- He failed to realise why his military-cum-police tyranny should be repugnant to British ideals of individual and national freedom and liberty, or why he should not be allowed a free hand in Central and Eastern Europe to subjugate smaller and, as he regards them, inferior peoples to superior German rule and culture. He believed he could buy British acquiescence in his own far-reaching schemes by offers of alliance with and guarantees for the British Empire. Such acquiescence was indispensable to the success of his ambitions and he worked unceasingly to secure it. His great mistake was his complete failure to understand the inherent British sense of morality, humanity and freedom.
- Nevile Henderson, British Ambassador to Germany, final report to the British Foreign Secretary (20 September 1939), quoted in The Times (18 October 1939), p. 7
- If Hitler wanted peace, he knew how to insure it; if he wanted war, he knew equally well what would bring it about.
The choice lay with him, and in the end the entire responsibility for war was his.
- 1940 in pg 227 of memoirs "Failure of a Mission" published in New York by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Quotes about HendersonEdit
- Our aeroplanes can no longer fly between Germany and East Prussia without being shot at; their route had been changed, but they are now even attacked over the sea.
Thus, the plane which was carrying State Secretary Stuckart was fired at by Polish warships, a fresh incident which I was not yet in a position to bring to the notice of Sir Nevile Henderson this morning.
- 25 August 1939 summary of Adolf Hitler's words conveyed by M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs