“Collaborating Neutrality”? Portuguese Collaboration Networks at the Secretariat of National Propaganda

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In 1945, the Portuguese National Secretariat of Information (an institution that succeeded the Secretariat of National Propaganda which had been created in 1933 by Salazar's Government) published a pamphlet in English with an intriguing title: Portugal and the War: Collaborating Neutrality.
For someone working on the German-Portuguese relations of the period, and therefore well aware of the affinities and close ties between the two authoritarian regimes, the title is rather ambiguous, to say the least. What does "collaborating neutrality" mean? And collaborating with whom? With the Allies or with the Axis Powers?
The pamphlet, however, is quite clear and assertive: "collaborating" means collaborating with the Allies. In a modest but incisive style that emulates the point of view of the victor, the author emphasizes "Some Portuguese contributions towards victory and the benefit of Humanity" and successfully rewrites the Portuguese history of the period. Useful and powerful as it was, the argument quickly spread among the Portuguese public opinion.
This paper explores the (hi)story that the pamphlet, published right after the end of World War II, conveniently sought to silence. It explores the German-Portuguese collaboration networks of the period focussing on the ambiguous role played by state agencies like the Secretariat of National Propaganda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplicated Complicity
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean Collaboration with Nazi Germany During World War II
EditorsMartina Bitunjac, Julius H. Schoeps
Place of PublicationBerlin, Boston
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-067108-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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