Sunday, January 3, 2021

Lord Haw-Haw, 75 Years -- January 3, 2021


Washington Times, 10-October-1940

75 years ago today, on 03-January-1946, William Joyce, who made English-language propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis, was hanged for treason in a British prison. I am usually opposed to the death penalty, but William Joyce may have earned his execution. Joyce was born in America, but he wound up in England, where he joined Oswald Mosely's British Union of Fascists. He buggered off to Germany just before the war started. Joyce made propaganda broadcasts that tried to damage British morale. According to contemporary accounts, most people laughed at him. John Amery also did propaganda broadcasts for the Germans and persuaded the Waffen-SS to accept the British Free Corps. 

Lord Haw Haw Confesses 'High Treason'

William Joyce, New York-Born Englishman, Broadcasts
For Nazis Daily to Undermine British Morale 

Associated Press Foreign Correspondent.

BERLIN -- I have met Lord Haw Haw.

He is that almost fabulous Englishman -- born in the United States -- who by his own assertion perpetrates "high treason" daily against England by broadcasting from German stations with intent to disturb British self-assurance.

He is blond, ruddy-faced, short William Joyce, former British fascist Mosleyite who was a prime mover for national socialism in England until August, 1939. Then, as it became evident war was about to break out, he and his wife hastily packed a few bags and dashed away to Germany. They had become "sold" on Nazi-ism and on Hitler as its world exponent.

Now several times of an evening Lord Haw Haw reports the war in 15-minute broadcasts, always directed to English listeners. He ribs British patriotism, sardonically ridicules British claims of victories. He urges the inevitability of Nazi victory with a half cajoling, half ironic voice as British as Trafalgar Square.

His "Title" Is British.

Quickly his programs attracted a tremendous audience in England. English papers and magazines carried stories about him. Who was he? If he were German, how could he have acquired that unburred English accent? The British dubbed him Lord Haw Haw.

Even in Germany few people know him. He broadcasts only on short-wave bands. Germans rarely have short-wave receivers and are forbidden to listen to foreign broadcasts. Foreign correspondents, allowed to tune in on foreign broadcasts, listen to him regularly, but few ever have seen him.

We met quite by accident, of all hours. 3:30 a m. in the half-darkened hallway of the German Propaganda Ministry. The foreign press had been invited to tour the city to see the effects of a British bomb raid. Joyce was going along, too.

"That's Lord Haw Haw." whispered one of the party to me. In no time we were talking. He is decidedly short, perhaps 5 feet 4 inches, and tightly knit physically.

Voice Unmistakable.

His voice was unmistakable. On the air he uses no name whatever. In Germany he has adopted his German name of Froelich.

He grinned when I suggested he was far better known in England than in Germany.

"I suppose so." he said, then added with that touch of drollery that seems to have tickled the English:

"Not so many listen now. The German bombers are keeping them in the cellar all the time."

He was casual and friendly. From time to time he strolled over to my side to help me understand the flood of German that periodically drowned my limited vocabulary.

A day or so later he sent me a book in English he has just published in Germany, Called "Twilight Over England." it tells his views of why England has come to such a pass.

"I was born in New York in 1906," Joyce wrote. "My father’s people had lived in Ireland since the Norman conquest. From my mother I inherited English, Irish and Scottish blood. * * *

"I went to school in Ireland. * * *

From my earliest days I was taught to love England and her empire. Patriotism was the highest virtue that I knew."

Joined British Fascists.

Joyce joined the British Fascists in 1923. when he was about 17. He saw a "certain amount of street and hall fighting’’ against the Communists, "of which I shall carry the marks so long as I live." He has a scar across his right cheek.

In 1933 Joyce joined Mosley's new "British Union of Fascists." and instilled in it, he said, a definite anti-Jewish policy.

"To anybody who could see, in the years 1934 and 1935," he wrote, "it was only a specially successful effort to spread national socialism widely in England that could avert the tragedy which has come to pass."

He broke with Mosley in 1937 "over organizational matters," and formed a movement of his own. To the Jews and financiers he laid most of England’s troubles. British patriotism, he said, ever neglected the English poor. Two times in the year before the war he was arrested and later acquitted of charges of disturbing the peace and assault.

Then, as the country moved toward war, he prepared to leave. He felt that if "for perfect reasons of conscience I could not fight for her (England), I must give her up for ever."

Washington Evening Star, 03-January-1946

Lord Haw Haw Hanged
As $60-a-Week Voice
On Nazi Broadcasts

Joyce Goes to Traitor's
Death on Same Gallows
Where Amery Died

By the Associated Press.

LONDON, Jan. 3. --
William Joyce, notorious "Lord Haw Haw" of the German air waves, died a traitor’s death this morning on the gallows of Wandsworth Prison.

The 40-year-old American-born Joyce, who sold his voice to Adolf Hitler as a radio propagandist at the outset of the war, was executed shortly after 9 a.m. (4 a.m., EST) on high treason charges of which he was convicted by a British court last September 19.

He died on the same scaffold where John Amery, 33-year-old son of a former British cabinet member, was hanged December 19 on treason charges growing out of similar radio activities.

Only a small group of prison officials saw Joyce plunge through the trap. Under English law, no spectators may witness an execution.

Execution of the death sentence was announced in two typewritten sheets which were posted outside the prison gates shortly after the hanging.

Prison officials said Joyce walked to the gallows from his death cell, his arms pinioned behind him with the broad black strap used in countless executions. The trap was sprung by I. Pierrepoint, nephew of Albert Pierrepoint, famed hangman who executed Amery.

End of Fantastic Career.

Joyce’s death in the stone-walled prison courtyard ended a fantastic career which led him from Fascist street fights in England to an infamous place as Hitler’s No. 1 English-language broadcaster.

Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels paid Joyce $60 a week for his radio work, which consisted of four daily broadcasts.

Joyce, who came to England from America at 15, became a follower of Sir Oswald Mosley while a student at London University and was a member of his British Fascist group until 1933, when the two parted amid rumors of a quarrel. Later Joyce organized a "National Socialist League" in Britain, which he headed until he departed for Germany in August, 1939.

He fell into British hands at Lueneberg (Luneberg -- JT) on May 28, 1945, after Germany's collapse. He was wounded slightly during his capture. His German wife also fell into British hands and was brought to England to visit him while he was awaiting trial.

Joyce based his unsuccessful defense largely on the contention that he was an American citizen and hence could not be found guilty of treason to Britain. An appeal on the same grounds was denied by the House of Lords, which ruled that even an alien could be convicted of treason if he had enjoyed the protection of the King.

He lost his last hope of escaping the death penalty Monday when Home Secretary Henry Chuter Ede (James Chuter Ede -- JT) refused him a reprieve.

A crowd of about 250 persons waited outside the prison gates for the announcement of Joyce's execution, which was posted at 9:07 a m. There was no demonstration as the chilled watchers surged forward to read the proclamation.

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