Faculty Seminar Advisor

John Rector

Department

History

Document Type

Paper

Publication Date

Summer 2015

Abstract

This paper focuses primarily on British public reaction to the Nazi radio propaganda broadcasts of William Joyce during World War II. More popularly known as Lord Haw-Haw, Joyce, an American-born British Fascist, raised in Ireland and England who came to embrace Nazism, moved to Germany in 1939 where he was employed as the English voice of Hitler’s vision.

Utilizing archival materials gathered from dozens of newspapers of the period and historiographical contributions from authorities on the subject, this study follows British public reaction to Joyce from his earliest broadcasts to his eventual capture, trial and execution by hanging in 1946.

While vehemently anti-Semitic, and the to the British a reprehensible traitor, his broadcasts were never shown to have inflicted any substantial damage to the Allied war effort, hence the continuing controversy surrounding his execution.

While this paper does not offer moral or ethical conclusions regarding Joyce’s career and eventual conviction, it does invite the reader to consider this particular case and its broader implications concerning political and judicial decisions as influenced by war and its aftermath.

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