Background: This article is dated 2 February 1941. England is standing alone rather longer than the Nazis expected, and Goebbels vents his ire on Churchill.
The source: “Winston Churchill,” Die Zeit ohne Beispiel (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1941), pp. 380-384.
by Joseph Goebbels
So wrote the correspondent of the English newspaper Morning Post during the Boer War. He was the same man who reported about an English punishment expedition to the Mamund Valley: “We went systematically from village to village, destroying the houses, ruining the wells, breaking the towers, felling the larger shade-giving trees, burning the harvest, and destroying the water reservoirs. . . After fourteen days the valley was a desert and our honor was satisfied.”
According to Lady Asquith, the wife of the then English Prime Minister, this war reporter, who meanwhile had advanced to First Lord of the Admiralty, responded to the outbreak of the World War with cheerful laughter. During a speech in Dundee, a woman from the gallery yelled: “You’ve never told the truth. The truth is a stranger to you.” He introduced the phase “terminological inexactitude” to the world, a discreet way of avoiding the rather crude word “lie.” He resorts regularly to the phrase when he is caught in an untruth. His swindles are world-renowned. The English battleship “Audacious” was sunk on 27 October 1914. Not only did he deny the fact, he even published falsified pictures of a sister ship of the “Audacious” with this caption: “The ‘Audacious’ returns to the fleet.” As early as 1900 he wrote in one of his books: “I then had no idea what a great and undoubtedly useful role deceit plays in the life of those nations that enjoy democratic freedom.”
The reader will already have guessed whom we are speaking of. It is Mr. Winston Churchill, W.C. in short, currently the English prime minister and the first violin in the hellish concert that the whole demo-plutocratic world is playing against the Axis powers.
It is not easy to give a character sketch of this man who lacks all character. He is one of those political chameleons who can change his color as needed and his opinions a thousand times, and makes energetic use of these abilities. He lies not only out of necessity, but for the sheer pleasure of it, for it is part of him. As one leading English newspaper wrote after the bitter experiences of the World War, he is a political juggler who unfortunately always leads his country in the wrong direction.
One must know Churchill if he is to understand England’s present policies and military leadership. They, like he, are wholly without direction or plan, an endless chain of actions and improvisations that now and again seem to prosper at first, but in the end regularly just miss success.
Last spring, for example, Mr. Churchill had the crazy idea of occupying Norway. The Führer beat him to it by a nose, which has not stopped him from claiming a brilliant success. The German army threw the British troops out of Norway in a glorious victory. Mr. Churchill nonetheless gave a speech to the survivors of the British destroyers “Hardy” and “Ellipse” in which he said: “You are the forefront of the army that we will use in the course of the summer to cleanse Norway of the dreadful filth of Nazi tyranny.”
Everyone knows what actually happened. England had to be content to save the last remnants of its defeated divisions from Western Europe. It stopped talking about a renewed occupation of Norway. But that did not trouble Churchill. He had been through it during the World War with his disastrous Gallipoli invasion. He had walked through streams of English blood and become hard to the sentiments that might have affected anyone else after such a catastrophe. His cynicism about a war that affects millions of human lives is unparalleled. His autobiography has an interesting passage comparing the wars in India to a proper European war: “The suppression of the poor Indians could hardly be compared to a proper European war. It was like a paper chase rather than racing in a real derby. Well, one has to take what the age offers.”
That is how Churchill loves and lives. One has to see a current photograph of his face to grasp the true depravity of plutocracy. This face has not a single good characteristic. It is marked by cynicism. The ice-cold eyes are free of any emotion. This man strides over corpses to feed his blind and limitless personal egotism. The cigar butt in his mouth is the last sign of a lifestyle that has outlived its time. The English Labor leader Lansbury wrote about him in the Daily Herald on 12 July 1919: “He has no scruples other than concern for himself and no interests but those of the ruling class. In all his endeavors, he has always managed to find a corner for himself at the feeding trough of the state, and usually one of the best paid and most pleasant corners at that.”
We have nothing to add to that. England will one day pay a heavy price for this man. When the great catastrophe breaks over the island kingdom, the British people will have him to thank. He has long been the spokesman for the plutocratic caste that wanted war to destroy Germany. He distinguishes himself from the men behind the scenes only through his obvious cynicism and his unscrupulous contempt for humankind. He wants war for war’s sake. War is an end in itself to him. He wished it, pushed for it, and prepared for it out of a stupid, destructive drive. He is one of those characters of the political underworld who rise through chaos, who announce chaos, who cause chaos. For countless people the war brings vast suffering, for countless children hunger and disease, for countless mothers and women streams of tears. For him, it is no more than a big horse race that he wants to take part in.
He now has what he wanted. England is in the middle of the gravest struggle in its history, from which it will be lucky to emerge with its mere existence. The big race has begun, and he who wanted it so much is the English prime minister. He will not be able to escape the crucial hour. When Chamberlain was his superior, he could duck ultimate responsibility. No longer. He must stand and fight.
It does not surprise us that he is fighting to some extent. No one can escape his character, not even Mr. Churchill. He loses himself in feverish fantasies and confuses dreams without the shadow of truth with reality. In situations from which there is no escape he resorts to mystic-sounding phases. His outbursts against the Reich and the Führer display ordinary gutter language that is usually rejected even by warring enemies. He spits out insults against the German people in his impotent rage. In all this we see him without any mask, a caricature of John Bull, a toothless bully, a monstrosity born of filth and fire that one must render harmless if the world is to have peace.
England’s tragic fate is that it is led by him and has tied its fate to his. He was the one who persuaded Great Britain to ignore its historic opportunity and take the rapid path to its downfall. When the history of the fall of the island kingdom is one day written, the title of the critical chapter will have to be “Churchill.”
It is always good to see a tyrannical system embodied in one man. That is the case here. That makes our attack easy. At least we know where we are. Churchill — that means war, as long as he is around. He never wanted anything else, and will never be able to want anything else.
Well, now he has it, as does the nation that must fight and suffer. He will fall with the war and through it, and on his grave will be the millions of curses of those he has seduced. That and only that is what England has deserved.
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