28 October, 2011

28 October 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
28 October, 1944        1000

My dearest darling –

Good morning! Another Saturday a.m. – a football Saturday and no game to see over here. The Berkshires must be pretty this week-end, probably the last week before the leaves really start to fall. There are some small hills near here – as a matter of fact – this little village is situated in a valley, but the surrounding foliage is not very pretty, probably due to the fact that there’s been so much rain and so little sunshine. I imagine there must be a good deal of excitement in the States right now – with the election so close. I don’t remember whether or not I’ve told you already, but I voted some time ago – for Roosevelt, Saltonstall and Cahill. I hope Roosevelt is re-elected, although I’m beginning to get a little doubtful about it with the recent Republican trend. Roosevelt’s name is magic over here – and he is feared and respected by the Germans. His defeat would give Goebbels – whom I heard speak last night on the radio, and all the Germans – a tremendous lift – and I hope that doesn’t happen. I listen to William Joyce – the famous Lord Haw-Haw – most every night. He’s quite a speaker; keen, caustic and very often to the point. He keeps hammering away at the British and the fact that no matter who wins the war, Britain has lost it. He may be right. Every program ends with the statement – as a reminder – that we should always keep in mind that the Jews and Roosevelt started the war. I’ll be very happy on the day that I turn on to his broadcast and find him missing. He used to broadcast over Calais 1, Calais 2, Radio Paris, Radio Luxembourg; now it is Bremen, Cologne and Berlin.

Yesterday was an uneventful day – although the early evening was rather exciting and for awhile – worrisome. In the later evening – we listened to the radio and then I went to bed about 2200. I haven’t been sleeping too well of late – for no apparent reason except that I must be pretty well rested.

There was no mail yesterday – and the chances are that from here in, mail is going to be slow so that the APO can concentrate on packages. But I still have a couple of your letters as yet unanswered. Your letter of 10 October again mentions the subject of our future and what I want to do when I get back. Your attitude is certainly encouraging sweetheart and it is comforting to know that you’re willing to let me decide whether I should study when I get back or sail right into practice. Right now I honestly don’t know what I’ll do. A great deal will depend on the advice I get from Dr. Phippen and a few other of the men at the Hospital. But for the time being – I guess I’d better forget about all that and just think about the happy day when I’m actually back home getting married to you.

I’m very happy to read that you’ve started to get my mail again – even if it is in bunches. It certainly peps you up, darling, and the effect is good on me, too.

Oh – oh – here comes a few late patients and I’ll have to see them. I wanted to write a bit more this morning, but I think I’ll knock off now, darling, and then I’ll know this letter is completed. Your continued willingness to wait for me and your good spirit about it is excellent tonic, sweetheart, and I love you for it. I know you won’t be sorry.

Until later, dear, so long, love to the folks – and

My everlasting love

about Lord Haw-Haw

William Joyce a.k.a. Lord Haw-Haw

This biography of William Joyce is largely excerpted from the Answers.com website.
Lord Haw-Haw was the nickname of Nazi propagandist and broadcaster William Joyce. During World War II, Joyce broadcast a well-known English-language propaganda show from Berlin, often taunting Allied forces. Though never calling himself Lord Haw-Haw on air, he became infamous among Allied combat troops and British citizens.

Joyce was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of an Irish father and an English mother on 24 April 1906. When he was three the family moved to Ireland, settling in County Mayo. Joyce was educated at a convent school in Galway. It was here that during a fist fight with another boy Joyce had his nose broken. He kept quiet about the injury and his nose never properly set, giving him the nasal broken drawl so familiar in his later broadcasts from Germany.

The Joyce family was in Ireland at the time of the Sinn Fein insurrections. Because they were Conservative and pro-Union, the family was very unpopular with the rebels. Joyce's early life was marked by violence, including an attack on his father's business and attacks on the family home by Sinn Feiners. When the British Prime Minister Lloyd George announced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the creation of the Irish State, the Joyce family left for England. Joyce was then 15 years old.

As an adult, Joyce joined several radical political organizations, including the British Fascisti at the age of 17. At a Conservative meeting at Lambeth's Bath Hall the following year, a squad of fascists under the control of William Joyce became involved in a fracas with left-wing agitators. It was here that Joyce received the famous scar that ran down the right side of his face from the lobe of his ear to the corner of his mouth. The scar was received during fighting in the meeting and Joyce had no doubt that the perpetrators were "Jewish Communists." This incident had a marked bearing on his outlook. He was reminded of his hatred of "the enemy" every time he looked in the mirror until the day he died.

When the British Union of Fascists (BUF) was launched in 1932, Joyce was quick to join. He made a name for himself as a dedicated activist and a good speaker very quickly. He wrote a series of articles for several extremist newspapers and gained a reputation as a skilled propagandist. He was described as a "brilliant writer, speaker who addressed hundreds of meetings... always revealing the iron spirit of Fascism." In 1934 Joyce was promoted to the BUF's Director of Propoganda. With his savage anti-semitism, Joyce began to alarm some members of the BUF. When asked about Jewish involvement in class war in 1934 Joyce snapped, "I don't regard the Jews as a class. I regard them as a privileged misfortune." It was during this time that the numbers protesting at major BUF meetings increased from a few dozen to a few thousand.

As Joyce gained power in the organization, he became more radical. He used his position as a platform for his deeply anti-Semitic views, blaming most of the era's political and social ills on "Jewish communists." He formed his own political party, the British National Socialist League, in 1937. The party proclaimed brotherhood with the Nazi party in Germany and championed similar causes. Joyce did not attempt to disguise his admiration for Adolph Hitler and Nazi policies. On August 26, 1939, Joyce fled to Berlin, narrowly escaping arrest in Britain under a law that mandated the detention of Nazi sympathizers and political activists.

Shortly after arriving in Berlin, Joyce formally joined the Nazi Party. He took a job working on an anti-Allied propagandist radio show. British journalists were quick to dismiss Joyce's broadcasts and portrayed him a mere stooge. He was dubbed "Lord Haw-Haw" because of his distinct nasal drawl. Listening to Lord Haw-Haw's show was technically prohibited in Britain under a ban on enemy radio, but the show was popular on the British home front. At the height of his influence, in 1940, Joyce had an estimated 6 million regular and 18 million occasional listeners in the United Kingdom. The program drew strong denunciation, but many simply laughed at its absurdity and obviously propagandistic content. On a few occasions, the program managed to frighten listeners with discussions of German saboteurs in Britain and with accurate details of British towns, such as descriptions of belfries and landmarks.

For his efforts Joyce continued to live a comfortable life in Berlin and in September 1944 was awarded the Cross of War Merit 1st Class with a certificate signed by Adolf Hitler. During the final stages of the war, with the Red Army approaching Berlin, Joyce moved to Hamburg. Rambling and audibly drunk, he made a final broadcast on 30 April 1945 – warning that the war would leave Britain poor and barren now that she had lost all her wealth and power in 6 years of war, leaving the Russians in control of most of Europe. He signed off with a final defiant, "Heil Hitler and farewell."

When allied forces moved to occupy the city, Joyce retreated to nearby Flensburg and was captured. He was shot in the leg in the process of trying to escape into a patch of woods. Joyce was turned over to British authorities and detained until he was flown back to Britain as a prisoner. One week earlier, the British government had passed the Treason Act of 1945 in order to prosecute citizens who seriously impeded or compromised the British war effort. The media attention surrounding Joyce's radio program and capture, as well as their portrayal of Joyce as a possible spy, encouraged the government to charge Joyce with treason under the new act. Although the courts could not substantiate charges of espionage, they did convict Joyce of treason based on his broadcasts and voluntary association and cooperation with Nazi officials.

He was adamant and defiant to the end. He showed no emotion when confronted by news and scenes from the concentration camps, blaming the deaths on starvation and disease caused by Allied bombing of communication lines. He also scratched a swastika on the wall of his cell whilst awaiting sentence. His last public message reported by the BBC was "In death as in life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the powers of darkness they represent." He was not yet 40 years old when executed by hanging on 3 January 1946. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of the prison.

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