Lord Weidenfeld the publisher is dead, another famous party-thrower whom I never met. I never was a social climber and this is something I regret. He was short, fat and ugly and hugely successful with women. I remember he is said to have told Barbara Amiel as a chat-up line
I am the Diaghilev of cunnilingus.My source is probably Private Eye and certainly unreliable.
I am more of a fan of his (inactive) partner, the late Nigel Nicolson, who was a very good writer like his father, Sir Harold Nicolson. Weidenfeld achieved a lot, but the reason why I am blogging about him is because of an interview he gave on BBC Radio 4 in March last year. Among other things, he said that if things became hard for them as a result of anti-Semitism
and that the people of Europe might be stuck with
millions of not-so-friendly peopleI thought this was worth remembering and pondering.
Lord Weidenfeld (he was ennobled by Harold Wilson and later joined the SDP) was one of the very many Jewish asylum seekers who fled Hitler and greatly enriched Britain. According to his Daily Telegraph obituary
Weidenfeld had a deep affection for Christianity and at the age of 95 tried to “repay the debt” to the British Christians who had helped him to settle in Britain, gathering “some very high-minded friends, Jews and Christians” – including Lord Rothschild, the philanthropist Martin Green and the banker Sir Charles Hoare – to fund a rescue mission to bring Christian families out of Syria and Iraq and resettle them.
He was criticised for focusing on Christians but retorted: “They [Muslims] have huge wealth, they could have found ways of saving lives.”
The Washington Post obituary said that his party-going advice was to sidle up to the most interesting person in the room and listen.