British nazi Lord Haw-Haw, new biography


This 1945 British video says about itself:

Captured at Luneburg in Germany were William Joyce, the infamous Lord Haw Haw, and his wife Margaret Hansen.

At Luneburg, Lady Haw-Haw out of car, stands for cameramen, various shots. Elevated shot of Lord Haw-Haw being lifted out of ambulance on stretcher, carried into hospital, various shots of him as stretcher passes into hospital.

By John Green in Britain:

Tuesday 13th September 2016

JOHN GREEN recommends a biography of Lord Haw-Haw, the British fascist turned nazi propagandist in WWII. Searching for Lord Haw-Haw: The Political Lives of William Joyce by Colin Holmes (Routledge, £14.99)

FOR those familiar with the the rise of fascism in the 1930s and ’40s, the name Lord Haw-Haw —alias William Joyce — sounds familiar.

He was the man who broadcast for the nazis from Berlin during the war and was hanged as a traitor in 1947. He is a marginal figure in the political world of that period and, apart from his key role as Hitler’s radio propagandist, his impact and significance is minimal.

Yet Colin Holmes, in writing this comprehensive biography of Joyce, has produced a compelling and revealing narrative. After meticulous research and correcting inaccuracies in previous biographies, he provides an engagingly written and fascinating insight into the rise of the fascist movement in Britain.

During the 1920s, Britain was an ideal breeding ground for fascism. Society was in breakdown, the Bolshevik revolution had frightened the ruling classes and the empire was fracturing. Extreme solutions were envisaged by the ruling class.

Joyce, born in the US but brought up in Ireland before partition, was an avid loyalist who worked for Britain as an undercover agent spying on nationalists. After independence, life became impossible for him in the new republic so he and his family fled to Britain.

His association with the notorious black and tans, his fascination with all things military and his determination to defend the empire led him first to join the Young Conservatives as a student at Birkbeck college in London but by 1933 he was already marching with Oswald Mosley’s fascists. He became Mosley’s director of propaganda before later falling out with him and setting up his own organisations.

Holmes meticulously constructs a picture of fascist organisations in Britain, their wealthy and Establishment support, their links with the security services and their continuous splits and infighting. Although monitored by MI5, Joyce was also used to report on communists and supply useful information on his own former colleagues.

Obsessively ambitious, Joyce was convinced of his own leadership qualities but continuously frustrated in his attempt to build a political career, due to his paranoid view of politics and visceral anti-semitism.

In 1939, shortly before Britain declared war on Germany, he and his wife left for Berlin, where he would become Hitler’s chief propagandist, writing his own scripts and waging his own personal battle over the airwaves throughout the war with what he saw as a Jewish-controlled and effete Britain.

He remained a convinced fascist to the end.

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