British Fascism and Diana Mosley

Diana Mitford Mosley was the wife of British Fascist Oswald Mosley, but she was deeply committed to fascism on her own.  In fact, she, and her older sister Unity, were good friends of Adolf Hitler.  When Diana Mitford Guinness secretly married Oswald Mosley, their wedding guests included Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.  Diana Mosley, like her husband, was imprisoned without trial at the  beginning of World War II.   In her case, this was particularly difficult, because she and Mosley had two small children (the youngest was only 11 weeks old when she was arrested), and her family and nannies cared for the toddlers until she was released in 1943.

Although her husband’s views seemed to mellow as he aged, Diana remained firmly committed to fascism – and anti-Semitism- for the rest of her life (she died in 2003).  Studying her life is a reminder that the events and ideas of the past involved real people, many of whom made choices that in hindsight seem misguided, dangerous, or even evil.

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