Documents: (See step 5, 6, &7 for what to do with
A) "Peace in our Time" Speech given in Defense of the Munich Agreement,
1938 by Neville Chamberlain (British Prime Minister)
All the elements were present on the spot for the outbreak of a conflict
which might have precipitated the catastrophe. We had populations inflamed
to a high degree; we had extremists on both sides ready to work up and
provoke incidents; we had considerable quantities of arms which were by no
means confined to regularly organized forces. Therefore, it was essential
that we should quickly reach a conclusion . . . It is no longer an
ultimatum, but is a method which is carried out largely under the
supervision of an international body. Ever since I assumed my present
office my main purpose has been to work for the pacification of Europe,
for the removal of those suspicions and those animosities which have so
long poisoned the air. The path which leads to appeasement is long and
bristles with obstacles. The question of Czechoslovakia is the latest and
perhaps the most dangerous. Now that we have got past it, I feel that it
may be possible to make further progress along the road to sanity.
B) Excerpt from Article 231 of Treaty of Versailles
The Allied and Associate Governments affirm and Germany accepts the
responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and
C) May 7, 1919 Statement by German delegate Count Brockdorff-Rantzau at
Versailles Peace Conference:
It is demanded of us that we shall confess ourselves to be alone guilty of
the war.... Such a confession from my lips would be a lie. We are far
declining all responsibility for the fact that this great World War took
place or that it was fought in the way that it was. But we energetically
deny that Germany and its people, who were convinced that they fought a
of defense, were alone guilty. No one would want to assert that the
disaster began only at that disastrous moment when the successor of
Austria-Hungary fell a victim to murderous hands. In the last fifty
years, the imperialism of all European states has chronically poisoned
internal relations. Policies of retaliation, policies of expansion, and
disregard for the rights of peoples to determine their own destiny, have
contributed to the European malady which came to a crisis in World War I.
D) League of Nations cartoon from Punch magazine
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol.
July 28th, 1920, by Various Artists
E)"We Are Going to Poland to Thrash the Jews.", 1939
invasion of Poland marked the beginning of World War II.
Here a Nazi unit is en route to Poland at the end of September 1939.
Handwritten on the side of the train car is, "We are going to Poland to
thrash the Jews."
Photo credit: Meczenstwo Walka, Zaglada Zydów Polsce 1939-1945. Poland.
F) Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World History, Vol.2, ed. J Mitchell
& H. Buss Mitchell, 2006
Traditionally, it was easy to speak ill of the Treaty of Versailles,but is
it the treaty that was at fault, or was it the actions and inactions of a
generation of Europeans who were not up to the task of enforcing the
treaty's provisions? It created a League of Nations for such actions, but
the League proved incapable of using it for that avowed purpose.
Sometimes institutions fail; sometimes individuals fail; often times both
are responsible for the failures that occur.
G) John Maynard Keynes (member of British delegation at Paris),
quoted in the The
Economic Consequence of the Peace, 1995
The Treaty includes no provisions for the economic rehabilitation of
Europe, nothing to make the defeated Central Empires into good neighbors,
nothing to stabilize the new states of Europe, nothing to reclaim Russia;
nor does it promote in any way a compact of economic solidarity amongst
Allies themselves, no arrangement was reached in Paris for restricted
disordered finances of France and Italy, or to adjust the systems of the
Old World and New.
H)"Peace and Future Canon Fodder"
In this 1919 cartoon, artist Will Dyson predicts the consequences of the
harsh terms of the Versailles Peace Treaty. The quote allegedly belongs to
"The Tiger" French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau (front figure). The
text above the child reads "1940 class". Note the "Peace Treaty" at the
Rumney4, Rumney5, Rumney6,