Churchill and Liberalism, 1933 to 1939

From 1933 to 1939, Winston Churchill spent the better part of his ‘Wilderness Years’ (when he was out of power) creating an intense polarization between the ‘Western democracies’ or the ‘free world’ and the ‘tyrants’ and ‘dictators’ of the ‘totalitarian powers’. A constant theme in Churchill’s rhetoric of this period are hot blooded appeals to liberal principles and ideals such as freedom, civic equality, parliamentary democracy, racial and religious tolerance, progress, self government, self determination, individual rights and liberties, human rights etc. His goal was to prepare and mobilize liberal Britain and her allies (through appeal to consensus liberal principles) for an ideological/military conflict with the authoritarian Third Reich.

Churchill’s aggressive liberalism can be contrasted with the pacifistic liberalism of Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain. The latter preferred to maintain the post-WW1 liberal international order (centered on the League of Nations) through a combination of negotiations, economic sanctions, disarmament and appeasement. The thrust of their efforts was to maintain an international system in which war and aggression were outlawed. This system suited the Western powers who used it to maintain their power and privileges over revisionist nations like the Axis.

As in the India debates, the British response to the Third Reich (from all sides of the political spectrum) had an inescapable tone of highmindedness, moral self righteousness and fidelity to the established principles of international law. The British reaction to Hitler and his followers was conditioned by a peculiar liberal perspective. His actions seemed justified insofar as he pursued his goal of reuniting ethnic Germans with the Fatherland (this was in line with the liberal principle of self determination), but he invited the wrath of the British when he established the protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia and extinguished Poland’s independence.

If the British had not cared a whit about self government or self determination, would they have gone to war with Germany in 1939 over Poland’s independence? I seriously doubt it.

Churchill’s attitude toward the Third Reich in the interwar years:

1933

“Churchill, who had followed closely the reports of Nazi demands and anti-Jewish and anti-democratic action, told the House, ‘When we read about Germany, when we watch with surprise and distress the tumultuous insurgence of ferocity and war spirit, the pitiless ill-treatment of minorities, the denial of the normal protections of civilised society to large numbers of individuals solely on the grounds of race – when we see that occurring in one of the most gifted, learned, scientific and formidable nations in Europe, one cannot help feeling glad that the fierce passions that are raging in Germany have not found, as yet, any other outlet than Germans.'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 514)

“Churchill went on to tell the House that there were not only ‘martial or pugnacious manifestations’ in Germany, but also ‘this persecution of the Jews, of which so many hon. Members have spoken, and which appeals to everyone who feels that men and women have a right to live in the world where they are born, and have a right to pursue a livelihood which has hitherto been guaranteed them under the public laws of the land of their birth’. He then warned of the dangers of the ‘odious conditions now ruling in Germany’ being extended by conquest to Poland, ‘and another persecution and pogrom of Jews begun in this new area’.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 516)

“Churchill again commented on several frightening details of German dictatorship: militarism, appeals ‘to every form of fighting spirit’, the reintroduction of duelling in the universities, and the persecution of the Jews.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 520)

“It was the Nazis ‘who declare that war is glorious, who inculcate a form of blood-lust in their children without parallel as an education since Barbarian and Pagan times’.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 524)

1934

“Germany was ruled by a ‘handful of autocrats’ who had become ‘absolute masters of that mighty, gifted nation’, in full control, ‘by every means which modern apparatus renders possible’, of public opinion.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 526)

“The Nazis, he said, were seeking ‘the submission of races by terrorising and torturing their civil population’.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 533)

“‘Whether we shall submit to the will of the stronger nation or whether we shall prepare to defend our rights, our liberties and indeed our lives’.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 533)

1935

“The German Government protested against Churchill’s speech, as it did about an article on Hitler which he published in the Strand Magazine, in which he wrote of how, ‘side by side with training grounds of the new armies and the great aerodromes, the concentration camps pock-mark the German soil. In these, thousands of Germans are coerced and cowed into submission to the irresistable power of the Totalitarian State’. He also wrote of the ‘brutal vigor’ of the persecution of the Jews. ‘No past services, no proved patriotism, even wounds sustained in war, could procure immunity for persons whose only crime was that their parents had brought them into the world.'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 546)

“‘There ought to be a few members of the House of Commons,’ he said, ‘who are in a sufficiently independent position to confront both Ministers and electors with unpalatable truths. We do not wish our ancient freedom and the decent tolerant civilisation we have preserved in this island to hang upon a rotten thread.'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 546)

1936

“It was in Paris, on September 24, that he set out the evils of totalitarianism and the virtues of democracy. ‘How could we bear,’ he asked, ‘to be treated like schoolboys when we are grown-up men; to be turned out on parade by tens of thousands to march and cheer for this slogan or for that; to see philosophers, teachers and authors bullied and toiled to death in concentration camps; to be forced every hour to conceal the natural workings of the human intellect and the pulsations of the human heart? Why, I say that rather than submit to such oppression, there is no length we would not go to.'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 562)

“On October 15, at a meeting of the Anti-Nazi Council, Churchill praised the decision of the Trades Union Congress to urge the Labour Party to support whatever rearmament was needed ‘in order that free countries should not be trampled down’.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 563)

1937

“On September 17 Churchill appealed to Hitler, in an article in the Evening Standard, to abandon the persecution of Jews, Protestants and Catholics. Given Nazi persecution, he wrote, there could be no return of Germany’s pre-war colonies and no British financial help.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 580)

“‘You cannot expect English people to be attracted by the brutal intolerances of Nazidom, though these may fade with time. On the other hand, we all wish to live on friendly terms with Germany. We know that the best Germans are ashamed of the Nazi excesses, and recoil from the paganism on which they are based.'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 581)

“All that Germany had to do in order to win British goodwill was ‘not to commit crimes’. Churchill added, ‘One must hope that in the passage of years these Dictators will disappear like other ugly creatures of the aftermath.'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 581)

“‘Our people are united and healthy. The spirit of Britain is reviving. The working people are ready to defend the cause of Liberty with their lives.'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 584)

“During the debate, Churchill spoke of the persecution of the Jews in Germany. ‘It is a horrible thing,’ he said, ‘that a race of people should be attempted to be blotted out of the society in which they have been born,'” (Gilbert, Churchill, 585)

1938

“Were that to happen, and the Germans then invaded Czechoslovakia, it would be ‘an outrage against civilisation and freedom of the whole world’.” (Gilbert, Churchill, 594)

About Hunter Wallace 12366 Articles
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10 Comments

  1. This is going to sound petty, but:

    “If the British had not cared a wit about self government…”

    should read

    “If the British had cared a whit about self-government…”

    The more important issue is at:
    “His actions seemed justified insofar as he pursued his goal of reuniting ethnic Germans with the Fatherland (this was in line with the liberal principle of self determination), but he invited the wrath of the British when he established the protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia and extinguished Poland’s independence.”

    I had long put this down to limeys hating wogs. The Poles were wogs to the limeys and the limeys wanted them dead, so the guarantee of independence was used to kill as many Poles as possible. (The Krauts were wogs as well, and wog-kill-wog was how the Empire was built.) However, your recent series of articles makes me wonder if it was only Churchill who hated Poles, and that perhaps Chamberlain was trying in good faith to keep Poles alive.

  2. “The war was not just a matter of the elimination of Fascism in Germany, but rather of obtaining German sales markets.” – Winston Churchill. Fulton. March, 1946

    “I believe now that Hitler and the German people did not want war. But we declared war on Germany, intent on destroying it, in accordance with our principle of balance of power, and we were encouraged by the ‘Americans’ around Roosevelt.” – Sir. Hartley Shawcross. British Attorney General

    “The reproach that world trade is declining as a result of the German method of barter trade can, if it is correct at all, only be addressed to those who are to blame for this development. They are those countries who by means of their currency maneuvers arbitrarily destroy every fixed relationship between individual currencies in accordance with their own egotistical requirements.
    In these circumstances however the German system of exchanging something that has been turned out as an honest job of work for something equally honestly produced is a far more straightforward way of doing business than by payment in foreign currency, which a year later is devalued by so much percent.” – Adolf Hitler. 6th Anniversary Speech

    “Joining with Samuel Untermeyer in calling for a war against Germany, Bernard Baruch, at the same time, was promoting preparations for war against Germany. ‘I emphasized that the defeat of Germany and Japan and their elimination from world trade would give Britain a tremendous opportunity to swell her foreign commerce in both volume and profit.”
    – Samuel Untermeyer, The Public Years, p.347

    “It is likely that Germany’s successful competition through bilateral agreements and the banking nations desire to liquidate such interest-free competition was an important factor in the United States and Britain promoting war against Germany.”
    – Conrad Grieb. American Manifest Destiny and the Holocausts, Examiner Books, N.Y. 1979

    “When we (The United States) resumed delivery of slaves, we took pains to make sure that the prisoners-of-war were is satisfactory physical condition. The men would be lined up and examined, their mouths opened and inspected, their chests thumped, their joints tried, their ears, eyes and teeth looked over, as if they were horses being offered for sale. G.Is witnessing the spectacle were heard to remark: ‘Gee! I hope we don’t ever lose a war.” – Ralph F. Keeling, Gruesome Harvest

    On December 6th 1946, almost two years after the war had ended, the United States Government demanded the repatriation of German prisoners-of-war that they had given to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
    France pledged to return the 620,000 prisoners-of-war she had been given, but protested vehemently and disclosed that the United States of America on December, 21st, 1945, had ‘expressly stipulated that the Germans captured by the U.S. Army and handed over to France were chattels to be used indefinitely for slave labor as part of France’s war reparations from Germany.’
    Ralph Franklin Keeling, Gruesome Harvest

    “During the latter half of 1945 (many months after the war’s end), I was with British troops guarding suspect Nazi civilians living on starvation rations in a camp called Sennelager. They were frequently beaten and grew as thin as concentration camp victims, scooping handfuls of swill from our waste bins. They could be shot on sight if they ventured close to the perimeter fence. It was a common trick to throw a cigarette just inside the fence and shoot any prisoner who tried to reach it.”
    A.W Perkins, Holland-on-Sea. Daily Mail, 22nd April 1995

    “Great Britain in August, 1946, 15-months after the war’s end, according to the International Red Cross, had 460,000 German prisoners-of-war slaving for her.”
    John Thompson, Geneva, August 24th 1946. Chicago Tribune Press Service

    “… and in the case of France bringing in a handsome profit for the War Office. ‘Upon embarking from our ports the prisoners were given to understand that they were being sent home; when they learned upon arrival at British and French ports that they were to be worked indefinitely as slaves, they became sullen. As one British officer said: ‘It takes us several weeks to bring them around to where they will work hard.’ – Arthur Veysey, London, May 28th 1956. Chicago Tribune Press Service

    In Britain, among other projects, the prisoners-of-war were forced to build in Kensington Gardens a British victory celebration camp to house 24,000 Empire troops who marched in the Empire’s Victory Day Parade. One foreman remarked: ‘I guess the Jerries are preparing to celebrate their own downfall. It does seem as though it is laying it on a bit thick.’

    Needless to say, all of these abuses were grossly illegal under international law to which Britain was a signatory to, and of course contrary to all human standards of civilized behavior. One wonders at the double standards displayed when whilst at the one time the victors were putting Germans on trial – and executing them, for the used of forced labor, albeit with prisoners not protected by convention, the victors were themselves enslaving prisoners under much harsher conditions…. prisoners who were protected under mutually agreed conventions…. and, long after the war had ended.

    £250 MILLION A YEAR FROM SLAVERY
    “The British Government nets over $250,000,000 each year from its German slaves, hiring them out at up to $20 a week, and paying the slaves up to 20 cents a day. The prisoners are never given cash but are provided with credits instead.
    In March, 1946, 140,000 prisoners-of-war were working on farms which earned the government $14 a week per prisoner, 24,000 on housing and bomb damage projects, 22,000 on the railways; others in odd jobs or waiting on G.I brides awaiting shipment to America.”

    WINSTON CHURCHILL. If our country were defeated I should hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.” – ‘Step by Step’, p.143

    WINSTON CHURCHILL “In fifteen years that have followed this resolve, he has succeeded in restoring Germany to the most powerful position in Europe, and not only has he restored the position of his country, but he has even, to a very great extent, reversed the results of the Great War…. the vanquished are in the process of becoming the victors and the victors the vanquished…. whatever else might be thought about these exploits they are certainly among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world.” – 1935.

  3. If self-determination is a liberal platitude, is there then a strange congruity between historical liberalism and the ethnic European nationalism of the modern “radical right” with respect to this liberal principle? Or is the principle simply not confined to liberalism? And if that is the case, then Churchill’s embrace of the principle of national self-determination is not indicative of liberal ideology.

    [Sorry for changing my email address. I’ll stick to this one from henceforth.]

  4. We can also thank Sir Winny for helping to perpetuate the grossest act of genocide on any people in history … that of the eastern Germans — THE PRUSSIANS:

    […] How did Prussia – a state that had been England’s most dependable ally against France, that had served as a model not only for our army but for our education system and welfare state – come to be seen as the embodiment of tyranny? In so far as Prussia is remembered at all in the English-speaking world, it is as the ‘war machine with its clanking, heel-clicking dandified Prussian officers’ evoked by Churchill when Hitler invaded Russia.
    “Modern historiography was, like so many other things, a Prussian invention. Clark’s footnotes are peppered with references to Ranke, Droysen, Treitschke, Meinecke, Hintze, Ritter and the rest of the Prussian school of history. But Clark has the benefit of hindsight and, perched on the shoulders of these giants, he can see much more clearly than they how and why Prussia emerged from obscurity to revolutionise German politics and culture before culminating in catastrophe.”

    Of the ‘Great Powers’ that dominated Europe from the 18th to the 20th centuries, Prussia is the only one to have vanished not only from the map but from the continent’s collective memory. The Allies’ ‘deprussification’ of the Germans after 1945 was so thorough that even those who live in what was once the kingdom of Prussia are hardly aware of its unlamented past. […]

    Prussia: wiped from the world – Telegraph
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3654655/Prussia-wiped-from-the-world.html

    ~

    *Seems to fit virtually to the letter the United Nations definition of genocide?*

    Article 2
    In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;
    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html

    ~

    YouTube – PreußenLied – National Anthem of the Kingdom of Prussia – Preußen Hymne

  5. I assume the ultimate point of this thread is to de-demonize Hitler a bit by telling the truth about Churchill. Worthy goal perhaps, but here’s how I think whites should view Hitler: He cost us too damn much. That price includes the triumph of Churchill and ideological/Jewish liberalism, something that has cost us dearly. He lost the battle and the war, and he’s still losing it for us.

  6. I agree with rick.

    The treatment of the Ukrainians – a blond and green-eyed race – was insanely stupid. They were ready to rise _for_ the Germans, _against_ Stalin. The viciousness of the German occupation single-handedly turned that around, and probably lost the Germans the war in the East.

  7. “The treatment of the Ukrainians – a blond and green-eyed race – was insanely stupid. They were ready to rise _for_ the Germans, _against_ Stalin.”

    Eh, are you guys are not familiar with General Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Army (ROA)? Or the over one million former Soviet soldiers who donned a Wehrmacht uniform, the ‘Ostruppen’?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bcOTD0OXDE&feature=PlayList&p=AD9014AB2808D737&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=42

    Or of the 14th Waffen SS Division ‘Galicia’ (1st Ukrainian) –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8A7R1NkFr0&feature=PlayList&p=AD9014AB2808D737&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=87

    ~

    […] By accepting more than one million volunteers from Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovakia, etc. in the Wehrmacht and by allowing half a million non-German European volunteers in the Waffen SS, the German high military command thought it could create its own version of united Europe and successfully fight the war on two fronts. […]

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Sunic-RaceIII.html

  8. KNL: I am familiar with that, yes. It goes to show how much they hated Stalin that they would do that even in the face of the treatment the Germans were imposing. If instead the strategy had been to secure their full and willing cooperation, rather than enslave them, how many millions more might have shown up to fight?

  9. Rollory,

    Don’t be so quick to believe, or accept, the Establishment line on supposed German anti-Slav ‘racism’, especially since so much of it is Jewish-inspired –

    […] Apart from being a derogatory, value-laden word that immediately lends itself to an array of catastrophic fantasies and judgment day scenarios, the word “Nazi” also gives birth to a schizoid behavior among a number of White nationalists, particularly in America. Many of them seriously project in their minds National Socialist Germany as a country populated by Albino-like Nordic- Übermenschen) possessing a hidden force that could be resuscitated any day either in Patagonia or on astral UFO’s. As noted previously in TOO (see here and here), the false reenactment of political events leads to their farcical repetition — with dangerous political consequences. In our postmodernity, the overkill of false images leads to the real kill. The often rowdy and infantile behavior of such “proud Aryan internet warriors” scares off serious White people who could otherwise be of some help in these decisive days of struggle for Western civilization. We must ask ourselves: Cui bono? Who benefits?

    Indeed, the surreal image of National Socialism as exclusively Nordic has been promoted by the left — antifascist scholars, environmentalists, Freudo-Boasians, various Jewish and pro-Jewish academic think tanks, the caviar-left, the gated community White liberals, etc. How? For decades they have been cranking out an overkill of one-sided books and movies on National Socialism and racism, and this for two simple reasons. First, it pays well and provides lush media and academic sinecures. Secondly, there has been a well-conceived pedagogical project ever since 1945 to prevent a critical reexamination of race and racism. […]

    […] The much discussed German anti-Slavic policies, which were based on the alleged racial inferiority of Slavs, are nonsense — all the more so since at least one out of three Germans carries the name of Slavic origin. Prior to 1945, well over 15 million Germans were born and lived in the Slavic speaking areas of East Europe, including the third-ranking man in the National Socialist command, the Russian-Baltic born German Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg’s face shows Nordic features with a slight Alpine Slavic streak. […]

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Sunic-RaceIII.html

    *Please read the whole article by Dr. Sunic.

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