Professor to share story of ‘Axis Sally’


During World War II, an American woman broadcast Nazi propaganda to Allied troops, who dubbed her “Axis Sally.” Her real name was Mildred Gillars, and two decades earlier she had attended Ohio Wesleyan University.

Three decades later, she returned to Delaware to receive her OWU degree.

Ohio Wesleyan history professor Michael W. Flamm, Ph.D., will share Gillars’ tragic-but-true story when he presents “Axis Sally”: Ohio Wesleyan’s Most Notorious and Least Understood Alum at 7:30 p.m. April 13 in Benes Room B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

“From Delaware to New York, Paris, Algiers, Berlin, and back to Columbus,” Flamm said, “the strange sage of Mildred Gillars contains more twists and turns than a Hollywood thriller and plenty of questions that remain unanswered today.”

Flamm, a member of the Ohio Wesleyan faculty since 1998, teaches courses in U.S. history from 1877 to the present. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University, his doctorate at Columbia University, and is a former Fulbright Scholar.

His latest book is “In the Heat of the Summer: The New York Riots of 1964 and the War on Crime,” which spotlights the first major riot of the 1960s and its impact on the nation’s history. Flamm also is the author of “Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s” and the co-author of “Debating the Reagan Presidency” (with John Ehrman) and “Debating the 1960s: Liberal, Conservative, and Radical Perspectives” (with David Steigerwald).

His presentation represents Ohio Wesleyan’s 2017 Joseph and Edith Vogel Lecture sponsored by the Department of History. The Vogel Lecture is made possible by a generous gift from their son, Ezra F. Vogel, Ph.D., a 1950 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, native of Delaware, and retired professor of East Asian Studies at Harvard University. Ezra Vogel also is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China.”

Learn more about the lecture series and the OWU Department of History at

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