Germany calling! Germany calling!
The Influence of Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) in Britain, 1939-1941.by Helen Newman, Department of History, Submitted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor Arts (Honors) degree, Monash University 1998
Lord Haw-Haw, the Propagandist.
Propaganda has become one of the principal weapons modern warfare enormous importance is ascribed to it by both its producers and recipients.
Throughout World War II psychological warfare in the form of radio propaganda was a tool extensively used by Third Reich. Herzstein has described as Hitler won. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, a Ministry of Propaganda was created, headed by Dr. Josef Goebbels, he proved himself a consummate propagandist. This Ministry sent foreign language broadcasts into enemy territories disguised as news. These broadcasts were intended to contribute to the lowering of morale within the general public and the armed forces. The Germans employed English men and women to broadcast to Britain as propagandists who needed to know the cultural symbols and idioms to be effective communicators. The announcer Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) who broadcast to Britain was the most notorious broadcaster of the Third Reich.
The character of Lord Haw-Haw was infamous in Britain by middle September 1939. He heard on wirelesses British people written about press and sung London Theatre. No other German radio broadcaster as well known subsequently mythologized. How did myth arise? Who was Haw-Haw? This thesis will examines his broadcasting career's period 1939-41 impact of his broadcasts
Lord Haw-Haw was eventually identified as William Joyce. He was an American citizen who grew up in Ireland and England. Until the late 1930s he was heavily involved first with British Union of Fascists (BUF) then his own Fascist movement National Socialist League (NSL). Due ideological preference for Germany fearing internment if remained Britain during the war Joyce and his wife moved to Germany in early September 1939. He began radio broadcasting on 390918. He joined an already existing group of Britons broadcasting to Britain and soon became the most popular. Although initially the name Lord Haw-Haw referred to all the broadcasters, Joyce was eventually to be solely identified as Lord Haw-Haw.
It is usually argued by historians that the popularity and influence of Lord Haw-Haw was limited to Phony War period (September 1939 April 1940) as population hungered for news. Many studies indicate that Haw-Haw's listening audience was well into the millions. There were many reasons why people listened to Lord Haw-Haw, and these changed over the course of the war.
With the Allied victory in Europe May 1945, William Joyce was hiding in the north of Germany. By 450528, he was captured by the British Military and awaiting trial for treason. In the course of the trial, it was made evident that Joyce was not a British citizen, but born in the United States of naturalized American parents. When he moved to Germany, he used an illegally acquired British passport, on which he stated that he was British by birth. The prosecution argued that Joyce owed allegiance to the Crown as he was under Crown protection. Therefore he was committing treason by helping the enemy with propaganda radio broadcasts. The jury found him guilty on this count, his subsequent appeals failed, and he was hanged in January 1946.
The purpose of this thesis is to examine work and influence of Nazi propagandist William Joyce or, as he was known to the British public, Lord Haw-Haw. Chapter One examines his life in England during the inter-war period, his involvement with various Fascist groups, and eventual departure for Germany. Chapter Two traces his move Berlin where he was employed by the German Foreign Ministry as an English language radio broadcaster to Britain. It analyses some broadcasts and his sole publication, Twilight Over England. Chapter Three discusses the myth of Lord Haw-Haw and the extent of his popularity and influence. Chapter Four will examine Joyce's treason trial and considers whether this trial casts any further light on Joyce's influence as a propagandist.
An important insight into
Joyce's thinking is his only published book, Twilight Over England.
Shirer describes it as "a hodgepodge of Nazi nonsense about England, studded
with obvious truths about its blacker and meaner side which the whole world
knows." Initially intended for an audience in Britain, it was distributed to
English POWs only. As Joyce's biographer Selwyn notes, "truth, half-truth,
and falsehood were finely balanced in Twilight Over England", it included
a biased diatribe on the evils of English politics, capitalism and international
Jewish finance. However, as I mentioned, Twilight Over England does
give us an unique insight into the individual thinking of Joyce and helped
me identify his broadcasts from their similarity in wording and argument.
Chapter 1: William Joyce, English Fascist.
William Joyce had a long political career as a prominent British fascist before leaving for Germany in 1939. This came to its height in the mid-1930s with his employment by the Union of Fascists (BUF). A later chapter will examines his involvement in Fascisti Ltd. BUF and his own movement the National Socialist League (NSL).
William Joyce was born in Brooklyn the United States on 060424. His parents, Michael and Gertrude Joyce, were immigrants from the United Kingdom. His father had been a naturalized citizen of the United States of America since 1894.A few years after the birth of William in 1906, the family moved back to county Mayo, in Ireland. As American citizens living in Britain, the Joyce family were required to register themselves as aliens in their original home country. William Joyce's education was in Catholic schools in Ireland. At the age of 6 he attended a convent, and then a Jesuit College. In 1921, under age, Joyce enlisted in the Army. When his real age was discovered a few months later he was discharged. In 1923, Joyce was accepted into the Officer Training Corps (OTC) at the London University. He was renowned for wearing his uniform to class and had to be told not to bring his rifle to class.
In 1923 Joyce joined his first Fascist political group the British Fascisti Limited which was modeled on Italian Fascism. Its founder was Miss Rotha Lintorn-Ormanbrought, together with patriotic citizens who were alarmed by the internationalism and the class-war tendencies of the Labour Party." They were easily identified by a black handkerchief in their breast pocket, a badge that read 'For King and Country' and by acting as a paramilitary organization. Their "strong arm action" against Communism and the Left appealed to Joyce. Cole claims that it was Joyce's love for the military that attracted him to these groups.
The ideology of British Fascisti was heavily aligned to King and country. This movement believed its role defend traditional institution from Communism, socialism, anarchism, and other radical political groups. It was not interested in overthrowing the current political system; rather it used its militancy to ensure political stability. The British Fascisti later anglicized its name to British Fascists, to emphasize that it did not owe any foreign allegiance.
In October of 1924, as a part of the I Squad for British Fascisti, William Joyce was preparing a violent encounter with Redsat at an electoral meeting.$$$$ The British Fascisti were there to keep order under the command of Joyce. It was at this meeting that Joyce received his distinguishing scar reaching from ear to mouth. There were a number of accounts as to what happened. Joyce never swayed from his version, that he was attacked by a 'Communist Jew' who was trying to slit his throat but his heavy coat and scarf saved him. However, others account that after the meeting, walking down an alley, Joyce was assailed by some men and held down while they slashed his face. For Joyce, this would have been a humiliating experience being at the mercy of his "'subhuman' enemy". Francis Selwyn asserts that this experience may have contributed to Joyce's "near hysterical loathing" of Jews. This may be true to a degree, but perhaps cannot account fully for his avid anti-Semitism which came into its height through the BUF. In 1925, Joyce left the British Fascisti, "seeing no way forward through their policies."
Before Joyce joined the BUF, he was involved in the Conservative party in the late 1920s. However, his involvement in the party was short lived and his efforts "met with the ignominious failure that they deserved." Joyce married his first wife, Hazel Kathleen Barr, in 1927 as he came of age. This marriage lasted eight years, and they had two daughters.
It is unknown exactly when Joyce joined the BUF, but by autumn of 1933 he was a chief speaker alongside Oswald Mosley. Within its ranks, Joyce rose to the paid position of Director of Propaganda by 1934. His skills as an orator were renowned and his speeches frightening. Cecil Roberts describes an after-dinner speech by Joyce:
Thin, pale, intense, he had not been speaking many minutes before we were all electrified by this man, never in any country have I met a personality so terrifying in its dynamic force, vituperative and vitriolic."
The BUF-like British Fascisti had a paramilitary wing as well as a more conventional party organization. Attendance at rallies often numbered in thousands and its peak membership was around fifty thousand. The BUF, however, never polled enough votes to gain any real political power. This is typified in the London City Council elections where the highest they polled was 23. **** % in Bethnal Green. After 1935, the BUF's popularity was situated mostly in and around London. This appeal is obvious in London's East End, where fascist anti-Semitism flourished. Other social issues were of great importance, for example, social reform through activities such as slum clearance.
Conveniently historians have viewed the BUF as having a three stage ideological development. From 1932-4 it was a respectable organization. campaigning on policies for economic revival. From 1934 to 1937/8 anti-Semitism is seen as its major policy. From 1937/8 until the party's end in 1940, the main themes of its campaigning was opposition to war. Joyce was prominent in the party in the anti-Semitic phase.
The traditional view that the rise of anti-Semitism within BUF was merely political opportunism to improve flagging membership has recently been criticized. It is argued that this view is mono-causal and reductionist. It does not account for the historical, social, economic nor cultural context within which the movement operated. In broader terms, the BUF was bound to conflict with Jews and become anti-Semitic as its basic ideology was "Britain for the British". The BUF did not include the Jews as British, perceiving them as foreigners. This attitude is illustrated in the BUF's criticism of international Jewish finance which was, according to the BUF, never was in the interests of Britain. This is demonstrated in the BUF's paper, Action, on 26 August 1939. It was part of 'The Ten Points of the British Union'.
. British Credit
and Jewish Finance .
International Financiers in the City of London shall not use the credit of Britain to damage this country's interest with Jewish usury and foreign investments. The British money system must be used for industry to serve Producers and Consumers rather than Gamblers. Misuse will a criminal offense."
The BUF did not adopt anti-Semitism because of influences or pressure from Nazi Germany. In the BUF, anti-Semitism developed for various reasons, playing on the preexisting antagonism in the East End of London between the Jews and non-Jews.
The BUF's ethnocentrism and opposition to Jewish overseas investment with British capital gave it a predisposition to anti-Semitism. This was aggravated by active opposition it met from its political opponents. Mosley's opponents included Jews who knew of rampant anti-Semitism in fascist Germany and thus feared the BUF. With overt anti-Semitism in Germany, some British Jews increased their campaign against the BUF; often disrupting BUF meetings, which ended in violence. This strengthened the BUF's resolve and anti-Semitic sentiments.
Therefore it is evident that the BUF's political anti-Semitism was linked to social forces including influence of Germany, the general ideology of Britain for the British which excluded Jews, and two factions within the BUF. To suggest merely that it was political opportunism is too short sighted, reducing the BUF's anti-Semitism to being seemingly insignificant and meaningless. Interestingly, although the BUF's anti-Semitism appeared to be popular in certain areas, the BUF never gained any real political power, unlike the Nazis in Germany.
In 1933, in the expectation of traveling with Mosley to meet Hitler in Germany, William Joyce obtained a British passport. In his application Joyce stated that he was a British subject by birth, born in Galway, Ireland, on 24 April 1906, and that he had never lost his citizenship. This was duly signed by a bank official, who had no reason to doubt that Joyce was not actually English. Joyce was able to obtain a British passport as it was not a requirement to produce a birth certificate, and therefore the passport office believed him to be British.
In 1935 William Joyce's marriage to Hazel had finished. She left for another man and a more stable lifestyle taking with her their daughters. In February 1935 William Joyce first met Margaret Cairns White (his future second wife) while touring the North of England for the BUF. By February 1936, and after very little intimate contact, William Joyce asked Margaret White to marry him. However, at that stage, Joyce was still in the process of divorcing his first wife, so it was not until February 1937 that they were married.
Two factions within the BUF fought to gain control of party in 1936. ideological fascists including William Joyce, A.K. Chesterton, and John Beckett, argued that to maintain electoral support it was essential specifically to promote fascist ideology among the people. The opposing faction, the movement orientated fascists, emphasized a militarization of the movement. It "favored emotive conversion through the disciplined nature of fascist marches and demonstrations." The ultimate favoring of Francis-Hawkins by Oswald Mosley, saw the marginalization of the ideological faction.
By March 1937, Joyce was dismissed from the BUF's paid staff as it faced a financial crisis. The ardent anti-Semitism fell out of favor with Mosley in early November 1936. The Public Order Act was introduced in 1936 to limit political violence. Amongst its restrictions, it included the offense. of using insulting words and behavior in public speeches. Thus, Joyce's role in the BUF became marginalized. He was no longer involved in decision making and was eventually dismissed.
With former BUF leaders John Beckett and Angus MacNab, Joyce set up the National Socialist League (NSL). It was a small organization. comprising mostly defectors. With the motto 'Steer Straight', Joyce produced a booklet for the organization., 'National Socialism Now'.(NSN) He also wrote another publication for the NSL called 'Dictatorship' which focused on fascism generally, whereas NSN focused more on National Socialism, (the German model).
These two documents emphasize nationalism loyalty to Britain and the need for unity. Prominent in both the articles is the argument that fascism and a fascist regime in a country is a natural progression for a scientific country. The words organic and science are repeated throughout documents. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that propaganda is only effective through repetition of key words and phrases. This is evident in Joyce's writings. The themes of unity, British nationalism, science and the natural progression to fascism are repeated throughout the two texts. While Dictatorship is a short piece aimed at the casual reader, NSN focuses on the economics of Britain and the changes that need to occur. Joyce presented National Socialism as the only solution to the problem, criticizing the policies of Communism and democracy.
Dictatorship and NSN proliferate with Joyce's extravagant use of language. This distinctive style of writing can also be traced in his broadcasts from Germany to Britain. This is discussed in chapter 2. For example, when describing the superiority of National Socialism over Communism, he writes of:
"the revolutionary yearning of people to cast off the chains of gross, sordid, democratic materialism without having put on the shackles Marxist Materialism."
Joyce's following declined with the inevitability of war and membership in the NSL became restricted to friends, family, and a few eccentrics. Beckett left after a disagreement with Joyce over the running of the organization. Due to a lack of members, the NSL eventually fell into debt.
Before the outbreak of
war, fearing that he and his wife would be interned if they remained in Britain,
Joyce fled to Germany at the beginning of September 1939. The evening he left,
Joyce gathered the members NSL and declared their activities suspended. While
having a whisky with MacNab, he said "I am going for good to become a
German national, at any event my my life in England is over."
Chapter 2: Germany Calling
In 1939 William Joyce moved with his wife to Germany, where he became involved in English language radio broadcasts to Britain. He became known as Lord Haw-Haw and was the Germans' most important broadcaster. This chapter will examine the content of some of his propaganda It also explores his only published book, Twilight Over England, which was sponsored by the German Foreign Ministry.
Having quickly fled to Berlin in September 1939, Joyce needed to find employment. In a country preparing for war, the Joyces feared internment as aliens in Germany. Although they had few friends, one managed to organize work for Joyce as a casual translator for the German Foreign Ministry. Through his employer, Dr. Schirmer, an interview with Dr. Hertzler was arranged. Hertzler worked under von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister. Hertzler referred Joyce to Walter Kamm in the Reichsrundfunk (the German Radio Corporation). Initially Kamm was unimpressed with Joyce's radio test considering his voice too nasal. A sound engineer intervened claiming that he had vocal characteristics which could be successfully exploited through radio. On 18 September contracted as an editor and speaker for the Reichsrundfunk at Berlin".
All English language broadcasters and programs were centralized at the Reichsrundfunk in Berlin, such as news commentaries recorded sent by post office land line to transmitters in Hamburg, Bremen, Zeesen, or Cologne depending upon the availability of airtime. Thus Joyce was often heard on Radio Hamburg, Bremen and Zeesen.
There were many English language announcers broadcasting to the British Isles and initially the name Lord Haw-Haw referred to all of them. It was first used by Jonah Barrington in the Daily Express on 14 September and again on 18 September 1939. Those included as "Lord Haw-Haw were Norman Baillie-Stewart, Eduard Dietze, Jack Trevor (second in importance after Joyce) and others. Many broadcasters joined the team for different reasons stayed varying amounts of time. Others were often half-German or had been living Germany as permanent residents before war. William Joyce differed, having voluntarily fled to from Britain announcers broadcasting. Some merely fell into job. [[[[ by complaining about standard broadcasts. Successful his voice test, he was offered a place August 1939.%%%%
From his fascist background in Britain, it was not surprising that Joyce was politically involved. In the preface to his book, Twilight Over England, Joyce stated why he was interested in politics.
"I am not in politics because I want to get on, but because I feel and believe things that I consider it a duty to utter. Success be damned!"
Therefore it would seem that Joyce's choice to broadcast to Britain was from ideological convictions.
The BBC acknowledged the presence of Joyce as a new broadcaster on 3 October 1939. "There is a new announcer on these stations who speaks perfect English, but with a much less ironical tone than the other English announcer." At this stage though, Joyce had not been linked to the character Lord Haw-Haw. It is interesting to note that Goebbels, in his diaries, always refers to Joyce as Lord Haw-Haw. The first instance is an entry of 5 January 1940.
"In London there is great outrage about our radio broadcasts in English. An announcer has been given the nickname 'Lord Haw-Haw'."
The myth of Lord Haw-Haw and its identification with Joyce by British public are discussed in Chapter Three.
Joyce was not well liked by the other employees at Reichsrundfunk especially Norman Baillie-Stewart, who saw him as a threat to their positions. Initially Joyce argued with Baillie-Stewart who was slowly moved into translating duties for the Foreign Office as a consequence.
Even though Joyce was unpopular with the other broadcasters, Lord Haw-Haw's following in Britain was estimated in the millions by the winter 1939/40. The German Government was aware of both Joyce's ability and value as an excellent propagandist and of his following in Britain. Propaganda Minister Goebbels wrote in January 1940:
"Our English radio broadcasts are being taken with deadly seriousness in England. Lord Haw-Haw's name is on everybody lips. We do not react but we intensify the broadcasts."
Without access to the Propaganda Ministry files, it is not possible to ascertain the extent of the Germans' plans for Joyce. Was he singled out by the British as Lord Haw-Haw due to greater airtime? If so, why did they choose Joyce over other broadcasters?
By the summer of 1942, Joyce had been appointed Chief Commentator in the English Editorial Department of the German Broadcasting Stations for Europe. This was not only a better paid position, but an acknowledgment that Joyce was the English voice of Berlin. On 440901, the Kriegsverdienstkreuz (Cross of War Merit First Class) was presented to Joyce for services to the Reich. It was a civilian award similar to the Order of the British Empire, signed personally by the Führer.
The German Foreign Ministry's authorization and sponsoring of Twilight Over England could have been in part a recognition of Joyce's influence as a broadcaster. Written in mid-1940, it was intended for release in Britain after a successful invasion. As Germany abandoned its invasion plans, the book was given to POWs to read in September 1940. The themes of Twilight Over England are echoed in both Joyce's prewar thinking and his broadcasts to Britain. There is a chapter devoted to racist criticism of the Jews, "British foreign policy and the ultimate causes of war" and the general failings of the British Government. The first four chapters of Twilight Over England contain Joyce's interpretation of British economic and political history. These chapters extensively criticize the 'pathetic' politics of Britain. He writes about the continual political mismanagement throughout the previous few centuries. Therefore to Joyce, the downfall of Britain was inevitable. Joyce's contempt for the British Government was openly expressed in Twilight Over England.
"The system of government in Britain today deserves one description only: it is a plutocratic oligarchy, a materialist philosophy with a Jewish purpose and a tyrannous effect."
In Twilight Over England, the theme that the British public were forced into a war with Germany, by British politicians and influential Jews is explored. It is reminiscent of the prewar English Fascist desire for peace with Germany, and echoes broadcasts by Joyce. Joyce wrote:
"The decision to attack Germany was arbitrarily taken by a handful of men who were responsible only to the City of London and its Jewish lending houses. No act of despotism could be more complete."
This was Joyce's established method to instill doubt in the minds of British public. He argued that the government is incompetent and influenced by factors which were not in the public interest. He ironically emphasized how undemocratic it is, in his book and broadcasts sponsored by a Fascist regime.
It is interesting that Joyce uses the words Jewish purpose in his description of the British Government as an indication of his anti-Semitism. Joyce presented the traits of Jews, which are against all things British, as biological. Due to Jewish money and power, Jewish influence over British politicians meant, Joyce argued, that the country was effectively run by Jews who did not have the British national interest at heart. Joyce argues that Britain's war against Germany, and the lack of democracy, was part of a Jewish conspiracy.
"…[it] is nothing more or less than the exploitation of the people by the politicians for the aims of International and Jewish Finance."
In the chapter titled Jews Joyce's anti-Semitism is most evident. He asserted seven characteristics that marked them as a race (footnote 1). Joyce continues in the chapter to demonstrate the alleged extent of 'the Jewish influence' in Britain, listing powerful Jewish companies, citing different fields of employment that Jews dominate and how British politicians were the tools of the influential Jews.
Joyce's ideological beliefs are also evident in his broadcasts. He was very critical of the material that was broadcast to Britain. Margaret wrote:
"He [William Joyce] had battles almost all the time about the muck which the Propaganda Ministry kept turning out as suitable for talks in English and were badly formulated inaccurate news."
However, with the establishment of the New British Broadcasting Station (NBBS) in late February 1940, Joyce was given an opportunity to write broadcasts. Subsequently his role at Reichsrundfunk changed. Hertzler asked him to produce scripts for every day. Although Joyce could not actually broadcast for NBBS, as it purported to originate in Britain, he was allowed greater input into its content. It "offered Joyce a conspicuous platform to demonstrate his skills." This is in contrast to his broadcasting as Lord Haw-Haw, where Joyce was not often allowed to have input into the content, which usually came directly from the Propaganda Ministry. (footnote 2)
While Joyce furiously wrote scripts for transmission by the NBBS, he also continued to broadcast as Lord Haw-Haw. In his elevated position as 'Chief Commentator', Joyce no longer merely announced the news, but was allowed to focus on 'Views on the News'. In this position, Joyce had more input into the content of the broadcasts. Joyce was often announced as Lord Haw-Haw by the previous news broadcaster. 'Views on the News' was a commentary on events and issues relevant to the day's incidents or simply an attack on the weaknesses of Britain.
Through his broadcasts, William Joyce's propaganda was intended to instill defeatism in the British listening public. He began one broadcast as follows:
"There are times when it is unchivalrous to disparage an opponent and definitely unwise, but one cannot possible view otherwise than with contempt the conception of fighting which Britain has shown in this war."
" This attitude might not have convinced listeners, but it could have still raised doubts about British military strength and the competence of the Government."
Joyce's broadcasts were strongly critical of Britain. His justification was that he was telling the British people the truth. [[[[ , supplying the public with facts suppressed by politicians. Joyce tried to create an atmosphere in which the British people could no longer trust their government due to incompetence.
"What the politicians regarded or professed to regard as a triumph, was to the soldiers a bloody defeat from which they were extremely fortunate to escape alive."
Joyce's broadcasts such as the one above titled: "Britain's cowardice in War" a comment on the evacuation of Dunkirk, were so critical that they ran the risk of alienating and antagonizing some of his British audience.
Joyce presented many issues in black and white. Statements such as "this is absolutely false!" and people need to "study the facts", were often used. Joyce presented himself as on a crusade to show the British people how misguided they had been in believing their politicians. By implication, upon being 'shown the light' by Joyce, the British should revolt, or at least no longer trust the politicians or the government.
In his broadcasts Joyce continually juxtaposed British incompetence with German superiority.
"Germany has solved problems you have not yet even started to tackle and some day your unemployed men, women, boys, and girls will call the government account for this."
In his early broadcasts Joyce mocked the state of unemployment in Britain and consequently its military by calling the unemployed 'a mighty army'. This comment was designed to instill fear in the population, for them to conclude that there were more people unemployed than defending the country. In "Britain's Cowardice in War", Joyce boasted over the state of the war to date. This broadcast was given in August 1940 when Germany had defeated much of Continental Europe and was threatening the British Isles. Therefore, Joyce was in a position to cite many examples of German military superiority, British military incompetence against Germany and Britain's horrible military defeats. At the beginning of this broadcast, Joyce emphasized Britain's past glory, and military strength, and prowess before this war, inferring that its decline was the fault of the current government.
"she (England) was regarded by millions of neutral people as the greatest fighting power in the world and shattering this illusion is perhaps the most profound moral shock that England's friends have had to bear as this tragic conflict is needlessly prolonged through her government choice."
Joyce also implied that the British people could have had peace with Germany, but only their government refused to accept German peace offers.
Not only did Joyce attack the military incompetence of the British Government, but also its irresponsibility towards the colonies. He criticized. the low standard living in them. He claimed that this was a direct result of Britain investing elsewhere. Joyce argued that it was the fault of the Jewish financiers who controlled the money and power in Britain, but did not have British interests at heart.
"In this wretched policy every British Government has acquiesced because Downing Street is merely Forter's Lodge to the House of Rothschild."
This theme of Jews controlling British finances and investing internationally reflected the anti-Semitism of BUF and NSL, which coincided with the anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany.
Were Joyce and the German Propaganda Ministry trying to inspire a revolt in Britain? This is difficult determine without access of files. The BBC Monitoring Service reported on one occasion that:
"It would seem that the Germans are so confident of a revolt in Britain and France as that this country is the Reich!"
This demonstrates that the BBC and possibly the British Government feared that, even though there was no possibility of Germans inciting a revolt, Britain was being directly attacked through the morale of the people.
Joyce always emphasized that it was British politicians and not the people who opposed Germany National Socialism and instigated war against which was not in its interest. This thinking also echoes Joyce's prewar beliefs. Both the BUF and Joyce's National Socialist League desired peace with Germany.
"If Germany had been ready to interfere in other peoples affairs as you are, they might have told you to get rid of your own ineffectual system [of government] but they regarded that as your business."
Joyce asserted that the government of Britain was interfering with German internal affairs and also that the will of the people was being ignored. The politicians should first help at home before fighting a war.
"What concern have they (the politicians) in the Poles and Czechs or any other European people when British are allowed to walk streets without bread or clothes?"
A recurrent theme in Joyce's early broadcasts was the state of unemployment in Britain. He attacked politicians who hated National Socialism, which is an example virtually full employment, unlike Britain, illustrating its superiority.
"the magnificent practical results of National Socialism on the welfare of the German people, our politicians jeered and fumed at this."
"All this talk about expenditure goes on, but in fact millions are being spent in your attempt to destroy a country that is socially decades ahead of you."
It would be interesting to examine if Joyce's propaganda changed in its theme of superiority as the war progressed, with Germany losing the dominant position.
Joyce emphasized the futility of Britain's war against Germany. It should actually have been following Germany's example in social policy. He placed blame wholly upon politicians. They pushed into a war that people did not want nor need. He continued to argue that the politicians were lying to the people about why a war was necessary. This rhetoric is similar to the late 1930s Fascist discourse in Britain, when the BUF, especially, was urging for peace with Germany.
"Study the facts and you will appreciate the hypocritical pretexts which your politicians are advancing for this war."
Not only did Joyce criticize the politicians for entering war, but also for holding to prewar threats and promises.
"We are at war. A war you have brought about in the name of all those virtues which you have failed to practice and it is now time to speak openly of these hypocrisies and pretenses which previously did not concern us."
Joyce's broadcasts covered various themes, usually illuminating the alleged uselessness and incompetencies of the British Government. They were attempts to instill a feeling of defeatism. However it is possible that he ran the risk of alienating his audience through his arrogant reprimands of the Government's behavior. Despite this, his message may have had an influence at a subconscious level, a possibility that will be examined in Chapter Three."
Interestingly, William Joyce's wife Margaret also did casual broadcasts to Britain. In a program called Tuesday Talk for Women she addressed issues affecting the Reich. In numerous broadcasts, Margaret Joyce praised the better living conditions in Germany, whilst criticizing the unfortunate situation in Britain:
"It seems to me that the people referred to in the British Press as poor starving Germans are going to have a very much better time this Christmas than those unfortunates who exist under free individualistic democracies. I have no doubt that certain classes of rich Jews and other profiteers will thoroughly enjoy themselves."
In a manner similar to her husband, Margaret Joyce tried instill the feeling that in the British democracy there were certain types of people who profited. She emphasized the working class forgotten by politicians in Britain, whereas all Germans remembered their politicians. Life was therefore more comfortable in Nazi Germany.
"The Germans whom British Press pretends to pity so much will have their children with them for Christmas and even the poorest a tree, extra coal, and little luxuries."
Margaret Joyce's talks were not as fearsome as her husband's broadcasts. Her talks appear more to be gloating about the superiority of conditions in Germany, due to National Socialism, from a woman's perspective.
Urged by political conviction
to move to Germany and his duty to tell the "truth", it is unsurprising that
many of the themes Joyce wrote about and spoke of in Germany were similar to
his previous beliefs. As in Twilight Over England, Joyce reflected
his own beliefs, which neatly meshed with prevailing Nazi ideology and propaganda
aims. Joyce's influence and importance was not derived so much from his earlier
political career, nor Twilight Over England, but from the response
to his broadcasts in Britain.
Chapter 3: Britain's Haw-Haw
It is impossible to quantify the exact extent of Lord Haw-Haw's popularity. However there are indications that many people listened him and other foreign language broadcasts from Germany. William Shirer, an American correspondent in Berlin, wrote in his diary whose voice millions English on radio every night. The popularity of listening to Lord Haw-Haw is usually considered to have peaked during the "Phony War" period (September 1939 April 1940). Calder argues that curiosity and absence of war news, typical of the Phony War period, led many people to listen to German foreign broadcasts This is reinforced by the Mass Observation (footnote 3) claim that "his success must be connected with the people's hunger for news.
There are many different estimates and figures of Lord Haw-Haw's British audience. In a sample 34000 people early 1940 the BBC recorded that fifteen percent were regular listeners Radio Hamburg (for whom Joyce was broadcasting)sixty-five listened from time to twenty-five had day before The BBC also estimated that six million people listened every day or every second day, eighteen million were occasional listeners and eleven million non-listeners There were approximately twenty-three million regular listeners of the BBC news Mass Observation noted that, in December 1939, 37 percent of the public listened to foreign broadcasts and 62 percent of those had last listened to Hamburg
Home Intelligence Reports revealed fluctuations in listening to Lord Haw-Haw and indicate that he continued have a wide audience past the period of Phony War. On 14 September 1940 it was noted although morale is high, more people than for some time are Haw-Haw. On the 17 September 1940, it was noted that "regional reports continue to state that there is an increase in the amount of listening to German broadcasts. These reports indicate that Joyce's British audience remained extensive well into the period of the Battle of Britain and subsequent Blitz.
The amount of comment in British press on Lord Haw-Haw gave an indication his popularity. a letter to editor The Times in 1939 suggesting action to counter Lord Haw-Haw, a Mr. Hobson wrote:
The challenge [for Lord Haw-Haw to source his statements] might well be introduced into British broadcasts Germany. BBC need have no fear that by doing this they would advertising Haw-Haw. ... dear fellow is already a figure of national popularity.
Similarly a debate in The Times on Lord Haw-Haw's accent indicates the extent of his recognition as a national figure. In reply to Mr. Hobson's letter, Miss Macaulay wrote:
Your correspondent ... repeats the curious popular legend about Lord Haw-Haw's voice being aristocratic upper class, and so forth. What is this based on? speaks excellent English, but surely not Cholmondeley Plantagenet out of Christ Church. I should call it public school English.
This response encouraged others to write their opinions , and as The Times wrote, "readers have sent in their opinion but, while they are full of interest, they differ so widely that an authoritative pronouncement is clearly called for. People wanted their say on the mythical figure of Lord Haw-Haw. On 8 January 1940, The Times listed twenty different opinions on the issue There was no real consensus on the origin of Lord Haw-Haw's accent This perpetuated the myth of Lord Haw-Haw as an unknown figure in the people's lives, whilst remaining omniscient.
Another interesting aspect is who listened to Lord Haw-Haw. Was his audience determined by socioeconomic issues, gender, and/or region? This has proven difficult to resolve or effectively answer. Home Intelligence Reports do give some indications.
In the Points from the Regions section of Home Intelligence Reports on Opinion and Morale by Ministry of Information, there was occasional mention increase decrease Haw-Haw listening different districts. On 7 July 1940 , in the Southwestern region (Bristol)it reported that people are less to Haw-Haw.Then Northern Ireland, few listened to said be Haw-Haw... In the Northeastern region (Leeds), "More people are listening to Haw-Haw and the NBBS appears to have a large number of listeners. By early December 1940, the Ministry of Information wrote that "only in the Eastern region is Haw-Haw listening said not to have increased. Increased and decreased listening are indicated in these reports, but there could be no definite statistics on the number of people listening to Haw-Haw. The last two quotes, dating well after the Phony War period, demonstrate that the listening of Lord Haw-Haw was increasing at this time, not decreasing as historians have claimed.
The Home Intelligence Reports noted that Haw-Haw rumors are reported to be increasing, especially in middle class. However, this was not necessarily an indication that middle class people listened to Lord Haw-Haw more than any other class. As illustrated earlier, rumors giving Lord Haw-Haw as their source, did not necessarily originate from him. A Mass Observation report claims that "by mid-November, 1939, Haw-Haw's popularity was established in all classes and in all places. However, this quote seems rather generalized, it does not examine why different people listened. It appears, however, that Lord Haw-Haw was perceived as crossing all boundaries.
There are many reasons why people listened to German radio and particularly Lord Haw-Haw. Most commonly in the early stages of war news was often reported by Germany before same information released Britain Haw-Haw's audience "heard that the Germans had taken Amiens and Arras twelve hours before they got news from the British press and wireless. This annoyed many government agencies who, as Lord Haw-Haw would say, were trying to keep the facts from the public When awaiting news of events, people often expected that they "would hear it first from Haw-Haw. The Government was worried that the early release of news items by Germany would increase the popularity of German radio. (footnote 4) It is unclear why British information policy did not adjust to these circumstances, of which they were well aware.
This led people to regard German broadcasts as more accurate than British news. In another Home Intelligence Report it was noted that the accuracy of communiqués is frequently commented upon in contrast to news from France, where it was felt that "they are hiding something from us.
The public were also dissatisfied with news supplied at home. There accusations that German did not gloss over facts' People felt that the British Government did not trust them to cope with the distressing news, and thus the public was not told everything. The "majority view is that news should be more candid when things are going badly; 'we can take it'" There was also an attitude that, whilst Germany was winning the war, British people would get their news from Germany first The inference that the German news would be more reliable as the true source of what was happening, and that the British Government would not tell the population the extent of the "bad" events in the war.
People also listened to German radio for a balanced view of the events war. This did not exclude listening to the BBC news transmissions. People thought that both sides were hiding information, especially the Ministry of Information, because it took so long for news to be released. People commented that there was a 'grain of truth' in Lord Haw-Haw's broadcasts and this could be balanced against BBC news. This reinforces the idea that people thought German broadcasts were an accurate source of information.
People also hoped to pick up hints about coming events” through Lord Haw-Haw's broadcasts. This was also evident in the circulation of rumors with Haw-Haw as the source. For example, in the week 24 December 1940 to 1 January 1941, it was reported that "Haw-Haw is said to have announced the dates of Manchester's blitz in advance.”
Many people tuned into Lord Haw-Haw for a good laugh. He was seen as entertainment. One man wrote The Times in defense of Lord Haw-Haw, claiming that he gave people entertainment and thus could not be so bad. Lord Haw-Haw provided something for people to talk about, some light entertainment through the Blitz. One newspaper article went as far as thanking Haw-Haw for providing Britain with such a great service. Mockingly, the writer congratulated Haw-Haw as he "is a greater mirth-producer than half a dozen of our home grown comedians rolled into one." It goes on to claim that to "remove him from the air and our nightly blackout will be intolerable.”
The entertainment element was heavily emphasized in newspaper articles about him, as opposed to the Home Intelligence Reports which did not mention it. In Cassandra's column in The Daily Mirror, Lord Haw-Haw was seen to be more entertaining than attempts by the BBC.
To hear his (Lord Haw-Haw) diatribes shouted from Hamburg in guttural English is a lot more entertaining than listening the canned cafe music which almost sole fare offered by BBC.
In Home Intelligence Reports the banality of BBC news was stressed as a factor for explaining his appeal.
Constant repetition of identical or similar news in BBC bulletins continue to be criticized.
The myth of Lord Haw-Haw originated in papers. Jonah Barrington The Daily Express, originally used the name Lord Haw-Haw to describe the broadcasters from Germany to Britain, in particular Norman Baillie-Stewart At this stage (18 September 1939), Joyce had not begun broadcasting. This is a phenomenon similar to that recognized by Angus Calder in the creation of the myth of the Blitz. Calder states that the naming of the Blitz happened before the bombing actually started.
+2" "Anticipating an attempt by Germany to bomb Britain out of the war, publicists had appropriated the word [Blitz] before… the official start.
Although the context of Blitz is profoundly different from myth , the case of Lord Haw-Haw does clearly illustrate how people during war were anticipating events and characters. In consequence, he was developed into a mythical being as soon broadcasts began.
The name Lord Haw-Haw was derived from mocking an aristocratic Oxford accent Norman Baillie-Stewart, in his autobiography, claimed that "the first Lord Haw-Haw was not William Joyce or myself, but Wolff Mittler, a man with both snobbish manners and an aristocratic voice. It is unclear how Joyce became Lord Haw-Haw as his accent has been described as a "sarcastic, emphatic and occasionally drawling monotone Can this be explained in terms of his strong ideological beliefs or merely because he was the most frequent broadcaster?
In a broadcast on 3 April 1941, William Joyce revealed himself as Lord Haw-Haw. However, Cole claims that this came a year too late for the British public, who already knew Haw-Haw's identity. It is very difficult to ascertain the validity of this statement due to the lack of sources available. By 2 August 1940, the BBC had positively identified Lord Haw-Haw as Joyce. It has been asserted that Joyce had already been denounced in the House of Commons as early as 23 May 1940. It is also thought MI5 knew even before then.
Joyce's biographer Francis Selwyn has hypothesized that if the press and other media (such as London theater) had ignored Lord Haw-Haw he would not have such a large audience. The press publicized the personality of 'Lord Haw-Haw'. The Daily Mail was accused of inspiring people who had never listened to German radio to tune in, by their anti-Lord Haw-Haw campaign. This campaign was not solely limited to The Daily Mail, and can be found in other popular newspapers. The following extract from an article is typical of the negative publicity that Lord Haw-Haw enjoyed in the press in Britain:
Lord Haw-Haw is producer, comic, and narrator all in one. He quotes H. G. Wells as anti-German ... this rhyme making it refer to Poland Britain: She told me loved. But oh how lied.... Then said goodnight went home. I hate tell you that we are have similar dazzling entertainment at the same time every night. Value : nil. Critical Temperature Below freezing.
Through this negative press coverage German propaganda was able to reach a wider audience.
Not only did the newspapers mock Lord Haw-Haw phenomena swept into London theater Western Brothers wrote a song based on Uncle Boohoo of Moscow, another character created by Jonah Barrington, and which contains following lines:
Uncle Boo-Hoo of Moscow Lord Haw-Haw Zeesen,
We may be two Britishers Three cheers for treason!
This song was so popular with the audience that Western Brothers had to move it end of show as not interrupt its flow.
The press and London theater, however, cannot take full credit for extent of popularity thus myth Lord Haw-Haw. Mass Observation commented that
he (Lord Haw-Haw) is worth considering in a little detail as the joint production of German propaganda ministry and our own popular imagination.
It is important to realize that Lord Haw-Haw was a product of British wartime psychology. The broadcaster came be mythological projection psyche. This due pressure war involving events beyond control of the individual and presenting a constant threat unknown.
This psychological state of siege is evident in the use Lord Haw-Haw as a common source rumors throughout Britain As Calder accurately states, "...what Joyce and his colleagues said was far less important than what people believed they had said. The role of rumors and the subsequent myth of Joyce as Lord Haw-Haw are important indicators of the psychological state of the people of Britain during the war. Longmate argues that "an alarming symptom of low morale [in the Phony War] was the growing number of British citizens who listened to Lord Haw-Haw.
Ian McLainein Ministry of Morale, an academic study of the Ministry of Information; argues that "rumor was a palliative used by a public frustrated by official news policy. The issuing and censoring of news was centralized in the Ministry of Information for the duration of the war. Much of the news was extensively censored and its release was greatly delayed by this process. As previously discussed, many people tuned into German radio because their news was released sooner than British news.
Lord Haw-Haw was often quoted as the source of varying rumors in Britain. They included sending messages to Fifth Columnists through codes his broadcasts, announcing blitz targets in advance, and exaggerated stories of towns being threatened with bombing if their cinemas showed anti-German films. These rumors helped develop the myth of the omniscient Haw-Haw. The most famous rumor that Lord Haw-Haw is identified with, which is still is mentioned in contemporary books, is the Arlington Clock rumor.
Lord Haw-Haw is alleged to have stated that the Darlington Town Hall Clock 2 minutes slow which in fact it is.
This clearly illustrates the myth of Lord Haw-Haw as omniscient. He knew every detail happening in Britain even if a town clock was slow. Although is alleged to have said many things and supposed origin rumors not often case.
The Ministry of Information was on many occasions able to refute most rumors which had Lord Haw-Haw as their origin This was achieved through such simple measures as listening to Haw-Haw's broadcasts. On 21 May 1940, it was reported in a Home Intelligence Report that
Haw is quoted as the source of many rumors. Investigation, however, shows that there has been no reference by German propaganda to places or industries in"
Also it was reported that G. M. Robertson of Wimborne said they had heard a rumor Haw-Haw threatened her town at 04:00 Through investigations turned out there no broadcast this hour and that such language foreign to Haw's technique. In another report, the Ministry of Information stressed that "these rumors (of bombing predictions) bear little or no relation to actual broadcasts from Germany…
Not only was Joyce quoted as the source of rumors, there also were many rumors about him. In The Daily Express on the 8 December 1939, the headline read "Haw-Haw gets 5 pounds a week no days off. The source for this dubious information was, understandably, withheld. The mystery surrounding who Lord Haw-Haw was, filled popular newspapers with speculation, and articles based on rumors about him." (footnote 5)
The effect of rumors that are supposed to have originated from Lord Haw-Haw were a cause for concern. Whether this (rumor) is true or not on those who believed make them regard as kind omniscient being. In another Home Intelligence Weekly Report from the 11 18 December 1940, it was noted that:
these rumors (of blitz predictions) are causing widespread and genuine anxiety. Absenteeism at one engineering works is said to have followed [from] Haw-Haw rumor.
It is necessary to question why these rumors existed. Were they satisfying a psychological need of the public? used by British public explain an unknown With the lack of news, people needed information. In the absence of official statements, news was often invented. Rumors about Lord Haw-Haw or what he had said were essentially giving expression to fears British people were experiencing. Mass Observation also commented that
unconsciously people project on to him the fantasy rumors which are produced from fear or despair explain facts expectations of moment.
The Ministry of Information comments in May 1940 indicate awareness effect rumors had on British morale.
Clearly the presence of rumors is symptomatic an underlying condition of ignorance, bewilderment, or distrust: may be spread deliberately product idle and irresponsible gossiping. There was a strong prevalence last September (1939)they have again emerged as important factor in public morale. Two facts should appreciated: 1. are not recognized such but believed. 2. the great majority local context.
In a Mass Observation report on Lord Haw-Haw March 1940 it was noted that there are great discrepancies between what the population publicly said about and they privately felt. Many people feared were uneasy things he said However, publicly, they often claimed that they found him funny and ridiculous. Eileen Nixon remembered Lord Haw-Haw thus:
at the age of three... [bombs dropping] did not frighten me very much. What was to hear call sign from Beethoven's Fifth or Lord Haw-Haw Germany Calling'…
The press favored entertainment value of Lord Haw-Haw and regarded him as a joke This probably influenced the population's public opinion of Lord Haw-Haw as a comic figure. Mass Observation asked a sample what their opinion of Lord Haw-Haw was. They replied: funny, convincing, dangerous, boring and fearsome. Mass Observation was struck by the difference between public and private reactions to Lord Haw-Haw. One person admitted this private fear:
I think that secretly we are rather terrified by the appalling things he says. His propaganda in a way tells us of decadence democracy and so on. He spouts so much hate that it frightens me. Am alone in this? Nobody has confessed to me as much.
Mass Observation found that thirty-one percent of public reaction was to ridicule the broadcasts, but privately it half figure There was also a private tendency to feel uneasy or depressed. This could well have been the intention of the German propagandists.
An interesting effect of Joyce's propaganda was evident in a Mass Observation survey late 1939. People were questioned as to why the British fighting war. Seventeen percent replied for the cause of the war was the Jews or to save the capitalists' money". Such a claim might reflect the political influence of British communism or fascism as much as the themes of German propaganda. The above answers, however, also reflected Joyce's own ideas. In his book, Twilight Over England, Joyce blamed the Jewish international financiers for Britain going to war against Germany.
Thus a typically Jewish greed not only kept the coalfields idle and miners unemployed but left England gravely unprepared for war that Jews themselves were continually urging her to wage against Germany.
This theme is also recurrent in the thinking of BUF which Joyce was Director Propaganda 1930s. The sentiments expressed by some British public may part reflect German aims and thus Lord Haw-Haw.
The press were concerned that, if left unchecked, Lord Haw-Haw's propaganda would slowly undermine people confidence.
This is the real purpose behind those Hamburg broadcasts. They look as if were intended to influence our opinions , to convince or persuade us, but in reality they are really feelings make us uneasy, mistrustful, and depressed.
Mass Observation noted the following:
Little wonder people are afraid of the effect he will have on other people. (And secretly themselves.)
In letters to the editor The Times in as early as 1939, correspondents urged that something should be done about Lord Haw-Haw to minimize his propaganda effect upon the unwary There were suggestions that there should be systematic jamming of Lord Haw-Haw's broadcasts. There were also suggestions to counter German propaganda by the BBC broadcasting samples of the Nazi's inconsistencies. People were trying to take action against Lord Haw-Haw, when the government seemed apathetic towards the problem. A Home Intelligence Report noted in alarm:
The effect of Haw-Haw is considered in this region (Bristol) to be extremely insidious and danger underestimated by BBC Government, who do not fully appreciate what extent propaganda believed.
It would be interesting to investigate whether Joyce's broadcasts were most effective in certain areas Britain, such as the Channel ports and other places where invasion was likely. However sources do not discuss these issues at all.
Certain propaganda topics in Joyce's broadcasts seemed to have an adverse effect on public morale, such as the claim of as better social conditions Germany 6, "the inevitability of Hitler['s success] and Hitler's invincibility. Another cause for concern were the disproportionate figures in German and BBC broadcasts. For example,
Our air losses are constantly compared with those of Germany and since German communiqués widely heard read in this country people at a loss to understand the reasons for disproportionate losses. Without interpretation explanation vague suspicion grows.
Therefore there was a need for help in interpreting the different sources of news.
By 1940 the British Government was becoming alarmed Joyce's popularity and its effect on public. Although perceived as apathetic towards Haw-Haw, they did implement certain countermeasures. There evidence in spreading of rumors to counteract defeatist thinking. The fear of the rumors that had Haw-Haw as the source, which the Ministry of Information usually proved otherwise, lead to requests of the Government for counteraction. The most frequent request was for counter-propaganda, which is discussed above. The Ministry of Information also appealed for such action to counter rumors.
In view of the fact that Haw-Haw is still widely believed, however incorrectly to be source many rumors, particularly those referring localities by name cooperation BBC would extremely valuable giving publicity denials such rumors.
It is not clear whether the BBC followed any such recommendations. Despite this important to realize that Ministry of Information was concerned with need counter rumors and German propaganda. This indicates that Haw-Haw perceived as a real threat public morale.
Traditionally it has been emphasized that anti-Lord Haw-Haw campaigns implemented by the Government had come too late However, there is no evidence to support this claim. My research has demonstrated that Joyce's influence extended beyond the Phony War period. Therefore, it is an important subject for further investigation whether any of the following Government campaigns were successful. In July 1940, there was the release of the "What do I do…?" campaign with the following advertisement:
What do I do if I come across German or Italian broadcast when tuning my wireless? say to myself: Now this blighter wants me listen him. Am going he wants? remember nobody can trust a word the Haw-Haws say, so just make them waste time switch em off tune out!
By 1940 spreading a rumor became punishable offense. with 50 pound fine The famous "Careless Talk Costs Lives" campaign using posters was implemented primarily for two reasons; (a) to ensure British security and (b) to keep morale high by stopping defeatist rumors However, these measures were soon seen as negative and unproductive as this Home Intelligence Report notes
There is a growing feeling that too many campaigns take the form of unconstructive prohibitions (Don't gossip Don listen to enemy broadcasts).
From the sources available, it is evident that population felt to curb rise in popularity of Lord Haw-Haw, there needed be a more positive reaction by British Government.
Although there are no exact figures concerning the extent of Haw-Haw's popularity it can be said that much public did come into contact with him. If was not heard on radio, then he could missed in press articles mocking or thanking him warning people against were many reasons as to why listened by public. What was expressed by the newspapers seemed most a form entertainment. However Home Intelligence Reports convey because German news released first, it was believed by some that their transmissions more accurate and BBC too banal. There was also interesting difference between how privately felt what they publicly about Haw-Haw.
It is very difficult to
estimate and assess the impact of Haw-Haw on English public. In certain instances
some aspects of Joyce's thinking propaganda had penetrated into rationalization.
Although British historians have claimed that popularity influence was limited
Phony War period, this is not evident from the sources which indicated his
extended influence during the period of the Blitz. Traditionally has been assumed
people only listened for news lacking War. However there were many other reasons
why Haw-Haw. Therefore surprising went beyond April 1940.
Chapter 4: The Trial and Death of Lord Haw-Haw
On 30 April 1945, William Joyce gave his last broadcast as Lord Haw-Haw to the English Public. Although he promised be off air only for a few months was never Germany had him broadcast again. He was in May arrested by British Military in Germany This chapter explores the events of his capture, the press coverage in Britain, Joyce's trial and subsequent appeals and the lack of press response. The relation between the trial and Joyce's effectiveness as a propagandist is also discussed. What does the hanging of William Joyce represent? Did it reflect a fear of his effectiveness as a propagandist? The question of whether the British Government felt it was imperative to try Joyce on the public's behalf, as he had tormented them throughout the war, is also addressed.
A press release by Reuters on 5 May 1945 sparked interest once again in the mysterious figure of Lord Haw-Haw. It claimed that Joyce was known to be Denmark Responses varied from a subdued report in The Times, which reported the Reuters release word for word, to The Daily Mirror's, exaggerated claims that "Haw-Haw fled to Denmark!' inferring he was fleeing British authorities The Daily Express article was particularly vindictive. It recounted that Joyce was a naturalized Briton, originally born in New York and became a naturalized German during the war. "Such a plea will not save him from trial as a traitor if he is caught. The legal justification of this claim was that naturalization laws cease to function between warring countries According to The Daily Express, Joyce could be tried for treason if caught. However Joyce was never British. His American to German naturalization was valid as those countries had not yet declared war.
It is hard to judge from the press reports whether public wanted Haw-Haw be tried for treason. By 15 May(thirteen days before his capture), the Daily Express reported that
sufficient evidence has been collected against William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw)to justify a decision to be now taken put him on trial in London if he is caught alive.
However it seems as though the British Government had every intention of finding Joyce and prosecuting him.
On 28 May 1945, William Joyce was caught by British Military in Flensburg near the Danish border Joyce encountered Captain Lickorish and Lieutenant Perry of the Reconnaissance Regiment, whilst they were gathering wood in a nearby forest Joyce pointed to some more wood, and saying "Here are a few more pieces", whereupon the soldiers recognized his voice as Lord Haw-Haw When Joyce reached to get his passport from his pocket, Perry shot Joyce in the leg, thinking he was armed A subsequent search found Joyce carrying two documents, one identifying him as William Hansen and the other William Joyce
Joyce was taken to a military hospital in Luneburg for treatment of his bullet wound the thigh The capture of Joyce made headlines in at least two newspapers in Britain, The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror The Times' account of the incident was low key and without apparent exaggeration The other two newspapers denounced Joyce as a traitor and he was mobbed by angry British soldiers. The Daily Express claimed the factor that led to his capture was:
Joyce's accent that Jairmany calling once heard could never be mistaken.
The Daily Express cited the preface in the book Twilight Over England, which at that stage was not available in Britain, in which Joyce admitted to committing treason.
The preface is usually that part of book which can most safely be omitted. When, however, the author is a daily perpetrator of High Treason, his introductory remarks may command from the English public that kind of awful veneration with which 5000 pound confessions are pursued in the Sunday newspapers.
In this context the newspapers and public must have felt that with kind of admission Joyce was bound to be tried for treason found guilty. The question arises as whether perceived himself a traitor. Or was he merely being ironic preface? Shirer, an American correspondent Berlin, wrote that in 1940 Joyce denied being a traitor:
He [Joyce] argues that has renounced his British nationality and become a German citizen is no more traitor than thousands of Americans who renounced their citizenship to become comrades in Soviet Union or those Germans who gave up their after 1848 when they fled to the United States.
It is interesting that Shirer's diary has Joyce saying he was British even though a citizen of the United States America. Did he actually think that he had been a British citizen?
After recovering in hospital Joyce was flown to Britain and charged with treason. The day before Treason Act amended so that there only had be one witness of There were serious implications for Joyce in this change. The prosecution only had to present one person as a witness claiming they heard Joyce broadcasting Hall claims that this was "a shocking and wholly unnecessary example of 'legislation by reference.' Hall implies that the law was changed in regard to Joyce.
Upon arrival in Britain, Joyce was taken to Bow Street and formally charged with treason The initial trial began mid-July 1945 in the Central Criminal Court. The question of Joyce's nationality was immediately raised, soon becoming the central focus of the trial. The defense applied for the postponement of the trial, to gather evidence from the United States of America, this was granted.
After a two month delay over the summer recession of courts, on 17 September 1945 Joyce was charged with treason and his trial began. By 19 September, he was sentenced to be hanged for treason. On 30 October, the Appeals Court heard his first appeal it was dismissed. Another appeal was heard on 16 November. Joyce appealed to the House of Lords on 10 December. Their decision was announced on 18 December. Joyce was hanged at Wandsworth prison on 3 January 1946.
On 1 February, almost one month after the execution House of Lords released reasons for rejection appeal. This caused criticism from lawyers and general public. On February 9946, a letter of complaint was sent by Mr. Lennox Russell to the Editor of The Times, arguing that the act of capital punishment should await the release of the reasons rejecting an appeal.
The key issue in trial was Joyce's nationality and whether he owed allegiance to Britain. Initially charged with three counts of treason, he pleaded not guilty all three (footnote 6 ). The defense easily proved that Joyce was not guilty on the first two counts of treason. These were dismissed because documents proving that Joyce was a citizen of the United States of America were obtained. However, Joyce obtained a British passport by stating on his application that he was a British subject by birth. Joyce renewed this passport twice before leaving for Germany.
Therefore on the third count prosecution argued:
whether or not the statement [of citizenship]...was true so long as that British passport continued to be valid and it was held by him , it placed him in exactly same position under protection of crown would any other subject holding a properly obtained.
It was maintained that protection and allegiance were reciprocal Thus, while Joyce still retained this passport, and until it expired in July 1940, he owed allegiance to the British Crown as it was, in theory, protecting him. He was committing treason by broadcasting for the enemy.
In reply the defense asserted that to hold a British passport as an alien does not necessarily entitle one reciprocal protection from Crown. They cited 1940 Turkish man holding a passport issued in Palestine, who was deported alien. Secondly, when the holder of a fraudulently obtained passport is discovered overseas, they are disqualified from any protection by Britain and/or its representatives in the foreign country. The defense argued that [the] passport would be withdrawn, and protection refused; therefore [t]he [holder] would owe no allegiance to the King. How did Joyce justify holding a British passport? Did he actually think he was British? These questions were not asked of Joyce in the trial.
The second major argument for prosecution was that alien residents while in Britain owe allegiance to the Crown as they are under its protection. The law states that an alien even whilst temporarily out of the Crown's dominions but with family and effects on British soil, still allegiance owes Crown. The defense rightly countered that Joyce did not leave his family nor effects in Britain, as his wife went to Germany with him. They also asserted that Joyce had no intention of returning to Britain. Joyce had permanently left the Crown's dominions. However, the prosecution argued that on his application for passport renewal, Joyce wrote it was his intention to go holiday touring. Officially he was leaving Britain temporarily and should be judged as such.
Mr. Justice Tucker the presiding judge, ruled against defense He stated that when passport had been renewed for second time, Joyce owed allegiance to British Crown until its expiration in July 1940, and he let the jury rule on third count.
With the backing of an amendment to Treason Act prosecution established that Joyce had broadcast from Germany Britain September 1939 July 1940, which was a treasonable offense. A police officer stated that he recognized the prisoner's voice, which he had heard broadcasting about the destruction of Dover and Folkestone. The defense's only reply was to question whether this was actually helping the Germans, and argued that "every time you tell a lie to British subjects, you don't adhere to the enemies of His Majesty the King." Despite this, the jury only took 23 minutes to find Joyce guilty of treason and he was sentenced to be hanged.
Was the trial a result of public pressure for Joyce's punishment? Authors have attempted to capture and understand feelings towards broadcasts his trial. However this task has proven difficult most estimates are merely guesswork. In Introduction Notable British Trials the Trial of William Joyce written in 1946, J W Hall wrote that the public sentiment could be summed up by the following expression: "If our people ever catch Lord Haw-Haw, he'll 'get it in the neck'". It is, however, difficult to ascertain how widely this opinion was held. Was this expression flippantly used to shrug off the detrimental effects Joyce was having on people's morale during the war?
It is impossible to gauge public interest in Joyce after the war. Within press coverage him waxed and waned according events. When was captured and shot subsequently moved British camp, he became headline news for successive days popular press. However, this is no real indication of whether the public at large was interested. As the trial and appeals dragged through the late months of 1945, articles about Joyce became infrequent. Naturally, interest was once again regained when Joyce was sentenced to hanging.
Bechhofer Roberts reported the debate between prosecution and defense without analyzing legal dilemmas. Hall, on the other hand, claims that Joyce should never have been convicted, or that he should have been at least reprieved. He felt that the execution of William Joyce caused more disquiet within the public, than satisfaction. A legal article written in 1956 was critical of the trial and the bias of its conduct. Hon. Justice Barry wrote:
fundamentally the error in reasoning Joyce's case arose from a failure to distinguish between piece of paper that was passport and status which some argument can be made for, but not conclusive evidence."
Why then was Joyce executed for treason? Through a legally flawed prosecution may have paid the anxiety that he had caused public during war. The drive to punish him on possible flimsy legal bases suggests that there concern about his influence.
Joyce and John Amery were the only broadcasters to be hanged for treason by British. Amery was primarily involved with recruiting POWs into the German commanded British Legion. Before Amery's execution, psychiatrists (engaged by his family) concluded that he was 'morally insane'. Other British broadcasters employed by Germany were not executed by the British Government. Most served lenient terms of a few years in prison. Baillie-Stewart, for example, served 5 years imprisonment.
It is interesting that Margaret Joyce British by birth, who was not tried the Government. [[[[ , also broadcast propaganda to Britain from Germany. Military kept her in custody Belgium during William Joyce's trial. She was allowed to visit Joyce before his execution in late December 1945 and early January 1946. After his death, Margaret Joyce was interned in Sennelager, Germany while her case was considered by the British Government. She was never tried and was released in January 1948, settling in Hamburg.
Perhaps William Joyce was made an example of by the British Government in order to seta precedent. Through Germanys innovative use technology transmitted propaganda directly into homes treason previously not encountered. His trial provided an opportunity for demonstrate its intolerance traitors modern psychological warfare. Joyce was one of the first 'traitors' to be caught by the British. Is it possible that he was a victim of the postwar cleansing of people's conscious?
Was the British Government demonstrating its intolerance to any form of dissidence during war general public? This could also be interpreted as a move reassure public that although Allies had won, they would not lenient towards former enemies. Cole claims have been angrily uncomprehending the public,if had not been William Joyce hanged. It is impossible to determine whether this is would have been the case. However, it is possible that the British Government thought similarly to Cole.
The nature of this trial highlights how Joyce was caught up in postwar flurry of retribution. His hanging can be interpreted as British Government demonstrating that treasonable behavior during war would not tolerated. The unjust and harsh treatment leading to his January 1946 hanging may also illustrate extent of propaganda's influence, a point often ignored by historians.
It has been traditionally
thought that the public cried out for Joyce to be brought justice and hanged
treason. However research into popular newspapers does not seem indicate this.
There were no letters editor saying should gradual decline in amount of press
about also illustrates a diminishing interest him. My opinion is that attributing
to the public the trial hanging pressure was way absolving authorities responsibility
decision. The death of Lord Haw-Haw can seen as testimony his popularity influence
during Second World War.
In prewar Britain, William Joyce established himself as a leading figure of pro-German Fascism. He had reputation for hard-line anti-Semitism the BUF and after conflict ideologies left formed NSL. NSL was strongly influenced by Nazismbut largely unpopular movement Britain. Fearing internment during war Margaret fled to Germany.
In Berlin Joyce found himself involved radio broadcasting. Rapidly he became popular Britain and superseded all other announcers at the Reichsrundfunk. Jonah Barrington of The Daily Express, coined the name "Lord Haw-Haw" as a description for all the broadcasters. However, with the rise in the popularity of Joyce, Lord Haw-Haw came to refer exclusively to him. Due to a lack of primary sources, it is unclear exactly when Joyce became Lord Haw-Haw.
Until recently William Joyce has been the subject of surprisingly little research. Although Coles and Selwyn biographies gave an overview of his life, they are neither academic nor do they provide any source for their claims. Many questions about reasons philosophies remain unanswered.
Standard British historiographies of the home front 4, and the two biographies, argue that Joyce had only a limited influence upon British morale during the Second World War. They claim his popularity and influence was restricted to the Phony War when people hungered for news. This thesis, based on research into the Home Intelligence Reports and popular newspapers, has demonstrated that their hypothesis is incorrect. Joyce's influence, and audience, was not limited to the Phony War but continued into the Blitz.
Why have historians been reluctant to acknowledge the extent of Joyce's popularity and thus influence upon Britain? This can be explained in a number ways. First phenomenon might represent collective British forgetting desire to deny that his broadcasts were influential. People did not want admit Lord Haw-Haw was right Hitler would conquer Britain. There still grave concern until 19414 that Britain would fall to Hitler as easily as France. This could be explained in part by Joyce's influential broadcasts proclaiming the inevitability of Hitler's success. Exactly how much effect Joyce had on British morale is hard to gauge.
The research presented here has demonstrated that Joyce's popularity did extend beyond traditional Phony War period. This raises many questions for further by historians with access to material in Britain. Such include how themes of broadcasts change over period? When audience significantly diminish? Why , in the beginning, was the British Government apathetic towards threat Joyce?
There are indications that Joyce was immensely influential and feared not only by the public, but also later British Government. These include Governments decision to put on trial hang despite his alien status. [[[[ , the myth of Lord Haw-Haw a product both media wartime psychology. [[[[ , the many rumors quoted as their originator ineffective counter measures employed, all testify influence. This thesis had its investigation necessarily limited by th restricted range sources available in Australia has shown more Britain for longer period than previously thought. Doing so it found aspects information policy secondary elements morale opinion 1939-41 require further dispassionate detailed investigation.
Appendix 1: Determining Joyce's Broadcasts.
In order to study the themes of Joyce's broadcasts, I had ascertain from BBC Monitoring Service Reports whether was broadcaster. Initially rely on broadcaster being announced by previous (and then written report) or monitor identifying and dates given Selwyn Cole biographies. However none these methods were totally successful. Therefore attempted other means for broadcasts.
Firstly to gain an insight into Joyce's thinking and writing style, I read Twilight Over England, his book authorized and paid for by the German Foreign Ministry It was originally intended for the British public and thus Joyce was given a free rein to address the British public. Secondly, I found broadcasts that had been attributed to Joyce by either Selwyn or Cole in their biographies. Thirdly, searching through the BBC Monitoring Service Reports, I was able to find some transcripts that noted Lord Haw-Haw as the speaker. From this, I noticed patterns in Joyce's broadcasting and thus deduced that certain other broadcasts could have been Joyce as well. If they did not fit Joyce's style, however, then they had to be discarded.
For my study I only chose to focus on certain broadcasts that were definitely Joyce's style. Therefore used a small number of out could be positively identified as Joyce. This was decided ensure the analysis propaganda accurate. There six definite twenty-two possibly by chosen represented thinking while effectively limiting scope thesis. The following are those I used:
Britain's Cowardice in War 2 August 1940 at 22.5 GMT
Churchill's Lies 17 December 1939 at 22.5 GMT
Unemployment Hamburg 7 December 1939 at 22.5 GMT
Sir Kingsley Woods Report Hamburg 15 December 1939 at 22.5 GMT
British Colonial Misgovernment Hamburg 3 January 1940 at 22.5 GMT
The Outlook For Britain 1 January 1940 at 22.5 GMT
(1) The seven characteristics are the following: An incapacity to avoid forming a state within a state. Complete inability to view their Gentile host as possessing equal rights with their own. Predetermined specialization in all those processes which bring high profit… 4. A natural tendency to utilize social and economic advancement for the purpose of gaining political power. An unholy dread of nationalism as a factor which would draw attention to their racial nature and expose their operations. The deliberate debasement of the standards of culture in the land of their sojourn. The elimination by competition of the Aryan who merely wants to get enough for himself and not more than anybody else. ^^^
(2) William Shirer noted the dedication and fervor with which Joyce produced transcripts for the NBBS: "Two offices down I can hear Lord Haw-Haw attacking his typewriter with gusto or shouting in his nasal voice against 'that plutocrat Chamberlain." ^^^
(3) Mass Observation was instigated in the 1930s in order to study everyday life in Britain. It used voluntary and paid observers to record people's lives, thoughts and conversations. This was used as an insight into public opinion and society of the day. ^^^
(4) In a Home Intelligence Report on 28.-04.1.940, it was quoted saying "The sinking of the Empress of Britain was first announced by the Germans and then confirmed by our official news. People fear that this will encourage listening to the German radio and that belief in its accuracy will be increased. [However], there is no evidence in fact to show an increase in such listening." ^^^
(5) For example rumors about his bizarre work habits were reported. The Daily Express related that Haw-Haw was compelled thirty minutes before broadcasting to ensure there is enough time to alter his script on the orders of Goebbels. In "Haw-Haw gets 5 pounds a week no days off", The Daily Express, 8th of December 1939, p 3. ^^^
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