Thursday 3 September 2009

70 years ago today...

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the start of WWII. Britain’s then Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, declared war against Germany because of the refusal by Hitler's Government to give assurances that it would withdraw from Poland. What followed was six long, hard years of warfare which resulted in between 50 to 70 Million deaths. What I always find staggering is the fact that Military deaths only account for about 21-25 Million (a huge number in itself) but that civilian casualties - including Holocaust victims - number between 40-52 million.
I listened to an article about Neville Chamberlain on Radio 4 last week in which is was asked, was war really inevitable? Was the policy of Appeasement really the only option open to Chamberlain and the other European leaders? Seventy years on this is still an important question because if History teaches us anything it is that History repeats itself.
Update: There's an interesting article on the BBC website today discussing the legacy of Chamberlain and the reputation he gained (fairly or not depending on your point of view) as a result of the Munich Accord and its subsequent failure.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the BBC link. There was an interesting interview on there t'other day with the last survivor of Hitler's bunker, but the BBC's 'search' facility is inept. If I found it, I'll let you know.


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