In the mailbag … on Churchill and the Jews

Photo: Winston Churchill (left) with his literary agent, Hungarian-born Jew, Emery Reves, Le Bourget airport, Paris, 1938.

300 words/ 1 ½ minute read

From an email sent to Randolph Churchill from Gerry Grunsfeld, 5 June 2023, which Randolph very kindly sent on to me:

Mr Churchill.

I have just finished reading Sir Martin Gilbert’s brilliant book Churchill and the Jews.

Despite being Jewish and an avid reader of Zionist history, I’m ashamed to admit, I had no idea the extent your Great grandfather stuck his neck out to help the Jewish people and the Zionist cause.  I felt compelled to find a descendant and reach out to briefly express my gratitude.  I’m sure your great grandfather’s actions and words directly helped many of my family members, both in England, Eastern Europe and in PALESTINE and helped give them courage and hope.

I wish there was a way I could thank your Great Grandfather in person but of course there isn’t, so this email will have to suffice.

Words cannot express how grateful I am and how grateful millions of Jewish people are to your Great Grandfather. 

I would be remiss if I did not add that it was not just your Great Grandfather but also his father and his son, and no doubt many other members of your astounding family who have done so much for the Jewish people and the Zionist cause. 

We owe you an eternal debt.

My very best. 

Gerry Grunsfeld 

The historian’s job is not only to present the facts but to enlighten and elucidate.  In his book Churchill and the Jews, Martin combined his two great areas of historical research and writing, showing that in fact Winston Churchill’s relationship with individual Jews, and with Jewish history and aspirations was indeed a happy, positive and productive one.

Thank you to Gerry Grunsfeld for taking the time to acknowledge this, and to Randolph for sending it on to me.

Read: Churchill and the Jews

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