On October 3rd, 2021, a page TIA.GE News published a picture of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Anthony Eden, in the Facebook Group “Freedom.” The photo of Eden is accompanied by his alleged quote directed towards Joseph Stalin, claiming that after Stalin’s death, Edens labeled politics as no longer interesting and resigned. The full version of the quote is as follows: “With the death of Stalin, the era of lions in the world ended and the era of rats began! … Politics is no longer interesting. More precisely, it stopped altogether and gave the way to the barn rats!!”
The aforementioned quote does not belong to Anthony Edens. No open-source contains information about the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom ever making a statement of similar content. The real reason for Eden’s resignation was his deteriorating health and his unsuccessful role during the Suez Crisis.
Why can’t Eden’s resignation be linked to Stalin’s death?
Anthony Edens was a conservative British politician who took the position of Foreign Minister while being 38 years old and held the post of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 to 1957. Eden’s renowned reputation as an experienced diplomat had diminished in 1956 when the United States refused to support the Anglo-French intervention in the Middle East during the Suez Crisis. Two months after the end of the Suez operation, on January 9th, 1957, Eden resigned due to deteriorating health. Eden became prime minister in 1955, while Stalin died in 1953; therefore, his resignation could not be linked to a loss of interest in politics over Stalin’s death. Eden’s resignation, however, can be linked to deteriorating health and the failed role of the Prime Minister in managing the Suez Crisis. Most historians argue that Eden made a number of mistakes during the “Suez Crisis” that shook even his own party. Eden’s health problems were named as the official reason for his resignation. The medical bulletin, signed by four doctors, reads as follows:
“The Prime Minister’s health gives cause for anxiety. In our opinion his health will no longer enable him to sustain the heavy burdens inseparable from the office of Prime Minister.”
Noteworthy, Eden was ill until 1957 as well, for example, on April 12th, 1953, he underwent a cholecystectomy in Boston, which was followed by a deterioration in his postoperative condition.
What did Eden Think of Stalin?
While it is true that Eden did not resign because of Stalin’s death, it is essential to underscore that he did have sympathy for the Soviet leader. Anthony Eden first met Stalin in 1935 in Moscow. After Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941, Eden supported Churchill’s decision to become allies of the Soviet Union in the fight against Hitler. Eden later wrote: “Stalin was the ablest negotiator I have ever seen in action. He had a very clear sense of purpose. He was never violent in speech, nor brash, but quiet and he insisted on the things that mattered to him. Stalin was ruthless and cruel, no doubt, but remarkable.”
Nonetheless, the quote indicated in the post of TIA.GE News does not belong to Eden, as no open-source contains information about him ever making a statement of similar content.
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