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Churchill and the Jews

Dusty Sklar
April 8, 2016
Illustrated Sunday Herald

by Dusty Sklar

LONDON'S ILLUSTRATED SUNDAY HERALD of February 8, 1920 bore an article entitled "Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People." Its author was the Right Honorable Winston S. Churchill, who began: "Some people like Jews and some do not; but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world." He went on to say (see the whole text here): "The conflict between good and evil which proceeds unceasingly in the breast of man nowhere reaches such an intensity as in the Jewish race."

We owe to the Jews in the Christian revelation a system of ethics which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind... And it may well be that this same astounding race may at the present time be in the actual process of producing another system of morals and philosophy, as malevolent as Christianity was benevolent, which, if not arrested, would shatter irretrievably all that Christianity has rendered possible. It would almost seem as if the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Antichrist were destined to originate among the same people; and that this mystic and mysterious race had been chosen for the supreme manifestations, both of the divine and the diabolical.

Churchill praised those Jews, all over the world, who are citizens of their respective states in the fullest sense, despite whatever injustices they may have suffered. But then there were the schemes of the international Jews, whose "sinister confederacy" has arisen in countries where they are persecuted. These are Jews who no longer share the faith of their forebears and who have no belief in an afterlife. He cited Johann Adam (Spartacus) Weishaupt, the 18th century founder of the Order of the Illuminati (who was not, in fact, Jewish), as well as the better-known Marx, Trotsky, Bela Kun, Rosa Luxemburg, and Emma Goldman as part of the conspiracy to bring down civilization and to create a society "on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence and impossible equality."

This movement "played... a definitely recognizable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution," Churchill continued, using as his source Nesta Webster, 1876-1960, a conspiracy theorist who believed that a Jewish cabal caused international subversion. "It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire."

CHURCHILL'S REPUTATION is that of a great friend of the Jewish people, somewhat unusual among upper-class Englishmen of his time. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had a number of close friendships with Jews. As a young member of Parliament in 1904, Winston Churchill fought against a bill aiming to stop immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe into Great Britain, which between 1881 and 1914 quadrupled its Jewish population with the influx of 150,000 Jews. Churchill was even accused of opposing the legislation to please his wealthy Jewish supporters. He was, moreover, always an ardent advocate of Zionism and was accused more than once of being entirely too philo-Semitic. Far-right voices have even bandied the claim that his mother, Jennie Jerome, was Jewish (she was Huguenot, possibly with some Native American admixture).

In 1935, Churchill criticized the Nazis for the very beliefs he himself had expressed in his 1920 article. In 1948, he said that the Nazi view of Bolshevism as a world-wide conspiracy of leftwing Jews ruining Germany was a "paranoid fantasy."

Although as prime minister of Great Britain (1940-45 and again from 1951-55), Churchill had on a number of occasions given strong and eloquent expression to news of Holocaust atrocities, on December 19, 1942, when a Jewish official from Poland, Arthur Shmuel Zygielbojm, pleaded with him to save the 1.25 million Jews still alive in Poland, there's no record of a reply or an action taken to prevent the slaughter that followed. (Zygielbojm would kill himself on May 12, 1943, in protest of the international inaction on the Holocaust, responsibility for which, he wrote in his suicide note, "rests first of all on those who are carrying it out, but indirectly it falls also upon the whole of humanity, on the peoples of the Allied nations and on their governments, who up to this day have not taken any real steps to halt this crime.”) And in a speech on August 1, 1946 in the House of Commons, Churchill claimed to have known nothing of the alleged Nazi murder of Jews during World War II. "I must say that I had no idea," he protested, "when the war came to an end, of the horrible massacres which had occurred; the millions and millions that have been slaughtered. That dawned on us gradually after the struggle was over."

Dusty Sklar is a contributing writer to our magazine and the author of Gods and Beasts: The Nazis and the Occult, as well as numerous stories and articles. Her most recent articles for us dealt with American corporate collaboration with Nazism, the American eugenics movement’s influence upon Nazism, and Mahatma Gandhi’s views on Zionism and the Holocaust.