Guns & Politics: The Last American Hanged For Treason

In the current stunningly overheated political atmosphere, created uniquely by the increasingly unhinged left, terms that used to be taken seriously are being thrown around at random.  All this accomplishes is to diminish their effect, which benefits nothing and no one.

One of the most significant of these words is treason, a term that used to mean a great deal.  This is demonstrated in the case of the deceptively whimsically named “Lord Haw Haw,” otherwise known as William Joyce, in World War II.

William Joyce was born in 1906 in Brooklyn, New York, of Unionist Irish immigrant parents who had become naturalized Americans eight years before William’s birth.

When he was a young child, his parents moved back to Ireland, settling in the republican south, which did not make the family’s existence an easy one due to their strongly held minority political views at this volatile time in Irish history.

Young William’s unionist political views just became reinforced, always “ready to back up his principles with his fists.”  During one of his many fights, William’s nose was rather badly broken and never really healed, giving him in his way of speaking his “nasal drawl that would become so familiar to (his later) audiences.”

Things became so bad for the Joyce family in Ireland that the family eventually moved to England when William was 15.  During his resulting middle class education, the young man “developed a passionate interest in fascism,” and joined the British Fascisti Ltd. party, in 1923, where his already extreme views had metastasized into a virulent anti-Semitism.

You will no doubt be shocked to learn that William Joyce gravitated toward a career in academics, while staying politically active.  He retained his erstwhile career until meeting Sir Oswald Mosley, a British aristocrat who had founded the British Union of Fascists in 1932.  Joyce quickly joined the party, “dropping his academic career overnight to become an impassioned party speaker.”  He became the party’s Director of Propaganda by the end of 1934, during which time the author A.K. Chesterton described Joyce as a “brilliant writer, speaker who addressed hundreds of meetings…always revealing the iron spirit of Fascism.”

Joyce had become so anti-Semitic by that time, however, that it was even too much for the rabidly Fascistic Oswald Mosely, who started distancing himself from Joyce.  Mosley actually, at the end of the war, “denounced Joyce as a traitor because of his wartime activities.”

Joyce thereupon started his own party, the National Socialist League, and with his small but forceful membership, voiced strong support for Adolf Hitler, an oratorically gifted new leader burgeoning in popularity in Austria and Germany.

In 1939, just before war was announced between Germany and England, Joyce was advised that he was about to be detained by the British intelligence service, so he immediately left for Germany.

The ever-enterprising Mr. Joyce quickly found a job as a broadcaster for the German equivalent of the BBC, where he acquired the nickname that would stick with him throughout the war, “Lord Haw-Haw. “ This came about, it is thought, by a review of his propaganda broadcast in which the critic described his manner of delivery as “speaking English of the haw-haw, damn-it-get-out-of-my-way variety, and his strong suit is gentlemanly indignation;” this claim of “aristocratic nasal drawl,” despite the fact that he hadn’t had a shred of aristocrat or nobility in his background.   Later critics were to describe Joyce’s voice as having an “American-Irish twang,” but as his “broadcasts gained in popularity the name stuck, and was soon exclusively associated with his broadcasts, with their signature cry of (what sounded like) ‘Jairmany Calling!  Jairmany Calling!’”

It is believed that up to 16 million people “tuned in to his Nazi propaganda broadcasts, and activity which, while not strictly illegal, was frowned upon by British authorities.”

Joyce became “the most important propaganda broadcaster in Germany at the time, and both he and his wife were granted naturalized German citizenship in 1940.  With almost as many listeners as the BBC, he gained an almost mythical status.”

Then the Battle of Britain began.

Joyce’s popularity thus waned in Britain, though he maintained his popularity in Germany to the point that he became the recipient of the Cross of War Merit First Class award, personally given to him by Hitler for his broadcasting efforts.  He continued to make his broadcasts during the war, only leaving Berlin for Hamburg in 1945 as the Allied forces were “advancing inexorably towards” Berlin.

Joyce’s “final transmission, during which he was clearly intoxicated, was made on April 30, 1945, in which he continued to rail against the Communist threat, and which he ended with a final, defiant, ‘Heil Hitler!’”

Joyce then fled the crumbling German nation, but was caught by British soldiers at the German-Danish border.   Clever fellow that he was, how could this have happened?

An “interpreter attached to the British forces” recognized the traveler’s distinctive voice, which rendered his expertly forged papers to be useless.   Joyce was thus on his way back to (one of) his homelands, the one to which he had caused so much harm, Britain.

The newly reactivated Treason Act was then in force, and Joyce was charged with three counts of high treason upon his return to Britain.

The intention was to try and convict him immediately, but then Joyce’s extremely complicated “nationality issues came to light.”  Since he was born in the United States, (American), the son of Irish parents (Irish), a naturalized German citizen (German), it was not clear how he had lived and traveled on a British passport, to which he was not actually entitled.  The cause was deception, and since that could be proven, it was determined that Joyce could “legally be tried for treason against the British Crown, by broadcasting propaganda” during the time that he held the British passport, thus being “afforded (the same protection as) to all British passport holders, and he therefore owed allegiance in return.”

It was later said that had Joyce kept his “U.S. citizenship during his time in Britain, he could never have been prosecuted on treason charges in the U.K.”  Found guilty on one of the charges of treason, Joyce was sentenced to death by hanging, which was carried out on January 3, 1946.

The night before he died, William Joyce “scratched a swastika on the wall of his cell whilst awaiting sentence;” he was not yet 40 years old when he was executed.   William Joyce was the last person in Great Britain to be hanged for treason.

Treason was once considered to be a truly heinous crime, (William Joyce can testify to this), that is until the left got a hold of the term.  Now, in the insane world of the leftist, the new definition of what used to mean the betrayal of one’s country now means that Donald Trump did the unthinkable act of winning the Presidency in 2016 when it was clearly deserved by someone else.  In this case, thank the good Lord that President Trump did “commit treason.”



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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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