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Munich - 1938 Appeasement Crisis

By: David Faber (581/36013)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster ISBN: 9781847370082

On 30 September 1938 the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, flew back to London, from a meeting at Munich with the German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. As he paused on the aircraft steps, he held aloft the piece of paper which bore both his and the Fuhrer's signature, and which contained the promise that Britain and Germany would never go to war with one another again. That evening, from an upstairs window at 10 Downing Street, he told the ecstatic and thankful crowd that he had returned brining 'Peace with honour - Peace for out time'.

In this important reappraisal of the events of seventy years ago, David Faber traces the key incidents leading up to the meeting at Munich, and its immediate aftermath. He describes Lord Halifax's ill-fated visit to Hitler; Chamberlain's secret negotiations with Mussolini, followed by the resignation of the Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden; and the Berlin scandal that rocked Hitler's regime. He takes us to Vienna for the Nazi Anschluss of Austria; to the Sudetenland, the mountainous border region of Czechoslovakia, where Hitler's puppets attempted to provide him with a casus belli by inciting the minority German population to rebellion; and to Prague, where the Czechoslovak Government desperately tried to head off the Fuhrer's warlike intentions. In Berlin, we witness Hitler inexorably preparing for war, even in the face of opposition from his own generals; and in London, we watch helplessly as Chamberlain seizes executive control from his own Cabinet, and makes one supreme effort after another to appease Hitler, culminating in his three remarkable flights to Germany.

Drawing on a wealth of original archival material, David Faber brings alive the events of 1938 and sheds new light on this extraordinary story. Full of narrative drive and vivid characters, Munich transports us around the capitals of Europe and is a piece of modern history writing at its best.

December 2008

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