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Understanding and misunderstanding Nazi Germany : four Australian visitors to Germany in 1938
journal contributionposted on 2010-09-01, 00:00 authored by Christopher WatersChristopher Waters
This article examines the visits by four Australians, Bill Oats, Thomas White, Jessie Street and Robert Menzies, to Germany in the northern summer of 1938. It analyses their observations of Nazi Germany and Hitler’s actions over Czechoslovakia. Menzies was more positive about the Nazi system than the other three, but all four condemned its barbaric nature. On Czechoslovakia, Menzies, a key conservative federal minister, was the only one to approve of appeasement over Czechoslovakia. The article explores the significance of these visits for the four observers’ lives and especially for Australia. It argues that Menzies’ support for appeasement, unlike other appeasers, did not, in the long term, harm his political leadership.