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Mildred "Axis Sally" Gillars
Original name: Mildred Sisk
Birth: Nov. 29, 1900
Portland
Cumberland County
Maine, USA
Death: Jun. 25, 1988
Columbus
Franklin County
Ohio, USA

Axis Sally. She was an American woman who made propaganda broadcasts for Radio Berlin in Nazi Germany. She was born Mildred Elizabeth Sisk in Portland, Maine. Her parents divorced and she assumed the name of her stepfather, becoming Mildred Gillars. She graduated from High School in Conneaut, Ohio and enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, pursuing a degree in dramatic arts but did not graduate. She enrolled at Hunter College in New York becoming romantically involved with Max Otto Koischwitz a German born professor. Her stage career at a dead end, she traveled to Germany where she met up with Koischwitz who had renounced his US citizenship and become an official in the Nazi radio service in charge of propaganda. He convinced her to make broadcasts for Hitler while living together in Berlin. Her propaganda program was known as "Home Sweet Home" aired daily and heard all over Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa and the US. She referred to herself as "Midge at the mike", however, GIs dubbed her "Axis Sally." She would tease and taunt the American military about their wives and sweethearts back in the States. Soldiers were more amused then horrified by the broadcasts and relished the american music she played. After the defeat of Germany, Gillars was arrested and kept in detention for a year in Frankfort until it was decided she would face trial. Returned to the US, she was incarcerated in the Washington, D.C. District Jail and held without bond and charged with 10 counts of treason. The trial lasted for six hectic weeks. Finally the jury found her guilty of one count of treason and Mildred received a10 to 30 years sentence in prison, a $10,000 fine and would be eligible for parole after 10 years. Mildred Gillars, alias Axis Sally was transported to the Federal Women's Reformatory in Alderson, West Virginia. Becoming eligible for parole, she waived the right, preferring prison to life on the outside facing ridicule as a traitor. Two years later, she applied for parole and it was granted. She departed Alderson prison at the age of 60. Her post prison life with old age creeping up, was bleak and uneventful. Her boyfriend Professor Koischwitz had died in Germany of tuberculosis. She taught for a while in a Roman Catholic school for girls in Columbus, Ohio, then returned to her old alma mater Ohio Wesleyan and received a bachelor's degree in speech. She returned to Columbus and taught languages at St Joseph Academy. She died at age 87 in Columbus of natural causes and was interred at St Joseph Cemetery located on High Street. The grave is without a marker. Established in 1927, the first federal women's prison at Alderson is still there located on a hill by the river with its gracious brick buildings and wide expanse of sloping green lawn. A prison without cells or bars or razor wire, it has held many famous women prisoner's: Billie Holiday, Tokyo Rose, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Sara Jane Moore, Meg Scott Phipps and today honored with the presence of Martha Stewart. (bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)) 
 
Burial:
Saint Joseph Cemetery
Lockbourne
Franklin County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Holy Family section, Random Selection; lot 570 [unmarked]
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jul 13, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 23000
Mildred Axis Sally Gillars
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Mildred Axis Sally Gillars
Added by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)
 
Mildred Axis Sally Gillars
Added by: Scott Wilson
 
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