A British Leader’s Sorrow.
January 31st, 2011
Received by FAB
I am here, Neville Chamberlain.
Yes, I come at your request. Yes, we did enable the Nazis. We were thinking about the balance of power in Europe. We were not thinking at all about the welfare of the European people. I’ve had to endure the taunts of those who suffered as a result of my decisions. I have not come out of my darkness. Help me.
Arthur Neville Chamberlain (18 March 1869 – 9 November 1940) was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. When Adolf Hitler continued his aggression by invading Poland, Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War.
His premiership was dominated by the question of policy towards the increasingly aggressive Germany, and his actions at Munich were widely popular among Britons at the time. When Hitler continued his aggression, Chamberlain pledged Britain to defend Poland’s independence if the latter were attacked, an alliance that brought Britain into war when Germany attacked Poland in 1939.
Chamberlain resigned the premiership on 10 May 1940, after the Allies were forced to retreat from Norway as he believed a government supported by all parties was essential, and the Labour and Liberal parties would not join a government headed by him. He was succeeded by Winston Churchill.
Chamberlain’s reputation remains controversial among historians, with the initial high regard for him being entirely eroded by books such as Guilty Men, published in July 1940, which blamed Chamberlain and his associates for the Munich accord and for allegedly failing to prepare the country for war. (Source: Wikipedia)