Nazis in Pre-War London, 1930-1939

Nazis in Pre-War London, 1930-1939 : The Fate & Role of German Party Members & British Sympathizers

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The first book to study the history of the Nazis in Britain, this work details how in September 1930 the Nazi Party newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, sent its first representative to London and soon after, German residents in London established a local Nazi group, which provided party members with a place to congregate and support the new movement. By 1933, more than 100 members belonged to the London group and the book goes on to discuss how the Nazis in pre-war London created a dilemma for the British foreign and home offices, who were divided as to how best to treat residents whose allegiance was to the German Reich as some felt that all Nazi organizations should be banned while others, including MI5, argued that it would be easier to keep track of Nazis if they were in-country. Calling on previously unpublished German documents, this study reveals the fate of German diplomats, journalists, and professionals, many of whom were interned in Britain or deported to Nazi Germany once war broke out in September 1939. An appendix listing the details concerning the nearly 400 German Party members, as well as Nazi journalists, who spent time in Britain prior to the war is also included.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 283 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15.24mm | 438g
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1845190548
  • 9781845190545
  • 1,390,101

Review quote

This is the first book to study the activities of Nazis in London in the 1930s. These fell into two main categories: journalists reporting for German newspapers, and members of the German community in the British capital. London acquired a reporter for the Nazi Party newspaper, the "Volkischer Beobachter," as early as 1930, and Nazi sympathizers among Germans in the city organized a branch of the party, an Orstgruppe, not long afterward. As is well known, once the Nazis were in power they attached great importance to organizing and controlling Germans in foreign countries, and James J. Barnes and Patience P. Barnes may be right in asserting that the Orstgruppenleiter was more important than the German ambassador, save during Joachim von Ribbentrop s tenure of that post at the peak of Adolf Hitler s efforts to achieve an understanding with Britain. British authorities the Home Office, the Foreign Office, and MI5 were, at first sight, surprisingly, more concerned with the journalists than with the Orstgruppe. In 1935 the senior Nazi journalist in Britain, Hans Thost of the "Volkischer Beobachter," was expelled, and there were nine more expulsions of journalists in 1937 alone. Barnes and Barnes assemble fairly conclusive evidence that Thost was detected engaging in low-level espionage. "American Historical Review""
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About James J. Barnes

James J. Barnes is a professor of history at Wabash College. Patience P. Barnes is a research associate at Wabash College. They are the coauthors of several books, including The American Civil War through British Eyes and Nazi Refugee Turned Gestapo Spy: The Life of Hans Wesemann, 1895-1971.
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