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The Churchill Society
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'The Years the Locusts had Eaten'
Winston Churchill.


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Churchill's prediction that if the terms of the Versailles Treaty were harsh it would lead to another war - were to come true.

Here it is necessary for me to digress and to you a give a very brief outline of how Hitler came to power and what happened in Germany and Europe between the two wars.

Field Marshall HindenbergAfter the Kaiser abdicated (unpunished for having sent so many people to their deaths) he went to live in Belgium. Field Marshall Hindenberg became Chancellor. Soldiers rarely make good politicians and Hindenberg was no exception. Political life in Germany after the Great War is a large subject and cannot be outlined here but to understand how Hitler plunged his country into its later barbarities, and brought his country to such shame and ruin; you will have to study the causes of the collapse in the value of German money , for it was this which enabled Hitler to come to power.

It was the people's desperate desire for a stable currency that enabled Hitler and his Nazi Party criminal thugs to seize total power in Germany.

The world wide collapse of money (and thus Free Trade) in 1929, happened because people lost confidence in paper money. The loss of confidence in paper money happens when people who owe money cannot pay it back. Once this happens it can swiftly snowball and affect everyone.

Chartwell House Westerham Kent
(About 30 miles South of Central London and open to the public)

So great was the crash in the purchasing value of money that the government could not pay its debts nor in the end print money fast enough. There was so much almost worthless paper money in circulation that one story goes that when a shop keeper wanted to bank the day's takings, he had so much of it that he had to rush it to the bank in a wheelbarrow before it became of less value than when he received the money earlier in the day. A thief knocked him down in the street and discarding all the money - stole the wheelbarrow!

The collapse of the money system in Germany caused by inflation brought total ruin, starvation and homelessness to the German people and hit hardest of all the middle and professional classes - the very people most able to sort the mess out.

Churchill the  builder

Churchill the Builder.

The collapse of money and, therefore, commerce started in America. It is now known as The Great Depression and it quickly spread to Europe. It brought immense suffering to everyone and led to the second world war.

The root causes of inflation lie in the weakness of human nature.

Why were people unable to pay their debts when they were anxious to do so?

To understand what happened I must digress yet further from my subject WHO WAS CHURCHILL? and describe to you the nature of money.

The total amount of paper money in circulation in a country is decided by the government. It is then known as The Fiduciary Issue.

For paper money to be a stable store of exchangeable value - ie to retain its purchasing power - the quantity in circulation must be just adequate for the nation's commerce, but the quantity must then remain stable. If there is a shortage of Fiduciary Issue then money is scarce and people value it more highly - if there is too much in circulation the people do not place a high value on it - so it purchases less.

Churchill with  King Edward VIII

Churchill with King Edward VIII during the Abdication Crises.

Inflation can ONLY occur when the governments cannot pay their own bills because they have spent more than they can raise in taxation so they cheat and print more money and this makes the original Fiduciary Issue have less purchasing power.

But when it happens, observe how the politicians (who are nearly all ignorant about the nature of money) always overspend to win votes, then blame the public when workers demand pay rises because of price rises!

You see why I say that it is human weakness that is the root cause of inflation.

ONLY governments can cause inflation . . . no-one else.

If the Fiduciary Issue remains the same, any increase in prices due to shortages causes the price of other items to fall and so overall values balance out and the purchasing power of the Fiduciary Issue remains stable and the people remain at ease and confident.

Politicians, economic theorists, and many others have tried to solve the conundrum of how to have in circulation a completely reliable and stable store of exchangeable value, ie paper money - money not based upon gold. No-one has yet devised it. The Industrial Revolution was built on paper money backed up by the gold standard and it worked well. The price of a loaf of bread - though it fluctuated mildly - was almost the same in 1914 as it was in 1833.

During my life time to today (1996) prices and incomes have risen 120 times higher than they were when I was born in 1930.

When inflation is rife - the rich get richer without any effort or risk, and the poor are swindled out of true value for their labour because their wages have not been increased in proportion to the loss in their value.

Gold being universally valued should be a reliable and stable store of exchangeable value when backing up paper money. But the concept is out of fashion.

Hitler and Hindenberg

Hitler with Chancellor Hindenberg

I suspect that when you are as old as I am, the problem of an inflation proof money system - a stable store of exchangeable value will still remain.

If the people could take away from politicians the money for waging war - there could be no wars. But for this to work, there would have to be global law enforcement. Would there have to be a war to enforce this law in the countries who do not agree to adopt this law? You see the problem!

Hitler's megalomania sparked the Holocaust and history's most destructive war. The preparation for both began the moment he became Germany's Chancellor (by legal means) in January 1933. There was immense distress in Germany. Nothing the politicians did solved the problem. The collapse of money brought about the collapse of industry and then the collapse of democratic government in Germany, and this brought about the rise of and .

Promising salvation from the chaos of the depression, Hitler swept aside German democracy. A hypnotic orator, he preached a type of mad Darwinism: At evolution's pinnacle were the so-called Aryans (Germans and other Nordic peoples), destined to subdue or destroy all "inferior" races--particularly the Jews, whom Hitler blamed for most of humanity's ills. Linking ancient prejudice to wild dreams of glory, this mad ideology galvanised the nation. Herded and goose stepped by the propaganda and police forces of a totalitarian state, Germans became intoxicated with a new found sense of national pride, a mad over reaction to their Great War defeat and subsequent sufferings - and so foolishly believed Hitler and putting to work every citizen and using slave labour in factories, prepared to conquer the earth. How this was funded remains to this day a mystery.

World War II was to begin in 1939 and terrible it was. Six years later, the Axis ( Germany Italy and Japan) countries were vanquished; some 17 million combatants and 60 million civilians were dead. And within that horror lay a new benchmark of evil: six million Jews and nearly as many other "undesirables" (Gypsies, homosexuals, leftists, Slavs) systematically slaughtered - with many used for live medical experiments.

Churchill's First Great War experiences - his long political and administrative career before 1939 turned out to be in fact an 'apprenticeship' for the supreme moment of England's greatest peril. The next pages will tell how he lead the nation in a truly remarkable way.

One night Nazi thugs on Hitler's secret orders, burned down the Parliament building in Berlin (the Reichstag). The German people were profoundly shocked at this. The Nazi Party blamed the communists and later set about finding a 'culprit' . In time they tried - and hanged - a young innocent communist for it. The German people had no idea of the real truth of how the fire happened nor why it was not stopped in time, for they had no way of knowing how wicked the Nazis were. They embraced Hitler as the saviour of their country's honour and adulated him as their Fuerher (Leader) trusting him to restore order and financial stability and create jobs for the vast numbers of unemployed people.

When Hitler came to power (he won the elections legally) he never rebuilt the Reichstag - why should he? He was the boss - (Dictator) - his orders had to be instantly obeyed. The German people in those days were used to strict discipline and obeying orders without question. He did not want a parliament telling him he was wrong. He terrorised the judges - he gave unbridled power to the police - over whom he placed his thugs - he vastly increased the size of the Army and Air Force and so gave employment to many unemployed men. He flattered the Generals with new tanks and any other new equipment they wanted. He gave the Admirals new warships and submarines and so hugely increased the Armed Forces budgets that greedy industrialists came fawning to him for more military orders . . . so what could anyone do? Hitler suddenly found - to his own astonishment - that he had ALL the power in his hands. (The financing of both the First and the Second World Wars has never been properly explained).

 

(National Trust Photo)

Chartwell

Churchill's study at Chartwell.

Open to the Public.

The wiser German Army Generals (alas so few) were appalled at what was happening in their country; but having seen also the distress caused previously when the money circulating had little or no value, they too had no idea what to do - and so did nothing. Being soldiers, they had been drilled from childhood into always obeying orders - so being flattered by their increased importance - especially since having lost the war - they allowed themselves to become 'big shots' and just did as they were told by Hitler - though a few (alas only a few) utterly despised him and all he stood for - and even they did nothing.

Had they, with the judges and senior police officers, stood up to Hitler after the Reichstag fire the war and the terrible persecution of the Jews would never have happened.

As always in history, mankind's fate hinges upon the actions - or inactions - of just one or two men.

Hitler was privately astounded at how easy it was to seize total control of every institution and industry in Germany. This soon wore off, and upon his orders monetary stability was re-established and work created for the masses of unemployed German people. The Germans were the first country to build motorways (autobahns). (The financing of of all these vast changes brought about by Hitler has never been properly explained).

Map of CzechoslovakiaSupreme power, of course went to Hitler's head. The next thing he did was to demand more living space for the German people. He demanded large tracts of the borderlands (dotted red on the map) between Germany and Czechoslovakia, which belonged to the Czech people and were known known as the Sudetenlands, and where many German people lived. He stirred up racial hatred in these lands by acts of subterfuge, and secretly engineered violence against local innocent German families and he blamed the Communists for them, so that he could publicly demand the 'return' of these territories.

Hitler first mesmerised the German people - and then the world - with his public speaking - (seeing them played back on old films today it is easy for us to see that they were, in fact, the tirades of a megalomaniac. It is also very difficult for us to understand why it was only Churchill and his close friends who at the time properly understood this). (Here, yet again, the British Foreign Office totally failed the British people).

Churchill persistently argued in Parliament and in numerous newspaper articles that the British government should take very seriously what was happening in Germany and that Germany must never be allowed to possess stronger forces than the British Navy, RAF, or Army.

Here I must pause in the story to speak about a new invention that came into every household - the radio.

It is very difficult for young people today to understand what the old world was like without television, tape recorders, and everyone possessing cameras and automobiles. Life was quiet and its pace relaxed and gentle, and anyone with a small surplus of money could have servants to help them.

The invention and development of radio broadcasting brought enormous changes into every person's life.

In England, the government handed the control of the Radio to an independent body called the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and this Corporation used it with great skill and dignity, so much so that within a few years everyone in the entire world knew that what was broadcast by the BBC was reliable and true.

Unfortunately the technology for broadcasting and receiving long distance radio signals was not so good as it is today. It was all so new and wonderful that people did not realise in those days how radio could be used to mislead and manipulate the population of a country. In Germany, the Nazi Party seized complete control of the radio stations and used them to brainwash the population with the evil consequences that we shall see later in this story.

This , combined with the belief by everybody in Europe that another war was quite unthinkable, enabled evil men in Germany (every country has such men) to seize power and to put into prison or murder all the good men who opposed them.

Remember - a country - a business - or indeed even a school, is only as good as the person at the top.

Thus in Germany, an evil man surrounded himself with other evil men, and by acts of violence and terrorism, led that country eventually into a calamitous war which caused the death of millions of its own citizens - to say nothing of the vast numbers of people they killed in the countries they overran.

Entire German armies of young men were to die for nothing - entire armies of other countries were to die in resisting them. The destruction and suffering it caused was upon a scale the world had never known before.

In England, the leaders of all the political parties during this period had no complete idea of what was really happening in Germany, (a staggering failure of the British Foreign Office) and as a consequence, Britain continued sleepwalking into another war - totally unprepared).

These were the years of British apathy to the threat described by Churchill as the years the locusts had eaten. It could all have been so easily stopped, had people realised how dangerous and ruthless a dictator has always to become if he is to remain in power.

Only Churchill - with a few other minor politicians - correctly assessed the course of events that would flow from British appeasement of Hitler at Munich in 1938. Churchill's Speeches

The ordinary people - both in Germany and in England - hated war and backed away in horror at the thought that another one might be just around the corner.

It was because of this attitude that Hitler and his gang of thugs and murderous terrorists were able to seize control in Germany; and then, by using the radio, brain-wash the people into believing that Germany had enemies so dangerous that it was necessary for Germany to rebuild her Army, Navy and Air Force.

The consequences were that within a few years the German Nazi Party had dragged the whole of Europe into a violent war in which acts of unspeakable violence, cruelty, and shame took place.

The plight of the Jews, the gypsies, the insane, deformed and and mentally ill people in Germany was deeply disturbing to those people in England, France and America (too few alas) who knew - or suspected - and cared about what was happening to them.

There were frequent reports of wholesale burning in the streets of Jewish books organised bythugs; and the in complete obedience to the orders of their superior officers. There were widespread newspaper reports in England at the time about the burning down of Synagogues all over Germany, and how on one night - now known infamously as  "Crystal nacht'   all the Jewish shops had their windows smashed, contents looted and many burnt down without the Police doing a thing to stop it. The Jews were driven out, all their possessions stolen and the properties that were not burned were taken over by German people.

The Jews all over Germany were terrified out of their wits.

Imagine what it is like to have a knock at the door in the night and your father mysteriously taken away - never to be seen or heard of again! It is impossible to imagine how upset and frightened you would feel. What must it be like to have the windows of your home smashed with bricks and then the house set on fire by a howling mob of people who hate you for no reason other than your race.

(What happened in Germany during this period is such a large and important story in itself that you must read about it after you have finished this greatly shortened history of the period).

Neither you - nor I - can in fact imagine the anguish they suffered . . . but this was only the beginning of their travails under the Nazis, for they were then cruelly rounded up into open lorries and cattle trucks and sent without proper clothes or any food on long long icy journeys to concentration camps where they were then separated into groups. Most were gassed en masse including mothers and their children and babies. Others were worked and starved to death under the most appalling conditions imaginable. The local people living nearby knew what was happening but did nothing to help them for fear of being sent there themselves.

It was only after the war ended six years later, that the real truth of what happened to the Jews and Romanies (gypsies), the young and old deformed, the insane and mentally ill was discovered.

Nothing that I write here can adequately describe the horrors they endured - indeed no-one will ever know the whole truth.

We must never forget that the same fate overtook many courageous German people who stood up to Hitler and his gang.

During the 1930's Churchill watched (like a hawk) these events develop; but few people in England wanted to know about them; and his fellow politicians so disliked him that they just would not listen to him.

Bricklaying

During all these years Churchill not only wrote many articles and books but spent a huge amount of time building the Rose Garden walls, a pond for his goldfish, organising machines to dig out the lakes, and restoring a garden cottage as his painting studio.

With a small band of loyal friends at Chartwell, Churchill developed a centre of intelligence superior to the Foreign Office, and therefore knew more about what was happening in Germany, and how weak the British Armed Forces were, than anyone else in Britain.

Repeatedly Churchill's predictions about Germany's intentions to overrun and swallow up her neighbours came true and repeatedly his warnings were ignored - both at home and abroad.

Hitler suddenly marched into his own country - Austria (he was an Austrian), admittedly with the consent of most of the Austrian people who were mesmerised by Germany's apparently unstoppable economic recovery and militaristic success. (Some of the most shaming and horrible acts of anti Semitism (anti-Jewish persecution) were done by the Austrian people).

How was this all possible in such civilised European countries - countries that had produced Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe, Einstein and a host of other illustrious and civilised men?

In September 1938, The British Government signed an Agreement in Munich with Hitler in which we allowed Hitler to take over the Sudentenlands after he had told Mr Chamberlain (the British Prime Minister) that he desired peace and had no further territorial ambitions. Thus came about the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia to appease Nazi Germany. In a famous speech

CHURCHILL'S WARTIME SPEECHES

Churchill insisted in Parliament that the Munich Agreement was a total and unmitigated defeat for democracy and that the abandonment of the Czech people to the Nazi's was only a foretaste of the bitter tragedies that would now ensue.

Vast scorn was poured upon him by his political opponents and the press when he warned them of what was to happen. They accused him of fermenting war, describing him frequently as a War Lord. It was their scorn which encouraged Hitler. All his efforts, however failed to change politicians' views, nor could he awaken the French military commanders and the French politicians to their danger.

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It is ironic - and yet a wonderful tribute to the Czech people's political and musical judgment - that they, who were betrayed by the Munich Agreement and who as a consequence were enslaved until 1989 (a period of 51 years), were the first to recognise the purpose of - and to give the very first performance - 21 years after its completion - of:-

THE CHURCHILL MUSIC

which they did in their famous

City of Mozart

PRAGUE

on

VE DAY

1995.

Churchill was right.

Germany next invaded Poland.

Britain had a solemn Treaty with Poland which said that if Poland were attacked we would go to her aid.

She was - and we did.

No sooner had Germany invaded Poland than Russia - who had an agreement with Hitler not to invade Poland - (thieves always fall out with each other) then also invaded Poland.

And this was how the Second World War began.

During early 1939 Churchill began to plead in public for a coalition Government to be formed. He said that rearming was essential if we were not to be defeated in the pending war with Germany. But both the Government and the British people just could not believe that so soon after the last terrible world war anybody could possibly think of starting another, and so did not take him seriously.

The Second World War started on September 3rd 1939 and ended 6 years later on 8th May 1945. No-one knows how many people lost their lives in this war but it was at least 45 to 50 million of whom over 5,700,000 persons were what Hitler described as political and racial "undesirables" and were infamously taken from their homes, separated from their families and children, enslaved in terrible conditions and treated in the most cruel manner imaginable before either dying from starvation or being murdered.

Churchill was 65 years of age when the second World War started - an age when most men retire.

Churchill sailing

Now you can see why earlier in this story I said that all the experiences - both the successes and failures which Churchill had encountered during his last 40 years in politics - were (as he himself said) the preparation for his successful wartime leadership and enabled him to save England in her darkest hour.

The purpose of these pages is to tell the story of Churchill's life - not to give a detailed account of the wars he was involved in, for that is a vast subject.

To obtain an idea of the cause and magnitude of the wars, examine the monthly calendar for each year - they include many photographs.

It is important to remember that heavy censorship of news took place throughout them, and therefore knowledge of many of these events was not available until long after they happened - or until after the wars had ended.

1939.

1940.

January

February

March

April

1940.

May

June

July

August

1940.

September

October

November

December

1941.

January

February

March

April

1941.

May

June

July

August

1941.

September

October

November

December

1942.

January

February

March

April

1942.

May

June

July

August

1942.

September

October

November

December

1943.

January

February

March

April

1943.

May

June

July

August

1943.

September

October

November

December

1944.

January

February

March

April

1944.

May

June

July

August

1944.

September

October

November

December

1945.

January

February

March

April

1945.

May

June

July

August

1946.

Post War.

1954.

PM Again.

1965.

State Funeral.

ASSESSMENT OF CHURCHILL'S LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS.

 

CHURCHILL'S SPEECHES The Full Texts from 1936 to 1946.

Short biography of President Roosevelt
Short biography of General Eisenhower
Short biography of President Truman
Short biography of Hitler
Short biography of Stalin
Short biography of Mussolini
Short biography of The Japanese War Lords

List of all the Ranks in the British Armed Forces

British Prime Ministers

History of No 10 Downing Street

 

The next pages have a large number of photographs
so please be patient while they download.

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