This post is by Andrew Rawnsley from Books | The Guardian
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A gripping account of the nation’s greatest mistake is timely and relevant
In November 1937, Viscount Halifax, the British foreign secretary, had an audience with Adolf Hitler at the Berghof, the Nazi dictator’s lair in the Bavarian Alps. Halifax thought it a success. He wrote to his fellow appeaser and prime minister, Neville Chamberlain: “Unless I am wholly deceived… Hitler was sincere when he said he did not want war.” He was, of course, deceived. Wholly.
This was not really the fault of Hitler who barely concealed the murderous character of his regime and his monstrous ambitions. His spear carriers were called “Legions of Death” and their caps were decorated with skulls. The deception of Halifax, Chamberlain and their many fellow travellers was of the self-induced kind.Continue reading...