From London daily The Morning Star:
Mosley‘s real story
(Sunday 11 March 2007)
Very Deeply Dyed in Black by Graham Macklin
(IB Tauris, £45)
DAVID RENTON discovers the havoc that British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley continued to wreak in Europe after 1940.
Of all the books that have been published on British fascism, few take the story beyond 1940.
One common assumption is that, having been detained under wartime powers, the pre-war leader of the British Union of Fascists Oswald Mosley was so humbled by the experience that he did not dare show his face again for 30 years.
Readers of the Morning Star will have no difficulty in recalling a different history.
After 1945, Mosley did attempt to re-launch his British Union of Fascists under the new name of the Union Movement.
He was sporadically successful, notably in Dalston in 1947-8 and in Notting Hill 10 years later.
In both places, Mosley profited on the back of race hatred, aimed against first the Jews and then black British people.
In Dalston, one of Mosley’s victims was the young playwright Harold Pinter.
Then just a teenage boy, Pinter was set upon by a gang of blackshirts and very badly beaten.
In both Dalston and Notting Hill, Mosley’s party was soon met with resistance.
The routing of the Union Movement in Hackney at the hands of the left and the anti-fascists of the 43 Group taught Mosley that there was little prospect of success in Britain.
He did not admit defeat, however, but took his message to Europe.
German POWs were invited to attend British fascist meetings.
On their return to Germany, they were expected to repay their favour by working to promote Mosley’s books in translation.
One of Mosley’s followers was Fritz Roessler, elected to the German federal parliament in 1949.
Another project that he appears to have funded was an SS-Bruderschaft, set up by Alfred Franke-Gricksch, previously the head of the personnel section of Himmler’s Reich main security office.
By 1950, Mosley was in Italy, as a guest of the fascist MSI.
Mosley’s funds and personal support were given to the nurturing of fascist groups in many countries. Graham Macklin also makes much of Mosley’s role as one of the first of the post-war Holocaust deniers.
Over time, Mosley’s audiences declined. Others reaped the rewards. The tale is sordid, but, in its own fashion, compelling.
Mosley was a man with few remaining talents, but considerable funds, a great advocate of malevolence wherever he went.
Macklin is to be praised for having produced this book, which is a worthy addition to every anti-fascist library.