Source 1

Report by Mr. Law, a British businessman, who worked in Germany 1937 (FO 371/20733)


I am told, on what I believe to be very good German authority, that really the most dangerous man of all is the Fuhrer himself.  He falls into fits of passion and will listen to no advice.  It was on his orders and against the advice of the Foreign Office and the army that recently an American was beheaded.  It was again on his direct orders and before he could receive any advice that the bombardment of Almeria took place.

If this is true – as I believe it to be – the picture is not a cheerful one  Noone wants war; certainly, but when you have a passionate lunatic at the top who still commands the devotion of the populace and who is evidently prepared to run great risks, then already the situation is dangerous.  But when, besides that, the Russian army appears not exactly at the height of its efficiency, when (as it is believed in Germany) France is tottering on the edge of communism and Franco is at the gates of Bilbao, then we ought to be on our guard.

I was told in Berlin that another publicity campaign was contemplated in England by those English people who are advocating close relations with Germany.  This I am informed both by Englishmen in Berlin and by patriotic Germans who do not like Nazi-ism would be at this juncture a most disastrous mistake.  No further advances should be made to Germany at the present time.

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1. Look at source 1. Report by Mr. Law, a British businessman, who worked in Germany.

  • What impression does this source give of Hitler?
  • Why, in Mr. Law’s opinion, was Hitler dangerous?
  • The ‘bombardment of Almería’ mentioned in the source took place during the Spanish Civil War in May 1937. Find out how Germany was involved.
  • How does Mr Law view the ability of Russia, France, Spain and Britain to prevent war?
  • Does Mr. Law favour granting further concessions to Hitler?