Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Best Frenz 4Eva

A "web exclusive" that didn't make it into the last Eye, largely used here as an excuse to print this picture of the Daily Mail's Lord Rothermere and Adolf Hitler, which I hadn't seen before.

The Daily Mail devoted a full page on 8 February to Winston Churchill’s “extraordinary relationship with the founding fathers of the Mail,” with Robert Hardman enthusiastically plugging the opening of the Harmsworth Room in the Churchill Museum by the paper’s proprietor Lord Rothermere. “It will serve as a fascinating reminder of the public and private links between Churchill and one of Britain’s pre-eminent newspaper dynasties,” Hardman noted. “It reveals a relationship which could veer from warm friendship to open hostility but which could never be ignored.”

Something the paper did choose to ignore was the warm friendship the first Lord Rothermere also enjoyed with Adolf Hitler, whom he visited on several occasions in Germany and supported in print (most notably denouncing the “clamorous campaign of denunciation” against the Fuhrer in 1933 and pointing out that his election had stopped the rise of “Israelites of international attachments [who] were insinuating themselves into key positions in the German administrative machine”). Amid anecdotes about dinner parties and friendly wagers between Rothermere and Churchill, Hardman did manage to note in passing that Winnie’s best pal was “a supporter of appeasement”, but it is left to the Eye to provide a fascinating reminder of just how much, with the words of the telegraph he dispatched to Hitler following the Munich Agreement in 1938: “My dear Fuhrer …Frederick the Great was a great popular figure. May not Adolf the Great become an equally popular figure? I salute your Excellency’s star, which rises higher and higher."

No comments: