19A036 September 3rd, 1939 by Jim Davies, 9/3/2019    


Eighty years ago today, there was broadcast a speech that changed the course of history and the life of everyone reading this, and left about 80 million human beings prematurely dead. Here's the transcript.

Here's the speaker, and here you can listen to him speaking. He was Nevile Chamberlain, Prime Minister of Britain, and as honorable a man as any politician. Then he declared war on Germany.

He had tried hard to avoid that moment; for two years he had communicated with Hitler in attempts to meet his demands without resort to war, and since then historians have blamed him as an "appeaser" for doing so.

A year earlier in 1938, he had flown to Munich and ceded the border areas of Czechoslovakia to the Germans (even though he did not own them!) in exchange for a promise to seek no more land in Europe; and was welcomed home in triumph, for doing so. But on March 15th 1939 Hitler took control of the rest of that country, so breaking that promise. In this review of Pat Buchanan's masterpiece I suggested this was the event that exhausted Chamberlain's patience. Fifteen days later, he issued his disastrous "Polish Guarantee" which trapped him into declaring war in September.

During his speech he said "I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful." Perhaps he believed that, but if so he was wrong.

What he could rather easily have done was: nothing. There was no need for him to interfere in the affairs of Germany or any other country. The demands Hitler was making focused on undoing the damage caused by the diktat of Versailles, imposed on his country in 1919; none of them encroached on the United Kingdom and none were unreasonable. Germany was not part of the British Empire and its government answered to nobody in London.

So Chamberlain might indeed have offered his services as mediator, or not; but the fact that the Germans were planning to take back the Germanic city of Danzig in Poland was no part of Britain's business and certainly no casus belli.

In fairness to Chamberlain, by September 3rd British public opinion had been whipped into a war fever by newspapers influenced by Winston Churchill, so at that late date it may have been too late; if he had resigned, someone else would have replaced him and started the war. But had he chosen a non-intervention policy a couple of years earlier, that would not have been the case and it would have been quite easy to do so; then, there was no public appetite for another war. He might well have been able to avoid war even on that date, if he had not so foolishly issued the Guarantee six months earlier.

The consequences of his speech were terrible. The French government also declared war the same day, and suffered a humilating defeat the following June . Hitler postponed his intended invasion of the USSR until he could neutralize the threat to his West, so giving Stalin time to prepare for the expected attack; hence there was not a swift extermination of Bolshevism in 1940 but a protracted and terrible war starting in 1941 that left Germany devastated and the USSR able to maintain a Cold War for 45 years, that included hot ones in Korea and Vietnam. Brits fought well and at first alone, and the effort exhausted its resources and left it at America's mercy. Help was eventually given, but at the price of replacing Britain as world superpower and slashing its residents' living standard.

Among the 60 to 80 million killed were about 6 million helpless Jews, who were being expelled from German territory until the US joined the fray and made that no longer feasible. So instead they were all gassed to death. That horror quite reasonably influenced world opinion to "give" a homeland to Jews, but only after taking it from Palestinians, in 1948; ever since, that State of Israel has been at the center of the Middle Eastern vortex and may yet lead to a nuclear WW-III.

All this and more followed from Mr Chamberlain's speech, which in turn followed Britons' failure to abandon the myth that government is in some way beneficial. Even after twice being led into catastrophic wars in half a century, they still preserved that illusion, and do so to this day - as do we. The G-Myth has taken a powerful hold. But it can be busted. You know how.

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