Henry Strakosch

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Sir Henry Strakosch GBE (9 May 1871 – 30 October 1943) was an Austrian-born British banker and businessman. His parents were the merchant Edward Strakosch and his wife Mathilde, (née Winters). He was born at Hohenau, Austria, and educated at the Wasa Gymnasium in Vienna and privately in England.[1]

He entered banking in the City of London in 1891,[2] then began working for the Anglo-Austrian Bank of South Africa in the 1895. Strakosch became a naturalized British citizen in 1907.

He served as a financial adviser to the South African government, and was the author of the 1920 South African Currency and Banking Act. He was chairman of the South African goldminers, Union Corporation from 1924. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance during 1925 and 1926. He later served on the Council of India between 1930 and 1937, served as a delegate for India at the Imperial Economic Conference in 1932, and acted as adviser to the Secretary of State for India between 1937 and 1942.

Strakosch was knighted in 1921, then created a KBE in 1924, and promoted GBE in 1927.[3] He was awarded an honorary degree of LLD at Manchester University in 1938.[4]

He was chairman of The Economist between 1929 and 1943.

Strakosch being a Jew and his involvement in the payment of the private debts of Sir Winston Churchill, in 1938[5] and again in June 1940[6], has been cited as evidence of Jewish involvement in British politics in the run up to World War Two. Strakosch had supplied Churchill with figures on German arms expenditure during the latter's political campaign for rearmament against the Nazi regime, and the financial arrangement enabled Churchill to withdraw his home Chartwell from sale at a time of financial pressures.[7] Strakosch also bequeathed Churchill £20,000 in his will.[8]

Strakosch was unmarried until 1941 when he married Mabel Elizabeth Vincent, daughter of John Curnow Millett of Pempol, Cornwall, and widow of Joseph Temperley, [2] a shipowner.[4]

He died at his home, after an unsuccessful operation, at Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in 1943 aged seventy-two.[4]


  • The South African Currency and Exchange Problem, Johannesburg, 1920.
  • The South African Currency and Exchange Problem Re-Examined, Johannesburg, 1922.
  • Monetary Stability and the Gold Standard, London, 1928.
  • A Financial Plan for the Prevention of War, London, 1929.
  • The Crisis. A memorandum, supplement to The Economist, 9 January 1932.


  1. ^ Wickham Legg and Williams, L.G. and E.T. (editors). Dictionary of National Biography, 1941-1950. Oxford University Press. p. 846.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b Who Was Who, 1941-1950. A and C Black. 1952. p. 1115.
  3. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1942. Kelly's. p. 1715.
  4. ^ a b c Dictionary of National Biography, 1941-50. p. 847.
  5. ^ Aderet, Ofer (19 September 2016). "Blood, Sweat and Booze: Churchill's Debts and the Moguls Who Saved Him". Haaretz. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  6. ^ Larson, Erik, 1954-. The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the Blitz (First ed.). New York. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-385-34871-3. OCLC 1125275396.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Gilbert, Martin (1981). Winston Churchill - The Wilderness Years. Macmillan. p. 222. ISBN 0-333-32564-8.
  8. ^ Cable to the New York Times (6 February 1944). "20,000 to Churchill By Strakosch Will". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  • Harold Gilmore Calhoun: Les théories de Sir Henry Strakosch en matière de crise et la crise de 1929–1933. Loviton, Paris 1933.

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