Ходжа Н. (hojja_nusreddin) wrote,
Ходжа Н.

Richard Langworth, "Did Churchill Praise Hitler?"

The film “Judg­ment at Nurem­berg” sug­gests that Churchill “praised" Hitler:
- right after the Munich Pact,
- which would seem an odd time for Churchill to be singing the praises of the Führer.
- What’s the story?

-- K.C., Washington

1. Hitler had attacked Churchill first

In a speech to the Reich­stag in early Novem­ber 1938, Hitler had attacked:
- Churchill by name and
- oth­ers, who had objected to the Munich Pact
- and describ­ing them as “war­mon­gers”.

2. Churchill had replied to Hitler

in the House of Com­mons on 6 Novem­ber, Churchill said:
"I am surprised that the head of a great State should set himself to attack British members of Parliament,
who hold no official position and who are not even the leaders of parties.
Such action on his part can only enhance any influence they may have, because
their fellow-countrymen have long been able to form their own opinion about them and really do not need foreign guidance".

What Churchill then said
- has often been quoted out of context
- to suggest that he was an admirer of Hitler.

A par­tial quo­ta­tion is in my book "Churchill by Himself", the “People” chapter, page 346.
But just so there’s no doubt, I have supplied here all the words:

"I have always said that, if Great Britain were defeated in war, I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations.

I am sorry, however, that he has not been mellowed by the great success that has attended him.
The whole world would rejoice to see the Hitler of peace and tol­er­ance, and noth­ing would adorn his name in world his­tory so much as acts of mag­na­nim­ity and of mercy and of pity to the for­lorn and friend­less, to the weak and poor.

Since he has been good enough to give me his advice I ven­ture to return the com­pli­ment.
Herr Hitler also showed him­self unduly sen­si­tive about sug­ges­tions that there may be other opin­ions in Ger­many besides his own.
It would be indeed aston­ish­ing if, among 80,000,000 of peo­ple so vary­ing in ori­gin, creed, inter­est, and con­di­tion, there should be only one pat­tern of thought.
It would not be natural: it is incredible.
That he has the power, and, alas! the will, to sup­press all incon­ve­nient opin­ions is no doubt true.
It would be much wiser to relax a lit­tle, and not try to frighten peo­ple out of their wits for express­ing hon­est doubt and diver­gences.
He is mistaken in think­ing that I do not see Ger­mans of the Nazi regime, when they come to this coun­try.
On the contrary, only this year I have seen, at their request, Herr Bohle, Herr Hen­lein, and the Gauleiter of Danzig, and they all know that.

In com­mon with most Eng­lish men and women, I should like noth­ing bet­ter than to see a great, happy, peace­ful Ger­many in the van­guard of Europe.
Let this great man search his own heart and con­science
, before he accuses any­one of being a war­mon­ger.
The whole peo­ples of the British Empire and the French Repub­lic earnestly desire to dwell in peace side by side with the Ger­man nation.
But they are also resolved to put them­selves in a posi­tion to defend their rights and long-established civ­i­liza­tions.
They do not mean to be in anybody’s power.
If Herr Hitler’s eye falls upon these words, I trust he will accept them in the spirit of can­dour in which they are uttered."

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