Marie Stopes is the ultimate ideological yin and yang, a woman who was the perfect mix of the best and the worst of an activist. She started the first family planning clinic in the British Empire in 1921 and sent personal poems expressing her infatuation to Adolf Hitler. She campaigned for women’s right to make their own fertility choices while claiming that the poor and sickly should not be allowed to have children. She even disowned her own son and cut off all contact with him for marrying a myopic woman. Stopes realized that control of her fertility is key for a woman who wants to be able to make her own way in life, but felt a deep connection to a man who thought that an Aryan woman’s place is in the home and there should be no place at all for Roma, Polish or Jewish women.
In August 1939 the world was on the brink of World War II and Marie Stopes was busy with her clinics and politics (campaigning for eugenics and family planning), but she still found a little time to send a letter to her hero:
“Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these (poems) that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?” (August 1939)