|Diana Mitford (1910-2003)|
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.