Unity Valkyrie Mitford
This somewhat misunderstood and mysterious Woman
has always held my attention at one point or another since I was a very young lad. I first remember seeing her on a show about British Fascism along with her sister Diana. And I shall tell you folks why she will ALWAYS be a part of me and my heart.
Unity Mitford was born in London, England to David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, conceived in the town of Swastika, Ontario where her family had gold mines. She came from a large family with five sisters and one brother and found life in her big family very difficult because she came after these cleverer, prettier, more accomplished sisters which made it somewhat hard to assert her individuality, and I think through the experience of trying to force her way forward among the sisters and in the family. Educated at St Margaret’s School, she began to feel suffocated and tried many times to assert her independence not only from her family, but from the societal norms then in place in Britain.
Around the the early 1930s she had found Adolf Hitler and Mussolini, due in part to her sister Diana’s affair to Sir Oswald Mosley with whom she would later be married to.
This lead to conflict early in her life: Her younger sister, Jessica, with whom she shared a bedroom, was a dedicated communist. They had many times argued over political views and as such, the two drew a chalk line down the middle. One side was decorated with hammer and sickles and pictures of Vladimir Lenin, and the other decorated with swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler. Mosley’s son, Nicholas, stated that: “Unity became a very extrovert member of the party, which was her way of breaking out of her shell. She joined my father’s party and she used to turn up, she used to go around in a black shirt uniform, and she used to turn up at communist meetings and she used to do the fascist salute and heckle the speaker. That was the sort of person she was”
Her Arrival in Germany
Mitford returned to Germany in the summer of 1934, enrolling in a language school in Munich close to the Nazi Party headquarters. There she had became obsessed with meeting Hitler, to the point of stalking the Osteria Bavaria, a place often frequented by Adolf Hitler and some of his close supporters. When finally her day of destiny arrived, after ten months of stalking Hitler, he asked her audience. Struck by her middle name and her beauty, as well as her knowledge of ‘Germanic culture’.
Hitler was extremely superstitious, and he believed that Unity was sort of sent to him, it was destined. Mitford subsequently received invitations to party rallies and state occasions, and was described by Hitler as “a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood.
This meeting would change her life and set her on the path to inevitable destruction.
She would become part of his inner-circle for 5 years and would appear at various events such as the 36 Olympic, the Anschluß and the Bayreuther Festspiele, where Adolf Hitler had warned her and her sister Diana of Germany and her home country’s inevitable conflict was inevitable within weeks. Diana returned to England where she was arrested and imprisoned, while Unity chose to stay.
Her family pleaded with her in letters, to which she replied: If there was a war, which of course we all terribly hoped there might not be, I will kill myself because I in my heart cannot bear to live and see these two countries tearing each other to pieces, both of which I love and hold dear.”
The English Garden
This is one of my all time favorite Unity Valkyrie Mitford stories. One of her favorite haunts was the English Garden in Munich, which was located across from her apartment. One day some of the folks who also lived in her apartment came home to find their radios where missing, around 10 to 15 radios. Upon the realization of this, they then heard a dirge coming from the English Garden where to their discovery had found Unity laying in the sun with all the radios tuned to different frequencies making a cacophony of noise. This more or less puts her FAR beyond NON and Throbbing Gristle and countless other Industrial music and Noise bands. Unity Mitford is the first known noise musician, so take that and shove it up your wazoo boys!
When it was realized by Unity Mitford that war between her countries was a reality, Unity went to the English Garden in Munich, took a pearl-handled pistol, given to her by Hitler for protection, and shot herself in the head. Surviving the suicide attempt she was hospitalized in Munich, where she was visited by Hitler, despite the on-going war. He paid her bills and arranged for her return home.
The Return Home
While not jailed due to her injuries, she was not the same person. The injury which could not be treated had devastated all who knew her and in 1948 she had succumbed to her injuries and passed away. She was mourned “Her sisters, even those who deplored her politics and hated her association with Hitler, mourned her deeply.” She was buried at Swinbrook Churchyard. Her gravestone reads, “Say not the struggle naught availeth.”