American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938

By Arnold A. Offner | Go to book overview

1. GOOD YEARS TO BAD

The letter was difficult to write, especially for a man who had spent a quarter-century in his country's foreign service. There was no turning back, though. Friedrich W. von Prittwitz und Gaffron had been German ambassador to the United States for more than five years, representing the German cause, as he explained to his superiors, to the best of his ability and conscience. By March 1933 the world was on the threshold of a new era. Prittwitz sensed vaguely the changes that were to come, and recognized that he no longer had a role to play. He informed Germany's foreign minister, Konstantin von Neurath, that he could no longer function successfully in America and asked relief from his post. He reminded Neurath that a man "does not write such lines with a light heart,"1 Privately, he hoped that his ambassadorial colleagues in London and Paris, Leopold von Hoesch and Roland Köster, would follow his example as a rebuke to the Nazi regime.2

The diplomatic world scarcely noted Prittwitz' departure. The New York Times on March 20 devoted a few bland paragraphs to the resignation; the editors were delighted that the new ambassador, Hans Luther, a former German chancellor and recently resigned Reichsbank

____________________
1
Prittwitz to Neurath, Mar. 11, 1933, U.S. Department of State, "Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945", series C, The Third Reich: First Phase, 5 vols. ( Washington, D.C., 1957-----), I, 147-148; hereafter cited as DGFP.
2
Friedrich von Prittwitz und Gaffron, Zwischen Petersburg und Washington --ein Diplomatenleben ( Munich, 1952), 228.

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American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES xiv
  • 1. Good Years to Bad 1
  • 2. the End of Disarmament 18
  • 3. Deteriorating Relations 54
  • 4. Accounts Settled and Unsettled 77
  • 5. the Coming of Aggression 107
  • 6. Neighbors Good and Bad 134
  • 7. Invitations Declined 175
  • 8. Last Opportunities 214
  • 9. to Munich and War 245
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY, INDEX 281
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY 283
  • Index 311
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