Blog: Sir Martin's writing

Churchill & Alexander

Churchill, the “Great Gentleman”

Photo: Churchill and Alexander, 24 August 1944, from In Search of Churchill 500 words/ 2 ½ minute read The list of Churchill’s reform measures is impressive. The Tory Democrat who became an active Liberal and then a Conservative again (at the age of fifty-six) could look with pride at the legislation

German soldiers

The German Invasion of Russia

Photo: Summer 1941; battle-weary German troops rest at the side of the tank 1050 words/5 minute read On the night of July1, a train made up of twenty-two goods wagons and two passenger cars left Leningrad for the east; on board, under the vigilant eye of the art scholar Vladimir Levinson-Lessing,

Sadat in Jerusalem

… and for how long to rule?

Photo: Egyptian Prime Minister Anwar Sadat, centre, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan to his right, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, standing, Jerusalem, 22 November 1977 925 words / 5 minute read In the immediate aftermath of the Six Day War, a debate began inside Israel that was to continue:  how to rule,

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The Also-Rans – Auschwitz and the Allies

Photo: Czeslaw Mordowicz  & Arnost Rosin 815 words/4 minute read Following on from the successful escape from Auschwitz of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler in April 1944 …    On May 27 a further escape took place from Auschwitz itself. The escapees were a young Polish Jew, Czeslaw Morodowicz, and

Treblinka

The Holocaust – the Human Tragedy

Photo: The field of stone memorials representing places from which Jews had been deported to their deaths at the Treblinka Death Camp 750 words / 4 minute read In the late summer of 1959, accompanied by a Polish friend, a non-Jew, I travelled by car to the River Bug near Malkinia

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“My own journey began in 1962”

Photo: Martin with the owner of Burnt Out Farm, Joël Wgeux, and his son, Ploegsteert, 1970, where Churchill had made his frontline observation post in 1915.  570 words/2 ½ minute read From the Preface, In Search of Churchill, 25 November 1993 This book traces some of my travels and discoveries

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“a balanced appraisal”

Photo: Churchill, A Life photobombing from the middle shelf, BBC interview with Michael J Gerhardt, Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, University of North Carolina School of Law, 11 January 2021 870 words / 4 minute read It is my aim in these pages to give a full and rounded picture

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Sir Martin on Churchill and Leadership

Photo: Peter Mansbridge photo & CBC logo “Mansbridge One on One” A CBC Interview by Peter Mansbridge 1800 words/6 minute read Peter Mansbridge is a British-born Canadian journalist, for twenty years the chief correspondent and anchor of The National, CBC Television’s premier nightly newscast. This November 2006 interview is published

Churchill & Roosevelt

“a lasting union”

Photo: Churchill meets Roosevelt at Quebec before the start of the first Quebec conference, 16 August 1943. Imperial War Museum photograph 525 words/2  1/2 minute read In 1944, as victory came closer, Churchill saw a bolder and brighter future for the Anglo-American relationship than victory alone. In a speech in London

Kovner-With-Avengers-NLI

“To perish, but with honour”

Photo: Jewish partisans from Vilna return to the city from the Rudnicka forest immediately after liberation, 14 July 1944, while fighting is still going on just outside the city. From left to right (standing): Elchanon Magid, Jacob Prener, Bluma Markowicz (she was killed in a bombardment a few days after

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Belarus: the Back Story

Photo: 25 August 2020, peaceful Belorussian protest of August 9 election results 985 words/5 minute read 1991: At the time of the collapse of the Tsarist empire at the end of the First World War there had been a brief but unsuccessful attempt by White Russia (Byelorussia) to assert its independence.

Hiroshima

“The momentous day” 6 August 1945

Photo: Hiroshima; the scene near the centre of the atomic explosion of 6 August 1945 700 words/3 ½ minute read  6 August 1945: The scale and nature of the destruction of human life at Hiroshima was eventually to alter the whole nature of how mankind looked at wars, power, diplomacy

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Smashing Statues – the Biblical Precedent

Photo: A Soviet-era statue of Lenin in the tiny hamlet of Zaverichchya, Rivne Oblast, Ukraine, with Ukrainian post-independence commentary, August 2011. Letters to Auntie Fori, an excerpt 625 words/3 minute read Dearest Auntie Fori, According to the Biblical chronology, Abram, the son of Terah (later known as Abraham), was born

Mala Tribich Zigi Shipper Chaim Olmer (1)

Triumph Over Adversity

Photo: Mala Tribuch, Zigi Shipper, Chaim Olmer, child survivors who came to Britain, photo by Garry Crystal Editor’s Note: This mid-May was to have seen a reunion of The Boys and their families in Windermere, in the English Lake District. They were to return, as a group, to the place

Berlin 1945

Liberation

Photo: A Soviet soldier raises the Hammer and Sickle on the roof of the Reichstag, Berlin, 30 April 1945 500 words/2 ½ minute read Editor’s Note: April was meant to be a time to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of German concentration camps by British and United States