Nazi Email Haunts King's Speech Before Oscars

George VI didn't want Jews to emigrate to Palestine during WWII
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2011 2:42 AM CST
Colin Firth arrives at the 16th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
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(Newser) – Golden Globes Best Actor Colin Firth could be headed to a big Oscar win for The King's Speech. But his chances and the film's may be clouded by an email circulating now about the alleged Nazi sympathies of the beloved stuttering British king Firth portrays in the critically acclaimed movie. The email charges that George VI actively “stymied” efforts by Jews fleeing Nazi Germany to settle in British-controlled Palestine, and accuses the film of "glossing over" the king's position. The king wrote to the foreign secretary in early 1939 that he was “glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people leaving their country of origin," the email charges.

A leading historian said George VI was simply backing British government policy at the time, "however short-sighted it was," reports the Telegraph. The anonymous email is being circulated to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote on the Oscars. Jewish ancestors of a number of Academy members emigrated to the US from Nazi-occupied Europe. The email is based on a New York Magazine mention last month apparently linked to documents uncovered by the Guardian years ago. “When it came to actively working to stymie Jews fleeing Hitler’s Germany, George actually communicated quite eloquently," zinged reporter Claude Brodesser-Akner. The mass email followed shortly after, stating: “I’m an academy member, and there are a lot of us who won’t vote for The King’s Speech for this reason."

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