From the early 1920s onwards, the right-wing British newspapers – The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph (not to mention ‘The Times’) – often reportedly favourably upon the antics of the fascist leader Benito Mussolini and the totalitarian State he was busy building in Italy! The right-wing press in Britain – seen very much as a barometer reflecting the collective views of the middle and upper classes – particularly appreciated the ‘Lateran Accords’ of 1929 which saw Mussolini grant the Pope complete and total sovereign power over Vatican City!
Despite many leading fascist bureaucrats of Mussolini’s regime being executed for Crimes Against Humanity poat-1945 (quite often with the same Catholic Priests in attendance who actively supported the fascist crimes being punished) – The Pope was allowed to keep all the fascistic awards showered upon him (and the ‘Catholic Church’) and used these powers to secure safe passage for hundreds of Nazi War Criminals after WWII to South America – in a bid to escape prosecution! With this kind of social and cultural background it is not surprising that younger members of the British Royal family were filmed giving straight-armed salutes in 1933!
The pro-Hitler – King Edward VIII – was sat on the British throne during 1936 (the only year he ‘ruled’) when the following State Funeral unfolded and a German Swastika was exhibited on London streets! In all likelihood it was the presence and influence of King Edward VIII that made this spectacle possible – and was probably one of the main reasons behind him having to ‘give-up’ the British throne! The next year – following his ‘abdication’ – the now ‘Duke of Windsor’ (the former ‘King Edward VIII’) enthusiastically reviewed Hitler’s SS Troops during October, 1937!
Also indicative of the times – are the facts that the future Prince Philip attended a Nazi German College during the 1930s (indeed, his right-wing Greek family was riddled with ‘National Socialist’ membership and extensive interests so that when he joined the British ‘Royal Navy’ in 1939 – many in that establishment believed him to be a ‘Nazi Spy’!) – and even Churchill wrote about his admiration for Adolf Hitler (reprinting these positive viewpoints in a number of later editions of his book – until the outbreak of war between Britain and Nazi Germany made such opinions untenable – especially for a Prime Minister)!
Indeed, the 1930s could be said to have been something of a golden era for Hitler in the UK – such was the admiration the ruling elite had for him in those days. The Western world was mesmerised with the visual splendour and material scope of the Berlin Olympics which ran from the 1st – 16th of August, 1936! Nazi German Swastikas were flying aplenty at that time in the sports stadium seen in images broadcast around the world! Of course, all this would unfold AFTER King Edward VIII gave his royal consent for a German Swastika flag to be exhibited on the streets of the UK! Flags of foreign signatories, embassies and sporting teams, etc, are flown in the UK all the time as a concession to the presence of foreign nationals visiting British soil – but the controversy surrounding the Nazi German Swastika flag is that since at least 1924 (and his writing of the book ‘Mein Kampf’ in prison) Adolf Hitler had made it clear that his policies would involve the eradication of what he termed the ‘inferior’ races! Therefore, flying the Nazi German Swastika flag on the streets of London (temporarily) ‘aligned’ the British State with these murderous policies!
Indeed, such a ‘State Funeral’ could only be granted with the permission of the royal family and the leading politicians of the time! This was when the British working-class, of course, was defying this collaborative tendency and busy fighting fascism in Spain (sponsored by the USSR). On April 10th, 1936, Dr Leopold von Hoesch – the German Ambassador to Britain – suddenly passed away. The UK government immediately ordered a State Funeral whereby a cortege through London would see his coffin draped in a Swastika flag and escorted by Grenadier Guardsmen! The coffin was taken to Dover and placed upon HMS Scout for transportation back to Germany. Along the route, thousands cheered and enthusiastically gave the straight-armed salute!
An eternal tragedy surrounding this entire affair is the British government’s insistence that the men of the Grenadier Guards should be responsible for escorting the coffin firstly with their bearskin- hats ‘off’ (a sign of high ‘respect’) usually reserved for very important or outstanding personalities, and very rarely permitted to take place – and having to march through the streets of London accompanying the coffin with the hats replaced! Adding insult to injury, Hitler had sent units of the ‘SS’ to the UK who were responsible for organising the entire funeral and effectively had command of the British troops on duty that day! Just four years later in 1940, men like these in the British Army would be killed by the same ‘SS’ Nazi German troops as Hitler unleashed his invasion of Western Europe!