Back in the 1930’s, who all denounced and criticized Churchill for his beliefs in the radical Nazi Germany? Who specifically mocked him? Obviously Churchill was right about Hitler and his plans but who in the political, intellectual, or entertainment arenas vilified him? —A.H.
The answer to your question, I think, is “just about everybody,” from the Royal Family to ordinary citizens, most of the media, his own party, the Labour and Liberal parties, and certainly most intellectuals and entertainment personalities.
The chief reason was World War I, which had massacred a generation, and was still so near in memory that no one wished to contemplate another war. (And, as Sir Martin Gilbert reminds me, at least two Cabinet Ministers who had actually fought in the trenches in World War I—Anthony Eden and Alfred Duff Cooper—supported Churchill.)
Although spoken in 1988, I think the most sensitive and thoughtful remarks about how Churchill was held in his “Wilderness Years” were those of Alistair Cooke—a firsthand observer—delivered to the Churchill Conference that year at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. I have had this speech, “Churchill at the Time,” posted on Finest Hour Online. I draw your attention to these comments in particular:
Those years, especially, have been over-dramatized, because our knowledge of the tremendous drama to come makes us see Churchill as a rejected giant, a lonely, stubborn hero, who in the end was right. I imagine that most of us here would like to think that, had we been in Britain in say 1934 or ’35 or ’36, we should certainly have been on Churchill’s side. We’d have said, “Yes, it’s true about the German air force.” In fact I don’t think ten percent of us would have been with him. He was a ranting nuisance. Out of power, he had two obsessions: India and Hitler.
When he got up to speak, he would rant about India as the “Jewel in the Crown,” or about the imminent peril of Hitler. We must remember that even by the 1930s the country was exhausted still from the enormous slaughter of the First World War. There were two slogans going around: “Peace at any Price” and “Against War and Fascism.” Surely two of the silliest slogans. One might as well be “Against Hospitals and Diseases.” But these contradictory slogans were accepted because at that time most people in Britain felt they would do anything to get rid of Hitler—except fight him. And that was what they perceived Churchill wanted to do.