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CHURCHILL, Winston S. Draft typescript signed ("Winston S. Churchill") 22 May 1931.  10 pages, 4to, HEAVILY CORRECTED AND EMENDED IN CHURCHILL'S HAND, punch holes at top left.
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Draft typescript signed ("Winston S. Churchill") 22 May 1931. 10 pages, 4to, HEAVILY CORRECTED AND EMENDED IN CHURCHILL'S HAND, punch holes at top left.

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CHURCHILL, Winston S. Draft typescript signed ("Winston S. Churchill") 22 May 1931. 10 pages, 4to, HEAVILY CORRECTED AND EMENDED IN CHURCHILL'S HAND, punch holes at top left.

"FROM THE ADRIATIC TO THE BALTIC, STRETCHES A BELT OF VIGOROUS NATIONALITIES WHO LOOK TO FRANCE TO GUARD THEIR...INDEPENDENCE"

Analyzing the proposed Austro-German customs union for an American newspaper syndicate, Churchill deploys the formulation he would use 15 years later in his famous "Iron Curtain" speech. "An elaborate system of engagements and alliances has marshalled the smaller states of Central Europe into the mutually-protective organization known as 'The Little Entente.' Sandwiched between the inherent and indestructible might of Germany on the one hand and the vast mass of barbarian Russia on the other, these young States have real need to band together among themselves under the aegis of their powerful Gallic patron and champion. From the Adriatic to the Baltic stretches a belt of vigorous nationalities who look to France to guard their recently gained or re-gained independence..." Foremost among those small nations was Czechoslovakia, and Churchill praises roundly the Czech foreign minister, Eduard Benes, as a resourceful, courageous, "rebel, soldier, statesman." He lauds Czechoslovakia as a fresh, new, "highly democratic state...She is not a naughty old-world tyrant but a liberated captive..." The substantial Czech army, and the wise leadership of men like Benes, will "constitute a barrier to" any Austro-German compact or eventual anschluss. These words of respect contrast painfully to Neville Chamberlain's 1938 comments on the Czech-Sudeten crisis that led to the Munich sellout, as a "quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing."

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