Should we as historians blame Neville Chamberlain and the appeasers as harshly as we do or should we be more sympathetic to their actions given the circumstances?
I understand Chamberlain's initial desire to appease Hitler and avoid another World War. Especially from an English perspective, because that nation lost so very many of their young men to the first World War. I think the ideas of appeasement had merit to begin with. But the question arises, to what extent is appeasement adequate? When will the aggressor stop? What will make him stop? In the case of Hitler: nothing. I think Chamberlain and other appeasers hope was that with a little more territory and a little more freedom to revamp the German army, Hitler would become satisfied. So I certainly understand their motives and their hopes following the devastation of WWI. However, there comes a point when enough is enough, and I think this point should have been affirmed long before the extent to which Hitler took advantage of appeasers. This is appeasement in summary: First Hitler takes the Rhineland… Okay Hitler, now stop. Okay. Well then he annexes Austria. Okay fine, Hitler. But now that's good, no more okay? Okay. Well then he goes traipsing into the Sudetenland. I thought were told you to cut it out Hitler. Yeah, yeah okay. I'll even sign this Munich Conference document if you want. Nah, that's crap, let me just take the rest of Czechoslovakia says Hitler. HITLER…STOP! Hell no says Hitler, I'm gonna take Poland suckers….and he does. But by then Chamberlain and the appeasers were too late. They should have taken military action somewhere between Austria and the Sudetenland…. ~Ashley