Exposing the Myths and Propaganda behind Britain’s Appeasement of Nazi Germany
If you thought that appeasement in the 1930s was about well intentioned but gullible politicians who were deceived by Hitler, that Churchill was always opposed to fascism, that Britain’s business elite and political class did not routinely collude with Nazi Germany, then be prepared to be shocked. This series of essays focuses in particular on the pretexts for appeasement given by politicians and intellectuals, revealing the ideas and motives that lay behind government policy and how those in power collaborated with Nazi Germany in order to further their own financial, ideological and strategic interests. At the same time it will demonstrate how many British workers organized to oppose collaboration with Nazi Germany through strikes, boycotts and protests. The as yet unfinished project is based on many months of research during which I have read and analysed at least thirty thousand articles from regional and national British newspapers.
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When political pundits or historians make any reference to appeasement, they usually blame British benevolence and compassion. A well intentioned resolve not to repeat the horrors of the First World War. An almost saintly nation, whose only failing lay in its own naivety. The predominant narrative is that appeasement was a reluctantly adopted policy of giving way to the use of force by Germany, Italy and Japan in the hope of securing peace. The painful parable being that, by revealing our cowardice and weakness, it encouraged these authoritarian regimes, and particularly Hitler’s Germany, to embark on a path of military conquest in the pursuit of regional and global hegemony.