Monday, October 10, 2016

Chapter Review: Who is Tokyo Rose

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

The interesting thing I learned from this chapter is that Tokyo Rose was not just one person, but five or six women who announced on Radio Tokyo.  The Japanese goal was to discourage the U.S. soldiers; and in some respects this was accomplished.  However there were those on the radio, who hoped their program on the radio would have the opposite effect.  They would tell inside jokes, and talk quickly so the news could not be understood.  A team of POW's was n the radio and recruited Iva Toguri to join them on the radio.  She too wanted to use the radio to promote the Allied was effort rather than discourage.  Iva was Japanese American, born in Los Angeles.  She would not renounce her U.S. citizenship when she became trapped in Japan when the war started.
When the war was over, two reporters searched out Iva as they were looking for Tokyo Rose.  Iva had never heard of Tokyo Rose, but when is was explained to her that it was the name given to all the Japanese women radio broadcaster by the U.S. soldiers, she took credit for being Tokyo Rose.
As a result she was arrested and imprisoned.  However she was eventually released for lack of evidence.  She returned to the United States.
Thomas DeWolfe was a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's office.  He had reviewed the case, and new there was no case.  However public outcry was persistent.  This included political pressure.  He was ordered to prosecute, and so Iva found herself in court.  Charles Cousens, one of the two radio broadcaster testified and verified Iva's story.  She had no intent to harm the war effort but just the opposite.  However she was found guilty.
She served six years in prison, and was almost deported.  She did lose her citizenship.  Her husband was deported, and their marriage was ruined.  She had been pardoned by President Gerald Ford in 1977, and her citizenship restored.  Some members of the jury later regretted that they had been persuaded to go with the majority.  Thomas DeWolfe took his own life three years after the verdict.
Iva Toguri

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