On This Day

William Joyce

Fascist Politician and Nazi Propagandist William Joyce

Full Name: William Brooke Joyce, nicknamed "Lord Haw-Haw"
Profession: Fascist Politician and Nazi Propagandist

Why Famous: Joyce, nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw, was sentenced to death in 1945 for high treason against the United Kingdom. He had, during World War II, broadcast National Socialist propaganda into the United Kingdom.

Prior to the war he had lived in Ireland, though he was born in America, and had served there as an underage courier for British Army Intelligence during the Irish War of Independence.

After this, he went to England and acquired a degree, eventually ending up as a teacher; it was then that he came across fascism and developed an interest, eventually joining the British Union of Fascists under Sir Oswald Mosley.

Immediately prior to war being declared, Joyce fled with his wife to Germany. There he eventually ended up working as a propaganda broadcaster, coming to be known by the name ‘Lord Haw-Haw.’ In this role he broadcast into England via a network of German-controlled radio stations. He would begin each broadcast with: “Germany calling, Germany calling, Germany calling.” And during the war, though listening was discouraged, many Britons listened—some as sympathisers, others simply wanting to hear what the other side was saying.

Following the war, Joyce was captured by British forces—during which he was shot through the buttocks, after the arresting officers mistakenly believed him to be armed. He was then taken to London and tried for high treason.

While Joyce declared himself not guilty, claiming that he was not a British subject, a technicality allowed him to be found guilty on one of three charges. He was executed by hanging on the 3rd of January 1946.

Born: April 24, 1906
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: January 3, 1946 (aged 39)
Cause of Death: Hanged in Britain for treason

Historical Events

  • 1939-09-18 William Joyce's first Nazi propaganda broadcast
  • 1939-09-19 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) becomes radio host of Reichsrundfunk Berlin
  • 1945-01-07 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) reports total German victory in the Ardennes
  • 1945-04-30 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) calls for crusade against the Bolsheviks
  • 1945-05-23 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) arrested at Danish boundary
  • 1945-06-18 William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw), fascist politician and Nazi propaganda broadcaster, charged with treason in England
  • 1945-09-19 Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) sentenced to death in London

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