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Radio Show Host, Travel Expert, Stephanie Abrams' Travel Blog

Adventures Begin with Friends Met When Traveling Including Capers in History

Stephanie Abrams in the doorway of Castle Leslie, Co. Monaghan, Ireland


Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams talks with Mark Leslie

at Glasnevin Cemetery, Co. Dublin

This is a most unexpected story of “fake news.” It’s not about the 21st century variety of fake news but of the World War II variety, when the British government created fake radio stations on frequencies available to German citizens and Nazi soldiers. One of the featured celebrity broadcasters used the codename “Vicky.” She was Vicky of the Three Kisses as she would pucker up and send smooching sounds of three kisses to her radio audience with monologues in German. In essence, Vicky was the Tokyo Rose of Europe aimed at Nazi soldiers.

Vicky was, in fact, Agnes Bernelle, a beautiful German woman of Jewish heritage whose family left Germany and who became a talented actress and singer. As circumstances would have it, Agnes had the opportunity to use her unique talents on fake radio stations to influence the outcome of the war. In addition to that legacy, she also presented the world with my good friend, her son, Christopher Mark Leslie, better known just  as “Mark.”

Today, Mark Leslie sent me an email with a link to a BBC radio interview with his mother, Agnes Bernelle, in which she gave insights into WWII fake radio and fake news. This link will take you to that radio broadcast audio. Watch the homepage of sAbrams.com for notification of when Mark will next be on the air with me so you can hear a live broadcast discussing this amazing find after which you’ll find the broadcast conversation with Mark podcast for  a year at travelers411.com and archived indefinitely at sAbrams.com.  Start with listening to this bit of WWII history!  Listening to Mark’s mother tell us, in her words, her unique story of her contribution to overcoming Nazi proliferation is powerful, touching, and remarkable in that so many of you have heard Mark on the air with me dozens, if not hundreds, of times over the last 2 decades so you’ll grasp the inside link between the Mark Leslie you know from my radio shows and his mother on British fake radio stations!

That is my handsome,  creative, visionary friend, Mark Leslie pictured herein. While Mark has been cameoed in episodes of Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams, we are in production of an episode focused on ‘Characters with Characters’ I have met in my  travels. Mark will be featured in the episode.

Mark,  lives in Dún Laoghaire, pronounced Dun Leary, a residential and business region abutting Dublin City Centre where his business, Martello Media, is based. Mark’s leadership has led to Martello  Media creating and installing amazing experiences for visitors at attractions in Ireland, Malta, New York City, and Japan among others. In Ireland, you can visit Glasnevin Cemetery Visitors Centre, a place where so many political leaders of Ireland, poets, musicians, literary figures and others important to Irish history and culture including Eamon De Velera, Michael Collins, Brendan Behan, and so many more, are laid to rest; Blackrock Observatory in Cork; Dublin’s General Post Office exhibit commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916 massacre; and the Yeats exhibit at Dublin’s National Library, shown below. Clearly, he is responsible  for  spearheading some incredible exhibits that touch the lives, hearts and minds of so many through interactive educational experiences for  visitors.


Stephanie Abrams with Mark Leslie at Yeats Exhibit at National Library, Dublin.

I know Mark for  many years  now as we seem to  have been adopted by the Leslie family when they embraced us after getting to know us  when I organized our daughter’s wedding at their ancestral family home, Castle Leslie in County Monaghan. We reciprocated and adopted Mark as well! Over the years since 2003, I’ve learned so many stories directly from Mark’s amazing, and now deceased, Uncle Jack, Sir John Leslie, from Mark and his sister, Sammy, who undertook the responsibility to enhance and maintain the castle and its equestrian center as a full-time occupation on behalf of the family, providing  unique offerings for travelers and visitors. The family is a treasure chest of fascinating characters, not the least of which was Agnes Bernelle, Mark’s mother who married his father, Desmond Leslie. When you see photos of Agnes, you’ll understand where Mark got his good looks.

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams (left) celebrating Uncle Jack’s (Sir John Leslie) 90th birthday at Castle Leslie with his cousin, Elizabeth, from Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Start with listening to this bit of WWII history!  It’s going to blow  your mind!

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

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