It never ceases to amaze me how much Adolph Hitler, perhaps the worst person that ever lived, can teach us. He’s like the horrible gift that keeps on giving….like that cuckoo clock I once got as a wedding gift (which turned out to be rather poignant considering I’m not married anymore).
Today we learn from the British archives that MI5 tried to use some of Hitler’s saucy descriptions of Chamberlain to convince the weak Prime Minister to reconsider appeasement:
The file claimed that Hitler was “convinced that Great Britain is ‘decadent’ and lacks the will power to defend the British Empire” and added: “If the information in the [report] which has proved generally reliable in the past, is to be believed, Germany is at the beginning of a ‘Napoleonic era’ and her rulers contemplate a great extension of German power.”
At the suggestion of one officer they included samples of Hitler’s insulting references to Chamberlain which was said to have had “a considerable impression on the Prime Minister.”
Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, underlined three times in red pencil Hitler’s reported description of Chamberlain as an “arschloch” before handing it on to the Prime Minister.
Hitler was also said to have mocked Chamberlain’s trademark umbrella, according to the report, which said he was “very fond of making jokes about the ‘umbrella pacifism’ of the once so imposing British world empire.”
Professor Christopher Andrew, the author of the book, said the report, delivered in November 1938, was “unprecedented” because it represented the “first, albeit implicit, indictment of government foreign policy by a British intelligence agency.”
In the end it had no effect, and Chamberlain and Halifax still believed Nazi Germany would stand by the agreement they had made in Munich even as they occupied Prague the following March.
This is so rich and delicious, I can’t finish it all. I hate to play the “Captain Obvious” card, but does anyone see, oh, I don’t know, some simliarities to current world events?
And my new favorite word is now “arschloch.” Expect to see it on this webpage ad nauseum.