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.
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?”
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.…