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In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion Paperback – January 1, 1997

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About the Author

Clement Leibovitz, a retired professor in computer services at the University of Alberta, lives in Canada. Alvin Finkel is Professor of History at Athabasca University in Alberta, an open-learning institute. Christopher Hitchens is a regular columnist for The Nation and Vanity Fair.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853459991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853459996
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Philip Greenspan on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
MUNICH. APPEASEMENT. Powerful symbols. Invoked to justify questionable military adventures. What actually happened at Munich?
'In Our Time:The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion'--based on government documents, correspondence, diaries, etc.--shatters the conventional judgment.
There is no doubt that when Hitler first violated a treaty by entering the Rhineland, a firm response would have defeated him. The French were prepared to take action but the British government wouldn't. The Tory government, anxious to eradicate communism, was willing to accommodate Hitler's aggressive appetite in eastern Europe hoping that this would lead to war with the Soviet Union.
Many books I previously read described Hitler as a genius who continually overrode the warnings of his generals. The generals were properly cautious, assuming they would meet opposition. But Hitler was aware that his anti-communism had the approval of the British establishment and that his adventures would be successful.
German opposition forces tried to convince the British, that if they and the French took a firm stance, the German military would overthrow Hitler. Chamberlain rejected their pleas.
Hitler's demands against Czechoslovakia threatened to cause a major war since France had a mutual assistance treaty with the Czechs. To defuse the crisis, Chamberlain traveled to Germany and held three meetings with Hitler. The last one, with France and Italy, produced the Munich Agreement--which sold out a reluctant but consenting Czechoslovakia.
During those meetings, Chamberlain felt he had forged a separate agreement with Hitler-which granted Hitler a "green light" for aggression in central and eastern Europe.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Karun Mukherji on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Authors have exposed the diabolical nature of British leader Neville Chamberlin.

Firstly ,authors say [correctly]that appeasment was a myth.As early as 1934 British leaders of conservative party had adopted a policy of giving Germany a free hand in eastern Europe.In Nov1937, Lord Halifax met Hitler ,told Britain would not oppose if Germany carried out expansionist polices in eastern Europe.Later British ambassador in Berlin Neville Henderson gave similiar assurances to this effect.When Hitler commenced threatning Czchecoslovakia ,under the cover of demanding self- determination for Sudenten Germans ,Chamberlin refused to take action.But refusal was contingent on Germany not attacking the West.In other words, Germany was free to expand towards eastern Europe and Britain would ensure Czeckoslovakia does not stand on the way.

Shockingly ,this was the secret deal Chamberlin made with Hitler at Godesberg prior to Munich confabulation.One is now forced to endorse Soviet leader Stalin's view that West tried to embroil Soviet Union in a war with Nazi Germany

On March 15 ,1939, Nazi Germany swallowed remaining rump of Czeckoslovakia .On March 27, 1939 ,in a speech to House of Commons Chamberlin gave a guarantee to Poland.Later it was told Western democracies by this time realised their folly went to war to stop further German depredations.Authors have shown guarantee to Poland was a sham ,only served as an instrument to deter Germany from attacking the West.

Western democracies ,however,communicated through secret channels that it was prepared to foresake Poland provided Hitler confine his ambitions to eastern Europe.Hostile public opinion forced democracies to start staff talks with Soviet Union .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Avid One on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an important historical review which argues Great Britain's political posture immediately prior to its entry into World War II was not merely appeasement of Hitler but rather a cynical, rational, and internally debated collusion with the Nazi leader. In the foreword, we are reminded of Winston Churchill's famous comment that Britain had resorted to disgrace to avoid war but would have the disgrace and the war also. That certainly proved true, however, the well documented thesis of this book is that the Baldwin-Chamberlain led Tory government was not fiddling while Rome burned but instead was pandering to Mussolini, Franco and Hitler in a calculated manner to placate their ambitions, divide Europe and stave off Communism, which the Tories feared more than Nazism.

The authors have delved deeply into original sources, including Cabinet meeting minutes, diaries, letters and Foreign Office correspondence to thoroughly support their premise, simply put "that Chamberlain made what he considered to be a formal deal with Hitler in September 1938". He was convinced that "Hitler's expansionism would inevitably produce a military clash with Stalin that might result in dismemberment of the Soviet Union". It would be difficult to dispute their conclusions. Students of history should include this work in any consideration of World War II politics. Particularly because most historians, consciously or unconsciously, have a strong tendency to exonerate Chamberlain and the Tory government from suspicion of condoning Hitler and tend to treat Britain as deceived, lethargic and appeasing instead. This despite the fact that Churchill at least was sounding the alarm daily.

All that being said, I would caution the reader that this is a moderately difficult text that is in some respects slightly repetitive. It is immensely interesting but not light reading.
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