Adolf Hitler made a public address in which he offered a peace proposal to the Western Allies (primarily France and the United Kingdom). This was after Germany’s quick victory over Poland, which had been invaded on September 1, 1939, marking the beginning of the war.
In his speech, Hitler justified Germany’s actions in Poland and suggested that the Allies should accept his territorial gains and negotiate a settlement. He tried to present himself as a peaceful leader forced into war to protect German interests.
However, the British and French governments, having already witnessed Hitler’s aggressive expansions and violations of previous agreements, were not convinced by his words and rejected his offer. The rejection reinforced Hitler’s resolve to continue with his aggressive expansionist policies, setting the stage for continued conflict that will escalate into a full-scale world war.
“My chief endeavor has been to rid our relations with France of all trace of ill will… I have always expressed to France my desire to bury forever our ancient enmity… I have devoted no less effort to the achievement of Anglo-German friendship… To achieve this great end [of peace], the leading nations of this continent will one day have to come together in order to draw up, accept and guarantee a statute on a comprehensive basis which will insure for them all a sense of security, of calm – in short, of peace”Hitler, speaking to the Reichstag, 6th October 1939.
This event is just one of the many political maneuvers during the early days of World War II, as nations position themselves and react to the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.