The first video is a short reading from my book Iva: The True Story of Tokyo Rose.
Following that short reading, the subsequent video and audio links listed provides us the benefit of hearing and seeing some of the key actors in the 1940s that so affected Iva and her fate. Imagine being trapped in an enemy’s country and forced to do Radio Tokyo broadcasts. The voice of Iva in this audio recording embedded in the pictures of Japanese soldiers demonstrates her efforts to deliver only pure entertainment content.
It was Walter Winchell’s style to create news and bolster ratings through controversial statements that led to radio broadcasts like this one. This ultimately contributed to the U.S. Justice Department dropping plans to find Iva innocent of any wrongdoing. Instead, Attorney General Tom Clark decided a show trial was needed to respond to Republican Tom Dewey’s challenges that Harry Truman was soft on treason and communism during the 1948 Presidential campaign.
Winchell first mentions Iva’s situation at 8:17 into the recording below. In that part of the broadcast, Winchell refers to evidence he will receive shortly of film showing Iva committing treason. The film that he subsequently received was a U.S. government training film made after the war in Japan which Iva cooperated with. The purpose of the training film was to show U.S. military broadcasters how the Japanese structured their broadcasts. There is no evidence of Iva saying anything treasonous in that film. Please paste the following address into your browser and enjoy taking a step back in time.
After being released from Alderson Prison in West Virginia, Iva attempted to lead a quiet life. Once the Japanese-American Society started a campaign to recognize and right the injustice of Iva’s prosecution, CBS News picked up the story. Below is a link to the 60 Minutes broadcast that accelerated the change public opinion.