This morning’s headlines in the NY Times were concerning. “Biden Weighs Deploying Thousands of Troops to Eastern Europe and Baltics.” “NATO Steps Up Readiness in Eastern Europe to Reassure Allies.”
I don’t often comment on international politics, and this post will not be any different. It’s just that Netflix has reinforced my foreboding that these events are so reminiscent of the Sudetenland crisis that led to the infamous Munich Conference in 1938.
This weekend Netflix started streaming a new movie “Munich: the Edge of War.” It’s a total “what if” scenario, but it does give an interestingly positive view of the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. In fact that portrayal of Chamberlain’s reasoning and dedication to avoiding war was why Jeremy Irons said he decided to play the role. Fair enough, but the writers did go out of their way to avoid having Irons repeat Chamberlain’s actual words about the Munich Agreement “I believe it is peace for our time.” A statement that went down in infamy when war did break out just a year later, and Munich became synonymous with appeasement of bullies.
The “what if” plot of the movie focuses on a German official and a British diplomat who became friends at Oxford. The German has become disenchanted with Hitler and has come into possession of the minutes of a meeting where Hitler lays out his real plans for war. (All fictional.) I won’t spoil the movie by revealing all that happens. Suffice it say, that at one point when things are not going well, someone says to the German Paul von Hartman that there’s always hope. Hartman’s response gives one of the best definitions of hope that I have heard.
Hoping is waiting for someone else to do it. We’d all be better off without it.
Exactly! This sentence captures all that I’ve tried to say in previous posts about hope. Like Mahajanaka, Hartman will swim on with no refuge in sight.