Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Lorraine M. Lees

Committee Member

Carolyn J. Lawes

Committee Member

James R. Sweeney

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47 A63 2009


The Roosevelt Administration created two information agencies during World War II. The Office of War Information, consisting of a Domestic Branch and Overseas Operations Branch, disseminated information to occupied nations overseas. The Office of Strategic Services' Foreign Nationalities Branch gathered information on the political undercurrents of ethnic groups within the United States and provided information on their possible effects to the administration.

This work seeks to compare the policies of the Overseas Branch of the Office of War information with those of the Foreign Nationalities Branch of the Office of Strategic Services, with the Poles and Polish-Americans as a case study. Poland was a bone of contention amongst Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin and symbolized both the horrors of Nazi aggression as well as the promise of democratic reforms to Roosevelt's administration. For this reason, propagandists had to carefully craft policies towards the Poles and the Polish-Americans that would reflect American values while simultaneously reporting on events that directly concerned Poland's position in the postwar world order. OWI 's Overseas Operations Branch, staffed by New Dealers, tried to win support amongst the Poles for American foreign policy and struggled to adhere to its 'strategy of truth' methodology as it reconciled its propaganda with the twists and turns of Roosevelt's foreign policy. FNB, on the other hand. functioned more as an information clearinghouse for the Roosevelt administration as it analyzed the possible effects of these military maneuvers on both national security and Roosevelt's re-election campaign.


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