Wartime journalist Angus Thuermer dies aged 92 - Press Gazette

Wartime journalist Angus Thuermer dies aged 92

Angus Thuermer, the American journalist who discovered PG Wodehouse interned as a prisoner while he reported from wartime Germany, has died aged 92.

The Telegraph carries Thuermer’s obituary today, reporting how he only took a job as a correspondent with Associated Press to earn extra money while studying German in Berlin.

It reported:

‘Thuermer unwittingly set in train the events that led to the English author PG Wodehouse making his infamous radio broadcasts which were widely interpreted as pro-Nazi propaganda.

‘In December 1940 Thuermer was a correspondent for the American news agency Associated Press (AP) when he was tipped off that “British civilian prisoner 796” interned in a former lunatic asylum in eastern Germany was none other than Wodehouse, the creator of Jeeves and Wooster and writer of many comic novels, then at the height of his fame…

‘America, where Wodehouse had worked and was widely read, had yet to join the war, and when Thuermer got wind of the celebrated English humorist’s incarceration, he successfully sought an interview.

‘It took place over Christmas, in the presence of the camp’s second-in-command Oberleutnant Buchelt, with little thought for the consequences. The unworldly Wodehouse assumed that any publicity would simply reassure his readers that he was alive and well and in good spirits.”

When American later joined the war, Thuermer and 100 of his countrymen were placed under house arrest. However, he continued to publish a clandestine newspaper.

He is survived by Alice, his wife of 62 years, one son and two daughters.



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