The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/c/churchill.winston/churchill.005


[Churchill visits Berlin in the summer of 1932, staying at the Regina Hotel in
Munich. He is approached by Ernst 'Putzi' Hanfstaengl, a friend of Randolph
Churchill.]

The issue of German politics was raised almost immediately. Putzi offered to
introduce Winston to his idol. Nothing would be easier, he said; Hitler came to
the hotel every evening at five o'clock and would be delighted to meet so great
a British statesman. It was all arranged, and then Churchill disarranged it. He
asked Hanfstaingl: "Why is your chief so violent about the Jews? I can quite
understand being angry with Jews who have done wrong or who are against the
country, and I understand resisting them if they try to monopolise power in any
walk of life; but what is the sense of being against a man simply because of
his birth? How can any man help how he is born? Tell your boss for me that
anti-Semitism may be a good starter, but it is a bad stayer."

Putzi's face fell. The next day he solemnly informed Winston that the meeting
was off; Hitler had other plans. Since Churchill and his party remained at the
Regina for a full week with no further overtures, he concluded that his
disapproval of Nazi anti-Semitism had blacklisted him. So it had, but the story
has an interesting envoi. Hitler had told Hanfstaengl: "In any case, what part
does Churchill play? He is in the opposition and no one pays any attention to
him." Putzi shot back: "People said the same thing about you." (Manchester, 68)

                                  Work Cited

Manchester, William. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill. Alone
1932-1940," Little, Brown & Company, Boston, Toronto, London: 1988


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