Mitford, Unity Valkyrie

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Mitford, Unity Valkyrie, born 08-08-1914 in London, was a member of the aristocratic Mitford family, tracing its origins in Northumberland back to the 11th century Norman settlement of England.  Unity Mitford’s sister Diana Mitford was married to Oswald Mosley leader of British Union of Fascists. In the UK and in Germany, she was a prominent and public supporter of fascism and from 1936, a part of Hitler’s inner circle of friends. Unity and Diana Mitford traveled to Germany as part of the British delegation from the British Union of Fascists, to the 1933 Nuremberg Rally, seeing Hitler for the first time. Unity later said, “The first time I saw him I knew there was no one I would rather meet.” Biographer Anne de Courcy confirms: “The Nuremberg rally had a profound effect on both Diana and Unity … Unity was already, as it were, convinced about Hitler, but this turned conviction into worship. From then on she wanted to be near Hitler as much as possible”. After ten months Hitler finally invited her to his table where they talked for over half-an-hour with Hitler picking up her bill.

 In a letter to her father Mitford wrote: “It was the most wonderful and beautiful day of my life. I am so happy that I wouldn’t mind a bit, dying. I’d suppose I am the luckiest girl in the world. For me he is the greatest man of all time”. Hitler had also become obsessed with the young blonde British student. He was struck by her curious connections to the Germanic culture including her middle name, Valkyrie. Mitford’s grandfather, Algernon Freeman-Mitford had been a friend of Richard Wagner

)   , one of Hitler’s idols, and had translated the works of Houston Stewart Chamberlain,

  another inspiration for Hitler. Dalley says “Hitler was extremely superstitious, and he believed that Unity was sort of sent to him, it was destined.” Mitford subsequently received invitations to party rallies and state occasions, and was described by Hitler as “a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood.” Hitler and Mitford became close, with Hitler reportedly playing Mitford off against his new girlfriend apparently to make her jealous. The girlfriend, Eva Braun (see Braun parents)  wrote of Mitford in her diary: “She is known as the Valkyrie and looks the part, including her legs. I the mistress of the greatest man in Germany and the whole world, I sit here waiting while the sun mocks me through the window panes.” Braun regained Hitler’s attention after an attempted suicide and Mitford learned from this that desperate measures were often needed to capture the Führer’s attention. Mitford attended the Naze Youth festival in Hesselberg with Hitler’s friend Julius Kurt von Streicher,   where she gave a virulently anti-Semitic speech. She subsequently repeated these sentiments in an open letter to Streicher’s paper, Der Stürmer, which read: “The English have no notion of the Jewish danger. Our worst Jews work only behind the scenes. We think with joy of the day when we will be able to say England for the English! Out with the Jews! Heil Hitler! P.S. please publish my name in full, I want everyone to know I am a Jew hater. The letter caused public outrage in Britain but Hitler rewarded her with an engraved golden swastika badge, a private box at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and a ride in a party Mercedes to the Bayreuth Festival. At the 1939 Bayreuth Festival Hitler warned Unity and Diana Mitford that war with England was inevitable within weeks and they should return home. Diana returned to England   where she was arrested and imprisoned, while Unity chose to remain in Germany, though her family sent pleas for her to come home. After Britain’s declaration of war on Germany on 03-09-1939, Unity was distraught. Diana told an interviewer in 1999: “She told me that if there was a war, which of course we all terribly hoped there might not be, that she would kill herself because she couldn’t bear to live and see these two countries tearing each other to pieces, both of which she loved.”

Death and burial ground of Mitford, Unity Valkyrie.

 Mitford went to the English Garden in Munich, took a pearl-handled pistol, given to her by Hitler for protection, and shot herself in the head. Surviving the suicide attempt she was hospitalized in Munich, where she was visited by Hitler, despite the on-going war. He paid her bills and arranged for her return home on a stretcher . She was taken seriously ill on a visit to the family-owned island of Inch Kenneth and was taken to hospital in Oban. Doctors had decided it was too dangerous to remove the lodged bullet, and she eventually died of meningitis caused by the cerebral swelling around the bullet. “Her sisters, even those who deplored her politics and hated her association with Hitler, mourned her deeply.” Eight women, all the same types, that are thought, possibly, to have been intimate with Hitler, attempted suicide: Mimi Maria “Mimi” Reiter ried to hang herself 1928, Angela “Geli” Raubal  died of a gun-shot with Hitler’s gun, 1931, Eva Braun tried suicide in 1932 and 1935 before succeeding in 1945, Frau Inga Ley, Inga committed suicide in 1942 because of her alleged addiction to drugs and the burden of being married to the boorish Ley.  Renate Müller, and Suzi Liptauer were all successful suicides, and Unity Mitford attempted suicide in 1939. Unity died 24-05-1948, age 33, of Meningitis in Oban, Scotland and was was buried at Swinbrook Churchyard with later her sisters. Her gravestone reads, “Say not the struggle naught availeth.”

 

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