"After the war Miss Brodie admitted to Sandy, as they sat in the Braid Hills Hotel, 'Hitler was rather naughty,'"
Duke of Windsor in Germany in October 1937
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDuke of Windsor in Germany in October 1937 - Credit: Georg Pahl (German Federal Archive)

In the pre-war period, there were many British individuals who (like Miss Brodie) admired Hitler and Mussolini and the Nazi and Fascist regimes which they oversaw in Germany and Italy.

Amongst these admirers were some high profile names; for example, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were believed to have Nazi sympathies. They toured Nazi Germany together in 1937 and the Duchess is reputed to have had a  romantic relationship with Joachim von Ribbentrop when he was German Ambassador in London in 1936. Following the war Von Ribbentrop was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg and sentenced to death by hanging.

Two of the famous 'Mitford Sisters', Diana and Unity, were personal friends of Hitler during the 1930s.

Diana Mitford married Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, in Germany in 1936; Adolf Hitler was her guest of honour.

Unity Mitford was so distraught by the declaration of World War II in September 1939 that she attempted suicide whilst in Germany.

To support Fascism and Nazism prior to the war was a very different matter, of course, from continuing to support it after the war when the extent of Nazi atrocities and war crimes came to light.

Diana Mosley, who died in 2003, retained her fascist sympathies and anti-semitic views to the end of her life.

Today, those who misrepresent or play down the enormity of the Holocaust (the Jewish genocide carried out by Hitler and the Nazi regime) are known as holocaust deniers.

Click here to watch a video about Unity Mitford's fascination with Hitler.