Der Neue Orient (The New Orient). Monthly newspaper on the political, economic, and spiritual life in the whole East

Wangert, Stefan, Die Zeitungen der orientalischen und kaukasischen Kriegsgefangenen in Deutschland cover.jpg
Wangert, Stefan, Die Zeitungen der orientalischen und kaukasischen Kriegsgefangenen in Deutschland.jpg

Description

Der Neue Orient was one of the periodicals published by the Information Service for the East. As the table of contents shows, it reported on economic, political, cultural, and social developments in the 'Orient'. The article by Stefan Wangert reports on El Dschihad, Hindostan and other propaganda newspapers published by the Information Service for the East for North African, Central Asian, and Indian prisoners of war during World War One (see the entry 'Hindostan and El Dschihad' in this sourcebook). Wangert reveals that already by 1920 there was no information on the camp's newspaper editors and authors and that no library had a complete volume of any one of the newspapers.

Context

Der Neue Orient was a monthly journal dedicated to inform on developments in the Middle East and German policy towards Islamicate countries. It was founded in April 1915 as the Korrespondenzblatt der Nachrichtenstelle für den Orient with an aim to deliver information to the German press that adhered to the overall propaganda strategy to incite the Entente's colonies to revolution. This was to be of utmost importance since the press often reported on the very people that Germany was looking to recruit through its propaganda campaign in derogatory terms. Copies of the Korrespondenzblatt were distributed to the German press for free and newspaper editors were expected to include the articles in their products. In 1917, the periodical's aim changed and it was transformed into a journal that addressed the general public: Der Neue Orient. It not only encompassed topics on the political and economic life in the East but also published documents, such as those produced by various national committees in Berlin. The authors were Orientalists and expatriates from the Entente's colonies. After the war, the journal began concealing the wartime propaganda aimed at the colonies. This becomes obvious in Wangert’s article on the propaganda newspapers. As El Dschihad was meant to be read only in so-called propaganda camps, the German public did not know much about it. Wangert's article shows that already by 1920 much knowledge on El Dschihad had been lost, even in the Information Service for the East who may have actively tried to disguise the role of El Dschihad during the war. The journal's first chief editor was Herbert Müller (vol. 1 and 2). He was succeeded by Armin Wegner (vol. 3-5) and Eugen Mittwoch.