Veville Chamberlin on Appeasement (1939) Essay

1060 WordsSep 2, 20145 Pages
Neville Chamberlain on Appeasement (1939) Britain and France pursued a policy of appeasement in the hope that Hitler would not drag Europe into another world war. Appeasement expressed the widespread British desire to heal the wounds of World War I and to correct what many British officials regarded as the injustices of the Versailles Treaty. Some officials regarded a powerful Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. On September 27, 1938, when negotiations between Hitler and Chamberlain were strained, the British Prime Minister addressed the British people. Excerpts of this speech and another before the House of Commons are included here. * * * * * First of all I must say something to those who have written to my wife or myself in these last weeks to tell us of their gratitude for my efforts and to assure us of their prayers for my success. Most of these letters have come from women -- mothers or sisters of our own countrymen. But there are countless others besides -- from France, from Belgium, from Italy, even from Germany, and it has been heartbreaking to read of the growing anxiety they reveal and their intense relief when they thought, too soon, that the danger of war was past. If I felt my responsibility heavy before, to read such letters has made it seem almost overwhelming. How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing. It seems still more impossible that a quarrel which has already been settled in principle should be the subject of war. I can well understand the reasons why the Czech Government have felt unable to accept the terms which have been put before them in the German memorandum. Yet I believe after my talks with Herr Hitler that, if only time were

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