Trust Talk: Censorship and Bermuda's Role in Winning World War II by Horst Augustinovic
Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, Waterville
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Wine and cheese will be served
Horst Augustinovic is one of Bermuda’s most passionate collectors of historical artefacts and documents and the author of ‘Censorship and Bermuda’s Role in Winning World War II’, his newest book. It explores the story of how Bermuda’s strategic position allowing the bulk of mail and parcel post, as well as passengers crossing the Atlantic, to be examined by Great Britain during World War II.
By 1940, Great Britain established the Imperial Censorship Detachment and had positioned hundreds of censors on the island. Their role was to examine transit mail, control contraband and examine travellers’ possessions. Over 200,000 letters could be examined each day and 15,000 of them subjected to clinical testing by special examiners looking for microdots and secret ink messages. This became the story of covert warfare, the breaking up of German espionage rings operating in the US, and spies being jailed because of coded communications that were intercepted in Bermuda.
Horst will discuss Bermuda’s military effort to win World War II, the Royal Navy and Atlantic Ferry Command and the building of the U.S. bases. Edith Heyl summed up Bermuda’s contribution to World War II in a 1945 article in the Bermudian magazine as follows: “This colony, of less than twenty square miles, gave to the prosecution of the war nearly 500 fighting men, over a million pounds and one tenth of all the land it possessed.”