‘Guilty Women:’ Conspiracy and Collusion

  • Julie V. Gottlieb


In the second week of March 1939, and only days before Hitler sounded the death knell of the Munich Agreement by marching into Prague, members of London society and an array of women representing women’s social work and civil service organizations played host to yet another in a string of visiting Nazis. This time the visitor was a woman, and, according to Hitler, the ‘perfect Nazi woman,’ Frau Gertrud Scholtz-Klink (1902–1999), the Frauenfuhrerin, leader of 30,000,000 German women. Met at Croydon airport by the German Ambassador’s wife, Frau von Dirksen, and hurrying herself into a waiting car as she did not wish to speak to anyone, least of all to the pack of journalists angling for a scoop, Scholtz-Klink was in London ostensibly to study ‘social conditions.’ Her visit was at the return invitation of Prunella Stack (who had recently become Lady Douglas-Hamilton) of the League of Health and Beauty, and a dinner was held in her honour at Claridge’s hosted by the Anglo-German Fellowship.1


Prime Minister Foreign Policy Foreign Affair German Woman British Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 3.
    Richard Baxter, Guilty Women (London, 1941), p. 43.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Anne De Courcey, 1939: The Last Season (London, 1989), p. 16.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    S.L. Solon and Albert Brandt, “Sex under the Swastika,” American Mercury, XLVII(188), August, 1939, pp. 425–432.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    entry for 2.8.1943] in Vera Hodgson, Few Eggs and No Oranges: A Diary Showing How Unimportant People in London and Birmingham Lived Through the War Years (London, 1976).Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    See Julie Gottlieb, Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain’s Fascist Movement, 1923–1945 (London, 2000)Google Scholar
  6. Richard Thurlow, “The Evolution of the Mythical British Fifth Column, 1939–1946,” Twentieth Century British History 10(4), 1999, pp. 477–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 17.
    Sunday, 25 September, 1938, John Julius Norwich (ed.), The Duff Cooper Diaries (London, 2005), p. 266.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    See Jim Wilson, Nazi Princess: Hitler, Lord Rothermere and Princess Stephanie Von Hohenlohe (Stroud, 2011).Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    See Helen McCarthy, Women of the World: The Rise of the Female Diplomat (London, 2014), p. 32.Google Scholar
  10. 25.
    NC to Hilda Chamberlain, 30 May, 1937, in Robert Self (ed.), The Neville Chamberlain Diary Letters: Volume 4: The Downing Street Years, 1934–1940 (Aldershot, 2005), p. 253.Google Scholar
  11. 26.
    See entry for 29 June, 1938, Gordon Martel (ed.), The Times and Appeasement: The Journals of A.L. Kennedy 1932–1939 (Cambridge, 2000), p. 276.Google Scholar
  12. 38.
    Diana Cooper, The Light of Common Day (Harmsworth, 1959), p. 84.Google Scholar
  13. 40.
    Philip Williamson and Edward Baldwin (eds.), Baldwin Papers: A Conservative Statesmen 1908–1947 (Cambridge, 2004), p. 460.Google Scholar
  14. 41.
    Sidney Aster, “Appeasement: Before and After Revisionism,” Diplomacy & Statecraft, 19(3), 2008, pp. 443–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 42.
    Diary entry for 2 May, 1939, in Robert Rhodes James (ed.), ‘Chips:’ The Diaries of Sir Henry Channon (London, 1999), p. 196.Google Scholar
  16. 43.
    Nick Smart, Neville Chamberlain (London, 2010), p. 228.Google Scholar
  17. 45.
    Quoted in Peter T. Marsh, The Chamberlain Litany: Letters Within a Government Family from Empire to Appeasement (London, 2010), p. 294.Google Scholar
  18. 46.
    Anthony Eden, The Eden Memoirs: Facing the Dictators (London, 1962), p. 573.Google Scholar
  19. 48.
    See also David Low, “Low’s Topical Budget,” Evening Standard, 5 March, 1938.Google Scholar
  20. 61.
    See the most recent, Adrian Fort, Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor (London, 2012).Google Scholar
  21. 63.
    Margaret George, The Hollow Men: An Examination of British Foreign Policy Between the Years 1933 and 1939 (London, 1967), p. 153.Google Scholar
  22. See also Norman Rose, The Cliveden Set: Portrait of an Exclusive Fraternity (London, 2001) in which Nancy Astor is given her due as a key actor in this mostly mythical band of conspirators.Google Scholar
  23. 65.
    Alex May, “Cliveden Set (act. 1937–1939)” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004–2013)Google Scholar
  24. 68.
    Patricia Cockburn, The Years of the Week (Harmondsworth, 1968), p. 236.Google Scholar
  25. 69.
    Quoted in J.P. Wearing (ed.), Bernard Shaw and Nancy Astor (Toronto, 2005), p. xx.Google Scholar
  26. Quoted in Brian Harrison, “Women in a Men’s House: The Women MPs, 1919–1945,” Historical Journal, 29(3), September, 1986, pp. 632–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 82.
    Brian Harrison, “Women in a Men’s House: The Women MPs, 1919–1945,” Historical Journal, 29(3), September, 1986, pp. 632–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 90.
    Quoted in Maurice Hollis, Nancy Astor (London, 1960), pp. 184–185.Google Scholar
  29. 91.
    David Low, “Low’s Topical Budget,” Evening Standard, 2 April, 1938.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Julie V. Gottlieb 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie V. Gottlieb
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations