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After the BBC briefly removed the “Don’t mention the war episode of Fawlty Towers” and removed Little Britain from their streaming services in response to criticism by leftwing campaigners, questions have been raised about Lord Reith who became the first director general in 1922 and held the position until 1938.
Lord Reith was a known Nazi sympathiser who praised Hitler when he invaded Czechoslovakia.
On 9th March 1933 Reith wrote “I am certain that the Nazis will clean things up and put Germany on the way to being a real power in Europe again…. They are being ruthless and most determined”.
Later, when Prague was occupied, Reith wrote: “Hitler continues his magnificent efficiency.”
In an interview in 2006, his daughter Marista Leishman said he “revered Hitler” and respected Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini.
She also said he adopted some of Hitler’s principles in running the BBC.
Tory MPs have accused the BBC of acting as cheerleaders for leftwing activists tearing down historic statues on the grounds they are of people who were racists.
This started with former 18th century slave trader Edward Colston’s statue being pulled down in Bristol and thrown into the harbour.
Meanwhile, Churchill’s state in Parliament Square was defaced by the mb and Scout movement founder Robert Baden-Powell’s statue was threatened in Poole even though he campaigned against slavery.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “”The BBC have been the cheerleaders in this campaign to pull down statues and even taken down programs from their streaming services.
“People in glass houses though should not throw stones and the BBC is particularly vulnerable given that it’s founding director general was a well known Nazi sympathiser who revered Adolf Hitler.
“When will the BBC take down the portrait and bust of Lord Reith and rename the lectures given each year in his honour?
“This highlights how ludicrous the witch-hunt against British history is and how hypocritical the BBC has been.”
But a BBC spokesman pointed out that the founding director general had a distinguished record in the Second World War in the effort to defeat the Nazis.
He said: “As founding director general, Lord Reith’s construction of the BBC was as a public service broadcaster independent of political intervention and removed from party politics.
“His actions at the time and subsequent legacy are in direct opposition to the German radio propaganda operation created under the Nazi regime. It is also well documented that Lord Reith played a significant role in the Second World War effort, including time in the Royal Navy and in organising the D-Day landings.”
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