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Māori targeted by German propaganda

While stationed in England in the summer of 1940 members of the Māori Battalion took part in several BBC radio shows. When one Māori soldier spoke in a programme entitled 'Why I Joined Up', German radio responded in sarcastic fashion:

The BBC boasts of Maoris. To boost the morale of the public, the London radio has now brought a native of New Zealand, a Maori, to the microphone. This descendant of former cannibals and headhunters made a well paid statement on this occasion that all Maoris who are in the British Army had volunteered. In the same breath, however, he said that when Maoris were commanded they had of course to obey. He has thus contradicted his own balderdash. The English should in our opinion congratulate themselves on having found in these savages from New Zealand suitable allies against Nazi barbarians. The English radio seems to consider news of allegedly volunteer Maoris as very promising. It has no greater consolation for its listeners than this.

From J.F Cody's official history, 28 (Maori) Battalion (Wellington, 1956), p. 23.

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