The Year of the Duchess of Windsor – Tour of Germany Day Two

INTERFOTO / Alamy Stock Photo

Read about day one here.

On the second day of their visit to Germany, the Duke and Duchess had separate programs.

Wallis was taken to a Nazi Welfare Society department workhouse, where she was shown women who were sewing clothes for the poor. Wallis’s mother Alice had also once sewn clothes for the poor, and so Wallis was rather interested. She tried to communicate in German, in which she was not fluent, and luckily a translator was nearby to make sure that there were no misunderstandings.

The Duke was taken on a tour of the Stock Machine Works at Grünewald. The workers there had access to a restaurant, concert hall and a swimming pool, which he thought was very impressive. The Duke was able to communicate in fluent German with the workers themselves, and he questioned them about their daily lives. That afternoon, he was a guest of honour at a free concert given for over 1,000 workers by the Berlin Labor Front Orchestra, where works from Wagner and Liszt were performed. The concert ended with the German national anthem, the anthem of the Nazi Party and the national anthem of the United Kingdom. He was also seen to make the Nazi salute around this time and later admitted to having made the salute several times during the trip. Sir Dudley Forwood, the Duke’s equerry, later said, “That Nazi salute was no more than the simple courtesy one always extended to one’s hosts. If His Royal Highness went to a country where the people rubbed noses in greeting, he would do so. The salute was nothing more than good manners.”1

In the evening, the Duke and Duchess were guests at a party hosted by Robert Ley on his country estate. Also present were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Hess and his wife Ilse, and Josef Goebbels and his wife Magda. Wallis was less than impressed with Goebbels and described him as “a tiny, wispy gnome with an enormous skull.” On the other hand, “His wife was the prettiest woman I saw in Germany.”2

Read about day three here.

  1. The Duchess of Windsor by Greg King p.290
  2. The Duchess of Windsor by Greg King p.290-291

About Moniek Bloks 2055 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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