The Czech Conspiracy. 
A Phase in the World-War Plot

George Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers

"The surest way to prevent seditions is to take away the matter of them.
For if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell
whence the spark shall come, that shall set it on fire."
(Francis Bacon)

Prologue: Why and how this book was written

This book is about the latest phase of the World-War Plot and its Consequences, for Europe and for us. It was first published as a pamphlet under the title Czecho-Slovakia during the recent crisis, and was written immediately after my return from a tour in Central Europe. As the result of requests from some Members of Parliament and some friends who wished to have in handy form, before the national crisis was debated in Parliament, some inside information as well as access to sources and documents not easily procurable or available, the pamphlet was compiled under circumstances of great difficulty within the space of a very few days.

The second, and much enlarged, edition now called for meets a wider need. It provides, on the one hand, a historical record in which the seeds of the present world situation are traced back to the balance of European powers at the time of the Treaty of Berlin in 1878, and on the other reveals some of those hidden undercurrents that run beneath the diplomatic and political records of the present and past which still threaten us with catastrophe and disaster, unless we are in a position to recognise and understand their meaning.

Since the end of the World War I have devoted myself to the related studies of anthropology, agriculture, the science of population and of international affairs. In their pursuit I have made frequent visits, sometimes on university lecture tours, to Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, and Czecho-Slovakia, as well as to other countries.

In 1936 I visited Spain after the outbreak of the Civil War. The same year found me studying the minority problems in Czecho-Slovakia. Events in these two countries have been closely connected and are linked with events in France and England. It was Lenin who once said: "Poignardez d'abord l'Espagne et puis la France." It was the Comintern and the "Internationals" which planned to Bolshevise Spain, not without the complicity of some English politicians. When plans miscarried, owing to General Franco's victory, Czecho-Slovakia, which had for long been used in the game, was chosen as the readiest means to bring about a world war.

I make no profession of having "purely academic interests." Invariably such pretensions conceal ulterior motives or fail to conceal the cautious pedantry and the dullness of those who have no living interests at all. Of course I am strongly, even passionately, biased - but only in favour of the truth. And I am careless - whether the truth be welcome or not.

The very English and learned Dr. Johnson once wrote: "The true lover of his country is ready to communicate his fears, and to sound the alarm, whenever he perceives the approach of mischief. He sounds no alarm when there is no enemy. Popular instructions are commonly the work, not of the wise and steady but the violent and rash, whose meetings are seldom attended but by the idle and dissolute. As war is one of the heaviest of national evils, a calamity in which every species of misery is involved, no man who desires the public prosperity will inflame general resentment."

It is in the control of public instruction that the greatest danger to peace and prosperity now lies. It is in the contrast revealed between the true facts and public distortion of them that the value of this work may be found. My readers may, in this study, be helped to decide whether it is better that the publication of lies, damaging to the interests of the nation, should be punished or, as in England, that the publication of the truth, damaging to individuals and to political interests, should so often be treated as a criminal offence and a source of lucrative profit to affluent and privileged rogues. We may even consider whether it is better, as in England, that the Press should control the Government or, as in Germany, that the Government should control the Press.

Just returned from my tour around the "tinder-box of Europe," I was asked by Lord Lymington, on September 16th [1938], with some others, to address a packed and enthusiastic meeting in the Caxton Hall. Almost, if not actually, the only newspaper to mention the meeting was the New Statesman and Nation, a journal whose enthusiasm for another "war to make the world safe for democracy" led it to bemoan the failure of Monsieur Mandel and Monsieur Paul Reynaud to bring it about, in an article in the same number, September 24th, under the title "Cold Feet in Paris". This was the same Monsieur Mandel who was Monsieur Clemenceau's Private Secretary at the Peace Conference. Could it have been M. Mandel's Jewishness which accounted for his waning influence during the crisis in Paris? This journal, which hoped that, with the help of Mr. Churchill, Mr. Eden, and Sir Archibald Sinclair, "Mr. Chamberlain can be overthrown in the next fortnight" also noted with satisfaction that the three press reporters, sitting at the table in Caxton Hall, bit their pencils and hung their heads without taking down a word. The New Statesman, however, also appears to have had an attentive correspondent in the hall who reported in its pages that "the audience yelled its disapproval of Czecho-Slovakia, of Soviet Russia, of the Jews, of the Communists, of 'howling Deans from the wilds of Kent,' and of the whole British press."

I do not recollect that any speaker, including myself, was guilty of coupling together in one sweeping condemnation this galaxy of political talent, on whose behalf we were expected to send our sons to the shambles. We must, therefore, be grateful to this journal for making the connection clear, and for saving from oblivion this significant indication of the audience's native English opinion. I preserve, also, from its pages a reference to the fact that I was, anonymously, given the credit for quoting Isaac d'Israeli with approval. The actual quotation, however, was not, curiously enough, given by the New Statesman. It was Isaac d'Israeli's definition of politics: "The art of governing mankind by deceiving them."

The next reverberation of the Caxton Hall meeting fluttered in the pages of the Jewish Chronicle, which in its issue of September 30th quoted the New Statesman's account of the meeting. This so alarmed the gentleman who took the chair at that meeting, Mr. Michael Beaumont, former M.P. for Aylesbury and described as a Territorial officer, that he rushed into print in the issue of October 7th of the Jewish Chronicle in order to explain that the New Statesman had not the decency to say that he was no party to any racial dispute and opposed to any form of "anti-Semitism." He was, moreover, "a life-long and violent opponent of anti-Semitism in any form." He had, however, "received a pledge, which was not kept, that no anti-Jewish doctrine would be advanced."

This was the first and only indication I received that I had been invited on a platform, not, as I had been led to believe, to talk about Czecho-Slovakia and the crisis, including, of course, the minority problems of Central Europe, but apparently in order to avoid all mention of only one minority - and a very important one - the Jewish minority. It should be needless to say that under such conditions no scientific ethnographer could ever mention the minority problem at all; nor could he intelligently mention Czecho-Slovakia, nor the crisis, nor international affairs, nor Palestine, nor the domestic politics of England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Roumania, Russia, Spain, Mexico, or the United States of America.

Of course it is equally important not to over-emphasise unduly and unnecessarily any one minority; nor is a scientific ethnographer likely to talk about "philo-Semitism" and "anti-Semitism," as though any such race as a "Semitic" race existed. The Arabs and Jews of Palestine, for example, do not belong to the same racial group. "Semitic" is a linguistic, not a racial, distinction and group. The word "Semite" derives, as everyone knows, from the mythological Hebrew account of the descendants of Shem the son of Noah. It has no ethnological meaning.

In Czecho-Slovakia the problem of the Jews was particularly difficult for a demographer to deal with because of the lack of proper statistics. Under the administration of President Masaryk and Benesh a Jew could either register as belonging to a "Jewish national minority" or, if he preferred, as belonging to other of the national minorities, German, Hungarian, Polish, Ruthenian, or Czech. In addition to his choice of "national registration" he might also register, at the same time, as belonging to the Confessional, or Orthodox Jewish, congregation: as a Czech, a German, or Pole of the Jewish faith. Consequently there was no correspondence between the "Confessional" Jews, the "National" Jews, and those non-Orthodox persons of Jewish origin and race who might be registered as German or Czech, etc.

The importance of Jews in this part of the world was recognised long before the Czech state existed and Mr. Wickham Steed, in his Hapsburg Monarchy (1913), wrote: "Among the peoples of Austria-Hungary the Jewish people stands first in importance. It is not usually enumerated among the Hapsburg 'nationalities,' though the Zionist movement has brought into being a Jewish National Organisation which was represented in the Parliament of 1907 by two Zionist deputies and by a politician who was described as a 'Moderate Israelite'. In Statistical Year Books the Jews figure only as a 'denomination.'"

For the purpose of clear definition and statistics it would be desirable, especially with the assistance and collaboration of the Jewish Community itself, to distinguish the three categories of modern Israelites as: Political and cultural Jews (including Zionists); denominational and Orthodox Jews; and racial Jews, or Jews by origin and extraction.

For convenience, both Jews and non-Jews may agree to employ the term "Jew" to cover all three categories; this would, I believe, conform to its use by such scholars as Professor Gilbert Murray, President of the League of Nations Union.

It is the Jew himself, not the Gentile, who has insisted that his nationality, his religion, and his race should be inseparable. Mr. Leon Simon in his Studies in Jewish Nationalism (1920) refers to this insistence as "that deep-rooted instinct which makes him insist at all costs on being something different from his surroundings - an instinct which is religious as well as national only because the nationality of the Jew is inseparable from his national and universal God.... It is misleading to speak of the Jewish system of life as a religious system if we are using the term 'religious' in the sense in which it is ordinarily taken.... The Messianic age means for the Jew... the universal recognition of the Jew and his God."

Professor Gilbert Murray once wrote me in a somewhat jocular vein under date January 20th, 1936, in reply to some questions I had raised regarding the League of Nations and the Zionist movement. He wrote as follows: "It is sad that the Jews have so much influence over the Conservatives, the Bishops and the Cecil family, but I am still more disturbed by the rumours I hear of the control exercised by the devil-worshipping Yezidis over the Wessex farmers and the Pitt-Rivers family. How little we suspected these things when we had that pleasant dinner together. Yours sincerely, Gilbert Murray." This ironic letter may have had no more than a flippant intention but the President of the League of Nations Union, a man of affairs and a great scholar, should surely have been able to say what meaning he attaches to the term "Jew".

In 1920 he wrote in the Contemporary Review a very serious article about Satan and the League of Nations, entitled: "Satanism and the World Order," which has since become very well known and much quoted. The article ended with the following exhortation: "We have clear schemes set before us of the road ahead which will lead... into regions of safety: the League of Nations. If the great democracies permanently prefer to follow low motives and to be governed by inferior men, it looks as if not the British Empire only, but the whole World Order established by the end of the War and summarised roughly in the League of Nations, may pass from history under the same fatal sentence as the great empires of the past."

In reminding Professor Gilbert Murray of his prophecy, uttered over the cradle of the League, I suggested on March 8th, 1936 that the League of Nations had already been fatally stabbed by the javelin of Nemesis, which venerable goddess had already, long ago, prophesied that the League could not survive the Abyssinian War, then being brought to a close, and wrote:

    "Since the ghost of the League of Nations only now manifests itself under the guise of the scholarship of Professor Gilbert Murray, the political activities of the Cecil family and the sartorial effects of Mr. Anthony Eden, the discussion seems relegated to the academic realms of history and the literary commentaries of Francis Bacon on former Ethiopian conflicts.

    "'Nemesis' was said by Francis Bacon to be 'a venerable Goddess feared by Fortune's favourites, portrayed with a javelin in her right hand and in her left a pitcher with the similitudes of Ethiopians engraved upon it. And before those whom she destroys, not in their calamity and misfortune but when Fortune's favourites come before the Common People, she ever presents the black and dismal spectacle of the Troops of Ethiopia.'

    "With regard to the Jewish question, I do not think you quite correctly appreciated my use of the term.... In its broader cultural sense I use the term 'Jewish' rather like you use the word 'Hellenic' when you (in Four Stages of Greek Religion) write: 'The new spirit of classical Greece with its humanity, its intellectual life, its genius for poetry and art, describes itself as being Hellenic - like the Hellenes. But where no man's ancestry would bear much inspection the only way to show you were a true Hellene was to behave as such.' Similarly, the new spirit of international Jewry, with its genius for finance, manipulation and usury, for racial, intellectual and religious confusions, describes itself as merely being 'Jewish' - like the Jews; the English language has even made a verb of it - 'to Jew'.

    "How little I suspected many years ago when I read your article on 'Satanism' in the Contemporary Review that you were describing Satan as a gentleman who did not like Jewish methods nor the League of Nations."

It is gratifying to think that, when we were writing eighteen years ago, so great a scholar as Gilbert Murray and so little known an author as myself were both such good prophets.

The wave of anti-Jewish rioting and agitation, now more marked than ever before, was and is a disquieting feature of the aftermath of the Armageddon that failed. It was particularly noticeable and widespread in France, and was renewed after a young Polish Jew walked into the German Embassy in Paris, on November 7th, and shot and mortally wounded the young German Third Secretary. Even in the Czech areas of Bohemia and Moravia, since the collapse of the Benesh régime, anti-Jew rioting broke out, and a new "anti-Semitic" weekly, the Obnowa, appeared in Prague in November. The B.B.C. suggested, however, without reason, that the reaction was almost confined to Germany. What is the truth?

Judea declares war Is it not significant that a prominent English newspaper, the Daily Express, on March 24th, 1933, the year of Hitler's rise to power, streamed a headline across the front page: "JUDEA DECLARES WAR ON GERMANY"? Beneath it was produced a picture of Hitler being judged by four Rabbis, and the leading article was: "Jews of all the World Unite" - "Boycott German Goods." Was it then to have been a war of racial revenge that we, together with France and as the ally of Bolshevik Russia, were asked to wage war in 1938?

In conclusion it remains to me to thank all those friends whose encouragements or impetuous demands that I should offer such special knowledge, training, and expertise as I may possess, to the public for whatever good use they may care to make of it, were responsible for this book being written. In particular I would thank Seaton Fox for making available his valuable collection of rare documents and books and for equally valuable suggestions, to my old friend Georges Batault and Léon de Poncins, to my publishers, and lastly and above all to Becky Sharpe, my private secretary and companion on many scientific excursions and travels, lecture tours and congresses, which took us together to Spain during the Civil War and to the famine districts of Czecho-Slovakia.

In the belief that the ages should be explained by the hours as the hours can be instructed by the ages, I address this volume to those in Parliament or outside who, for good or evil, direct our national destiny, to those who take part in public affairs or local government, in education or public instruction, and to all those amongst my friends, as well as those I have not met, especially in England, France, Germany, and Italy, who believe that the future peace of the world, the prosperity of their own nations, the security of their homes, and the happiness of future generations, depend upon the will to organise, not for war but for peace, upon the foundations laid by the four statesmen who signed the Four-Power Pact at Munich on September 29th, and by the British Premier and the German Führer who signed the Goodwill Declaration on September 30th, 1938.

Hinton St. Mary,
November, 1938.


Concealment of the Truth

Until, in August and September 1938, the newsboys shrieked the scare-line headings in the streets of London: "Gravest Crisis Since the War" - "Peace or War" - "Hitler Unmasked" - "Herr Henlein's Demands" - "Czechs Ready to Die for their Country", few people in England knew much about the Czechs or the country they lived in; it had occurred to very few Englishmen why they should take any great interest in that country unless they wanted to buy cheap coloured glass, "made in Czecho-Slovakia", or unless, maybe, they remembered that Karlsbad plums and Pilsener beer were pleasant comestibles which took their names from two towns in what was once Austria before the twenty-year Balkan Republic ever existed, and for which the name "Czecho-Slovakia" was invented.

It certainly never occurred to the man-in-the-street twenty years ago, at the end of the "War to end War and make the World Safe for Democracy", that old soldiers should be invited again so soon to send their sons to die, not for their own country, not for liberty and their homes, but, so the democratic press vociferously explained, in order that seven million Czechs, allied to 260-million-odd Russians, Frenchmen, and Englishmen, should prevent a little handful of 3½ million half-starved German Bohemians being allowed to vote for Home Rule or even to have enough to eat.

The questions that every Englishman wants answered stand out:

    Who wants war?
    Why? Who profits by war?
    How are we concerned?
Every Englishman had a right to the answers and of access to the truth - in a matter of life and death.

I have undertaken here to set out calmly, dispassionately, and briefly, the principal facts known to me, by personal observation and experiences, by twenty years' study of these problems in Central Europe, and by my recent adventures in the country which is the Tinder-Box of Europe.

True words are not pleasant: pleasant words are not true. So the greatest Chinese sage of all time addressed the small glib liars of the world, who are hired to use words in order to confuse and mislead, and those greater liars who have the power, and use it, to suppress and outlaw the truth. I stand aghast at the power of falsehood!

Let every good man and true who knows any hidden fact in the many-sided crystal which makes the whole truth, speak it at the bar of public opinion and shout it above the chattering and lying din.

    "Let him take both reputation and life in his hands, and with perfect urbanity, dare the gibbet and the mob by the absolute truth of his speech and the rectitude of his behaviour." (Emerson.)

If, then, in the cause of Truth, I must accuse and give the lie to the printed or the spoken word - I do!

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The Czech Conspiracy
A Phase in the World-War Plot