Anti-Semitic Slur Refuted
Was King George VI falsely accused of antisemitism?
A series of Media articles has lately been claiming that the British monarch, George-vi, was anti-Jewish and even attempted to interfere in government policies concerning Jews. These claims appear to be false. They lack credibility, and contradict accepted Regal and Governmental protocol. So far, no acceptable archival sources have been produced to verify them. If the allegations were authentic the alleged messages would border on criminal transgression. It would mean that a British monarch had exceeded his present-day limits of jurisdiction and accepted procedure. Such an event is extremely unlikely.
We shall return to this matter but first some background:
George-vi (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 1895 - 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He replaced his brother, Edward-viii, who reigned for less than a year in 1936. Edward intended to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, and such a union was consider inappropriate. The woman herself was having several other affairs at the time. Her paramours included the German Ambassador, Joachim von Ribbentrop, who made it public. Adolf Hitler made jokes about it.
Edward, later known as the Duke of Windsor, abdicated. He and his wife subsequently toured Germany and appeared to lend their support to Hitler. During the war the Duke of Windsor was sent to the Bahamas as Governor, to be out of harm's way.
His brother, George-vi had taken his place about three years before the War started. George-vi is the father of the present Queen Elizabeth. He became a popular and dutiful monarch. He was friendly with PM Neville Chamberlain and publicly supported his appeasement policies towards Germany and his "peace in our Time" attitude. "The White Paper of 1939" was a declaration of British Policy by the Government of Chamberlain to curtail Jewish immigration to Palestine. At this time Jews in Germany and Austria were desperately seeking a place of refuge from Nazi persecution, incessant harassment, and the open threat of intended extermination.
See: Yair Davidiy's answer to Does Neville Chamberlain get too much flak for his appeasement of Hitler given that he readied his country for war? https://www.quora.com/Does-Neville-Chamberlain-get-too-much-flak-for-his-appeasement-of-Hitler-given-that-he-readied-his-country-for-war/answer/Yair-Davidiy
When War broke out in September 1939, Chamberlain was still PM. In May 1940, a Government crisis resulted in the need to re-shuffle the rulership. King George-vi favored Chamberlain, or if not Chamberlain then Lord Halifax, but Winston Churchill was chosen. Though the king was at first quite reserved about Churchill, the two held weekly meetings and a friendship developed. George-vi was a successful leader of the British and Commonwealth peoples during World War-ii. He and his wife did much to maintain public morale. King George also helped cement British-American rapport during the war.
The allegations against King George-vi are to be found in different sources, e.g.
The Nasty King's Speech. Nazi claim threatens to ruin Firth's Oscar night.
Was King George VI A Nazi Sympathiser?
Quoting from unpublished archival resources King George is recorded as giving his opinion concerning the White Paper of 1939 restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine. He is quoted saying that he was 'glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people leaving their country of origin.'
# He instructed Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax to make sure the Nazis cooperated. Halifax's office telegraphed Britain's ambassador in Berlin asking him to encourage the German government 'to check the unauthorized emigration' of Jews.' # The Nasty King's Speech
These claims are illogical. They are out of character. A British monarch would not speak against Jews in such circumstances. It would not be advisable. The Jews may not be as powerful as they are sometimes depicted but they do have some influence. They usually support the monarchy. No-one would want to alienate them. They also have allies and sympathizers among the non-Jewish British populace.
A British Monarch would not instruct the Foreign Secretary to do anything. The Foreign Secretary is not answerable to him! At the most he might make a "suggestion" or express an opinion to the Prime Minister and the PM might (or might not) pass it one. Anything more than that goes against accepted practice. If such an exceptional utterance was made public it could lead to a constitutional crisis and threaten the monarchy itself.
Nevertheless, the allegations have been made. There appears to be some kind of campaign to spread them. If they are false, and indeed they almost certainly are, then their falsehood should be made clear.
The Allegations were highlighted in 2010 when a movie concerning King George-vi, "The King's Speech," appeared. Since then they periodically re-surface. They are however unsubstantiated, anonymous, and untraceable as is to be expected from calumnies of that nature.
Nazi claim threatens to ruin Firth's Oscar night
# an apparent Internet smear campaign...
# alleges that George VI, the father of the Queen, actively ''stymied'' efforts by Jews fleeing Nazi Germany to settle in British-controlled Palestine.
# He is said to have written to Lord Halifax, then the foreign secretary, in early 1939 speaking of ''steps'' being taken to prevent Jewish refugees leaving their country of origin....
# The email, prompted by a blog entry on the website of New York magazine, draws from earlier reports including an article in The Guardian nine years ago that attributes the claim to archive material.
The relevant "archive material" has never been published. We may therefore assume it never existed.