2015-10-14 20:26:35 UTC
The secret diary of Stalin's man in Churchill's London
By Gabriel Gorodetsky | October 07, 2015
STALIN'S BLOODY TERROR of the 1930s discouraged any Soviet official from
putting pen to paper, let alone keeping a personal diary. The only
significant exception is the fascinating, rich journal kept by Ivan Maisky,
the Soviet ambassador to London between 1932 and 1943.
Maisky was a keen listener when it came to gossip. It resulted in vignettes
strewn throughout the more historically significant entries. In October 1939,
Maisky was shocked by the "snobbery and racism" he encountered with his
Socialist friends, Beatrice and Sidney Webb (who founded the London School of
"I mentioned what Churchill said to me the other day: 'Better communism than
Nazism!' Beatrice shrugged her shoulders and noted that such a statement was
not typical of the British ruling elite, and I would tend to agree. But then,
for some reason, she found it necessary to add: 'Churchill is not a true
Englishman, you know. He has negro blood. You can tell even from his
"Then Beatrice Webb told me a long story about Churchill's mother coming
from the South of the USA and there being some negro blood in her family.
Her sister looked just like a 'Negroid.' "