Friday, 4 March 2011

Hitler's man in Dublin

Last month I posted about collusion between the IRA and the Nazis.  This and other posts at that time led some contributors to accuse me of having a particular agenda in relation to the history of Eire.  It was almost as if they felt I had no right to comment on that period of Irish history.

However in recent weeks there has been an ongoing correspondence in the letters column of the Irish Times in relation to Dr Eduard Hempel, who was the German representative in Dublin and is often described as 'Hitler's man in Dublin'.  It is an interesting correspondence and on 28 February David Peter Fine, who lives in Glasnevin in Dublin, responded to an earlier contributor. 

Mr Fine commented on 'Ireland's shameful record of courting the Nazis in power at the time through our own ambassador in Berlin' and 'De Valera's widely achnowledged 'faux pas' in expressing sympathy on Hitler's death'.  He also referred to Eire's 'dismal record' in relation to offering refuge to Jews under threat from the 'final solution'.  His conclusion was that 'these things will always be a stain on this otherwise great country of ours.'

The correspondence has continued and for some tiem and different views have been expressed but the facts speak for themselves.

Iit clear that there is an opportunity in the letters page of the Irish Times for such matters to be discussed and that is very healthy.  It stands in stark contrast to those who feel that such things should simply be buried and forgotten.  If we are to come to terms with the past, learn the lessons of the past and dispel the myths about the past, then we must be able to explore the past.

Those who are interested in finding out more about Eduard Hempel could read Herr Hempel at the German Legation in Dublin 1937-1945, which was written by John P Duggan and published by the Irish Academic Press.

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