Thursday, August 6, 2009

Can you think of a bigger douchebag?

I had a total delayed reaction to something I read/wrote last week:

She married a really creepy arms manufacturer who although half-Jewish, consorted with Hitler and was an enthusiastic fascist.

I was writing about Hedy Lamarr's first (of six) husbands, Frederich "Fritz" Mendl, who was a Jewish, Austrian Fascist. I mean, it's completely mind-boggling. Out of curiosity, I decided to do a little digging (i.e. I googled him). He was more of a Mussolini fascist, rather than a Hitler fascist, but - according to Lamarr's autobiography - he still invited Hitler to his parties in the '30s. As well as keeping Lamarr (who married him when she was 19) locked in his castle, acquiring and burning all the copies of her film Ecstasy that he could get his hands on, he also allegedly forced Lamarr to sleep with Hitler in order to cement an arms deal. As the '30s progressed, he transferred most of his holdings to Switzerland, and after Austria was annexed to Germany and the Nuremberg Laws were enacted, his remaining properties were seized. He moved (to be clear, he didn't flee, he simply relocated) to Switzerland, where as late as 1940 he was trying to do business with Hitler's Reich. When this didn't work out, he traveled to Argentina, where her remained for the duration of the war and served as an adviser to Juan Peron. After the war he returned to Austria.

I just felt like sharing my researches into someone who was obviously one of the most horrible people on earth.

And I do apologize for what is turning into an All Holocaust Week! here on my blog (It's not over yet!)


Hedy Lamarr (at the time, Hedwig Kiesler) in Ecstasy, 1933

3 comments:

That Fuzzy Bastard said...

I will enthusiastically choose to believe that Heddy Lamaar hooked up with Hitler. It's not as glorious a belief as the Marlene Dietrich-Billie Holiday hookup, but still reassures me that the world is truly full of deeply odd pairings.

Caviglia said...

There are rumors that Marlena Dietrich hooked up with nearly everybody - except possibly Hitler.

The Tallulah Bankhead/Hattie McDaniel odd couple pairing is definitely among my favorites.

Nora said...

eeeeeeeegh!