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Fellow Travellers of the Right: British Enthusiasts for Nazi Germany, 1933-39 (Oxford Paperbacks) Paperback – 17 Mar 1983

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4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews from Amazon.com

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fellow Travellers of the Right. 13 Aug. 2010
By New Age of Barbarism - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
_Fellow Travellers of the Right: British Enthusiasts for Nazi Germany 1933-39_ (1980, Oxford) by Richard Griffiths is an interesting history of some of the British enthusiasts who supported Nazi Germany before World War II. This book details much of the interest in fascism and Nazism by many on the right in Britain who saw in Hitler an antagonist of Bolshevism and the Jews. Many of the individuals discussed in this book were involved in mainstream politics in Britain at the time. Others were more extreme and held to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories or anti-communism, but not all discussed held to these beliefs. While many in Britain were outraged when they discovered Hitler's brutal treatment of the Jews, a few continued to say good things about Hitler's regime (not all of them extremists). Some turned on Hitler later when Nazism made a pact with the Soviets, but others continued to support the Nazis. This book provides an interesting examination of some of the British involvement with the Nazis and some of the individuals in Britain who were early supporters of Hitler and the Nazis.

The book includes the following chapters-

Preface - attempts to look back at the era of Nazi support in Britain from the perspective of the 1960s. Notes the Anglo-German relationship at the time as well as the notion of "appeasement" and the role of various "enthusiasts" in offering support to the Nazis.

Part I: 1933-5, The Beginnings.

Introduction - explains the rise of the Nazis following the Versailles Treaty which many had viewed as excessively punitive. Notes the role of various "patriot" organizations in promoting pro-German views as well as the issue of anti-Semitism. Notes prominent papers such as _The Patriot_ which were originally anti-German and pro-British but became early supporters of Hitler.

Weariness of Democracy, and Admiration for Dictators - explains how intellectuals weary of mass democracy came to support the rise of Mussolini in Italy and his Italian fascism. Notes the prominent role of individuals such as Lloyd George and Clemenceau in support of Mussolini. Explains how many "High Tories" came to see fascism and the corporate state (as opposed to "middle-class" support for democracy) as a bulwark against Soviet Bolshevism. Explains how liberal democracy came to be seen as a failure by many including the playwright George Bernard Shaw. Notes the rise of Sir Oswald Mosley and the role of fascism in Britain. Explains the role of the "Italophiles" and those who supported Italy as well as the British Union of Fascists. Notes the role of many prominent individuals and intellectuals including Julian Huxley, Lord Dunsany, Harold Laski, and others in support of fascism, the corporate state, and later Hitler's Nazism.

The Jewish Question - explains the role of anti-Semitism in Britain, noting its importance for those who supported the philosophy of distributism including Chesterton and Belloc who opposed Jewish usury, as well as anti-Semitic tendencies of the French far-right, and the role of the _Protocols of Zion_ as a revelation of a Judaeo-Bolshevik plot. Explains how British anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists such as Nesta Webster came to see Jews as behind Soviet Bolshevism as well as proposing a grand conspiracy narrative showing a plot against Christian civilization. Notes the role of anti-Semitism among British Nazis including the BUF and those who directly supported Hitler. Noted how many while not completely supporting Hitler made excuses for the excesses of Nazism by claiming that the Jews had taken over Germany making Germany a special case, that Russia was every bit as bad as Germany, or that Nazi anti-Semitism was exaggerated or did not exist. Notes the prominent role of working-class anti-Semitism in addition to this.

Fascist Movements, Anti-Semitism, and Germany - explains how various fascist movements arose in Britain including the British fascists (including Mosley and A. K. Chesterton), the Imperial Fascist League (including Arnold Leese who advocated a virulent anti-Semitism), the National Worker's Party (which opposed International Finance), and the BUF (and its blackshirts who embraced fascism in Britain).

German Contacts, 1933 - 5 - explains how many individuals made contact with Germany in Britain and supported an Anglo-German group. Notes the relationship between Ribbentrop and Rosenberg as well as the role of the Foreign Office in Britain.

Some Areas of Pro-Germanism - notes the prominent role that pro-Germanism came to take on for many in Britain. Notes the role of various ex-servicemen and the British Legion in support for Hitler as well as the role of aviationists and the British Air Force. Explains the prominent role of other already established pro-Germanists including Gardiner and the role of pacifists and peace-lovers in attempting to avoid the war with Germany.

Diverse Individuals - explains the role of various diverse individuals who supported Germany (at least initially) and sought appeasement with Germany. These included politicians such as Moore, Wilson, and Lloyd George who met with Hitler and described him as a "man of peace", the role of the press (including such individuals as Rothermore and Lord Price), London society (including Mrs. Grevill and Lady Cunard), the Mitford family (and their support for Houston Stewart Chamberlain who became a favorite of Hitler), Bishop Headlam (and the role of the Church of England), Wyndham Lewis (and his support for Italian Futurism), Admiral Sir Barry Domville (and opposition to the Jews, Freemasons, and Communists), and the new Anglo-German friendship.

Part 2: 1936 - 7 The Heyday.

1936 - A Swing Towards Germany - notes the role of the Rhineland Coup and Hitler's policy of division, explains the role of some of the reactions to the Rhineland Coup and the popularity of Hitler, notes the prominent role of such individuals as Anthony Ludovici, Lord Londerry, Lady Houston, and Arnold Toynbee in early support for Hitler against a Franco-Soviet pact, notes the role of the French Popular Front as well as the role of Ribbentrop in support of Hitler, explains the role of German propaganda and public opinion concerning Hitler's role, explains the role of three important journals in support of Hitler (noting the prominent role of figures such as Lady Houston and Lord Queenborough, and finally explains the abdication and the role of King Edward III.

1937 - An Interlude? - explains the role of the churches including the Church of England and the Roman Catholic church many of whom advocated for peace, explains the role of the colonial question for Britain as it related to the Germans, explains the role of Spain and the Spanish Civil War, explains the role of the Anglo-German Review and the paper _Daily Mail_, examines the prominent role of such figures as Neville Chamberlain and the changing attitudes towards Germany as Hitler's propaganda grew more virulent.

Part 3: 1938 - 9, the Gradual Isolation of the Extremists.

1938 - From Anchluss to Munich - examines the role of the Versailles Treaty in Hitler's propaganda, the "rape of Austria", the prelude to Munich, and the aftermath of Munich and the changing role that Hitler came to take on for many of Germany's original supporters in Britain.

Pro-German Movements, 1938 - 9 - explains the role of various prominent pro-German movements including the papers _The Anglo-German Review_ and _The Patriot_ (which had originally advocated for British patriotism in the First World War). Explains the role of the Link (an organization with members ranging from pro-Germanists to outright Nazis which maintained that war against Germany was a "Jew's war"), explains the role of J. F. C. Fuller and others including anti-Semitic fears of a Judaeo-Masonic plot, notes the role of the English Mistery, the English Array, and the New Pioneer including reference to various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (as well as anti-Czech theories), the role of A. K. Chesterton, and the role of Anthonoy Ludovici and Nietzscheanism (as well as pro-Wagner beliefs). Notes the role of "The Times" in support of Hitler.

Novermber 1938 - The Kristallnacht Pogrom - notes some of the reactions to Hitler and the Nazis as the movement became increasingly virulent and violent, explains the role of the Kristallnacht pogrom and how this affected British opinion of the Nazis. At this stage many of the early supporters of Hitler came to see further support of the Nazis as untenable. Notes the public outcry against Hitler's harsh treatment of the Jews, but also notes how some even at this late stage continued to support the Nazis (including several mainstream individuals).

1939 - The Extremists Isolated - notes the role of the ensuing calm followed by Hitler's treatment of Czechoslovia and the reactions to it, notes the role of individuals such as Captain Ramsey in support of Germany including the continued support of various anti-Semitic organizations and the Nordic League, notes the role of Winston Churchill and his relationship with Germany. Finally, this chapter considers how the supporters of the Nazis came to be isolated as extremists (many of whom subscribed to conspiracy theories) and mainstream support for Hitler gradually became untenable following public outcry over his treatment of the Jews.

Epilogue - explains why many in Britain had initially expressed pro-German sentiments and supported Hitler. Notes the support of some for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and the fear of Bolshevism. Explains how with the Nazi-Soviet Pact many on the right came to abandon Hitler and return to anti-German sentiment as they felt that Hitler had betrayed the cause of anti-Bolshevism. Explains how support for Hitler became isolated to a few extremists following his harsh treatment of the Jews and others. Explains how many of the extremists maintained their support well into the war and looks back at the mistakes of the Thirties.

This book provides a unique study of the role of British support for Germany, fascism, and Hitler. It notes the role of prominent organizations and individuals many of whom merely expressed pro-German or pacifist sentiment while others expressed outright Nazism. It is important for noting the role of British individuals and intellectuals in their support for the Nazis as well as the subsequent discrediting of the Nazis following the Nazi-Soviet Pact and the harsh treatment of the Jews.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How wrong could the Right be? 15 April 2010
By David Green - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A fascinating study of the personalities and thinking of the British political Right Wing in the 1930's which largely ignores the obvious activities of Oswald Moseley's British Union Of Fascists in favour of the many other pro German movements, some of them very small but vocal. Interesting to read that the daily mail was the last British newspaper to give up support for the nazis in Germany. My only criticism would be that the book concentrates on the generally upper and middle class leadership of these groups and says little about working class support for their views.
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