Unity went to Nazi Germany and met Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Herman Goering, Joseph Goebbels and other leaders of the Nazi Party. Hitler told newspapers in Germany that Unity was "a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood".
On the outbreak of the Second World War Unity tried to commit suicide and she returned to England suffering from gunshot wounds.
Unity Mitford died in 1948.
It was the year of Hitler's accession to power. Unity announced her intention was to go to Germany, learn German, and meet the Führer. My parents put up much less opposition than might have been expected. Perhaps the thought of another London season of sham tiaras and tame rats let loose in ballrooms was a bit more than my mother could contemplate with any pleasure. Unity was allowed to go.
Within six months, she came home for a brief visit, having accomplished both her objectives. She already spoke fairly fluent German, and had met not only Hitler, but Himmler, Goering, Goebbels, and others of the Nazi leaders. "How on earth did you actually manage to get to know them?" we asked in some amazement. Unity explained that it had been fairly simple; she had reserved a nightly table in the Osteria Bavaria restaurant, where they often went. Evening after evening she sat and stared at them, until finally a flunkey was sent over to find out who she was. On learning that she was an admirer of the Nazis, and a member of the British Union of Fascists Hitler invited her to join them at their table. Thereafter she became one of their circle, saw them constantly in Munich, accompanied them to meetings, rallies, the Olympic Games.
She was completely and utterly sold on them. The Nazi salute - "Heil Hitler!" with hand upraised - became her standard greeting to everyone, family, friends, the astonished postmistress in Swinbrook village. Her collection of Nazi trophies and paraphernalia now overflowed our little sitting-room - bundles of Stretcher's anti-Semitic paper, Der Stürmer; an autographed copy of Mein Kampf; the works of Houston Stuart Chamberlain, a nineteenth-century forerunner of Fascist ideologists; albums of photographs of Nazi leaders.