Munich. Prologue to Tragedy
WHEELER-BENNETT, John W.
London, Macmillan. 1948.
First edition; 8vo; original cloth boards. Inscribed on the front free end paper "For Anthony Eden, with warmest best wishes and very many thanks, John W. Wheeler-Bennett, May, 1948." Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon with his bookplate loosely-inserted and annotated by him in ink, eg on p.15 (commenting on Sir Nevile Henderson, British Ambassador to Germany from 1937-39), Eden writes: "Disastrous man and disloyal to me. Note his conversation with Buchanan in our Embassy Berlin day 1 ... He proclaimed his delight & added now we shall be able to make friends with Germany". Sir John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett 1902-1975) was an historian of German and diplomatic history, and the official biographer of King George VI. Wheeler-Bennett lived in Germany between 1927 and 1934 and witnessed at first-hand the final years of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazi Germany. During his time in Berlin, he became an unofficial agent and advisor to the British government on international events. In 1933, Wheeler-Bennett told the Royal Institute of International Affairs:
Hitler, I am convinced, does not want a war. He is susceptible to reason in matters of foreign policy. He is greatly anxious to make Germany self-respecting and is himself anxious to be respectable. He may be described as the most moderate member of his party. Wheeler-Bennett abandoned this view after reading Mein Kampf, which caused him to recognize that Hitler had more radical goals. After the war, Wheeler-Bennett was a critic of Appeasement, and ten years after the Munich Agreement he wrote this book condemning it. Very good.