The oddly ornate Zucca’s on West 49th Street, offering an Italian smorgasbord.
Proprietor Louis Zucca’s daughter Rita was better known as one of the “Axis Sallys,” who allegedly broadcast Axis propaganda out of Italy, signing on to each show with “Hello, suckers!”
She probably stole that bit from nightclub owner Tex Guinan.
Mildred Gillars, another “Axis Sally” (for Nazi Germany), spent 12 years in prison.
Rita’s cousin says it’s not true, that all Rita did was sing American songs on the government run RAI radio out of Rome, which picked up Mildred’s propaganda transmissions out of Berlin and relayed them to the front.
Here’s what Zucca’s looks like today… Oceana, part of a massive skyscraper.
The interior of Oceana…
The Italian Badoglio government tried Rita for collaboration, on the basis of her employment with RAI during the war. She had renounced her American citizenship, so Hoover didn’t prosecute her for treason.
Lovely but cross-eyed Rita was sentenced to 4 and a half years and released after nine months. She was portrayed by Alexandia Maria Lara in the Spike Lee movie, “Miracle at St. Anna.”
Mildred Gillars later became a music teacher in Columbus, Ohio.
At Oceana, try the Manhattan Clam Chowder.
in Real Gone Places, coinkydink, food, little known facts