I Know These Dictators

Lord Rothermere with Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler with George Ward Price in 1938.

George Ward Price was born in 1886. After attending the University of Cambridge he became a journalist and was eventually recruited by The Daily Mail. As the newspaper’s foreign correspondent he developed a close relationship with Adolf Hitler. According to the German historian, Hans-Adolf Jacobsen: “The famous special correspondent of the London Daily Mail, Ward Price, was welcomed to interviews in the Reich Chancellery in a more privileged way than all other foreign journalists, particularly when foreign countries had once more been brusqued by a decision of German foreign policy. His paper supported Hitler more strongly and more constantly than any other newspaper outside Germany.”

Ward Price was also a intimate associate of Oswald Mosley and a supporter of the National Union of Fascists (BUF). He was also a founding member of the January Club in 1934. The object of the group was to attract Establishment support for the BUF. Members included Robert ForganFrancis Yeats-Brown, Sir Louis GreigLord Erskine and Lord William Montagu-Douglas-Scott.

When Lord Rothermere, the owner of the The Daily Mail, took Ward Price with him when he met Adolf Hitler for the first time in December 1934. At the first meeting Hitler told Rothermere that “Lloyd George and your brother won the war for Britain. This was a reference to the Prime Minister David Lloyd Georgeand Lord Northcliffe, who it was claimed made sure that the British Army received enough munitions on the front-line during the later stages of the First World War. That evening Hitler held his first major dinner party he had given for foreign visitors at his official residence in Berlin since he had taken office. The high-level guests included Joseph GoebbelsHermann Goering and Joachim von Ribbentrop.

 

Lord Rothermere with Adolf Hitler

Lord Rothermere, George Ward PriceAdolf HitlerFritz WiedemannJoseph Goebbels,
with Princess Stephanie and Magda Goebbels sitting in front.

Lord Rothermere also gave full support to Oswald Mosley and the National Union of Fascists. He wrote an article, Hurrah for the Blackshirts, on 22nd January, 1934, in which he praised Mosley for his “sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine”. Rothermere added: “Timid alarmists all this week have been whimpering that the rapid growth in numbers of the British Blackshirts is preparing the way for a system of rulership by means of steel whips and concentration camps. Very few of these panic-mongers have any personal knowledge of the countries that are already under Blackshirt government. The notion that a permanent reign of terror exists there has been evolved entirely from their own morbid imaginations, fed by sensational propaganda from opponents of the party now in power. As a purely British organization, the Blackshirts will respect those principles of tolerance which are traditional in British politics. They have no prejudice either of class or race. Their recruits are drawn from all social grades and every political party. Young men may join the British Union of Fascists by writing to the Headquarters, King’s Road, Chelsea, London, S.W.”

Adolf Hitler was kept informed about what British newspapers were saying about him. He was usually very pleased by what appeared in The Daily Mail. On 20th May 1937 he wrote to Lord Rothermere: “Your leading articles published within the last few weeks, which I read with great interest, contain everything that corresponds to my own thoughts as well.” Hitler told George Ward Price: “He (Lord Rothermere) is the only Englishman who sees clearly the magnitude of this Bolshevist danger. His paper is doing an immense amount of good.” Jim Wilson has argued: “Ward Price… had the reputation of being Fleet Street’s most enthusiastic supporter of the Nazis. He was on close terms with all of the leading Nazi hierarchy. He even began affecting the use of a monocle, aping some of the senior Nazis grouped around the Führer.”

In 1937 George Ward Price published his book, I Know These Dictators. It was full of praise of Hitler: “Behind the forceful character which he displays in public he had a human, pleasant personality… He had the artistic, visionary tendencies of the South German type… and there was a strong strain of sadness and tenderness in his disposition… Hitler had… a fondness for children and dogs… His personality and prestige were so strong that without any effort on his part, he is surrounded by much awe on the part of his entourage… Hitler is a widely read man… familiar with the works of the leading German philosophers who had mastered the history, geography and social and economic conditions of the chief European countries.”

Ward Price defended Hitler’s treatment of Jews, trade unionists and socialists in Nazi Germany: “To law-abiding citizens the Nazi Government brought public order, political peace, better living-conditions, and the promise, some fulfilled, to make Germany once more a great nation… Upon the people who opposed, or looked like opposing, its plans, it laid a heavy hand… The jockey who pats his horse in the paddock may lash him in a hard finish. The rulers of Germany were stern because they believed the fate of their country was at stake. If they failed, the gates would be open wide to Bolshevism – the same bloodthirsty Bolshevism which had ravaged and liquidated in Russia, tortured and massacred in Hungary…. The tolerant attitude of the average Anglo-Saxon… toward Jews, Communists, and those deluded intellectuals indulgently termed ‘parlour-Bolshevists’ appears in Nazi eyes as stupid apathy in the presence of real danger.”

I know these dictators

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Listen to a Paul English and Andrew Carrington Hitchcock discuss this article on the radio below.

radio

Published in: on February 9, 2019 at 3:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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