25 July 2014

My Nazi Connections

Diana Mitford (1910-2003)
A recent post by Taki, whom I've been reading since the 1980s, inspired some German recollections of my own.

As you know, I've been to Germany numerous times. From Munich, Frankfurt, and Regensburg to Berlin, Heidelberg, and Bonn. I visited East Berlin with some English schoolmates in the mid-1980s. However, one of the most interesting encounters I've had with my fellow Germans was in London in the late 1980s.

At the time I was in central London toiling deep inside Tory circles as a junior press officer, taking some time off from prep school before university. Most of my job included writing press releases, contacting journalists, and occasionally assisting Conservative MPs. I was assigned to escort a visiting German official for the day. I was told this individual was someone who played an important role in the war. I happily obliged.

Much to my surprise, the German official turned out to be a statuesque blonde blue-eyed woman in her 70s, about 6' tall, still quite beautiful, with an exquisite Nordic face. She looked like one of the Mitford sisters. It soon transpired that she was an ex-officer of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) [League of German Girls] of the Hitler Youth, a fact I later confirmed with colleagues. She was elegant and quite talkative. We connected immediately.

We spent the day travelling around London visiting various shops, while she told me her life story. After the war she married a Scotsman and moved to the UK, followed by the Falkland Islands. She laughed as she recounted to me how she fooled the Allies and escaped their clutches, which delighted us both. A fascinating lady.


Robert said...

The first war where the victors made up the laws post bellum. The vanquished stuck together and wherever they could helped each other stay out of the winners "line of fire". You're surprised that you "connected immediately"? You shouldn't be surprised, as the saying goes..."nur blüt will erzahlen" (bloodlines will show). Obviously your ancestry and upbringing played a part in your "connection" and the trust she gave you by telling her story to you.

Keir said...

Recommend the documentary 'Hitler's British Girl" which considers the question of whether Mitford had Hitler's child back in old Blighty. Consider Unity Mitford- born in Swastika Ontario, given 'Valkyrie' as a middle name... I give tours of Munich and always make it a point to go past the Osteria Italia (Osteria Bavaria, when she was stalking the Fuehrer). His table is still kept as it was: http://tinyurl.com/8y9xrya

Jacobite said...

Ah, the Mitford girls! Educated at home by an eccentric Anglo-Catholic aristocrat, they ranged politically from Nazi to Stalinist. I know them chiefly through Nancy Mitford's writings and more specifically through the autobiographical roman à clef novels of manners of which Love in a Cold Climate is her hilarious masterpiece. Evelyn Waugh, though her friend and life-long correspondent, gave the book only a somewhat qualified favorable review! It didn't stop him from mining the Mitford family for characters to use in his novels.

Ordnungssinn said...