A letter from John F. Kennedy to Winston Churchill’s son has been found and is now up for auction.
In the letter, dated June 13, 1952, eight years before he would be elected president of the U.S., Kennedy fires back at Randolph Churchill who had publicly denounced America’s “holier-than-thou” attitude over the 1938 Munich Agreement, which was broken by Adolf Hitler, leading to World War II.
In a letter published in the June 9, 1952 issue of Time magazine, the British politician claimed that the United Kingdom “had no more moral or legal obligation” than the United States to to protect Czechoslovakia from the Nazis.
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In the four-page letter, Kennedy argued that Britain and France had closer ties to the country and accused Britain of showing “tardiness” towards rearming against the threat of the Nazis.
Kennedy’s letter came on top of his thesis Why England Slept, published in 1940, which examined Great Britain’s perceived failure to respond to the threat from Germany after the First World War, the Daily Mail reports.
In the draft letter sent to Time magazine, Kennedy wrote: 'Randolph S. Churchill denounces the "holier-than-thou" attitude adopted by some Americans towards the English in regard to Munich and states that England "had no more moral or legal obligation" to defend Czechoslovakia than had the United States.
'Mr Churchill implies that the respective positions of Great Britain and the United States towards Czechoslovakia were on a par.
'As a member of the League of Nations, England had an obligation towards collective security that the United States had not seen fit to assume.
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'More important was Britain's military alliance with France... which although it did not guarantee Czechoslovakia against aggression, made it inevitable that if France went to war... England would be drawn in.
'Thus England was deeply committed, by her treaty ties with France and by her official actions, to the settlement of the issues at stake.
'That the British chose peace at this time rather than war is not, in my opinion, to their discredit, considering the poor condition of their armaments.
'...the criticism directed against Munich could have been directed with more accuracy at Britain's tardiness in rearming than against the pact itself.'
The draft letter is up for auction with US auctioneers Lion Heart Autographs.