One Day Our Children Will Ask Us: Why Didn’t You Put a Stop to That?

Anyone who paid attention in history class knows how often horrifying political developments were not stopped because there was no determined resistance by the decent people, and no leaders who had the confidence to stand up and protest loudly. There are many examples of that, if you think for instance of the failure of the middle class in the Weimar Republic, squeezed between communists and the National Socialists, who both had only contempt and mockery for democrats. Or take the appeasement policy of the Western powers toward Hitler. When it had long before become obvious that National Socialist Germany would assert and follow through on territorial claims, there were still negotiations, implausible ultimatums, and palaver, palaver, palaver. How the brownshirt rulers must have laughed at the Daladiers and Chamberlains, who believed, in all seriousness, that they could appeal to Hitler’s discernment and desire for peace. The price of this miscalculation was 55 million dead around the world. A consistent course of action by the other European powers could have stopped the madness.