jueves, 5 de marzo de 2009

La Cortina de Hierro en Europa

En 1946, un día como hoy, Winston Churchill pronunció su discurso "Iron Curtain" en el Westminster College en Fulton, Missouri. Este discurso ha sido marcado por historadores rusos como la fecha del principio de la Guerra Fría. En él Churchill acuña frases que se convertirían en piezas importantes de la política internacional hasta finales de los ochenta.

Speech completo

"It is my duty, however, to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe.
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow."

Mi anécdota favorita de Churchill:

Lady Astor: "If I were married to you, I'd put poison in your coffee."

Reply: "If I were married to you, I'd drink it."

—1920s. Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert said this exchange was more likely to have occurred between Lady Astor and Churchill's good friend F.E. Smith, Lord Birkenhead, a notorious acerbic wit. But both ConsueloVanderbilt(The Glitter and the Gold) and ChristopherSykes(Nancy: The Life of Lady Astor) say the riposte was by Churchill. The argument was rendered moot when FredShapiro, in The Yale Book of Quotations, tracked the origins of the phrase to a joke line from a 1900 edition of The Chicago Tribune.

Ya metida en esto del magnífico Churchill, recordé otra anécdota que me gusta y que no es cierta. Cuenta la historia que Churchill fué invitado a dar un speech, se levantó y dijo "never give in" y se sentó nuevamente. La realidad es que Churchill pronunció algo más que tres palabras, que ahora parecen las de una postal en tienda de souvenirs. Pero bueno, digamos que viniendo de él, podemos tomarlas como Motto:

"This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
—HarrowSchool, 29 October 1941

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