Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Does Appeasement look So Bad, 70 Years On?
The Times ^ | August 31, 2009 | William Rees-Mogg

Posted on 08/31/2009 11:29:24 AM PDT by nickcarraway

It is easy now to deride the efforts of Neville Chamberlain. But at the time there seemed to be a realistic chance of peace ) It is 70 years since war broke out in 1939, but historic questions remain. “Appeasement” is still a dirty word, but so is “war-monger”. President Bush repeatedly used the memory of Winston Churchill in 1940 to justify his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Revisionist historians question whether Neville Chamberlain, the architect of the 1930s appeasement policy, had any choice. One witness was Sir Nevile Henderson, who published his account in Failure of a Mission.

Henderson was Neville Chamberlain’s Ambassador to Germany in the period immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War. He arrived in Berlin early in May 1937. As Ambassador he came to know all the leading Nazis, and had several interviews with Hitler himself. He was chosen as the envoy for Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement.

Before he left for Germany, Henderson had interviews with the outgoing Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, and with his successor, Chamberlain. “Both Mr Chamberlain and Mr Baldwin agreed that I should do my utmost to work with Hitler and the Nazi party and the existing Government of Germany ... nobody strove harder for an honourable and just peace than I did. But that all my efforts were condemned to failure was due to the fanatical megalomania and blind self-confidence of a single individual.”

We are all familiar with a collective portrait of the Nazi leaders derived from Hitler’s last days in the bunker and the Nuremberg Trials. Henderson’s book was written in the period immediately after the war had begun, even before the fall of France. May 1937 seen from April 1940 is very different from May 1937 seen from our postwar perspective.

(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: appeasement; chamberlain; england; hitler; nevillechamberlain; notapeacemovement; worldwarii

1 posted on 08/31/2009 11:29:24 AM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I don’t think that the criticism is that Chamberlain needed to declare war. It’s that his dealing with Hitler telegraphed weakness and passivity.


2 posted on 08/31/2009 11:30:18 AM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Ronald Reagan didn’t start a war with the USSR, but he didn’t negotiate from a position of weakness.


3 posted on 08/31/2009 11:31:12 AM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Before anyone makes up their minds, watch this and watch it with an open mind. Don’t decide if it is right or wrong while you are watching it. Decide for yourself, after you watch it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw


4 posted on 08/31/2009 11:32:41 AM PDT by RC2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Warmonger?
5 posted on 08/31/2009 11:33:12 AM PDT by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the existing Constitution"Obama Adviser)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
President Bush repeatedly used the memory of Winston Churchill in 1940 to justify his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

No, the justification of the Iraq war was the breaking of 18 resolutions, among other things.

6 posted on 08/31/2009 11:34:05 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Yes. Seventy years later appeasement still looks stupid. One of President Bush’s problems was that he tried to appease AND make war at the same time. You can’t “make nice” with the source of the problem (Saudi Arabia) while trying to kill their minions and have any really hope of victory. Its a great tribute to our troops and their leaders that they have done so well, while their enemies get supplies from Syria and Iran, and money and propaganda support from Saudi Arabia.


7 posted on 08/31/2009 11:34:32 AM PDT by Little Ray (Obama is a kamikaze president aimed at the heart of this Republic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Only problem with this “analysis” is that Hitler himself told his Generals in Aug 1939 that Britain would never go to war over Poland. So if Neville and the rest of the Upper Class twits in the Appeasement Now movement had stood their ground in 1937 it is possible war might of been delayed if not avoided.
8 posted on 08/31/2009 11:35:13 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (To all the senior citizens that voted for Hope and Change - heres yours-mom4melody)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Little Ray
One of President Bush’s problems was that he tried to appease AND make war at the same time

Agreed. You can never win the war of world opinion.

9 posted on 08/31/2009 11:37:23 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Little Ray

Today they say we shoud use sanctions against Iran. We sanctioned Iraq and they said we were hurting Iraqis in doing so.

Socialists lie. Always.

Socialists were against war against Hitler until he betrayed their beloved Stalin. Communism is NOT anti-Fascism.


10 posted on 08/31/2009 11:39:38 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Kennedycare?Recall that "Animal Farm" begins with a Socialist Revolution to honor Big Major's legacy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Little Ray
You really need to learn the concept of Operational overreach.

A nation that barely stood for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was NOT going to support the US going to war with 1 billion Muslims. Attacking Saudi, cite of all the Muslim "holy places", would of triggered just that global confrontation

Contrary to the bellicose bellowing of the macho boy chicken-hawk caucus on Talk Radio, it is not possible for the US to go to war with everyone simultaneously.

11 posted on 08/31/2009 11:40:56 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (To all the senior citizens that voted for Hope and Change - heres yours-mom4melody)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Chamberlain, unlike today's liberals, realized his mistake less than one year later. He was man enough to admit it, then get the hell out of the way for Winston Churchill.

He spent the rest of his life, brief as it was, supporting the man who replaced him.

It would be an entirely different world if today's liberals showed even a fraction of the class and decency as Chamberlain.

12 posted on 08/31/2009 11:41:37 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or, are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Puppage

You really need to learn the concept of Operational overreach.

A nation that barely stood for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was NOT going to support the US going to war with 1 billion Muslims. Attacking Saudi, cite of all the Muslim “holy places”, would of triggered just that global confrontation

Contrary to the bellicose bellowing of the macho boy chicken-hawk caucus on Talk Radio, it is not possible for the US to go to war with everyone simultaneou


13 posted on 08/31/2009 11:41:41 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (To all the senior citizens that voted for Hope and Change - heres yours-mom4melody)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MNJohnnie
, it is not possible for the US to go to war with everyone simultaneously

And, I said that where, exactly?

14 posted on 08/31/2009 11:44:46 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Yes.

Tens of millions dead is still tens of millions dead, even if the genealogical vacuum is being filled in.

Such a question is built on the axiom “appeasement is a viable option”, and is designed to obfuscate history so the technique can be attempted again - with the same results.


15 posted on 08/31/2009 11:44:47 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Winston Churchill as banned from the BBC prior to WWII for speaking out against Nazism.

Sometimes there are unpleasant truths told.


16 posted on 08/31/2009 11:45:47 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Kennedycare?Recall that "Animal Farm" begins with a Socialist Revolution to honor Big Major's legacy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Puppage
It's easy to be brave with other men's blood.
17 posted on 08/31/2009 11:47:35 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (To all the senior citizens that voted for Hope and Change - heres yours-mom4melody)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MNJohnnie

The war against the theocratic Islamic empire is centuries old and the flames of Islamic imperialism still have not been snuffed out.

They can worship a rock if they want. They can’t fund interntational terrorism and wahabism. And they really shouldn’t discriminate against people who aren’t muslim in those nations.

The very concept of “muslim lands” is offensive. Is Indonesia “muslim land”? Is Spain? And what of the cultures that existed there before Mohammed?

Freedom of religion is a founding principle of this nation. Again we are trying to appease an intolerant supremacist ideology. As generations have done without much success.


18 posted on 08/31/2009 11:49:18 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Kennedycare?Recall that "Animal Farm" begins with a Socialist Revolution to honor Big Major's legacy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: MNJohnnie

Chickenhawk is a homosexual term as is teabagger. They were both knowingly used to ridicule “those on the right” (even though the support for the war and the opposition to Obama’s expanse of government extends far beyond those on the right).


19 posted on 08/31/2009 11:50:44 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Kennedycare?Recall that "Animal Farm" begins with a Socialist Revolution to honor Big Major's legacy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

This guy is a genuine fool.


20 posted on 08/31/2009 11:52:33 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MNJohnnie

So instead we get mired down trying to put out the fires while ignoring the arsonists? Great idea.
Its only the quality of our troops that keeps that from turning into a disaster.


21 posted on 08/31/2009 11:54:17 AM PDT by Little Ray (Obama is a kamikaze president aimed at the heart of this Republic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: MNJohnnie
It's easy to be brave with other men's blood

What the hell are you talking about?

22 posted on 08/31/2009 11:54:24 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RC2
Before anyone makes up [his] mind, watch this and watch it with an open mind. Don’t decide if it is right or wrong while you are watching it. Decide for yourself, after you watch it.

Nicely made video, some interesting clips. But the premises seem kind of wacky. As if original sin and the importance of financiers were something new. As if money doesn't belong in politics. (The Founders had no argument against money in politics.)

Because politics is the focus of human effort, men will put money into it. There's nothing wrong with that. The good guys need to put up the cash, just like the bad guys.

And I'm sorry, anyone who trivializes the global war that Islam is waging against everyone else is missing part of reality.

23 posted on 08/31/2009 11:59:43 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

As a result of Chamberlain’s appeasement policies at Munich, the Allies lost 35 Czechoslovak divisions, the line of fortresses on the German border and the Skoda works, among the best, if not the best, arms manufacturing facility in Europe, in exchange for 11 extra months to prepare for war.

I think Chamberlain chose incorrectly at Munich.

To his credit, once he understood he had been double crossed, he threw himself into vigorous preparation for war and ultimately supported the naming of Churchill as PM after the fall of Norway.

I have read the Times article twice and I think the author has set up a bit of a straw man by focusing on Chamberlain’s efforts in 1937, versus his actions in 1938 when he failed to face down Hitler over Austria and the Sudentenland. The traditional criticism of Chamberlain’s appeasement policy has always focused on the sellout at Munich. Focusing on 1937 seems to be nothing other than a rhetorical trick to generate criticism of the appeasement policy as a whole (including Munich) and them provide oneself an opportunity to back away by claiming that one was focused solely on Chamberlain’s diplomatic efforts through 1937.

It’s a silly exercise really.


24 posted on 08/31/2009 11:59:47 AM PDT by hc87
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

If a deal seems to be to good to be true it almost always is.

As the great man himself said “Trust but verify.”


25 posted on 08/31/2009 12:02:09 PM PDT by Iron Munro (America's awkward stage: too late to work within the system, too early to shoot the bastards)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Revisionists love to tell us why what they did really wasn’t all that bad.

Herr Hitler had outlined what he planned in that small work called Mein Kampf. Perhaps the good Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Henderson hadn’t bothered to read anything to find out who they were dealing with


26 posted on 08/31/2009 12:19:34 PM PDT by the long march
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RC2

Ain’t really interested in watching an almost two hour long thing on You Tube.....What is your point exactly?


27 posted on 08/31/2009 12:20:54 PM PDT by the long march
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: the long march

As you said....it’s long. Lot of stuff in there that’s difficult to put into a few words. Just look to the New World Bank.


28 posted on 08/31/2009 12:30:12 PM PDT by RC2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

I could not care less if they get juvenile jollies out of a false and foolish term used by the socialists. It is the power of the ideas that is important. Deriding Reagan’s “Star Wars” did not weaken the power of the concept of missile defense, though it invoked “lack of reality”. Truth has won in that battle (though this government may delay its application) as it will with the Tea Parties.


29 posted on 08/31/2009 12:34:48 PM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: RC2

And what does any of what you are trying to blather on about have to do with the article about appeasement?

You are sooo off topic


30 posted on 08/31/2009 12:36:35 PM PDT by the long march
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman
In his history of WWII, Churchill has some kind words for Chamberlain because of his efforts at the end, after he finally realized that appeasement would not work.

Neville Chamberlain's older brother J. Austen Chamberlain shared the 1925 Nobel Peace Prize with Charles Dawes. Austen died in 1937, so he was no longer around at the time of the Munich Conference.

31 posted on 08/31/2009 12:43:44 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

This article fails to point out that the French and Czecs had a military agreement that the French would come to their aid militarily. The French and English had a mutual military defense agreement. The English pressured the French into not honoring their agreement with the Czecs by letting them know that they would not help them fight Germany if it came to war.

What exactly are military agreements for if you don’t honor them? Yeah, Neville Chamberlain was real honorable...


32 posted on 08/31/2009 12:56:21 PM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Teufel Hunden
“The English pressured the French into not honoring their agreement with the Czecs by letting them know that they would not help them fight Germany if it came to war.”

And such behavior (and an even longer history of such perfidy) is where the term Perfidious Albion” came from.

33 posted on 08/31/2009 1:17:36 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
The argument for appeasement as a fundamental policy founders on two considerations.

First, Hitler had brutal intentions toward Europe: the destruction of the Jews and other disfavored minorities; the subjugation of all non Germanic peoples and the subordination of all other German or Nordic countries to German; and an intense racial purification of the entire continent. The end goal was to establish Germany as the world's leading power, with even Britain in a subordinate role.

Second, Hitler's intentions included plans to build the weapons and forces needed to subjugate the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere: super battleships abd aircraft carriers to attack the US; naval and air bases in the Canary Islands; bombers that could attack the US from across the Atlantic; and atomic weapons to blast America's cities.

Arguably, in the late 1930s, appeasement was defensible as a temporary expedient to give Britain time to rebuild its military. Yet as weak as Britain was, Germany was also weak and appeasement gave Hitler precious time to build up his forces.

Moreover, without appeasement and if the French and British had prepared for and intended war over the Rhineland or the Czech crises, the German military would probably have removed Hitler in order to avoid war. In going to war over Poland, the British and French chose far less favorable circumstances to make their stand.

34 posted on 08/31/2009 1:21:07 PM PDT by Rockingham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Puppage
"...the justification of the Iraq war was the breaking of 18 resolutions, among other things."

UN resolutions should be printed on Charmin, for all they're worth. Iraq was in repeated abrogation of the terms of armistice with the US from 1991. We did not need the UN's permission-slip to finish the job. The UN's repeated, impotent resolutions and Saddam's entirely predictable marshmallow-toasting with them only bought him time. Meanwhile he turned the internationally-approved sanctions into an opportunity for monumental levels of bribery and graft at the UN.

Screw the UN. It only makes things worse by fomenting inaction through bloviation.

And frankly, while I'm on the topic, perhaps the most damaging precedent set by a President in half a century was when GHWB went hat-in-hand to the UN for international support for action against a thug who had brutalized an ally with whom we had a mutual-defense pact. Though Bill Clinton's actions in Kosovo were regrettable on multiple levels (to begin with: we're still there), he did not precondition policy on UN approval. He got that righter than either Bush.
35 posted on 08/31/2009 1:22:10 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast (Cheney/Palin 2012!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
If you read Shirer's contemporaneous acounts of the events leading up to war and the first years of it in Berlin Diary, That is consistently the interpretation he put on things even then--appeasement by the "Western democracies" who were still traumatized by WW I and desperately sought to avoid a second round at all costs. Hitler could read them like a book. So could Churchill (and Shirer) who said so at the time.

Contrary to Chamberlian needing "to declare war" the fact is that if the West had led from strength (and France had contested the re-militarization of the Rhineland in 1936) there would have been no war. At least nothing on the scale of what followed.

36 posted on 08/31/2009 4:42:32 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson