CHRONICLE OF A DOWNFALL
AN EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE FALL OF GERMANY’S FIRST EXPERIMENT WITH DEMOCRACY AND THE DESCENT OF EUROPE INTO THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Leopold Schwarzschild was a Germanjewish journalist who fled to Paris in 1933. There he mounted a furious attack on the European powers who were taken off guard by the Nazi ascendancy. Winston Churchill hailed Schwarzschild’s account of the demise of German democracy as, “An invaluable contribution to the enlightenment of those who care to be enlightened.” In 1943, Churchill made one of his later books, World In Trance, a history of international relations during the interwar period, required reading for the War Cabinet.
In March 1935 Hitler announced the reintroduction of conscription and the creation of a significant air force, both illegal under the Versailles Treaty. This happened exactly at the point in time that Schwarzschild had perceptively identified as the Rubicon which, once crossed, would inevitably mean war. In his journal, Neue Tage-buch, Schwarzschild boldly campaigned to place a cordon sanitaire around Germany, a system similar to the Triple Entente, that would bring together all European powers. The proposal was stillborn, apart from other reasons because Britain was opposed to anything that would upset the ‘balance of power’ in Europe and endanger the attempt to reach some amicable settlement with Germany. This collection of articles by Schwarzschild offers a clear and often chilling vision of Hitler’s criminal ambition to achieve unlimited power.
Schwarzschild was a myth-buster, who revealed that Hitler was in fact “a defeated man when victory was gifted to him. His play for power had already failed when he was offered the opportunity to gain it by the back door”. It was, in effect, a chicanery by the camarilla of Prussian Junkers and Westphalian industrialists. The book makes for impressive reading, even in hindsight.
Writer: Leopold Schwarzschild Publisher: I.B. Tauris Price: £28.99 Released: June 2020