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The Appeal of 18 June 1940

Documentary heritage submitted by France and United Kingdom and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2005.

© Ina / Michel Lioret
Appeal of 18 June 1940 - Disc

The items nominated for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register concern the Appeal of 18 June 1940. These four items are thought to constitute the key evidence of this event: the handwritten text of the appeal broadcast on 18 June, the radio recording of the Appeal of 22 June, the manuscript of the poster of 3 August and the poster itself.

The Appeal of 18 June is one of the most remarkable pieces in the history of radio broadcasting. Radio was no longer just a means of entertainment or propaganda available to the powers that be; it also now provided the technical means to enable an isolated individual to launch a huge resistance movement from outside his own country, to urge his fellow citizens to oppose foreign rule and subservience and to fight for the restoration of freedoms. The power and universality of this medium require no further proof.

The Appeal of 18 June helped to lend credibility to radio. Less than 20 years after it had been invented, radio not only became the launching pad for the fight against oppression, but also provided a new form of historical archive. From a historical point of view, this particular soundtrack is just as important as more traditional means of disseminating and expressing human thought, such as books or newspapers.

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