Keywords: Anti-Fascism, Biography

Title: Memoir Of A Fascist Childhood

Author/Artist: Trevor Grundy

Publisher: Arrow

Media: Book

Reviewer: Pan

Born into a family of fanatical Mosleyites, Trevor Grundy was brought up as an unquestioning fascist. As an active fascist his father had been interned during the Second World War, but once that was over he re-joined Mosley in the Union Movement and continued to espouse the same anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda. Even when Mosley started to back-pedal on the anti-Semitism, Grundy senior remained an outspoken anti-Semite, a Nazi to the core.

If anything Grundy's mother, Edna, was even more fanatically devoted to the ridiculous figure of Sir Oswald Mosley than her husband. Their young son swallowed it all, becoming one of the Union Movement's youngest and most able speakers. It seems that nobody in the Grundy family had the slightest doubt that 'The Leader' was the man to rescue Britain from the grip of the Jews.

When his parent's marriage was under strain Trevor Grundy's father revealed the awful truth - Edna Grundy was Jewish. Trevor listened but hardly seemed to take in what his father had just said. The truth was simply forgotten, it would not sink in, and once the family were back together again they continued to spout anti-Semitic rubbish as they campaigned for Mosley. Eventually Trevor Grundy succumbed to doubts, especially after he started to work directly with 'The Leader' and his upper-class family.

While his followers were generally poor they worked hard for the cause, only to be taken for granted by their arrogant, conceited and extremely rich leader. In a telling example of Mosley's extreme egotism, Grundy describes how the great man had personally selected the campaign poster for the notorious Notting Hill bye-election of 1958. After much deliberation Mosley had selected a picture of himself walking towards the camera, the slogan simply read 'He's coming!'. The messianic message was lost on the public, who defaced the posters with graffittied erections and speech bubbles of 'Yippee!'

In the end, sickened by Mosley and his supporters, aware at last of his Jewish ancestry, Trevor Grundy quit the Union Movement and fascist politics. It had taken him so long partly because the Union Movement had provided his entire social environment. To break away would mean losing friends, family and status. This is still the case today, political movements provide more than ideology, and anyone who has been involved in a group for a while will find breaking away hard to do.

Whilst this is an interesting book, with plenty of funny stories which provide an insight into the history of British fascism, the dysfunctionality of Grundy's family is the real story of the book.

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