Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bizarre behaviour.

I just finished reading David Pryce-Jones' Unity Mitford A Quest (Star, London 1981). It had been lying hidden in one of our cupboards until it caught my eye serendipitously one fortunate afternoon. Many of the events it covers took place before I was born and some, when I was a child. It is a difficult read what with all the Germans and other Europeans peopling it, German, Hungarian and Czech place names and, above all (or, uber alles, as Unity Valkyrie Mitford would probably have preferred it), the dry and clinical style of writing that Pryce-Jones uses. It's a psychological thriller in a sense. It scared me no end to enter into Unity's mind. It ticked like the mind of a latter-day groupie of a rock star or a movie star. She was a British aristocrat by birth and upbringing, related to Winston Churchill. Yet, she was a Fascist, anti-Semite and more Nazi than the Nazis. She followed Hitler, somehow intuiting his movements and whereabouts and managing to be in the right place at the right time to catch his eye. The Nazis thought she was a British spy. The book suggests she was an ardent fan of Hitler who apparently saw her as the perfect specimen of Aryan (Nordic) womanhood. There has of late been speculation if Unity had Hitler's love-child. and Pryce-Jones goes to great lengths to cite hearsay evidence to prove that there was nothing sexual about the Unity-Hitler link-up. Nor, according to him, did she have an affair with the Hungarian aristocrat and closet-Nazi Janos Almasy, the brother of of Lazlo (aka 'The English Patient"). Unity fervently hoped that Germany and England would be allies and jointly "police" the world. When they went to war, her inner world imploded and she tried to commit suicide. Weird!