Winston Churchill suggested that the Jewish people were partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffered
A historian at Cambridge University has uncovered an article written by Churchill in 1937, three years before he became Prime Minister.
Entitled How The Jews Can Combat Persecution – by the Rt Hon Winston Churchill, it never saw the light of day after Churchill's private office stepped in to say publication would be "inadvisable". The document lay buried in the university's Churchill archive for more than 60 years until historian Dr Richard Toye unearthed it while researching a new biography of the wartime leader. There is a suggestion the article was ghost-written for Churchill.
But Dr Toye said: "If it was ghost-written, Churchill was apparently happy to put his name to this article in 1937.
"Like many of today's politicians he was happy to endorse the sentiments contained in articles that were written for him."
Those sentiments include a complaint that cheap Jewish labour was "taking employment from English people" – a foreshadowing of today's arguments about the influx of immigrants to Britain.
The piece begins with reference to persecution of Jews over the centuries and refers to a new wave of anti-Semitism across Europe and the US.
"It would be easy to ascribe it to the wickedness of the persecutors, but that does not fit all the facts," it reads. "It exists even in lands, like Great Britain and the United States, where Jew and Gentile are equal in the eyes of the law, and where large numbers of Jews have found not only asylum but opportunity.
"These facts must be faced in any analysis of anti-Semitism. They should be pondered especially by the Jews themselves. For it may be that, unwittingly, they are inviting persecution – that they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer." The article then goes on: "The central fact which dominates the relations of Jew and non-Jew is that the Jew is 'different'. He looks different. He thinks differently. He has a different tradition and background. He refuses to be absorbed."
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