Chance For Peace
The road to war began in Europe with the aggression that Germany had towards its neighbors in trying to fold them into the Reich, using peaceful means of not. There was an attempt to stop this however through peaceful terms by the Brititsh and French. In November of 1937, Neville Chamberlain the British prime mininster, sent an envoy, Lord Halifax, to Germany. He said that Britain would not give opposition to Germany taking control of Austria and Czechoslovakia if they did so peacefully(1). With appeasing Hitler with this message, Hitler annexed Austria. Hitler also wanted control of the Sudetenland in Czecholslovakia as well. Czecholslovakia was allies with France, and expected them to help resist the Germans. However France did not want to do this without Britain. Hitler became frustrated with this and threatened with war if his demands were not met. This led to the Munich Conference, in which Britain and France appeased Hitler by allowing him to take the Sudetenland. This of course did not hinder him from taking over the whole country and eventually starting the war in 1939.
In the past, people have been very critical of the leadership of Britain and France at the Munich Conference, by falling to Hitler’s demands. Although it was nieve of them to do so, it was a genuine attempt to avoid another horrific war on their part. The first world war was still fresh in people’s minds, and the affects of it had been devastating for everyone. The idea of being able to avoid such a terrible alternative through negotiation was very appealing. Unfortunately, Hitler was never truely interested in peace, as it was necessary according to his ideology.
(1)Jackson Spielvogel and David Redles, Hitler and Nazi Germany, A History 7th ed. (Upper Saddle, NJ.:Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010) page 194
(2) Wikipedia, Neville Chamberlain, Published October 30th, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville_Chamberlain