Part 2 Road to War

Every time a Hitler threat ended in compromise, Hitler won

Accurate scholarship can

Unearth the whole offence

From Luther until now

That has driven a culture mad

-- SEPTEMBER 1, 1939, by W.H. AUDEN

When the German delegation of 180 diplomats and technicians went to Versailles in 1919 to negotiate a peace treaty ending World War I, the French forced their train to creep along at 10 m.p.h. so that the Germans would get a vivid sense of the devastation their armies had wrought. In Versailles's Hall of Mirrors, Premier Georges Clemenceau had ominous words for them: "The hour has struck for the weighty settlement of our account."

That account dated...