The Guardian calls De Valera pro-German

A.Tomás

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Of course wasn't Dev known for laying it into the aggressive powers at the League of Nations.
 


TommyO'Brien

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It's worth noting that upon the death of President Roosevelt a few weeks earlier, resolutions of condolence had been passed by the Dáil and Seanad and the Dáil was adjourned as a mark of respect

Since Ireland had diplomatic relations with Germany, diplomatic protocol required there be some expression of sympathy upon the death of their Head of State.
In addition, Ambassador Hempel was personally highly respected in Dublin and there was no desire to deliver a diplomatic insult to him.

De Valera's overly pedantic adherence to diplomatic protocol and respect for Hempel prevented him from doing something smarter, like just sending a card, but attempting to twist that into him being pro-Nazi (or, euphemistically, 'pro-German') shows either ignorance or malice.
I'm certainly not a fan of de Valera; his personal fortune was acquired corruptly and his economic policies were disastrous, but he wasn't pro-Nazi.

As a side note, at the time of George V's death in 1936 he had the title 'King of Ireland', so in theory Ireland's loss was a great as England's and no message was required. The U.S. government sent messages of condolence for his death to the Irish government which were responded to by the Governor-General.
But, when George VI died in 1952 the Irish government did send a message of condolence to the British government, which Churchill responded warmly to.

(BTW Cruimh - Hitler never had much support from the German aristocracy and at best they saw the Nazis much the same way the current U.S. Republican leadership see the Tea-Partiers. The aristocracy weren't democrats, they just wanted the old-fashioned kind of right-wing dictatorship.)
+10.

Absolutely correct. If I remember the files correctly, President Ó Ceallaigh also sent a personal message to the Queen Mother when her husband George VI died. The QM sent a very nice letter back thanking Sean T. He had apparently been in contact earlier also about the King's condition.

De Valera's visit to the German legation was politically unwise but diplomatically correct. In retrospect he shouldn't have done it, but he felt that the ambassador had been more than fair in difficult times felt it important to fulfil the diplomatic niceties to say thanks to the ambassador.

The claim that de Valera was pro-German is the height of stupidity and suggests the author had a simplistic cartoonish knowledge of history.
 

merle haggard

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Hitler beat Stalin to the punch, by about two weeks.

Stalin was warned, all right, but he didn't believe the warnings, because he believed he could deduce Hitler's true intentions from the preparations that the German Army made to fight a winter war.
the slight flaw in that plan though was that hitler was barking mad and an extremely poor military leader who fancied himself as a strategic genius ( much like saddam hussein) . Hitler should have attacked earlier but flew into an inconsolable rage when the serbs rose upand overthrew the serb monarch whod signed a pro nazi pact. He ordered his troops be diverted into a lengthy punishment exercise in the balkans to teach them a lesson , losing vital summer months from his Barbarossa plan .
German communists had risked everything to assist stalin and managed to aquire the most precise intelligence as regards Hitlers invasion plan , right down to the precise day even. Stalin refused to believe it - thinking the german reds were either double agents or intent on using him to unseat hitler . When events proved stalin wrong he had these heroes of germany executed to cover his own back .
 

ne0ica

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DeValera pro German? Many historians have pointed out the number of ways Ireland helped the allies during the war. If DeValera had taken an Anglo Saxon view of the War 'My enemies enemy is my friend' then he would have sided with Germany. He didn't. Anyway the Guardian has become a disgracful anti Catholic rag these days.
 

merle haggard

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DeValera pro German? Many historians have pointed out the number of ways Ireland helped the allies during the war. If DeValera had taken an Anglo Saxon view of the War 'My enemies enemy is my friend' then he would have sided with Germany. He didn't. Anyway the Guardian has become a disgracful anti Catholic rag these days.
Its a British paper and not required to be in any manner sympathetic towards Ireland . Just because our media is robustly and sometimes hysterically pro british theres no requirement for the British media to reciprocate to any degree . World doesnt work like that .
We need only reminisce about the hullaballoo in the Irish media in response to the reinterment of Kevin Barry and his comrades to see real anti Irish vitriol at its best - parade of the grotesque was how the Irish times ( Fintan OToole ?) hysterically reacted to it if I remember correctly with many other Irish columnists following suit condemning it as a glorification of terrorism . The Guardian is the least of our worries , our own backyard needs a major clean out .
 

cry freedom

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What would you say to the feeling some English people still have that Dev became slightly less neutral after Hitler's invasion of Russia and America's decision to enter the war.
From then on the tide turned and we turned with it.
Up until then we were a bit like Doran's ass. We went a bit here and we went a bit there.
 

sondagefaux

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I don't think de Valera was pro-Nazi - but his obsession with not appearing to be in any way pro-British led him to make the spectacular political misjudgment of offering condolences to the German Ambassador on Hitler's death. And it was extremely costly to Ireland, causing outrage particularly in US government circles, and resulting indirectly in the refusal of our request for aid under the Marshall Plan. It was also held against us by the French and Belgians in our initial application to join the EEC.
Ireland was given aid under the Marshall Plan:

Bernadette Whelan. Ireland and the Marshall Plan, 1947–57. Portland, Oreg.: Four Courts Press. 2000. Pp. 426. $55.00.
Since the mid-1980s, numerous studies have appeared on Ireland's postwar economic recovery and on American aid programs, but none, aside from Raymond Raymond's article in Anglo-Irish Studies ("The Marshall Plan and Ireland, 1947–52" [1985]), has dealt with Ireland and the Marshall Plan. Bernadette Whelan fills that void by showing the extent to which Irish life and politics were influenced by American Cold War designs. While Marshall aid appeared to have limited immediate impact, it served ultimately to energize and internationalize Ireland's conservative economy. 1

From the outset, motivations behind offering and accepting aid were complex. Whelan underscores Alan Milward's thesis that Marshall money was superfluous since Western European economies were already recovering by 1945. Furthermore, Ireland's agriculture, its mainstay, was in fairly good condition, and its devout Catholic populace seemed impervious to communist influence. Still, there were serious balance of payments difficulties and an increasing reliance on dollar areas for imports. Joining the European Recovery Program (ERP) would alleviate these stresses, but there were concerns about damaging political and social compromises. Nonetheless, Whelan concludes that Ireland's acceptance did not mark a break with existing trends on foreign policy expansion, continued domination of agriculture, industrial underdevelopment, and reliance on British markets.
| Book Review | The American Historical Review, . | The History Cooperative

In fact, it was Ireland's relatively strong economic position compared to the war-shattered economies of many European countries that affected the level of Marshall Aid offered, along with Irish reluctance to accept some of the terms and conditions attached to Marshall Aid:

http://www.arts.manchester.ac.uk/su...rpapers/files/fileuploadmax10mb,125125,en.pdf
 

Toland

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Anyone who has read the Guardian or visited its website website will know that it is indulging in an astonishing amount of anti Catholic rhetoric in connection with the state visit of Pope Benedict. I have been genuinely shocked at the degree of intolerance and group-think amongst much of the British liberal intelligentsia, egged on by the Guardian in particular.

Anyway, the Pope's visit has so far gone off much more successfully than predicted by the Guardian, and this perhaps explains a particularly spiteful and snarly editorial in today's paper. Amongst the invective, it drops this outrageous clanger:



You might expect to see this sort of gross distortion of Ireland's role in WW2 amongst the more right-wing elements of the Telegraph or the Mail, but the Guardian generally has a decent understanding of recent Irish history for a British publication. Can this mistake by dismissed as the result of some over-excited rhetoric, or does it represent what the British genuinely believe about De Valera in WW2?

Pope's visit: A turbulent priest | Comment is free | The Guardian
De Valera was indeed in many ways pro-German. Even if he wasn't, I very much approve of the general line that you are complaining about in the editorial policy of the Guardian strongly critical of the Roman Catholic Church.

It's a great pity (and imo a scandal) there are no Irish national newspapers with the guts (or possibly the inclination) to pursue a similar policy.
 

borntorum

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De Valera was indeed in many ways pro-German. Even if he wasn't, I very much approve of the general line that you are complaining about in the editorial policy of the Guardian strongly critical of the Roman Catholic Church.

It's a great pity (and imo a scandal) there are no Irish national newspapers with the guts (or possibly the inclination) to pursue a similar policy.
How was de Valera pro-German?

The consistently aggressive stance of the Guardian long ago went beyond reasoned critique and consists largely in confirming, not challenging, the prejudices of its readership. I'm not surprised you approve.
 

john scott

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During the WW 2 most Irish people were pro German. Only one TD, James Dillon, was against the policy of neutrality. Some were certainly pro Nazi such as Dan Breen, FF TD, who said he cried all day when he heard Hitler was dead. I'm not accusing Dev of being pro Nazi at all. However, his offer of condolences on the death of Hitler is one of the great embarassents.
 

Toland

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How was de Valera pro-German?

The consistently aggressive stance of the Guardian long ago went beyond reasoned critique and consists largely in confirming, not challenging, the prejudices of its readership. I'm not surprised you approve.
On the question of the pro-German stance of De Valera, as other posters have pointed out, this does not imply he was pro-Nazi. He did, however, see the British as an evil foreign power and a bad influence on Ireland. He saw Germany rather differently.

I willingly concede that the Guardian's comment was probably intended to convey the suggestion that he wanted the Germans to win WWII. There is not much evidence for that, and to that extent the Guardian's comment was indeed illegitimate.

Apart from the De Valera business, what concrete problems do you have with their coverage of the Pope's visit? A couple of examples would suffice.

All I have seen so far is fair criticism, much of which I agree with. Whether this criticism is aggressive or not is a moot point.

I'm getting a little worried about how this throwaway adjective "aggressive" is getting applied willynilly to strong legitimate criticism.

The term "aggressive secularism" seems to be a very successful conservative catholic sound-byte. As applied to the Guardian I can only provisionally conclude that it has no legitimate factual basis.

You disagree. I'd be grateful if you could spell out why. The Dev remark would seem only marginally relevant.
 

cry freedom

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Did Dev not have himself driven around to the German Legation and sign the book of condolence on the death of Hitler.
Were these two acts, the visit and the signing, standard practice in the diplomatic protocols of the day.
If not then there is a question to be answered.
For what it is worth, [and that is probably not very much],
I think it was not due to the fact that he hated the British so much as that
he hated Churchill and this was his way of giving him the two fingers.
If it was because of his "stickler for protocol" ethics then surely he did the same for all other similar deaths.
Too simples?
 

What the Fug

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I think Dev was pro Irish, and keeping us out of the war was what the majority wanted and that is what he did
 


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