The Star Weekly at War

The Star Weekly was published from 1910 to 1973, and its images during World War II perfectly capture the zeitgeist of a nation in a frenzy of war. The media has always played a role in shaping public opinion, and the extent of this capability is never clearer than when the people must be convinced of the need to fight.


This rare collection of Star Weekly covers and articles reflects the outlook and discretion of its editors and contributors at the time, coloured by the constraints of official information policy, censorship and a reluctance to expose the carnage and frequent miscalculations of the wartime leaders. The selected pictures and articles thus should not be seen as a reliable historical record, but rather as an example of how government and the media can make palatable, if not gratifying, what was essentially a catastrophe for all concerned. Within this media paradigm, the Star Weekly excelled in both esthetics an circulation. Its editors had much of which to be proud. Modern media counterparts abound, expounding on the necessity for military intervention as a substitute for diplomacy, regardless of the human and material cost. The glorification of war however has lost much of its credibility, and with it any prospect of seeing the uplifting artwork of a kind that made the Star Weekly so satisfying, and provided such a nostalgic record of an era that will never recur, although the scourge of necessary war will live on.


As faithfully recorded and interpreted in the glowing pages of the Toronto Star Weekly, Canada's massive contribution to the Allied Victory in World War II was eminently worthwhile. Clearly, it was a necessary sacrifice in defence of democracy from a brutal dictatorship whose treatment of the Jews foreshadowed the fate that would befall all who failed to qualify for membership in the Master Race. As an active combatant, Canada was seen by all men of good will as making a significant contribution to the defence of Western Christian civilization. Conforming with the English-language media world wide, the Star accepted without question the thesis that Hitler and the Nazis had to be stopped lest "we all end up in concentration camps" or worse, under the heel of a ferocious dictator and his sinister Gestapo. Such was the temper of the times.

There was no hint in the Star Weekly that there could be a much more menacing evil afoot, even though some coverage was given to the Soviet invasion of Finland and the Nazi-Soviet pact that expanded Stalin's bloodthirsty rule into Poland and the Baltic countries where thousands died at the hands of anti-Christian Kommissars, many tortured to death and their families sent to Siberia in sealed box cars. Even less attention was paid to the devilish mischief wrought by the vengeful, punitive Peace Treaty of Versailles. It was the festering resentment of the misery caused by the unfair terms of this treaty that set the stage for the emergence in the 'twenties of an inspiring populist Fuehrer, promising to restore German honour and dignity, and the German economy, by the retrieval of its conquered territories.

Once Canada was committed by Prime Minister Mackenzie King to enter the war against Germany on Britain's side on September 9, 1939 (no doubt with mixed feelings since he had written an adulatory letter to Hitler shortly before suggesting that history would remember him as the "Statesman of the 20th Century" for his accomplishments), the Star put the best face on the inevitable death and destruction, shielding readers from the disconcerting reality. Like most other media, the Star Weekly glamourized the war, helping to persuade hundreds of thousands of young men, including the writer, to lust for the opportunity to get into action, preferably in the RCAF even when, for a time, the chance of survival in Bomber Command was slim, at best.

Creating enthusiasm for martyrdom was a challenge shared by the Star with the Government (who controlled the news) and with almost all Canadian institutions of learning, especially high schools where morning assemblies featured patriotic songs most every day and teenage volunteers were accorded virtual hero status. Combining such inducements with the stigma of cowardice for malingerers ensured the Armed Forces of a steady flow of volunteers and enabled the Government to postpone the introduction of politically-unpalatable conscription for overseas service that had created fury in Quebec in World War I.

Servicemen and women who emerged from the conflict unscathed, typically referred to their experience as the most exciting and meaningful of their lives, and except for the loss of comrades, the most satisfying. The pride of being part of the Big Show, the camaraderie among new friends from all classes, the defiance of death, the admiration of the public, the girls who couldn't resist a uniform(thousands of whom were taken home as war brides), the travel to Britain and the battle zones, the mastery of new skills, and above all the supreme satisfaction of having defended one's family and one's country successfully against a ruthless enemy intent on destroying our democracy, our freedom, and our basic human rights, turned ordinary young men into warriors.

The Star Weekly has passed from the scene, as have most participants in the war it so vividly and optimistically portrayed, leaving survivors to wonder how a Good War and Total Victory could have brought such calamity and so tragically betrayed the trusting patriots who had dedicated, and often lost, their lives in rallying to the defence of Freedom.

It is now clear that the celebrated Allied Victory did not save Western Christian Civilization as promised, but precipitated its demise. There is even good reason to doubt that the case for making war was ever sufficiently plausible and compelling to justify the inevitable horrendous sacrifice, especially coming on the heels of the Great War("to end all war") that already had stripped both the Allied nations and Germany of many of their best and brightest, and, in most cases, of the victims' priceless progeny.

The Star Weekly however was content to leave unsettling post mortems to more learned journals and to a myriad of self-serving historians and journalists who mainly analyzed, praised or condemned tactical decisions. Very few had the insight, integrity and courage to challenge the ostensible purpose of the war or to recount the hideous atrocities committed on Germans during and after the fighting, let alone the authenticity of the "victory" for the democracies. Few dared to elucidate on the disastrous geopolitical repercussions and eclipse of European power.

In retrospect, the Star Weekly, with the best of intentions and in tune with the times, appears to have accepted the Hollywood version of German intentions, and along with the entire country, acceded to the most monstrous contrived miscalculation in history, carried out against the best interests of the British Commonwealth and Western democracies. Britons and Canadians were led to believe that their German kinfolk, who held no animosity towards them, were the enemy who threatened their freedom when in fact the enemy was the atheistic Soviet regime whose bloodthirsty Kommissars had liquidated, by 1939, at least 20 million Christians and was intent on subjugating Europe at the earliest opportunity. Germany offered the sole effective defence against such a fearful prospect.

Germany, astutely and persistently but with increasing frustration, sought peace with Britain in order to concentrate on eliminating the imminent Soviet threat but, on Churchill's orders, the generous "peace with honour" proposals were rejected out of hand, sounding the death knell for tens of millions, including 45 thousand young Canadians. The same Churchill, when shortly after the destruction of Germany the Soviet threat quickly re-emerged, quipped flippantly to an Aide "It looks like we slaughtered the wrong pig!" Britain and Canada were soon in a military alliance with Germany, but it was a decade too late. The hostile Soviet Union had already enslaved Eastern and Central Europe, the Baltic countries. Poland, the country whose independence Britain had ostensibly gone to war to defend from Hitler, was cynically delivered into the bloodstained clutches of a far more sinister and malevolent dictator.

Even more ominous was the invasion, occupation and sacrilegious militarisation of Palestine, the Christian Holy Land, by ruthless Zionist Jews, a part of the "tiny remnant" of East European Jewry who had "miraculously escaped extermination in the gas chambers" of what is now described as The Holocaust. The Star Weekly made scant reference to the implications of this impending European colonization in the Middle East, nor to the oppressive colonization of Germany and Eastern Europe and, perhaps caught up in the euphoria of "Victory", was content to accept the widespread prognosis of a Brave New World and lasting peace.

Other newsworthy issues and anomalies even more studiously ignored by the Star Weekly were the identity of the sinister forces behind the inexplicable decision to declare war on Germany alone when both Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September, l939 (no less illogical than the subsequent refusal of the Churchill government to accept an honourable peace). The rationale for making war was not widely debated at the time, partly because of censorship and self-censorship by the media, but it is difficult to imagine that the issue did not loom large in the minds of all knowledgeable observers who had the best interests of their country at heart, who knew the true meaning of war and wondered whose interests were served. An early vigorous campaign by the media against the Unnecessary War, based on self-interest, patriotism and common sense, could well have changed the course of history.

In the dangerous realignments of the immediate post-war era, the miscalculations of Allied "statesmen" became clear; the most calamitous being the designation of our Christian European ethnic and cultural German kin-folk as the "enemy". In fact, Germany was our natural ally, just as the atheistic, genocidal anti-Christian Stalin dictatorship was our natural enemy. Making war on Germany ensured that Communism (and Zionism) would triumph, and that British and European importance in world affairs would decline accordingly.

With the strengthening of Soviet influence by the communist victory and occupation in Europe, the communist takeover in China was a foregone conclusion, as was the further extension of communism and revolt into the former Japanese, British, French and Dutch colonies, ultimately causing the death of untold millions, including thousands of Allied soldiers who died in Korea and Vietnam. In the Middle East the outcome of the misguided, fratricidal war against Germany was no less disastrous, leading to the dispossession and cultural genocide of an entire nation and brutal desecration of the Christian Holy Land. Worse still was the subversion and corruption of the Christian democracies leading to perpetual strife in Palestine and bloody invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq by the U.S.A. Yet no reflections on the logic or righteousness of the war graced the pages of the Toronto Star Weekly. Pity.

Could there have been a more palatable outcome than the Pyrrhic victory? "What if Hitler had won?" - a rhetorical question asked usually to evoke shivers of horror among listeners. But if Germany had won, arguably the world would by now be a much better and safer place. And the "what if" is not nearly as far-fetched as Allied propagandists would have us believe. Germany certainly would have won if Britain and France, and eventually America, had acted in their own obvious best interests and remained neutral or entered the war on Germany's side. An Anglo-German alliance was by no means a total implausibility given that the immensely popular pro-German King Edward VIII would have remained on the throne had it not been for the fateful intervention of the seductive Wallis Warfield Simpson (described as a "god-send" by the vengeful pro-war lobby). As King, Edward VIII could have kept war-weary Britain from declaring war on Germany and, following German success on the Eastern Front against the universally-hated Stalin dictatorship, could have brought Britain into a NATO-style alliance of anti-communist European nations (as took place in any event a few years later). In such circumstances a grateful, friendly Germany could have guaranteed the integrity and survival of the British Empire, which Hitler much admired.

What if then our German anti-communist coalition had liberated the Soviet Union and reconstituted its components as semi-autonomous states under German hegemony? Surely then the Stalinist threat to freedom would have been eliminated for the foreseeable future. Had events followed such a favorable course, almost a certainly had Edward VIII remained as King, the outlook for Western Christian civilization would now be decidedly less ominous and control of our destiny would have remained securely in our own hands.

Had Britain not been deceived and betrayed into war with Germany, with whom she had no authentic quarrel, there would have been no Second World War, tens of millions of lives would have been spared, priceless European architecture would not have been destroyed, Europe would have been united under German leadership, international communism would have become a footnote in history, trillions of dollars could have been used for the betterment of mankind, the environment could have been protected, the Cold War would have been forestalled, (along with the Korean and Vietnamese wars and communist sponsored revolutions elsewhere), Six Million or more Jews would have been harmlessly ensconced in a tropical paradise, there would have been peace and justice in the Middle East, China would have evolved along Taiwanese lines under capitalism, sharing with Japan and the Colonial Powers influence over S.E. Asia, there would have been no UN meddling, no Third World turmoil, no "refugee" migrations, no deprivation of freedom in the name of "human rights", no Affirmative Action, no asinine Political Correctness and, above all, no subversion and corruption of Western society and the democratic political process by a cunning, avaricious alien minority.

It does not speak well of Establishment historians and journalists that they refuse to address squarely what is probably the most crucial and perplexing enigma of our time, namely, the real purpose of WWII and why politicians, notably Churchill and Roosevelt, knowingly acted against their countries' best interests. Significantly, honest, unbiased, patriotic scholars who have attempted to stimulate discussion of this intriguing issue have been viciously denounced as "anti-semites" or worse, and their findings viciously suppressed.

The Toronto Star Weekly did its wartime duty in boosting morale and enthusiasm for the seemingly worthy cause - the preservation of freedom and justice and protection from purportedly-looming world-wide dictatorship. Ironically, the fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of expression, have been steadily extinguished throughout the world, not least in Canada, largely because of the war, and the dictatorship of the New World Order could well be at hand. If pessimism now abounds, perhaps the optimism shining from the foregoing pictures, created under even more trying circumstances, will provide at least some measure of relief to the reader.

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