Appeasement

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  • Intro

    This front page of The Daily Sketch was issued in September 1938, less than one year before the outbreak of WWII. The article reports that the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, had signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler, a document aimed at preventing war with Germany. This policy was known as ‘appeasement’. The journalists presented Chamberlain as a hero, celebrating the fact that he was 'refusing to bow to fatigue, refusing to give way to discouragement.’

     

    The idea of bowing to Hitler's demands may seem amazing to us today. But many people in Britain at the time believed that reaching an agreement would help to pacify Hitler, thus avoiding another war. World War I, fought from 1914-1918, had left nearly 8 million dead with millions more wounded or missing. This was still very much alive in the nation's memory, and many members of the public wanted desperately to avoid another war. The Munich Agreement gave Germany parts of Czechoslovakia in return for ‘peace’. Despite these efforts, war broke out one year later and after six years of war, the Nazis were defeated.

     

    Image Copyright: John Frost Newspapers

     

    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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