Archive for the ‘WWII’ Category

DEN SVENSKA SAMLINGSREGERINGENS BESLUT UNDER MIDSOMMARKRISEN I JUNI 1942!

21 oktober 2018

Det finns en mycket intressant dramadokumentär av Hans Villius och Olle Häger som bygger på dagböcker, protokoll och minnesanteckningar! Den heter ”Fyra dagar som skakade Sverige – Midsommarkrisen” och behandlar samlingsregeringens överväganden och beslut efter natten den 22 juni 1942 när Tyskland förklarade det stalinistiska Sovjetunionen krig.

Tyskland begärde omedelbart efter krigsutbrottet att få transportera den 163:e divisionen Engelbrektdivisionen från Norge för att bistå Finland i Fortsättningskriget mot de stalinistiska arméerna som hotade Finland.

Det militära hotet, dock ej det politiska, avvärjdes slutligen sommaren 1944 av de tappra finska soldaterna under den lysande fältmarskalken Carl Gustaf Mannerheim. ”Vi har Gud och Mannerheim, ryssarna har ingenting.” Vid sidan av Dag Hammarskjöld en av mina stora hjältar! Men det är en helt annan historia.

Dramadokumentären skildrar diskussioner och ställningstaganden i samlingsregeringen under de fyra dramatiska dagar som resulterade i att samlingsregeringen – slutligen enhälligt – beviljade Tysklands begäran att på järnväg transportera Engelbrektdivisionen från Norge till Finland genom Sverige.

Tre personer kommer ut mycket positivt ur den skildringen, den socialdemokratiske statsministern Per Albin Hansson, den opolitiske utrikesministern Christian Gunther samt dåvarande kungen Gustaf V Adolf och bör tilläggas de borgerliga partiledarna/ministrarna. Nämnda ministrar inklusive kungen stod för linjen att bevilja Tysklands begäran. Den socialdemokratiska statsministern P A Hansson agerade mycket skickligt för att till slut få gehör för det korrekta beslutet att tillåta Tyskland att transportera Engelbrektdivisionen till Finland.

Glöm inte att detta utspelade sig bara några år efter de stalinistiska hordernas oprovocerade anfall på Finland då ”Finlands sak var vår!” En dåtida hållning som gjorde att Sverige militärt officiellt och än mer inofficiellt stöttade Finland med vapen och frivilliga.

Vänstern inom den socialdemokratiska regeringen med Ernst Wigforss, Richard Sandler och ev. också Per Edvin Sköld var emot och ville att vi – trots Finlands önskan och behov – skulle säga nej till Tysklands begäran.

Till slut segrade statsministern Per Albin Hanssons linje. De borgerliga företrädarna i samlingsregeringen var från början välvilligt inställda till att tillåta den tyska begäran om trupptransport! De socialdemokrater i samlingsregeringen som opponerade mot den linjen tvingades till slut att vika ner sig. Beslutet blev således att Tyskland tilläts och också förde över den 163:e divisionen, Division Engelbrekt, från Norge till Finland. Det tyska stödet bidrog väsentligt men var inte avgörande för att Finland lyckades stoppa Stalins arméer och behålla sin självständighet. Om Finland inte lyckats stoppa de ryska arméerna hade vi haft den stalinistiska terrorregimen vid Torne älv hotande också Sverige. En skrämmande kontrafaktisk händelseutveckling!

Finland tog hjälp av Tyskland eftersom det var den enda hjälp som stod till buds. Den champagnealkoholiserade Winston Churchill förklarade Finland krig! USA skickade via Murmanskbanan enorma mängder med krigsmateriel till Stalin som satte in dessa mot bland annat de finska tappra trupperna! Vid Tali Ihantala (Nordens största slag) och Tienhara stoppades slutligen sommaren 1944 de stalinistiska trupperna. Svenska frivilliga gjorde en storartad insats vid Jandeba för att stoppa Stalins arméer.

Priset för Finlands frihet blev dock högt i form av en mycket hård fred med landavträdelser och krigsskadestånd. All produktion fram till 1954 gick åt för att betala krigsskadeståndet (ja, så var det?) till det kommunistiska Sovjetunionen. Krigsskadeståndet var slutligen 1954 betalt till fullo med ränta för förseningar. Finland var det enda land som betalade krigsskadeståndet till sista marken!

Min poäng med denna text är dock egentligen en annan. Den bild av Sverige som eftergiven mot Tyskland kommer sannolikt från den under Midsommarkrisen förlorande sidan med den socialdemokratiska vänstern i form av Wigforss, Sandler och ev. Sköld. Man har lyckats få svenskarna att känna skuld och skam för beslutet att tillåta transiteringen av Engelbrektdivisionen. Den linjen har fortsatt under efterkrigstiden fram till idag och odlats av vänstern inom socialdemokratin i politisk enighet med kommunisterna/V.

Den svenska samlingsregeringens beslut Midsommaren 1942 var från svenska geo-politiska intressen helt korrekt och i solidaritet med och ett stöd i Finlands hårda krig med de stalinistiska arméerna!

THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM. CRIMES, TERROR, REPRESSION. STÉPHANE COURTOIS. LONDON 1999

11 april 2018

A few comments on The Black Book of Communism gathered from international reviews and media.

An 800-page book of the crimes of Communist regimes worldwide, recorded and analyzed in detail by a team of scholars. The facts and figures, some of them well known, others newly confirmed in hitherto inaccessible archives, are irrefutable.

The myth of the well-intentioned founders – the good czar Lenin betrayed by his evil heir Stalin -has been laid to rest for good. No one will any longer be able to claim ignorance or uncertainty about the criminal nature of Communism, and those who had begun to forget will be forced to remember anew.

When The Black Book of Communism appeared in Europe in 1997 detailing communism’s crimes, it created a furor. Scrupulously documented and soberly written by several historians, it is a masterful work. It is, in fact, a reckoning.

The Black Book of Communism is an extraordinary and almost unspeakably chilling book. It is a major study that deepens our understanding of communism and poses a philosophical and political challenge that cannot be ignored. The book’s central argument, copiously documented and repeated in upwards of a dozen different essays, is that the history of communism should be read above all as the history of an all-out assault on society by a series of conspiratorial cliques led by cruel dictators (Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim II Sung, Pol Pot, and dozens of imitators) who were murderously drunk on their own ideology and power…

Courtois and his collaborators have performed a signal service by gathering in one volume a global history of communism’s crimes from the Soviet Union to China, from the satellite countries of Eastern-Europe to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and North Korea, and to a lesser degree in Latin America and Africa.

The Black Book is enormously impressive and utterly convincing. To the extent that the book has a literary style, it is that of the recording angel; this is the body count of a colossal, wholly failed social, economic, political and psychological experiment. It is a criminal indictment, and it rightly reads like one.

Most sensible adults are aware of communism’s human toll in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, the forced starvations in the Ukraine, the Great Purge of the 1930s, the Gulag, the insanity of China’s Great Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s murder of one in every seven Cambodians, Fidel Castro’s firing squads and prisons. All these horrors are now brought together in what the French scholar Martin Mali, in his foreword, calls a ‘balance sheet of our current knowledge of communism’s human costs.

That The Black Book infuriated the French left is a sure mark of its intrinsic worth. The Black Book is a groundbreaking effort by a group of French scholars to document the human costs of Communism in the 20th century. Its publication caused a sensation in France when it was first released in 1997, but Americans were not able to see for themselves what the furor was all about until October 1999, when Harvard University Press finally released an English translation. It was worth the wait. Taking advantage of many newly available archives in former Communist states, the authors (many of them former Communists themselves) have meticulously recorded the crimes, terror and repression inflicted by Communist regimes across the world. It is a powerful work.

KOMMUNISMENS BROTT MOT MÄNSKLIGHETEN!

06 april 2018

”Socialismen är ingenting allmänskligt utan ett klassprogram, där agitatorsmaximerna gå på uttrampade skor i spetsen med fanan, med sanningarna försagda i andra ledet. Ändå är det de senare, som komma att överleva de förra.” Werner von Heidenstam den 21.5 1919 i SvD.

Profetiskt av en av våra stora Nationalskalder!

PRAKTIKEN!

Hur många mördade de kommunistiska regimerna från 1917 och fram till 1980? Det finns vetensakliga rapporter och litteratur som beskriver och analyserar omfattningen.

I kort sammandrag ser praktiken ut på följande sätt vad gäller arbetsläger, koncentrationsläger, massmördande, medvetet initierade svältkatastrofer, tortyr och fängelser för systematiskt dödande. Estimaten avser civila offer (således inte stupade soldater i krig):

Sovjetunionen /USSR 20 miljoner döda
Kina (Stora Språnget, Kulturrevolutionen mm) 65 miljoner döda
Vietnam 1 miljon döda
Nordkorea 2 miljoner döda
Kambodjas Röda Khmerer 2,0 miljoner.
Östeuropa 1 miljon döda
Latinamerika 150 000 döda
Afrika 1,7 miljoner döda
Afghanistan 1,5 miljoner döda

Kommunismens offer utgör sammantaget ca 100 miljoner civila. Dessa offer beskrivs över 850 sidor i detalj i Stéphane Courtois m.fl. The Black Book of Communism. Crimes Terror Repression.

Rudolf Rummel i Death by Government, Genocide and Mass Murder in the Twentieth Century, 1994, anger 75 miljoner civila dödade av den kinesiska kommunistregimen och 65 miljoner (rejält högre siffror än Courtois) dödade sammantaget av övriga kommunistregimer. Det skulle innebära över 140 miljoner civila dödade av kommunismen perioden 1917 – 1987.

Nazismen i Tyskland skapade 21 – 25 miljoner civila offer sammantaget inklusive drygt 5 miljoner i förintelsen.

Så ser praktiken ut för de två totalitära tvillingarna nazism och kommunism! Brotten de begått mäts dock med dubbla måttstockar, en för nazismen och en annan för kommunismen.

Ovanstående sifferpresentation är naturligtvis problematisk av flera skäl.
För det första är denna typ av siffror är behäftade med osäkerhet och felmarginaler. De angivna nivåerna är approximativa estimat i enlighet med ”best practise!” Jag har använt de bästa empiriska sammanställningarna. Källorna anges i texten.
För det andra är magnituden i antal mördade civila så hög att det närmast blir en akademisk fråga om det är 100 miljoner eller 140 miljoner som mördats av kommunistiska diktaturregimer.
För det tredje ligger det något makabert i att sätta sig och räkna ut hur många som utrotats av de två totalitära regimerna. Dock, det är en helt nödvändig kalkyl att ha klart för sig för att korrekt orientera sig i den samtida historiska debatten och analysen!
För det fjärde utgör resultatet av en  ”body-count” av detta slag ingen ursäkt för de förintelser nazismen begått bara för att de har lägre sammanlagt antal än deras kommunistiska tvilling. Poängen är att kommunismen FAKTISKT begått ett flertal groteska förintelser.

KOMMUNISMEN SEGLAR UNDER RADARN!

Skillnaden är att kommunismen lyckas segla under radarn i de postmodernistiska och neo-marxistiska universiteten och media. I skolorna och i media behandlas nazismens brott och förintelser dagligen och med rätta. Beskrivningar av kommunismens brott och förintelser lyser nästan helt med sin frånvaro.

Hur kommer det sig?

NÜRNBERGRÄTTEGÅNGARNA.

Nazisternas brott granskades och de skyldiga dömdes till döden eller långa fängelsestraff vid Nürnbergrättegångarna 1945/46. I huvudrättegången som inte bara dömde de nazistiska koryféerna stiftades också nya lagar. I Nürnbergstadgan definierades vad som menades med ”brott mot mänskligheten” vilket då var en helt ny stadga. I detta arbete deltog två sovjetiska kommunister som också var ett par av huvuddomarna! På det sättet lyckades kommunisterna glida över på den ”goda sidan.” Tyvärr har kommunisterna själva inte granskats och dömts enligt de under Nürnbergrättegångarna kodifierade lagarna för vad som definierar ”brott mot mänskligheten” som mord, utrotning, förslavning, deportation, fängslande i strid med folkrättsliga regler, tortyr, våldtäkt, tvångssterilisering och förföljelse.

Det en gammal sanning att segraren sätter lagarna och skriver historien men här känns kulisserna ovanligt bjärta!

Se vidare Romstadgans för Internationella brottmålsdomstolen från 1998 artikel 7 om vad som idag definieras som och konstituerar ”brott mot mänskligheten.”

KATYN.

En veritabel – idag belagd – lögn spreds av de sovjetiska kommunisterna under och efter Nürnbergrättegångarna. Över 20 000 polska officerare från marskalkar, generaler och neråt mördades av stalinistiska kommunister år 1940 bl a i skogarna utanför Katyn.
När sanningen började spridas så grävde NKVD 1944 upp liken och planterade ”bevis” som pekade mot att det var tyskarna som mördat de polska officerarna. Kathleen Harriman dotter till USA:s ambassadör Averell Harriman togs till platsen och förevisades liken och ”bevisen” och åkte hem vittnandes om att det var tyskarna som begått de groteska brotten.

Under Nürnbergrättegångarna 1945/46 åtalades ledande nazister som Herrman Göring också för detta groteska brott. De kommunistiska ryska domarna i huvudrättegången visste sannolikt hur det förhöll sig i verkligheten. De Allierade tillät Sovjetunionen att åtala de tyska nazisterna för Katyn trots att de sannolikt vid det laget visste det rätta förhållandet!

Efter Berlinmurens fall och när arkiven öppnats kom ovedersägliga fakta i dagen så att vi idag vet att det var de sovjetiska kommunisterna som mördade de polska officerarna. Ryssarna har via Boris Jeltsin 1992 vid besök i Warszawa erkänt att de var skyldiga!

Ordern om att avrätta de polska officerarna undertecknades av Josef Stalin och Lavrentij Beria. Dokumentet finns på nätet. Jag har det på ryska i min dator men finns också översatt.

I boken ”Stalins mord i Katyn och dess historiska efterspel 1940 – 2010” av Peter Johnsson från 2010 behandlas hela de smutsiga förloppen runt de 21 857 polska officerare som Stalin lät avrätta. I boken behandlas vidare hur ryssarna tilläts sätta upp Katyn på listan över anklagelser mot Hermann Göring. De Allierade accepterade stillatigande den lögnen. Enligt boken var Churchill väl inläst på Katyn-frågan.

Någon motsvarande samlad rättegång mot kommunistiska koryféer och regimer har inte genomförts varken i Ryssland, Kina eller Vietnam.

KAMBODJA DELVIS ETT UNDANTAG!

Ett försök till rättegång genomfördes gentemot Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, tidigare president i folkets församling, Ieng Sary tidigare premiärminister med ansvar för utrikesaffärer, hans hustru Ieng Thirith, tidigare ansvarig för socialdepartementet samt Khieu Samphan som var statsminister. Pol Pot undkom dom eftersom han hann dö 1998 innan rättegången 30 – 35 år efter brotten genomfördes mot de ledande Röda Khmererna. Nuon Chea och Kieu Samphan dömdes.

NAZISTERNA MED RUDOLF HÖSS I SPETSEN LÄRDE AV STALINS PRAKTIK!

Koncentrationsläger i modern mening användes för första gången av engelsmännen i början av 1900-talet när boer spärrades in i sådana läger!
I det nya kommunistiska Ryssland byggde Vladimir I Lenin och Leon Trotsky redan från 1917 och framåt koncentrationsläger för s.k. ”klassfiender” från olika sociala grupper (inkl arbetare). Josef Stalin byggde under 1930-talet ut och industrialiserade arbets- och koncentrationslägren i snabb takt. Lavrentij Beria var ansvarig för utbyggnaden av Gulag-systemet under Josef Stalins egid. Tyskarna tog sedan över praktiken med koncentrationsläger – de lärde av Stalin – och drev industrialiseringen av lägren med tysk effektivitet ytterligare några steg.

Dödande av fångar via gasning förekom redan under den stalinistiska kommunismen. Fångar spärrades in i täckta flak på en lastbil. Avgaserna från lastbilen leddes in i utrymmet och när transporten anlände till färdiggrävda gropar i skogen var fångarna redan döda.
Metoden med gasning i lastbilar togs över av tyskarna som dock fann metoden långsam och ineffektiv. De utvecklade gasandet in i en totalt avhumaniserad industriell process!

Så ser historien ut i sin groteska korthet!

Lägersystemet, arbets- och koncentrationslägren Gulag har beskrivits dokumentärt och litterärt av Alexander Solsjenitsyn i en serie böcker som 1970 gav honom Nobelpriset i litteratur. Författarna Arthur Lundkvist och Sven-Eric Liedman var – by the way – negativa till Solsjenitsyns Nobelpris liksom också Olof Lagercrantz.

Ambassadören Gunnar Jarring vid svenska Ambassaden i Moskva, sannolikt med stöd av Olof Palme, vägrade att låta Nobelpriset delas ut på den svenska ambassaden i Moskva när Alexander Solsjenitsyn vägrades resa till Stockholm.

Några skammens ögonblick i svensk historia!

Man kan i efterhand bedöma och berömma Solsjenitsyn för att ha varit med och bidragit till det groteska kommunistiska systemets sönderfall. Upplösningen av kommunistregimerna i öst fullbordades slutligen när Berlinmuren 1989 revs av uppretade och frustrerade medborgare i det gamla DDR.

SVENSKA TREDJE STÅNDPUNKTEN.

Molotov-Ribbentrop-pakten 1939/41 satte myror i huvudet på de inhemska kommunisterna i Sverige och Tyskland. Under en period hyllade kommunisterna i både Sverige och Tyskland Adolf Hitler innan detta upphörde i och med att kriget mellan Tyskland och Sovjetunionen bröt ut 1941 med Operation Barbarossa.

Svenskar på den allmännare vänsterkanten stod under det Kalla kriget 1950/1960-talet mellan det kommunistiska Sovjetunionen och den kapitalistiska världen med USA i spetsen i en ideologisk rörelse som att kallade sig ”Tredje ståndpunkten.” Ingen särskilt hedervärd ideologisk rörelse sett i historiens obarmhärtiga strålkastarljus!

Ett exempel! Författaren Arthur Lundkvist i Svenska Akademin reste under trettiotalet runt i Sovjetunionen i två månader och skrev obehagligt naiva hyllningar till Stalin och den kommunistiska diktaturen. Som tack för det erhåll Arthur Lundkvist Lenins Fredspris (ja det heter så!) 1958!

Hade någon kunnat sitta kvar i Svenska Akademin om han/hon skrivit hyllningsartiklar till Adolf Hitler och den nazistiska diktaturen?

NAZISMENS OCH KOMMUNISMENS INSIGNIA.

Insignierna för nazismen är stigmatiserande och förbjudna. Flaggor med svastikan, Heil hälsningar, sjunga Horst-Wessel-Lied/Die Fahne hoch är förbjudna i Sverige.

Röda flaggor med hammaren och skäran, höjda knutna nävar och sjungande av Internationalen är tillåtna i Sverige. Logiken borde väl kräva att också dessa för kommunismen viktiga insignier förbjuds? De är väl lika kränkande och stigmatiserande? Höjda knutna nävar är lika illa som Heil-Hitlerhälsningen? Förbjuds det ena så bör även det andra förbjudas.

YTTRANDEFRIHETEN FUNDAMENTAL!

Å andra sidan vill jag inte förbjuda någon av dem! Jag är fundamentalist ifråga om yttrandefrihet, tryckfrihet och mötesfrihet. För mig är yttrandefriheten binär – ett eller nolla. Den skall – som i USA – vara fullständig.

Jag har som legalist i yttrande- tryck- och mötesfrihet den Amerikanska Konstitutionen som en förebild. I den Amerikanska Konstitutionens First Amendment (de tio första utgör Bill of Rights) fastlägges yttrandefriheten, utan reservationer. ”Freedom of speech” är precis just det ”freedom of speech”! Det gäller både vänsterextremister, KKK, neo-nazister, neo-marxister, kommunister m.fl totalitära ideologiska rörelser.

USA har ingen gummiparagraf som den svenska kränkthetsparagrafen om ”hets mot folkgrupp.” eller ”hatspråk”! Dessa lagparagrafer borde i yttrandefrihetens namn tas bort och inte byggas ut ytterligare med olika tillägg. Vilken identitetsgrupp som helst kan hävda att de är ”kränkta” vilket medför krav på att företeelsen som föranlett ”kränkningen” skall föranleda lagtillägg.

Grupper på den extrema vänster- och högerkanten skall tas in i debatten och måste bemötas med argument inte lagstiftning. Om medlemmar i dessa extremistgrupper begår brott i brottsbalkens mening så skall de lagföras, dömas och straffas.

Ytterst är det faktiskt den grundlagsfästa yttrandefriheten som hotas när en grön flagga med en runa eller en grupp i marschtakt betraktas som hets mot folkgrupp!

KRÄNKTHETSKULTUREN.

Jag citerar Ivar Arpi som på ledarplats i SvD den 1.4.2018 skrev följande: ”Termen ”crybully” beskriver hur den nya offerkulturen hanterar motsättningar. Det är en sammansättning av orden ”crybaby” och ”bully”. Snyftmobbare, skulle man kanske kunna översätta till. Samtidigt som man framställer sig som offer, ägnar man sig åt skamlöst drevande av den som inte håller med en.”

Kränkthetskulturen i kombination med identitetspolitik har ett betydande inflytande på universitet och i media! Det är djupt oroande!

KÄLLOR.

Johan Lundberg, ”Ljusets fiender. Västvärldens självkritik och den svenska idédebatten.” 2013. 460 sidor.

Rudolf Rummel i Death by Government, Genocide and Mass Murder in the Twentieth Century, 1994.

Se vidare R. Rummels tabeller och uppdateringar. R.R. dog 2014 men hans tabeller finns fortfarande på University Hawaiis hemsida. Ett exempel:

(Enligt denna tabell anförd av Rummel har regeringar 1900-1987 mördat över 170 miljoner exkl krigsdödade.)

Stéphane Courtois m.fl. The Black Book of Communism. Crimes Terror Repression,1999. 850 sidor.

Wikipedia

Nationalencyklopedin

SvD

Den Amerikanska Konstitutionen finns på nätet.

Lavrentij Berias och Josef Stalins order finns på nätet, liksom utdrag i den anförda litteraturen. Stalins handskrivna signatur finns på dokumentet.

Good Old Churchill! Or another view of the historical Churchill!

18 mars 2018

By Shashi Tharoor in WASHINGTON POST March 10

Shashi Tharoor is author of ”Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India.” He chairs the Indian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

”History,” Winston Churchill said, ”will be kind to me, for I intend to write it myself.” He needn’t have bothered. He was one of the great mass murderers of the 20th century, yet is the only one, unlike Hitler and Stalin, to have escaped historical odium in the West. He has been crowned with a Nobel Prize (for literature, no less), and now, an actor portraying him (Gary Oldman) has been awarded an Oscar.

As Hollywood confirms, Churchill’s reputation (as what Harold Evans has called ”the British Lionheart on the ramparts of civilization”) rests almost entirely on his stirring rhetoric and his talent for a fine phrase during World War II. ”We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. … We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. … We shall never surrender.” (The revisionist British historian John Charmley dismissed this as ”sublime nonsense.”)

Words, in the end, are all that Churchill admirers can point to. His actions are another matter altogether.
During World War II, Churchill declared himself in favor of ”terror bombing.” He wrote that he wanted ”absolutely devastating, exterminating attacks by very heavy bombers.” Horrors such as the firebombing of Dresden were the result.

In the fight for Irish independence, Churchill, in his capacity as secretary of state for war and air, was one of the few British officials in favor of bombing Irish protesters, suggesting in 1920 that airplanes should use ”machine-gun fire or bombs” to scatter them.
Dealing with unrest in Mesopotamia in 1921, as secretary of state for the colonies, Churchill acted as a war criminal: ”I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against the uncivilised tribes; it would spread a lively terror.” He ordered large-scale bombing of Mesopotamia, with an entire village wiped out in 45 minutes.

In Afghanistan, Churchill declared that the Pashtuns ”needed to recognise the superiority of [the British] race” and that ”all who resist will be killed without quarter.” He wrote: ”We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation. … Every tribesman caught was speared or cut down at once.”

In Kenya, Churchill either directed or was complicit in policies involving the forced relocation of local people from the fertile highlands to make way for white colonial settlers and the forcing of more than 150,000 people into concentration camps. Rape, castration, lit cigarettes on tender spots, and electric shocks were all used by the British authorities to torture Kenyans under Churchill’s rule.

But the principal victims of Winston Churchill were the Indians – ”a beastly people with a beastly religion,” as he charmingly called them. He wanted to use chemical weapons in India but was shot down by his cabinet colleagues, whom he criticized for their ”squeamishness,” declaring that ”the objections of the India Office to the use of gas against natives are unreasonable.”

Churchill’s beatification as an apostle of freedom seems all the more preposterous given his 1941 declaration that the Atlantic Charter’s principles would not apply to India and the colored colonies. He refused to see people of color as entitled to the same rights as himself. ”Gandhi-ism and all it stands for,” he declared, ”will, sooner or later, have to be grappled with and finally crushed.”

In such matters, Churchill was the most reactionary of Englishmen, with views so extreme they cannot be excused as being reflective of their times. Even his own secretary of state for India, Leopold Amery, confessed that he could see very little difference between Churchill’s attitude and Adolf Hitler’s.

Thanks to Churchill, some 4 million Bengalis starved to death in a 1943 famine. Churchill ordered the diversion of food from starving Indian civilians to well-supplied British soldiers and even to top up European stockpiles in Greece and elsewhere. When reminded of the suffering of his Indian victims, his response was that the famine was their own fault, he said, for ”breeding like rabbits.”

Madhusree Mukerjee’s searing account of Churchill’s role in the Bengal famine, ”Churchill’s Secret War,” documents that while Indians starved, prices for foodgrains were inflated by British purchases and India’s own surplus grains were exported, while Australian ships laden with wheat were not allowed to unload their cargo at Calcutta (where the bodies of those who had died of starvation littered the streets). Instead, Churchill ordered that grain be shipped to storage depots in the Mediterranean and the Balkans to increase the buffer stocks for a possible future invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia. European warehouses filled up as Bengalis died.

This week’s Oscar rewards yet another hagiography of this odious man. To the Iraqis whom Churchill advocated gassing, the Greek protesters on the streets of Athens who were mowed down on Churchill’s orders in 1944, sundry Pashtuns and Irish, as well as to Indians like myself, it will always be a mystery why a few bombastic speeches have been enough to wash the bloodstains off Churchill’s racist hands.

Many of us will remember Churchill as a war criminal and an enemy of decency and humanity, a blinkered imperialist untroubled by the oppression of non-white peoples. Ultimately, his great failure – his long darkest hour – was his constant effort to deny us freedom.

WINSTON CHURCHILL – ANOTHER SIDE OF HIM!

11 mars 2018

Av David Lough för den brittiska konservativa tidningen The Daily Mail.

Winston the spendaholic: He teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and was saved by secret backhanders. Yet a new book on Churchill’s finances reveals he spent £40,000 a year on casinos and £54,000 on booze

o Churchill spent most of his life swimming in a mountain of personal debt
o Gambled equivalent of £40,000 a year on holidays to the south of France
o Had £54,000 bill from his wine merchant, including £16,000 for Champagne
o Secret benefactor gave him £1million in 1940 as he became Prime Minister.

The confession was a startling one, in light of the great man he became. ‘The only thing that worries me in life is – money,’ wrote Winston Churchill, then aged 23, to his brother, Jack. ‘Extravagant tastes, an expensive style of living, small and diminished resources – these are fertile sources of trouble.’
Indeed they were. For the qualities that were to make Churchill a great war leader came very close to destroying him time and again during his career, as manic optimism and risk-taking plunged him repeatedly into colossal debt.
In the Thirties, when he was a married man with four dependent children and already borrowing more than £2.5 million in today’s money, he would gamble so heavily on his annual holiday in the South of France that he threw away the equivalent of on average £40,000 every year.

In my own career, advising families on tax affairs and investments, I have never encountered addiction to risk on such a scale as his.

To a biographer, one of Churchill’s most convenient characteristics is that he left his own bank statements, bills, investment records and tax demands in his archive, despite the evidence of debt and profligate gambling they reveal.

In contrast to his well-documented periods of anxiety and depression, when the ‘black dog’ struck him, there were phases when he gambled or traded shares and currencies with such intensity that he appeared to be on a ‘high’ – devoid of inhibition, brimming with self-confidence and energy.

As a result, he left behind a trail of financial failures that required numerous bailouts by friends, family and admirers.

And it was only by a wildly improbable intervention, almost an act of God, that he wasn’t bankrupt in 1940 instead of Prime Minister: as war loomed, a secret benefactor wrote two cheques for well over £1 million to clear Churchill’s debts.

His inventive efforts at tax avoidance would spell scandal if attempted by any politician today.

Though he wrestled to control his spending all his life, the defining disaster of Winston’s financial career was the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
Churchill always told his friends his losses in the Stock Market collapse amounted to $50,000 – or £500,000 today. But that is only part of the story.
These were Winston’s years in the wilderness when, having served for a term as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was suddenly out of power.
This was not without its benefits, for at last he was able to devote time to writing books and churning out newspaper columns to keep the bank at bay.

In return for his high fees as a journalist, Churchill’s friends among the press proprietors expected colourful copy that ran against the conventional political wisdom. He delivered it, but his trenchant commentaries made rehabilitation within the political establishment very difficult.

The problems began when he embarked on a North American tour to promote his book on World War I, The World Crisis, accompanied by his brother Jack and son Randolph.

He travelled through Canada by private railcar, sleeping in a double bed on board with a private bathroom. ‘There is a fine parlour with an observation room at the end,’ he wrote to his wife Clemmie, ‘and a large dining room which I use as the office. The car has splendid wireless installation, refrigerators, fans, etc.’

Surrounded by these modern marvels, Churchill began to trade again in shares and commodities. He was intoxicated by Canada’s money-making opportunities, especially in exploration for oil and gas. Gripped by investment fever as he reached the prairies, he wired his publisher to demand an advance on his royalties, boasting of the profits he could grasp if he acted without delay.
To allay Clemmie’s concerns, he told her of the cash he was making by selling his book at public appearances – 600 copies in Montreal alone – and casually announced he had ‘found a little capital’ with which he ‘hoped to make some successful investments’. He plunged tens of thousands of dollars into oilfields and rolling stock, assuring his bankers that, ‘I do not expect to hold these shares for more than a few weeks’.

In the States, he stayed with media tycoon William Randolph Hearst and bought stakes in electrical ventures and gas companies, before heading to California where he indulged in late-night parties with Hollywood’s movie elite and toured the studios.

After lunch with Charlie Chaplin on the set of his latest film, City Lights, Churchill boarded Hearst’s yacht and wrote to Clemmie that he had banked £1,000 (£50,000 today) by cashing in some shares in a furniture business called Simmons. ‘You can’t go wrong on a Simmons mattress,’ he crowed – but failed to mention that he had $35,000 (a third of a million pounds today) still invested with them. His buying had spiralled out of control. Everything he could raise was plunged into U.S. stocks, in businesses from foundries to department stores.
His brokers sounded warnings by telegraph: ‘Market heavy. Liquidating becoming more urgent. Will await your telephone. Your bank still losing gold & there are rumours of increase in bank rate.’Churchill ignored them. In four days he bought and sold $420,000 in shares – or more than £4 million-worth now.

It was like a drug to him. ‘In every hotel,’ he told Clemmie, ‘there is a stock exchange. You go and sit and watch the figures being marked up on slates every few minutes.’ The crash was inevitable. At the opening bell in the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, October 24, 1929, prices fell by an average of 11 per cent.

Churchill kept buying, confident of recouping his losses, right up to the moment he boarded an Atlantic liner to return home. By the time he reached Chartwell, his home in Kent, he was poorer by $75,000 (£750,000). But instead of pulling in his horns, he tried to recoup – and within six months had lost another $35,000 (£350,000).

His efforts to cling to some kind of solvency became desperate. He borrowed money wherever he could – from his brother, his bank, his brokers, his publishers and newspaper editors. He arranged another speaking tour in America and took out insurance against its cancellation – then used the General Election of 1931 as an excuse for postponing and claiming his £5,000 (£250,000) indemnity. He traded the insurers one of his oil paintings, in a deal he described as ‘highly confidential’.

Once the election was behind him, he set off to America – but, in his fraught state, stumbled into disaster. Having arranged to meet a business associate in New York, he grabbed a taxi. But in his hurry, he forgot to take the man’s address. After a fruitless hour trying to find the building, he climbed out of the cab – and was hit by a car.

Even this was used as a means to scrape money together. He wrote a newspaper article about the accident, syndicated it worldwide for £600 (£30,000) and then claimed medical insurance on the spurious grounds he was ‘totally disabled’.
When the underwriters protested that he was still able to earn money from journalism, his broker retorted that he could not physically write – the article had been dictated to a secretary. Mere talking, he insisted, should not be classed as work. The insurers paid up.

Such sharp practice was not confined to his insurance claims. He told the Inland Revenue he had retired as an author, which entitled him to defer a large income tax bill. To avoid paying tax on book royalties, he sold the rights and successfully argued that the money he received was not income but capital gains, which at the time was exempt from tax.

He borrowed money from his children’s trusts, and even cut down his drinking – not to curb his expenses, but to win a bet with the press baron Lord Rothermere, who wagered him £600 that Churchill would not drink any brandy or undiluted spirits for a whole year. Churchill took the bet, reasoning to Clemmie that money won gambling was not subject to tax. But he turned down a bigger bet, £2,000 [£100,000], that he could not remain teetotal for 12 months.
‘I refused,’ he explained, ‘as I think life would not be worth living.’
In fact, his accumulated bills for alcohol came to £900 (£54,000). His gambling was even more costly – 66,000 francs (about £50,000) in a single holiday at a casino in Cannes in 1936, for example. Clementine’s excesses were little better. That year, her bill at Harrods ran to more than 80 pages, with accounts, too, at Selfridge’s, Harvey Nichols, Peter Jones, Lillywhite’s and John Lewis.

Attempts at economising were feeble. Three servants were dismissed, with a saving of £240 [£14,400] and the same amount was cut from the laundry bill. The temperature of the swimming pool at Chartwell was also reduced in a bid to halve heating costs.

But by 1938, as the European situation with Hitler and Mussolini became critical, Churchill had run out of resources. Both Chartwell and his house in London were up for sale but had attracted no buyers.

Faced with a £900 [£54,000 today] demand from his wine merchants Randolph Payne & Sons in 1936, Churchill checked the bill and found the total came to even more – £920 [£55,200], including £268 [£16,080] spent on champagne: ten magnums, 185 bottles and 251 pints of it.n At the outbreak of World War I, Churchill was smoking a dozen cigars a day, at about £13 a month [£1,300] – and he had not paid his suppliers, J Grunebaum & Sons, for five years.

Swimming in personal debt (about £1.5m today), Churchill announced some drastic household cutbacks in 1926, the year of the General Strike. The cost of food, servants and running a car were to be halved. ‘No champagne is to be bought,’ he warned his wife. ‘Only white or red wine will be offered at luncheon or dinner. No more port is to be opened without special instructions. Cigars must be reduced to four a day.’ The economy drive lasted less than three months.
On his way home from a Mediterranean cruise in 1927, Churchill – then Chancellor of the Exchequer – dropped in on the casino at Dieppe and, playing baccarat, lost £350 – the equivalent of £17,500 today. Winston holidayed in the South of France 12 times during the Thirties and always gambled at the casinos. He came home a winner only once.

During World War II, his personal spending on wine, spirits and cigars was £1,650 a year [£66,000]. In a two-month spell in 1949, Churchill and his house guests at Chartwell drank 454 bottles of champagne, 311 bottles of wine, 69 bottles of port, 58 bottles of brandy, 58 bottles of sherry and 56 bottles of Black Label whisky.

His journalism could no longer even cover his back-taxes, and he had borrowed to the limit against his life insurance policies. Creditors were clamouring on all sides. His overdraft had reached £35,000 (more than £2million) and his brokers were demanding an immediate payment of £12,000 (£720,000). His attempts to bargain were ignored.

‘For a while,’ he admitted, ‘the dark waters of despair overwhelmed me. I watched the daylight creep slowly in through the windows and saw before me in mental gaze the vision of Death.’ Salvation came from an unexpected quarter. Churchill turned to his friend Brendan Bracken, co-owner of The Economist, to find him a rescuer. Bracken, in turn, approached his business partner, Sir Henry Strakosch, who was a fervent admirer of Churchill. He was also immensely wealthy. Two months earlier, at Bracken’s request, Churchill had visited Sir Henry at his house in Cannes. The 68-year-old, who had made his fortune at the helm of South Africa’s gold-mining Union Corporation, had been unwell and Bracken described him as a ‘lonely old bird’.

This slightest of introductions paid colossal dividends.
Sir Henry, a naturalised Briton born in Austria, regarded Churchill as the one politician in Europe with the vision, energy and courage to resist the Nazi threat. He had no hesitation in paying off £12,000 (about £660,000 today) of his share-trading debts. Neither man ever spoke publicly about the rescue. Churchill kept knowledge of it to a very tight circle that did not include his bank or his lawyers.

Sir Henry’s only reward was to be nominated for The Other Club, the dining society based at the Savoy in London that Churchill had founded with his fellow political maverick F. E. Smith.

At the outbreak of war in 1939, Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admirality, with a salary of £5,000 (£250,000 today) – exactly what it was when he was last given this Cabinet post, 25 years earlier in 1912. The pay, though substantial, was nowhere near enough to cover his expenditure, let alone the interest on his outstanding loans, which totalled £27,000 [£1.6 million].
For years he had been working on his three-volume History Of The English-Speaking Peoples, but despite his prodigious output, he had been unable to deliver the finished manuscript and collect his fee. The book had got no further than the American Civil War, but undaunted, Churchill declared it to be finished.

His publisher, Cassell’s, was dismayed at such an abrupt ending.
All protests were dismissed: Churchill was too busy to write any more. Reluctantly, Cassell’s paid up, which enabled him to pay £2,000 (£100,000 today) of overdue taxes and settle wine merchants’ bills that topped £3,000 (£150,000).
On May 10, 1940, as Hitler’s armies surged through Holland and Belgium, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and by evening King George VI had asked Churchill to form a government. Today, the choice of man seems inevitable, but at the time there was consternation.

‘Seldom can a Prime Minister have taken office with the Establishment so dubious of the choice and so prepared to find its doubts justified,’ wrote one of Downing Street’s private secretaries, Jock Colville.

Churchill’s salary as PM might have doubled to £10,000 (£500,000), but with the highest rate of income tax standing at 97.5 per cent, virtually all of it went to the Inland Revenue.

Just two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation, in June 1940, the Prime Minister was facing an ultimatum from Lloyd’s Bank for interest on his £5,602 overdraft (£280,100). Once again, Sir Henry came to the rescue with a cheque for £5,000 (£250,000). The receipts show a flurry of payments to shirt-makers, watch-repairers and, naturally, wine merchants. Despite rationing, food and drink flowed at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official residence. King George sent pheasant and venison from Balmoral, and the Admiralty agreed to double the wine budget, providing that all consumption was for diplomatic purposes.

That condition proved no problem: Churchill was determined to enlist the military might of the United States and American guests became frequent visitors to Chequers. To pare back the tax demands, Churchill tried every possible ruse, even assigning some of his earnings as an author to his son Randolph, who was taxed at a lower rate. This subterfuge could save £1,500 (£75,000) but it made Churchill uneasy – not least because Randolph’s gambling was even more reckless than his own.

What finally rescued Churchill’s finances, and put him on a stable footing for the rest of his life, was Hollywood. In 1943, an Italian immigrant film producer paid him £50,000 (£2.5million) for the movie rights to his biography of his ancestor, the military genius Lord Marlborough. The death of Sir Henry Strakosch in October 1943 brought a legacy of £20,000 (£1million) as well as cancelling a loan.

As D-Day approached, Churchill was solvent for the first time in 20 years. By the end of the war, he had collected another £50,000 (£2.5million) for the film rights to his History Of The English-Speaking Peoples. And a further colossal bonus came when he was unexpectedly ousted from Downing Street by the voters in July 1945: on the day of his resignation, offers began to flood in from publishers around the world for his war memoirs.

Traditionally, generals and admirals who won great victories were rewarded by Parliament. Earl Haig, the Army’s commander-in-chief during World War I, was awarded £100,000 (£500,000) in 1918. There could be no such payment for an ex-Prime Minister. But a group of his admirers came up with a scheme to buy Chartwell for the National Trust, then rent it back to the Churchills for a nominal sum. Churchill was delighted. Despite this unaccustomed security, he was not above seizing a chance to bypass the taxman.

As bidding for his memoirs topped $1 million (£12.5million) from an American consortium, Churchill was investigating another scheme: by gifting his entire personal papers, including future memoirs and diaries, to a trust in his children’s name, he figured he could avoid most tax on his writings.
He planned to pen his books for a smaller fee, under the pretext of ‘editing’ them. This editing proved to be thirsty work. When Churchill decamped to Marrakech in Morocco to work on the manuscript in 1947, his entourage’s drinks bill for five weeks came to more than £2,100 (£73,500).

In a two-month spell in 1949, Churchill and his house guests at Chartwell drank 454 bottles of champagne, 311 bottles of wine, 69 bottles of port, 58 bottles of brandy, 58 bottles of sherry and 56 bottles of whisky

One of his secretaries wrote home: ‘The money here aren’t ‘arf going!’
It continued to ‘go’ for the rest of his life. By the time he became PM again in 1951, his annual expenses were about £40,000 (£1 million), much of it on a staff of Swiss nurses and footmen, all of them vetted by MI5.

But now the honours flowed in. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature, a tax-free £12,000 (£300,000). He turned down a dukedom on the grounds that a dukedom without a great landed estate would be an embarrassment.

When he died aged 90 on January 24, 1965, the world mourned. But some had a particular reason to regret his passing: they would never see such a customer again. In France, Madame Odette Pol-Roger instructed that a black band of mourning should be placed around the label of every bottle of her family’s champagne.

Adapted by Christopher Stevens from No More Champagne: Churchill And His Money, by David Lough, published by Head of Zeus.


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