Four Days in Hitler's Germany

Four Days in Hitler's Germany

Mackenzie King's Mission to Avert A Second World War

Book - 2019
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In 1937, Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King travelled to Nazi Germany in an attempt to prevent a war that, to many observers, seemed inevitable. The men King communed with in Berlin, including Adolf Hitler, assured him of the Nazi regime's peaceful intentions, and King not only found their pledges sincere, but even hoped for personal friendships with many of the regime's top officials.

Four Days in Hitler's Germany is a clearly written and engaging story that reveals why King believed that the greatest threat to peace would come from those individuals who intended to thwart the Nazi agenda, which as King saw it, was concerned primarily with justifiable German territorial and diplomatic readjustments.

Mackenzie King was certainly not alone in misreading the omens in the 1930s, but it would be difficult to find a democratic leader who missed the mark by a wider margin. This book seeks to explain the sources and outcomes of King's misperceptions and diplomatic failures, and follows him as he returns to Germany to tour the appalling aftermath of the very war he had tried to prevent.

Publisher: Toronto :, University of Toronto Press,, 2019, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781487505509
Branch Call Number: 940. 5322 KIN T
Characteristics: xix, 292 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: 4 days in Hitler's Germany


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Jan 14, 2020

An interesting account centered on Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's four day tour of Nazi Germany in 1937 including a session with Hitler. King's intent was to alleviate the fear of war by advising Hitler that Great Britain's PM, Chamberlain, was someone who was sympathetic to Germany and desirous of peace. King considered the meeting a success and was greatly impressed with Hitler and Nazi Germany in general (not including specific racist, eugenic policies).
King rose to prominence as a labor dispute conciliator and believed that the solution to all disputes were closed-door one on one meetings where people could resolve their differences.
It also explores King's occult and spiritualist activities including seances and interpreting omens. It included seeing visions on his return voyage of his deceased parents and his pets who were still in Canada and this was taken to be a positive omen.
It contrasts General Crerar, who led Canadian forces in World War 2, and how he had a short visit to Nazi Germany during that year and his opposing conclusions to King . Crerar saw Nazi Germany as an implacable foe and that war was the only outcome of that society.
An interesting note is how much King despised the press. He felt he was often misrepresented by all media, including newspapers that supported his political party. He believed, after his meeting with Hitler, that the only thing that could disturb the peace of Europe was the press.

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