Piedmont’s Infamous alumna


Contributing Writer

Piedmont isn’t exactly noted for famous graduates, but we do have one peculiarly infamous former student.

Her name was Foster Anderson, and her story is one involving intrigue, glamour, excitement and mystery.

In 1903, Anderson, who lived in Demorest as a child before moving to Atlanta, returned to the area to attend Piedmont College.

She lived on campus in the Mary J. Green Hall until she was expelled for receiving 50 demerits for reasons unknown.

She then left the South completely for the metropolis of New York City. There, her charm and her literary ability gave her access to many artistic circles, where she met Deems Taylor, a composer and music critic.

They married in 1912 and later divorced.

Upon the dawn of World War I, she found herself employed as a war correspondent by British publisher Lord Northcliffe.

The same charm and ability that helped her in New York proved equally important in Britain, where she moved into the same circles as Joseph Conrad, Rebecca West and H.G. Wells.

She later married Marquis Alvarez de Cienfuegos. He was one of Franco’s falangistas––a Spanish political party.

During this time, the Spanish nationalists arrested Anderson on the charge of being a fascist revolutionary agent.

Though she was released through efforts by the U.S. Department of State, she returned to America to speak on behalf of Spanish Fascism.

Her lectures caught the attention of German officials at the beginning of World War II, and in 1941, she was invited to join the German Broadcasting System.

She made broadcasts that were aimed to undermine the morale in the United States and Great Britain.

Her pseudonym was Georgia Peach, and her first broadcast went out on April 21, 1941.

She continued to broadcast until March of the next year.

According to the Athens Observer, Anderson favored remarkable broadcasts…“not only because they defended the Nazi atrocities and the Nazi cause, but also because of her astonishing vocabulary.”

Anderson also said in the Athens Observer, “Roosevelt has pulled a brass band out of his hip pocket, and a concentration camp from under the coattails of the brain trust.”

In July of 1943, she was indicted by federal grand jury for treason, and a warrant was made for her arrest.

When Nazi Germany surrendered in 1945, American authorities tried to locate and capture Anderson, but she fled to Austria with her husband.

In 1947, she was found, arrested and handed to the American military, but in October of that year her charge was mysteriously dismissed and released.