Chamberlain, Hitler's Spy and Enabler

August 2010

Some years ago I read a book called The Chamberlain-Hitler Deal (1993) by one Clement Leibovitz (1923-2009), a Canadian computer engineer, born in Egypt, with a PhD in physics from the Technion in Israel.

Leibovitz’s extraordinary and remarkably readable book presents the hidden history of Chamberlain's appeasement policies by means of contextualizing and annotating document after document to make his point that Chamberlain was bent on reaching a “general settlement” with Hitler’s Germany, in effect, a deal. Leibovitz’s theory is that Chamberlain hoped that his offer of “a free hand in the East” would be repaid with peace in the West.

Perhaps Leibovitz’s most important contribution is to overturn the notion of Chamberlain as a timid or even cowardly leader, a bit dull and slow to understand the threat from Hitler.

Chamberlain turns out to have been as tough, savvy, ruthless and as commanding as any of his contemporaries, arguably the equal as far as achieving his agenda, as any of the century’s dictators. Leibovitz’s portrait is consistent with the findings of other historians who have portrayed Chamberlain as essentially autocratic in nature, arrogant, stubborn and increasingly intolerant of criticism.

One can see that such a portrayal puts into question conventional notions of Chamberlain’s role at Munich, where he played an infamous and indispensable role setting the stage for WWII and its horrors.

In due course, I found that Chamberlain’s offer of a “free hand in the East” was only part of the story. By throwing Czechoslovakia and Poland (not to mention Austria) to the Nazi wolf, Chamberlain was also endangering the West. Was it possible that Chamberlain, the most capable and dominant politician in Britain, was unaware that his policies were enabling Hitler’s aggressions in the West as well as the East?


Friday, January 28, 2011

Churchill's Chamberlain: The Unnecessary War

The first two paragraphs of “ Churchill’s Chamberlain” follows. The entire article is posted on the DESIP website:

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**Clement Leibovitz’s The Chamberlain-Hitler Deal is now available as a free download from the Desip website:

A later version of Leibovitz’s book, co-written with Alvin Finkel, entitled: In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion (1997), is available at Amazon and other booksellers.


Churchill’s Chamberlain: The Unnecessary War

By Ronald Bleier

In the “Preface” to The Gathering Storm, volume I of his World War II memoirs, Winston Churchill writes that when President Roosevelt asked for suggestions about what the war should be called, he replied that it should be called “the Unnecessary War. There never was a war more easy to stop.”

Churchill doesn’t explain in his brief “Preface” how war could have been prevented, but two thirds of his memoir is taken up with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s conduct in office in the crucial years 1937-1940. During that time Churchill was the most high profile critic of the prime minister’s appeasement policies, marked by Britain’s extraordinary and devastating security concessions to Hitler. Churchill was particularly outraged by what he saw as the prime minister’s purposeful obstruction of British rearmament in the face of the manifest threat from Germany. Churchill’s book may be read as a record of his frustration and its sum and substance amounts to an indictment of Chamberlain.

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