This extra credit opportunity is worth 2 points of extra credit PER question on your Unit 6/7 Test on WEDNESDAY December 20.
By 1938, Germany had rebuilt its military under Adolf Hitler, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler was looking to expand Germany’s borders, claiming that he was attempting to unite ethnic Germans in Europe. Recent memories of the First World War left European countries reluctant to prepare for war. Between 1936 and 1938, Germany remilitarized the Rhineland, annexed Austria, and in September 1938, Hitler demanded that Czechoslovakia give Germany the Sudetenland, a region with a heavy ethnic-German population. The British government took the role of negotiating with Germany. o British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler in Munich to find a compromise over the Sudetenland. The Munich Agreement (September 29, 1938) stated that Germany would receive the Sudetenland, and promised Germany would not to take further land from Czechoslovakia. The Munich Agreement became synonymous with the policy of appeasement.
Central Historical Question: Was appeasement the right policy for England in 1938?
Directions: Read Document A and B and answer the questions provided.
Document A: Neville Chamberlain (Modified)
Neville Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler twice in 1938 to discuss Germany’s aggressive foreign policy. On September 30, 1938, they signed the Munich Pact, which gave the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia to Germany. In exchange, Hitler agreed that Germany would not seek to acquire additional territory. In this excerpt, Chamberlain defends the agreement in front of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons.
What is the alternative to this bleak and barren policy of the inevitability of war? In my view it is that we should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will. I cannot believe that such a program would be rejected by the people of this country, even if it does mean the establishment of personal contact with dictators. . . .
I do indeed believe that we may yet secure peace for our time, but I never meant to suggest that we should do that by disarmament, until we can induce others to disarm too. Our past experience has shown us only too clearly that weakness in armed strength means weakness in diplomacy, and if we want to secure a lasting peace, I realize that diplomacy cannot be effective unless . . . behind the diplomacy is the strength to give effect. . . .
I cannot help feeling that if, after all, war had come upon us, the people of this Country would have lost their spiritual faith altogether. As it turned out the other way, I think we have all seen something like a new spiritual revival, and I know that everywhere there is a strong desire among the people to record their readiness to serve their Country, where-ever or however their services could be most useful.
Source: Neville Chamberlain to the House of Commons, October 5, 1938.
Document B: Bartlett (Modified)
Vernon Bartlett was an outspoken critic of the Munich Agreement. He was elected to Parliament in 1938, in part, because of his opposition to appeasement. He was in Godesberg, Germany, working as a reporter when Chamberlain and Hitler met on September 22, 1938. He wrote about the meeting in his book And Now, Tomorrow (1960). The following is an excerpt from the book.
The mood of the German officials when it was announced that the Prime Minister (Chamberlain) would not see the Chancellor (Hitler) again was one almost of panic. This meant either war or a Hitler surrender. The crowds that applauded Chamberlain as he drove along the Rhine consisted not so much of ardent nationalists, delighted that a foreign statesman had come to make obeisance to their Fuehrer, as of ordinary human beings who wanted to be kept out of war.
Since history cannot - thank God - repeat itself, one cannot produce proof to support one's opinions, but I am firmly convinced that, had Chamberlain stood firm at Godesberg, Hitler would either have climbed down or would have begun war with far less support from his own people than he had a year later.
The British forces, one is told, were scandalously unprepared, and were able to make good some of their defects (become better prepared) during that year. But meanwhile the Western Allies lost the Czechoslovak Army - one of the best on the Continent - defending a country (Czechoslovakia) from which the German armies could be out-flanked.
Source: Vernon Bartlett, And Now, Tomorrow, 1960.
obeisance: respect scandalously: worthy of public outrage
out-flanked: out-maneuver an enemy