1920-1939 | Appeasing Hitler | Germany

British officials and aristocrats attend Hitler’s birthday

20 April 1939 20 April 1939 marked Adolf Hitler’s fiftieth birthday. Less than five months later Britain would be at war with Germany.  A month earlier, German troops had marched into the Czech Republic, proving that the Munich Agreement, which Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had proclaimed as ‘peace in our time,’ was worthless. Yet, the…

1920-1939 | Appeasing Hitler | Germany

Cabinet – not sending birthday greetings might offend Hitler

19 April 1939 On 19 April 1939, the Cabinet deliberated over the correct diplomatic etiquette with regards to celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday, who would turn fifty the next day. The first issue raised was whether the British Charge d’Affaires in Berlin should offer a birthday present to the Fuhrer or at least join in a…

1920-1939 | India

Chancellor ecstatic as ‘India’s hordes’ forced to sell gold

20 February 1932 On 20 February 1932, Neville Chamberlain, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a letter to his sister, happily acknowledged that ‘the astonishing gold mine we have discovered in India’s hordes has put us in clover.’ At the time many Indian farmers were being forced to liquidate their entire savings, often held in…