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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Official Story of Churchill - The Finest Hours, 1 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Churchill - The Finest Hours [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
"History will be good to Me; for I intend to write it!"; so said Winston Spencer Churchill. In this DVD, the director Peter Baylis does it for him perfectly. Supported spendidly by the music of Ron Grainer; Orson Welles renders forth the awe-inspiring legend of 'Winston'; warrior, painter, statesman, war-leader; a latter day Aetius of the British Empire, hero and saviour of his country!

Peppered throughout with extracts from his magnificent speechs, this 111minute programme begins in Blaydon churchyard, moving from the great man's final resting place there, to his childhood home at Blenheim Palace; then on to his adventures in the Boer War, the Gallipoli campaign and his later combats in Flanders. Next come the political struggles of the twenties and his single handed attempt to warn the world of Nazism's menace.

The main body of the programme covers Churchill's period as wartime Prime Minister and his command of the British Empire's war effort, from the defeats in France through the North African campaign, to D-day and ultimate victory in 1945.

This is the only authorised version of Churchill's war years, made with his full co-operation and blessing. Is it all true? Yes, every word! and it would be churlish to be critical of the enormity of Winston S Churchill's massive influence on the twentieth century.

With the benefit of hindsight, some seventy years later, it is now possible to judge more impartially the result of those awful heroic days of long ago, and the picture is rather less clear. The Empire Winston fought so hard for lasted less than a decade after the guns fell silent. The British Navy he loved is but a shadow of the mighty force he commanded. Even worse, the Parliament of which he was so proud, today (June 2009), wallows amidst the worst case of widescale institutional corruption since the seventeenth century.

Had Winston used his talents to advocate different policies in the 1930's, the creation of an earlier united Europe/EEC; would it have been possible to restrain Germany; prevent the slaughter of WW2 and; to quote the great man himself "strangle Bolshevism in it's cradle"; thus preventing both the end of old Europe and the ensuing forty year long Cold War with Communism?

We will never know, but watching this DVD I can sincerely say I believe Winston Churchill to have been England's finest son. God bless you Winston, but if only you knew how desperately your people need leadership today.The Official Story Of Churchill - The Finest Hours [DVD]
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Aug 2009 13:36:13 BDT
C.W.:

when it comes to the question you ask in the last part of your review, my answer - as a 76-year-old German looking back to his schooldays - is that, yes, it certainly would have been possible to avoid the disaster of WW2. The Germans, even those who had voted for Hitler, were ready for a new beginning, certainly as far as Western Europe was concerned, and even the remaining bones of contention in the East could have been moved out of the way by peaceful means.

The Germans, right up to the late 1930s, had reasonably good relations with Poland (the French Ambassador to Berlin, André François-Poncet writes about this in his memoirs), they even made a film, in 1937, about the heroic fight of the Poles against the Tsarist occupation in the 19th century; the script was based on a Polish play and the on-location portions were shot in Warsaw.

Churchill, in spite of his excellent education in the classics, did not heed the warnings expressed by the Delphi oracle when some Greek adventurer wanted to know whether he should attack Persia; the message was: "If you cross the Halis, you will destroy a great empire" - in both cases the attack was launched and in both cases the attacker ruined his own kingdom. We are still cleaning up the debris.

TD

Posted on 14 Aug 2009 13:37:53 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Aug 2009 13:38:27 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Aug 2009 23:35:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 May 2011 17:10:41 BDT
Thank you for your comment, from which I assume you consider, as I do; that WWII was a catastrophic disaster which wiser heads than those involved could and should have avoided.

When thinking along those lines, one problem I have with Churchill comes to mind. It is little known today, but prior to the stock market crash of 1926, Winston had invested heavily in the stock market. The sudden collapse of share prices not only wiped him out but left him with enormous debts. Supposedly; a member of the Rothschild clan who was on intimate terms with Winston's mother Jennie, cleared these debts as a favour to her. From about that time however, Winston seems to shift from his previously anti-communist stance to a new position heralding the dangers of a resurgent Germany.

It is well known that Hitler's strident anti-semitism ensured the deep and abiding hatred of Jewish interests from very early in his career. It may well be that some secret pledge/agreement over the shares deal with the Rothschilds ensured Winston's loyalty to the Zionist cause; which would in turn, have enabled anti-Nazi/pro-Zionist aims and opinions to be promoted in Government circles without any obvious Jewish link; while still countering the openly pro-Nazi opinions held by many of the British aristocracy. This would also explain some of Winston's more drastic decisions, which did lead directly to the bankruptcy and fragmentation of the British Empire.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2009 09:04:43 BDT
Colin -

you are absolutely correct in your analysis of my opinion. For me, there is the additional problem that the stupidity of some people who governed European nations resulted not only in the completely undesirable situation Europe found itself in in 1945 with the Soviet tanks anhour's drive from the shores of the North Sea, but that in order to explain this slight mishap to the common man one had to paint Germany in the blackest colours. This, in turn, led to a total deformation of German self-esteem and in the end resulted in the present weakness of her political will at a time when Europe faces an enormous threat.

The British political circles you refer to in your reply constituted a loosely-knit entity known as the Focus network. Their activities are described at length in a recent book written by Stefan Scheil, a German historian, the title of the book is "Churchill, Hitler und der Antisemitismus"; in spite of the title, it deals mainly with Churchill.

Scheil focuses on Churchill's financial difficulties and how they were solved and names many of the persons involved, whereas Nigel Knight in his book "Churchill, the greatest Briton unmasked" merely skims this aspect of Churchill's career, concentrating, as he does, primarily on some of his more conspicuous blunders.

Another interesting subject that Scheil examines is the history of the translations of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" into Englsh. He finds that early on such translations were only partial texts, they sometimes left out essential statements and, in doing so, completely reversed the meaning of the original text.

In any case, it is interesting to examine this triangular array of traditional Jewish, Nazi and Zionist interests which at times brought together some strange bed-fellows.

TD

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Aug 2009 23:16:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Mar 2010 23:40:46 GMT
You seem to had a detailed knowledge of these events so I'd like to pick your brains a little. I have heard rumours that Hitler actually had a little Jewish blood himself. The story goes that his grandmother was employed as a serving girl by a wealthy local Jewish family. She was then got pregnant and sacked, later giving birth to Hitler's father. It was this 'skeleton in the cupboard' from which his grandmother suffered throughout her life; that originally stimulated Hitler's anti-semitism. Do you know if this story is true? If it is do you know the name of the Jewish family involved? Certainly one of the first laws Hitler passed was one that prevented Aryan women under the age of 45years from being employed as servants in Jewish households, which seems to give credance to the story.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Dec 2009 10:12:20 GMT
Ah here we go again: it's the old, utterly discredited, fantasy that the Little Corporal was actually of (partially) Jewish ancestry. Here's the news, boys - it's just a story used as a plaything by a certain kind of extremist right-wing conspiracy headcase. (It's pretty much out of the same box as the usual Lost Atlantis / Hollow Earth / flying saucer dribble.)
Sometimes, one could be forgiven for thinking that isolated pockets of Amazon.co.uk are serving as a sort of chat-room / dating-agency for the most frothingly bonkers of playtime right-winger. Fortunately, we're not all that way inclined ...

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Dec 2009 10:31:17 GMT
Colin -

on the subject of Hitler's ancestry there is a book by Alfred Läpple, "Paula Hitler", Druffel-Verlag, 2003; it is a biography of Adolf's sister Paula (1896 - 1960). The evidence regarding a possible Jewish grandfather is quite tenuous, it seems. Läpple, on p. 28, discusses this issue, but the only clue he gives is "the fact that (such a Jew) paid alimony to Hitler's grandmother Maria Anna Schicklgruber for a baby until the child was about 18 years old".

Läpple's source is a book by Hitler's personal lawyer Hans Franck, "Im Angesicht des Galgens", München-Gräfelfing, 1973, but Läpple provides no further details on the question. I suppose Franck's book is still available used.

Sorry not to have answered you sooner.

Regards

TD

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Dec 2009 12:04:50 GMT
Thank you for that information Mr Dunkus; it is greatly appreciated. As you can see from a previous comment, some people will hurl insults and make wild statements as fact; without a shred of historical evidence to support their opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Dec 2009 12:46:25 GMT
Indeed, it is sadly true that (and I quote): "some people will hurl insults and make wild statements as fact; without a shred of historical evidence to support their opinion" and many of those people are the jolly, jolly friends of the Little Corporal (few and desperate as they are). History is not just the plaything of extremists, fortunately, and no, Hitler wasn't (remotely) Jewish.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2012 18:17:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Aug 2012 18:27:06 BDT
Reply to Mr Flange.

I have recently discovered the following quote on Wikipedia. As it gives detailed information concerning Adolf Hitler's parents/grandparents I think you might find it interesting. Quote:-

"Hitler's paternal grandfather is generally thought to have been one Johan Georg Hiedler, a wandering miller from Lower Austria. Very little is known about him, and in all likelihood he was not very religious - but he certainly was not Jewish. There is, however, a certain amount of uncertainty about who exactly did father Hitler's dad. Some say Hitler's grandmother, a peasant woman called Maria Anna Schicklgruber, was employed as a cook in the household of a wealthy Jewish family named Frankenberger, and there is some speculation their 19 year old son got her pregnant and regularly sent her money after the birth of Hitler's father, Alois.

An intriguing wrinkle in all this was that soon after Alois was born, old Johan Hiedler did a runner and disappeared from his putative son's life for three decades. Because of Alois's illegitimacy, he was known during this period as Alois Schicklgruber, and it was only when Hiedler rather unexpectedly reappeared (aged 84) in 1876 to formally acknowledge his paternity before a judge (allowing Alois to claim a disputed inheritance) that Adolf's dad changed his name to Hitler. Many historians have speculated that but for this chance of history, the Nazi leader could never have come to power in Germany. Try to imagine 100,000 frenzied Germans screaming `Heil Schicklgruber' in unison and you can see what they're getting at.

Hitler's mother, Klara Poelzl, was the grand-daughter of Johan Georg Hiedler's brother, a man named Johann von Nepomik Huetler, and she and Alois Sr. were thus actually second cousins. As such, their match was within the bounds proscribed by the church, and Alois had to apply for special episcopal dispensation to get the marriage legitimised."
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