Henry Hamilton Beamish

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Henry Hamilton Beamish (2 June 1873 – 27 March 1948) was a leading British antisemite and the founder of The Britons.

The son of Rear-Admiral Henry Hamilton Beamish, who had served as an A.D.C. to Queen Victoria, Beamish was born in London.[1] He served in the Second Boer War and settled in South Africa afterwards. However he left the country having decided that the Jews held too much influence there.[2]

Returning to London in 1918, Beamish set up The Britons as a specifically antisemitic propaganda organisation and also became involved with the Silver Badge Party. He ran as an independent in a 1918 by-election in Clapham on an anti-immigrant platform, supported by right-wing MP Noel Pemberton Billing, but did not win, receiving 43% of the votes cast.[3] Along with Lieutenant-Commander E.M. Frazer, Beamish produced a poster in 1919 denouncing Commissioner of Works Sir Alfred Mond (Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett) as a traitor. This poster resulted in a libel suit filed by Mond, who was successful and was awarded £5000, although Beamish left Britain without paying.[4]

Following his departure from Britain, Beamish travelled the world preaching anti-Semitism.[5] He was one of the earliest developers of the Madagascar Plan for Jewish deportation.[6] He spoke in Germany where he claimed, rather dubiously, to have taught Adolf Hitler.[7] In the early 1920s Beamish announced that "Bolshevism was Judaism."[8] He served as Vice-President of the Imperial Fascist League for a time[9] and was a member of the Nordic League.[10] In 1932 he addressed a meeting of the New Party alongside Arnold Leese on the subject of "The Blindness of British Politics under the Jew Money-Power", although he otherwise had little involvement with the initiatives of Oswald Mosley.[11]

Described by a judge in South Africa in 1934 as an "anti-Jewish fanatic".,[12] Beamish travelled to the United States in 1935 where he was actively working as a representative of the German government as a Nazi agent.[13] In September 1936 he visited Japan, and then spoke at a meeting of the Canadian Nationalist Party in Winnipeg in 1936.[14] before embarking on a major lecture tour of Nazi Germany as a guest of Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. He met fellow fanatical anti-Semite Julius Streicher in Nuremberg in January 1937.[6] In the same year he spoke at several meetings in North America with Canadian fascist leader Adrien Arcand including some organized by the German American Bund.[15]

Eventually he settled in 1938 in Southern Rhodesia, where he served as an independent MP and was interned in 1940 for his pro-Nazi sentiments.[16] He remained President of The Britons until his death in Southern Rhodesia in 1948.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Toczek 2016, p. 2.
  2. ^ Richard Griffiths, Fellow Travellers on the Right, Oxford University Press, 1983, p. 61
  3. ^ The Times, 22 June 1918
  4. ^ Philip Hoare, Oscar Wilde's Last Stand, Arcade Publishing (1998), p. 212
  5. ^ Toczek 2016, p. 46.
  6. ^ a b Toczek 2016, p. 44.
  7. ^ Griffiths, Fellow Travellers on the Right, p. 98
  8. ^ James Webb (1976): Occult Establishment: The Dawn of the New Age and The Occult Establishment, (Open Court Publishing), p. 130, ISBN 0-87548-434-4
  9. ^ R. Thurlow, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 70
  10. ^ Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985, Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 80
  11. ^ Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley, Macmillan, 1981, p. 291
  12. ^ Toczek 2016, p. 38.
  13. ^ Toczek 2016, p. 39.
  14. ^ Toczek 2016, p. 43.
  15. ^ Toczek 2016, p. 52.
  16. ^ Herbert Arthur Strauss, Hostages of Modernization: Studies on Modern Antisemitism, 1870-1933/39, Walter de Gruyter (1993), p. 303, ISBN 3-11-010776-7

Bibliography[edit]

  • Robert Benewick, Political Violence and Public Order, London, 1969
  • Lebzelter, G. Political Antisemitism in England, 1918-39 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1978)
  • Toczek, Nick (2016). Haters, Baiters and Would-be Dictators: Anti-Semitism and the UK Far Right.