Sunday, October 27, 2019

The declassified history of Hitler’s British traitors

treason espionage sabotage Nazi Britain accountability history cover-up coup fifth column

For almost 80 years, Britain has told itself – and the world – a powerful story about the country’s heroism during the dark days of World War Two. Newspapers, television and the cinema have portrayed the years between 1939 and 1945 as the country’s finest hours: the spirits of Dunkirk, the Blitz and a nation bonded by the rubrics of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, ‘Make Do and Mend’, are repeatedly invoked to create an enduring narrative of brave stoicism.

That narrative is not false.  It is simply not the whole story. Hundreds of once-secret Security Service (MI5) and British government files have now revealed an uncomfortable truth:  that for all the genuine unity and determination of the vast majority of the population to defeat Hitler, there was also a small – but dangerous – sub-stratum which yearned for the day when his troops could goose-step down Whitehall amid an orgy of swastika flags.

The files, quietly de-classified and released to the UK National Archives in the years between 2000 and 2018, show that more than seventy British men and women were convicted – mostly in secret trials – of working to help Nazi Germany win the war.  Additionally, hundreds of other British Fascists were interned without trial on detailed evidence that they were spying for, or working on behalf of, Germany.  Collectively, these men and women were part of a little-known Fifth Column Four. Two members were executed, whilst most of the others received lengthy prison sentences or were detained throughout the war.

If these men and women were, for the most part, lone wolves or members of small, localized networks, others were very much more dangerous. The de-classified Security Service files document three plots led by well-connected British Nazi leaders to launch a violent “fascist revolution”.  (more...)


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