On 12 January 2012, Mr. Paul Bonowicz staged a one-man protest against Churchill on the verge of the A40 roundabout in South Ruislip, Middlesex, against “the lies which were put in British books about Winston Churchill….I am Polish and we know he betrayed Polish people.” He added: Churchill “knew about the Holocaust, he knew Jewish people were dying, but he didn’t help. After the war there was a deal between Churchill and Stalin, and the price was Poland. Part of my country was sold to the Soviets. It was Churchill who decided which part, not the Poles.” —Uxbridge Gazette.
Churchill did know abut the Holocaust, but contrary to popular belief, he tried to do something about it—and was the only allied leader who did.
In 1938, the Teschen District of Czechoslovakia was “sold to the Poles,” who happily took it, as a result of Munich; and in 1939 part of Poland was “sold to the Soviets” by the conquering Nazis. In summit conferences at the close of World War II, Churchill first protested, then acquiesced, and ultimately agonized over the shifting of Poland to the west, “selling” an eastern slice to Russia and compensating Poland with part of Germany: “I think a mistake has been made, in which the Provisional (Communist) Government of Poland have been an ardent partner, by going far beyond what necessity or equity required,” he told the House of Commons on 16 August 1945 (Churchill By Himself, 179).
Mr. Bonowicz is protesting a non-issue. With the Red Army occupying all of Poland by 1945, there was little Churchill could do except hope (forlornly), that Stalin would make good his promise of free elections. Some Poles have never forgiven him, although Churchill was first to predict Communism’s fall, thanks to patriots such as Lech Walesa. Of Poland before and during World War II, Churchill added in August 1945: “There are few virtues that the Poles do not possess—and there are few mistakes they have ever avoided.”