Corrected draft typescript, signed, on the Soviet threat.1931 Stock Code: 80696
"IS A EUROPEAN WAR BECOMING MORE PROBABLE?"Extensively corrected typescript of one of the articles on European affairs commissioned from Churchill during 1931 for syndication in Hearst newspapers. An astute commentary on European Realpolitik, anticipating the Soviet bloc and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. On publication in the Milwaukee Sentinel, 23 August 1931, the piece was headlined; "Winston Churchill sees Soviet Russia as Gigantic Menace to the Peace of Europe", which gives a fair sense of Churchill's handling of his chosen theme. He opens with the assertion that following the First World War the conviction that the "idea of war had become so odious, that we need not worry about it again in our life time, or possibly that of our children" probably still "represents the probabilities" and "certainly should remain the basis for the calculations of prudent and practical men." However, "the danger point is the Russian Soviet Government All along the frontiers of Russia from the Baltic to the Black Sea lies a line of newly-born or re-born states, who owe their existence or aggrandizement to the disaster which Russia suffered in the Great War. Finland, Esthonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Roumania have all carved their fortunes in whole or in part out of the Russian mass All the promptings of the modern Russian heart, nationalist and communist alike, point to the eventual reconquest and reabsorption of these states or parts of them in the parent body." And "Asiatic Communism" is arming, making "extraordinary and almost feverish purchases of all the key war-metals and war materials on the largest scale and almost regardless of cost", reminiscent of Germany in the immediate pre-War period. Meanwhile in Western Europe, "France will never voluntarily relinquish the fruits of her hard-earned victory & is busily constructing an immense shield of steel and concrete defences ", and "German youth mounting in its broad swelling flood, will never accept the conditions and implications of the Treaty of Versailles". And so the unthinkable becomes all too easily imagined, "Germany, in spite of the gulf which yawns between Russian communism and every form of Western Civilization, looks instinctively to Russia & refuses to close the door to the East ", and indeed came to pass in just eight years. Then in 1941, when the Hitler-Stalin pact had outlived its usefulness for the Führer, Churchill had no difficulty in cosying up to "Asiatic Communism" despite its "extreme hostility to the rest of the world." At the conclusion of his Jeremiad, Churchill offers his pious good wishes for the disarmament Conference of the League of Nations in the coming year, hoping that it "will try at least to face, even if it cannot cope with them, the realities now plainly visible." A typically skilful piece of Churchillian journalism. Churchill working draft material of this kind is uncommon on the market.
8 pages, quarto. Top copy typescript with extensive autograph emendations, and signed, in red ink.
Light browning, soft vertical crease from old fold, otherwise very good.
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