Uncovered: Churchill's warnings about 'Hebrew bloodsuckers'

Reply Sun 11 Mar, 2007 05:28 pm
Uncovered: Churchill's warnings about the 'Hebrew bloodsuckers'

The Independent
11 March 2007

Unpublished article from 1937 suggests 'aloof' Jews to blame for antagonism towards them

Winston Churchill suggested Jewish people were "partly responsible for the antagonism" that saw them branded "Hebrew bloodsuckers", according to an article made public for the first time today.

The 1937 document, "How the Jews Can Combat Persecution", was unearthed by Dr Richard Toye, a Cambridge University historian. Written three years before Churchill became Prime Minister, the article has apparently lain unnoticed in the Churchill archives at Cambridge since the early months of the Second World War.

The article argues that "the wickedness of the persecutors" was not the sole reason for the ill-treatment of Jews down the ages. Churchill criticised the "aloofness" of Jewish people from wider society and urged them to make the effort to integrate themselves."

Dr Toye said: "I nearly fell off my chair when I found the article. It appears to have been overlooked. [..] It was certainly quite a shock to read some of these things and it is obviously at odds with the traditional idea we have of Churchill."

The article was intended for the US publication Liberty but withdrawn when another magazine Churchill wrote for objected to him supplying a rival.

In the piece Churchill criticised Jewish employers in the clothing trade and their use of sweated labour. Because refugee Jews escaping the Nazi regime in Germany were willing to work for lower wages, this was in his view "bad citizenship" because it forced English workers out of jobs - and "bad policy" as it created anti-Semitism. Churchill says: "The central fact which dominates the relations of Jew and non-Jew is that the Jew is 'different'. He looks different. He thinks differently. He has a different tradition and background."

He then goes on to criticise Jewish moneylenders: "Every Jewish moneylender recalls Shylock and the idea of the Jews as usurers. And you cannot reasonably expect a struggling clerk or shopkeeper, paying 40 or 50 per cent interest on borrowed money to a 'Hebrew Bloodsucker', to reflect that almost every other way of life was closed to the Jewish people."

Elsewhere in the article Churchill is sympathetic towards Jewish people and clearly disapproves of their persecution: "The Jew is, as a rule, a good citizen. He is sober, industrious and law-abiding... The Jews are suffering from persecutions, cruel and relentless."

Dr Toye said: "Although Churchill lapsed into some extremely unfortunate stereotypes, he did so in the context of trying to be helpful - trying to help the Jews avoid persecution. But unfortunately he kind of blames the Jews themselves in part."

However, Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill's biographer, says there is another reason for the anti-Semitic language: "Churchill had a ghostwriter who was a member of the Mosleyite party. This article was the only serious subject the ghostwriter was asked to tackle, in which he went over the top in the use of his language."

Churchill kept ghettoes warning under wraps

Sunday Telegraph

As Britain's wartime prime minister, he led the fight to crush Nazism and its plans to exterminate the Jewish race.

Yet, even as Hitler was stepping up the persecution and Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists (BUF) were fomenting unrest in Britain, Sir Winston Churchill believed that Jewish people were "partly responsible for the antagonism for which they suffer".

An extraordinary article, written by Churchill 70 years ago but subsequently banned from being published, will reignite the debate about whether his government did enough to stop the Nazis' attempted genocide.

Churchill penned the controversial views in 1937, only a year after Mosley's blackshirts had clashed with Jews and other locals on Cable Street in east London and just months after Jews in Germany were banned from holding many professional occupations.

While he clearly disapproved of their persecution and described Jews as "sober, industrious and law-abiding", Churchill, then in his "wilderness years", was critical of what he saw as the "refusal" of the Jews to be "absorbed" into the wider society.

In comments that foreshadow the current debate on multiculturalism, Churchill argued that a tendency to form a "distinct and separate community" runs counter to the idea that settlers should be "100 per cent British" irrespective of their race and religion.

"The central fact which dominates the relations of Jew and non-Jew is that the Jew is different," he added. "He has a different tradition and background. He refuses to be absorbed. In every country the Jews form a distinct and separate community - a little state within the state."

In the paper, entitled How The Jews Can Combat Persecution, he also condemned Jewish entrepreneurs for charging extortionate rates of interest on loans, concluding that they were "unwittingly inviting persecution for the community" from organisations such as the BUF.

He wrote: "The Jew in England is a representative of his race. Every Jewish money lender recalls Shylock and the idea of the Jews as usurers. And you cannot reasonably expect a struggling clerk or shopkeeper, paying 40 or 50 per cent interest on borrowed money to a "Hebrew bloodsucker", to reflect that, throughout long centuries, almost every other way of life was closed to Jewish people; or that there are native English money lenders who insist, just as implacably, upon their 'pound of flesh'."

Churchill also criticised Jewish clothing companies in London's East End for paying sweatshop wages to employees, including Jewish migrants.

"Refugee Jews from Germany may be willing to work for lower wages and under worse conditions than English [people] would look at," he wrote. "If they are allowed to do so, and their numbers are sufficiently large, they may depress the standards of all workers, of whatever nationality, in the trades which they practise. That, I suggest, is bad citizenship. It is also bad policy. It creates an atmosphere in which anti-Semitism thrives."

In conclusion, Churchill advised: "I believe that Jews would be wise to avoid too exclusive an association in ordinary matters of business and daily life and that they should, as much as possible, avoid living in little groups and colonies of their own. Above all they should be wary of exhibiting, in any position of authority, too marked a preference for fellow Jews."

Churchill originally offered the article to Liberty, an American publication. However, Collier's, for which Churchill also wrote, objected to him writing for a rival magazine. It was then offered to Strand magazine but did not appear because it had already taken a similar article by David Lloyd George, the former prime minister.

Three years later, weeks before Churchill became prime minister, Charles Eade, the editor of the Sunday Dispatch newspaper, asked for permission to publish it. Churchill, seemingly aware of how controversial the article would be, refused.

Richard Toye, a lecturer in British political and constitutional history at Cambridge University, discovered the article in the Churchill archive at Cambridge while researching his forthcoming book, Lloyd George & Churchill; Rivals for Greatness.

"While most people would accept that Churchill was no anti-Semite, this sheds fascinating new light on his views about Jews, which were very inconsistent," said Dr Toye.

"In a slightly unfortunate way I think he was trying to help. But he lapsed into common misconceptions and stereotypes. I think it does show genuine intellectual confusion on his part."
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Reply Sun 11 Mar, 2007 05:31 pm
" ... Above all they should be wary of exhibiting, in any position of authority, too marked a preference for fellow Jews."

But expressing a preference for fellow men, English people or guys who flash the V for victory sign is okay. Oof.
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Reply Sun 11 Mar, 2007 05:54 pm
I did not know about this until Habibi posted it, but it does not surprise me in the least.

Churchill was a descendant of John Churchill (1650-1722), the first Duke of Marlborough. He was named for John Churchill's father, Winston, as well as for the Duke's son-in-law, Lord Spencer, and his American mother's family. He was born at Blenheim Palace, paid for by the English people, and built for the first Duke to celebrate his great victory over the French in 1704.

Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was so named because John Churchill's (first Duke of Marlborough) father was named Winston; his mother's father was Leonard Jerome, an American millionaire, and his family was descended directly from John Churchill, through the first Duke's daughter and her husband, Lord Spencer. His branch of the family called themselves Spencer-Churchill to emphasize their direct descent from the first Duke of Marlborough.

His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, but not the eldest, so he would never be the Duke himself--but this explains why he (Winston) was born at Blenheim Palace. Winston was the complete and stereotypic child of privilege, and took every predictable step in the sequence of rising from the cradle to his majority as a child of privilege. He used the considerable influence of his family, his family's name and his mother's connections in society, as well as the residual goodwill toward his father (who died of syphilis, and whose final madness did cause some problems) to get special treatment whenever he thought he needed it in his military career and then in his political career.

He was the last great "lion" of the British Empire. It does not surprise me in the least to think that he were casually antisemitic. I rather suspect it was not the only prejudice he cherished.
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