1920-1939 | Appeasing Hitler | Backing dictatorships | Germany

The editor of the Daily Herald apologizes for insulting Hitler

[ 1 December 1937 ] The left leaning Daily Herald, was arguably the most progressive of Britain’s mainstream newspapers in the thirties. Unlike The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Express and the Daily Mail, it would often carry articles and editorials which were mildly disapproving, and even occasionally sharply critical, of Britain’s policy of appeasing Hitler. At the same time,…

1920-1939 | Palestine

English policeman describes extrajudicial killings in Palestine

19 December 1937 On 19 December 1937,  Constable Sydney Burr, based at Haifa in the British mandate of Palestine, wrote home to his parents describing the extrajudicial executions of Arabs suspected of participating in an insurgency against British rule. After expressing his disappointment at the ‘military courts’ which were ‘being so lenient and want too…

1920-1939 | Appeasing Hitler

Lord Halifax on Hitler’s Nazi regime – ‘absolutely fantastic’

5 December 1937 On 5 December 1937, the Conservative MP Sir Henry Channon noted in his diary that he had ‘a long conversation with Lord Halifax,’ who had recently visited Hitler and other Nazi leaders in Germany, as a trusted informal ambassador acting on the prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s behalf. According to Channon, Halifax confessed…

1920-1939 | Executions | Palestine

Suspect Arab rebel hung just five days after his arrest

27 November 1937 At 8 am on the morning of Saturday 27 November 1937, Sheikh Farhan al-Sa’di, an Arab village elder, was executed by hanging at the crusader castle at Acre.  Described in the British press as ‘a picturesque figure, six foot tall and bearded’ and as ‘one of the most notorious trouble makers in…

1920-1939 | Civilians slaughtered | Collective punishments | Curfews | Massacres | Palestine | Punitive operations

Black watch troops beat twelve Arab villagers to death

6 November 1937 On Saturday 6 November 1937, an officer in the North Staffordshire Regiment recorded in his diary how soldiers of the Black Watch beat twelve Arab villagers to death with their rifle butts in the Palestinian village of Silwan.1  The incident occurred while troops were being deployed to crush an Arab rebellion against…

1920-1939 | Palestine

Peel Commission backs the expulsion of Arabs from their land

7 July 1937 On 7 July 1937, a Royal Commission of Inquiry, headed by Lord Peel, published its report on Palestine, announcing that the current British mandate had become unworkable, and that the country should be divided into two states, Jewish and Arab. While the Jewish population was to receive one third of the land…

1920-1939 | Appeasing Hitler | Germany | Media propaganda

Barely a razed eyebrow after a Nazi salute at Buckingham Palace

4 February 1937 There was almost no diplomatic, media or public criticism when Hitler’s ambassador, Joachim von Ribbentrop, greeted King George VI at Buckingham Palace, on 4 February 1937, with a Nazi salute. The Morning Post reported that the king ‘showed no surprise.’1 The Times didn’t even make any mention of the gesture, noting only that ‘His Excellency Herr…

1920-1939 | Palestine | Torture

29 DECEMBER

ANGLICAN CHAPLAIN WITNESSES BRUTAL BEATING OF AN ARAB PRISONER [ 29 December 1937 ] On 29 December 1937, David Irving, the Anglican Chaplain for the Palestinian town of Haifa, wrote to Graham Brown, the Bishop of Jerusalem, to alert him of a brutal beating of an Arab prisoner he had witnessed at a British run…