Notes from Cabinet meetings held during World War II, declassified this week, laid bare Winston Churchill’s ruthless side. According to the minutes, Britain’s wartime prime minister advocated destroying three German villages for every Czech village the Nazis razed. He also said that if Adolf Hitler were captured, he should be sent straight to the electric chair, without the “farce” of a trial. Other top Nazis, Churchill said, should be immediately shot. During one meeting, Churchill instructed the British military, which treated black and white soldiers equally, to put up with its American ally’s racist policies against black soldiers. He also opposed releasing India’s Mohandas Gandhi, who was conducting a prison hunger strike, saying he should be allowed to starve to death if he so chose.
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