Historians and politicians have hit back at claims that war time Prime Minister Winston Churchill was anti-Semitic.
LONDON (EJP)--New documentation released by Britain’s National Archives has revealed that English politicians denied Jewish refugees from Europe any “special treatment” during WWII, despite the ongoing persecution from the Nazis.
In secret security service documents released by the NA last week, a memo from the Home Office stressed that each case would be judged individually.
The 1940 memo said: “There is no special treatment adopted towards Jews. They must be brought before a tribunal and if they are established as bona fide refugees their registration books will be stamped ‘refugee from Nazi oppression.’”
Churchill claims rebuffed
Meanwhile, historians and politicians have hit back at claims that war time Prime Minister Winston Churchill was anti-Semitic.
A document from 1937 uncovered by writer Richard Toye during research for a book on Churchill and a previous prime minister David Lloyd George, seemed to show Churchill had negative views towards Jews.
In the document, Churchill allegedly wrote that he supported the idea that the “separateness of the Jew” sometimes caused their own persecution.
And while he described Jews as “sober, industrious and law-abiding,” Churchill was quoted as saying “There are times when one feels instinctively that all this is another manifestation of the difference.”
According to Toye the document came from an article to have been printed in a magazine but was pulled. Toye said he believed the document was significant. He said: “While most people would accept that Churchill was no anti-semite, this sheds fascinating new light on his views, which were very inconsistent. He uses some very unfortunate stereotypes.”
“This shouldn’t be taken out of proportion. He had plenty of other opportunities to state his views but didn’t.”
However, official Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert said the article was ghost written and did not represent the politician’s views.
And another historian Richard Langworth, who works at the Churchill Centre, said: “We at The Churchill Center would have fallen off our chairs too - if Churchill had written such words. But Churchill did not write them. Nor did he publish them. Nor did he approve of them.”
Langworth added that Leave Churchill’s had a lifelong support of Zionism and numerous Jewish friends.
“Churchill was a friend of the Jews because, as a moral man, his sense of justice was revolted by persecution. "How can any man be discriminated against," he once asked, "purely because of how he was born?"”