The Movies have made a great deal over the broadcasts of Tokyo Rose. Usually she is a mocking voice coming from the speaker on the bulkhead who seems to know much more than she should about the Good Guys.
The omniscience of Tokyo Rose is largely fiction, but her counter part in the European Theater, Axis Sally, was all to real.
Mildred Gillars was born in Portland Maine in 1900. She family moved to Ohio when she was 16. She entered college to study drama, but left before graduating. She drifted to Greenwich Village and attempted to establish a theater career before moving to Paris where she worked as an artists model. In 1934 she moved to Dresden to study art, and was employed by the Berlitz Language School. In 1940 she went to work as an announcer for German State Radio. In '41 the US State Dept was encouraging US Nationals to return home, but Mildred chose to stay with her fiancÚ who was soon drafted and sent to his death on the Eastern Front.
She was working at the studio when she received the news about Pearl Harbor, and reacted in shock; "I told them what I thought about Japan and that the Germans would soon find out about them." Realizing that her indiscretion could land her in a concentration camp, she soon signed a loyalty oath to Germany.
She continued to broadcast, but was relegated to unimportant material until she was cast in "Home Sweet Home" in 1942. The program was meant to make GI's feel homesick, and used stories about girlfriends and wives running around back home. Other broadcasts were directed towards the audience in the US, using reports from POWs to sow discontent in the USA.
Just before D-Day Gillars participated in the radio play "Vision of an Invasion" in which she played an Ohio Mother whose son meets a horrible death aboard a transport in the English Channel.
The GI's had several nicknames for Gillars, including the Berlin Babe, the Berlin Bitch, and Olga, but the one that stuck was Axis Sally.
After the War Gillars was arrested and taken back to the States to stand trial for ten counts of treason. The evidence was based on recordings of her broadcasts. The defense reasoned that she had broadcast unpopular opinions, but that in itself was not treasonous. The only conviction came for the "Vision of Invasion Broadcast", which held a sentence of 10-30 years.
Upon her release in 1961she entered the Our Lady of Bethlehem Convent in Columbus, Ohio.