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Thread: Early SNP - Nazi Sympathisers?

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    Early SNP - Nazi Sympathisers?

    Donaldson came into contact with Robert McIntyre, one of the leading members of the SNP and his involvement with the party deepened.
    In May 1941, during World War II, Donaldson's home was raided by police who allegedly suspected him and a number of other SNP figures, of "subversive activities", due to their support for the Scottish Neutrality League. An informant of MI5 told desk officer Richard Brooman-White that Donaldson intended to set up a puppet government akin to that of Vidkun Quisling in the event of a Nazi invasion. As a result of this information, Donaldson was arrested and interned under Defence Regulation 18B, at first to Kilmarnock Prison and then in Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow. He was held for six weeks.

    At the time, Donaldson's arrest was explained by his protests against the conscription of Scottish women for work in factories in England, and he has thus been described as a political prisoner by at least one former colleague.[4] According to an MI5 file on Donaldson released in November 2005, however, he was arrested because the MI5 believed him to be a "Nazi sympathiser", and that he hoped to become part of a "puppet government" set up by the Nazis after they occupied Britain.[5]
    The National Archives at Kew hold a report by an agent to the Edinburgh City Police Criminal Investigation Department dated 8 Jan 1941 which states the following, transcribed by a blogger from the actual record in the archive -
    "During a long conversation, Donaldson gave great praise to Germany saying that England would be completely crushed by the early spring; the Government would leave the country and that England's position would be absolutely hopeless, as poverty and famine would be their only reward for declaring war on Germany. Scotland on the other hand had great possibilities. We must, he declared, be able to show the German Government that we are organised and that we have a clear cut policy for the betterment of Scotland; that we have tried our best to persuade the English Government that we want Scottish Independence and that we are not in with them in this war. If we can do that you can be sure that Germany will give us every possible assistance in our early struggle. The time is not yet ripe for us to start a virile campaign against England, but when fire and confusion is at its height in England, we can start in earnest. He then went on to tell them that he had an idea in his mind for fixing up a wireless transmitting set in a thickly populated district in Glasgow or Edinburgh, in order to give broadcasts to the public. At the moment he is working very hard in an endeavour to combine all the Nationalists together as a unit, whereby they can strike out with great force when the time comes. He is naming this combined body “The National Aid Society”. If any questions are asked, he said, you can say it is to help the dependents of young men who have been called to the Services. Actually it is to help members who have refused to fight and are at present in hiding. He mentioned that he had a number of places that could be used as hide-outs."

    IN APRIL 1945, there was a parliamentary by-election in Motherwell, a steel town east of Glasgow and a seemingly safe Labour seat. Since the day almost five years earlier when Winston Churchill formed the great all-party government that waged and won the war, there had been a “party truce.” Special elections had been uncontested among the coalition partners (Tory, Labour, and Liberals), though that didn’t stop independents or downright cranks from running—and sometimes winning. That April, when most thoughts were turned toward the Rhine and the last battles, Motherwell was won by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP).

    At the time, the SNP had only existed for eleven years. Few people had even heard of it, and those who had didn’t much like what they heard. Andrew Dewar Gibb, the leader of the SNP, was an extreme right-winger who thought that Adolf Hitler had a point about the Jews, and although not all his party were fascists, many were appeasers: When the war began, the SNP said it would support any Scotsman who resisted military conscription.
    Not sure about Gibb, but I suspect Donaldson was motivated less by genuine support for the nazis ideology and more by plain old anglophobia. A pity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermóđr View Post
    Not sure about Gibb, but I suspect Donaldson was motivated less by genuine support for the nazis ideology and more by plain old anglophobia. A pity.
    Sounds a bit like Knut Hamsun in Norway, and some of the other Hitler-sympathisers.

    This part was satisfying though:
    At the time, the SNP had only existed for eleven years. Few people had even heard of it, and those who had didn’t much like what they heard.
    Damn anglophobes..

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