Category: Red Herrings: False Quotes

Churchill Derangement Syndrome: A is for Aryans, R is for Racism

Churchill Derangement Syndrome: A is for Aryans, R is for Racism

“Quality local journalism”

In our elec­tron­ic Speaker’s Cor­ner (the Inter­net), Win­ston Churchill is beset by haters. Their knee-jerk spouts are laced with out-of-con­text quotes and pre­con­ceived notions. Call it Churchill Derange­ment Syn­drome. Where is the truth? Per­haps we need a Derange­ment Index. Click on “A” for Aryan Suprema­cy, “B” for the Ben­gal Famine, etc. A handy ref­er­ence to every derange­ment you can access with a cou­ple of clicks.

An e-zine called This is Local Lon­don, describ­ing its offer­ings as “qual­i­ty local jour­nal­ism,” is a stan­dard exam­ple. Well, maybe not so stan­dard. “The Prob­lem with Glo­ry­ing Win­ston Churchill” was writ­ten not by a his­to­ri­an or researcher, but a stu­dent at Walling­ton Coun­ty Gram­mar School.

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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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Urban Myths: “Alexander Fleming Twice Saved Churchill’s Life”

Urban Myths: “Alexander Fleming Twice Saved Churchill’s Life”

Fleming as rescuer…

The Flem­ing myth is updat­ed from an arti­cle orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 1998.

Is it true that Lord Ran­dolph Churchill financed the edu­ca­tion of Alexan­der Flem­ing, the dis­cov­er­er of peni­cillin, as a result of Flem­ing (or his father) res­cu­ing Churchill from drown­ing in a swamp when young Win­ston was a youth—and a Flem­ing dis­cov­ery, peni­cillin, saved Churchill’s life years lat­er in 1943? A friend of mine has sent me this email regard­ing it and I want­ed to ver­i­fy . —L.M.

This ques­tion comes up reg­u­lar­ly, but both parts of the sto­ry are untrue. Nei­ther Alexan­der Flem­ing nor his father were with Churchill at the times sug­gest­ed.…

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