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BBC Archive launches Lord Haw-Haw collection

2nd February 2010

The BBC Archive has unveiled a new online collection looking at the impact of Lord Haw-Haw's Nazi propaganda on Britain during the Second World War.

Radio recordings of Haw-Haw's programmes and previously unreleased BBC documents have been digitised for public examination and show how the broadcaster attempted to fight the infamous propagandist's message using satire and news programmes.

An internal audience report shows that Haw-Haw, whose real name was William Joyce, had six million listeners a week at the outbreak of the war, while a handwritten memo reveals the areas of the country most affected - which included Peterborough, Bristol and Cambridge.

Julie Rowbotham, executive producer of the BBC Archive, said that the new collection explains how the UK and the BBC reacted to radio being used as a tool for mass propaganda.

'This was the first time that the radio had been used as a weapon during war and there was a lot of pressure on the BBC to ensure Lord Haw-Haw's efforts were unsuccessful,' she added.

Haw-Haw, whose trademark 'Germany calling, Germany calling' opened his broadcasts, was captured in 1945 and later hanged for treason.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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