Douglas Chandler

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Douglas Chandler (May 26, 1889 [1] – unknown) was an American broadcaster of Nazi propaganda during World War II. He was convicted of treason in 1947, sentenced to life imprisonment and released in 1963.

Biography[edit]

Chandler was an officer in the U. S. Navy during the First World War, and later worked as a newspaperman in Baltimore.

He was ruined in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and "fed up to the chin with the Depression and the miasma that was enveloping Washington".[2] He moved from the U.S. to France and then to Germany in 1931. There he worked as a journalist showing Nazi Germany in an ideal light and contributing on this theme to the National Geographic Magazine.[3]

Propaganda for Nazi Germany[edit]

From April 1941, Chandler broadcast Nazi propaganda from Berlin for the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft, German State Radio, working as a commentator in its U. S. A. Zone. When the Nazi Germany declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, American citizens were repatriated by the U. S. Government but Chandler chose to stay on.

Chandler broadcast to the United States under the pseudonym "Paul Revere".[4] His programs began with the sound of clattering hooves and the song Yankee Doodle and were mainly anti-Roosevelt and anti-Semitic in content. He appealed to Americans to 'throw off tyranny' and to isolationist sentiment. He also asserted that government in Washington was under the control of Jewish advisers.

Chandler became known as America's Lord Haw-Haw due to his cultivated American voice.[5][6] Though he had become a convinced Nazi, his activities were not motivated by idealism alone. He was paid $3,200 a month as a broadcaster, putting him in the top six on the RRG’s payroll.[7]

Towards the end of 1943, due to the increased Allied bombing of Berlin, Chandler was relocated first to Vienna and then to Munich where he made his last broadcasts sometime in February 1945.

Arrest[edit]

Chandler was taken into custody by the U.S. Army at his home in Durach, Bavaria, in May 1945, but he was released on October 23, 1945. He was then rearrested by the US Army on or about March 12, 1946, at the request of the Department of Justice.[8]

He was then flown to the United States to stand trial, arriving on December 14, 1946.

Trial[edit]

On July 26, 1943, Chandler along with Fred W. Kaltenbach, Jane Anderson, Edward Delaney, Constance Drexel, Robert Henry Best, Max Otto Koischwitz and Ezra Pound had been indicted in absentia by a District of Columbia grand jury on charges of treason.[9]

Chandler stood trial at the Boston Federal District Court on June 6, 1947. He entered a defense of insanity[10] due to paranoia[11] and did not testify at his trial. The prosecution mainly relied on the evidence provided by recordings of Chandler's wartime broadcasts from Germany recorded by the Federal Communications Commission station at Silver Hill, Maryland, to show his active participation in propaganda activities against the United States.[12]

Chandler was found guilty of all ten counts of treason on June 28, 1947.[13][14][5][2] He was fined $10,000 and sentenced to life imprisonment by Federal Judge Francis J. W. Ford.[15] On conviction for treason, Chandler also automatically lost his U. S. citizenship.[16] "Death by hanging had been demanded by Special Government Prosecutor Oscar R. Ewing who characterized the tall and gray-haired defendant as a black-hearted traitor who 'gave his heart and soul to Hitler' because he wanted Germany to win the war."[15] His subsequent appeal was denied.[17][18]

Release[edit]

After 16 years’ imprisonment Chandler’s sentence was commuted by President John F. Kennedy on condition he immediately leave the United States. He was released from the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on August 9, 1963[19] and returned to Germany. Later reports placed him on the Canary Islands in the 1970s.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Browne, Ray Broadus; Browne, Pat (7 December 2017). "The Guide to United States Popular Culture". Popular Press – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b "Radio: Hi-Yo, Chandler!". 9 June 1941 – via www.time.com.
  3. ^ Rothenberg, Tamar Y. (7 December 2017). "Presenting America's World: Strategies of Innocence in National Geographic Magazine, 1888-1945". Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Department of Justice. Criminal Division. 1919- (9 September 1941). "Propaganda Broadcast by "Paul Revere"" – via US National Archives Research Catalog.
  5. ^ a b "TREASON: American Lord Haw-Haw". 7 July 1947 – via www.time.com.
  6. ^ "Voices of World War II, 1937-1945". 15 August 2016.
  7. ^ "The Hartford Courant article archive - 'Paul Revere' Got $3200 Monthly For Nazi Broadcasts". pqasb.pqarchiver.com.
  8. ^ "Loislaw Libraries on Fastcase - Fastcase". www.loislaw.com.
  9. ^ http://www.justice.gov/criminal/foia/records/ezra-pound-p4.pdf
  10. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  11. ^ "Lewiston Evening Journal - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  12. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  13. ^ "TRIAL OF CHANDLER FOR TREASON OPENS; 17 Germans, Former Members of Nazi Radio Office, Will Testify Against Him". 7 June 1947 – via NYTimes.com.
  14. ^ "CHANDLER GUILTY IN TREASON CASE; Baltimore Writer, Convicted by U.S. Jury at Boston, Faces Death by Hanging". 29 June 1947 – via NYTimes.com.
  15. ^ a b United Press, "Chandler Given Life Sentence: Convicted Traitor Also Receives Fine", The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Thursday 31 July 1947, Volume 53, page 4.
  16. ^ "Treason Case Judge Levies 10,000 Fine. Loss Of Citizenship... - The Milwaukee Journal, March 25, 1949".
  17. ^ "Court Won't Review Case - Tri City Herald, February 28, 1949".
  18. ^ "Loislaw Libraries on Fastcase - Fastcase". www.loislaw.com.
  19. ^ "JFK Pardon Frees Nazi-Voice Chandler". pqasb.pqarchiver.com.
  20. ^ "The Nazi Who Infiltrated National Geographic". 27 April 2017.

External links[edit]