Unity Mitford argues the case for Anglo-German fellowship and for Hitler – a 1939 article published in London tabloid ‘The Daily Mirror’
The article below, written by famous socialite and Peer’s daughter Unity Valkyrie Mitford, was first published in London tabloid The Daily Mirror in early 1939, only six months before the onset of the Second World War. War-clouds had been growing over Europe for some time when the article was first put into print, which is why Unity wrote it in the first place. An ardent Germanophile and fanatical Hitlerite, there was nothing the young woman dreaded more than the possibility of war between two countries she loved, which is doubtless why she felt compelled to put her feelings into print and to make the case for Hitler and for Anglo-German fellowship in the British tabloids. Admittedly, Unity’s argument is not particularly remarkable. It is essentially a repetition of German foreign policy orthodoxy, and although presented from a supportive, British perspective, there are others who have done the same with a little more panache (William Joyce, aka ‘Lord Haw Haw’, being an obvious example). What makes this piece important, in my opinion, is that it gives us some insight into a person whose voice is not often heard or taken seriously in works on the period. Unity’s typical depiction in popular history or in biographies on the ‘Mitford Sisters’ is as some combination of foppish nitwit and hysterical goosestepping villain. In reality she was beautiful, as quick-witted and funny as any of her siblings, and so naturally charming that she remained the favorite of her communist sister Jessica despite their divergent destinies pulling them into enemy camps. She was also undoubtedly eccentric, loved to shock and offend, and could at times be cruel or unfeeling in her monomaniacal, obsessive loyalty to Hitler and to the Reich government. Unity was, in essence, human, and did not fit the ‘airhead-aristocrat Mata Hari’ caricature which has been draped around her since. The tone and quality of her writing is evidence of this, and serves as something of a contrast to the editorial commentary the Mirror chose to insert alongside it, which I have reproduced in bold along with the full article.
What Miss Mitford Would Like To See
First published in The Daily Mirror, 18 March 1939
WE don’t agree with her. And the Editor asks what you think!
The Daily Mirror opens this page to-day to Unity Mitford. Miss Mitford is a daughter of Lord Redesdale and a personal friend of Hitler. She has been strongly criticised for her pro-German activities and views. Last year she was attacked by a mob in Hyde Park. The “Daily Mirror” has given her a free hand to express her views to-day. Would she get the same freedom for unpopular views in Germany? We say NO!
In 1935 the Naval Pact between Germany and England was signed, limiting Germany’s naval power to 35 per cent, of that of Great Britain.
The pact was an outward and visible sign that Germany never wished to go to war with England again.
And yet, ever since, a ceaseless flood of propaganda has tried to persuade English people that Nazi Germany intends to attack England. What is the truth about Germany’s intentions towards England?
Hitler has often been called a dreamer. He was called a dreamer by his enemies in Germany before he came to power, who laughed at him and said that his dreams could never come true.
What they did not realise was that, as well as being a dreamer, Hitler was a realist, and that he only dreamed dreams whose fulfilment he knew to be possible, taking into account his genius for achieving the apparently impossible.
Many of these apparently impossible dreams have already been realised.
One that has not yet materialised is Anglo-German friendship and co-operation.
The time will come when this dream also becomes reality; it is already shared by many, many Englishmen, in spite of intensive anti-German propaganda in this country.
At the time, and on looking back since, Hitler realised the folly and impracticality of the Kaiser’s pre-war policy of rivalry with England.
By reason of her geographical and historical position, Germany is not so well suited as England to the role of a colonial power.
Possession of overseas colonies necessitates a powerful navy. And Germany’s strength has always lain in her land army, not in her navy.
That Germany wishes the return of her former colonies is only natural. They were taken from her unjustly and the claim for their return is a claim for justice.
But every German knows that the future of the Reich lies, not in a large overseas colonial empire, but in an entirely different direction, a direction in which there is no reason at all why she should come into conflict with British interests.
Apart from these practical considerations, there is another and equally important side to the question.
Those who believe that National Socialist Germany wishes to weaken England show a sad ignorance of Nazi ideology.
And when discussing that ideology, one must remember that National Socialism is more to Germans than a political creed; it is a faith.
One of the foundations of Nazi ideology is the racial theory. Germans believe the Nordic race to be the greatest in the world, which indeed it is. They believe that the future of Europe stands or falls with the Nordic race.
And they believe that enmity between the two great Nordic countries would mean its virtual suicide.
Humanly speaking, friendship between England and Germany is the most natural thing in the world.
English people visiting Germany generally feel absolutely at home, and find that the Germans are very much like themselves, with the same interests and the same outlook on life.
The Englishman or woman is always hospitably welcomed in Germany.
And even during the September crisis, when it was touch and go whether the British Government would take sides with the Czechs against them, Germans never became unfriendly towards the English people though they were naturally puzzled at the attitude of England’s rulers.
Only recently the former Governor of Gibraltar said in a speech that he had seen English sailors fraternising with German sailors in a manner which would be impossible with sailors of any other nationality.
If such friendly feelings can exist in the face of such intensive anti-German propaganda, how much more would they exist if that propaganda were to cease!
The real interests of Britain and Germany do not clash.
They are, as the British Ambassador in Berlin said in a speech a few weeks ago, complementary to one another.
For that reason a close alliance between the two countries would be perfectly possible.
And such an alliance would be a blessing for the whole world.
With Germany, the greatest Continental Power, allied to Britain, the greatest Colonial Power, another world war would become an impossibility.
The advantages to be gained on all sides by such a partnership are incalculable.
The German Army, the British Navy, and the two Air Forces combined would police the world and keep “peace in our time”.
I can hardly do better than to end by quoting a passage from the Führer’s speech to the Reichstag on January 30 of this year:
“I have stated over and over again that there is no German, and above all, no National Socialist, who even in his most secret thoughts has the intention of causing the British Empire any kind of difficulties.
“From England, too, the voices of men who think reasonably and calmly express a similar attitude with regard to Germany.
“It would be a blessing for the whole world if mutual confidence and co-operation could be established between the two peoples.”
Well, Miss Unity Mitford has had her say… And now we’d like to know what YOU think about it all. Can we trust in a real friendship with Germany? Remember Hitler has once again broken his word of honour!
Address your views to “Hitler,” c/o “Daily Mirror,” Fetcher-lane, E.C.4. We will pay 10s. 6d. for each letter printed.