Francis Stuart And Aosdana


Sir, - James Evans (November 12th) claimed that Francis Stuart was "simply a teacher of English literature" in Berlin during the second World War. Mr Evans admitted that Stuart made "some broadcasts to Ireland" but "refused to inject Nazi propaganda into them".

This is not in line with historical facts. Stuart obtained a visa for Switzerland under false pretenses, whence he made his way into Germany after the outbreak of war in September 1939. The Auswaertiges Amt in Berlin had been notified about his arrival by the German minister in Dublin, who referred to Stuart as "a genuine friend of contemporary Germany, a very good representative of Irish nationalism and reliable".

Before Stuart started his teaching at the university he had a long conversation with the German foreign office official Woermann, to whom he divulged, among other things, the information that the British entertained a highly sophisticated espionage network in Ireland which devoted particular attention to the German Minister in Dublin. Stuart's eight teaching hours at the university left him ample time to write a propaganda book entitled The Casement Case: The Life of Sir Roger Casement and the Libel Campaign of the Secret Service, which was published in German in 1940. So much for Stuart being "simply" a lecturer.

The number of transcribed broadcasts, the majority of which can be perused in the Military Archives at Cathal Brugha Barracks, amounts to about 80. Stuart broadcast from February 1942 to February 1944, sometimes twice a week. In October 1943 alone he spoke on 10 occasions to his Irish listeners. So much for his making "some" broadcasts.

On January 30th, 1943 Stuart made the following statement on air: "What the men, officers and generals of the German Sixth Army are doing at Stalingrad is altogether beyond the ordinary standards of bravery." The epithet "eulogy" was chosen for this remark on an internal G2 (Irish Military Intelligence) memo. Returning to the matter of Stalingrad on February 6th, Stuart commented that he was "glad to be living among such people, glad to be here in a country that can produce such men".

On August 14th of the same year he told his listeners that "German endurance is much more strident than English despite air raids". On February 9th, 1942 Stuart elaborated on the "financial spider web" with which Britain had entangled Europe before the war, concluding that "it is largely London Jews who figure[d] in the dealings." So much for refusing "to inject Nazi propaganda".

Whatever one may think about Stuart's merits as a writer there is no justification for ignoring or understating this historical fact. - Yours, etc.,

Crusheen, Co Clare.