We Cannot Treat with Bolshevism
No place indicated: No publisher indicated, c. 1940. Leaflet. This is a rare and fascinating wartime propaganda piece ridiculing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's Second World War alliance of convenience with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. The unsigned, undated leaflet reproduces excerpts from five unidentified pieces of Churchill’s writing. The leaflet measures 8.125 x 5.875 inches (20.6 x 14.9 cm) and is printed only on the recto. Churchill’s bibliographer Ronald Cohen gives no publisher or location for this item. The poor English of the introduction and the use of a z with a horizontal stroke through it leads us to speculate that this leaflet is continental, possibly German, propaganda.
The leaflet ends by turning Churchill’s words into a derisive attack on the alleged hypocrisy of Britain’s wartime alliance: “We cannot treat with Bolshevism but you can make the supreme sacrifice so that it can overturn existing civilization by stealth, by propaganda, and by bloody force.” The effect is a stinging contrast between Churchill's wartime alliances of necessity and his long history of ardent anti-communist sentiment. A scarce item; we know of only two other copies - one which we offered half a decade ago and one in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.
Condition of this fragile, ephemeral item approaches near fine. Incredibly, the wood pulp paper has survived with no loss or tears. Though there is some wrinkling to the bottom third of the sheet, this is likely an artifact of the printing process, as the only other copy we have handled had similar wrinkling. The leaflet does not appear to have been folded at any time and has apparently been stored flat.
Reference: Cohen A138. Item #007462