Source 2a

Extracts from the Minute of the conversation between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden (FO 371/21738)


He said that he had from his youth been obsessed with the racial theory and he felt that the Germans were one, but he had drawn a distinction between the possible and the impossible and he recognised that there are places where Germans are where it is impossible to bring them into the Reich; but where they are on the frontier, it is a different matter, and he is himself concerned with ten millions of Germans, three millions of whom are in Czechoslovakia.  He felt therefore that those Germans should come into the Reich.  They wanted to and he was determined that they should come in.

It was impossible that Czechoslovakia should remain like a spearhead in the side of Germany –

So I said “Hold on a minute; there is one point on which I want to be clear and I will explain why: you say that the three million Sudeten Germans must be included in the Reich; would you be satisfied with that and is there nothing more that you want?  I ask because there are many people who think that is not all; that you wish to dismember Czechoslovakia.”

He then launched into a long speech; he was out for a racial unity and he did not want a lot of Czechs, all he wanted was Sudeten Germans

« Return to Chamberlain and Hitler 1938

2. These three sources are extracts from the minutes of the conversation between Chamberlain and Hitler at Berchtesgaden.

Look at Source 2a. Write a summary of this part of the meeting by adding one sentence to each of these three starters:

  • Hitler said: “…”
  • Chamberlain queried: “…”
  • Hitler replied: “…”

Look at Source 2b

  • What threat does Hitler make here?
  • How does Chamberlain respond?

Look at Source 2c

  • What does Chamberlain suggest to Hitler?
  • Sudetenland was part of Czechoslovakia. No Czech representative was present at this meeting. Did Chamberlain have the right to make this offer?

Hitler was capable of being charming, of lying and of bullying. Find examples of all three of these aspects of his personality in all three sources.