Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Axis Sally

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Book Review - Axis Sally

About the Book 
Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany (Casemate Publishers ISBN: 978-1-935149-43-9) by Richard Lucas is the true story of Mildred Gillars, the Maine-born, Ohio-bred woman who went to Hitler’s Germany in 1934 to study music and fell in love with a German citizen.  At the outbreak of war in 1939, while the last Americans returned home, Gillars elected to stay in Germany hoping for marriage. Although her fiancĂ©e died during the war, a charming former Hunter College Professor stepped into the breach.  However, Max Otto Koischwicz already had a wife and much bigger plans for Gillars.  He enlisted her in the German overseas radio in Berlin where, under his leadership, her position as a simple announcer escalated into master propagandist—becoming the messenger of Nazi propaganda and doom to the American GI.

Gillars, a failed Broadway actress, learned fast and used her sexy, soothing voice to taunt troops about the supposed infidelities of their wives and girlfriends back home, as well as describing the horrible deaths they were about to meet on the battlefield.  Backed by German military intelligence, “Axis Sally” was able to convey personal greetings to individual US units that naturally caused anxiety among the troops who felt the Germans knew exactly who and where they were.

At the end of the war Gillars was captured by the Americans after a failed attempt to pose as a refugee.  She was returned to the U.S. to stand trial for the crime of treason.  Her 1949 trial captured the attention of a nation whose memory of the horrors of war was still fresh. After a three-month trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to 10–30 years. Paroled in 1961 after serving just 12 years, she quietly spent the remainder of her life as a music instructor in a Catholic Girl’s school in Columbus, Ohio until her death in 1988.

Richard Lucas leaves no stone unturned in telling this rich and compelling story of Axis Sally—a woman who attempted to rebuild her life in the country she betrayed, after she had become one of the most notorious Americans of the 20th century!

My Take on the Book
I read a lot of books and this book sounded like an interesting read when I first heard about it. I was impressed with the amount of research that went into the book itself and I commend the author for telling the story fully and giveing the readers an accurate picture of "Axis Sally" otherwise known as Mildred Gillars. 

You see I never realized that she had committed the treason that she did against her country by aiding and abetting Nazi Germany. 

This book was insightful, honest and interesting. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in World War II. This story is one that you definitely have not heard before, but it is one that you should hear and share with others! 

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions. 
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Axis Sally, Mildred Gillars, was in the same high school class with my mom and dad, in Conneaut, Ohio.

In Europe we loved to hear her broadcsst late in the afternoon. Nice music from home, and a really sweet voice.

No attention was paid to the requests that we cross over the line and surender, and the stuff about the Jews, didn't mean a thing to us. They were fighting alone side of us.

But get near a tank, with a radio, late afternoon, "when day is done, and shadows fall, I dream of you"...

just nice, just nice.

ex member combat engineers, US Armny