Charles Bewley’s later diplomatic career

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Bewley re-entered the diplomatic service in 1929 with a successful tenure as Free State representative to the Holy See. He was transferred to Berlin in 1933 as the Nazis came to power. When presenting his credentials, he addressed President von Hindenburg without mentioning the king, a break in protocol as he was still representing a Commonwealth dominion. His superiors grew worried as his dispatches grew increasingly anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi in tone, culminating in a report defending Kristallnacht. The RTÉ documentary No More Blooms in 2007 highlighted Bewley’s reluctance to help Jewish refugees gain entry to Ireland. Preferring to leave the diplomatic service and remain in Berlin rather than accept a demotion to Dublin, Bewley spent the war writing pro-Nazi propaganda and is alleged to have given clandestine intelligence regarding Ireland to the Nazi authorities. His memoirs show his motivations to be more anti-British than pro-Irish and he scathingly criticised de Valera. Ironically, after the war his life was saved by Sir John Maffey, Britain’s ambassador to Ireland, at de Valera’s instigation.

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