By Gary Rossi
WINSTON CHURCHILL'S attitude toward the Jews was strangely ambivalent. That he was both drawn toward them and repulsed by them can be seen in his 1920 Sunday Herald article entitled Zionism vs. Bolshevism in which he divided the Jews into three categories: the good Jew, or National Jew; the bad Jew, or International Jew; and the Zionist. He blamed the Bolshevik Revolution on the International Jews who led it, and he warned British Jews that if they could not be National Jews, i.e. Englishmen first, then they had better be Zionists because England would not tolerate Bolshevism. Churchill did not oppose Zionism because the Zionists were encouraging anti-national Jews to leave Britain and settle in their own homeland.
This article caused Churchill a lot of trouble with the Jewish community in England, as the Jews claimed the freedom to propound any doctrine they wished, and they denied that they had inspired the Russian Revolution. Churchill did not help himself any with the Jews when in 1922, as the Colonial Secretary, he released a White Paper which advocated a Jewish homeland in Palestine, but one in which Arab rights would be guaranteed. This brought howls from both the Jews and the Arabs. But the controversy suited Churchill's purpose, as he wanted to see the Middle East remain under British control. He wanted to delay as long as possible the day when free and independent Arab and Jewish states were created out of Britain's domain.
Churchill liked good Jews and disliked bad Jews. This Good Jew / Bad Jew dichotomy appears in a conversation that Churchill had with Putzi Hanfstaengl in 1932. Hanfstaengl was close to Hitler and thought that Churchill might want to meet him. But during their talk Churchill said, "Why is your chief so violent about the Jews? I can quite understand being angry with Jews who have done wrong or are against the country, and I understand resisting them if they try to monopolize power in any walk of life; but what is the sense of being against a man simply because of his birth?"
Churchill knew many 'good Jews'. He had several very wealthy Jewish friends both in England and in America. In the 1920's the American Jewish millionaire Bernard Baruch advised Churchill to invest his money in the United States rather than Britain because he would get a better return on it. Winston, being the great British patriot that he was, thereupon took his money out of Britain and, invested virtually his entire fortune in American common stocks. In 1929, he toured America in the private railroad cars of Bernard Baruch and another Jewish millionaire, Charles Schwab; and he arrived in New York in October 1929, just in time to see the Stock Market crash and his fortune go down the drain.
But this did not undermine Churchill's faith in his Jewish friends. On the contrary, from 1930 to 1937 he continued to invest the money he earned from his writings in American stocks, relying on the advice of Bernard Baruch. Winston said that Baruch was "the greatest financier that there ever has been." But poor Winston's faith was misplaced, and by 1937 he was broke again, and worse he owed his stockbrokers ￡18,000, which at the time was an enormous sum of money.
Winston Churchill: bought and paid for.
In despair Churchill put his lavish estate up for sale and confided to his friend, MP Brendan Bracken, that he was retiring from politics to write, as he needed the money. Bracken contacted a Jewish friend of his named Sir Henry Strakosh, and Strakosh immediately offered not only to pay the ￡18,000 debt but to manage Churchill's portfolio and to pay any further liability that might arise. Strakosh wanted Churchill to continue to devote himself to his crusade against Nazi Germany. From that point on Churchill felt comfortable that his personal financial welfare was in the hands of a 'good Jew'.
Churchill was by no means ungrateful to Bracken and Strakosh. In fact, gratitude was one of Churchill's greatest virtues. Churchill appointed Bracken to the Privy Council in 1940 over the strong objections of King George VI, made him Minister of Information in 1941 and First Lord of the Admiralty in 1945. To pay his debt to Strakosh, Churchill immediately stepped up his attacks on Germany and Hitler, using the most personal invective. In 1938, he said "Hitler is like a snake; when he wants to eat his victims he first covers them with saliva." This was the same Churchill who had previously said of Hitler, "If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations." Strakosh's money had indeed done its work well.
Before he sold out to Jewish financial interests Winston Churchill wrote the article below, attacking sections of the Jewish population, in the Illustrated Herald.