Madonna: Duke & Duchess of Windsor weren’t “Nazi sympathizers”


Sometimes I really do wonder if Madonna has always been a total moron, and her whole career was just a fluke. I don’t really think that’s the case – I think Madge is a smart businesswoman and a great reader of trends, the latter being one of the most underrated qualities for celebrities today. But for all of Madge’s business savvy, she’s a f-cking idiot about history. Madonna is set to direct her second feature film in a few months. The film will be about – at least in part – the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, or King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Madge recently gave an interview about the Duke and Duchess and she ended up angering the history buff in me:

Madonna, who is making a film about the Duchess of Windsor, says Nazi slurs about Wallis Simpson were unfair. Madonna’s hopes of enlisting the Queen’s support for a film that she is making about the Edward VIII abdication crisis are unlikely to be helped by inflammatory claims she has made about Wallis Simpson.

“People have accused Wallis of all kinds of things,” she says of her fellow American. “They’ve said that she put a spell on Edward. They’ve said that she was a hermaphrodite and that he was gay. They’ve said they were Nazi sympathizers. It’s just the usual lynch mob mentality that descends upon somebody who has something that lots of other people don’t have.”

The admiration for Hitler of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as they became, concerned the government, particularly after he entertained them in 1937.

Mandrake reported in March that Madonna would ask the Queen for filming on W. E. to be allowed in royal palaces.

“Madonna is keen to make the film as authentic as possible and would be very grateful if we are allowed to film at certain locations,” said one of her associates. “She loves the UK and holds your Queen in the highest regard.”

Madonna, who lived in Sir Cecil Beaton’s former house in Dorset during her seven-year marriage to the British director Guy Ritchie, plans to start shooting the film this summer. The singer has long been fascinated by the 1936 crisis, in which Edward VIII’s desire to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, caused a constitutional dilemma.

The crisis was resolved by Edward’s abdication and his succession by his brother, George VI, who was the Queen’s father. Edward was given the title the Duke of Windsor and he married Mrs Simpson.

[From The Telegraph]

This film that Madonna will direct, it’s something that she’s been researching for years, allegedly. So how is it that Madonna never found any of the extensive documentation about the Duke and Duchess’s true sympathies for Nazis in general and Adolf Hitler in particular? Back in 1937, before the bombing of Britain, and after King Edward’s abdication (in 1936), the Duke and Duchess toured Nazi Germany and met with Hitler. They were photographed giving the “Sieg Heil” Nazi salute. When the Duke and Duchess traveled to America during the war, Roosevelt had them monitored as anti-Allied spies. There were rumors that should Hitler ever take control of Britain, he would install (or re-install) the Duke as king, answering to the Nazi Empire. There is extensive documentation to back all of this up – so what the hell is Madonna talking about? Something tells me this film she’s doing is going to be a “reimagining” of the Windsors rather than a story with any kind of historical accuracy.

Windsor Wedding

Windsors And Dog

The Windsors

Header: Madge in NYC on April 28, 2010. Credit: WENN.

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94 Responses to “Madonna: Duke & Duchess of Windsor weren’t “Nazi sympathizers””

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  1. kai says:

    If they were, so what? Anyone trying to tar and feather them likely wasn’t even alive then, and has no idea what they knew, or didn’t know, about what went on in Nazi Germany. A lot of the atrocities didn’t come to light until later, and hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20, so for a bunch of people 70+ years after the fact to be condemning these people when they weren’t there is just asinine. Good lord, there’s PLENTY of shiat to trash them over, why are we resorting to the tired “Hurr hurr Nazis” BS? That shiat gets sooo old and tired it needs to be put to sleep already. For serious.

  2. carrie says:

    so her movie will be a hagiography!!

  3. YT says:

    Is she crazy? Does she think no one in Britain still cares about what the Nazis did to their country and Nazi sympathizers? She cannot rewrite documented history.

    As far as the sexual rumors go, those I will chalk up to hateful rumors. The Duke was a notorious skirt chaser before he met Wallis. Something between him and Wallis clicked, and luckily it was enough to keep him off the throne and away from Britain so he could not hand the country over to Hitler. He was kind of a self-absorbed idiot anyway.

    When the war was over, it took years to rebuild, and thousands of families were affected by the war. It is not something to sweep under the rug because time has passed.

  4. Rachel says:

    kai, I’m sorry that the stories of Nazi atrocities are sooooo old and tired for you. It should not “be put to bed” as you say because in us remembering what happened we will hopefully never let this happen again. Of course, it is happening again, in many parts of Africa but no one seems to be doing anything about it which is truly a tragedy!

  5. belynda says:

    It matters because history matters, well it matters when it is accurate. The nazi mentality is, unfortunatly, not dead and does not dead and should not be put to rest. Ignorance and blindness about who we are and who we were has already led to many repeats of hate driven etnic cleansings and wars. Truth should not be ignored because it is difficult or because it is boring and over talked about. Madonna does not realy care about history but cares about making a movie in which she looks good.

  6. Victoria says:

    I dont see how she’s going to get the Queen’s permission to film at historically accurate places. I think the Queen is sensitive (still) about the topic of Wallis and Edward. Oh wait, Madonna and Queen Elizabeth are “tight”

  7. Pont Neuf says:

    Kai, for the sake of politeness, I would ask you to not say certain things. First of all, EVERYONE knew what the Nazis were doing even before the war. Jehova’s Witnesses started denouncing the existence of extermination-through-work camps as early as 1935, when Sachsenhausen was being built to house political dissidents and religious minorities. All these camps were near large cities and farming centres, because the inmates were being hired as slaves by factory owners and farmers. Second, there were mass burnings of corpses and, later own, there were crematoria. The stench of thousands of bodies being cremated would travel for miles. OF COURSE everyone f*cking knew, but they didn’t give a toss about it. The few Germans who did, ended up in the camps themselves.

    As for the Allies, they didn’t do anything until they saw that Stalin was winning the war, and entered it in a frenzied race to get as much of Europe in their own hands as they could. The US and UK governments knew perfectly well was was happening to the Jewish, Gypsies, homosexuals, religious people who refused to collaborate, Polish, Slavic political prisoners, single mothers, mixed race people, left wing activists and the disabled. They just didn’t care enough to do much more than accept shippings of Jewish children as early as 1938, before they started being openly exterminated. Yes, ordinary people in the UK and America didn’t know, but their governments did and, in spite of this, they helped many Nazis after the war; people who had tortured children and ill people to death. Monsters of depravity.

    As for that cheap, vulgar harlot Wallis Simpson and the simpering idiot that was the Duke of Windsor, they were Nazi sympathizers all right. That’s one of the reasons why Edward was forced to abdicate, besides her status as a divorcee. For God’s sake, Goering called her “a brightly intelligent woman and our support in England”!

    Madonna is, as always, talking out of her steroided arse. She should limit herself to sing out of tune and parade around half naked. That’s the only thing she does moderately well.

    Millions of people died horribly because of the Nazis and we cannot treat this lightly, if only out of elementary respect to them and their loved ones.

  8. Gracie says:

    @Pont Neuf: Beautifully, amazingly said.

    We can NEVER forget or push aside what the Nazis did. It is also the duty of anyone in the know to pass along the truth so that others might be enlightened.

  9. Enoughisenough says:

    Well said, Pont Neuf.

  10. scrappy says:

    here, here, and agreed Pont Neuf.

  11. meme says:

    @kai, what in the world were you thinking posting that?

  12. Leticia says:

    Now that she thinks she is British she is even more of an authority on everything. And I blame her for the likes of Christina Aguilara’s raunchy new song currently being discussed in another post.

  13. Steeze says:

    The poster above like Pont Neuf shows how you should only speak about something as serious as this if you have some acurate knowledge on the matter.

    Oh and if Madonna is seriously planning on painting these two as misunderstood in the movie, she’s clearly a delusional idiot.

  14. Lisa says:

    Although their friendship with Rothchilds alarmed the Nazis, there was a very well known plan hatched by Hitler of deposing the English King and replacing him with Duke and Duchess. It was a very well known fact that both Duke and Duchess were Nazi sympathizers.

  15. Attagirl says:

    The Nazis were courting Wallis and Edward because they realized not even a “morganatic” marriage (prevents the passage of the husband’s titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage) would have been feasible for them as she was a twice-divorced woman. The German plan was to unseat the monarchy in England, put W & E in place as the titular monarchs, which would have given Wallis everything she wanted. The Nazis even went so far as to hatch a kidnap plot in the event W & E got cold feet. They had to be whisked out of France as it fell via Portugal. I think the only reason Madonna is soft on them is she really reminds me of a latter day Wallis Simpson – someone who schemed, clawed and steamrolled her way to the top without a thought to who she ruined on the way up.

  16. Constance says:

    Hasn’t she been told that all the movies she’s been associated with NEVER do well? Woman almost sank Guy’s reputation.

    Wow, I had forgotten how big a fucking nose Lady Wallis had! I wonder if Hilter made you know… nose jokes behind her back! lol

    Oh and BS on her for trying to spin historical accuracy! Maybe she should stop trying to Home School baby Jesus. I think she’s getting a complex that she knows “stuff.”

  17. Tia C says:

    “Millions of people died horribly because of the Nazis, and we cannot treat this lightly, out of elementary respect to them and their loved ones.”

    Well said, Pont Neuf. Kai’s comments were silly, offensive and show a lack of awareness of the gravity of Nazi crimes.

    If Madonna is intrigued by the Duke & Duchess of Windsor’s story and wants to tell it in film, that is fine, but there is no reason to do so unless she is historically accurate. To gloss over their being Nazi sympathizers would be dishonest.

  18. meme says:

    @steeze, madonna is a delusional idiot.

  19. Mentok the Mind Taker says:

    Thank you, Pont (and others)!

    You just saved Kai from the biggest verbal Bitch-slap I could give. Obviously, none of her family was killed.

    Well, mine was (on ALL sides). And a lot could’ve been done to prevent that, but those bastards had their own agenda.

    My grandparents would happily slap you (Kai) for that statement.

    How insensitive you are. Next time a topic like this comes up, like Madonna, you should just STFU.

  20. Lala11_7 says:

    @ Pont Neuf…THAT…WAS…HOT!!!

  21. Mistral says:

    I don’t get the sense that Kai is trying to minimize the horrors of the Nazis. I think Kai is trying to say that many people might not have really known what the Nazis were really planning when they first came to power in the 30s. Many people didn’t really realize what was going on during the war, either. Of course I mean regular people. I’m sure the Western governments had a pretty good sense of what was really going on. Point is, the Nazis were busy making all sorts of propaganda movies for the regular folk in Germany and abroad about the “relocation” of Jews to “pleasant ghettoes” where they were living a marvellous separate “yet parallel” existence to their Aryan neighbours–an excellent documentary called “A Film Unfinished” just came out about it.

  22. Mandhy says:

    Pont Neuf, you got it right! Everyone else should just be quiet

  23. Mentok the Mind Taker says:

    @Mistral –

    If you lived close enough to a camp (and most did — there were a lot of camps), you knew what was happening. You may’ve covered your eyes and ears to it, but you knew.

    I just re-read Kai’s statement with your point of view. Nope. I think you’re giving her far too much credit.

  24. original kate says:

    yeah, right…i’m going to take a history lesson from madge? not bloody likely.

  25. xxodettexx says:

    everything Pont Neuf said!!

    history should never be forgotten or rewritten

  26. John P. says:

    How ironic that a woman who purportedly studies Kaballah. Portrayed Nazi sympathizer Evita Perone, now wants to play another one Wallis Simpson. I also read that Simpson was a Major Bitch and one guest witnessed her hitting the Duke in the Stomach late in their marriage.
    A Bitch playing a Bitch how befitting.

  27. Johnthing says:

    Madonna Is ignorant and David Windsor WAS gay.

  28. Chico says:

    @Point Neuf. Very well said!

    People knew what was happening in Germany. They didn’t know the exact details, but they knew the Jews were dying. Early on, many Jews tried to escape. Some came to America on ships. Apparently, they were turned back even though all the news outlets reported it would be a death sentence to send them back. A poll done at the time said most Americans wanted to stay out of the war, even if this meant sending the Jews back to Germany. The American government and many Americans did not want to get involved at that point. The whole thing is so sad.

    For Madonna not to pick up a history book and research the issue is inexcusable. I can just see her turning this story into a “against all odds” cliched, romance saga, where Wallis Simpson is a thinly-veiled version of Madonna. She’ll probably portray Simpson as a sexually-liberated “rebel” who bravely went against the conservative morals of the time. Even if Madonna doesn’t play the role of Simpson, it will be ALL ABOUT HER, per usual.

  29. Bee says:

    @kai um.. I care if they were. As well as everyone who abhors hatred and racism. And I’m pretty sure all of the people who died, or had relatives murdered, at the hands of the nazis don’t think the subject is “old and tired” as you said. So, there’s the answer to your question.

    @pont neuf brilliant post.

  30. Catherine says:

    Oh, @Kai. It must be nice to live in your bubble of ignorant bliss.
    Let’s tell those soldiers who liberated the Nazi death camps, like my grandfather did, to quit with the nightmares of what they saw since @Kai says it is time to put it to rest. Whew, thankfully we are done with that! (said in total sarcasm).

  31. viper says:

    By far an alarming senerio happening before my eyes. Next thing we’ll hear people say is that Hitler was right about the ‘ jewish ‘ condition. Alarming and quite frankly horrific. Whatever you stands are, you cannot look at WW2 with such carelessness , even at the ‘small players ‘ who contributed to it. For Shame madonna; I am burning the one CD I own of yours ( which is being used as a coster ) you’re an abomination and a symbol to how low society can fall.

  32. Mistral says:

    Ah well…Who knows?

    As for “A Film Unfinished”, I really recommend it!! Fantastic film!! Very eerie, those old propaganda reels…

  33. Dawn says:

    @ Pont Neuf, Thank you for being real and actually know what you’re talking about.

    Madonna? She needs to slow down and remember she’s an over-the-hill pop singer.

  34. Leek says:

    I mean if this could be a career breaker for Madonna, let her do it. I think it’s safe to say we’ve had enough of her so let her destroy her, well, what she considers to be her version of credibility and move on.

    These losers in Hollywood keep thinking we are dumb enough to believe their distorted versions of the truth and we have caught on. Madonna and Sean Penn belong together.

  35. Just a Poster says:

    Sadly Point Neuf, no matter how elegant your post was, or how spot on it was.. Kai just cannot understand big words. They Confuse her


    Mistral.. really?! *sigh*

  36. d says:

    Hear, hear Pont Neuf. And, my dad and all his side of the family were in Germany at the time of the Nazis and trust me, regular people KNEW. They knew, they knew, they knew. And you didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what the Nazis were getting at anyway. And there was panic in the Kingdom over Edward’s idiocy with the Germans and the threat to the throne and England’s independence. My family on the English side remembered THAT as well. Madonna is an idiot. She is just a FOOL. Plus, if she were a REAL actress, she would do Wallis warts and all. It is a fascinating story. Madonna’s version will be revisionist and ridiculous. I swear to God, what a moron.

  37. sdca says:

    YEs, I agree with the other poster that Kai in my interpretation was not minimizing what has happened, or the nazi’s actions.

    This thread is exactly what happens when an event so charged means that you cannot say even that you feel people today jump on the nazi bandwagon so readily, b/c you will be labelled a horrible human being with no feelings, who must not have a clue, and must also be pro-nazi.

    Even if kai was wrong, and the D and D did know, she/he may be full on right that a)Most of the people who call people from that era Nazis, have no real historical knowledge, and b)Many people simply have buzzword knowledge of the Nazi era.; c) One cannot discuss any historical nuances of this time b/c if you question one single thing someone else has said, it means you are a nazi sympathizer or holocaust denier.

    The reactions to Kais comments show exactly this. I think his/her comments were misunderstood, and he/she also was not very thoughtful in wording the comment, and his/her comment was also inaccurate, to boot. But the gist of it-that the ‘Nazi’ term is thrown around in popular conversation by many people who have no real understanding of what exactly happened [unlike many posters here, who, thankfully, have actual historical knowledge on the subject that they have shared with us.], serves to support the fact that Madonna is a complete self-serving idiot who will stop at nothing to garner attention for herself and fill her ego’s insatiable appetite.
    ‘Nuff said. My comment probably made no sense. But there are legitimate aspects to this period that can be debated.

    No, this debate will never change what actually happened, nor will it make what happened less than evil and vile, but historical events and involvements can still be discussed. This is why college campuses offer such classes as ‘Understanding the Holocaust’. Mine did. [Can we ever, really? No,but well, you get the point.]

  38. cee says:

    Madonna is trying so hard to remain relevant. She need to recognize her limitations when it comes to her education and intelligence and focus on what she knows which is music. What is with all these older women trying to reinvent their careers. Madonna, Demi, Jennifer, and the rest.

  39. Iggles says:

    What an idiot!!!!

    Seriously Madge. They WERE!!!

    Read a book. This movie sounds horrible already and I hope no self-respecting actor ties his or her name to it!

  40. JuiceinLA says:

    Thank Pont Neuf, a million times thank you.

    @kai – Take your Bombshell McGee ignorance elsewhere please!!! what a bizarre perspective. The knowledge of and effect of the Nazis evil tyranny in this world at that time is indisputable.

  41. Lisa says:

    Wow Madonna is really coming across as ignorant in this situation. It is pretty well known that the pair were Nazi sympathizers.

  42. Nanea says:

    @ sdca: In the case of Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor there are no ifs and buts, there’s more than ample proof in statements they made publicly that they felt very strongly about things Nazism.

    And what makes you a judge about who has legitimate knowledge?

    That you don’t have what it takes is proven by your very unfortunate wording that people here “thankfully have actual historical knowledge on the subject that they have shared with us”. Does that mean you are thankful that they lost next of kin who were murdered by the Nazis, perished in the war, or that they know people who have lifelong psychological issues because they don’t get over what they saw in Germany back then?

    People like you, Mistral and Kai disgust me.

  43. canadianchick says:

    @sdca no,you are minimizing her ignorance and racism. She’s been on here espousing hate on other topics, she likes the negative attention she gets.

  44. YeahRight says:

    Madonna is priming her marketing campaign in advance of this movie. She does not give two cents about historical accuracy; it’s about what storyline will be most successful at the box office.
    Madonna is hoping more fools like kai are willing to forget history than to face some of its ugly realities. Another sad growing byproduct of our coddled, technological societies.

  45. Mairead says:

    One of the earlier posters is right – there is no way in hell The Palace would co-operate with such a film. The late Queen Mother refused point-blank to even hear their names mentioned and The Queen is known not to be particularly enamoured with them either.

    As for the charge of them being Nazi-sympathisers (although perhaps not to Mitford-standard obsession), it’s pretty well-documented. And if they weren’t, isn’t the alternative of them allowing themselves to be charmed and potentially manipulated just for attention so much worse?

  46. Mistral says:

    LOL @ Nanea.

    Do tell! Why shouldn’t I try to give another poster the benefit of the doubt, and just figure they didn’t quite know how to get their point across effectively? Why is it bad if I do not want to paint every single German living in Germany in WWII as a complicit psycho who knew and agreed what their government was doing?–I’d rather believe that a large number of them did not really know. That at least as many didn’t know as did. Why shouldn’t I discuss Nazi propaganda films and what the intentions were behind them?

  47. Jessie says:

    Not bad overall, but Pont Neuf you grossly oversimplified some. I lived in Germany for 8+ years, and I can tell you this: Germans knew about the camps the way we knew about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. You’re living in so much fear, and the gov’t threatens you if you say a word, so you just try to survive and get by.
    Good? No. But it’s flat-out wrong to say “all Germans knew/didn’t care.” Our society isn’t going through half as much as was going on then, and look at us ignore Rwanda, Darfur, you name it.

  48. Emily says:

    Mistral, the German people knew what was happening. The majority of them went along with it, either because they agreed with Hitler’s policies, or simply out of fear. There were a lot of political prisoners and dissenters in the camps, too, and a lot of Germans just kept quiet so that they weren’t rounded up, too. It doesn’t mean they agreed with the government, or that they were “psychos”, but it did make them complicit to a certain degree.

  49. Aussie Mama says:

    errr yes they were, and are. prince phillip is of german decent and his ancestors were nazis. it’s by no fluke you see prince harrry dressed in nazi garb at fancy dress parties. wake up and don’t believe the lovely stories you are fed. even the queen mother was an evil witch who absolutely hated princess diana with a passion. diana refered to them all as evil. cos they are.

  50. alexandra says:

    It is a fact that England help financing the Nazi regime.

  51. cara says:

    Pont Neuf well put.
    Madonna needs to go to hell,maybe she will then know how it felt to be in was world 2.I think it’s shameful for her to be doing this movie and I for one will not be seeing it

  52. Gia says:

    My goodness this is a topsy turvy world. I’m getting history lessons from the same woman who nailed Dennis Rodman. Why can’t she just enjoy her kids and keep her mouth shut?

  53. Shay says:

    I don’t think any Royalist in the UK will be interested in a Nazi sympathising ‘king for a day’.
    Madonna has always been thick as two planks The only thing she is smart about is marketing herself and it worked when she was younger because she traded on the ‘sex symbol’ image. If she had to start her career now though, she wouldn’t go anywhere for the prime reason of her being unable to sing and act.
    But it’s not just this that makes me laugh about Madonna’s project. It’s the fact that Edward didn’t do anything else for his country other than abdicate and his wife spent money. Wow…big deal! So Madonna needs something that isn’t intellectually ‘taxing’.
    I have never read an interview with Madonna that is ‘smart’ or clever. Ever since she first appeared, so many years ago, she has always been an airhead to things beyond her own ego.
    Queen Elizabeth is still sensitive to the issue that prematurely put her father on the throne and possibly added enough stress to affect his health. I think it was last year, but she was approached about her uncle’s pajamas for some exhibition or other, and the official word was that ‘she hadn’t seen them’. I doubt that she will comply to Madonna.
    Madonna needs to retire and spend some time with her children.

  54. Crash2GO2 says:

    Since others here addressed Madonna’s mouth-breathing idiocy quite well, I just wanted to ask if anyone else noticed how horrific her eyes look in the header photo? She actually thinks that if she redraws her upper eyelash line we will all be fooled to think she has rounder eyes than she actually does? She must think we are as idiotic as she is.

  55. sonola trip says:

    @ Pont Neuf:

    “As for that cheap, vulgar harlot Wallis Simpson and the simpering idiot that was the Duke of Windsor, they were Nazi sympathizers all right. That’s one of the reasons why Edward was forced to abdicate, besides her status as a divorcee.”

    This was my understanding, as well. That Edward didn’t jump off the throne, he was pushed. This whole “he gave up the throne for the sake of love” bit was sentimental nonsense. Edward was forced off the throne because of his Nazi sympathies, and Wallis was convenient spin. The abdication crisis really was a crisis for the country. The king giving up this throne for love was a far more palatable narrative to give the public, than the truth that he was forced out because he was a Nazi sympathizer.

  56. wwoman9000 says:

    There can be no doubt that the Nazis spread a great amount of fear to its citizens and the surrounding countries. Their crimes of genocide remain one of the most prolific. And it is a travesty that this difficult subject matter isn’t at the forefront of our minds. As each day passes, more and more of its survivors, witnesses, and educators die, taking with them their knowledge and indisputable truth. As we’ve seen, genocides continue to happen in all corners of the world. Rwanda, Serbia, Cambodia, Darfur-just to name a few.

    But aside from the stories, there are many important lessons to learn from the perpetrators and those who were complicit. Can we say that all the German people knew? We can point to the catalyst of anti-Semitism; Germany was a hotbed of hatred against the Jews from WW1, many blaming the subsequent poor economy on the fledgling Democracy and their Jewish neighbors. Jealousy of some Jews joining the middle class further fed the flames. Those same people were longing for the return of the monarchy. This made it possible for a treasonous man (who served jail time for crimes against the state), Adolf Hitler, to prey on a weak president who folded under public pressure (allowing Hitler to win a designation as Chancellor), round up a mob of criminals (the SA) to seize parliament, and suspend all civil liberties, before parliament burned to the ground-most likely torched by the SA.

    But did the populous know? Things happened gradually. Propaganda, fiery speeches, acts of imperialism-these functions served to brainwash the citizens and strengthen the Reich. It is fair to say that some people got in too deep before they saw the truth, and then it was too late. Of course, there were many who were quick to make the most of an opportunity to rid the country of the Jews. And make no mistake; The Nazis knew they could only be effective if they could count on the support of the people. This is how the Gestapo became so instrumental. People willingly gave the Gestapo information about their friends and neighbors, even if the so-called information was completely manufactured.

    And as their strength grew, countries around them succumbed. Some countries willingly handed over their Jewish populations in order to save themselves, while others held out almost to the end of the war. Some refused to acknowledge the threat. Of course other countries knew what was happening. Foreign policy is a complex beast and those who take the time to study it will see a pattern of dark political objectives and self-interest.

    Without expounding on the specific tragedies of the Holocaust, the biggest lesson I see is to remind us just how flawed we are. We are a conquering people who tend to let fear, greed, and power, corrupt our humanity. We see the after effects of the Holocaust everywhere in our daily lives. Racism, sexism, classism, and most importantly denial; our memories are like a sieve, while growing more and more complacent. This is not a declaration of pure pessimism, I assure you. It’s a warning. History revision is a shameful act.

    I usually don’t comment on this site, although I enjoy many of the posts. It may not seem like it, but in the words of Jane Austen, “For I dearly love to laugh…”

    And I’m sure Madonna’s latest endeavor into film will be another unremarkable dent into the art of Film. Anyone who bothered to see Evita mostly dismissed it as another ridiculous adaptation by Andrew Lloyd Webber. He was responsible for Cats, people! How could he sell a story to Hollywood about a corrupt political figure who while spending her country’s treasury on furs and jewels, also fancied herself a saint while throwing loose change out into the suffering crowds; all while her husband was harboring Nazis and committing acts of human rights abuse and general tyranny. The song should’ve been, “For God’s Sake Argentina, Cry! Your country is a f’d up mess!”

  57. wwoman9000 says:

    PS, Madonna scares me. Is anyone sure she’s not a robot, a la Terminator?

  58. kristen says:

    @ Jeri : Let’s rewrite history.

    oh come on now, you know thats obamas job. dont steal his thunder!

  59. CB Rawks says:

    Kai, you should just be ashamed of yourself, and go read a book. Try to learn something. You make me tired.

    My husband’s grandpa was a hero during those times. He and his underground resistance buddies rescued and smuggled countless people to safety.
    But I’m sure it probably wasn’t that scary, right Kai?

  60. Gobo says:

    I hardly think Kai was diminishing the actions of the Nazi’s. Kai was simply indicating that the Duke and Duchess may not have known anything about the Nazi atrocities at the time. And I agree. Just because they visited Germany does not mean they were given a guided tour of death camps. It may well have been common knowledge amongst the German people at the time but it wasn’t common knowledge throughout the rest of Europe. The point is you can’t simply assume that the Duke and Duchess knew all about nazi atrocities and then damn them on that assumption. The greater likelihood is that they were unaware of the deathcamps.

  61. Gobo says:

    @Rawks; You’re being absurd and putting words into other people’s mouths. Kai in no way demeans your husband’s grandpa by saying the Duke and Duchess may not have been aware of what the nazi’s were upto. Maybe you do read but that doesn’t make up for your difficulties with logic.

  62. Aspen says:

    Willing yourself to believe that the German population didn’t know and participate may make you feel better…but it isn’t so.

    Hitler systematically turned the tide of public opinion. It wasn’t a fast boil. It was a slow progression from one small nudge to the next until all of Germany was in a froth to blame Jews for their woes.

    In Stalin’s Russia, some arguments can be made for many of the people not knowing that farms were being stolen and their countrymen were starving in gulags…but it simply is not true that average Germans were innocent and in the dark. They were complicit. It’s just what WAS.

    Indulging a falsehood because it feels better than the truth is immature and dangerous…and it neither serves memory of the victims nor aids future generations in avoiding the same progression into evil.

  63. kai says:

    I am quite aware of history and just because I have a different perspective does not make me ignorant on the subject. CB Rawks, I don’t know what youre problem is, nobody here said that the Nazis weren’t bad, my great uncle fought them just like your husband’s grandfather did, so please get off your outraged high horse and RE-READ what I wrote. I did not want this to turn into a knee-jerk outrage fest and I didn’t think I had to write a long paragraph saying that the Nazis were bad because WE ALREADY F*CKING KNOW THAT.

    Nobody said that we shouldn’t talk about Nazis and all that, I said that calling people Nazis when we don’t know if they really were or not needs to be put to rest, because it happens far too often and it doesn’t help anything. I thought I made that clear, but the outrage brigade apparently likes to…well, get outraged and lecture others about what they mean instead of practicing what they preach and actually READING AND COMPREHENDING the comment they’re all outraged over.

    All I was trying to say is that it is asinine to get up on a high horse over the Duke and Duchess of Windsor because we don’t KNOW what they knew about Nazi Germany. Like Gobo says, they probably didn’t get the death camp tour when they visited, and from 70+ years later it’s really easy to point fingers and make accusations and name-call, but nobody here really knows what they were or weren’t aware of. If you have to get your sense of superiority from calling long-dead people names, go for it, but I think it’s stupid. Get over yourselves.

  64. John Doe says:

    Se knows as much about history as she knows about the consequences of plastic surgery.

  65. Crash2GO2 says:

    @kai: “nobody here really knows what they were or weren’t aware of.”

    It’s statements like these that tell posters you aren’t very well educated about history. It is quite well documented what they knew – read about it Kai.

    And no one here called them Nazi’s, they were Nazi sympathizers.

    Not only do you want to rewrite history, you want to rewrite the discussion here in order to skew it towards unfair criticism of your ignorant opinions.

    @wwoman9000: Nicely done.

  66. Green Is Good says:

    Loud applause for Pont Neuf!

  67. waldemar says:

    In 1936 the German Reich hosted the 11th Olympic Summer Games. 47 countries attended, even the USA (Jessy Owens)and Brittain. IF everybody knew so well what Hitler was up to, then why did everybody go? Are all these athletes now Nazi symphathizers too?

    It is all very easy to judge 60/65 years after the event and to say what everybody should or shouldn’t have done.

  68. weslyn says:

    Jesse Owens (and why wouldn’t he go, especially at a time when AA’s had so few rights) times of war and instability people have always been drawn to games and distraction

  69. Mistral says:

    Aspen, you seem to be writing to me, so I’ll address you. I am perfectly aware that many, perhaps even most, were aware of exactly what was going on as time went on. But if the old German lady I work with tells me she didn’t know what was going on, what should I do? Call her a liar? I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    My family happens to have immigrated from a country neighbouring Germany, so I know exactly what they went through when our neighbours invaded. They were fighting, dying, a few got fried in a camp, and a few ended up in POW camps. No one felt friendly towards the Germans, let me tell you.

    However, whatever regular people may or may not have known on the ground in Germany, it does not take away from the fact the Nazi regime was attempting to make propaganda films that tried to show a sanitized, “happy” image of life in the ghetto. They wanted to make those movies for someone. Whether for their own citizens or for citizens/politicians in foreign lands, who knows.

    The US also did this regarding the Japanese they “evacuated” from California during WWII. They made propaganda films about the wonderful life in the camps for these “loyal Americans of Japanese descent”.

    In terms of politicians knowing, many countries deliberately denied Jewish refugees access. Lots of countries, even Canada, sent a boat-load back to certain death. It was the S. S. St. Louis. Very shameful.

    The whole point is, it is hard to know who really knew what and when. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  70. Kim says:

    Waldemar – exactly! MANY MANY people visited Nazi Germany and gave the salute. Many people did this before they really knew what Hitler was up to. I would have to hear from people directed related to them or involved in their daily lives to know if they were or were not Nazi smpathizers.

  71. Ashley says:

    Maybe Madonna has a point, maybe we should be praising Wallis. I mean if it wasn’t for Wallis who knows what avenues British government would have to take to get rid of Edward.

    The way I see it all the Windsors suck anyway, and the only person who should be heralded at all for their British pride and love of country should be Winston f-ing Churchill. Without that man who knows what would have happened to England.

  72. Kim says:

    To the poeple saying EVERYONE knew what the Nazis were doing is simply untrue. Hilter was not a dumb man people, he knew how to win over the people to his side and make them his allies against the Jews. He did not start killing Jews from the get go. He had a very intricate plan of propoganda etc against the Jews that took years to come to fruition. It was years before the public was on board with him and even then many Germans had no idea what was truly going on in the camps until it was to late. To say everyone knew the scale of what was happening & was ok with it is totally inflammatory & makes it sound like majority of countries sat back & let it happen! This just isnt true.

  73. Cindy Kennedy says:

    Madonna knows nothing about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

  74. YeahRight says:

    One thing to keep in mind, anti-Semitism was rampant in many parts of the world at the time, from Europe to the Middle East via the Americas. Add to that the quack scientific theories of Eugenics, prop it up by the Darwinian theory of natural selection and you have a volatile combination that could have given birth to National Socialism in many European countries.

    Examples of famous anti-Semites during that period:

    H. G. WELLS

    My point is that anti-Semitism and master race ideology was present in many parts of the world, not just Germany.

    As for Madonna, I still maintain she’s just interested in her pocketbook. Her next movie project: “Bernardo and Homolka, a love story”.

  75. Chico says:

    Kim–Oh, c’mon. People noticed that whole populations were carted off against their will. You can’t move that many people without someone noticing! News traveled all the way to America about it. People knew that many people went to camps–never to return. My relatives in the former Yugoslavia knew that, and they fought to the death to defeat the Nazis, because they were afraid the same would happen to them. In fact, some of my family members disappeared and my great uncle was shot by the Nazis. He was crippled for life. I think a lot of people certainly did know something horrible was happening–
    only they didn’t want to know the exact details. In other words, they kept their heads in the sand, and that’s another issue entirely.

  76. Cheyenne says:

    Anybody want a reference about how much the German population knew what was going on? Here’s one:

    Not only did most of them know, but a lot of them were actually complicit.

  77. Mairead says:

    Anti-semitism hasn’t gone away you know.

    And never underestimate the power of propaganda – we are seeing full-scale orchestrated propaganda in my country against public servants and those who seek to hold the Government and establishment accountable for the mess we’re in are being pilloried daily in the national press and on previously-balanced radio and television programmes. And it’s working – the BS that the general public text into these programmes just regurgitates the lines that “Sir” Anthony O’Reilly (ex-Heinz beans) and his ilk want them to believe.

    Despite the phenomenon of the wisdom of the crowds, people will generally believe anything that gives simple answers to who is at fault for their problems, regardless of how much sense it makes.

  78. YeahRight says:

    Good points, Mairead.

  79. LBees says:

    … Madonna looks like Cat-lady in that photo. blerg.

  80. seawalljohn says:

    The Duke and Duchess wanted only one thing and that was attention and an official position. I really do not think they were true Nazi sympathizers, any more than Mr Chamberlain, a lot of Americans and half the upper class in Britain. Most of their actions were to grab the attention of George VI and Elizabeth. Many people took advantage of their fame – they were very shallow and rather stupid and probably did not think too far beyond the silver service at tea. Some claim Edward made a Nazi salute, others claim it was simply a wave. The fact was; they were in Germany and they allowed themselves to be pawns in the early stages of the war. If anything I think they made terrible decisions and went on believing in their own little world while the rest of the world suffered terribly. Frankly I don’t think they could even form a real political view. It was actually a great blessing that Wallis came along and I think Edward was dying to escape the pressures of kingship and heirs. Wallis supposedly claimed they did not have a sexual relationship (she made some reference to having never been touched south of the “mason dixon line!) He probably was closeted and took a desperate step to get out. Sad, shallow and fascinating lives – I’m glad Madonna is making the movie. I hope she spends time on the end of Wallis’s life (1979-86) as there is a lot of mystery.

  81. LucyBaker says:

    kai @2, they were active collaborators, and went far beyond sympathisers. Edward VIII was plotting with the Nazis to be restored to the British throne upon a Nazi victory. They had to be banished to a post in the Caribbean because they posed such a danger to the Allies during the war. Madonna is an idiot – and I among others are writing to Queen Elizabeth to ask her NOT to allow Madonna anywhere near the palaces.

  82. kmiz says:

    To the poeple saying EVERYONE knew what the Nazis were doing is simply untrue. Hilter was not a dumb man people, he knew how to win over the people to his side and make them his allies against the Jews. He did not start killing Jews from the get go. He had a very intricate plan of propoganda etc against the Jews that took years to come to fruition. It was years before the public was on board with him and even then many Germans had no idea what was truly going on in the camps until it was to late. To say everyone knew the scale of what was happening & was ok with it is totally inflammatory & makes it sound like majority of countries sat back & let it happen! This just isnt true.

  83. Steven Torrey says:

    People did know of the concentration camps. The film “Casablanca” –1942– mentions the concentration camps twice. After reading about the Windsors, they both come across as terribly unpleasant people. Thoughtless, insensitive, stupid, self-centered, mindless–it seems nothing good can or should be said of them


    Nazi sympathizers? – there is NO proof whatsoever! David (Duke of Windsor) was a socialist and I suspect, like MANY others, thought the terms of the peace treaty of Versaille for WWI were particularly harsh towards Germany. They were, in fact, the reason for WWII.

  85. EricInWisconsin says:

    @Patricia Reeves:

    The Nazis were socialists, too. They were the National Socialist party in Germany… And the Duke and Dutchess were indeed Nazi sympathizers. Check out any decent history book about them.

    As for Elizabeth II helping Madonna out, never forget that she did (and I suspect still does to this day) blame the Duke for the death of her father. His abdication forced Elizabeth’s father to ascend the throne. The stress of ruling England during the war severely impacted his health.

  86. Hakura says:

    @Pont Neuf – A *very* well written, informed, (& as Madonna seems unwilling to acknowledge) correct response. I know others have praised your reply, but I just had to say so as well. I was way impressed. =)

    There’s nothing wrong with expressing one’s opinion (even on such a sensitive subject), so long as they aren’t talking out of their ass.

  87. Hakura says:

    @Pont Neuf – A *very* well written, informed, (& as Madonna seems unwilling to acknowledge) correct response. I know others have praised your reply, but I just had to say so as well. I was way impressed. =)

    There’s nothing wrong with expressing one’s opinion (even on such a sensitive subject), so long as they aren’t talking out of their ass.