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Monday, January 23, 2006

Churchill Quotes

The New York Times had a section in their Sunday edition this last weekend on a series of notebooks that included minutes of Winston Churchill's wartime cabinet meetings, as recorded by Sir Norman Brook, the deputy cabinet secretary. Candid in public, Sir Winston was even more pointed in private. Some of his musings on specific subjects follow:

The Allies
On March 12, 1945, Churchill objected to American soldiers eating up Britain's precious food stores.

Now is the time to say firmly U.S. soldier eats five times what ours does: U.S. civilians eating as never before: we will never be behindhand with them in sacrifices: but let them cut down themselves before presuming to address us.

Churchill's impressions of Josef Stalin following a series of meetings in Moscow in 1942.
Large man; great sagacity never stops smiling.

Churchill disliked Charles de Gaulle, the French resistance leader. In June, 1943, he offered this assessment of him.

Greatest living barrier to reunion and restoration of France: insensate ambition.

His views were unchanged two years later, after the war in Europe had ended.
No hope of trustworthy relations with France until we are rid of de Gaulle.

As early as July 6, 1942, Churchill was clear about what to do with Hitler.
If Hitler falls into our hands we shall certainly put him to death.

Not a sovereign who could be said to be in hands of ministers, like Kaiser. This man is the mainspring of evil. Instrument -- electric chair, for gangsters no doubt available on Lease Lend.

On April 12, 1945, as the war drew to a close, Churchill rejected the idea of a war crimes trial.
Agree the trial will be a farce. Indictment: facilities for counsel. All sorts of complications ensue as soon as you admit a fair trial. I would take no responsibility for a trial -- even though U.S. wants to do it. Execute the principal criminals as outlaws -- if no Ally wants them.

On May 3, he suggested how to flush out the surviving leaders of the Third Reich.
Negotiate with, e.g., Himmler and bump him off later.

Churchill on July 2, 1943, about the creation of a Jewish state.
I'm committed to creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Let us go on with that; and at end of war we shall have plenty of force with which to compel the Arabs to acquiesce in our designs. Don't shirk our duties because of difficulties.

Ten days later, he mused about how to ensure Anglo-American supremacy.
Propagate our language all over world is best method. Harmonizes with my ideas for future of the world. This will be the English-speaking century. Can be learned in 2-4 weeks.

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