Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Children's favourite Roald Dahl: proudly antisemitic

    Self-admitted antisemite: Roald Dahl
    Self-admitted antisemite: Roald Dahl

    In his writing shed Roald Dahl created friendly giants, giant peaches and horrible headteachers, but in the last few years of his life, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author revealed that he held virulently antisemitic views.

    Mr Dahl, who died in November 1990, is in the spotlight this week because of a £500,000 campaign by former model Sophie Dahl to save her grandfather's writing shed.

    The author lost many fans in 1983, when he described the "horror and bestiality of the Lebanon War" in a book review for the Literary Review, saying it "makes one wonder in the end what sort of people these Israelis are. It is like the good old Hitler and Himmler times all over again."

    He accused the US of being "utterly dominated by the great Jewish financial institutions" and asked the rhetorical question: "must Israel, like Germany, be brought to her knees before she learns how to behave in this world?"

    Still more extreme views came to light in later interviews with the New Statesman in 1983 and the Independent in 1990.

    In the New Statesman he said: "There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it's a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean, there's always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason.

    "I mean, if you and I were in a line moving towards what we knew were gas chambers, I'd rather have a go at taking one of the guards with me; but they [the Jews] were always submissive."

    Eight months before his death, he admitted to the Independent that he considered himself to be an antisemite. "I'm certainly anti-Israel and I've become antisemitic inasmuch as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism."

    The money sought by Sophie Dahl will be used to restore the shed Mr Dahl visited every day, and move the interior from the family garden in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, to the nearby Roald Dahl Museum.

    While Amelia Foster, the director of the museum, insists that the Dahl family has already made a "very significant financial contribution", the reaction has been mixed.

    Radio 4's Today noted: "Half a million seems like a lot of money for a shed".

Uk News

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson

Lee Harpin and Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson
World

Jewish groups angered at Trump HMD message

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jewish groups angered at Trump HMD message
Education features

Allegations of anti-Semitism Oxford University Labour Club

Baroness Jan Royall

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Allegations of anti-Semitism Oxford University Labour Club
Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Uk News

UCL publishes investigation into UCLU event

Daniel Sugarman

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

UCL publishes investigation into UCLU event
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Leaders

The JC leader: On Corbyn, and on Arkush

The JC Leader

Friday, January 20, 2017

The JC leader: On Corbyn, and on Arkush
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid