Unearthed: Appeaser Neville Chamberlain praised Hitler Youth

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

New evidence of just how far former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had fallen for Germany's Adolf Hitler has been unearthed in a 1938 letter written to the German Youth Movement praising their leadership and symbolism.

"All the hopes of Germany are set upon you; to your care is committed your national heritage and traditions, your national honour and your national prosperity. All this is entrusted to you for safe keeping, and I am confident that you will prove worthy of the trust," Chamberlain wrote on 10 Downing Street, Whitehall stationery.

He added: "You have a responsibility for the future of your country; but you also have, in common with the youth of other nations, a joint responsibility for the future of the world. It is already and in the future will be still more the happy fortune of the organisations of youth now flourishing in many lands to foster -- by means of mutual interchange of visits and otherwise -- that understanding between nations which is so essential to the settlement of differences and the appeasement of the world."

The amazing document, along with a copy of the Hitler Youth magazine that reprinted it, are up for auction this month. Alexander Historical Auctions estimates the value at $3,000-$4,000.

Alexander President Bill Panagopulos noted the irony in the letter which preceded Chamberlain's appeasement policy with Hitler followed by World War II.

"Regarding this letter in a historical perspective, more ironic content could not fit on two pages: these same Hitler Youth would indeed 'visit' other countries, many within a year or two, but they would be clad in military uniforms and would be riding tanks and in aircraft," said Panagopulos. "And of course, the 'appeasement' which Chamberlain himself would practice a few months later in ceding the Sudetenland to Germany would only embolden Hitler to attack Poland in 1939. Excellent content demonstrating Chamberlain's naivete in dealing with Hitler and the Nazi mentality."

The auction takes place January 30-31. It includes hundreds of other historical and rare artifacts.