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1938, The Eye of the Hurricane

After the “cowardly relief” of the Munich agreement, Hitler sends his foreign affairs minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, to Paris on the 6th of December to sign a “good neighbour” agreement. Ribbentrop is received with full honours of the Republic.

However, is this just another ruse on the Führer’s part? Should France continue with rapid rearmament?

The pogrom of Kristallnacht several weeks earlier and the unleashing of anti-Semitic persecution throughout Germany, along with Hitler’s continued incendiary speeches, reignited suspicion among a section of public and political opinion. The French government was divided. It also had to confront other crises such as the violent anti-French fascist demonstrations orchestrated by Mussolini’s regime in Rome.

The whole of Europe is heading for the cliff edge – but the dazzling Parisian lifestyle obscures the reality of the threat and encourages people to put their head in the sand in front of the danger.

They are dancing on a volcano in a grand, illusory ball.
Where are lucidity, intelligence and courage still to be found?


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