Was it illegal to express sympathy for Nazi Germany during WW2 in Great Britain?

Say you are a citizen and you want your goverment to make peace with Hitler. You even want GB to become a puppet state like France did. Were you allowed to say so in public and start a campaign asking politicans to do this?

Or would this have been illegal, since you are supporting an enemy during war?

I assume it would have been illegal, but I just found fines for breaking the blackout law or not helping in the (war) industry. What would be the punishment? In Nazi Germany it would be called "Wehrkraftszersetzung" (destroying the war ability) and be punishable by death.


1 Answer 1


It was contrary to regulations. Sir Oswald Mosely was charged under Defense Regulation 18B.

That said, it was possible to express anti-war opinions; lawful opposition existed.

Although the question doesn't ask, @sempaiscuba is correct to point out that expressing opposition wasn't a capital offense; Sir Oswald was interned, but not executed. (I'm not enough of a legal scholar to discuss the boundaries between expressing an opinion contrary to Defense Regulation 18b, Sedition and Treason. As I understand it only the last was a capital offense).

  • 3
    Perhaps worth mentioning that expressing support for Nazi Germany was not a capital offence during WW2, and that the punishment was usually just internment. Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 12:40
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    Might be worth pointing out that though it was against the law and you could be put in jail for it, it wasn't a 'crime' like in Germany. When the war was over the remaining internees were all released. Mosley among others was released before the war had ended.
    – Ne Mo
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 13:59
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    Sedition would require actively promoting subversive views in some way, such as organising meetings or circulating leaflets. Treason would require some positive action to benefit the enemy. Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 15:10

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