Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark (AE2EA), who writes:
One of our AWA Members recently made this video on the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service (FBMS) and the Radio Intelligence Division (RID) during World War 2. I think it might be of interest to your SWLing enthusiasts:
If you’ve been an SWLing Post reader for long, you’ll likely know that I’m a Word War II history buff and I especially enjoy exploring the deep rabbit hole that is WWII radio and propaganda.
Radio broadcasts were heavily used by all of the players in WWII, and some prominent personalities emerged from the Axis propaganda machines: most notably Axis Sally and Lord Haw Haw in the European theatre, and Tokyo Rose in the Pacific theatre.
Toguri being interviewed by the press in September 1945 (Source: Public Domain)
Although Tokyo Rose was the name given to an array of female personalities on Radio Tokyo (NHK), at the end of WWII Iva Toguri was widely accused of being the “real” Tokyo Rose. After attempting to return to her native US, she was arrested, tried, and became the seventh person in U.S. history to be convicted of treason.
Her trial in 1949 resulted in a conviction on one of eight counts of treason and she received a 10 year sentence. Her sentence was eventually cut to 6 years due to good behavior.
U.S. President Gerald Ford pardoned Toguri in 1977 based on new evidence that important witnesses in her treason trial had been forced to lie.
The story of Iva Toguri is truly one of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you enjoy comics/graphic novels and WWII history, then you’re in for a treat. Last week, I purchased a new graphic novel about the life and trial of Iva Toguri written by Andre Frattino and illustrated by Kate Kasenow.
This book is beautifully illustrated in black and white and the author does an amazing job of telling the story of Toguri, woven into a narrative, while keeping it historical accuracy.
It’s obvious a lot of research went into this particular graphic novel.
If this sounds like something that would interest you, I highly recommend it.
Image Source: Twenty Thousand Hertz. Art by Jon McCormack.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Wilbur Forcier, who recently shared a link to the latest episode of the excellent Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast. This entire episode also explores Iva Toguri’s life and involvement in NHK’s propaganda broadcasts.
I also highly recommend listening to this episode.
Thank you so much for sharing this, Mark. I posted the original film of this a few years ago, but it appears that the YouTube account has been deleted. I’m grateful the Antique Wireless Association has published this. Thank you for the tip!
Radio played a key role in the propaganda campaigns of Nazi Germany. The most notorious personality in this radio war was William Joyce, or ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ – who came to be known as the English voice of Nazi Germany. But he wasn’t alone in this effort.
Professor Jo Fox of Durham University discovers the lost transcripts of Radio Caledonia, a ‘secret station’ designed to disseminate defeatist propaganda to the people of Scotland and sow seeds of dissent among its listeners. Set up by the German Propaganda Ministry in 1940, the presenter was Scottish national Donald Grant.
Jo Fox examines the Nazis’ attempts to appeal to Scottish nationalist feeling through these broadcasts and asks why, unlike Joyce, Donald Grant was spared execution.