History

Gaoled Britons Opposed to Britain’s War on the Reich Remembered

A full list of suspected British wartime anti-war activists, including the 12th Duke of Bedford, the British Union of Fascists (BUF) leader Sir Oswald Mosley and many others of the upper classes who would have been arrested or were arrested and imprisoned in the event of British war against the German Reich, has been released for the first time at the National Archives.

The ‘Suspect List’, hundreds of pages of dog-eared papers, was one of the most closely guarded of wartime secrets and even now, 60 years after it was formally closed, is still shrouded in mystery.

In the list of more than 400 people drawn up by the domestic intelligence agency MI5 and Special Branch, coalminers and hairdressers rub shoulders with dukes, retired admirals, bank managers, doctors, dentists and ladies of leisure.

The largest indoor meeting ever held in Britain occurred when over 20,000 people packed Earls Court in London, to support a peace meeting organised by the British Union.

Britain in early 1940 following Germany’s pre-emptive occupation of northern France was terrified by the prospect of invasion.  The Suspect List was already drawn up so that people not already interned as anti-war or pro-Reich sympathisers could be seized to prevent them acting in opposition to the Westminster regime’s interests.

The notorious Defence Regulation 18B, often referred to as simply 18B, was one of the Defence Regulations used by the British Government during the Second World War. It allowed the internment without trial of people suspected of being actively opposed to the ongoing war with Germany during the Second World War, pacifist and separatist elements, for example Irish republicans or were otherwise suspected of ideological sympathy (this included members of the British Union of Fascists and similar groups). The effect of 18B was to suspend the right of affected individuals to habeas corpus. They and often their families were to be put in jail or internment camps without trial.

The pro-Reich King Edward VIII, who had been forced to abdicated in 1936 would instead of the throne marry the then Wallis Simpson. King Edward VIII had been causing embarrassment to the British government in the immediate pre-war years by cultivating contacts with Hitler’s Germany and was actively involved in pursuing peace. Fatally, he had dare utter the words: ‘There will be no war with Germany while I am king.’

One example of those listed is Admiral Sir Barry Domville, a former head of naval intelligence. At the invitation of Reich Minister Heinrich Himmler, the file says, he attended the 1937 Nuremberg rally.

Admiral Domville and Major-General John Fuller, a close friend of Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail, were linked to the 12th Duke of Bedford through membership of an MP’s Right Club. The entries of Mosley, head of the British Union of Fascists, and his wife are brief. But many of the other names on the Suspect List are people of much or little influence who happen to have been opposed to war with Germany, desperately desired peace in Europe and avoidance of a second world war, had Fascist sympathies before the war. Most of them are either former members of Mosley’s Blackshirts or people with German and Italian ancestry.

It was said ‘that every decoration from the Victoria Cross downwards, could be seen on the prison yard at Brixton’. 

‘Let us be fair to these people who were imprisoned under 18B, and let us remember that they have never been accused of any crime; not only have they not been convicted of any crime, but they have never been accused of any crime.  This should be remembered in all fairness to them.’ – Lord Jowett, the Lord Chancellor to the House of Lords, December 11, 1946.

NOTE: During World War II there were 1,050 Prisoner-of-War camps scattered throughout the British Isles with many more camps situated throughout the Dominions. Many POWs never returned to their homelands. Source

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Art related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Porcelain of the Third Reich: Supreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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Art related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Porcelain of the Third Reich: Supreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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2 replies »

  1. It was the same way in America during the 1930s. Germany NEVER threatened to invade the USA nor could they have been a threat to us. America, just like England, needed war with Germany. They turned their economy around, despite the Jews declaring economic war on Germany and the sanctions, despite the war reparations put on them by Treaty of Versailles, despite having to fight off the allied powers at every step since Hitler got in power, etc. Americans did not want a war with Germany either, as half of White Americans (like me) are of German descent. My grandma said when she was a little girl during the 20s/30s, my great, great grandparents had spoke English with thick German accents. One of my grandfathers was a young man in the 30s, worked on a farm, his boss/supervisor was pro German and admire what the National Socialists were during for Germany at the time. America was forced into fighting Germany in both world wars. AH did not want a central bank in Germany, which is what the real crime was. Plus, of course, the allies did not want Germany as a competing superpower at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not long ago I watched a series called ‘Peaky-Blinders.’ It was about a Gypsy family that embraces crime after the first world war. I actually enjoyed much of it, but, its portrayal of Oswald Mosley was disgraceful. I have always viewed Mosley as a hero to Britons and all Europeans. But, the movie industry pushes the same old Talmudic propaganda and destroyed a good story in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

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