|A lunatic Chaplin imitator
and his greatest fans
|First as tragedy
|Then as farce
The Link (or Anglo-German Link) was a British organisation active between 1937 and 1939 which ostensibly existed to promote friendship between the UK and Germany. Although it sounds innocent enough, this was the era of Hitler and the organisation was particularly popular with British Nazi sympathisers. It was founded by Admiral Sir Barry Domvile, a former naval officer of antisemitic and fascist sympathies. It published a journal called The Anglo-German Review.
Its origins were in an earlier organisation, the Anglo-German Fellowship (AGF), which was established in 1935 and also had a distinctly antisemitic and far-right tendency but was more mainstream and pro-business. AGF members included several Conservative members of parliament and prominent corporate members including Price Waterhouse, Unilever, Dunlop Rubber, Thomas Cook (the travel agency), Midland Bank, and Lazard Brothers. Communist spies Guy Burgess and Kim Philby were both members of the Anglo-German Fellowship, in a cunning scheme to cover up their true beliefs. The AGF had a German sister-organisation the Deutsch-Englische Gesellschaft whose members included Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and several German aristocrats.
The Link's chief figure was Admiral Sir Barry Domvile, who was an antisemite with strong Nazi sympathies and a frequent visitor to Nazi Germany including as a guest of Hitler at the Nuremberg Rally. He wrote for the British Union of Fascists' newspaper and blamed a Jewish-Masonic plot which he nicknamed "Judmas" for promoting war. He was interred by the British government during World War Two as a suspected Nazi sympathiser; his wife Alexandrina was also held at Holloway Prison; both were friends with the similarly-jailed Oswald Mosley at the outbreak of war. Domvile is regarded as a hero by British neo-nazis such as Spearhead.
The organisation did attract some support from pacifists and genuine believers in peace, but it advanced certain positions such as enlargement of the German empire that were not things a true pacifist would be likely to support. It had 4300 members in June 1939, when it merged with the Anglo-German Brotherhood, an organisation that promoted links between Nazi-affiliated German Christian churches and British Christians.
The organisation was shut down soon after the outbreak of war. German members in the UK were arrested almost immediately. Several British members were interred under 1940 legislation allowing the detention of suspected enemies of the state. By then Anglo-German friendship was not a popular idea.
- See the Wikipedia article on The Link (UK organization).
- Barry Domvile, Spartacus
- Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1945, Richard Thurlow
- Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain's Fascist Movement, 1923-45, Julie V. Gottlieb
- Barry Domvile, Spearhead
- Admiral Sir Barry Domvile, Jewish Conspiracy, OverlordsOfChaos.com
- Churchill's Secret Enemy, Jonathan Pile
- Patriotism Perverted: Captain Ramsay, the Right Club, and British Anti-Semitism, 1939-1940, Richard Griffiths