The Story Of A Woman Who Shamefully Betrayed Her Country And Why
Havertown, PA, – Mildred Gillars was an Ohio-bred woman who simply went to Germany in 1934 to study music and then fell in love. However, after war broke out in 1939 she elected to stay in Germany hoping for marriage, but her fiancée was killed during the war. That is when she became the mistress of Max Otto Koischwicz – a charming former college professor, now Nazi Officer, who enlisted her in the German overseas radio where she went from a simple announcer to master propagandist and became the voice feared by American GI’s. Richard Lucas does a superb job of illustrating the life of this notorious woman in Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany (Casemate Publishers ISBN: 978-1-935149-43-9).
A failed Broadway actress, Gillars used her sexy voice to taunt troops into suspecting their wives and girlfriends back home were being unfaithful, and to describe the horrible deaths they were going to meet on the battlefield. With information obtained from German military intelligence, she caused fear and anxiety among the men by conveying personal greetings to individual US units that made GI’s believe the Germans knew their whereabouts and who they were.
She was captured by Americans at the end of the war in spite of an attempt to escape as a refugee, and was returned to the U.S. to stand trial for treason. With a nation still recovering from the horrors of war, her trial in 1949 as an American who betrayed her country was huge! It took just three months for the jury to find her guilty and she was sentenced to 10-30 years in prison. However, she was paroled after just twelve years, and until her death in 1988 she quietly lived out the remainder of her life as a music instructor in a Catholic girl’s school in Ohio.
This is a compelling, often poignant story, brilliantly told by Richard Lucas, of one of the most notorious Americans of the 20th century – a woman who betrayed her country for love, paid the price, and is buried in an unmarked grave in her native Ohio since her death in 1988.
For more information, please visit: www.casematepublishing.com.
John Batchelor, of the The John Batchelor Radio Show: “An exciting story of things you didn’t know about radio….it would make a wonderful movie.”
Brian Albrecht, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer: “To the author, “Axis Sally” became the final victim of her own propaganda, who “paid a heavy price for that delusion.” She is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, south of Columbus, in an unmarked grave. And perhaps in some ways, the author intended his book to serve as that missing marker, explaining the popular perception, if not the person, with the epitaph . . . Those who heard her, hated her. Those who didn’t, now know why.”
Chuck Scarborough, NY Nightly News/NBC Now: “A must read…”
The Washington Times: “What created the monster named Axis Sally? Mr. Lucas makes much of the deprivation suffered by a failed actress and her frantic quest for fame. But even after her arrest, she insisted to CIC interrogators that for her ‘the war was against England and the International Jewry.’ She said, “I just couldn’t get the Jews out of my mind…” Mr. Lucas concludes, “She accepted the Nazi worldview, believed her own propaganda, and paid a heavy price for that delusion.”
The Jerusalem Post: “At the very time Gillars was sent to prison for 10 to 13 years and fined $10,000, Lucas reminds us the US Government was welcoming “dyed-in-the-wool Nazis – some with blood on their hands” into the country as valuable assets in the Cold War struggle against communism. Reluctant as we are to admit it, and who wouldn’t be reluctant, Axis Sally might not have received equal justice under the law.”
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