There is more to the story I told in the previous entry about the SS man who found he was a Jew. Here is how it ended, in Unity’s telling to Diana.
Of course poor Heinz was completely erledigt [shattered] when he heard it, & wanted to shoot himself at once, which it seems to me would have been the best way out.
Though, officially, he doesn’t count as a Jew as both the grandparents were baptized. But for Heinz, being a real Nazi ‘aus überzeugung’ [by conviction], that naturally made no difference. His father made him promise not to do anything until they had had a reply to their Ersuch [request] to the Führer, but so far there has been no reply, & in the meanwhile of course he is having what is practically a nervous breakdown. Well it seems that there are several half-Jews who have, at one time or another, been allowed to remain in the Party on account of special Verdienste [services]. So they hope that he also will, though of course this will anyhow, from his own point of view, have ruined his life. So she came to ask me if I would help her, & I told her that if she would write a personal letter to the Führer I would give it to him personally. Isn’t it awful for them, poor things. I must say it gave me an awful shock when she told me.
Unity is in many ways less unpleasant than Diana, whose combination of intelligence with quite psychotic self-deception is horrible. In later life, she is constantly roused to indignation because vulgar lower-class people will claim that her husband was anti-Semitic (is if there were anything wrong with that) or, most exquisitely, when a journalist quotes her as saying she was “very fond” of Hitler. This seemed to her a monstrous misunderstanding of “Off the Record”. So the last word goes her refutation, in 1976, of the suggestion that Unity might have made a snobbish remark about the Queen Mother, who was known to the Mitfords as “Cake”:1
The nastiest, well one of the nastiest, is Mr Float [The rector of Swinbrook] … He (apparently) told such an obviously false story of Bird [Unity] saying, in conneciton with the abdication, that Cake was like a shop girl. It is so particularly offensive and silly and, as we know, Birdie had strong race feelings, but not so much as a soupçon of class feeling and thus its something she couldn’t have said.
Italics in the original. What does it take to have such an inexhaustible fountain of self-righteousness?
1 Hence “Cake’s Dump”, a reference by Debo to Clarence House.