Churchill Versus the Media

From the August 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

In 1933, Adolf Hitler was firmly established in power. He had written Mein Kampf in 1924, while in prison. This book proclaimed to the world his dangerous and barbaric political beliefs. In it he also outlined his plan to dominate Europe and beyond. But it seems almost nobody believed him.

The free media were dangerously deceived and manipulated by Hitler. The media have probably never been more deceived—until today!

Members of the media (and the ruling classes of Britain and America) should have learned some critically important lessons. But most of them did not. There has been no repentance for their extremely shameful failure in the decade leading up to World War ii. That is why most of them are such abject failures today. They lack the will to win our war against terrorism. It is essentially the same problem that Churchill faced.

Here is what William Manchester wrote in his biography of Winston Churchill titled Last Lion: Alone: “President Roosevelt had tried to free the conferees from their gridlock by suggesting a ban on all offensive weapons. Privately, Hitler was furious. Nevertheless, he saw great political possibilities in the message from the White House, and on May 17, 1933, he exploited them in a deeply moving, breathtakingly meretricious speech before the Reichstag. fdr, he said, had earned the ‘Warmem Dank’ of the Reich. He accepted the president’s proposals and stood ready to scrap the Reich’s offensive weapons the moment other powers did the same. Germany was indeed prepared to disband her entire military establishment, together with uniforms, weapons and ammunition, under the same circumstances, and would sign any nonaggression treaty, ‘because she does not think of attacking but only of acquiring security.’ …

“His reply to Roosevelt was a fraud, of course, but it was the work of a master swindler, and it took almost everyone in. London’s Daily Herald, the official organ of the Labor Party, declared that Hitler, as a trustworthy statesman, should be taken at his word. The conservative weekly Spectatorcalled him the hope of a tormented world; to the Times his claim was ‘irrefutable’” (emphasis mine throughout).

One week earlier, the Germans had organized a massive public book burning! Here is what Martin Gilbert, another Churchill biographer, wrote: “Throughout the summer of 1933 the news from Germany continued to bode ill for European peace, and for civilized life. On May 10 the Nazis organized a mass bonfire of books of which they disapproved: books by socialists, communists, liberals and Jews, books on philosophy and psychology, books of protest and dissent. That same month, all trade unions were banned, and trade union leaders sent to prison and concentration camps. On July 1 German airplanes flew on the first of a series of propaganda raids across the border into Austria, where they dropped leaflets extolling Nazism and abusing the Austrian government. On July 15 a special decree established the Nazi Party as the sole legal German political party, the coalition of January 1933 was formally ended, and Hitler ruled supreme, terror in the streets providing a continual and fearful stimulant to obedience. Leading German politicians of the Weimar Republic were arrested, marched through the streets and sent off to concentration camps; all property and funds of the former political parties were confiscated; civilian outrages against Jews were encouraged and condoned.

The British Foreign Office were kept fully informed of all developments in Germany, as well as of a secret and ominous development. On June 21 the British air attaché in Berlin, Group Capitan [Justin Howard] Herring, wrote a secret memorandum giving clear evidence that Germany had begun to build military aircraft in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.”

Churchill’s Will to Win

Before any of these events were written or spoken about, Winston Churchill was delivering a very different and extremely unpopular message.

“On April 24 [1933], St. George’s Day, Churchill spoke at the annual meeting of the Royal Society of St. George. In his speech, which was broadcast, he took the opportunity to reassert his faith in the British way of life, and in the parliamentary system. And yet, he added, Britain’s difficulties always arose from ‘the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals [many of them writing in the media then—and today].’ Thesedefeatist doctrines,’ he went on, had been accepted by a large proportion of politicians. But, he asked, ‘what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible Utopias?’ His speech continued: ‘Nothing can save England if she will not save herself. If we lose faith in ourselves, in our capacity to guide and govern, if we lose our will to live, then indeed our story is told’” (ibid.).

This is the same problem many of our journalists and people have today. But why do we lack the will to fight our deadly enemies? We have degenerated into unparalleled selfishness and fear. And it is a far more serious problem than we can even imagine.

Military power is of little value if we lack the will to use it. America and Britain are again in grave danger. But this time the danger is far worse than it was in World War ii!

Mr. Churchill hoped he would be invited to join the government in 1935. “When the first list of new ministers was announced, Churchill’s name was not on it. ‘This was to me a pang,’ Churchill wrote in an unpublished note 12 years later, ‘and, in a way, an insult. There was much mockery in the press. I do not pretend that, thirsting to get things on the move, I was not distressed. Lots of people have gone through this before, and will again’” (ibid.).

A year later, the story was the same: “Although no decision had yet been made about a Ministry of Supply, it was now taken for granted that Churchill would not be invited to join the government in any capacity [1936]. The Times was particularly hostile to Churchill’s inclusion” (ibid.).

Yes, such politics would be practiced “again”—like today. We are in a war against terrorism, and yet look how weak and hostile many of our people are toward this war.

The pacifists were dead wrong in the 1930s. And if not for Churchill, most of them would have ended up just plain dead in World War ii!

Are our pacifists today leading us to a similar fate?

It is hard to imagine how pathetic the Times had become in its fear of Hitler and war. “[O]n May 23 [1937], the editor of the Times, Geoffery Dawson, wrote to Lord Lothian: ‘I should like to get going with the Germans. I simply cannot understand why they should apparently be so much annoyed with the Times at this moment. I spend my nights in taking out anything which I think will hurt their susceptibilities and in dropping little things which are intended to soothe them’” (ibid.).

Such reasoning in our media reflects a deep national sickness. This is the ultimate in a defeatist attitude, and it leads to the death of nations!

But what did members of the media learn from their despicable record in dealing with Hitler and Germany in the decade before World War ii?

Most of them today are against America’s war in Iraq and another tyrant, Saddam Hussein. Saddam was clearly leading a terrorist-sponsoring nation, and the nation he hated most of all was America. He tried to assassinate the father of George W. Bush, when he was president. Many nations would have declared war over such an incident, but not the American and British people. Vladimir Putin has recently said his government intelligence knew that Saddam planned terrorist attacks against the U.S. Most of the media virtually ignored those comments or buried the story in the back of their reporting. Mr. Putin’s comments should have made major headlines.

It’s the 1930s all over again. As Churchill said, we never learn from history. And we are going to suffer as no people ever before because of this deadly deception!

Shameful Blindness

Here is another statement from Manchester’s biography: “The British left, led by Clement Attlee and pledged to pacifism and disarmament, deeply distrusted [Churchill]. Thus he outraged mps on both sides of the Commons. … Afterward he said there had been ‘much mocking in the press’ about his fall from grace. The political cartoonists in Punch, the Daily Herald, the Express and above all David Low in Beaverbrook’s Evening Standard were brutal. Public appearances became an ordeal for him. Chosen rector of Edinburgh University, he was unable to deliver his rectorial address; students hostile to his calls for a strengthened national defense repeatedly shouted him down until he gave up and left the platform.”

These students had never learned about freedom of speech, and Hitler almost took it away from them forever! Most journalists are educated in such institutions.

More evidence came out after the war that condemns the pacifists even more. “Once Hitler had been sworn in and his Strassenkämpfer began unsheathing their long knives, the British government took the remarkable position that the detailed reports from two of its most eminent ambassadors, describing conditions in the Third Reich, were based on misunderstandings, distortions and unconfirmed rumors. … The prime minister agreed. According to one Wilhelmstrasse document which came into British hands when Berlin fell in May 1945, MacDonald assured Germany’s ambassador to Britain, Leopold von Hösch, that he knew there were no atrocities, no beatings, no desecration of synagogues—that everything England’s own envoys had reported, was, in short, a lie. [They believed the Nazis rather than their own envoys!] MacDonald explained that he understood ‘very well the character of, and the circumstances attending, a revolution.’ According to the Times, Baldwin told Hösch that England was ‘entirely willing to work closely … with a Germany under the new order’—die Neuordnung. It is startling to read this Nazi phrase, so freighted with evil, quoted by a once and future prime minister in the columns of the Times. Doubtless Baldwin had not grasped its implications. But he should have. And he should have spoken out. His silence, his refusal to see, hearand speak … evil of the Nazi chancellor was characteristic of the response among England’s ruling classes [led by the media]. If they offended him, they told one another, he would become hostile, and his hostility would blind him to reason” (ibid.).

How extremely repugnant and shameful! This is how quintessentially passive Britain (and America) had become in the 1930s. The media led the way.

There should have been a massive changing and turning from such dangerous thinking after World War ii. But it is far worse today, and we are going to pay an unparalleled penalty for refusing to seek the truth!

We should start the process by learning from history.

“Hitler, deciding that Europe needed more reassurance, summoned the Reichstag on May 21 and delivered another Friedensrede, declaring that Germany would never dream of threatening other countries, that the Reich ‘has solemnly recognized and guaranteed France her frontiers,’ including the renunciation of ‘all claims to Alsace-Lorraine,’ and—at a time when Nazi Strassenkämpfer were storming through the streets of Vienna, clubbing Austrian pedestrians who had failed to greet them with the stiff-armed Hitlergruss—that ‘Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to conclude an Anschluss.’ [One of the first and most alarming statements Hitler made in Mein Kampf was that Austria would be forced into the Reich.]

“In London the Times rejoiced. The Führer’s speech was ‘reasonable, straightforward and comprehensive. No one who reads it with an impartial mind can doubt that the points of policy laid down by Herr Hitler may fairly constitute the basis of a complete settlement with Germany—a free, equal and strong Germany instead of the prostrate Germany upon whom peace was imposed 16 years ago’” (ibid.).

Churchill Warns

Churchill gave a powerful message about the Austrian crisis and Britain’s shamefully pacifist attitude. He spoke to the House of Commons on March 24, 1938. “Churchill went on to warn of the dangers of allowing any momentary easing of tension to lead to complacency. ‘After a boa constrictor has devoured its prey,’ he said, ‘it often has a considerable digestive spell.’ There had been a pause after each German move—after the revelation that a secret air force had been set up, after the proclamation of conscription, and again after the militarization of the Rhineland.

“He went on: ‘Now, after Austria has been struck down, we are all disturbed and alarmed, but in a little while there may be another pause. There may not, we cannot tell. But if there is a pause, then people will be saying, “See how the alarmists have been confuted; Europe has calmed down, it has all blown over, and the war scare has passed away.” The prime minister will perhaps repeat what he said a few weeks ago, that the tension in Europe is greatly relaxed. The Times will write a leading article to say how silly people look who on the morrow of the Austrian incorporation raised a clamor for exceptional action in foreign policy and home defense, and how wise the government were not to let themselves be carried away by this passing incident.’

“No such attitude was justified, Churchill argued. Day by day the population of Austria was being reduced ‘to the rigors of Nazi domination.’ …

“Churchill’s speech ended with a stern warning, and an urgent appeal: ‘For five years I have talked to the House on these matters—not with very great success. I have watched this famous island descending incontinently, fecklessly, the stairway which leads to a dark gulf. It is a fine broad stairway at the beginning, but after a bit the carpet ends. A little farther on there are only flagstones, and a little farther on still these break beneath your feet. …’

“A few moments later Churchill declared, with foreboding: ‘… if mortal catastrophe should overtake the British nation and the British Empire, historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low, and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory gone with the wind!

“‘Now the victors are the vanquished, and those who threw down their arms in the field and sued for an armistice are striding on to world mastery.’ …

“On the day of Churchill’s speech, Lord Beaverbrook’s Evening Standard decided to terminate his contract, and bring his fortnightly articles to an immediate end. For two years they had been his main platform in addressing the British public” (ibid.).

This was a syndicated column in over 50 newspapers around the world! It was Churchill’s media platform to warn the world.

As Mr. Churchill worked feverishly to save Western civilization, most of the media worked equally hard to destroy it!

This was a massive criminal act that should never be forgotten! And it should have caused the media to bitterly repent.

The media today are making even bigger mistakes—especially the left-wing media—and so are our politicians, educational institutions and religious leaders. Britain and America responded very slowly to Adolf Hitler. In the age of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, such weakness leads to the death of nations!

In the 1930s many newspapers were not seeking the truth as they so often boasted! So who can we trust? The Bible, written thousands of years ago, warns that trusting men will bring us many curses!

“A week later the syndication manager, W.H. Robertson, wrote to Churchill: ‘I have received expressions of regret from all the papers in England from which we have had to withdraw the series. All the editors are agreed that the articles were unusually highly appreciated by their readers’” (ibid.).

It would be hard to find a more condemning statement for the media and academia, which produced these leaders! The people were much wiser, less biased and far less arrogant than the media.

After the Austrian crisis, Hitler forced the world into another crisis.

Here is what Mr. Gilbert wrote about that time period: “The division of opinion was exacerbated by the attitude of the press. The Times in particular urged the Czechs to make concessions to Germany, and argued that it was Czech obstinacy that was the main obstacle to a peaceful settlement. [The Czechs were obstinate because they didn’t want to give Germany a large portion of their country!] Yet even the factual reports in the Times did not give a true picture of the nature of Nazi rule. On March 18 [1938], Churchill was sent a first-hand account of events in Vienna since the German occupation from a young acquaintance, David Hindley-Smith, who had been angered by reports in the Times that Hitler had received an enthusiastic welcome from an overwhelming majority of Austrians” (op. cit.).

Horrendous evil was inflicted on Winston Churchill because he was trying to save the world from Nazi tyrants! Whether we realize it or not, God used this man to save us. But no such political watchman will be used to save us today. Many Bible prophecies warn us that only repentance of our many sins can save us now.

God will give His blessings and protection to any individual who will learn that lesson.