Hitler's Aristocrats: The Secret Power Players in Britain and America Who Supported the Nazis, 1923–1941 (Hardcover)
Susan Ronald, acclaimed author of Hitler's Art Thief takes readers into the shadowy world of the aristocrats and business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic who secretly aided Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Hitler said, “I am convinced that propaganda is an essential means to achieve one’s aims.” Enlisting Europe’s aristocracy, international industrialists, and the political elite in Britain and America, Hitler spun a treacherous tale everyone wanted to believe: he was a man of peace. Central to his deception was an international high society Black Widow, Princess Stephanie Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, whom Hitler called “his dear princess.” She, and others, conspired for Hitler at the highest levels of the British aristocracy and spread their web to America's wealthy powerbrokers.
Hitler’s aristocrats became his eyes, listening posts, and mouthpieces in the drawing rooms, cocktail parties, and weekend retreats of Europe and America. Among these “gentlemen spies” and “ladies of mystery” were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lady Nancy Astor, Charles Lindbergh, and two of the Mitford sisters. They were the trusted voices disseminating his political and cultural propaganda about the “New Germany,” brushing aside the Nazis’ atrocities. Distrustful of his own Foreign Ministry, Hitler used his aristocrats to open the right doors in Great Britain and the United States, creating a formidable fifth column within government and financial circles.
In a tale of drama and intrigue, Hitler’s Aristocrats uncovers the battle between these influencers and those who heroically opposed them.
Praise for Hitler's Aristocrats:
"Highly readable drama of highborn traitors who enthusiastically aided the Nazi ascent to power." —Kirkus Reviews
"Colorful…Ronald convincingly details a great deal of sympathy for Nazi Germany and fascism in general among English-speaking elites…her insights into how quickly anti-democratic views can take root in the popular attitudes of the wealthy are relevant today." —Publishers Weekly
“Well documented…Recommended for informed readers who want to know more about the international clandestine machinations that enabled World War II to occur.” —Library Journal
Ronald’s unsettling account of the secret supporters of Nazism among the tiara-wearing classes offers a timely lesson in the fragility of democracy. Hitler's Aristocrats is by turns fascinating and heartbreaking as it sheds light on those who abetted rise to power, and also those who courageously opposed him. —Dr. Amanda Foreman, award-winning author of A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War
Praise for Susan Ronald:
“Seldom has the Joe Kennedy story been told in such a searing, remorseless way.” —Wall Street Journal on The Ambassador
"Ronald fashions a portrait of the ambitious Kennedy that brings to mind the mythological figure Icarus." —The Washington Post on The Ambassador
“[A] riveting portrait of Gurlitt, who detested the Nazis, and stole from them, but did their bidding in the name of ‘saving modern art’.” —The New Yorker on Hitler's Art Thief