Who's Who

Dreyfus

Richard Wilkinson weighs up history's verdict on Chamberlain's Secretary of State for War, and asks whether it was Establishment anti-Semitism or professional failings in the light of Dunkirk that led to the minister's downfall in 1940.

The ultimate fact is that they could never get on – you couldn't expect two such utterly different people to do so – a great gentleman and an obscure, shallow-brained, charlatan, political Jew- boy.
Thus wrote Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Pownall on the relationship between Lord Gort, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force (1939-40), and Leslie Hore-Belisha, Secretary of State for War (1937-40). Pownall's views must be taken seriously as he was Gort's Chief of Staff and closely involved in the dismissal of Hore-Belisha for 'reasons of personal incompatibility' on January 4th, 1940. This strange affair throws light on the priorities and prejudices of the time and on the Chamberlain Government's capability to conduct the 'total war' in which Britain was now involved.

From Dreyfus to Vichy

The Remaking of French Jewry, 1906-1939 by Paula Hyman

In 1900 the French Jewish community numbered about 80,000; by 1939 up to 200,000 new immigrants had arrived, mostly from eastern Europe. Dr. Hyman's book studies this revolution in French Jewish life, and the tensions which it caused between the new immigrants and the 'native' community, which was predominantly middle class and proud of its Frenchness and its successful integration into society. Having been emancipated by the Revolution, French Jews had thoroughly embraced the doctrine of assimilation with French culture, which was itself, as Dr.Read more »
More articles by Robert Anderson

Recent stories