“Enemies of Civilization”: Not Churchill’s

by Richard Langworth on 22 August 2011

In a 1920 article,  “Zionism versus Bolshevism,” Churchill noted that many leading Bolsheviks were Jews. Columnist Roger Cohen is now reading this to mean that Churchill considered Jews enemies of civilization.

Quoting Churchill out of context has become a hobby among those determined to find among his 15 million words exactly what they hope to find, instead of what he wrote or said. Roger Cohen is too respected a writer to be among them.

In “Jews in a Whisper” (New York Times Sunday Review, 21 August 2011), Mr. Cohen argues  that “Jews, with their history, cannot become the systematic oppressors of another people.” Fair enough, but in recounting the historical antipathy to Jews, why do we need to twist Churchill’s words to make the point?….

Winston Churchill, no less, argued in 1920 that Jews were part of a “worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development.”

“Zionism vs. Bolshevism”

This quotation is based on Churchill’s article, “Zionism versus Bolshevism,” in the 8 February 1920 Illustrated Sunday Herald—which has been used by several previous writers as evidence that Churchill was an anti-semite.


Of the three chief Bolshevik leaders, only Trotsky was a Jew.

Churchill’s article was an attack on Bolshevism (“a sinister confederacy”), not Zionism, which Churchill supported. Churchill mentioned—accurately—that many Bolsheviks were Jews—and also gave a reason: They were, Churchill explained, people “reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race….Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemburg (Germany ), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence and impossible equality, has been steady growing….with the exception of Lenin, the majority of leading figures are Jews.”

To quote these lines out of context from the rest of the article is to misrepresent Churchill, who added that figures like Trotsky comprised only a small portion of Jews, who he calls “the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world.”

Prefiguring his later indictment of Nazi Germany, Churchill wrote: “Nothing is more wrong than to deny an individual, on account of race or origin, his right to be judged on his personal merits and conduct.” Nearly half a century later, Martin Luther King, Jr. would dream of the day when people were judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Jews in every country, Churchill continued,

identify themselves with that country, enter into its national life…a Jew living in England would say, “I am an Englishman practising the Jewish faith.” This is a worthy conception, and useful in the highest degree…and in our own Army Jewish soldiers have played a most distinguished part, some rising to the command of armies, others winning the Victoria Cross for valour.

Partial quotations taken out of context distort what Churchill was saying. No one but the most ardent Churchillophobe can use his “Zionism versus Bolehsvism” to accuse Churchill of anti-semiticsm. Writers need to go to the source, and get it right.

Enemies and Extremists

Mr. Cohen also adds a point given him by a London professor:

A century ago, during the Sidney Street siege of 1911, it was the Jews of London’s East End who, cast as Bolsheviks, were said to be “alien extremists.’’

The Sidney Street siege was attended and conducted in part by Churchill, who was then Home Secretary.  I don’t think it was ever emphasized at the time that the Sidney Street extremists were Jews. They were referred to as “anarchists” and “Latvians,” though only one had a possible Latvian name. They were from Russia, of course. Whether or not they were Jews was not prominently mentioned.


A complete transcript of “Zionism versus Bolshevism” is available by email.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard Langworth May 1, 2016 at 14:15

The post focuses on misrepresenting Churchill with partial or out of context quotes, not whether Jews are “enemies of civilization.” Open ur own eyes.

Germany Must Perish (1941), written by a Jewish fanatic, was effectively used by Goebbels as “proof” of Jewry’s perfidy. Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin (1925) was written by “the spiritual founder of the Nazi Party,” whose influence was such that Hitler dedicated Mein Kampf to his memory. No, I think I will read something else.

Nineteen twenty, when Churchill wrote “Zionism vs. Bolshevism,” was a long time from the days of usury, slave trade in Europe, and “hating Christians and Aryan whites,” if they ever did that systematically. As for “undermining institutions in Christian lands,” which ones? Maybe u don’t know.

Many Jews I know wish that the misinformed, uneducated, simple-minded bigots were right, and that they truly had the power, wealth and control ascribed to them. Then indeed they would be a force to reckon with. Do without them and you do without many great things they have brought to civilization, for which informed and enlightened people have rewarded them with the likes of the Nobel Prize.

The history of every religion has its reprehensible chapters. What they are doing today is perhaps what matters most.

Linda Jamshidi May 1, 2016 at 11:51

The reason why Jews were such an unhappy people and mistreated was due to #1. Usury. #2. Slave trade in eastern Europe, Russia and the Balkans 3. Undermining institutions in Christian lands.Jews were kicked out from European countries at least 100 times. Why is that? Jews hate Christians. They hate Christianity. And they really hate Aryan whites. Maybe u don’t know this but they are the force behind ‘dewhiting’ Europe and the USA. Check out Germany Must Perish and Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin. Please open ur eyes.

Richard M. Langworth December 2, 2012 at 12:03

Dear oh dear. Where does one begin unraveling this farrago of misconception? 1) Re-read what I wrote. Churchill did not call all Jews Bolsheviks, or all Bolsheviks Jews, or all Jews the enemies of civilization. Bolshevism, he wrote, was the enemy of civilization. 2) Of the three chief Bolshevik leaders, Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky, only one was a Jew. 3) Undoubtedly Hitler hoped the British would “understand his position,” and they tried their best to do so, until it was almost too late. 4) Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with Russia before he invaded Poland; the Soviets took their share as a result. 5) Stalin continued to believe in his German friends right up to the day they invaded his country. 6) Churchill never said “Germany is growing too strong, we must crush them!” Get it right. What he said was: “When we are asked whether we will grasp the proffered hand of German friendship, I think we should answer ‘Yes,’ but at the same time one wants to know what happens after that.” (House of Commons, 21Dec37). And: “…the great German people, educated, scientific, philosophical, romantic, the people of the Christmas tree, the people of Goethe and Schiller, or Bach and Beethoven, Heine, Leibnitz, Kant…have not only not resented this horrible blood-bath, but have endorsed it and acclaimed its author with the honors not only of a sovereign but almost of a God.” (Strand Magazine, Nov35, 7). In the interests of a shaky alliance, FDR and Churchill did hide what they knew about Katyn from the media, “Zionist” and otherwise. 8) If the “Jewish confederacy” is to blame for the present economic chaos, they must have an oddly self-immolating program, since they stand to be among the greatest sufferers. I don’t believe that, and I am not one of “them,” though stuff like this almost makes me wish I was.

owainglyndwr1416 December 2, 2012 at 06:34

It is worth pointing out that Hitler declared War against the Bolsheviks.. He feared the Bolshevisation of Europe which was spearheaded by International Jewry (Roughly what Churchill was referring to in 1920) Hitler hopes were that the British at least would understand his position but in 1938 Churchill said “Germany is growing too strong, we must crush them!” Sadly Chamberlain was deceived and Churchill was a pro Zionist which might go some way in explaining why Britain allied herself with Russia for it was common knowledge that the only non Jew in the Kremlin was Stalin and the World Zionist Congress had many powerful members who also happened to be close to the Rothschild Banking houses. Britain needed Money to fight a War and the Rothschild’s would’ve said NO if they did not ally themselves with Russia, England would’ve been cut off. The War literally Bankrupted the UK and what happened ? The War started so we are told because Germany invaded Poland yet shortly after Russia also invaded Poland but that was OK . Chamberlain didn’t say to Russia “Hold on now, Pull back or we will declare War on you!” No Not a word and when the Jewish led NKVD started rounding up the Polish officers and intellectuals and murdered them in Katyn Forest the Zionist controlled media blamed that atrocity on the Germans and that charge stood for decades until the actual records were released after the fall of Communism.
Look around you today and what do you see ? War and more War , Banks collapsing, Austerity and many more ills besides and it is the same Jewish confederacy which Churchill warned us about creating this chaos. If you don’t believe that then you are either uneducated or one of them..

Richard M. Langworth August 29, 2011 at 09:30

Mr. Cohen did not put quotemarks around the “Winston Churchill, no less” line, so it is not clear whether the statement is his or Professor Malik’s. In either case it is untrue.

MQ August 29, 2011 at 00:06

i thought in that article by mr. cohen, he did point out that the reference to the siege and churchill’s stand on jews were a parallel given by the professor of law at king’s college.

Todd August 23, 2011 at 09:02

Thank you for clearing that up. I was shocked after reading that New York Times article. I Googled the quote and came up with your page.
I guess the New York Times doesn’t hire very good fact checkers.

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