IN VOLUME 5 OF HIS BIOGRAPHY WINSTON S. CHURCHILL, published in 1976, historian Martin Gilbert relates the working relationship that existed during the 1930’s between Churchill and the South African economist and gold mining executive Sir Henry Strakosch. Most of the figures on German armaments that Churchill brought to the House of Commons and publicized elsewhere were supplied by Strakosch, who wished anonymity in the affair.
Strakosch eventually had to pay heavily for such services. Gilbert relates that Strakosch saved Churchill from financial ruin in 1938 when, due to declines in the New York markets, Churchill’s brokerage account went into debt in the amount of £18,000 ($90,000), which Churchill could only begin to cover by selling his house Chartwell. Strakosch picked up the tab for this fancy sum, at a time when a decent American salary was perhaps $2,000 per year. In addition, Strakosch bequeathed Churchill £20,000 when he died five years later. See note: 1
In the first volume of his Churchill’s War (1987), David Irving repeats this story but adds that “Strakosch was a Jew born in Moravia, Czechoslovakia.” The purpose of this note is to express my skepticism that Strakosch was a Jew, and to expose the specific political cause that his involvement served.