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The German Naval Office and Public Opinion (September 24, 1900)

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There is no doubt that slide lectures were very successful last winter.

Here, too, one cannot always wait for requests for photographs, but should, in a careful manner, suggest the distribution of such pictures and the holding of suitable lectures.

Information must be provided on questions regarding points of view, material, and literature – even when extensive demands are made in this regard. On general matters – for example, the hiring of ship boys – periodicals that explain employment procedures in a briefer and clear manner than the official regulations will be of great use.

The extent to which the News Office should become more or less active than before in this direction (the personnel issue) will have to depend on whether a shortage of ship boys or cadets becomes apparent. With the help of some funds, it should not be difficult to expand successfully in this direction.

An attempt must be made to instil in the next generation an interest in the navy by giving suitable support to youth publications, providing these to educational institutions, and creating cheap, illustrated printed matter concerning naval themes, wall maps (e.g. world maps for municipal schools), postcards, and other paper articles that are suitable for public libraries and schools. Important in this regard is that, along with the growing interest, greater knowledge is spread about technical naval matters as well as the economic foundations. The goal is for the future generation to be just as educated about these questions as the English and American populations.

If a well-known and widely-read author writing for young people could be prompted to create naval works for youngsters, then great benefits could be expected. Moreover, a sensational novel or play intended for adults would also be exceedingly useful for stimulating interest in the navy. It is regrettable that modern German history offers little suitable material on such topics.

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