Francis Parker Yockey, 1917–1960:
A Remembrance of the Author of Imperium
I first met F.P.Y. — Yockey to all and sundry — in the autumn of 1947 at the London bookshop headquarters of the Union for British Freedom, this being one of the regional organizations preparing for the return of Sir Oswald Mosley to active politics. Yockey was introduced to me by A. Raven Thomson — pre-War Director of Policy in the British Union of Fascists — with the comment that I would find him an interesting companion.
Yockey’s American accent prompted me to ask him what he was doing in London. This was not an idle question for, at that time, London had many visitors from the USA seeking to make contact with groups deemed to be neo-fascist. Most of them were agents of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, and their purpose was to identify the leaders of such groups so that they could be given “the treatment” — repressed, put-down, evaporated! Of course, their general approach was that of the American “sympathizer” to the Cause but, sooner or later, it would be suggested that names and addresses should be exchanged so that contact could be maintained. Many of those who acceded to this request lived to regret it; they became the objects of unwelcome attention by hostile groups in their own localities, had their businesses undermined, or lost their employment.
At the outset, it was obvious that Yockey did NOT follow this pattern — no request was made for name and address exchange — and in the ensuing conversation he told me that he had come to Europe to meet others in the service of the Idea, in particular, Sir Oswald Mosley, before writing a book. His intellectual gifts were very evident, as was his utter sincerity.
In appearance he was somewhat bohemian, wearing a dark green jacket, navy blue roll-top sweater, and corduroy trousers. Some five feet seven inches tall, of slim but wiry build, dark brown hair and eyes, and pale complexion. One noticed those deep-set eyes, and the intensity of their expression combining both intelligence and authority. We spoke together for a long time in complete agreement on what had happened to Europe and what needed to be done to restore its position, ending only when it became time for me to leave for the railway station to take my train for Manchester. It was agreed that we would meet again in the natural course of events, but no precise arrangement was made.
As I prepared to leave, I was approached by another man with an American accent, whom I had noticed in a general sort of way whilst speaking with Yockey, because he seemed to be taking some interest in our conversation. He asked if I was leaving, and I replied that I was bound for Euston station; to which he at once rejoined that he was also going in that direction, and that it would be a good idea to share a taxi together, to which I agreed. Once inside the taxi, my new acquaintance enquired if I knew Yockey, and I replied that I had met him for the first time that evening. He then warned me against having anything further to do with Yockey, stating that he was sure that Yockey was working for the FBI and the ADL. There then followed the routine request for my name and address so that we could keep in touch, which I declined on the grounds that I was going abroad for an indefinite period. By this time we had arrived at Euston, and I left Yockey’s accuser with the certain conviction that he was an agent of the ADL, and that his denunciation of Yockey confirmed the latter’s bona fides as one of us.
My next news of Yockey came from a mutual friend, Guy Chesham, who was at that time acting as Sir Oswald Mosley’s personal assistant. It seemed that Yockey had enquired of Chesham if he knew me, and that he had enjoyed our London meeting and would like to see me again.
1948 was a year of constant activity. Union Movement, led by Sir Oswald Mosley, had been founded, and Imperium had been written by Yockey under the pen-name Ulick Varange, printed, and published. This pen-name was symbolic of the extremities of Europe as seen by Yockey; Ulick was an Irish name indicating the western boundary, whilst the Varange were nomadic tribesmen operating on the eastern fringes of Europe. By now, my contact with Yockey and Chesham was intense, and we met as often as possible in London, maintaining contact by correspondence at other times.
Meantime, things were not going well in the relationship between Sir Oswald Mosley and Yockey. At first this had proceeded smoothly, with Sir Oswald finding Yockey a stimulating, talented, and interesting companion. This changed with the appearance of Imperium and, according to Yockey, with his offer to Sir Oswald of Imperium as a gift to bring out under his own name, and as his own work. I accept, without reservation, that Yockey was completely sincere in this gesture of astonishing generosity. He had reasoned that Sir Oswald was a man of action, with a well-established international reputation, and further political ambitions yet to be actualized, but without the immediate opportunity to find the considerable time required to conceive and write such a work himself. Certainly, Yockey was not trying to patronize Sir Oswald, or to up-stage him. In the event, Sir Oswald declined Yockey’s offer, and their relationship ended soon afterwards in some contumely. It must be said that those familiar with Sir Oswald’s own style of thinking and writing might have found it difficult to believe that Imperium was his own work and, thus, he could hardly be expected to accept Yockey’s offer in the spirit in which it had been made. Nonetheless, as an alternative, and in recognition of the outstanding merit of Imperium, he could have sponsored the publication of the book.
I will say no more on the disjunction between Yockey and Sir Oswald, as there is nothing constructive to be gained from raking over old ashes. Indeed, it is true that Yockey was disappointed that neither he, nor Imperium, found favor with the remnants of pre-War British fascism in general. He attracted the bitter and stupid hostility of Arnold Leese, the leader of the former Imperial Fascist League, along with his latter-day disciples such as A. F. X. Barron and company, The Britons, and sundry others of like mind. Of course, all of these groupings were equally opposed to Sir Oswald Mosley and his ideas — so there was no organized common front, per se, against Yockey; he was just someone else to hate. His sin in their eyes was to reject vertical race, rooted in 19th-century materialistic thinking, and to put in its place the 20th-century system of horizontal race — spiritual race. However, it is true beyond doubt that the main reason why so many of those who could have been expected to support Yockey’s ideas, did not do so for another reason — jealousy; jealousy of his intellect and ability. In every intellectual exchange between Yockey and others which I ever witnessed, Yockey always emerged the winner, and almost all of the losers never forgave him for this.
Yockey departed from Sir Oswald’s movement, and Guy Chesham and I went with him, joined soon afterwards by a number of others; it was our intention to establish a new organization devoted to the liberation of Europe, concerning which I will have more to say later.
Our immediate task was to distribute Imperium — as well and as widely as our resources would permit. From a house in Park Square West, on the edge of London’s Regent Park, went a steady stream of copies of Imperium to those in the service of the Idea in other European lands, in South Africa, Canada, USA, South America. If Imperium had been received with hostility in Britain by those expected to welcome it, this was not the case elsewhere. The reaction to Imperium from abroad was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and approving, and messages of support and praise were received from — to mention but a few — Germany: General Otto Remer, Heinz Knöke (famous Luftwaffe ace), Hans-Ulrich Rudel (the Stuka pilot), all associated with the SRP, and Karl-Heinz Priester of the European Social Movement; Italy: Giorgio Almirante (MSI), Marchese Patrizi, Julius Evola, and Principessa Pignatelli of the Womens’ Social Movement; France: Maurice Bardèche, René Binet, Claude-Marie Dagon, Louis Girard; Portugal: Dr. Francisco dos Santos; Switzerland: M. G. A. Amaudruz; Canada: Adrien Arcand; South Africa: Oswald Pirow (former Minister and founder of the New Order Party), Ray Rudman, Johan Schoeman; Argentina: Emilio Gutierrez Herrero (Union Civica Nacionalista).
Whereas, in England, despite the reaction of the former leaders of British fascism, such notables as Major General J. F. C. Fuller and Captain Basil Liddell Hart wrote glowing tributes in praise of Imperium. Imperium had been launched on a tide of great success, and Yockey felt greatly encouraged thereby; in time, he met most of those who had supported his great work.
When in England, Yockey remained quite busy. He continued to distribute Imperium by every avenue open to him, presenting copies to the Library of the House of Commons, Library of the US Congress, and to the principal universities. In addition, he took a keen interest in the so-called “war crimes” industry and in the case or a certain Colonel Knöchlein, in particular. This German officer was being held on a “war crimes” charge by the British authorities, and Yockey and many others believed that he was the innocent victim of a false charge. Yockey worked with might and main with the Labour Member of Parliament, Reginald Paget Q.C. (now Lord Paget) and Captain Liddell Hart to save him, but all in vain and, in due course, Colonel Knöchlein was executed.
Of course, Yockey had personal experience of the “war crimes” industry, having worked for the American section in Germany, where he became disgusted with the crooked and illegal procedures being followed to secure convictions of those charged, in a complete negation of justice. He had an angry meeting with Mr. Justice Jackson, chief American official on the War Crimes Commission, at which he denounced what was being done by the American authorities as a prostitution of legal process; thereafter, he left, and Jackson reported the matter to his Washington superiors. It should be noted that Yockey was an experienced lawyer in practice, with a brilliant record, having graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1941 after attending many other American colleges.
It was now time to establish the new organization, and Yockey put forward the words European and Liberation for incorporation in the title, whilst Guy Chesham and I thought the word Front should be included; thus, the name European Liberation Front came into being, it being argued and accepted that it would be difficult for any opponent to attack the liberation of Europe as an objective.
To the best of my knowledge, we were the first organization in the world to use the words Liberation Front in its title. Since then the use of these two words have spread throughout the world in the titles of other political groupings to an astonishing degree. We had, like most of our kind, no money and few resources except for our own enthusiasm and contacts. Several centers of activity were set up in Britain, and most of those abroad who had welcomed Imperium agreed to work with us.
A monthly bulletin was produced under the name of Frontfighter in a duplicated format, all that we could afford, but at least a medium of regular contact with our supporters. Public meetings were held, and new members recruited to the Cause. However, the most important project was the writing of the Proclamation of London by Yockey. He had long had the idea that, to coincide with the centenary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto of 1848,we should issue an European manifesto setting out the situation for the ‘‘masses,” and calling for action to liberate Europe from its occupation by the Extra-European forces of the USA and USSR. In spite of very limited funds being available, the Proclamation of London was printed, in Manchester, by two Anarchist brothers who were personal friends of mine, knew my own political position and respected it, and genuinely believed in the rights of others to publish their case for public consideration. The front cover of the Proclamation was printed in a bright red color, with a panel in white carrying the title in black lettering — the Imperial colors, as used on the dust-jacket of Imperium. On the back cover was printed the Program of the European Liberation Front, a radical program to say the least, which Yockey, Chesham, and I had put together one afternoon. Over the Program flew the ELF flag, a red flag, with white center circle carrying the black sword symbol of Liberation. It was all quite impressive and, like Imperium very well received by our comrades at home, and abroad.
It must be clearly understood that the founding of the European Liberation Front was an act of faith in the future and destiny of the European Imperium; this act was made without illusions as to the likely outcome in the measurable future. The foundation of mass movements with a prospect of popular success requires enormous financial backing over a long period of time, and we had no expectations of that kind. Of course, at times of supreme crisis in the affairs of nations different rules apply and finance is less important. In 1948, no such crisis existed, nor was one in prospect. Britain and the rest of Europe had sustained grievous damage resulting from the recent war; full employment was a fact for the masses, maximum production was required from industry for every kind of item, the populations were weary from the prolonged bloodletting and years of wartime destruction; their desire was only for peace and material improvement — to be left alone. We had envisaged these conditions and outlooks and knew that the chance of success for a new mass party was remote, as the experience of others — even without our radical position — confirmed on every side. Knowing this did not discourage us; it was our task to erect signposts, to produce situation-estimations showing what had happened to Europe, and why it had happened, and what was required to liberate Europe. Within our strictly limited resources we could not do more. Destiny would decide the outcome.
In time, Yockey quarreled with Guy Chesham on a matter of no great importance, and certainly not on a matter of ideology, and Guy withdrew from our number. This was a great loss in every way, and one for which Yockey was mainly to blame, as I told him at the time. However, I was not prepared to abandon Yockey over such an issue, and the magnitude of his contribution in terms of thinking and writing redeemed this regrettable, but petty incident.
In the seven years or so that I worked with Yockey, I came to know him well, as well, I believe, as anyone could know him. He frequently stayed with me in my home for prolonged periods, and we did a fair amount of travelling together within Britain. In the process of all this, he met many people in my company. In almost every case, such people were visibly impressed by his intellect and power of expression and, certainly, they had never met anyone like him before. He was a talented pianist who could play the works of Chopin and Liszt in concert hall style, and with a fire and expression that was remarkable. Ladies liked Yockey, and he liked the ladies; they felt his magnetism and intensity and responded readily to both. Some of the people we met were German born, and with them Yockey would converse in German, without difficulty, most of them congratulating him on his grasp of the language and on his accent.
In spite of first impressions, if Yockey met some people frequently and for long periods, there was always the chance of a quarrel. He did not suffer fools gladly, and could become quite insulting and contemptuous to those he believed were being unduly obstinate or slow in conceding a point in dispute. Of course, this kind of behavior is fatal if one is seeking to make converts and obtain their support. In moments of personal tension, Yockey would often engage others in staring-out contests, prosecuted to the point where the other party should avert his gaze. Such contests could arise anywhere, even on an Underground train with a complete stranger, and Guy Chesham and I often had to intervene and hurry Yockey away before the engagement ended in possible violence.
From all of this, it is plain that one either liked Yockey — with all of his gifts and foibles — or, one did not; there was no half-way house, no one could be, or ever was indifferent to Yockey, and those who met him would never forget him.
He travelled with a general and a particular collection of personal items; the general, contained in a large cabin trunk which usually preceded his arrival and, sometimes, remained for a time after his departure; the particular always stayed with him. In the latter were copies of Decline of the West, Man and Technics, Hour of Decision, and Prussianism and Socialism by Oswald Spengler, and, of course, Imperium and the Proclamation of London. Yockey was, by far, the best informed student of Spengler I have ever known, and I doubt if his equal could be found, in this respect, anywhere in the world. He did not seek to outdo Spengler, or to become a rival as did Toynbee; instead he honestly and willingly acknowledged the greatness of the Master and his work, which he used to make his situation-estimations.
Yockey could be, and usually was a charming companion, with an unsuspected sense of humour and a great gift for mimicking others. W. C. Fields had always been one of his favorites, and Yockey could do a very acceptable imitation of Fields in some of his most famous roles. As a result of this little-known side of his nature, Yockey was always a welcome visitor to our home, and my wife, Marjorie, and children greatly enjoyed his visits and were always sorry when the time came for him to leave. He was a religious man, born, raised, and educated in a strong Roman Catholic environment, an expert in Scholastic Philosophy but, at the same time, not a practicing Catholic by observance. Nevertheless, he always spoke of Holy Mother (sic) with respect, and never sought to hide his origins in this respect, nor to underestimate the influence they had brought to bear in the making of his character. One could describe Yockey as a Gothic Catholic, a term he accepted to describe himself and others of like opinion. Some who knew him a little dispute this contention, and usually cite Yockey’s admiration of Nietzsche’s writings in support of this. I concede this admiration on Yockey’s part, but do not change my position, having known many others who could — without too much intellectual indigestion — accept the same stance as did Yockey.
In support of my contention, I quote Yockey on racial decadence: “The message of Hollywood is the total significance of sexual love as an end in itself — the erotic without consequence. The sexual love of two grains of sand, two rootless individuals, not theprimeval sexual love looking to the continuity of Life, the family of many children. . . . The instinct of decadence takes many forms in this realm; dissolution of Marriage by divorce laws, attempts to discard, through repeal or non-enforcement, the laws against abortion, preaching in the form of novel, drama, journalisrn the identification of ‘happiness’ with sexual love, holding it up as the great value before which all honor, duty, patriotism, consecration of Life to a higher aim, must give way.” I doubt if any member of the Curia could have put it better!
I have deliberately refrained in writing this remembrance of Yockey from turning it into yet another “review” of Imperium, of which there have been many; instead, I invite those interested in Yockey to read the book for themselves — all 687 pages — confident that it will prove a rewarding experience. That being said, I think it worthwhile to set down some of Yockey’ s ideas on various issues; these are not in any particular order.
In the period 1947–’54, most of the leaders of the American puppet-regimes in occupied Europe believed that a warwith Russia was imminent and inevitable and in this view they were often supported by some of the surviving leaders of pre-War fascism; it being claimed that America would defend Europe against Russia and, thus, must be supported. Yockey never subscribed to this view, believing that warfare between the Extra-European Occupation Forces within Europe was culturally impossible within that time scale, and made his own situation-estimations accordingly. This may sound trite enough now, but anyone with a good recollection of that period will agree on just how prevalent such a new war hysteria was at that time.
Yockey believed that, subject to exceptions, persons born before 1890 could not feel the inner-imperative of the European Destiny as it entered the Age of Absolute Politics. Having witnessed many discussions with members of the pre-1890 generation, I can confirm just how accurate this generalization was in practice; almost all of such persons could think about the situation — but they could not feel it.
He regarded terminology as of tremendous importance in the arsenal of those fighting to liberate Europe, and devised a most effective system of his own. His designation of America and Russia as the Extra-European forces occupying Europe — the Outer-Enemies using their Inner-Traitor puppet-regimes to administer Europe under such as “Governor” Churchill, “Governor” Adenauer, “Governor” Spaak, “Governor” De Gasneri, etc. The people of the real America were governed by Culture Aliens/Culture Parasites (the Jew, a surviving remnant from the Arabian Culture) posing as an “American” government and creating conditions of Culture-Pathology/Culture Distortion. Readers of Imperium will discover a host of other examples of Yockey’ s terminology — all highly effective in pin-pointing the Enemies of Europe and their “Michel” agents of control and division. I commend this terminology to those fighting for the liberation of Europe.
In the period 1939–’45, Yockey postulated that there were four distinct wars in progress: the European Civil War between Germany and Britain/France of 1939–’40; the American War against Europe (first by proxy) 1940–’45; the Europe/Germany War against Russia 1941–’45; and the America/White Race War against Japan (spearhead of the Colored Revolution) 1941–’45. It is difficult to disagree with this estimation, and Yockey had made it in 1945, when almost everyone spoke of World War II as if it were a single contest with one objective. This practice continues today.
There were three ways of liberating Europe, said Yockey; the first and swiftest way would be via an American Nationalist Revolution, overturning the regime of the Culture Parasite/Alien (the Jew), and placing in power members of the Culture-bearing stratum within the American people, who would end the American occupation and division of Europe, and work with its leaders towards the total liberation of Europe.
The second way would be by the coming to power of Imperialists in one or more of the former nation-states of Europe, who would then proclaim the European Imperium, invite the other former nation-states to join them, and end the occupation and division of Europe.
The third way would follow the invasion and conquest of American-occupied Europe by Russia, in the process of which Europe would be united against this alien force and the struggle for liberation would begin. Culturally, militarily, and politically, Yockey believed that the prolonged occupation of Europe by the Russian barbarians would be impossible to maintain.
Yockey had a colorful and highly descriptive vocabulary, and two good examples of how effective this could be is manifested by his terms ethical-syphilis and spiritual-leprosy to describe the condition of certain Inner Traitors. When he wished to, he could be very North American, with that directness of speech less usual in polite circles in Europe, and most of those he encountered found this very amusing.
Of the future he had no doubt. It would be the fulfilment of the Destiny of the Western High Culture — the Rebirth of Religion, the Resurgence of Authority, the Age of Caesarism and of Unlimited Imperialism.
Apart from the jealousy and enmity which Yockey’s intellectual brilliance evoked in others, there were those who went even further and sought to betray him to his pursuers. Ever since his angry farewell to Mr. Justice Jackson and the American “war crimes” industry Yockey had been a marked man. The FBI were always interested in his movements and sought to entrap him. That is why he trusted so few people, never announced his travel plans until the last moment, and never stayed too long in one place. In this respect, I have had the opportunity to read the FBI material on Yockey which has been declassified and is available for public scrutiny under the American freedom of information legislation. Much of it is quite comical in retrospect, both in the views ascribed to Yockey and the nature of his activities, and he must have had a great time ‘pulling-the-leg’ of the FBI agent on his trail. The FBI material also reveals the approach made to the FBI by one of Yockey’s former supporters in England, seeking to collaborate with them in the frustration of his activity. I found this treachery nauseating on the part of one who should have known better, and never would have been suspected of being so base.
I last saw Yockey in the summer of 1954, having told him that I intended to move to South America in the October of that year, where I had a business interest and many personal and political contacts. He was very upset by my news, and warned me that I was entering one of the graveyard areas of former European colonial activity. It never crossed my mind that I would never see Yockey again, and I heard nothing more from him, or of him until I learned of his death in the late summer of 1960.
Francis Parker Yockey died in a prison cell in the San Francisco Jail on the night of June 16, 1960 in mysterious circumstances. Suicide is alleged, but I am not convinced of it. Yockey had been detained in Oakland, California on June 6 and charged with having three passports in his possession. Bail was set at 50,000 dollars by Judge Joseph Karesh (an ordained rabbi), whereas, the usual sum on such a charge is 5,000 dollars. It was suggested that Yockey needed a “mental examination,” and the San Francisco official of the Anti-Defamation League publicly accused Yockey of being a top fascist, pro-Russian, and anti-American. There is a great deal more to be said of Yockey’s capture by the FBI, his imprisonment and death, but I will say nothing further here.
My reason for this, and for not dilating further on many of my own experience with, and of Yockey is simply that my comrade and friend, Keith Stimely, of Oregon, USA, is engaged in writing the definitive work on Yockey. We have collaborated together in every way; I have given him my recollections of Yockey, and he has allowed me to read the massive collection of items relating to Yockey which he has put together over the years. Keith Stimely is dedicated to his task, and no other is more suited or better equipped than he to write the biography of Yockey.
Before concluding, I must refer to Jean Thiriart of “Jeune Europe,” of whom I had never heard until I read the excellent memoire — “Jean Thiriart et le National Communautarisme Europeen” — written by Yannick Sauveur. I am struck by the resemblance, in parts, of the positions of Yockey and Thiriart on Europe, and yet, so far as I can say, they never met, nor is there any reference to Yockey or his work in the memoire on Thiriart. Certainly, they were at one in the matter of a single European Imperium/Nation, rather than any narrowminded nationalism, or federalism. They agreed on the 20th-century conception of horizontal (spiritual) race, and rejected the 19th-century conception of vertical (materialistic) race. Both saw the American occupation and division of Europe as being more dangerous than that of Russia — not that Russia’s was acceptable, or benevolent — but because it was less visible and operated through former European nation-states and was, therefore, more difficult to identify in the public mind as an occupation regime.
They would not have agreed on the possibility of the absorption of the Arabs by Europe, nor that of most of the Slavs, in general, exceptions confirming the rule in this matter. Yockey’s objections would have been on Cultural grounds, not on those of vertical race. Their backgrounds were very different: Yockey’s Catholic and Fascist; Thiriart’s Communist, even Stalinist.
Both envisaged a time when American occupation-forces might by attacked, and some of their members killed by European Imperialists. Thiriart in an interview in 1975 stated, inter alia: “European unity will come about more or less when 200 or 300 American occupiers will be killed in every corner of Europe just to prove our point. Then there will be no going back.” Of course, Thiriart was not advocating such a policy, as he made plain to his interviewer.
I am convinced that a detailed examination of the positions of Yockey and Thiriart will prove that they agreed to a great extent on the cause of Europe, one and free from occupation by the Extra-European forces of America and Russia. As Thiriart commenced in 1960 on the road leading to “Jeune Europe,” the year in which Yockey died, it is unlikely that they ever met. Did Thiriart know of Yockey, or his Imperium? I would love to know the answer to that intriguing question!
In conclusion, one thing is certain: Francis Parker Yockey, despite his early and tragic death, made his mark upon this century — a mark which will not be erased by time. His monumental work, Imperium, will be recognized in time as the most profound contribution to European thought since Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West.
It was a privilege to have known and worked with Francis Parker Yockey, and one which I will ever cherish.
Now Available for Preorder!The Enemy of Europe & Imperium
Remembering Sir Oswald Mosley (November 16, 1896-December 3, 1980)
The World in Flames: The Shorter Writings of Francis Parker Yockey
Hendrik de Man, The Right, & Ethical Socialism
Remembering Francis Parker Yockey (September 18, 1917–June 16, 1960)
Enigmatic to the End
Remembering H. Keith Thompson (September 17, 1922–March 3, 2002)
Graham Macklin’s Failed Führers