14 November 2010
De Valera and that message of condolence upon the death of Hitler again
It’s been a while since I’ve dealt with any aspect of Irish history. It was fortunate that I happened upon this article in the Irish Independent yesterday – quite fortunate as I haven’t looked at the paper for some weeks.
Eamon De Valera was the second worst leader to grace the Republic of Ireland (or its predecessors) beaten only by the grossly corrupt criminal Charles Haughey to the top slot. That said the gruesome twosome of Ahern and BIFFO (the current Taoiseach Brian Cowan – the Big Ignorant Fucker From Offaly) are close behind due to their gross economic mismanagement which has turned the Celtic Tiger into that infamous dead cat that bounces during an economic slide.
Among his many acts of utter stupidity was his visit to Eduard Hempel, the German Ambassador to Ireland in 1945 to sign a book of condolence for Adolf Hitler. This act caused international anger and contributed to Ireland’s status as a semi outcast nation for at least a decade.
New research has shown Mr de Valera fully expected the furore he created when he called on the German ambassador Eduard Hempel, to "express condolences" after Hitler's death was announced on May 2.
He never publicly explained the rationale behind his visit but previously secret papers in a new Royal Irish Academy book -- 'Documents on Irish Foreign Policy 1941-1945' -- show his thoughts following the incident.
"I had expected this," Mr de Valera wrote. "I acted correctly and I feel certain wisely."
Mr de Valera said he could have feigned a "diplomatic illness" but he would "scorn that sort of thing".
"So long as we retained our diplomatic relations with Germany, to have failed to call upon the German representative would have been an act of unpardonable discourtesy to the German nation and to Dr Hempel," he said in a letter.
He said he was "certainly" not going to add to Dr Hempel's humiliation "in the hour of defeat".
"I had another reason," his letter says. "It would establish a bad precedent. It is of considerable importance that the formal acts of courtesy should not have attached to them any further special significance, such as connoting approval or disapproval of the state in question or of its head."
I have always considered De Valera’s act to be the act of a small, ridiculous man with a pathological adherence to protocol and the political nous of a flatworm.
This letter shows that m extremely low opinion of the man is fully justified. Regardless of his feelings towards Hempel – there is nothing to indicate that he was much more than a reluctant Nazi (for what that is worth) – It was an act if extreme stupidity. He knew full well that the act would be badly received and would poison relations, particularly with the USA with whom relations were already pretty poor.
Germany was dead and buried by the time Hitler killed himself. The allies were on the verge of victory in Europe and yet he felt that the niceties of diplomatic protocol were far more important than acknowledging the blatant political reality.
How can I best describe De Valera? The man was an utter fuckwit who would have been better off as a school teacher or a junior clerk. Ireland may well have been a better place if he h