The ghost of Neville Chamberlain.
From a marketing point of view, early 2022 was an auspicious time for Netflix to start streaming Munich: The Edge of War. Based on a novel by popular British author Robert Harris, and directed by German filmmaker Christian Schwochow, the film focuses on the period just before the signing of the infamous Munich Agreement of September 1938, and ends shortly after it. At the time of its release, Russian troops were massing on the border with Ukraine, and Western pundits were buzzing with speculation about how best to fend off an invasion without unnecessarily provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The historical analogy was obvious even before British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace warned in the Sunday Times about a “whiff of Munich in the air.” Many Western supporters of Ukrainian independence and freedom wondered whether their leaders would turn out to be appeasers like Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister responsible for the Munich Agreement, or resisters like Winston Churchill, Chamberlain’s great antagonist.
It was in Munich, the birthplace of National Socialism, that the leaders of Britain, France, and Italy agreed to let Adolf Hitler seize the Czech border region known as the Sudetenland. Home to a large population of ethnic Germans, as well as Czechoslovakia’s main munitions plants and defensive fortifications, the Sudetenland