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Prince Philip pictured at Nazi funeral
by ANDREW LEVY, Daily Mail Last updated at 09:17 06 March 2006 Comments (16) Add to My Stories
Prince Philip has broken a 60-year public silence about his family's links with the Nazis. In a frank interview, he said they found Hitler's attempts to restore Germany's power and prestige 'attractive' and admitted they had 'inhibitions about the Jews'. The revelations come in a book about German royalty kowtowing to the Nazis, which features photographs never published in the UK.
Prince Philip (circled) at the Nazi funeral in 1937
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They include one of Philip aged 16 at the 1937 funeral of his elder sister Cecile, flanked by relatives in SS and Brownshirt uniforms. One row back in the cortege in Darmstadt, western Germany, was his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, wearing a Royal Navy bicorn hat. Another picture shows his youngest sister, Sophia, sitting opposite Hitler at the wedding of Hermann and Emmy Goering. Explaining the attraction of the Nazis, 84-year-old Prince Philip told an American academic: "There was a great improvement in things like trains running on time and building. There was a sense of hope after the depressing chaos of the Weimar Republic. "I can understand people latching on to something or somebody who appeared to be appealing to their patriotism and trying to get things going. You can understand how attractive it was."
The revelations are in the book Royals and the Reich He added that there was 'a lot of enthusiasm for the Nazis at the time, the economy was good, we were anti-Communist and who knew what was going to happen to the regime?' Philip stressed that he was never 'conscious of anybody in the family actually expressing anti-Semitic views'. But he went on to say there were 'inhibitions about the Jews' and 'jealousy of their success'. Philip was born Prince of Greece and Denmark on Corfu in 1921, the youngest of five children and the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. All four of his sisters married German princes and three - Sophie, Cecile and Margarita - became members of the Nazi party. Sophia's husband, Prince Christoph of Hesse, became chief of Goering's secret intelligence service and they were frequent guests at Nazi functions. Philip went on to fight with distinction for the Allies in the Second World War before marrying the young Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen. He served with the Royal Navy where, by 1945, he had risen to the rank of first lieutenant on a destroyer and was mentioned in despatches.
All of his sisters and brothers-inlaw are now dead but he keeps in contact with his German relatives. His comments on the family's Nazi connections appear in Royals and the Reich, by Jonathan Petropoulos, to be published in Britain in May. Print this article Read later Email to a friend
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Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not debate this issue live on our message boards. The comments below have been moderated in advance. Newest Oldest Best rated Worst rated
He's always been a straight forward person, and is known for his frank attitude. Our politicians should all take a page from this example.
- Richard, Miami, Fl, 08/3/2006 16:13 Report abuse Click to rate Rating 1
Prince Philip is old, weary and reflective. Squarely facing his remaining years, he is not inclined to flinch from a frank and unvarnished assessment of Germany in the 30s and 40s. He has fought for his adopted country and resolutely stands by the Queen. His rather astringent temperament aside, I admire the old soldier and his honest public examination this aspect of his life.
- Exo, USA, 07/3/2006 05:50 Report abuse Click to rate Rating 1
I appreciate his honesty. His mother, Princess Alice of Greece, is listed among those who acted to save Jews during the Holocaust and was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
- N. Warren, Jacksonville, Fl USA, 06/3/2006 22:07 Report abuse Click to rate Rating 4
If all politicians were as honest as HRH a lot of things will be much better. Bravo for HRH honesty
- Wilfredo A Maldonado, San Diego, CA, 06/3/2006 21:29 Report abuse Click to rate Rating 2
Whatever his views at the time, I'm sure Prince Philip completely shuns them today after witnessing the Nazi's calculated atrocities. However, to even admit having had these feelings takes a lot of internal strength, and I admire him greatly for it.
- Alex, London, 06/3/2006 21:28 Report abuse Click to rate Rating 2
He is an honest and outspoken man and it is a pity that our current crop of MPs do not take a leaf out of his book - Miss Jowell take note! Thank God for our Royals - a glorious touch of sanity in a mad, mad, world.
- Desmond, Barnstaple, 06/3/2006 19:51 Report abuse Click to rate Rating 3
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