Churchill, Stalin, and the Nazis

Churchill, Stalin, and the Nazis

From an essay by Adam Gopnik on Winston Churchill in the Aug. 30 New Yorker:

“There was a fine difference between Stalin and Satan, and Churchill grasped it. …the brutality and waste of the Stalinist regime-prisoners left to die in the snow, political commissars ordering the execution of innocents, the dead of the great purges haunting the whole – is sickening. But the murderousness of the Nazi invaders – children killed en masse and buried in common graves – is satanic. It is the tragedy of modern existence that we have to make such distinctions. Yet that does not mean that such distinctions cannot be made, or that Churchill did not make them. His moral instincts were uncanny. In 1944, after the deportation of the Jews from Hungary, when the specifics of the extermination camps were still largely unknown, he wrote that the Nazis’ war on the Jews would turn out to be ‘probably the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world.'”

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