Part 1 of the International Baccalaureate English Language and Literature
course, Language in Cultural Context, we have discussed how power is conveyed
through language, with a focus on political speeches and visual propaganda.
However, after researching different types of propaganda that were used during
World War II, I became intrigued by radio propaganda.
Gillars, commonly known as “Axis Sally”, was an American radio show host for
Radio Berlin during World War II. She spoke in support of Nazi Party ideology
on many different programs throughout the war, including one called “Home Sweet
Home” in which she referred to herself as “Midge at the Mic.” On this program,
she broadcasted to an intended audience of Americans, both those residing in
America and soldiers overseas. Typical segments included attempts to instill
doubt in the soldiers by leading them to believe that their wives and
girlfriends were being unfaithful, and that German forces were aware of
invasions being planned by the Allies, all while casually disparaging Jews and
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the United States President at the time.
chose to produce this type of propaganda from Axis Sally’s perspective because
I thought the use of this text type as propaganda in this historical context
was interesting, and because I thought Axis Sally was a figure with a unique
ideological position as an American woman in Berlin supporting the Nazi party.
I also thought her strategies were unexpected, and I wanted to explore them
further. In this recreation of a “Home Sweet Home” broadcast, I will utilize
the strategies enumerated above, aided by the use of rhetorical devices,
name-calling, card-stacking, loaded words and other relevant devices. In order
to cultivate Axis Sally’s voice, I read transcripts of her broadcasts and took
note of her tone and overall use of language.
14th January 1943
to another broadcast of “Home Sweet Home”, with me, Midge.
like to start by saying hello to the lonely ladies in America. I don’t suppose
you girls can keep yourselves from imagining the worst when it comes to the
fate of your men over here on the front lines. All you wives and daughters and
mothers and girlfriends, you certainly have reason to be worried. Germany is as
strong as ever and I’ve seen the mangled men these battles churn out first
hand. It’s sad really, these handsome young men risking their lives and getting
crippled fighting against their own interests. I’m sure you’re all praying that
they come home in one piece, or anything short of dead I suppose. I can’t help
but wonder if you’ll even want them when they return home though, since they
likely will not be in good condition. I guess if they return home is a better
way of putting it.
is of course assuming that all these lovely American ladies are even
preoccupied with your being gone fellas. You have to remember that just because
you’re over here doesn’t mean every eligible man is. While you soldiers are
over here in the trenches, your women may very well be off dancing with one of
those lucky men who got to stay home during this ordeal that Roosevelt set up
for you all. Can you imagine? Those lucky guys back home who have your women
all to themselves. Maybe your women have forgotten about you completely in the
arms of another man. They may even be wishing you won’t come back at all! Of
course, I may be wrong. Maybe your gals are off thinking about just you, crying
to themselves whenever they get a moment alone, missing you… Must be hard not
being with them.
In my Arms)
sure it’s beautiful in America right now too. Midsummer, I bet it is just
beautiful. All those ladies roaming around in their summer skirts, enjoying the
nice weather. It’s a darn shame you American soldiers won’t get to experience
that, seeing as you’re all over here, getting muddy and bloody and beaten down.
I’m sure your girls will tell you all about what you missed when you head back
home. Except the things they don’t want you to know of course.
heard that lots of people back in America are having a rough time of it! That
people don’t have jobs, are struggling to make ends meet, to put food on the
table. Let me tell you, you have only one man to thank for that, and that man
is Franklin D. Roosevelt. You best believe this whole mess is because of him
and his Jewish cronies. Rumor is he and Churchill met up today to discuss how
they are going to continue to lose the war. I can only say I hope they come to
Born to Lose)
must be difficult knowing you’re on the losing side of the war. Of course, you
can always move to the winning side. It’s really in the best interest of the
American people to either join forces with Germany, or just give up. Why waste
your time fighting when you would be in a better position otherwise? I guess
you don’t mind sacrificing your life for Roosevelt. Though I don’t see him
fighting here with you! I guess you are all just not that important to him when
it comes down to it. He doesn’t know what’s best for you or for America.
Ladies, I am sure you would not have let your men come out here knowing that
your president would use them in such a way! Though I guess you didn’t know
better at the time.
knows better. We are always one step ahead, that’s for sure. Germany always
knows it’s coming and is always prepared. The death toll is always higher for
the Americans. I am surprised the troops aren’t fed up with it! Losing their
friends in the thick of it, knowing they’re not going to win. I can’t imagine
the mental toll that must take on a person, seeing your friend’s arm get taken
clean off. And that’s if he’s lucky. I wonder how long before these American
of death tolls, I am sad to report two deaths, though I am sure many more have
anonymously passed. I regret that their names will not be read out today. I am
sure they will be remembered nonetheless, at the very least by their beloved
families. But for now, I can report the death of Jeremy Richardson, 14567283,
from Jackson, Mississippi. Only 19, one more kid picked out in the fray. I hope
Jeremy’s mother can find peace with her son’s death, and realizes who is to
blame. If Jeremy had a gal back home, lets hope you can find love again. There
was also Charlie Nicholson, 13368904, from Kansas City, Missouri. Also 19. They
were a part of the same battalion. Awful business. But I guess this is all part
of the plan, right? I am sure Charlie’s mother agrees. I am sure she is not kicking
herself for letting her kid go fight Roosevelt’s battle. My heart goes out to
those who have lost loved ones in the past week, reported or not.
would like to remind all of the Americans back home that just because you are
an American does not mean you have to support what your president is doing. I
am an American, born and raised, and let me tell you, I have no intentions of
buying into the games Roosevelt is playing. Him and his Jewish buddies have no
right to treat the American people this way.
All or Nothing at All)
that thought, I’d like to draw this segment to a close. Goodbye from Midge on
“Home Sweet Home.”
Word Count: 998