"Hitler's Girl" | Reviewed by Pat Sainz
Unity Mitford, one of the six Mitford sisters born to British aristocracy, was one of “Hitler’s Girls.” She was self-proclaimed antisemite and pro-Nazi advocate. Mitford was Hitler’s companion for seven years in the 1930s. When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, she tried to kill herself. She returned to England from Germany in 1940. Evidence exists that she was pregnant with Hitler’s son.
In “Hitlers Girl: The British Aristocracy and The Third Reich on The Eve Of WWII” author Lauren Young tells the jaw-dropping story of Unity Mitford and a select group of British elites who sought to propel British foreign policy towards Germany in the 1930s. Right wing groups believed that an alliance between Germany and England would restore global power to the two nations decimated by WWI.
Rich and powerful Britons, who secretly encouraged alignments with Hitler, included Ian Fleming, Churchill’s son-in-law, Lord Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts), the Astors, George Bernard Shaw, T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), the Mitfords, members of Parliament, church members, Aga Khan, and the American Charles Lindbergh. They steered Neville Chamberlain toward his disastrous decision to align Britain with the Nazi party through the Munich Agreement. They wore lapel pins with the initials “PJ” for “Perish Judah.”
Hitler and the British right wing cabal looked to America for examples of how to rid the Jews of any perceived influence and power. America’s history of slavery and its treatment of Native Americans served as guidelines. The group took cues from California’s eugenics laws in which mentally ill people were sterilized (from 1909 to the 1970s). America’s tolerance of the KKK was applauded by this group.
The author lays out evidence which indicates that, privately, King Edward VII was forced to abdicate the throne because he and Simpson were Hitler sympathizers. Simpson had access to Edward’s policy papers which he notoriously left lying around, much to the distress of his staff. Simpson shared them with a German politician with whom she was having an affair. Sensitive information was leaked to the Germans through these papers. (J. Edgar Hoover was asked by Roosevelt to plant informants wherever the couple traveled following Edward’s abdication of the throne.)
“Hitler’s Girl” is about Unity Mitford's relationship with Hitler. But the real story shows how a relatively small but powerful group, united in its belief in fascism, came perilously close to changing Britain's history and ending its parliamentary democracy.
In 191 pages, the author’s research shows how quickly a country can change course for the worse. Young includes extensive chapter notes.
About the Author: Lauren Young is a British American academic and policy consultant.