1. Yes, Jessica the Communist, Unity the fanatical Nazi in love with Hitler, Diana the beautiful British Fascist, Debo the Duchess and Nancy just using it all to write funny stories. And Pam, the forgotten one.

  2. Nancy’s known as the writer, but Jessica also wrote a really interesting autobiography about her life (and her sisters) called Hons and Rebels. She lived a pretty fascinating life all on her own, never mind all the crazy stuff her sisters were up to.

  3. Didn't Jessica Mitford nearly get the chance to assassinate Hitler, or was planning to? If I recall correctly she spoke about this with Christopher Hitchens.

  4. I have a book of the Mitford sisters’ letters and in some of them one or two of the sisters gush about having tea and flirting with Hitler and are giddy about him as if they were teenage girls and he was peak One Direction Harry Styles.

  5. Mmm. I always think the Mitfords have done useful service to the rest of the aristocracy by drawing all the attention. Antisemitism, support for Hitler and proponents of eugenics were ubiquitous in the upper and middle classes and until recent years it's been hugely under-recognised.

  6. Petain: “you have no right! It was our duty to collaborate not yours, stupid British people” gets upset in french, strong jealousy in french, possessiveness in french, free hate for the British people in french

  7. One of the criticisms of PG Wodehouse, who invented the butler named Jeeves, was that he included in some stories a character named Roderick Spode. He was a fascist leader of the Black Shorts, and clearly meant to be a parody and caricature, but the fact is that he was not only tolerated in the high society Wodehouse depicted, but even respected and welcomed. His ideas are considered interesting conversation pieces, not taken seriously but not dismissed either. His biggest failing is how he eats asparagus, or the fact that he secretly runs a lingerie shop. He drops the party after he inherits an earldom, but I still think it was an interesting depiction of how chummy the aristocracy could be with fascists. In Wodehouse's stories it seems like naivete, but obviously real life is more sinister.

  8. Really, the upper class have always been into eugenics and fascism…it might not have been called that at the time they were really in power, but it was basically that.

  9. I’m surprised you know Spode but not the fact that Wodehouse was captured by the nazis and then did radio broadcasts criticizing the English while he was a captive in Berlin.

  10. It's not "Naivete" on the part of those being seduced by fascist ideas at all. They know exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it.

  11. It's not too far off from a typical 1920s Conservative politician that is distrustful of Labour and is a big fan of colonialism.

  12. Naïveté ? Wodehouse actually put into the lips of Bertie Wooster (not a character from whom you'd expect deep political commentary) one of the most stinging satires of fascism I ever read:

  13. Look, the "aristocracies" of Britain, Germany, and Russia were fairly closely related, even by the time of WWII. That's not to mention the American industrialists who were happy to help until the Nazis became bad press.

  14. Yep. Any fans of Downton Abbey? One of the reasons that Julian Fellowes said he didn’t want to extend the storyline into the 1930s is that it would have had to include “Nazis at Downton” to be at all realistic. Even if they found the Nazis themselves distasteful, most of the British aristocracy was all about appeasement and he knew that wouldn’t play with a modern audience.

  15. The German show Babylon Berlin touches very nicely on how naïve aristocrats and industrialists were and how they went all in on fascism because of how much they despised/feared the Weimar Republic and/or the social/cultural awakening going on in the late 20s. Highly recommended show, by the way.

  16. The Germans has some pretty bizarre ideas about how both the British and Americans would deal with them. Much of it was because their "experts" were delusional fools or spies that had been flipped to double agents.

  17. Still you wouldn't wanna accept that Churchill was no less demon than Hitler. Not surprised coz your so called "History" textbooks never taught you a single thing about your dark past.

  18. I mean Agatha Christie did a fine job exposing all this in Poirot where a bunch if the stories are some rich wanker plotting to help the Nazi's or profit off the war in some way.

  19. Well, their entire existence is predicated on the idea of inherited superiority to others. It's not much of a leap between that and Nazi ideology.

  20. This is definitely an important factor. The class system in the UK was/is more of a caste system, and particularly when it came to the aristocracy, money wasn't the deciding factor of whether you were in or out.

  21. If anyone fancies a deep dive on this, I highly recommend the first two volumes of “Chips Channon’s Diaries”. Very, very revealing look into the mind of a Nazi sympathiser.

  22. My Grandfather was in the Royal Navy and saw some of the worst sea battles of the war. There were two things he had a low opinion of, Nazis and the British aristocracy.

  23. Uh oh! Don't look too close at US business relations during this time. IBM??? Prescott Bush, George Bush's grandpappy???

  24. Lol this quote lives rent free in my head. I think it’s actually “if you can’t make money during a war, you just flat out can’t make money.”

  25. Should see the photo of the Queen as a girl heiling(sp?) a Nazi visitor to balmoral castle. (It was pre-WW2). Or the Daily Mail supporting Hitler right until ww2 broke out. Or Henry Ford funding Hitler’s eugenics work. Or Hitler praising American immigration legislation for recognising genetic differences between the races. He said it inspired him. Or American soldiers walking through Berlin after the war and seeing Woolworth stores.

  26. Whenever I bring up the English aristocracy and their support of the Nazis it gets downvoted to hell. I wonder why that is?

  27. I think the main reason was that communism scared the living shit out of everyone at the time, initially they were thinking Hitler would provide a bulwark against Stalin’s Communist Russia. Even Tsar Nicholas‘s cousin, the king of England didn’t allow them to flee to England because it was a concern

  28. Communism didn't "scare the living shit" out of any leader at the time, they simply recognized that if communism were to take hold in the West these leaders would lose their positions or power

  29. I'm not sure that applies. Yes what was left of the German aristocracy largely supported the nazis, but the nazi movement was definitely not lead by aristocrats.

  30. At that time what happened in Russia in 1917 was still haunting the middle and upper classes in the UK. The general strike of 1926 and the Jarrow March in 1936 added to those fears of workers taking power. That made the policies and philisophies of the Nazis somewhat popular.

  31. I fully believe that Edwards Abdication was 100% due to him being a nazi and not to do with his marriage (nice excuse though).

  32. Fascism was all the rave back then, many saw it as the politik of the future. So close connections between practicing nations and sympathizers makes sense every where.

  33. More than anything hitler was anti Communist. Western leaders accepted him into the club as a result and American money flowed into the country. Hitler didn't just magically appear overnight. He was carefully selected and funded by Western banks.

  34. The early rise of the Nazi party was powered by right wing "moralists". The German Evangelical Church was a major supporter of Hitler early on. You're seeing the same type of behavior in the US with the majority of Evangelicals supporting Trump.

  35. The book Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich by Eric Kurlander from Yale Press was on many “best of” lists a few years back and is an in-depth, scholarly work on the belief systems of the Nazis. It refutes this idea that Nazi ideology was undergirded by any Christian influence, and that almost all thinking of the Reich was grounded in paganism and folklore, with the largest opposition to Nazi ideology coming from Christians (such as martyrs Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Sophie Scholl).

  36. Hmm yes it definitely didn’t have anything to do with how the German economy was in total shambles, mid Great Depression, and life was horrible in Germany.

  37. Everyone in the 30-40s had ties to the Nazis y’all act like everyone immediately knew about their final solution before kristallnatch. Hell most Americans were supportive because the large German population wanted to see Germany rebound out of what Weimar Germany and WW1 reparations did.

  38. Fascism was considered a legitimate governance tool then… as to many, it remains today. So the royal family had ties to Germany, and had sympathies with the early Nazi movement…. as did American industry.

  39. Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it.... while those who do look on in horror and disbelief.

  40. They spoke about this in The Crown too- the brother of George VI (father of Elizabeth II) who gave up the crown because he loved his American girlfriend (that his family wouldn’t approve of) had made deals with the nazis to give them free access within the UK 🇬🇧

  41. King Edward VIII was really interesting - he was QEII uncle who abdicated because he wanted to marry an American divorcee and it would have caused a constitutional crisis. He was believed to have Nazi sympathies, even visiting the Nazi’s once and it was later found had Britain been taken by the Germans, Hitler planned to reinstall him as the monarch.

  42. Duke of Windsor (Edward the 8th) visited Germany multiple times after abdicating, Prince Philip's 3 sisters all married Nazis, though they were Greek...

  43. Lizzie's uncle Eddie the king who abdicated and his wife were huge pals of Hitler. And there is a photo of little Lizzie doing a Nazi salute.

  44. Churchill's collusion with FDR and Stalin to sell out Eastern Europe to appease Stalin at Yalta is a far greater stain on British history than aristocrats' Nazi connections. The Nazi regime was BTFO in a few short years but the stain of communism in Europe took 5 decades to be brought to heel thanks to Churchill's weakness. In the postwar parade, the highly successful Polish RAF squadron wasn't even allowed to march due to fears that Daddy Stalin might be offended. Absolute embarrassment.

  45. I was at primary school in Northumberland and a girl from my class used to get ripped for having family links to Hitler.

  46. Britain was committing genocide based on race, just not in Europe. More people died in India and Africa due to British racist policies during WW2 than the jews. Not a surprise.

  47. I mean, it's not like he's on video clearly stating that if they don't fire the prosecutor investigating the company his son somehow works for, that Ukraine won't get the billions in aid from the US, ya know, a quid pro quo if there ever was one! Weird how it's 100% plain as day, inexcusable, and somehow just isn't covered by the media they way it should have been. I mean, if that sort of video existed. You could tie them to China as well.

  48. Hmm... Equating one eccentric family (and a dim wit prince) with the British aristocracy is rather a sweeping statement, don't you think?

  49. Man, how fucked up is Germany to allow Hitler? Do Germans acknowledge that their grandparents/great grandparents were actual Nazis? Not “conservative politics that I disagree with so I call them Nazi” but “I walked Jews into gas chambers and went home for dinner” Nazis. Germans, do you get grossed out by really old people?

  50. Read the Gulag Archipelago for a detailed account of just how a civilization can slip into authoritarianism and commit atrocious acts on it's citizens. Then, humble yourself, because the whole "I could never do that" line is statistically bullshit. If you were in Germany at the time as a man, you would have been a Nazi.

  51. While I agree with some of the points you make, such sweeping statements about the inhabitants of a whole country are usually gross simplifications. The people of the UK are humans, as we all are. Branding them all as psychopaths and narcissists is dehumanising and does not help us to address the other points you raise.

  52. So by being born in the UK and working on infrastructure projects I am a psychopath and a malignant narcissist?

  53. There’s a rumor that Unity got pregnant by Hitler and had a child. It became a plot point in a James Herbert novel titled ‘Ash.’

  54. Rich and powerful people will always as job 1 prioritize themselves to keep themselves rich and powerful. Democracy will only be as high a priority if it helps maintain job 1.

  55. Kinda feel like the U.S. democracy is feeling a bit more Hitler-curious than Britain’s, but ya know — I also didn’t think they would go through with Brexit so j guess I don’t know British bigots very well.

  56. All I can think of is changing the lyrics to "Jessies girl" "Where can I find a Nazi like that? Yeah I wish I had Hitlers girl!"

  57. This sounds like an important and perhaps terrifying book. Of course it's not the first to delve into the topic of prewar British Fascist sympathies (after all, that's also the theme of the wonderful and best-selling novel "Remains of the Day") -- but I think this topic can't be emphasized enough, for both its historical importance and the ongoing implications.

  58. Ah yes Churchill was worse than the person who killed 16 million people in death camps and started a war that resulted in the deaths of 50 to 60 million people not including the 19-28 million who died from famines during the war.

  59. Got any reasons for that take? I mean it’s literally hitler, the man who wanted to (and started to) genocide millions of people based on ethnic purity?

  60. Take a step back and forget about your prejudices. You're Chamberlain and it's the eve of World War II. Hitler and Stalin charge into Poland. What do you do?

  61. I'd say "original" only depends on which arbitrary cut-off point in history you choose. And completely erases the female line by taking family names and heritage only from the father's side so it's a rather reductive way of looking at things.

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