A friend writes asking for the audio of Churchill’s second of three speeches to Congress, and poses a question: “Roosevelt attended neither the 1941 nor 1943 speeches. Why not?”
Click here for clear audio of the 50-minute speech.
Presidents never attend speeches to Congress by foreign heads of state or government. Part of this is certainly courtesy, so as not to steal focus from the guest. In a deeper sense, it is an assertion of the separation of powers between Congress and the Executive. A similar tradition in Britain is when the House of Commons slams the door on Black Rod, when he summons Members to the House of Lords to hear the Queen’s Speech.…
The film “Judgment at Nuremberg” suggests that Churchill “praised Hitler” right after the Munich Pact, which would seem an odd time for Churchill to be singing the praises of the Führer. What’s the story? —K.C., Washington
Hitler addressing the Reichstag, 1941. (Wikimedia Commons)
In a speech to the Reichstag in early November 1938, Hitler had attacked Churchill and others who had objected to the Munich Pact by name and describing them as “warmongers.” Replying in the House of Commons on 6 November, Churchill said:
I am surprised that the head of a great State should set himself to attack British members of Parliament who hold no official position and who are not even the leaders of parties.…