I was not a Nazi collaborator, PG Wodehouse told MI5
PG Wodehouse was questioned by MI5 as a suspected collaborator for broadcasting from Berlin during the second world war. The creator of Jeeves protested that he was shocked and dismayed at the criticism his broadcasts had provoked in Britain.
How the cosy world of Bertie Wooster collided with harsh reality is revealed in MI5 files released today at the National Archives. "I thought that people, hearing the talks, would admire me for having kept cheerful under difficult conditions," he said in a statement for MI5 in 1944.
Wodehouse was living in France when war broke out. He was taken prisoner when Germany invaded and sent to an internment camp in the German town of Tost, Upper Silesia. He described how, "as he was playing in a cricket match" on 21 June 1941, he was told to pack his bags and was put on a train to Berlin.
He was put up at the city's Adlon hotel, and was paid to make a series of broadcasts, mainly for American listeners, describing his life as an internee. He claimed he was motivated by gratitude over letters sent by fans from the US....
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