|Born||29 Nov 1900|
|Died||25 Jun 1988|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseMildred Elizabeth Sisk was born in Portland, Maine, United States. Her last name changed to Gillars when her mother remarried. Raised in the glitter of New York City, New York, United States, she dreamed of being an actress. She studied drama at Ohio Wesleyan University, but dropped out before graduating. Unable to find her opportunity in the United States, she went to Dresden, Germany to study music, then went on to Berlin, Germany.
ww2dbaseWhile teaching English in Berlin, Gillars was recruited by Radio Berlin for her sultry voice and her native tongue; her job would be to spread propaganda to American soldiers fighting in Europe. She introduced herself as "Midge at the mic", but American troops referred to her as "Axis Sally." One of her favorite weapons was to make the Americans miss their girlfriends and wives at home, with these psychological attacks delivered in-between popular American songs. On 11 May 1944, she delivered the broadcast claiming that any invasion of continental Europe would end in terrible defeat; playing the role of an American mother, she mourned the death of her fictitious son who died in the English Channel. "The D of D-Day stands for doom, disaster, death, defeat, Dunkerque, or Dieppe", an announcer said during the broadcast titled "Vision of Invasion." Less than one month later, the very type of invasion they were trying to attack psychologically was launched and succeeded. Her last broadcast was aired on 6 May 1945, two days before the German surrender.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Gillars attempted to blend into the large number of displaced persons, but was eventually arrested and sent back to the United States, where she was charged with ten counts of treason and tried for eight of them. She was found guilty for one count of treason, which was for the "Vision of Invasion" broadcast. She was sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison, but was paroled in 1961. She lived at Our Lady of Bethlehem convent in Columbus, Ohio, United States and taught English and German at a preparatory school. In 1973, she returned to Ohio Wesleyan College and completed her degree. She passed away in 1988 of natural causes.
Last Major Revision: Nov 2007
Mildred Gillars Timeline
|29 Nov 1900||Mildred Gillars was born.|
|25 Jun 1988||Mildred Gillars passed away.|
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Winston Churchill, 1935