At first I thought it was a thing to do. What if there had been no agreement from Munich? The Munich agreement came amid ultimatums from power-hungry leaders, sneaky negotiations and, unknown at the time, a conspiracy to bring Hitler down from a spy drama with a conspiracy. The perfect setting for another exciting historical novel by Robert Harris. So I hope that people will have a different impression of the Munich agreement. Talk about Neville Chamberlain and Munich in the same breath today, and you`ll probably have a grimace. The agreement between the British Prime Minister and Adolf Hitler in 1938 to dismember Czechoslovakia is considered one of the most shameful and tragic events of the 20th century. But is it fair to condemn Chamberlain without understanding his motivation or the context of time? British thriller author Robert Harris has been dealing with this issue for thirty years. The result is his new novel, Munich. The book is not an alternative story like its popular novel Homeland. It`s historical fiction based on facts. Robert Harris`s carefully studied and temporal thriller “Munich” recounts the days leading up to the unfortunate chord. As in most of his historical novels, Harris delegated important personalities to the background and focused on two marginal characters with intimate views of the event.
Hugh Legat, a young civil servant in the External Action Service with an Oxford degree and a fluid knowledge of German, gained Chamberlain`s trust and secured a place in the inner circle at 10 Downing Street. His Oxford Alumnus Paul von Hartmann, a well-educated third secretary at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, despises Hitler and intends, along with a handful of diplomats and officers, to kill the Nazi leader. Hartmann and his conspirators hoped not to dismantle the looming Munich agreement, force France and Britain to declare war on the unprepared Third Reich, and convince the generals of the Wehrmacht to join them. Von Hartmann secured a document proving Hitler`s intention to push Germany`s borders through war regardless of international agreements. With the help of his fellow anti-Nazi conspiracy, he travels from Berlin to Munich in the hope of delivering the document directly to Neville Chamberlain. Thanks to their links in London, the conspirators imagined taking care of the legate also for the conference. Hartmann expected Legat to help him join Chamberlain. Harris is building an exciting story to the effort to fix this. Towards the end of the conference, Chamberlain convinced Hitler to sign a declaration calling his Munich agreement “a symbol of the desire of our two peoples never to enter war again.” For Hitler, these words make no sense, but Chamberlain proclaims them as proof that peace has been achieved.
In the end, you see the book it could have been. There is a strange subplot, barely developed, with the mysterious death of Hitler`s niece, 23, who pays in the destroyed shell of a once beautiful girl, whose writing is delicate, the terrible implications. And far too late, the prose awakens in the famous image of Chamberlain, who emerges from a plane with the Munich Agreements “… with his black figure throwing in the middle of a bright light, his arm stretched like a man who had thrown himself on an electrified fence. In the countdown to the Second World War, no event of false hopes and Nazi duplicity symbolized the Munich Convention.