Appeasement Or Peace?

By Louis Lechenger

There is a strange correlation between those who demand "Peace Now" in the Middle East and the Neville Chamberlain Policies, just prior to the advent of World War Two. These policies of appeasement in the face of Hitler's aggressive actions when he took over the Ruhr and Rhineland territories only encouraged more aggression.

Neville Chamberlain was not the only one to fail when courage decisiveness and quick action were badly needed. The French, under Daladier, blindly went along with Chamberlain, Hitler, and Mussolini at the 1938 conference in Munich. At this conference the British, French, Italian, and German leaders decided the fate of Czechoslovakia while the Czech attendees were locked in their rooms and denied any participation in this European version of a "Kangaroo Court." The enslavement of the Czech people followed soon thereafter.

Within six months the war came and all of Europe and most of the rest of the world was drenched in blood.

There is much to be said for historical memory as a valuable tool to prevent a repetition of past tragedies. How many Jewish parents have passed on this precious knowledge to their children? If they have not, what do they expect of the future in this perilous world? Does desiring peace and dreaming of peace make it a reality? Does a peace treaty written on a few pieces of paper guarantee peace? These simple questions were answered not too long ago by "Blood, Sweat, Tears and Toil" and finally victory.

Louis Lechenger is a member of the Board of Directors of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and successful Houston real estate executive.

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