Douglas Chandler

Douglas Chandler (May 26, 1889 [1] – after 1970s) was an American broadcaster of Nazi propaganda during World War II. He was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1947 but was released in 1963.

Douglas Chandler
Dougas Chandler.png
Chandler at his trial in 1947
Born(1889-05-26)May 26, 1889
DiedUnknown; sometime after 1970
NationalityAmerican
OccupationRadio broadcaster, journalist, propagandist
Criminal statusReleased in 1963
Criminal chargeTreason
PenaltyLife imprisonment, fine of $10,000
Military career
AllegianceUnited States United States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Battles/warsWorld War I

Early lifeEdit

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Chandler was an officer in the United States Navy during the First World War and later wrote a weekly news column for a newspaper in Baltimore.[2]

He was financially ruined in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and "fed up to the chin with the Depression and the miasma that was enveloping Washington."[3] He moved from the United States to France and then to Germany in 1931. There he worked as a journalist who showed Nazi Germany in an ideal light and contributed on that theme to the National Geographic Magazine.[4]

Propaganda for Nazi GermanyEdit

In April 1941, Chandler began to broadcast Nazi propaganda from Berlin for the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft, German state radio, working as a commentator in its U.S.A. Zone.

When 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.

Chandler broadcast to the United States under the pseudonym "Paul Revere."[5] 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 their isolationist sentiment. He also asserted that Washington was under the control of Jewish advisers.

Chandler became known as America's Lord Haw-Haw because of his cultivated American voice.[6][7] 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, which put him in the top six on the RRG’s payroll.[8]

Towards the end of 1943, the increased Allied bombing of Berlin caused Chandler to be relocated first to Vienna and then to Munich, where he made his last broadcasts sometime in February 1945.[citation needed]

ArrestEdit

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 U.S. Army on or about March 12, 1946 at the request of the Department of Justice.[9]

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

TrialEdit

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.[10]

Chandler stood trial at the Boston Federal District Court on June 6, 1947. He entered a defense of insanity[11] because of paranoia[12] and did not testify at his trial. The prosecution relied mainly 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.[13]

Chandler was found guilty of all ten counts of treason on June 28, 1947.[14][15][6][3] He was fined $10,000 and sentenced to life imprisonment by Federal Judge Francis Ford.[16] On being convicted for treason, Chandler also automatically lost his U.S. citizenship.[17] "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."[16] His subsequent appeal was denied.[18][19]

ReleaseEdit

After 16 years of imprisonment, Chandler's sentence was commuted by then U.S. President John F. Kennedy on the condition of immediately leaving the United States. Chandler was released from the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on August 9, 1963[20] and immediately returned to Germany. In 1970, Chandler wrote a letter to National Geographic editor Melville Bell Grosvenor, requesting reimbursement for expenses that incurred on an assignment that had been canceled shortly after his Nazi sympathies were revealed. Later unverified witness reports placed him on the Canary Islands in the 1970s, however this cannot be confirmed.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Browne, Ray Broadus; Browne, Pat (7 December 2017). The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Popular Press. ISBN 9780879728212 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b "The Nazi Who Infiltrated National Geographic". 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Radio: Hi-Yo, Chandler!". 9 June 1941 – via www.time.com.
  4. ^ Rothenberg, Tamar Y. (7 December 2017). Presenting America's World: Strategies of Innocence in National Geographic Magazine, 1888-1945. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9780754645108 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Department of Justice. Criminal Division. 1919- (9 September 1941). "Propaganda Broadcast by "Paul Revere"" – via US National Archives Research Catalog.
  6. ^ a b "TREASON: American Lord Haw-Haw". 7 July 1947 – via www.time.com.
  7. ^ "Voices of World War II, 1937-1945". 15 August 2016.
  8. ^ "The Hartford Courant article archive - 'Paul Revere' Got $3200 Monthly For Nazi Broadcasts". pqasb.pqarchiver.com.
  9. ^ "Loislaw Libraries on Fastcase - Fastcase". www.loislaw.com.
  10. ^ https://www.justice.gov/criminal/foia/records/ezra-pound-p4.pdf
  11. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  12. ^ "Lewiston Evening Journal - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  13. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  14. ^ "TRIAL OF CHANDLER FOR TREASON OPENS; 17 Germans, Former Members of Nazi Radio Office, Will Testify Against Him". 7 June 1947 – via NYTimes.com.
  15. ^ "CHANDLER GUILTY IN TREASON CASE; Baltimore Writer, Convicted by U.S. Jury at Boston, Faces Death by Hanging". 29 June 1947 – via NYTimes.com.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Treason Case Judge Levies 10,000 Fine. Loss Of Citizenship... - The Milwaukee Journal, March 25, 1949".
  18. ^ "Court Won't Review Case - Tri City Herald, February 28, 1949".
  19. ^ "Loislaw Libraries on Fastcase - Fastcase". www.loislaw.com.
  20. ^ "JFK Pardon Frees Nazi-Voice Chandler". pqasb.pqarchiver.com.

External linksEdit