Friday, February 23, 2007

Voxhaus and Lord Haw Haw

William Joyce was both a German citizen and an American citizen. He was born in Brooklyn NY and while he did live in London the only papers he got there were for member ship of British Fascist Limited, a group which lionized and emulated Mussolini. Later he joined the Union of Fascists who idealized the much more conservative Adolf Hitler.

At the same time Goebbels Goebbels was working hard to bring culture to the masses. He promoted the sale of cheap radios to serve his propaganda to the masses. He also put together Nazi Swing band which is dirty dirty dirty. But while he wasn't swing dancing, Joey kept a diary which was later captured... which is why we all know so much about this. (By the time Haw haw grabbed the mic for example, Jo-jo already had a German propaganda radio station in Salamanca Spain just to extend their thumb into the Spanish Civil War.)

In Hamburg in the fall of 1923 the stock corporation "Radiostunde Berlin" was founded by the Voxhaus - company. at the time is was just a commercial radio-station broadcasting on 750 AM and 1060 kHz . It was renamed in 1924 when Norddeutsche Rundfunk AG (NORAG) was created. In 1934 it was reincorporated into Großdeutschen Rundfunk broadcasting still on 699 AM. The site at Hamburg is still in use today.

In 1939 the British MI5 decides this non-citizen can't be left to wander around stirring up fascists. They plan to lock him up. Sombody tips off Joyce so he bolts to Germany with his wife. Only three weeks later, Joyce was doing radio broadcasts for the Reich Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda (Volksaufklärung und Propaganda) i.e. Joseph Goebbels. It's here that Joyce inherited the title "Lord Haw-Haw" from the Eduard Dietze who preceded him. No that nick name had nothing to do with his nasal voice...oy.

Anyway, the Lord Haw Haw program consisted of Joyce reading propaganda into a microphone. The scripts were contrived to generate in the listening British fear and mistrust of their government. Much of the content was laughably stupid, but every once in a while he managed to be frighteningly extreme. It's hard to imagine now, but these broadcasts were audible via skip in the U.S. our cluttered radio band would put a stop to that today.

There was also a Lady Haw Haw, the wife of Lord haw Haw, Margaret Joyce . When Germany fell, Margaret was arrested in Flensburg and subjected to interrogation and imprisonment. The files noted: "Her case is only less serious than that of William Joyce because she was less well-known and not so frequently heard in England as her husband." Lord Haw Haw was executed for treason in 1946 But Lady Haw Haw was not prosecuted for treason by Britain because officials felt she had suffered enough...

So lets summarize this like a fluff 1980s comedic flick. Mr Haw Haw gets hung in 1946. His wife walks and but drank herself to death in Soho in 1972. Goebbels shot himself to avoid capture in 1945 but Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) is still on air. Radio out lives all.