Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:23 pm Post subject:
|TonyGosling wrote: |
|Hitler's aristocratic admirers
LORD DARLINGTON was adamant. The two young German maids would have to go . Miss Kenton, the housekeeper, was close to tears as she explained that they would have to return to �Germany � a terrible risk considering both were Jewish.
By PAUL CALLAN PUBLISHED: 00:00, Sat, Sep 12, 2009
But his lordship remained unmoved. He believed in appeasement towards Nazi Germany and the employment of Jewish people was �inappropriate�.
Although fictional, there is a bitter ring of truth about this scene � featuring James Fox and Emma Thompson � from the 1993 film The Remains Of The Day, based on Kazuo Ishiguro�s novel.
The Lord Darlington figure was typical of a formidable group of British peers who were attracted by Hitler and supported efforts to keep the dictator placated. A new book, Aristocrats by Lawrence James, includes material on such ardently Right-wing and anti-Semitic aristocrats and how their vile attitudes brought considerable satisfaction to Hitler.
What lay behind their support of appeasement was a fear of Communism . �What emerges,� writes James, �is a picture of a knot of peers adrift in an uncongenial world, united by paranoia, pessimism and panic.�
�A knot of peers were united by utter paranoia� �One duke went to the F�hrer�s birthday party� �Lord Brocket fawned over visiting Nazis�
They all saw an immensely powerful union between Communism and the Jewish people as a world conspiracy that could be thwarted only by Fascism.
Both Hitler and his strutting Italian cohort Mussolini offered these bewildered aristocrats a safe world that would be secure from any Communist takeover. It also confirmed their long-held private prejudice.
Explains James: �[Visceral] anti-Semitism permeated the upper classes between the wars. Jews were vilified as flashy and pushy arrivistes with a knack of enriching themselves when the aristocracy was grumbling about an often exaggerated downturn in their fortunes.�
What made such hatred additionally odious was the fact these peers continued to air their views long after Hitler�s persecution of Germany�s Jewish population had become widely known.
Prominent among such peers was Lord Brocket who joined various anti-Semitic organisations. He fawned over visiting Nazi officials whom he invited to his home and even attended the celebrations for Hitler�s 50th birthday.
Brocket, said to be �a fundamentally nice but stupid man� even deluded himself that he was a valuable link between Hitler and Britain�s leaders. It was suggested that he lit fires on his Hertfordshire estates to guide German bombers on their way to London.
Another pro-Nazi peer was Lord Redesdale . His daughters, who became famous as the literary Mitford sisters, included Unity who went to Germany and stalked Hitler, having fallen in love with him. Although she did become close to Hitler � he considered her to be a �perfect example of Aryan womanhood� � he told her to return to England as war approached. She shot herself in the head in Munich�s English Garden but survived and was dispatched home.
Another admirer of Hitler was the Duke of Westminster, a man who believed countless conspiracies among British Jews to subvert the country. He even spent the first year of the war demanding, to whoever would listen, that peace be made with Germany.
One of the most colourful ermine-clad extremists was the 22nd Earl of Erroll, the Casanova of Kenya�s debauched Happy Valley set. After being mesmerised by Hitler, this devastatingly handsome man promised to introduce Fascism to East Africa. This included a self-supporting empire that would not �trade with the dirty foreigner�.
But his plans were short-lived. The Earl was found murdered in his car on January 24, 1941, on a country road outside Nairobi. It has been suggested that his death was carried out by the British secret services when his political activities became dangerous.
Among the most famous names associated with anti-Semitism was the fifth Duke of Wellington . He became a member of the secret Right Club, which attempted to unify all pre-war Right-wing groups in Britain.
The founder, Archibald Ramsay, said of the organisation: �The main objective was to oppose and expose the activities of organised Jewry. Our first objective was to clear the Conservative Party of Jewish influence, and the character of our membership and meetings were strictly in keeping with this objective.�
Yet another extremist was the Marquess of Graham . He succeeded to the title of Duke of Montrose and went to live in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where he became a staunch white supremacist. He served in Ian Smith�s breakaway Rhodesia Front government and in one speech said: �The Beatles, international finance groups, colonial freedom movements and students agitators were all agents of a communist plot to achieve world domination.�
One Hitler-admiring peer, the Duke of Buccleuch, was even close to King George VI as the Lord �Steward of the Royal Household. He also accompanied Lord Brocket to celebrate the F�hrer�s 50th birthday. It was a matter of personal delight to Hitler that the duke, a man who served in the very court of Britain�s Royal Family, was there .
Buccleuch was opposed to any war with the Nazis and when it did break out in 1939, he joined the Peace Aims Group and urged a truce based on Germany keeping all the lands Hitler had stolen in Europe. Even after the bombing started, he continued to defend Hitler. A continuing embarrassment to the King, he was sacked in 1940.
One of the most alarming figures among this cabal was Lord Londonderry � Winston Churchill�s cousin and a member of one of the country�s wealthiest aristocratic families. The king called him �Charlie� and other members of the Royal Family were frequent guests at his London home, as were major political figures.
He regularly visited Germany, met Hitler several times and even stayed with Goering at his hunting lodge. But he was not taken seriously and Churchill referred to him as a �half-wit�. He was known in the press as �the Londonderry Herr� for his pro-German leanings.
One of the best-known figures was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the Blackshirts and a man who yearned to be Britain�s own �F�hrer�. A highly charismatic man , he was deeply impressed by Mussolini and founded the British Union of Fascists.
I once interviewed him at his �Versailles home and over lunch, at which Lady Mosley (one of the Mitford sisters) was present, we discussed the Holocaust.
I mentioned, just in the course of conversation, that I was Jewish � at which Lady Mosley went ashen, snapped a crimson nail and left the room. No explanation was given but she would later write to a friend:
�A nice, polite reporter came to interview Tom [as Mosley was known] but he turned out to be Jewish and was sitting there at our table. They are a very clever race and come in all shapes and sizes.�
But towering over all these figures were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. He had abdicated as King Edward VIII in 1936 in order to marry American divorc�e, Wallis Simpson. They were later given the ducal titles .
Their admiration for Hitler concerned the government, particularly after they were entertained by him on a visit in 1937. Even the Americans were alarmed � the FBI sent a memo to President Roosevelt �stating that the duchess was �exceedingly pro-German in her sympathies and connections�. The Duke was given the wartime job of governor of the Bahamas and �Roosevelt ordered the FBI to follow them when they visited the US.
It was believed that Goering had concluded a deal with the Duke to install him on the throne after Germany had won the war. His court would, no doubt, have comprised many of those pernicious peers who had lauded Hitler so lavishly.
l To order Aristocrats: Power, Grace And Decadence by Lawrence James (Little, Brown, �25) with free UK delivery, send a cheque or PO made payable to Express Bookshop to Aristocrats Book Offer, PO Box 200, Falmouth TR11 4WJ or phone 0871 988 8367 (calls (10p/min from UK landlines) or visit www.expressbookshop.com
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:26 pm Post subject:
|The English debutante who staged Nazi orgies as a gift of love to Hitler: She lost her virginity to Oswald Mosley on a billiard table... Then she targeted the Fuhrer
Unity Mitford's scandalous liaisons are unveiled in a new biography
Aristocratic family tried to paint relationship with Hitler as youthful fancy
Author claims to have credible sources saying her antics were not naive
At 18 years old she is said to have met Oswald Mosley, who was married, at a party in 1932 when he was having an affair with her married sister, Diana
Letters reveal she boasted about her anti-semitism as a young woman
She met with Hitler once a fortnight between 1935 and September 1939
By DAVID LEAFE
PUBLISHED: 22:05, 11 October 2013 | UPDATED: 22:25, 11 October 2013
Late one night in pre-war Munich, a young English woman, dressed all in black and accompanied by six SS officers in full uniform, climbed the dark stairs to her apartment.
Once inside she lit two large church candles either side of her bed, their glow revealing enormous swastika banners at its head and silver framed portraits of Adolf Hitler on side tables.
After sliding off her boots and gauntlet-style gloves, she stepped out of her long black skirt and blindfolded herself with a Nazi armband before lying down, spread-eagled, on the bed.
One man bound her hands and feet to its four corners while another, in what was obviously a familiar ritual, wound up the gramophone and dropped the needle on to a record of Horst-Wessel-Lied, the Nazi anthem.
Romantic? Author David Litchfield claims there was nothing innocent about Unity Mitford's desire for the Fuhrer. They are pictured here together in Bayreuth, Germany, in 1936, a year after meeting
This was the cue for the other officers to remove their boots, belts and uniforms. Then, as the pounding marching song broke the silence, they took it in turns to enjoy the entirely willing object of their desire.
So passed another typical evening for Unity Mitford, according to a startling new biography of the aristocrat’s daughter who scandalised Thirties Britain by becoming a member of Adolf Hitler’s most intimate circle.
After the war, a sympathetic spin on her relationship with the Fuhrer was attempted by the Mitfords, whose endearingly eccentric family life was depicted in the much-loved novels of her sister, Nancy.
The family maintained that Unity’s adoration of Hitler was the foolish attachment of a rather silly young girl.
But author David Litchfield refutes the notion that there was anything naive or romantic about it.
Indeed, he maintains that these Nazi-themed orgies were devised by Unity and carried out with Hitler’s connivance on condition that she titillate him with the details afterwards.
All this was part of a form of sadomasochistic worship of the Fuhrer which would eventually see him demand that she make the ultimate sacrifice and offer up to him her own life.
Enraptured: Unity Mitford (left), is pictured with her sister Diana Mitford and members of the Nazi Party
Extraordinary as this all sounds, Litchfield claims to have credible sources.
His mother, Kathleen Atkins, knew Unity Mitford as a child, while his paternal grandmother, Milly Howard-Brown, was part of her set in Hitler’s Germany.
He also draws on the memories of his friend, Baroness Gaby Bentinck, whose industrialist father, Heinrich Thyssen, funded much of Hitler’s rise to power. She, too, moved in the same circles as Unity Mitford but are these allegations just high-class hearsay, or might there be something in them?
Of Unity’s fascination with all matters sexual there is no doubt, if Litchfield is to be believed. Growing up at Swinbrook House, near the Oxfordshire village of Burford, one of her favourite artists was Hieronymus Bosch, famous for numerous paintings of Purgatory featuring explicitly sexual and violent images.
Soon she was producing similarly shocking artwork of her own, according to David Litchfield’s mother Kathleen. The daughter of the local doctor, she recalled Unity showing her a notebook on the front of which were two copulating figures. She also claimed that on one occasion the teenage Unity raised her skirt in the local post office to demonstrate her preference for not wearing knickers.
Along with her five sisters, Unity was described by one admirer as ‘astonishingly beautiful . . . very marvellous or Grecian’, and before long she reportedly had her first sexual experience. Atkins claimed this was with Oswald Mosley, the British fascist leader and father of Max Mosley, former president of the International Automobile Federation.
Heritage: Unity Valkyrie Mitford was named after Richard Wagner's Die Valkyrie, after her father Bertie struck up a friendship with the fascist composer when they discovered they shared political views
Unity Mitford at the 1938 Nuremberg Nazi celebration with Julius Streicher (left). The picture was taken by Hitler's personal photographer. Unity laughed to her friends about how Jews were humiliated at these dinners
Oswald was referred to by one biographer as ‘gallant, confident, rich and darkly good-looking’. Unity met him in the summer of 1932 when he and her sister Diana, both married to other people, were in the middle of an affair.
By Kathleen Atkins’ account, it did not stop 18-year-old Unity losing her virginity to him at a ball to mark the end of her debutante season.
This is said to have happened on a billiard table in the early hours, and Atkins suggests Diana may even have encouraged her future husband’s intimacy with her sister.
It chimes with suggestions of Diana’s voyeuristic interest in Unity’s love life during their time together in Nazi Germany.
Hitler’s rise to power there seemed to Unity to be part of her destiny. As her parents David and Sydney Mitford, the ‘Farve’ and ‘Muv’ beloved of Mitford fans, liked to boast, she had been conceived in the unlikely sounding Canadian town of Swastika, Ontario.
Unity Mitford was even once called 'a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood' by the Fuhrer himself
‘It was such fun to have supper with Streicher as he’d have the Jews in after the meal. They’d be brought up from the cellar and be made to eat grass to entertain the guests.’
- Unity told her friend Rosemary Peto
That was the location for a goldmine owned by her grandfather Bertie Mitford, whose decision to invest in a place with such a name was swayed by his enthusiastic support for Aryan supremacy and German nationalism in the days before the World War I.
His political views also led him to become friendly with the family of the German composer Richard Wagner, whose patriotic works would later make him a favourite of Hitler.
And it was at Bertie Mitford’s suggestion that his new granddaughter Unity, born in 1914, should take as her middle name the title of one of Wagner’s most famous operas, Die Valkyrie.
This was a decision which, as we will see, would have the darkest consequences for the Honourable Unity Valkyrie Mitford.
When she was 19, she could often be seen happily striding around the village of Burford and greeting locals with a Nazi salute and the words ‘Heil Hitler’, and she seized a chance to travel to Germany with Diana for the Nuremberg party rally of 1933.
Although Unity would not meet Hitler for another two years, she was enraptured as they watched him address the choreographed cast of thousands.
‘The first moment I saw him, I knew there was no one I would rather meet,’ she said.
In no doubt as to where her destiny lay, she persuaded her parents to let her attend a finishing school in Munich, not to be ‘finished’ but to learn German in preparation for the meeting with Hitler which she was determined she would eventually have.
Young ambitions: Unity (top left and right) persuaded her parents to let her attend finishing school in Munich ahead of the meeting she was determined to have with Hitler. As a child growing up with her sisters (pictured from left: Nancy, Deborah and Diana), Unity was enraptured by the marching, musics and uniforms of the Nazis
That she mastered the language very quickly is significant in David Litchfield’s view.
‘The family later distanced themselves from Unity’s involvement with Hitler by insisting that she had been a rather unintelligent, clumsy lump of a girl,’ he writes. ‘In fact, she was clearly highly intelligent.’
In her language teacher Frau Baum, Unity found not just a skilful tutor but also a loyal Nazi who exacerbated her own already aggressive anti-Semitism.
‘I want everyone to know that I am a Jew hater,’ Unity wrote in a letter to one German propaganda sheet.
Once boasting that an elderly and heavily laden-down old Jewish lady had asked her for directions to the railway station and that she had delighted in sending her in the opposite direction, she began ingratiating herself into like-minded Nazi circles.
After one meal with Julius Streicher, who was executed after the war having been described at the Nuremberg trials as a ‘number one Jew-baiter’, she told her friend Rosemary Peto about a particularly cruel form of after-dinner entertainment.
‘It was such fun to have supper with Streicher as he’d have the Jews in after the meal,’ she said. ‘They’d be brought up from the cellar and be made to eat grass to entertain the guests.’
Diana Guinness (second from right), pictured here with sister Unity Mitford and her sons in 1935. She was married to Bryan Guinness, Baron of Moyne and owner of the Guinness Brewing Company before marrying Oswald Mosley after a long extra-marital affair. It is said Unity lost her viriginity to Oswald two years earlier
Such atrocious gatherings were all part of Unity’s attempts to get closer to Hitler and she developed an uncanny instinct for turning up wherever he happened to be.
According to her sister Diana, who had also decided to move to Munich and learn German, she worked this out simply by reading the newspapers or looking to see if there were policemen in the square outside his flat.
But Litchfield contends in his book that a far more likely source of information became evident when Diana returned unexpectedly early one night to the apartment shared by the two sisters.
He claims it was then that Diana heard the sound of carnal activity above the strains of the Nazi anthem and this had been corroborated by both Gaby Bentinck and Litchfield’s grandmother Milly Howard-Brown.
‘Later, with considerable pride, and no hint of shame, Unity admitted that sex with the SS officers was her Eucharist,’ he writes.
And it was these soldiers who told her where Hitler would turn up. ‘Her bed, draped with swastika flags and surmounted by iconic images of the Fuhrer, was the altar devoted to her messiah, on which she gave her body to those closest to him, his personal warriors. She explained that remaining blindfolded minimised her personal involvement.’
Unity described the day she met Hitler in a letter to her father: 'The most wonderful and beautiful day of my life'
As for Diana’s reaction, Litchfield suggests that she found her role as a voyeur exciting. ‘By mutual consent they would often repeat the process. From time to time she also took SS lovers, but only one at a time.’
This sex with the ‘Storms’, as the sisters called storm-troopers, apparently took an ever more dangerous twist for Unity when, after many months of hoping that Hitler might notice her as she lunched repeatedly at his favourite restaurant, he finally called her over to his table on February 9, 1935.
Describing it in a letter to her father as ‘the most wonderful and beautiful day of my life’, she recalled that they talked for only half an hour, but she clearly made an impression. Her diary reveals that between then and September 1939, they met at least 140 times approximately once a fortnight.
‘After he had given one of his hysterical performances at yet another party rally, he returned home exhausted,’ writes David Litchfield. ‘With insufficient energy even to talk, they listened to music together, particularly recordings of Wagner’s Ride Of The Valkyries.’
A shrouded tale: Lesley Anne Down filming the life story of Unity Mitford in a BBC series, Unity. Biographer David Litchfield claims her route into a sexual liaison with the Nazis was far more calculated than many believe
Their relationship appears to have been platonic until one occasion when, as Unity bragged to Gaby Bentinck, she was surprised to see champagne in an ice bucket and lighted candles in his apartment.
Convinced her beloved Fuhrer was about to seduce her, Unity was surprised when, after pouring them both a glass, he asked for details of her erotic encounters with his storm-troopers.
Naively, she was shocked he knew of them, but his intimate questions suggested that, far from being angry, he was fascinated and even aroused. Particularly so when she confessed she only thought of him during these acts, and they were a symbol of her submission to his control. On his orders, the sessions with the ‘Storms’ continued, as did Unity’s erotic re-tellings of them in private audiences with Hitler.
And from these sadomasochistic scenarios in which she offered herself bound and helpless to his henchmen at a shrine to him, the two developed a deadly fantasy inspired by her middle name.
Derived from a Norse legend, the word Valkyrie described the immortal female figures who decide who shall be slain in battle, and then bring them to the kingdom of the dead, ruled over by the god Odin.
Unity's life was also the subject of a Channel 4 documentary. But Litchfield claims the real story is yet to come out
Casting himself in the role of Odin, Hitler would come to see Unity as his own personal Valkyrie and, according to David Litchfield, persuade her they could only be together when they were both in the after-life.
This idea was encouraged by bisexual Hungarian aristocrat Count Janos Almasy, once the lover of Unity’s brother Tom but soon to become her partner in what she described to Gaby Bentinck as ‘savage fornication’.
This took place in his castle on the Austro-Hungarian border.
And like both Hitler and Unity, Almasy was fascinated by the occult practice of necromancy the power of being able to control life and death and his particular thrill was to deprive his lovers of oxygen at the point of orgasm by means of a silk noose.
According to Gaby Bentinck, it was Unity’s enthusiasm for ‘gaspers’ as she called them which endeared her to Janos but he appears to have had little regard for her survival, encouraging her to take her life as Hitler had demanded.
For Unity, it was to be the supreme sacrifice and the ultimate experience.
As for Hitler, Litchfield speculates that, while he yearned for the frisson of causing her to take her own life, he was undecided when this should happen, as he was still enjoying her mortal company.
The moment appears to have come over a lunch in Munich on August 5, 1939, less than a month before his forces invaded Poland. Unity later told Kathleen Atkins that while the rest of the company were talking among themselves, Hitler turned to her and announced quietly that if war broke out, it would be impossible for him to spend time with her and that she must now wait for him ‘on the other side’.
She did not see Hitler again before September 4 when, after confirmation that Britain was at war with Germany, she sat on a Munich park bench and shot herself in the head with a silver pistol, only for the bullet to be deflected by the bone of her skull.
While it ploughed its way through her brain and ended up near the back of her head, it did not kill her and, following a visit to her in hospital, Hitler arranged for her to be stretchered back to England on a train travelling via Switzerland.
There was understandable public outrage when it was announced that the woman who had been openly consorting with Britain’s enemies would not face charges or even be interviewed by the security agencies.
Nazi culture: Diana Mitford at the Nuremberg Rally in 1936 - one of many she attended - with Michael Burn
Neither did she seem to show any signs of regret as she began recovering to what appeared to be almost full health. For her, the most traumatic thing in the years leading up to her death was the news that at the end of the war Hitler had taken his own life while she, his Valkyrie, remained mortal.
At her own end in 1948 she succumbed to meningitis, thought to have been caused by an infection in her old bullet wound. Unrepentant to the end, she no doubt believed that Hitler and his Valkyrie might still be reunited in the after-life.
For those who believe in such things, their rendezvous could only be in Hell and for the dictator and the debutante who became his disciple, even as he sent millions of innocents to their graves, that seems scarcely punishment enough.
|Unity Mitford - Diana Mitford and their Nazi chums
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"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung