It is over twenty years since the war began. A generation has grown up which never knew the 1930s, never shared its passions and doubts, was never excited by the Spanish civil war, never boiled with indignation against the ‘appeasers’, never lived in suspense from Nuremberg rally to Nuremberg rally, awaiting the next hysterical outburst, the next clatter of arms, from the megalomaniac in Berlin. Those of us who knew those days and who try to teach this new generation are constantly made aware of this great gulf between us. How can we communicate across such a gulf the emotional content of those years, the mounting indignation which finally convinced even the ‘appeasers’ themselves that there could be no peace with Hitler, and caused the British people, united in pacifism in 1936, to go, in 1939, united into war? For it was not the differing shades of justice in Germany’s claims upon the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland, Prague and Danzig which caused men who had swallowed the first of these annexations to be increasingly exasperated by those which followed and take up arms against the last.
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- A. J. P. Taylor, Hitler and the War
H. R. Trevor-Roper
- Macmillan Education UK
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