Many English aristocrats were seduced by Hitler and Mussolini before the war. The British royal family was related by blood to the Hohenzollerns, the nurses were German, Hitler was an Anglophile while he despised the French. Hitler made some seduction of the English aristocracy a pillar of his diplomacy, hoping that the English pacifist clan led by King Edward VIII and Halifax would prevail over the warmongering one led by Winston Churchill.
Blood ties between the English and German dynasties
The Prince of Wales, future King Edward VIII (from January to December 1936) then Duke of Windsor, after his abdication, made no secret of his philo-Germanism. His abdication was provoked by the joint action of the Archbishop of Canterburry who refused that Lady Simpson, a twice divorced American become queen, but just as much by that of Prime Minister Baldwin informed by MI5 of the direct negotiations that the king claimed to lead with Hitler. The Mitford family embodies the fascist and Nazi wanderings of this aristocracy. The Mitford sisters made headlines in the Western tabloids. Diana Mitford divorced the heir Guinness to marry Baronet Oswald Mosley who wanted to be the English Mussolini. Unity Valkyrie Mitford, was Hitler's close friend from 1935 to 1939; it had the ambition to prevent war between the two 'superior' nations. In September 1939, in the English Garden in Munich. Unity shot herself in the head, with the gun donated by the one she called 'Wolfie'. Discover this surprising saga through the article by Christophe Stener, author of Unity Walkyrie Mitford, the Hitler groupie.
The proximity of the English aristocracy to Germany was 'natural', by blood. The British royal family was in direct line to the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family. Queen Victoria, wife of Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, made her eldest daughter Empress of Germany in 1888. Kaiser Wilhelm II was her grandson. It was not until 1917 that King George V changed, forced by public opinion, the name of the royal house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Windsor. The innate philo-Germanism of the aristocrats was cultivated by the education received from German nurses. The Prince of Wales, first in the Windsor dynastic line, spoke in private, preferably German over English. Fear of communism and class anti-Semitism made Chancellor Hitler appear as a providential man in the English gentry. Lord Riddell thus published a booklet entitled 'The sterilization of the handicapped' whose English title 'sterilization of the Unfit' (unfit) is reminiscent of the eugenic massacres of the National Socialist regime.
Hitler, an Anglophile who sought to seduce the English aristocracy
Hitler despised France but admired England. The Führer's commitment to lift the exile measure affecting the Hohenzollern family, a measure taken by the Weimar Republic, gave very important pledges to the German aristocrats who formed the staff of the German army. The recruitment for his personal guard of young Junkers was also very well received by the German nobility who constitute one of the supporters of the Nazi regime. Some descendants of the former ruling families of Germany, such as the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, from which the Windsor dynasty originated, but also the royal families of Bulgaria, Portugal and Belgium, served the regime in particular in missions of good office with the European royal families and in particular the English. Hitler understood the benefit he could derive from the adulation of Unity Valkyrie Mitford, cousin of Winston Churchill, she who had her entries at the court of Windsor and dreamed of herself in a mission of good offices between Germany and Great- Brittany to prevent war, when he met him in 1935 in the Munich brewery where he used to be.
A jet set that will be debauched in Berlin
The British aristocracy displayed dissolute and even perverted manners. Sport is a snobby occupation: rugby, rowing, yachting, fox hunting. Everything becomes a pretext for 'select' fun parties for the 'happy few'. The festivals are as many bacchanalia with masked balls, alcohol abuse and cocaine nicknamed the 'happy powder', exhibitionism of supposedly costumed naked bodies. The 'Bright Young People' bring together young aristocrats in scandalous parties echoed by the English tabloids. The golden nobility considers it very chic to shock the people by the publication of their excesses. Young nobles compete for the cover of tabloid newspapers. The luxury and lust of British Gotha shocked a public opinion hit by the economic crisis. The world of the arts mingles with these chic debauchery. Homosexual Cecil Beaton thus photographs these sumptuous and decadent evenings. Oscar Wilde shows himself there as the writer Evelyn Waugh who is the literary mentor of Nancy Mitford, a successful novelist. In London, chic people flock to the Embassy club in Old Bond Street and the Cavendish hotel. On the eve of the Second World War, the English aristocracy had resumed its habits in Germany. The heirs of the great English families would spend their holidays there, with their German cousins, and debauchery in pre-war Berlin, a hotbed of debauchery appreciated by a rowdy jet set.
The Prince of Wales, episodic king and convinced Nazi
The hagiography presents the Prince of Wales as a romantic king who preferred the love of a woman to the throne of England. The historical reality is less glamorous. The Windsor heir made no secret of his admiration for Hitler. Prince alive, proclaimed king on the death of George V, he renounced the throne under pressure from Prime Minister Baldwin as well as from the Anglican Church.
The Prince of Wales on April 10, 1933 expressed bluntly his sympathy for Nazi Germany, declaring that: "in view of the Communist threat, Britain would one day or the other rally to the Nazi doctrine and make an alliance with Germany and not with degenerated France to form a common front against the danger coming from the East ”. The new king's feelings of friendship towards Germany were reaffirmed publicly in his address on June 22, 1935 to the British Legion, the Prince of Wales calling for camaraderie among old soldiers. Marshal Goering greeted this appeal the very next day at the Hesselberg Congress of June 23, 1935, declaring: "The German veterans and the German nation take this outstretched hand wholeheartedly!" ". The Prince of Wales was crowned on January 20, 1936 under the title of King Edward VIII.
The hopes placed by Germany in King Edward VIII were thwarted by his abdication. If the Crown Prince's rowdy affair with his previous mistress Lady Furness, born Swiss but with an American passport, already shocked the high aristocracy of the kingdom, his affair with Lady Wallis Simpson, who took advantage of the trip to the United States of her best friend, Lady Furness, to seduce the lonely Prince, scandalized the aristocracy and the Church of England. Lady Simpson was in the eyes of the British aristocracy, an American adventurer, twice divorced. She had followed her first husband, Earl Spencer, a naval pilot, married in 1918, posted to China where he sank into alcoholism. Separated, then divorced in 1927, she would have lived as a trainer in nightclubs and brothels in Hong Kong, until her remarriage with Ernest Aldrich Simpson in 1937. This marriage opened the doors to British high society. and allowed her to set her sights on the Prince of Wales with whom she began an affair while she was still married. The joke that circulated in London then was that the Prince of Wales had become the prisoner of Wallis (Prisoner Of Wallis).
King Edward VIII abdicated on December 13, 1936. The general public attributed this unprecedented decision to his romance with 'the Simpson' but this abdication was in fact imposed on him jointly by Prime Minister Baldwin and the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the 'Anglican Church. King Edward VIII had indeed indicated to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg his desire to enter into direct negotiations with the Führer, qualifying the Anglo-German alliance as an “urgent necessity”. Asked by the Duke about the breach thus made of the rules of the British parliamentary monarchy, he replied: "Who is the King here?" Me or Baldwin? I will speak with Hitler myself, here or in Germany. Thank you for passing this message on to him. ". This willingness of the King to negotiate directly, without going through his government, discovered by MI5, resolved Prime Minister Baldwin to obtain his abdication despite the support of an occasional alliance of conservatives, in particular Sir Winston Churchill, from the leader of the Liberals. Sir Archibald Sinclair and fascist Oswald Mosley, who opposed his abdication, worried about the risk of destabilization of the monarchy by the Communists, and who worked for a 'King's Party' to overthrow Baldwin.
Out of weakness of character and sentimentalism, King Edward VIII abdicated. His younger brother, crowned under the title of George VI, granted him the title of Duke of Windsor. The abdication of Edward VIII was therefore very bad news for National Socialist Germany. "We have lost our rooster" quipped William Maxwell, first Baron of Beaverbrook, boss of the Daily Express and support of Edward VIII. Unity Valkyrie Mitford, who attended the King's abdication speech in the galleries of the British Parliament, cried out, according to the press, aloud: “Ah! Hitler will be very unhappy about this; he wanted Edward to remain king. "
The Duke of Windsor became the leader of the European jet set, a dandy, arbiter of elegance. He walked around the places of pleasure with his wife, constantly complaining to his brother about lack of money. Braving the obligation of political withdrawal, he responded favorably to an invitation from Hitler and was received as head of state in October 1937. The visit of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to the Führer was a great success for Nazi propaganda . The regime's press rejoiced at the Duke's declaration: "The Germanic races are unique, they should always be one." In Düsseldorf, the Duke gave the Nazi salute and visited a conveniently deserted concentration camp. The Duke of Windsor's displayed and resolute support for the Nazi regime inspired Von Ribbentrop with a 'Windsor plan' to overthrow King George VI, should the war go to war, with the support of a peace cabinet led by Lord Halifax . This plan was known to Winston Churchill who deemed it dangerous enough to exile the Duke of Windsor by appointing him governor of the Bahamas until the end of the war.
Joachim von Ribbentrop, 'Ribbensnob'
Joachim von Ribbentrop spoke English from his background as a sales representative in wines and spirits; he was commissioned by Hitler to London. Joachim von Ribbentrop was there intimate with some eminent Lords: Lord Lothian, Lord Cecil, in particular, and maintained friendly relations with Lady Emerald Cunard, Lady Sibyl Colefax, Nancy Astor, Lady Diana Cooper. We even lend him romances with some. One of the main supporters of the agreement with Germany was Lord Halifax, Viceroy of the Indies from 1926 to 1931. The Cliveden set led by Viscountess Nancy Astor as well as the Anglo-German Fellowship were also very favorable circles of influence. to Germany which brought together British high society and businessmen. The displayed friendship of the Marquis of Londonderry and his wife earned Ribbentrop the nickname 'Londonderry Herr'. The fatuity of Ribbentrop, a former beer salesman, ladies' man, ennobled by a rich marriage, was mocked by jealous Nazi hierarchs who called him 'Ribbensnob'.
The Honorable Mitford Family
The Mitford family embodied in the pre-war years the infatuation of much of the aristocracy with the National Socialist regime. Little known in France, this family hit the headlines at the time. The Mitford sisters were sort of Kardashians of the time vying for scandals to make the front pages of the tabloids. Linked by blood to Winston Churchill, this family distinguished itself by its snobbery and its political mistakes.
Lord David Bertram Ogilvy Freeman Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale was the son of Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, nicknamed 'Berty' by the family who had written an introduction to the English translation of the Foundations of the 20th Century by Chamberlain Houston Stewart, one of the sources of Hitler's racial theories.
The Mitford family was linked to Winston Churchill by the marriage of a great aunt. According to a family rumor Algernon Mitford would have been the biological grandfather of Winston Churchill. The Mitford children and cousin Randolph, son of Winston Churchill grew up together. Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston Churchill, reportedly had an affair with Edward VII. The numerous extra-marital relationships of aristocrats make family ties very difficult to decipher. Tom Mitford the son visited Berlin accompanied by Randolph Churchill, Winston's son, and met with his sister Unity Hitler in Berchtesgaden. Refusing to fight the Germans, he served in Malaysia where he died of illness.
The Mitford family was received at the Windsor court. Diana is a close friend of the Prince of Wales, son of King George V, heir to the throne but engaged in a hidden affair with a divorced American Lady Simpson who may jeopardize her succession to the throne.
Diana Mitford, the muse of Oswald Mosley
Beauty queen Diana Mitford divorced the bi-sexual heir of Guinness Breweries to marry after a rowdy affair with Oswald Mosley. Diana was the Führer's personal guest at the NDSAP Congress in Nuremberg in 1933. Diana met Hitler on several occasions trying to get Mosley's fascist movement funded by the National Socialist regime. Diana and Mosley were imprisoned during the war for endangering national security. After the war, the Mosleys went into exile in France, frequenting the Windsors and their jet-set. Until the end of his life the autographed portrait of Hitler sat in the Mosley's living room. Diana, interviewed at the end of her life, made revisionist remarks and described Hitler as a charming and humorous man.
Sir Oswald Mosley, born in 1896. Sixth baronet of Ancoets, dreamed of himself Prime Minister of Great Britain but his political ambitions were compromised by his immoderate taste for women and his dilettantism. He is the fourth cousin, by his father, of Queen Elisabeth Bowes-Lyon, wife of Prince Albert, Duke of York, between the dynastic straight line of the Windsor.
Excluded from the military academy of Sandhurst, Oswald Mosley participated in the aviation in the war of 14-18 which retained a limp. Richly married, in the presence of the English and Belgian royal families, with Lady Cynthia, nicknamed Cimmie, daughter of Lord Georges Curzon, Viceroy of the Indies, he frequented the Windsor court. Men to women, he is known to many mistresses, including his sister-in-law Lady Alexandra Curzon and his mother-in-law Lady Grace Curzon. Diana Mitford, then wife of Sir Guinness, became his mistress in 1922, while she was still married, much to the displeasure of Lady Redesdale and Lord Redesdale. Despite the notorious infidelities of her husband, Lady Cynthia, his wife, an excellent orator, remained a determined supporter of his political ambitions. Adored by the troops of the British Fascist Union, Lady Cynthia, who chaired the Women's Section, died of appendicitis in April 1933 to the unanimous regret of party members and the indifference of her husband who regularized her affair with Diana Mitford.
Elected Conservative MP in 1918, Mosley had crossed the entire political spectrum, rallying to Labor and then successively creating two parties, the New Party then the British Fascist Union, in 1931, in an attempt to democratically conquer power. Episodic Minister of Labor in the Labor government of Ramsay Mac Donald, his lack of effectiveness is proven. He then took a nationalist and populist orientation then publishing a 'Mosley Memorandum' on national preference. The British Fascist Union won no MP seats, even collapsing in the October 1931 election. Mosley then assiduously courted Benito Mussolini, his new mentor. He met the Duce three times in 1932 and in 1933 when he was welcomed to Rome as a head of state. Mosley mimicked the attitudes and speeches of the Duce. The uniforms of the British Fascist Union were copied from the Italian black shirts as the fascist salute. Mussolini sharply reproached Mosley for his hedonism when he learned that he was on an extended vacation in Capri, abandoning his leaderless troops in England for several weeks months to devote himself to his mistresses. Le Duce called Mosley an "Italian dancer", a nickname that was taken to satiety by the English tabloids.
Mosley's personal fortune not being enough, the British Union of Fascists (BUF) was funded by wealthy British aristocrats and a few American companies including, surprisingly, Lazard, despite the anti-Semitic positions displayed by Sir Oswald Mosley . The party is a few tens of thousands strong. He had some troops in charge of creating incidents in the communist meetings but it is about brief pugilats and brief scuffles which have nothing to do with the actions of our SA. His mistress Diana Mitford and his sister Unity joined the BUF party in 1933.
Sir Oswald Mosley was a livelier whose dilettantism compromised political ambitions. He prides himself on his lack of private and public morality. "Vote Labor, bed conservative" he would have declared thus. Good tribune, his total lack of sense of organization and his casualness despaired his militants. English public opinion ignored him. The British press joked about "Superman Mosley" complacently recounting his fun times with the "Bright Young People" (groups of young British aristocrats decadent and revelers).
A BUF delegation came to Germany to the NDSAP Congress in 1933 in the hope of strengthening its international posture and securing a meeting between the Führer and Leader Mosley, also hoping for financial support from the Reich to the British Fascist Union. that its patrons deserted following the electoral rout of 1931 and given the reduction in support from Mussolini. The riots provoked by the BUF thugs and his speeches in support of the fascist and National Socialist regimes earned Diana and Oswald Mosley imprisonment during the war for undermining national security.
Unity Valkyrie Mitford
Unity Valkyrie Mitford (1914-1948) was conceived in Swastika (Ontario, Canada) where her parents owned a gold mine. A rival of her sisters, she became a Nazi out of bravado and settled in Munich in 1933. From 1935 to 1939 she became Hitler's intimate, whom she called 'Wolfie'. Multiplying debauchery with the officers of his personal guard of the Führer, Unity assiduously frequented the Goebbels couple. Unity, the English Nazi, set out to prevent war between the two 'upper' nations. Multiplying public appearances at the Parteitag, at the VIP platform of the Berlin Olympics, writing articles defending and illustrating the National Socialist regime in English newspapers but also Julius Streicher's Sturm, visiting the camp with his puppy in his arms from Dachau. Desperate for the United Kingdom's entry into the war, the Führer's groupie attempted to commit suicide in the English Garden of Munich in September 1939 with the pistol given by Hitler. Treated and visited by Hitler and then repatriated, she survived, escaping her return to England in prison. She then seduced an RAF aviator to attempt to return to Germany. She was then kept by her mother on a Scottish island where she died in 1948
Discover the extraordinary and strange destiny of this English aristocrat in the work of Christophe Stener, Unity Walkyrie Mitford, the groupie of Hitler.