Month: January 2020

Secondhand but Valid: “If you can speak in this country…”

Secondhand but Valid: “If you can speak in this country…”

The Eng­lish-Speak­ing Union posed a ques­tion which illus­trates the prob­lem of sec­ond­hand quotes. That is, some­thing Churchill said which is not in his pub­lished canon. The quote is: “If you can speak in this coun­try [Britain], you can do any­thing.” It was a con­cise cel­e­bra­tion of the British right to free speech. The ESU has it on their web­site. But is it ver­i­fi­able?

In 1966, the ESU Philadel­phia Branch host­ed an exhib­it of my Churchill bio­graph­i­cal stamp col­lec­tion at the Philadel­phia Nation­al Bank. It was the first pub­lic appear­ance of what­ev­er lim­it­ed Churchill knowl­edge I then had, my “awak­en­ing” as a Churchillian.…

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Paul Addison, 1943-2020: What Matters is the Truth

Paul Addison, 1943-2020: What Matters is the Truth

29 October 1994 A fond and fun­ny mem­o­ry of Paul Addi­son is one which few know about. It came dur­ing a Wash­ing­ton sym­po­sium on “Churchill as Peace­mak­er,” lat­er pub­lished as an out­stand­ing book. Dur­ing a break, we walked over to the White House, which Paul want­ed to see. We stood at the iron fence, gaz­ing at the seat of pow­er across the lawn. . As we chat­ted, Paul remarked on how close we were to the build­ing itself. “The secu­ri­ty seems pret­ty light,” he said. “It’s not hard to visu­al­ize some stray lunatic stand­ing here and spray­ing the walls with bul­lets.” .…

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Not Churchill, re Germany: “We butchered the wrong pig”

Not Churchill, re Germany: “We butchered the wrong pig”

A Ger­man cor­re­spon­dent writes: “Churchill is mis­quot­ed as saying—with ref­er­ence to the Nazis ver­sus the Soviets—‘We butchered [or slaugh­tered] the wrong pig.’ The impli­ca­tion: he should have fought Stal­in, not Hitler.

“This seems to me revi­sion­ist wish­ful think­ing. He could nev­er have said that, since there is no such idiom in Eng­lish. He would have had to say, ‘We fought the wrong ene­my.’ Can you reveal some authen­tic infor­ma­tion as to the ori­gin of this mis­quo­ta­tion?”

Sev­er­al queries along these lines fol­lowed pub­li­ca­tion of Her­bert Kuhner’s “A Revival of Revi­sion­ism In Aus­tria.

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