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CHURCHILL, Winston S. Typed letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), to Ava Anderson, London, 24 November 1945. 1 page, 4to, Chartwell stationery, punch hole top left corner. [WITH:] CHURCHILL. Typed letter carbon signed (secretarial signature), to Pierre-Ètienne Flandin (1889-1958), 14 November 1945. 4 pages, 4to, signed in pencil, punch hole at top left.
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Typed letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), to Ava Anderson, London, 24 November 1945. 1 page, 4to, Chartwell stationery, punch hole top left corner. [WITH:] CHURCHILL. Typed letter carbon signed (secretarial signature), to Pierre-Ètienne Flandin (1889-1958), 14 November 1945. 4 pages, 4to, signed in pencil, punch hole at top left.

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CHURCHILL, Winston S. Typed letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), to Ava Anderson, London, 24 November 1945. 1 page, 4to, Chartwell stationery, punch hole top left corner. [WITH:] CHURCHILL. Typed letter carbon signed (secretarial signature), to Pierre-Ètienne Flandin (1889-1958), 14 November 1945. 4 pages, 4to, signed in pencil, punch hole at top left.

"I DO NOT EXPECT IT WILL MAKE ME VERY POPULAR IN FRANCE"

Churchill tells Lady Anderson about his correspondence with Pierre-Ètienne Flandin--currently on trial for his life as a Vichy collaborator--and encloses the carbon of a letter he sent Flandin for use in his defense. "I do not expect it will make me very popular in France," Churchill writes, "but I know you will be in sympathy with it." In the accompanying letter to Flandin, Churchill--fully cognizant that his words could spare or damn a man's life--tells him that "For many years I regarded you as a strong friend of the Franco-British Entente, and you were the French statesman with whom I had the closest personal contacts before the War." He recalls favorably Flandin's eagerness to take joint action with the British against Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland in 1936; less favorably his support of the Munich capitulation in 1938.

When Flandin became foreign minister under Vichy, Churchill recalls that "I was glad." He thought Flandin would be a moderating presence; and indeed he killed a proposed plan to attack a Free French garrison in Chad. He was soon ousted from the government however because the Germans refused to deal with him. That did not prevent his arrest by the Free French in Algiers in 1943, and his trial in 1945 for collaboration. "It is for you and your legal advisers," Churchill cautions, "to judge whether the reading of this letter [in court] will be serviceable to you, or not." His mixed record brought a mixed verdict. Acquitted of the capital charge of collaboration with the Nazis, he was sentenced to five-years imprisonment and national disgrace for serving the Vichy regime, though he was released after two years, in light of his aid to the allied cause.

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