jurgen kuczynski, a champion of judea

Champions of Judea | Part 2

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This entry is part 5 of 6 in the Britain and her Jews

Champions of Judea Part 1 here
As Wark says, “The best intelligence which the [Secret Intelligence Service] gained on German air force developments was obtained through contacts with foreign secret services and through the exploitation of dissident German sources.”1 On the basis of such sources, some of whom approached him directly, from February 1936, Vansittart formed his own intelligence network, “separate from the SIS and the Foreign Office”.2 According to Cockett,

“Vansittart was… particularly open in his communications with FA Voigt of the Manchester Guardian. Indeed, Voigt was a key member of Vansittart’s shadowy ‘Z Organization’, an intelligence service run principally for his own benefit to keep him informed of developments inside Nazi Germany. It was run with the co-operation of the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), but otherwise was run clandestinely – unknown to the rest of the staff at SIS headquarters in London.”3

According to Gill Bennett, the Z Organisation was set up by Hugh Sinclair, head of SIS, and assigned to Claude Dansey, who “ran his own small staff, including Jewish émigrés and other exiles, and supposedly communicated with SIS only through [Hugh] Sinclair, although the evidence suggests that Morton too received information directly from Dansey.”4

Churchill’s intelligence network also included Jewish émigrés like Jurgen Kuczynski, a spy for the Soviet GRU, and Leopold Schwarzschild, a journalist and publisher, whom Churchill called “two German refugees of high ability and inflexible purpose”.5 Using information from Kuczynski was especially absurd:

“After publishing an anonymous article in Brendan Bracken’s The Banker in February 1937 with tongue-in-cheek ‘calculations’ of Hitler’s annual arms budget, he had been contacted by ‘certain circles, and these he had ruthlessly milked of both funds for the party coffers and secret information for the Soviet Union. These circles, he said by way of identification, were those that came to power in 1940 ‘with the overthrow of Chamberlain.’

…Kuczynski also drafted a blimpish brochure on Hitler and the Empire, to which an R.A.F. air commodore wrote the foreword. ‘I chose the pen name James Turner,’ he wrote. ‘The whole thing was a rather improbable romp.’ Turner’s line was, he chuckled, to deny any personal dislike of fascism – that was a matter for the Germans alone – ‘If only it were not such a danger for the British empire.’”6

Kuczynski and Swarzschild may have already been sources for the Z Organisation or Morton’s Industrial Intelligence Centre at the CID (or both). As Wark describes,

“The IIC was created as a secret unit in 1931 to collect and evaluate information on industrial war planning in foreign countries… Their sources included material from industrial publications, statistics from the board of trade and department of overseas trade, Foreign Office reports, information volunteered by British industrialists and whatever covert material was supplied by the Secret Service.”

For reasons unexplained, “At first the IIC concentrated on Russia but soon turned its attention to the German aircraft industry.”7

One “British industrialist” who volunteered information was Sir Henry Strakosch, a Jewish financier from Austria who, according to David Lough, was another of “the small group of experts who had been feeding Churchill confidential information about Germany’s armaments expenditure.” Of Strakosch’s expertise, Lough says that “As chairman of Union Corporation, the South African mining business, Strakosch passed on confidential details of the raw materials which his company was supplying to the German armaments industry.”8 The German armaments industry must have been awful enough to alarm Strakosh but not quite so terrible that he stopped contributing to it. As Irving describes,

“When the air staff issued a secret memorandum on November 5, 1935 – based, we now know, on its authentic codebreaking sources – stating firmly that the German front line consisted of only 594 planes, Churchill sent an exasperated letter to the Committee of Imperial Defence: ‘It is to be hoped,’ he wrote, ‘that this figure will not be made public, as it would certainly give rise to misunderstanding and challenge.’”9

Friendship with Strakosch became highly beneficial to Churchill and the anti-German front. In severe financial difficulty in 1938, Churchill told friends he would leave politics and put his mansion Chartwell up for sale. Strakosch agreed to pay off the debts (about £18,000 according to Irving and Lough). “Chartwell was withdrawn from the market, and Churchill campaigned on.”10 Lough stresses that there was no quid pro quo with Strakosch (other than membership of Churchill’s dining club). I find no evidence contradicting Lough here. Strakosch’s motive appears to have been to keep Churchill, perhaps the most well-placed activist for the cause, in politics to “campaign on” against “misunderstanding and challenge”. As Lough says of their collaboration, “Sir Henry… regarded Churchill as the one politician in Europe with the vision, energy and courage required to resist the Nazi threat.”11 Strakosch loaned another £5,000 to Churchill in 1940 and left Churchill £20,000 when he died in 1943.12

The Focus

Cockett describes how “Leeper and Vansittart enlisted [Churchill] in their campaign against Germany” as he “could be thoroughly relied upon to use their information in the way that they wanted”. Leeper

“visited Churchill at his home at Chartwell on 24 April 1936 to encourage him to try and bring together all the various groups who were already concerned about the German danger. This meeting was the genesis of the anti-Nazi council which became known as the Focus Group. This duly tried to rectify what Vansittart had identified as the crucial flaw in Britain’s state of readiness: ‘the people of this country are receiving no adequate education – indeed practically no concerted education at all – against the impending tests’…”13

Other than this “genesis” at Chartwell, the Anti-Nazi Council was already the British branch of Untermyer’s World Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi Council for Human Rights. As Richard Hawkins describes,

“In April 1936, Winston Churchill joined the WNSANCHR… In July, the Board of Deputies of British Jews created a secret fund to support anti-Nazi groups including the WNSANCHR. At a meeting on October 15, the WNSANCHR, at the suggestion of Churchill, decided to establish a Focus in Defence of Freedom and Peace movement. The Focus helped revive Churchill’s political career. As Eugen Spier later observed, ‘Later on it was easy to forget the part [the Focus] played in creating a platform for Winston Churchill at a time he was in the political wilderness.’”14

The Focus served as an information exchange, a network of support and a fountain of money for the anti-German campaign of which he was the most valuable figure. Yet despite including prominent politicians, civil servants, businessmen and journalists, few of whom were abashed about their stance on Germany, Churchill was no more keen for the Focus to be a matter of public discussion than he was the real size of the German air force. To enable individuals with contrasting affiliations to join discreetly, the group had a loose structure, avoided formal membership and only staged events under other names.15 Eugen Spier, a Jewish immigrant from Germany and one of the founders and main funders, wrote a book on the career of the organisation, but did not have it published until 1963. Irving says that “Churchill pleaded with him not to publish it during his lifetime.”16 Court historians still frown at our disrespect for the great man’s privacy.

Churchill “wryly recognised who was behind this body. ‘The basis of the Anti-Nazi League,’ he would write later in 1936 to [his son] Randolph, misquoting its proper title, ‘is of course Jewish resentment at their abominable persecution.”17 Jewish resentment may have been a motivation, but the wealthy, well-connected Jews in the “League” were not under persecution and, as noted, the international effort of which they were part intruded upon the cautious practices of the Jewish organisations in Germany. The Focus’s aims were the same as those of Untermyer and the World Jewish Congress: Germany must overthrow Hitler or be destroyed. In Spier’s words, “we had to prove to Britain and the world that for us there could be no peace with the Nazi regime.”18 Whether the struggle was really for survival or supremacy, no cost was too great.


Another “basis of the League” was Czech bribery. The recipients tended to be unapologetic. As Irving says,

“Europe was awash with secret embassy funds… The Czechs were most prolific… When Robert Boothby, once Churchill’s private secretary and now a member of his Focus, was later obliged to resign ministerial office over irregularities involving Czech funds and a certain Mr [Richard] Weininger, he advised the House, as an MP of sixteen years’ standing, not to set impossible standards ‘in view of what we all know does go on and has gone on for years.’”19

Weininger, a wealthy Jewish immigrant, was working mainly for his own benefit.20 Jan Masaryk was the main conduit for Czech government bribery and a friend of Churchill. Reginald Leeper and Henry Wickham Steed, the Focus’s most committed journalist, were two payees.21 Sir Louis Spears MP was given regular cash and a lucrative directorship of a major Rothschild-controlled Czech industrial firm at the behest of Edvard Benes.22

Communist sympathisers

The Czech government was headed by Benes and had formed an alliance with the Soviet Union in 1935. The Soviets were permitted to use Czech airbases against Germany and Benes wholly trusted that they would provide sizeable forces in case of war; the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Maxim Litvinov, encouraged his trust.23 The Focus’s aims dovetailed with Litvinov’s foreign policy and the aims of the Comintern. Robert Boothby was a co-founder of the Popular Front which lobbied for pro-Soviet policies from 1936 until being assumed into Churchill’s wartime government. The Focus also included former Labour minister Hugh Dalton MP, an apologist for the Soviet dictatorship since its founding.24 Focus members Clement Attlee, leader of the Labour Party, leftist Tory MP Harold Macmillan, ‘peace’ activist Norman Angell and Liberal Party politician Violet Bonham-Carter, an old friend of Churchill, wrote for The Future, a magazine published by Willi Münzenberg, a German communist who specialised in creating pseudo-independent organisations to enable celebrity intellectuals like Angell to support the Soviet Union deniably.25 The launch of The Future was funded by Munzenberg’s comrade Olof Aschberg, a Jewish banker from Sweden who had helped launder money for the Bolshevik regime after its repudiation of foreign loans and seizure of private assets. The editor was Arthur Koestler, also of Jewish ancestry, who had recently resigned as a Comintern agent when The Future launched.26


Alongside servants of the Comintern, the Focus was populated by Zionists, Jewish or otherwise. A leader of Anglo-Jewry and member of the Focus along with his brother Robert was Henry Mond, the 2nd Baron Melchett, who had helped finance Pinhas Rutenberg’s plan for irrigation and electricity generation in Palestine (Rutenberg’s company was granted a monopoly on generation over most of Palestine in 1921).27 In this effort Mond joined Edmond de Rothschild, the primary financier of Jewish settlement in Palestine (and Rutenberg’s scheme), and Edmond’s son James de Rothschild, a family friend of Churchill and a member of the Focus with his cousin and wife Dorothy. Churchill supported Rutenberg’s project while he was Colonial Secretary from 1921-22 just as he consistently supported the greatest possible Jewish immigration into Palestine throughout the 1920s and 30s (expressly to make Jews the majority there). Rutenberg was a leading Zionist activist closely associated with Churchill’s friend Chaim Weizmann as well as David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky. Weizmann and Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first president and prime minister in 1948. Jabotinsky was a Zionist militant and anti-British agitator who founded Irgun, members of which murdered British officials and servicemen in Palestine after the war.

Secret funding

Copious funding was available to the Focus. The “secret fund” Hawkins mentions was administered by Robert Waley Cohen, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. As Robert Henriques describes, “Bob” was one of the leaders of Anglo-Jewry, for whom there was a need “to find a platform which would enlist the whole-hearted support of the greatest possible number of Gentile friends.” He continues:

“Every week Bob and a few other leaders of Anglo-Jewry met at New Court to plan a form of defence against anti-Semitic propaganda. In June, Bob, and several others had an interview with the Home Secretary and returned with the assurance that the Government would do everything in its power to arrest what it acknowledged to be “a growing evil”.28

The other leaders go unnamed. Henriques continues:

Churchill “enlisted many eminent men in his ‘Defence of Freedom and Peace’ movement, and this formed a nucleus of sympathetic, liberal, non-Jewish opinion with which the Anglo-Jewish leaders could co-operate. While Jewish Defence was continued by the Board of Deputies with direct propaganda which probably did more to reassure British Jews than to combat the infiltration of Nazi doctrine, it was decided at New Court to raise a secret fund, initially of £50,000, which would work with the sympathetic non-Jewish organisations as well as with the Jewish Telegraph Agency, the latter providing the hard facts of Nazi atrocities which were so seldom reported in the press. Bob agreed to raise, control and administer this fund. It was started with a dinner party at Caen Wood Towers on 22nd July, from which over £25,000 was immediately subscribed, and the balance promised. Bob insisted from the start that the Jewish defence movement must concentrate on attacking Nazi philosophy and its denial of human rights, rather than on the direct refutation of anti-Semitic propaganda. …[H]e insisted that propaganda should be directed against ‘pursuing peace without caring for freedom and justice’ – a summary of the British policy of appeasement.”29

Cohen, like Spier, took as read that “Jewish defence” entailed using one gentile nation-state to impose Jewish values and interests on another.

As David Irving says, £50,000 “was a colossal sum for such an organisation to butter around in 1936 – five times the annual budget of the British Council”, and it was only “initially” £50,000.30 Cohen, thanks in part to his means, took charge of the Focus, as Henriques describes:

“[T]he ‘Defence of Freedom and Peace’ movement was publishing a series of pamphlets explaining what Nazi-ism meant and refuting the belief in the country that it had its legitimate aspects. Each pamphlet was read in manuscript by Bob and usually edited and amended profusely. Even Winston Churchill was not exempt; and one of his articles entitled ‘The Better Way’, which he sent to Bob in draft, was returned to its author with copious alterations, all of which were accepted. Soon the ‘Defence of Freedom and Peace’ movement, whose secretary was AH Richards, began publication of a journal known as Focus on which Wickham Steed and Bob – the latter described as ‘the veritable dynamic force of Focus’ – were Churchill’s main lieutenants.”31

  1. Wark, p629 ↩︎
  2. Wark, p636 ↩︎
  3. Cockett, p22 ↩︎
  4. Churchill’s Man of Mystery – Desmond Morton and the World of Intelligence, Gill Bennett, 2007, chapter 9. Dansey was of some assistance to Leon Trotsky (born Lev Bronstein) in 1917 – ↩︎
  5. Irving, p81. Jurgen Kuczyinski later recruited Klaus Fuchs as a spy for the Soviet Union. Fuchs was handled by Jurgen’s sister Ursula (alias Ruth Werner) while he betrayed the British and American nuclear weapons research programmes. ↩︎
  6. Irving, p82. The origins of ‘bulldog and Spitfire’ nationalism become clearer. ↩︎
  7. Wark, p635 ↩︎
  8. No More Champagne – Churchill and his Money, David Lough, 2015,ch18. Also see Irving, p52 ↩︎
  9. Irving, p52 ↩︎
  10. Irving, p111-2, 116, and Lough, notes for chapter 18 ↩︎
  11. Lough, chapter 18 ↩︎
  12. Lough, chapters 18, 20 and 21  ↩︎
  13. Cockett, p24 ↩︎
  14. Hawkins, p46. According to Irving, “The reason for the ANC approach to Churchill in April 1936 was this: in London, authoritative Jewish bodies including the powerful Board of Deputies had come out against the more strident boycott activities, lest these provoke the Nazis to more extreme measures; in New York, the firebrand Zionist leader Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, an associate of Untermeyer’s, disagreed and founded a militant World Jewish Congress based in Geneva. As the Board of Deputies was the principle source of its British finance, the A.N.C. shifted to a political approach in 1936, and began hiring helpers on the political scene.” Irving, p59 ↩︎
  15. Focus – a Footnote to the History of the Thirties, Eugen Spier, 1963, p13. See also Irving, p67 ↩︎
  16. Irving, p58 ↩︎
  17. Irving, p58, 67 ↩︎
  18. Spier, p99 ↩︎
  19. Irving, P99-100 ↩︎
  20. Irving, p170-1. Richard Weininger was brother of the famous Otto – see Robert Boothby – a Portrait of Churchill’s Ally, Robert Rhodes James, 1991, p198 ↩︎
  21. Irving, p59-60 ↩︎
  22. Irving, p100, 117. The Wittkowitz Mines and Iron Works “manufactured armourplate, partly for British navy contracts. The Austrian Rothschilds held a 53 per cent controlling share. In 1938 the well-informed Rothschilds transferred the company to the Alliance Assurance Company, a London Rothschild firm. Blackmailing the family to sell off their controlling interest to Germany, the Nazis imprisoned Louis Rothschild in Vienna. Even after they physically seized Vitkovice in March 1939, the haggling went on until the bargain was struck for £3.5Million. Irving, p118 ↩︎
  23. Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler – The Diplomacy of Edvard Benes in the 1930s, Igor Lukes, 1996, p192-3 ↩︎
  24. See Labour and the Gulag by Giles Udy, 2017 ↩︎
  25. The Red Millionaire – A Political Biography of Willy Münzenberg, Moscow`s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West, Sean McMeekin, 2003, p194. Angell wrote in the Daily Herald that ‘patriotism was a menace to civilisation’. See Cowling, p242-3. “Münzenberg had not forgotten the visceral appeal the antifascist campaign [in Germany in 1923] had had for celebrity intellectuals…” McMeekin, p194. “Thomas Mann did contribute a short article, as promised, in late November, and his piece was flanked by another impressive celebrity coup, an essay by Sigmund Freud on anti-Semitism.” McMeekin, p298 ↩︎
  26. Red Millionaire, McMeekin, p296-7. Münzenberg, when expelled from the German Communist Party in 1936, denounced Stalin as a traitor to anti-fascism. Koestler previously used his job with the Focus-aligned News Chronicle as cover for his Comintern work. ↩︎
  27. “In so far as possible the engineering staff is kept 100% Hebrew, but Arabs are used for pick and shovel work.” The Seventh Dominion? – Time Magazine ↩︎
  28. Sir Robert Waley Cohen, 1877-1952: A Biography, Robert Henriques, 1966, p361. Cohen was a director of Royal Dutch Shell, a company created with Rothschild finance; New Court was the business premises of N M Rothschild. Natty Cohen, Robert’s father, was on the Russo-Jewish Committee. See Henriques, p42-3. In the tradition of the Anglo-Jewish Cousinhood, Cohen and his wife Alice were first cousins. ↩︎
  29. Henriques, p362-3. The Focus’s longer name was the Focus in Defence of Freedom and Peace. See also Hawkins, p46 and Spier, p9 ↩︎
  30. Irving, p64. About the British Council’s budget, see Cultural Diplomacy and the British Council: 1934-1939, Philip Taylor, British Journal of International Studies, Volume 4, Number 3, October 1978, p244-265 ↩︎
  31. Henriques, p363 ↩︎
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