Jane Anderson (American journalist)
January 6, 1888
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||May 5, 1972
|Treason (in absentia), July 26, 1943|
|Charges dropped, 1947|
|Spouse(s)||Deems Taylor (m. 1910–18)
Eduardo Alvarez de Cienfuegos (m. 1934)
Jane Anderson (January 6, 1888 – May 5, 1972) was an American broadcaster of Nazi propaganda during World War II. She was indicted on charges of treason in 1943 but after the war the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
She was born Foster Anderson, while her father, Robert M. "Red" Anderson was a close friend of showman Buffalo Bill. Her mother, Ellen Luckie Anderson came from a wealthy and prominent Atlanta family.
She attended Piedmont College, Georgia but was expelled in 1904. She then attended Kidd-Key Women’s School, a finishing school in Dallas. She moved to New York City in 1909 where she lived until 1915. There she married Deems Taylor the composer in 1910. The marriage ended in divorce in 1918. While in New York, she became a successful writer of short stories which were published in national magazines from 1910 to 1913.
She then traveled to Europe in September 1915 where she remained until 1918, writing articles and reports for the London Daily Mail. As a war correspondent she suffered shell-shock from a visit to the British trenches in France in 1916.
She was a lover of the novelist Joseph Conrad who used her as the model for his heroine, Doña Rita, in The Arrow of Gold in 1919. In 1922 she returned to Europe as a correspondent for the International News Service and Hearst Newspapers.
In October 1934 she married a Spanish nobleman in Seville, Count Eduardo Alvarez de Cienfuegos, and settled with him in Spain. The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) broke out on July 17, 1936 and Anderson covered the struggle for the London Daily Mail, reporting from the Falangist side. On September 13, 1936 she was captured and imprisoned by the Republican side, held as a fascist spy, tortured and sentenced to death. However, in October 1936 her release was secured by the intervention of U.S. Secretary Cordell Hull and the State Department assisted her return to the U.S. Her experiences in Spain moved her political allegiance to the far right. She wrote and lectured on the Spanish Civil War to promote the Nationalist cause of Francisco Franco, who eventually won the war with German and Italian military assistance.
She returned to Spain in 1938, worked for the Falangist Spanish Ministry of Propaganda and came to the attention of the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft, German State Radio, who offered her a post in Berlin in 1940.
Propaganda for Nazi Germany
Anderson began broadcasts from Berlin on April 14, 1941 and when Nazi Germany declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941 American citizens were repatriated from Germany but Anderson chose to stay there.
Until March 6, 1942 she broadcast Nazi propaganda via short wave radio for the German State Radio's U.S.A. Zone, the Germans giving her the name ‘The Georgia Peach’. Her radio program was broadcast two or four times weekly and each broadcast began and ended with the slogan, "Always remember progressive Americans eat Kellogg's Corn Flakes and listen to both sides of the story," while a band played Scatterbrain. In her programs she heaped praise on Adolf Hitler and ran ‘exposés’ of the ‘communist domination’ of the Roosevelt and Churchill governments. She specialized in interviews, one being with her co-worker, the British traitor William Joyce.
She was removed from her position as a commentator when material in her March 6, 1942 broadcast was successfully used by U.S. counter-propaganda. She then appears to have been inactive until her return to her propaganda work in 1944 when she made a few broadcasts reporting the brutality of the Red Army on the Eastern Front.
When Nazi Germany surrendered in May 1945 Anderson hid out in various locations in Germany and Austria. Finally, on April 2, 1947 she was arrested in Salzburg, Austria and placed in US military custody.
Charges of treason
On July 26, 1943 Anderson along with Fred W. Kaltenbach, Douglas Chandler, Edward Delaney, Constance Drexel, Robert Henry Best, Max Otto Koischwitz and Ezra Pound was indicted in absentia by a District of Columbia grand jury on charges of treason.
- "It is true that she could be classified as a political commentator, although not a very effective one, but as she apparently stopped her broadcasting activities shortly after our entry into the war it does not appear worthwhile that further efforts be made to develop our case against her, notwithstanding the fact that she was indicted for treason in 1943.”
A further factor was that Anderson had been a Spanish citizen by marriage since 1934.
Anderson was released from custody in Salzburg in early December 1947. She then went to live with her husband at Almoharín, in the post-war world of Falangist Spain. In the early 1960s they moved to Cáceres where she gave private lessons in English and German. After her husband’s death, she moved to Madrid where she died in 1972.
- Wilkes, Donald E. (May 18, 1995). "Jane Anderson: The Nazi Georgia Peach". The Athens Observer: 5. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Jane Anderson, Piedmont College[dead link]
- Hilmes, Michele; Loviglio, Jason, eds. (2001). Radio Reader: Essays in the Cultural History of Radio. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415928212.
- "Envoys probe arrest of U.S. woman in Spain". The Deseret News. October 10, 1936. p. 1. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Los últimos años de Doña Juanita" [The last years of Doña Juanita]. garciguti.blogspot.co.uk. September 14, 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2013. (Spanish)
- "American Woman Freed of Espionage in Spain". The New York Times. October 11, 1936. p. 35. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "My Days of Horror in War-Torn Spain". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 30 May 1937. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Women Catholics Warned on Spain; Marquesa de Cienfuegos Lays Warfare to Communist Move for World Supremacy". The New York Times. September 28, 1937. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- McLeod, Elizabeth (6 November 2000). "Berlin Broadcasts". Broadcasting History. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Lady Haw-Haw". Time Magazine. January 19, 1942.
- "Nazi Announcer Spills Beans". Lewiston Morning Tribune. March 26, 1942. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Germany: Sweets & Cookies". Time Magazine. April 6, 1942.
- "Indict Two Women on Treason Counts". The Lewiston Daily Sun. July 28, 1943. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "U.S. Quashes Treason Case Against Trio". The Milwaukee Journal. October 27, 1947. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "News clippings and Memoranda on Ezra Pound and others". United States Department of Justice. 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Pegolotti, James A. (2003). Deems Taylor: A Biography. Boston: Northeastern University Press. ISBN 978-1555535872.
- "Jane Anderson Regains Freedom at Salzburg". The Baltimore Sun. December 9, 1947. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Edwards, John Carver (1991). Berlin Calling: American Broadcasters in Service to the Third Reich. ISBN 978-0275939052.
- "Courtroom Battles of WWII: Aftermath of War (part 2)". courtroombattles.blogspot.co.uk. December 2, 2007.