time spent in the u.s. could have such a transformative effect on these men (for it was almost exclusively men that made these travels for a long time) is not strange when one considers that most of them were still quite young and impressionable when they made their first trip to the Western side of the Atlantic.91 The consequences of these exchanges are at the core of contemporary Sweden.

Change through Exchange: Enhancing the Westward Drift in Academia

An important aspect of the American propaganda campaign that targeted the Swedish educational system is the promotion of American Studies in Swedish primary schools and universities during the early 1960s. It has been revealed in this study that the usis’ activities were crucial in establishing this subject in Sweden; a fact that fits very well with what is known about the usis’ campaigns in other countries in the world. The usis used its contacts within the Swedish government and administrative bureaucracy in this process. In this way it managed to push its agenda in a manner that would have been impossible otherwise. There can be no doubt that the usis activities in this area was the main contributing factor behind the establishment of American Studies as an academic discipline in Sweden in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The 90 91

ra; ud 1920 års dossiersystem; I2G; Vol. 364; Memorandum by G. Bolin, April 3, 1968. Blanck, D., “Amerikanska akademiska influenser i Sverige” in Åsard et al., (eds.), Det blågula stjärnbaneret…, pp. 115–116.

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­evidence that the usis managed so to influence the Swedish educational system is quite astonishing and potentially disturbing, because it forces us to pose the question what other areas of our education have come about due to the intervention of foreign governments? Furthermore, one would also have to ask what the consequences of this meddling were, and continue to be, for the ideological and scientific development of a society? A particularly important role in this development was played by the American Studies seminar at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. Influential and talented Swedes were sent there on a scholarship to take part in a few weeks of carefully arranged intellectual discussions. The participants included diplomats as well as journalists and other opinion-makers. Well over 300 Swedes participated in these seminars during the period studied in this book. Although it is impossible to evaluate the exact consequences of these courses, it can be safely assumed that they were considered very important by both American and Swedish decision-makers alike. The seminars transferred values and ideas and established contact networks that were essential to the American propaganda campaign. Furthermore, the exchange of academics and scholars between Sweden and the u.s. took on an increasing significance during the late 1950s and early 1960s. As a central part of the Eisenhower administration’s Person-to-Person program, it was felt that personal experiences and bonds would form during the time that the participants would emerged in the host environment. Prominent American academics came to Sweden to lecture, and the Swedish government went to great lengths to co-produce u.s. hegemony in this field as well. This chapter has shown that it is hard to overestimate the importance of these exchanges for the re-orientation of Swedish academic and societal life during the postwar years. A majority of the central individuals involved in this development had spent time in the u.s. at some point, and had been deeply impressed by what they had experienced. It would not be to exaggerate to say that these exchanges were among the most effective propaganda tools available to the u.s. government. u.s. officials realized this fact of course, which is why it so frequently used them.

Conclusions: How the Swedish Hearts and Minds were Won by American Propagandists Before the actual summary and conclusion of this book, there is one question that may have lurked in the back of the reader’s mind while reading it that needs to be addressed. This question concerns a major objection that could be raised to the arguments made in this study, i.e. against the interpretation of American propaganda efforts as hegemony in the making. The objection is this: ‘sure the Americans were propagandizing the Swedes, but the Swedish government was propagandizing the Americans also. Every country propagandized other nations. What was the difference really?’ This objection seems to be a valid one. It is definitely true that the Swedish government was propagandizing the Americans too. This was done mainly through the Swedish Institute [Svenska Institutet], which was the usia’s counterpart, with offices in the u.s., and the Swedish-American News Exchange (sane), which was in a sense the counterpart to the usis’ news service.1 These organizations were constantly trying to sell Sweden to the Americans using many of the same tricks as the usis were using in Sweden, i.e. exhibitions, placing articles in the press, exchange of persons et cetera. The Swedish effort grew from a trickle in the late 1940s and 1950s to a veritable flood in the early 1960s with the launching of the Meet Modern Sweden campaign. This campaign stretched over several years, and was precipitated by the investigations of the so-called ‘The u.s.a. Committee 1957’ [USA-beredningen], which was a governmental committee appointed to create an efficient strategy for a Swedish propaganda offensive in the 1960s. The Meet Modern Sweden campaign was the result of the work done by this committee. So what was the difference compared to the American propaganda effort? Well, when one looks at, and compares, the two countries there are some differences that stand out more than others. The most significant, however, is that the American campaign was always highly political in both content and purpose. The aim was all along to change the political behavior and thinking of the Swedish elite and public, and to make the target audience view the u.s. as the unquestioned leader in world politics. All the material disseminated by 1 For much more on the Swedish Institute, see: Glover, Nikolas, National Relations: Public Diplomacy, National Identity, and the Swedish Institute 1945–1970 (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2011). Glover does not cover the Meet Modern Sweden campaign, but goes through many others.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���6 | doi 10.1163/9789004330597_009

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the usis in Sweden had this purpose, no matter if the material was technological, scientific, economic, cultural, or political in content. The point was to persuade the Swedes that u.s. domestic and foreign policy was progressive and good, both as an example for others and for the security and prosperity of other nations. The aims of the usis as expressed in the Country Plans always closely corresponded to what the concept of hegemony, as defined in this book, prescribes. This was not the case with Swedish propaganda in the u.s. Swedish propaganda of course never tried to make Sweden into a hegemonic state. There was no reason or motive to do this, and Sweden did not have the economic, political, military, and cultural clout to do it even if the Swedish government had wanted to. At first this may sound obvious, but the difference goes much deeper than that. When one compares the two nations’ strategies, it is striking that while the u.s. propaganda was overtly political, politics was conspicuously absent from the Swedish propaganda drive in the u.s. For example, foreign policy was completely missing from the Meet Modern Sweden campaign. Instead, the focus was more or less solely on economic aspects, and the campaign was overtly intended to make Swedish companies and Swedish-made goods more successful and more popular in the u.s.2 In fact, this point was stated explicitly in the protocol from the constituent meeting of the Advisory Committee for Information Activities in the u.s. [Rådgivande kommittén för upplysningsverksamheten i Förenta Staterna] in Washington on October 5 and 6, 1966. The protocol stated that while cultural and political information was often intertwined, had the same overarching purpose, and could hardly be separated “during the last years the need for political information activities has decreased in comparison to the time immediately after the Second World War, while the need for commercial information has increased.”3 The same is stressed in the memoirs of the Swedish Ambassador to the u.s. 1958–1964, Gunnar Jarring, in a chapter called “Information Diplomacy” [Informationsdiplomati].4 Although Jarring also writes that the difference between neutrality and neutralism was an issue he had to deal with as an Ambassador, this seems to have been something that was dealt with mostly

2 For this point see: ra; Kommittéarkiv; “USA-beredningen 1957”; Vol. 1–7. 3 ra; 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1966–1967 mars. 24”; Vol. 859; “Protokoll från konstituerande mötet för rådgivande kommittén för upplysningsverksamhet i Förenta Staterna,” October 5 and 6, 1966, p. 3. 4 Jarring, Gunnar, Rikets förhållande till främmande makt. Memoarer 1952–1964 [The Country’s Relations to Foreign Powers: Memoirs, 1952–1964] (Stockholm: Bonniers, 1983), pp. 176–187.

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on a personal basis in the Ambassador’s lectures and personal meetings.5 But foreign policy was not part of the four main purposes of the centralized ­official propaganda campaign that was launched in the u.s. in the end of 1962 and the beginning of 1963. These were instead: (1) to increase Swedish exports to the u.s., (2) to increase the stream of American tourists to Sweden, (3) to ­increase the cultural exchange between Sweden and the u.s., and (4) to ­increase the ­understanding for Sweden in America and increase American goodwill ­towards Sweden. According to Jarring the campaign contributed substantially towards these goals.6 This view is furthermore supported by Allan Kastrup’s Med Sverige i Amerika [With Sweden in America]. A few exceptions in the late 1940s and early 1950s aside, when Swedish foreign policy was indeed a sizeable part of sane’s output,7 Swedish information activities in the u.s. focused on other things.8 sane’s economic bulletin seems to have been especially successful, and Kastrup stresses that the economy was also in focus during the sek 6 million Meet Modern Sweden campaign in the mid-1960s. This tendency also continued in the 1970s, according to Kastrup.9 The latter was himself for many years ­involved in the Swedish propaganda campaign in the u.s. From 1946 to 1964 he was the Director of sane, and he was also a member of the Advisory Committee for Information Activities in the u.s. 1964–1966.10 In July 1966, the Swedish u.s.a. Campaign and sane seized to exist as independent agencies and were transferred to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Information Bureau. The offices of the America Campaign in New York were transformed into the Swedish Information Service.11 In this sense then there was a major difference in both aim and scope between the American and Swedish propaganda activities. The American propaganda effort also seems to have been much better coordinated, with much more clearly defined purposes and goals, and more sophistication in how these aims were to be achieved. The American propaganda was truly hegemonic in 5 6 7

Ibid., pp. 178–180. Ibid., pp. 182–184. Kastrup, Allan, Med Sverige i Amerika. Opinioner, stämningar och upplysningsarbete—en rapport av Allan Kastrup [With Sweden in America: Opinions, Attitudes, and Information Activities—A Report by Allan Kastrup] (Malmö: Corona, 1985), pp. 177–183, 216–219. 8 Ibid., pp. 131–319. 9 Ibid., pp. 140–145, 298–306, 308–311, 322. 10 Ibid. 11 ra; 1920 års dossiersystem; I16Ua “Övr Kult Sam usa, 1966–1967 mars. 24”; Vol. 859; “P.M. om informationsaktiviteterna på Nordamerika 1966/67 och 1967/68,” February 9, 1967 p. 1. See also: Kastrup, A., Med Sverige i Amerika…, p. 310.

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both content and aim. With that said, the real topic of this chapter can now be returned to, i.e. to present a summary and some conclusions built upon the previous six empirical chapters. Jessica C.E. Gienow-Hecht has argued in a relatively recent article that “the Cold War’s influence on European culture was more qualitative than quantitative: it shaped existing disputes and developments more than it inspired new trends.”12 To this some important qualifications need to be added, if we are going to be able to take it seriously. By important qualifications is meant the following: firstly, while it is true that the u.s. would of course have disseminated propaganda in Sweden even if there had been no Cold War, its efforts would not have been nearly as thoroughgoing. Secondly, American propaganda would certainly not have had the particular content it had if there had not been a power struggle against Communism lurking in the background (and at times openly in the foreground as well). Nor would the themes of popular culture representations in this period have been so satiated with the themes of destruction, espionage, or epics of history and fantasy.13 In this sense, the Cold War most certainly added new qualitative aspects (or trends, if you will) too, even internationally. Moreover, it is of course impossible to say with any degree of certainty what the world would have looked like if the Cold War had not developed after 1945. Even for the many areas in culture, ideology, politics, and the economy where trends were already visible well before World War ii, it would be quite pretentious to pretend to know what these would have led to without the superpower rivalry. I therefore do not agree with Rob Kroes when he writes that Americanization is sometimes blamed for things that would have happened “even in the absense of America.”14 Or more precisely, it is certainly true that agency on the part of the u.s. government is claimed in cases where this is not warranted. But to formulate it like Kroes does here, is simply not a good way to convey this point. The reason is that it is impossible to tell what would have happened in the absence of America. In fact, the entire question seems speculative to the point of being pointless. The Cold War shaped and influenced more or less

12 13

14

Gienow-Hecht, J.C.E., “Culture and the Cold War in Europe” in M.P. Leffler and O.A. Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Cold War, Vol. i…, p. 399. For the point of these themes’ importance in popular culture during the Cold War, see: Cull, N.J., “Reading, viewing, and tuning in to the Cold War” in M.P. Leffler and O.A. Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Cold War, Vol. ii…, pp. 445–455. Kroes, Rob, “American Empire and Cultural Imperialism: A View from the Receiving End” in Diplomatic History, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 1999), pp. 463–477; quote on p. 464.

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every aspect of life. Perhaps Gienow-Hecht is right, but the answer will never be known. Instead, hindsighted contrafactual predictions should be toned down (or left out all together), and concentration should be turned to analyzing what actually took place. That is what this book has tried to do. This has been a study contributing to the understanding of u.s. propaganda in a Western European ‘neutral’ state during the Cold War. As such, the investigation has revealed a lot of things that were largely unknown to scholars of the Cold War, both in Sweden and in other countries. Not only had the usis’ activities in Sweden not been studied before, but the micro-level approach has also contributed much to the understanding of the workings of American propaganda internationally. Our knowledge about the usia’s campaigns would benefit significantly from more studies of usia activities in so-called ‘neutral’ states so that comparative conclusions could be drawn on a broader basis. What the usia’s propaganda campaign looked like in Switzerland and Austria during this same period? So what has then been revealed in this book? Well, it has shown how the hegemonic policy objectives of the usia were realized on the ground through the usis officers’ contacts with influential Swedish opinion makers, journalists, editors, labour union and employer organization representatives, politicians and so on. The usis news bulletin Ur USA-Krönikan was one of the main channels through which the usis interacted with the Swedish press and ­influential people in Swedish society. This was not a one-way process, but one in which the Swedes were actively taking part; a process that has been called co-production of hegemony in this book. The policy objectives were several, and differed somewhat over time, but the focus on projecting American hegemony was obvious all through the 1950s and 1960s. For example, the aim of the usis activities in 1959 was “[t]o portray u.s. foreign policy objectives in such a way as to identify them with the aspirations of the Swedish people and thus stimulate greater confidence in the u.s. as a leader in international affairs.” This is almost a textbook definition of what the goal of hegemonic policy is all about. The Swedes were supposed to give their consent to u.s. hegemony in world ­affairs willingly, perhaps even to wish for it to come true, and to see u.s. interests as their own interests. In order to realize this aim the usis provided the Swedish press with ­articles about u.s. domestic and foreign policy, cultural matters, economics, and science and technology (as well as matters that were sorted under the heading ‘miscellaneous’). The hope was that these newspapers would include these ­articles in their reporting about the u.s., and in this way spread a positive ­image of America in Sweden. The effort to get Swedish newspapers to use the material was very successful, even though not much can be said about the effects of this

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propaganda, on the readers, from the empirical evidence. It is obvious, however, that many newspapers in Sweden used the usis material on a weekly basis. What all these cases had in common was that these articles were never accredited to the usis. In the absolute majority of cases they were not given a source at all. In other words, these articles were grey-washed by Swedish journalists and editors. This means that they were transformed from white propaganda, which they were when the usis sent the news bulletin to the editorial offices (the source was then known to everyone), into grey propaganda where  the source was hidden from the consumer. The reason for using the word ‘washing’ in this context may seem strange at first, but in fact it makes perfect sense. What happened was that the articles were washed clean of the tainting effect that the usis as a stated source would have had on the article in the reader’s eyes. As already stated, not a single case of white propaganda, i.e. where the usis was credited with having supplied the information in question, has been discovered in the five newspapers investigated. On the contrary, several cases where these articles had been given false sources, even though they were ad verbatim copies of the articles in the bulletin, were found. In these cases the articles were protrayed as being either the product of the newspapers themselves, or as coming from another news agency, such as tt. In this way, white propaganda was turned into black propaganda (i.e. where the origin was hidden from the readers)—a process called black-washing here. The important point here is that the process of turning white propaganda into grey or black propaganda denied the readers the possibility of protecting themselves from undue influences by a foreign power. There was simply no way for the reading public to know that the articles it was consuming was carefully crafted propaganda designed to elicit a particular response from it. The Americans did not force these articles upon the Swedish journalists and newspaper editors who used them. On many occasions the Swedes seem to have actively requested the material. The processes of grey-washing and blackwashing was something that was undertaken voluntarily by Swedish newspapers and news agencies (although some form of tacit understanding probably underpinned it), and it is therefore a solid example of co-production of u.s. hegemony in Sweden during the Cold War. It is worth pointing out that a similar practice has not been identified in any other case. In the Finnish case, for example, it is not known how these articles were treated, because no systematic study of this particular aspect of usia’s propaganda activities in Finland has been made. The articles published by the Swedish newspapers often looked like ordinary news articles. This shows us that an analysis of content only, or a simple

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discourse analysis, cannot tell us anything about that particular text’s usefulness as an ideological weapon in a war of propaganda. When assessing a message’s propagandistic value one always has to include the agenda and objectives of the entity where this message originated. Propaganda will only rarely have an overt propagandistic tone of voice. In most cases, propaganda will actually portray itself as an objective description of reality, and it is important to learn how to discriminate between what is and what is not propaganda in a democratic society. This requires a lot of background knowledge and awareness on the part of the reader. We have also seen that the use of the usis bulletin was dictated to a large degree by the size of the newspaper in question, and not so much by its political leaning. The smaller newspapers published in the smaller towns, and in the countryside, were far more likely to use the articles than were the larger big city newspapers. The largest papers, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, appear to have used this material only on a few occasions every year. The explanation for this difference is most likely that the large newspapers had their own reporters in the u.s., and thus had little need for ready-made articles served to them by the usis in Stockholm. This is not to say that these newspapers’ readers were not consuming American propaganda, however. Many of the themes that these newspapers reported on were based on information from other official u.s. sources, such as nasa in the case of the space race, that were at least as much a part of an official propaganda campaign as the usis material was. Critical reporting was not really in vogue during these decades, so one should perhaps not be surprised by the rather gullible way in which official material was used by journalists. The usis never seems to have considered it a problem that the large newspapers did not use its material. This indicates that the ideological stance of these newspapers was already deemed to be in line with the propaganda that the usis was disseminating. We also know from usis reports from Stockholm to Washington that their bulletins on many occasions formed the basis for editorials in several sympathizing newspapers. It is hard to evaluate the frequency of these ­practices, however, because they have left no discernible traces in the newspapers in question (or at least it would be a very strenuous and tenuous process to try and find out). This was hence yet another way for the usis to get its message out there, and to affect the unwitting Swedish public. This type of black-washing was even more dishonest than the one already discussed, because in this case usis material was used to construct the most personal pages of the newspapers in question, i.e. the editorial pages. The readers definitely did not expect any of the material in these pages to be carefully crafted propaganda provided by a foreign government.

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The connection to Sweden’s security policy, i.e. the policy of neutrality, is quite obvious: it can certainly be argued that the credibility of this policy was being actively undermined by the newspapers’ grey-washing and black-­ washing of the American propaganda material. Here Swedish newspaper editors and journalists were co-producing u.s. hegemony by deceiving their own readers. By furthering the propagandistic aims of one side in the Cold War, it was made glaringly obvious to observers from the other side of the conflict where the Swedish press stood. Whether these opinion-makers were knowingly doing this with the intention of increasing American ideological influence in Sweden is not really the point. Effect is more important than purpose in this case. However, it is very difficult to imagine that so many actors could produce the exact same result purely by chance. Some sort of tacit (or ­otherwise) ­understanding between the Swedish newspapers and the usis surely must have been in place for them all to exclude the usis as a source. The other major way in which the u.s. government tried to affect the sentiments and attitudes of the Swedish public was by penetration of the Swedish working class through its labour unions and associated organizations. In Sweden this mainly meant lo and abf, but the labour-owned newspapers were also specifically targeted in this campaign. Here, too, the book has revealed a lot that was previously unknown. The usis seems to have been very successful in penetrating these organizations. A large part of the reason for this success was, again, that the usis found a willing target audience. The usis had no problem establishing close contacts with key individuals in the Swedish labour unions, to arrange lectures, lecture to study groups, and more. One of the most important individuals in this case was Arne Geijer, the lo chairman. Geijer was a personal friend of the American Ambassador in Stockholm, Graham Parsons, and they met on several occasions. When the Americans had a problem, e.g. with the reporting in a labour newspaper, Parsons went to Geijer to do damage control. Sometimes the Americans even went straight to the newspaper in question, by-passing Geijer entirely. lo and abf were organizations tied to the Social Democratic Party, and the latter was fiercly anti-communist. This book has provided several examples of when the Americans interfered directly in the reporting of Swedish newspapers. In the case of Aftonbladet the reporting on Cuba ‘improved,’ in American eyes, after complaints had been delivered to the labour leadership. In another case the editor-in-chief of Stockholms-Tidningen, Victor Vinde, apologized to the usis after Geijer had lambasted him for an article about u.s. policies towards the same country. On this occasion Parsons directly influenced Geijer’s actions. The case of StockholmsTidningen is of importance for another reason as well, namely that there is evidence that American complaints about it, and about Vinde, may have

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contributed to the Geijer’s decision to first fire Vinde as editor-in-chief in 1964, and then to close the newspaper down in 1966. The study of this affair has shown that both the lo leadership and the government considered StockholmsTidningen and Vinde a political embarrassment, and that the decision to close it down may not have been motivated entirely by economic concerns. A case where the usis made a serious effort to affect the voting pattern of the ­communists in southwestern Sweden has also been shown. Once again, the American activities, and the response of the lo leadership, had effects for the policy of neutrality. What Stockholms-Tidningen was doing was in fact to express a different view on u.s. foreign policy than what was commonplace. This, one would think, could be seen as a healthy fact in a democratic society, which normally professes to value a plurality of opinion. But in this case, and in most other cases in this book as well, the Americans did their best to silence any diverging opinions in the Swedish press, and the lo leadership in fact assisted the Americans in their efforts to censor unwanted opinions in the Swedish media landscape. The usis apparently considered all expressions of views that were positive towards u.s. foreign policy as being ‘neutral,’ i.e. as in being objective reporting of the facts. Therefore, newspapers that were not toeing the u.s. line were interpreted as being biased (and thus non-neutral). The usis also targeted the Swedish state radio and television networks sr and svt. The potential for propagandizing the Swedish public through these channels were much greater than through the press, simply because the latter was much more diversified than the former. In Sweden there was only one radio network, and only one tv channel, during these years so any material placed there would be seen by a lot of people. Moreover, since Swedish Public Service had as its task to be objective, and to serve the public’s best interest, it goes without saying that the confidence in sr and svt programming was very high. This book has revealed that the usis managed to place a lot of programs on svt, even dispite svt’s disinclination to use overtly political programs. usis officials also managed to established personal contacts in the highest echelons of the sr/svt leadership. One such person was the Program Director at svt, Nils-Erik Bæhrendtz, who turned out to be a valuable contact for the Americans. In 1962, these contacts culminated in a decision by the svt board to convince the Swedish public that it belonged to the West. This was a continuation of an old policy within sr that was now extended to cover svt also. According to this policy, communists would be given as little space as possible in the network’s programming. Another aspect of American propaganda in Sweden that this book has addressed is the penetration of Swedish universities. The u.s. military ­

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s­ ponsored research in the natural sciences with tens of millions of Swedish kronor—this was no small sum at the time, equivalent of hundreds of millions of kronor today. During the 1950s, and at least the first half of the 1960s, the u.s. military appears to have been the single largest sponsor of such research in Sweden. A small network of elite scientists received large sums from the Americans, with the government’s tacit knowledge. Once this was exposed by the Social Democratic newspaper Aftonbladet in 1968, the government lied to the Swedish public and said it did not know about it. The government even conducted an investigation into the matter, headed by none other than Olof Palme, which concluded that none of the research paid for by American military funds had any ‘immediate’ military application. The matter was thereafter forgotten about. This conclusion, however, was an over-simplification at best, but one that was made necessary by this affair’s potentially negative consequences for the credibility of the Swedish policy of neutrality. The u.s. military did not sponsor research in other countries simply out of the goodness of their hearts. Exactly how the results of the research were used in this case is unknown, but that is not really the point here. There were clear implications for Swedish security policy in this case, even though the government (and others) tried their best to deny it. The Director of foa, Martin Ferm, was very clear about the fact that funding for research from the u.s. military posed a clear threat to the credibility of Sweden’s policy of neutrality. It is not hard to understand why the government would want to say otherwise of course. It was their job to protect the credibility of this policy, and from that perspective lying about the true state of affairs was perfectly reasonable. After all, the credibility of the policy of neutrality depended less on what actually went on than on what was believed by other powers. Protecting this credibility was thus a propaganda goal in itself. The government, however, found itself caught in a dilemma that it had itself constructed. This neutrality paradox was a consequence of the close and secret military cooperation between Sweden and the u.s. that had been built up ever since the early 1950s. Within the framework of this cooperation, huge industrial and scientific collaborative schemes had been established. The lines had clearly been blurred, and perhaps the government really did not have all the facts. More important here though is the fact that this was taking place under the osp, which was a nato undertaking to out-source R&D and manufacturing of hardware to the member states. Sweden was a part of the osp in other ways as well, as I have previously shown, but the funding of research made Swedish scientists and universities, too, a part of nato’s infrastructure in Western Europe. This is no small thing. It changes the role of Sweden in the Cold War as we know it. It also had important effects at the universities domestically.

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The money helped build the careers of several top scientists in Sweden, and it would certainly be very interesting to look deeper into this issue to find out exactly how much u.s. military funding affected the scientific landscape in Sweden during the Cold War. This is a subject that has been almost entirely neglected in Swedish Cold War research. Then there were the exchanges of people undertaken by the Fulbright Program, and other similar programs. These were essential for introducing American culture to individual Swedes. While the Fulbright exchanges concentrated in some sense on building elite academic networks, other exchanges targeted ordinary citizens, youths, labour leaders, and so on. The Fulbright Program is extra interesting because of the connections to the field of security policy, and the secret military cooperation between Sweden and the u.s. It turns out that Sweden became eligible for the Fulbright Program in early 1952, just after Sweden had been given the green light for purchases of u.s. military hardware through the mdaa. This agreement had come about after Sweden had agreed to partake in the Marshall Plan build-up of Western Europe, as well as tacitly agreed to abide by the CoCom emargo. Sweden’s inclusion in the Fulbright exchanges, which were badly sought after by the Swedish government, was a corollary to this, and, in essence, a hegemonic reward from the u.s. to Sweden. It was a sign that Sweden had done what was expected of it. The Fulbright grantees went on to fill important posts in Swedish political life, industry and business, and government bureaucracy. Another major success for the usis in Sweden was the establishment of American Studies at Swedish universities. This was something that the usis had lobbied for during a long time, and in the early 1960s this goal was reached. There can be no doubt that it is highly unlikely that American Studies would have been established at that time if the usis had not had this as a central propaganda goal. Well over 300 Swedes also took part in the so-called Salzburg Seminar in American Studies in Austria. The usis gave stipends to Swedish diplomats, journalists, and students to attend these courses. The usis considered this effort to have been very successful. Another aspect of this was the practice of bringing renowned American academics to Sweden to lecture at Swedish universities. Considering that the Salzburg Seminar has been called ‘an intellectual Marshall Plan’, the task of which was to build networks and a common understanding (i.e. a positive view of the u.s.) between European and American intellectuals, this puts the participation of Swedish opinionmakers, journalists, and diplomats at the Seminar right in the center of the intellectual Cold War struggle between the East and the West. It seems obvious that the propaganda that the usis was conducting in Sweden cannot be called defined as ‘agitational.’ Never did the usis employ

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propaganda in order to stir the Swedish populace into action (much less violent action). Instead, the Americans employed propaganda designed to confirm, but also deepen, the ideological commitment of the Swedish people to policies and ideas in agreement with those preferred by the u.s. government. This has been characterized as “the penetration of an ideology by means of its sociological context. […] Through the medium of economic and political structures a certain ideology is established, which leads to the active participation of the masses and the adaptation of individuals.” The usis propaganda was precisely so diffuse and lacking in catchphrases. Instead, it was: […] based on a general climate, an atmosphere that influences people imperceptibly without having the appearance of propaganda; it gets to man through his customs, through his most unconscious habits. It creates new habits in him; it is a sort of persuasion from within.15 This ‘general climate’ was the idea that Sweden was part of the Western world with all that this entailed in unspoken (and sometimes outspoken) assumptions about common ideological, economic, historical, cultural, and religious heritage and practices. In this way the Soviet Bloc, and Communism in general, was carefully and silently defined as ‘the other,’ which did not measure up to ‘the way of the West.’ This type of propaganda, perhaps the most characteristic of modern civilization, was in essense a ‘propaganda of conformity’ that aspired to ensure “adherence to a society’s truths and behavioral patterns.” Ellul states that this kind of propaganda needs to be a more or less permanent feature in society if it is to have the desired effect, and the non-stop activities of the usis in Stockholm surely did live up to this aspiration. Through its propaganda the usis tried “rationalizing [the] existing situation [and aimed] at stabilizing the social body, at unifying and reinforcing it.”16 Since the transmission of the propagandistic message took place between the members of Swedish society it was not obviously pushed upon the people from above. This does not mean that the power base in Swedish society was not involved in creating what Ellul has called ‘orthopraxy,’ i.e. the kind of actions that seemingly by themselves lead directly to a goal, “which for the individual [was] not a conscious and intentional objective to be attained, but which [was] considered such by the propagandist.”17 15 16 17

Ellul, J., Propaganda…, pp. 63–64. Ibid., pp. 74–75. Ibid., p. 27.

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Thus, the Americans got plenty of help in their propaganda effort from the Swedish media elite; from newspaper editors, opinion-makers, and television executives; from the Swedish Union Movement, via study circles in the abf and through the lo newspapers and their leadership. The propaganda disseminated through the Swedish media then spread horizontally through ­society by word-of-mouth, as of course did the propaganda circulated through the workers’ study circles, and lectures conducted by the usis’ representatives. More importantly, the Swedish schools and universities were also targeted and also collaborated willingly in this propaganda offensive. This cooperation took place both at a bureaucratic level, in the various ministries handling issues ­regarding education in Sweden, and at an individual level, where scientists and academics co-produced u.s. hegemony. This, too, is an excellent example of what Ellul meant when he said that a target audience needs to be mentally preconditioned in order to be receptible to a propaganda message. This is illustrated best by examples of when the usis approach did not work as intended. Because the story of American propaganda in Sweden is not, despite its at times overwhelming efforts, a story of complete u.s. control over the minds of Swedish intellectuals, opinion-makers, and the general public. It was not a complete success. As Gienow-Hecht, Ali Fisher, and many others, have remarked: the peoples exposed to the propaganda activities of both superpowers “chose a process of cultural adaptation and rejection.”18 This investigation largely confirms this picture. The Swedish consumers of the American propaganda chose to accept certain aspects of this offensive and to reject others. What is being talked about here is of course the American war in Vietnam and the oppression of the African-American minority in the u.s. With regard to these subjects the Swedish populace was in general not preconditioned in a way that could make them assimilate the message that the Americans wanted them to. The discrepancy between the Swedish and American view was simply too great for a consensus view to be established. Instead, the propaganda created what could perhaps be best described as a cognitive dissonance between the Swedish target audience and the Americans. But it is also important to add to this caveat that the inability of the Americans to purvey their message was not something that was in any way unique to Sweden. Instead, this was something that was part of an international trend of radicalization of political life and culture during the latter half of the 1960s, as more and more colonized peoples rose up against their European masters; a trend that no doubt was to a large part fueled by the Vietnam War and the atrocities that was committed there by 18

Gienow-Hecht, J.C.E., “Culture and the Cold War in Europe” in M.P. Leffler and O.A. Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Cold War, Vol. i…, p. 418.

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American and South Vietnamese forces and by the backing by Washington of the brutal South Vietnamese dictatorship. But the negative reactions to America’s policies in South-East Asia did not translate into a negative feeling about the u.s. in general, in other areas of politics, economics, and culture. This book seems to support this latter conclusion. There was a strange parallel here to how the Swedish official criticism of u.s. policies in Vietnam did not markedly, if at all, affect the secret military cooperation between the two countries. Hence, it would be reasonable to assume that while the issues of Vietnam and civil rights created ripples on the surface with regard to both spheres, the strong current underneath the surface were moving forward as resolutely as ever before. The Swedes have generally been very positive towards the u.s., and still are, even though complaints about certain aspects of the u.s. have also always been present. Such complaints were often brought about by the feeling that the u.s., as a relatively young nation, was lacking in depth and sophistication in its cultural life. The idea that the u.s. did not have ‘high culture’ worth mentioning is still a dominating idea in Europe, and it was an issue that the usia wrestled with against its Soviet adversary throughout the Cold War. On the other side of this cultural coin is the American popular and consumer culture which celebrated almost unimaginable victories all around the world, but most definitely in Western Europe after 1945. The u.s. did make an effort to change this view in Sweden during the period studied in this book. Many artists and groups, symphony orchestras, dance performers et cetera were sent to Sweden in the course of fighting the cultural Cold War against the Soviet Union. It is clear, however, that the u.s. put the focus of its propaganda efforts elsewhere; in other fields where it thought it had a more clear advantage. A set of larger and much broader questions now arises, questions that cannot be answered in this book, but which can still be shed at least some light on through educated guesswork and some speculation. These are: What was the final result of the usis’ propaganda activities in Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s? How did this propaganda tie into the larger process of Americanization of Sweden during the same period? How did the propaganda affect the readers of e.g. Swedish newspapers more directly in their view of the u.s., the Soviet Union, Communism, et cetera, and their attitude towards the Cold War conflict in general? Allowing for some speculateion, it could be said that the slow, but steady and careful, exposure to these propaganda messages did color many Swedes’ perception of the u.s. and helped cement the view of the u.s. as a responsible superpower with legitimate claims to power and influence in Western Europe, and perhaps also elsewhere in the world. How much of this was a ­consequence

Conclusions

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of the usis’ propaganda that has been traced in this book is hard to say, ­although it is safe to assume that this particular kind of propaganda played a rather minor role in that particular process. However, as a means for providing a continuous base for this development of Americanization, and for an unremittingly positive image of the u.s. in Sweden, this propaganda did play a large role. Naturally, there was much more grey-washing and black-washing of usis propaganda in the press than what has been uncovered here, and future research may uncover similar practices in other countries as well. The Swedish public’s attitude towards the u.s. was important also for the secret military collaboration, although the latter had its own logic (this point is perhaps best illustrated by the diplomatic freeze of 1972–1974 when diplomatic relations were cut down to a minimum while the military cooperation continued more or less unabated). The propaganda activities of the usis could definitely be said to have been the other side of the security collaboration coin. But for the Americans, who saw Sweden as an important factor for the defense of Scandinavia, a Swedish public that was positive towards the u.s. was important. The military side of Swedish-American relations functioned more smoothly if the Swedish public was friendly towards the u.s., and such a people could no doubt be considered more dependable in wartime too. It was a matter for Swedish opinion-makers, in collaboration with the usis, to see to it that such attitudes predominated in Sweden during this period. The fact that the u.s. was seen in a positive light as the natural leader of the so-called Free World, would no doubt have been important if a crisis had occurred, and if the Swedish military, which was based on universal conscription, would have been called upon to cooperate with u.s. and/or nato forces. In this sense, the usis’ propaganda, and the co-producing Swedish opinionmakers and policy-makers, were engaged in something much more significant than simply making the Swedish public view American scientific endevours in a favorable light. The deeper point was to establish ideological affinity ­between the Swedish public and the u.s. This book has shown that this ideological ­affinity, or ‘orthopraxy,’ between Sweden and the u.s. was in no sense left to chance, or to develop on its own. The u.s. government was very committed to establishing, and maintaining, this affinity through the usis’ propaganda activities in Sweden during the Cold War years. Such affinity would have gone a long way, had war come and the Cold War turned into a hot one. Fortunately, it did not come to that, so the effectiveness of the propaganda campaign that has been uncovered in this book did not have to be tested under those conditions.

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Aftonbladet Arbetarbladet Arbetet Bohusläningen Borlänge Tidning Dagens Nyheter Kalmar Läns Tidning Norra Skåne Norrköpings Tidningar Norrländska socialdemokraten Norrskensflamman

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Other

Palme, Olof, “Swedish-American Relations” in Sture Lindmark and Tore Tallroth (eds.), Swedes Looking West: Aspects on Swedish-American Relations (Stockholm: Stockholm Chamber of Commerce & Timbro, 1983). Svenska Tidningsartiklar, Årg. 13/1965. Törnqvist, Kurt, “Opinion 78. En opinionsundersökning hösten 1978” [Opinion 78: An Opinon Poll in the Fall of 1978] in Psykologiskt försvar, No. 92 (Stockholm: Beredskapsnämnden för psykologiskt försvar, 1978). Vedung, Evert, “American Political Science: A Swedish Import” in Sture Lindmark and Tore Tallroth (eds.), Swedes Looking West: Aspects on Swedish-American Relations (Stockholm: Stockholm Chamber of Commerce & Timbro, 1983).

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Interview with Lars Starkerud, January 26, 2010 (notes from the interview in the author’s possession). Comment by Olof Santesson at a lecture by the author at the Swedish National Defense College, February 26, 2009.



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Index ab Atomenergi 265, 268, 290 abb. See asea Brown Boveri abf. See Arbetarnas bildningsförbund Academic exchange 206, 269, 271–302 acls. See American Council of Learned Societies Active foreign policy 5, 5n12 Adult education 54, 59, 60, 61, 147 aec. See Atomic Energy Commission Afghanistan 20 afl-cio. See American Federation of LaborCongress of Industrial Organizations (afl-cio) Africa 18n51, 118, 124, 263 African-American 7, 44, 119, 121, 124, 125, 145, 148, 154, 196, 298, 315 Aftonbladet 67, 68, 70n12, 71, 71n13, 14, 72n17, 73n20–22, 74, 74n24, 75n25, 26, 77n30, 78, 79, 79n36, 81n42, 84n50, 87, 95, 99, 107, 126, 141, 174, 178, 206, 231, 232, 232n94, 233, 233n95, 97, 98, 234, 234n99–101, 235, 236, 238, 239, 242, 246, 248, 249, 251, 253, 259, 269, 284, 296, 310, 312 Agrell, Wilhelm 3, 235n104, 258n170, 265n186 Ahlmark, Per 85, 86, 86n57, 58, 99, 99n101 Åhman, Sven 116, 116n20 Åhman, Tor 46 A is for Atom 268 Åkerman, Johan 282 Åkers Runö 56 Aktuellt 100, 188 Algeria 83, 84 Allen, George 34 Alliance for Progress 301 Alliance-free 59, 181 Almássy, Ender 290, 290n57 Alsterdal, Alvar 38, 39, 46, 46n51, 48, 51, 51n69–71, 52n72–75, 97 Alvin Ailey Dance Theater 226 American Ballet Theatre 224 American civilization 62, 274 American Club 55, 213, 295 American Club of Stockholm 55, 219 American Communist Party 90 American Council of Learned Societies (acls) 273

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (afl-cio)  89–93, 93n83 American Field Service 55, 219, 295 American Field Service for International Scholarships 295 Americanization 9, 9n18, 20, 21, 17, 17n50, 44n45, 49, 113, 138, 204, 205n2, 210, 214n35, 215, 215n38, 230n90, 91, 273n4, 276, 282, 306, 317 American language assistant 59, 273–275 American lecturers 216, 275, 277–283 American literature 58, 59, 273–275, 279, 289 American National Science Foundation 233 American National Student Association 143 American (television) programs 179 American propaganda 24–66, 109–169, 170–204, 205–270, 271–302 American-Scandinavian Foundation 55, 283 American South 44, 115–117, 122, 127n50 American studies 13, 13n39, 44n45, 142–144, 217, 271–302 American University 253n153, 255 American Women’s Club 55 An American Dilemma 44, 219, 221 Andersson, Sven 231 Andrén, Nils 219 Anti-American 9n21, 85, 98, 98n96, 125, 134, 136, 136n70, 138n75, 286n44, 287, 289, 294, 300 Anti-communist/Anti-communism 26, 31, 49, 60, 63–66, 91, 92, 97, 129, 161, 162, 280, 310 Anti-Vietnam 53, 136, 138, 138n75, 219, 300 A-Pressen 71n15, 74, 74n23, 77, 87, 90, 108 Arbeiterbladet 125 Arbetarbladet 238, 238n11 Arbetarnas bildningsförbund 54 Arbetarnytt från U.S.A. 30 Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek 8 Arbetsmarknadsstyrelsen 112 Archie Shepp Quartet 227 Arnér, Sivar 96 Arvidsson, Håkan 163, 164, 164n129, 130, 166 Åsard, Erik 9n21, 173

Index asea Brown Boveri 215 Asia 18n51, 51, 252, 263, 316 Aspling, Sven 288 Assessment report 35, 58, 76, 110, 184 Atlantic 59, 198, 214, 283, 301 Atomic bomb 7, 264, 267, 268 Atomic Energy Commission (aec) 260 Atomic weapons 7, 85, 258n170, 263, 264 Atoms for Peace 259–268 Att upptäcka Amerika 1948–49 289 Austria 5, 9n19, 11, 42, 134, 142, 207, 208, 232, 284, 286, 286n44, 300, 302, 307, 313 Bæhrendtz, Nils-Erik 179, 185–187, 189, 191, 193, 193n74, 194, 194n75, 195, 195n78, 79, 81, 311 Baez, Joan 138 Balkans 117 Ballet U.S.A. 224 Baltic 3, 60, 62, 66, 266 Bamford, James 46n53 Barometern 129 Barroll, Lawrence S. 210 Båth, Markus 245, 246 bbc. See British Broadcasting Corporation (bbc) Bedell Smith, Walter 25 Beijing 194 Belfrage, Leif 94, 217, 241n122 Belfrage, Sally 49 Belgium 208n12, 232, 239, 299 Belmonte, Laura 9n19, 10, 10n29, 28n10, 29n12, 15, 260n75, 263n180, 292n64, 293n66 Beredskapsnämnden för psykologiskt ­försvar 238, 239n113 Berg, Fredrik 278, 278n17 Berkener, Lloyd 25 Berlin 25, 48, 63, 91, 92, 92n80, 142, 161, 177, 178, 180, 280n26 Berlin Crisis 177 Berlin Wall 161 Bernays, Edward 11n41, 15, 17, 162 Birkagårdens folkhögskola 60 Birmingham, Alabama 61, 121, 193, 194 Bischof, Günter 285, 286, 286n44, 287 Bjelvenstam, Bo 178 Björck, Paul 184n48, 288 Björnberg, Arne 87 Black New World 228

341 Black propaganda 18, 29, 160, 162, 308 Black-washing 13, 142, 156–163, 169, 308, 317 Blanck, Dag 9n21, 22, 36n30, 37n30, 90n71, 113, 113n11, 12, 114n17, 174, 174n12, 179n39, 205n2, 212, 212n28, 29, 213, 213n31, 33, 214, 214n35, 216n39, 273n4, 6, 280n25, 282n32, 283, 301n91 Block, Eva 76n27, 79n34, 98n95, 116n20, 126, 126n47, 127 Blomkvist, Pär 215n37 Board of Education 59, 93, 125, 198, 273–275, 278 Bodde, William Jr. 53, 53n77, 54 Bofors 3 Boheman, Erik 97, 278n20, 285n42, 294, 295n72 Bonanza. See Bröderna Cartwright Bonbright, James Cowles Hart 115n18, 241n122, 243 Bonnier family 68, 87 Borås Tidning 129 Borlänge Tidning 100n103, 129, 145, 145n95, 146n96, 148, 149, 149n101, 154, 158, 158n118, 119, 159, 159n121 Boston Symphony Orchestra 223 Boston University 61 Bowen Jr., D. A. 300 Bowles, Edward L. 256 Brandt, Willy 177, 177n26 Bratt, Peter 88 Bringmark, Gösta 38, 39, 39n34, 40, 40n36, 43, 44, 44n44, 45, 45n48, 46, 46n50, 48, 49, 49n64, 50, 97 Britain 3, 11n33, 42, 43, 135, 165, 183, 284 British. See Britain British Broadcasting Corporation (bbc) 72, 186, 187 British Information Service 132 Broadcasting 28, 171–173, 183, 186, 200 Bröderna Cartwright 183 Brooklyn 53 Brosarps Station 241 Brown, Irving 90–93 Brown vs. Board of Education 119, 125 Brunnsvik 56 Brussels 5n11, 91, 122, 123, 232, 239, 242, 247 Bruzelius, Anders 291, 291n61 Budapest 290 Burleson, Dyrol 114 Burma 208, 208n12

342 Business Council for International Understanding 292 Butterworth, W. William 208, 208n13 Byrnes, James F. 117 Cairo 194 California Youth Symphony Orchestra 229 Capitalism 25, 33, 37, 118, 259 Caribbean 118 Carlson, Lawrence O. 174 Carlsson, Ingvar 219 Carlsson, Sten 299 Carlsson, Sune 282 Carlsson, Torbjörn 89 Castro, Fidel 39, 79, 80, 157, 157n115, 158n116 cbs. See Columbia Broadcasting System (cbs) ccf. See Congress for Cultural Freedom (ccf) cenis. See Center for International Studies (cenis) Censorship 11, 102, 107, 188, 190, 258, 278 Center for International Studie (cenis) 252 Centralförbundet Folk & Försvar 87 Central Intelligence Agency (cia) 8, 18, 25, 26, 29, 29n13, 82, 83, 87–93, 280 cern 257 Chalmers Technical University 244, 249 Chicago School 219 China 105, 110, 127, 178 Chomsky, Noam 14n41, 138, 250n147 cia. See Central Intelligence Agency (cia) Cincinnati Conservatory of Music 226 Citizen diplomacy 271 Citizen-diplomats 286 Civil rights 7, 42, 115, 119, 119n27, 120, 124, 125, 194, 195, 272, 316 Civil Rights Act 119 Clausen, Clarence 210 Clausewitz, Carl von 191 Cleveland Orchestra 226 Clinton, Bill 28 cnrs 257 CoCom. See Coordinating Committee (CoCom) Columbia Broadcasting System (cbs) 42, 172, 172n5, 195 Columbia University 98, 219, 242n125, 255

Index Communism 1, 26, 30, 31, 37, 60, 63, 65, 80, 87–93, 88, 91, 92, 109, 118, 162, 181, 184–192, 195, 203, 276, 306, 314, 316 Communist. See Communism Communist Party 49, 52, 63, 90, 167, 190, 191 Congress 8, 42, 60, 91, 92, 101, 104, 115n18, 137n72, 145, 154, 158, 280–282, 292, 293 Congress for Cultural Freedom (ccf) 60, 91, 91n78, 280, 280n26 Consent (to U.S. hegemony) 6, 14n41, 20, 22, 24, 36, 107, 180, 185, 202, 207, 216, 240, 248, 268, 269, 307 Conservative Press Agency 110 Coordinating Committee (CoCom) 2, 207, 209, 221n57, 222n57, 269, 313 Co-production of hegemony 13, 22, 307 Corwin, Edward S. 278, 278n18, 279, 279n24, 285 Costs 55, 106, 107, 198, 202, 202n103, 217, 218, 289 Country Plan 35, 57, 58, 59n88, 60n91, 62n97, 63n101, 110n4, 134, 172, 180n42, 182n44, 192, 200, 202, 275n11, 298n80 Cramér, C. Harald 211, 218 Credibility (of the policy of neutrality). See Policy of neutrality Critics 32, 42, 53, 102, 122, 123, 139n77, 174, 183, 230 Crusade for Freedom 299 Cuba 39, 78–84, 107, 136, 157, 185, 310 Cuban Missile Crisis 81, 82 Cullberg Ballet 228, 229 Cull, Nicholas 9n19, 10, 10n28, 25, 25n3, 27n8, 29n15, 41, 42n39, 45, 45n49, 63n100, 64n103, 81n41, 82n47, 83n48, 124n41, 125n45, 172n4, 195n77, 229n89, 261n176, 262, 263, 263n180, 292n65, 306n13 Cultural. See Culture Cultural imperialism 9n23, 50, 50n68, 113n14, 223, 306n14 Culture 1, 6, 9n19, 20, 14n41, 17, 21, 25n3, 27, 28, 49–51, 55, 58, 60, 113, 135, 152, 159, 164–167, 170, 173, 174, 177, 178, 188, 204, 211, 222–231, 266, 271, 272, 276, 289, 291, 292, 306, 306n12, 315n18 Cumings, Bruce 256, 256n163 Cumming, Isabel 175, 175n17 Curti, Merle 278

Index Cutler, Robert 25 Czechoslovakia 167, 299 Dagens Nyheter 42, 46, 50, 56, 69, 84, 85, 85n54, 86, 97, 99, 105–107, 112, 116n20, 126, 127n49, 138, 148, 149, 154–156, 168, 175n19, 176n20, 176n21, 176n22, 178n29–34, 188, 188n61, 190, 203n105, 235, 236, 236n105, 237, 238, 249, 259, 279, 280, 296, 309, 179n35–38 Datasaab 222n57 de Besche, Hubert 241n123, 291 de Gaulle, Charles 77 Delson, Jeffrey 229 Denmark 1, 3, 64, 66, 128, 266, 273n7 Department of Defense (dod) 127 Department of State’s Special Cultural Presentation Program 224 Deutsch, Harold C. 299 Disneyland 178 Documantaries. See Documentary Documentary 14, 28, 39, 42, 59, 112, 120, 171, 195, 201 DoD. See Department of Defense (dod) Doel, Ronald E. 150, 150n104 Domestic policy 4, 66, 134, 147, 148, 163, 166, 167 Domino Theory 126 Dramaten 224 Dulles, Allen 25, 34, 77, 122 Dulles, John Foster 16n46, 120, 260 Dylan, Bob 138 eaas. See European Association of American Studies (eaas) Eastern Bloc 135, 163 Eastern Europe 2, 2n4, 82, 143, 164, 207, 209 Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra 182, 225 Economist 44, 137n72, 182, 220, 252, 296 Edenman, Ragnar 288 Edström, J. Sigfrid 215 Education 5, 9n21, 39, 54, 58–61, 91, 93, 114, 119, 121, 125, 136, 143, 145, 147, 171, 197–199, 206, 207n9, 210, 213, 214n35, 217, 254, 274, 275, 280, 298, 302, 315 Educational exchange. See Exchange programs

343 Eisenhower, Dwight D. 16n46, 25, 25n5, 119–121, 123, 151n105, 177, 179, 259–264, 274, 283, 292–294, 302 Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship 283 Eiworth, Roland 287 Ekendahl, Sigrid 57, 288 Eklund, Sigvard 265, 266 Ekman, Maria 288, 288n52 Electrolux 215 Elgemyr, Göran 190, 190n66 Ellul, Jacques 14n41, 15, 15n44, 37n31, 113, 132, 314, 314n15, 315 Emory University Glee Club 227 Empire by invitation 20, 20n55 End of ideology 280 English 18, 28, 30, 31, 36, 41, 55, 58–60, 62, 111, 134, 146, 147, 176, 180, 193, 210, 212, 220, 222, 273, 274, 284, 289, 292, 295 English education 58 Engström, Arne 244 Enköpingsposten 129 Erlander, Tage 90, 96, 98, 102, 112, 133, 190, 232, 264, 281, 294, 296 Eskeröd, Albert 288 Euler, Ulf von 233, 242 European Association of American Studies (eaas) 285 European Broadcasting Union 176 European Recovery Program. See Marshall Plan Exchange programs 28, 58, 64, 111, 143n87, 172, 205, 206, 208, 210n19, 211, 216, 217, 269, 281, 286 Exportrådet 142 Expressen 69, 95 Fackföreningsrörelsen 36, 37 Falköpings Tidning 129 Fant, Gunnar 232, 233, 235–237, 247, 247n142, 248n143, 249, 259 Faubus, Orval 120 fbi 116, 124, 286 fcda. See Federal Civil Defense Administration (fcda) Federal Civil Defense Administration (fcda) 262 Feminism 51 Ferm, Martin 234, 312

344 Fields, Marek 11, 11n33, 12, 13, 35, 54, 59, 139, 139n78, 140, 161, 162, 162n126, 127 Films 28, 31, 32, 41, 50, 59, 62, 65, 110, 112, 132, 170, 172, 176–180, 186, 187, 193, 195, 197, 198, 198n90, 199–201, 203, 211, 230n91, 262, 275, 277, 292 Financing 29, 171, 206, 210n19, 217, 238, 247, 268–270 Finland 5, 11, 11n33, 12, 33, 59, 124, 124n42, 128, 140, 161, 162, 232, 308 Finnish. See Finland Finnish Social Democratic Party, (au: Not Found) First World War 173, 212, 219 Fisher, Ali 13, 13n39, 144, 144n89, 272n3, 286, 286n45, 315 Fjæstad, Maja 265, 265n186, 266n188 foa. See Försvarets forskningsanstalt (foa) foia. See Freedom of Information Act (foia) Folket i Bild/Kulturfront 88 Folkparkernas centralorganisation 227 Folkpartiet. See People’s Party Fonda, Jane 138 Ford Foundation 143, 143n85, 252, 257, 275, 275n12, 276, 283 Foreign Affairs 7n16, 33, 36, 40, 41, 48, 77, 78, 217, 218n51, 299, 305 Foreign policy 4n9, 5, 5n12, 7, 9, 9n19, 10n30, 11n31, 17, 21n58, 23, 33–36, 38, 40, 55, 56, 59–61, 63, 64, 66, 71, 72, 78n33, 81n40, 90, 98n96, 99, 104, 108, 110, 118, 120, 124, 130, 136, 142, 147, 148, 150, 154, 167, 177, 180, 182, 196, 197, 221, 234, 292, 296, 297, 304, 305 Försvarets forskningsanstalt (foa) 234, 234n100, 235, 239, 258n170, 265, 267, 312 France 83, 90, 134, 157, 165, 183, 186, 208n12, 284 Freedom of Information Act (foia) 25 Freedom of speech 80, 189, 190n66, 300 Free Trade Union Committee (ftuc) 91, 93 Free World 23, 25, 49, 54, 60, 63, 109, 129, 151, 317 Friesen, Sten von 233 ftuc. See Free Trade Union Committee (ftuc) Fulbright Act 205, 207 Fulbright Agreement 207, 209, 212, 216, 268 Fulbright Commission 205, 210, 212, 274

Index Fulbright, James William 28, 218 Fulbright Program 143, 205–270, 283, 313 Funding 41, 91, 92, 143, 153, 206, 207, 212, 216, 231–249, 251, 252, 254, 256–258, 258n170, 259, 265, 269, 270, 275, 275n12, 276, 312, 313 Galbraith, John Kenneth 137n72, 296 Gassner, John W. 297 Gävle 62, 238 gdr. See German Democratic Republic (gdr) gdr propaganda 77, 94 Geijer, Arne 61, 62, 62n94, 65, 68, 69n5, 70–91, 93, 94, 96, 97n93, 98, 98n97, 99, 100, 100n105, 101–104, 106–108, 310 Gemini 1 45 Gemini 5 47, 47n57 General Motors Nordiska ab 210 Geneva 63, 95, 121, 245 Geneva accords 95 Geophysical Observatory (Kiruna) 237, 244 George Washington University 255 German Democratic Republic (gdr) 77, 78, 80, 94, 167 Germany 2, 25, 63, 134, 138n75, 165, 183, 212, 293, 300 Gibson, William 224 Gienow-Hecht, Jessica C. E. 25n3, 223n61, 306, 306n12, 307, 315, 315n18 Ginsberg, Allen 138 Goebbels, Joseph 16 Göteborgs Handels-och Sjöfartstidning 287 Göteborgs Posten 112 Gothenburg 6, 31, 32, 40n38, 55, 63, 66, 100, 105, 106, 147, 174–176, 178, 182, 201, 216, 223–228, 232, 244, 249, 273–275, 287 Gothenburg University 40n38, 232, 273, 300 Gottesman Foundation 277–279 Granberg, Gunnar K. L. 211, 284n38 Grängesbergsligan 89 Grantees 62, 64, 205n2, 211–215, 217, 285, 287, 288, 313 Gray, Gordon 25 Great Society 145, 145n91 Grether, Ewald T. 290 Grey propaganda 18, 132, 146, 161, 162, 308 Grey-washing 18, 157, 161, 162, 169, 308, 310, 317

Index Gröna Lund 228, 229 Guatemala 136 Guernica 136 Guided missiles 235 Guideleins for Policy and Operations: Sweden 192 Guillou, Jan 88 Gulag 117 Gunsmoke 183 Gustafson, Torsten 264 Guthrie, John C. 136 Hahr, Henrik 171, 171n3 Haiti 118 Hald, Arthur 288 Halmstad 296, 296n74 Hambraeus, Gunnar A. 211, 285n42 Hammar, Gillis 60 Hammarskjöld, Dag 209, 281n27 Handelshögskolan 220 Hanoi 86n58, 130, 131, 136 Haparandabladet 129 Harpsund 296 Harrie, Ivar 285 Hartman, Art 137 Harvard University 18n50, 86, 219, 282 Håstad, Elis 271, 285 Heath, William Womack 53 Heavy water 265, 267 Heckscher, Gunnar 210, 211, 214, 216, 290, 290n57 Hedin, Naboth 279 Hegemony 4n6, 11, 13, 18–24, 36, 118, 128, 144, 156–163, 169, 170n1, 180, 185, 207, 222, 229, 240, 257, 258, 268, 269, 271, 274, 276, 282, 286, 297, 302 Hegemony, co-production of 13, 22, 24n1, 67n1, 109n1, 128, 157, 170n1, 205n1, 221, 231–239, 271n1, 282, 307, 308 Heilborn, Adèle 210, 211, 218 Heintze, Ingeborg 288 Helén, Gunnar 85, 86, 90n72 Heller, Clemens 286 Heller, Walter 300 Helsinki 12, 139 Hendrix, Jimi 138 Henrikson, Gunnar 143, 143n85, 144, 145, 145n91, 92, 94 Herlitz, Nils 279

345 Herter, Christian 36, 43, 123 Herz, Ulrich 73, 73n19 hicog. See High Commissioner for Germany Hierta, Lars Johan 174 High Commissioner for Germany (hicog) 63 High culture 49, 152, 178, 222–231, 316 Hildeman, Per-Axel 218 Hiltunen, Thomas 193, 194n75 Hiroshima 261, 263 Hixson, Walter 9n19, 10, 10n30, 29n12, 115, 115n19, 117n23, 119n26, n28, 120n30, 123n37, n39 Hjo Tidning 129 Hogen, Timothy L. 195, 195n79 Högerpartiet 214 Holland, Jerome H. 120n32, 196, 197, 294 Hollywood 166, 229, 230, 230n91, 262, 289 Holmqvist, Eric 159, 159n121 Homer 179 Horace Silver Quintet 227 Horowitz, Irving Louis 250n47, 253, 253n153, 255n160, 257n166, 258, 259, 259n171 Hotel Malmen 291 House of Representatives 64, 82 Hudiksvalls Tidning 129 Hultqvist, Bengt 237, 244 Humphrey, Hubert 90, 137n2 Husén, Torsten 220 Hutchins, Robert M. 280, 281 Hylander, Torsten 291 Hylands hörna 183 iaea. See International Atomic Energy Agency ib 88, 88n68 ib Affair. See ib icbm 253 icftu. See International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Ideological. See Ideology Ideology 7, 21, 48, 63, 68, 91, 93, 154n114, 165, 191, 215n37, 221, 280, 306, 314 Idyllwild Youth Symphony 226 I Love Lucy 183 Imperial. See Empire India 121, 126, 208n12 Indoctrination 32, 105, 188n62, 238, 276 Industriförbundet 185, 216

346 Information Division 140, 140n79, 141, 172, 174, 197–200, 200n99, 208, 217, 245, 277 Inspector Maigret 186 Intellectuals 13, 50, 51, 122, 143, 144, 174, 214, 268, 272, 280, 285, 288, 289, 313, 315 Intelligence 3, 25, 29n13, 46n53, 78n33, 83, 88, 131, 144, 241, 250, 254, 256n163, 257 International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) 260, 263, 266 International Christian Youth Exchange 219 International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (icftu) 57, 79n34 International Geophysical Year 200 International Press Service 194 International Visitor’s Grant 53 Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Summer School 221 Intrepid 53 Intrepid 4 53 ips. See International Press Service Iraq 20 Iron Curtain 135, 172, 292, 293 Italy 42, 90, 135, 183, 186, 207, 208n12 Iveroth, Axel 215 Ivre, Ivar 287 Jackson, Charles D. 25, 25n4, 122, 260, 262 Jackson Committee 25, 27, 160 Jarl, Sven 61 Jarring, Gunnar 90, 90n70, 200n99, 217, 217n45, 217n46, 218, 218n49, 225n67, 291n61, 297n78, 304, 304n4, 305 Jazz 114, 173, 173n10, 227, 230 jcs. See Joint Chiefs of Staff Jenkins, Alfred le S. 95, 96n91, 218n50, 243n128, 244n129, 245n135 Jödahl, Olle 171n3, 208, 208n11, 208n12, 281n30, 282n31, 285n43, 287, 288n49, 289n55 Johnson, Eyvind 288 Johnson, Howard W. 253 Johnson, Lyndon B. 41, 42, 42n40, 43n41, 46, 53, 65, 111, 124, 125n42, 129, 129n55 Joint Chiefs of Staff 26 Jönköpings Posten 129 Josselson, Michael 91 Journalism 44n45 Journalist and journalists. See journalism Junior Diplomats 294, 294n68

Index Kaijser, Arne 157, 157n167 Kalmar 114, 114n15, 114n16 Kaplan, Tony 39, 39n35, 40, 250n147 Karl xvi Gustav. See Swedish King Kassman, Charles 69n5, 91n75, 93, 93n83, 93n85, 100n105, 106n123 Kastrup, Allan 305, 305n7, 305n11 Katrineholms-Kuriren 129 Katyn 136 Kaukonen, Jorma L. 93, 93n86 Kellog Foundation 143 Kennan, George 48, 98 Kennedy assassination 43, 195 Kennedy, John F. 41 Kennedy, Robert 194, 195 Kennedy, Ted 115n18 Keohane, Robert 19, 19n52, 19n53, 21n58 kf. See Kooperativa Förbundet kgb. See Komitet gosudorstvennoy bezopasnosti Khrushchev, Nikita 52, 83 King, Martin Luther Jr. 124, 138 Kiruna 62, 237, 237n108, 237n109, 244 Kiruna Geophysical Observatory 244 Kissinger, Henry 86, 115n18, 137 Kiwanis 295 Komitet gosudorstvennoy bezopasnosti 51 Konsertbolaget 227 Kontakt med Amerika 220 Kooperativa Förbundet 287 Korean War 38, 127 Kremlin 10, 11n30, 63, 118, 122, 135, 293 Kreuger, Torsten 68, 69, 69n4 Krige, John 13, 22, 22n63, 23n68, 23n69, 257, 257n169 Kroes, Rob 50, 50n68, 113, 113n14, 306, 306n14 Kugelberg, Bertil 61, 62, 79, 85, 86, 86n62, 87, 88, 97n93, 108 Kungliga biblioteket 8 Kungl. Järnvägsstyrelsen 199 Kungl. Operan 226 Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien 216 Kvällsposten 129 Kvitt eller dubbelt 183 Labour movement 8, 24–66, 70, 74n23, 77, 79, 80, 89, 101, 104 Labour Movement Archives and Library. See Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek

Index Labour unions 56, 132, 310 Lagercrantz, Olof 50, 203n105 Lagerqvist, Amanda 44n45, 50, 50n67, 116, 117, 117n22, 203n105, 230, 231n92, 289n54 Lagerstedt, Sven 289 Lamm, Olof H. 210, 210n20 Landenius, Olof 299, 299n85, 300, 300n86–88 Landsorganisationen 8, 71n14, 72n17 Lantbrukarförbundet 198 Laos 14, 76 Larsson, Sven Erik 104, 164n129 La Salle String Quartet 226 Latin America 118, 259, 262, 293 Lauper, Cindy 231 lbj. See Lyndon B. Johnson Leftist bias 188 Leijon, Curt 291 Leningrad 51 Libertas 87, 87n64 Library 8, 28, 32, 42, 42n40, 55, 56, 114, 134, 151n105, 174, 175, 178, 180, 182, 201, 274, 295 Library of Congress 8, 53n77, 57n87, 85n56, 115n18, 175n17, 196n82, 197n84 Life 4, 9n21, 27, 50, 52, 57, 58, 60, 62, 87, 88, 117, 121, 135, 151, 152, 165, 166, 174, 177, 179, 181, 182, 195, 199, 203n105, 212, 213, 230, 260, 282, 286, 288, 302, 307, 313, 315, 316 Light water 267 Lindbäck, Assar 296 Linderoth, Andreas 77, 78, 78n33, 81, 81n39, 94, 94n89, 167, 167n134 Lions 262, 295 Liseberg 225, 228 Literature 7, 14, 15, 19, 19n52, 29, 51, 58, 59, 173, 177, 273–276, 278, 279, 282, 289, 297 Little Rock, Arkansas 115, 120, 121 Ljunglöf, Lennart 94n87, 98, 99, 99n89 lo. See Landsorganisationen Locke, Harvey J. 281 London 10n25, 15n43, 19n52, 21n57, 22n61, 78n33, 81n40, 90n72, 90n73, 91n77, 121, 150n104, 161, 177, 195 Loomis, Henry 196 Los Angeles 149, 149n101, 226, 236, 236n106 Los Angeles Chamber Music Orchestra Lövberg, Jan Harald 234 Lövdin, Lennart 234

347 Lövdin, Per-Olov 243 Lovestone, Jay 90–93 lsd 258n170 Lucas, Scott 10, 10n30 Luce, Henry 230 Lund 9n21, 78n33, 87n64, 98n95, 126n48, 164n129, 216, 226–229, 233, 235n104, 258n170, 273–275, 281, 288n51, 291 Lundberg, Arne 239, 240n115, 281, 291n60 Lundborg, Östen 290, 290n57 Lundestad, Geir 20, 20n55, 21n58 Lundin, Claes-Allan 4n6, 5, 5n10, 5n11, 6n12, 88n67, 128, 129, 130, 166n132, 215n37, 265n184, 267n190 Lundin, Per 4n6, 5, 5n10, 5n11, 6n12, 88n67, 128, 129, 130, 166n132, 215n37, 265n184, 267n190 Lyndon B. Johnson 65, 130, 130n56 Macmillan, Harold 13n39, 163n113, 166n132, 177, 179 Maddox 46n53 Maier, Charles S. 20, 21, 21n57, 21n58, 21n59, 22, 22n62 Malmö 38, 39, 69, 128, 147, 148, 182, 220n54, 224, 288, 305n7 Mariestadstidningen 129 Mariner 4 47 Marks, Leonard 18n51, 57–65, 128n51, 52, 53, 129n55, 130, 131n60, 133n65–66, 134, 135, 135n68 Mars 47, 47n55, 172n7, 179, 210n17, 224n62–66, 225n68–69, 228n81, 239n114, 240n116, 245n136, 278n16, 284n39, 291n60–62, 304n3, 305n11, 2224n67 Marshall Plan of the mind 144 Martha Graham Dance Company 226 Marxism 52 Marxist. See Marxism Massachusetts Institute of Technology 122 Mass consumption 50, 152, 174, 230, 231 Materialism 174 Matthews, H. Freeman 1 Matthiesen, Francis O. 286, 286n44 McCarthy, Joseph 29 McNamara, Robert 251 mdaa. See Mutual Defense Assistance Act Mead, Robert O. 291, 291n62 Meany, George 90–93, 93n83

348 Media 8, 12, 14n41, 17, 35, 44, 44n45, 46, 52, 58, 61, 63, 77, 78, 87, 100, 108, 110–112, 116, 118–121, 129, 132, 133n66, 154, 161, 163, 170, 172, 182, 197, 203, 213, 239, 258n170, 261–264, 269, 277, 298, 315 Medicinalstyrelsen 198 Med Sverige i Amerika 305, 305n7, 305n11 Meet Modern Sweden 303, 303n1, 304, 305 Meidner, Rudolf 296, 296n77 Meixner, Esther 296, 296n76 Melander, Martin 273 Melin, Karin 46n52, 94n88 Memorandum of Understanding 225 Meredith, James 121, 298, 298n82, 299n83 mic. See Military-Industrial Complex Michanek, Ernst 62, 79 Michigan State University 255 Midland College Choir 229 Militärpsykologiska institutet 258n170 Military applications 232, 242, 247, 248 Military-Industrial Complex 4n6, 153 Military technology 1n2, 4n6 Millikan, Max 252, 253 Minister of Defense 231 Ministry for Foreign Affairs 4, 33, 36, 81, 94, 110, 137, 140, 147, 172, 197, 199n92, 200, 206n7, 207–209, 210n21, 211n22, 218n51, 222, 224, 228n81–85, 229n86–87, 234, 236, 240, 241, 243, 245, 246, 249, 277, 281, 281n27, 282–285, 287, 290, 291, 296 Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Information Bureau 305 Minnesota 213n32, 224, 295, 299 mirv. See Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle mit. See Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mitrovich, Gregory 10n30 Moberg, Sven 232, 236, 238, 248, 249n144 Moberg, Vilhelm 50 Molden, Fritz 286 Möller, Yngve 136, 137n71–72 Moores, Simon 10n25, 77, 77n32 Morgon-Tidningen 67, 71, 106 Morris, William H. 174 Moscow 49, 51, 134, 135, 165, 193n72, 194, 209, 210, 291, 291n59 mou 1961. See Memorandum of Understanding

Index msu. See Michigan State University Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle 253 Murrow, Edward 41, 57–65, 82, 116, 124, 194, 195 Museum of Fine Arts 61 Musikrevy 287 Mutual Defense Assistance Act 2, 239 Myrdal, Alva 214n35, 219, 296 Myrdal, Gunnar 301 Naftalin, Arthur 300 Nagasaki 261, 263 nara. See National Archives and Records Administration National Archives and Records Administration 8, 30n16 National Council of Swedish Youth 55, 180 Nationalföreningen för Trafiksäkerhetens Främjande 200 National Security Act 144 National Security Council 3 National Society for Swedish Culture Abroad 55 nato 1–5, 24, 33, 66, 191, 192, 232, 238–249, 257, 317 nato infrastructure 239–249 Nazi 16, 176, 293 Needell, Allan A. 150, 150n103, 252n150 Negroes 117, 120 Neiburg, Patrick E. 196, 196n82, 197 Nelson, Allan 25, 174 Nerman, Ture 60, 288 Network 13, 28, 90, 90n72, 91, 92, 144, 178, 207, 221, 241, 245, 252, 258, 311, 312 Netzén, Gösta 285 Neutral. See Policy of neutrality Neutrality. See Policy of neutrality Neutrality policy. See Policy of neutrality New Look 264 Newsboys 293–295 Newspaper ownership 105 New York 9n19, 14n41, 15n41, 16n47, 34n26, 51, 61, 98, 130n58, 137, 183, 227, 278, 279 New York Philharmonic Orchestra 224 New York Times 132, 161 New Zealand 129, 208n12 Nguyen, Tho Chanh 136 Nial, Håkan 218 Nielsen, Harald H. 210

Index Nilsson, Torsten 40, 61n93, 218n50 Ninkovich, Frank 10n30 Nixon, Richard 137n72 Nobel Prize 249 Non-alignment 1 Nordic Association for American ­Studies  217, 275 Nordic Museum. See Nordiska muséet Nordiska muséet 288 Nordling, Carl 233 Nordqvist, Stig 214, 215 Nordvästra Skånes Tidningar 129 Nordwall, Hans G. 145, 145n95, 146, 146n96, 97, 98 Norinder, Harald 239, 240, 244, 246, 249, 291n60 Norlev, Erling 47, 47n55, 56 Norra Västerbotten 129 Norrköping 55 Norrköpings Tidningar 129, 142, 143n85, 145n92 Norrländska Socialdemokraten 38, 156, 156n116, 235, 288 Norrskensflamman 108, 237, 237n107, 238 North Africa 83 North Korea 127 North Texas State University Choir 226 North Vietnam 7, 45, 126 Norway 1, 3, 64, 66, 125, 128, 208, 208n12, 266 nsc. See National Security Council nsc 151 260 nsc 5515/1 266 nsc 6006/1 191, 192 ntf. See Nationalföreningen för Trafiksäkerhetens Främjande Nuclear tests 245 Nuclear weapons. See Atomic weapons Nya Wermlands-Tidningen 129 Nye, Joseph 19, 19n52, 19n53, 273n7 Nyheter från Sovjetunionen 163, 164, 166 Nyheter i dag 30, 140, 141 oas. See Organization of American States Oberg, Paul M. 223 Oberlin Baroque Orchestra 227 ocb. See Operation Coordinating Board Odd Fellows 295 Odhner, Bengt 200, 200n97, 98 oecd 300

349 Office of Policy Coordination 26 Office of Special Services 286 Office of War Information (owi) 28 Off-Shore Procurement Program 240 Ohlin, Bertil 68, 69n4, 214, 219, 282 Olsson, Nils William 174, 210, 223n60 opc. See Office of Policy Coordination Operakällaren 94 Operation Coordinating Board (ocb) 25, 29, 30, 262, 264 Opinion-makers 23, 42, 85, 86n58, 109–204, 287, 300, 302, 310, 315, 317 O’Quinlivan, Annemarie 200, 200n97, 98 Örebro 62 Organization of American States 49 Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix 228 Ortmark, Åke 105, 106, 106n120, 122, 107n124 Osgood, Kenneth 6n14, 7n15, 17, 8n19, 10, 10n30, 15n42, 23n66, 25n4, 25n5, 26, 26n7, 29n13–15, 92n81, 118n24–25, 119, 119n26–27, 120n30, 31, 33, 122, 122n36, 123, 123n37, 38, 124n40, 205n4, 260n174, 261, 261n177, 263, 264, 264n181, 183, 271n2, 292n65, 293n66 Oslo 125 osp. See Off-Shore Procurement Program oss. See Office of Special Services Östberg, Kjell 188, 188n60, 188n62 Öste, Sven 85, 97, 98n95 Ost-Probleme 63 Oswald, Lee Harvey 43 owi. See Office of War Information Pakistan 33, 208n12 Palme, Olof 86, 97n93, 114, 136, 188, 188n60, 214, 219, 221, 232, 246, 247, 248, 249n144, 296, 296n77, 312 Palm, Göran 188n62, 232n94, 238, 238n112 Panama 19n52, 23n69, 49, 49n65 pao. See Public Affairs Officer Paris 51, 72, 89, 121, 178, 300 Parsons, Graham 40, 79, 107, 126, 175, 244n129, 310 Partaj 183 Paul Taylor Dance Company 229 Peck, Gregory 42 Pentagon 83, 231–233, 233n98, 236, 236n105, 237, 237n107, 238, 238n110, 242, 254 People’s Capitalism 259

350 People’s Party. See Folkpartiet People-to-People Program 111, 292, 293 Perkins, Dexter 278, 278n18, 279 Pers, Anders 287, 300n86 Petersen, Gösta af 224 Peterson, Esther 57, 57n87, 133 Philadelphia, Mississippi 116 Philadelphia Orchestra 224 Philipson, Torsten 289 Physicist. See Physics Physics 213, 242, 242n125, 244, 246, 249, 257 Plaijel, Bengt 287 Platen, Carl Gustaf von 299 Policy of neutrality 1–5, 33, 40, 59, 77, 78, 85, 192, 225, 231, 234–236, 265, 310, 312 Political Science 10n25, 99, 220, 221, 221n56, 274, 279, 280, 282 Politics of productivity 21, 21n59, 90n73, 91n74, 287 Popular culture 14n41, 17, 50, 113, 152, 164, 166, 173, 203n105, 229, 230, 306, 306n13 Porgy and Bess 178 President’s Advisory Committee on Labour Management Policy 62 President’s Committee on Information Activities Abroad 151,