The Munich Crisis

  • Michael Balfour
  • Julian Frisby


Helmuth passed his qualifying bar examination in October 1937 and his Part I in May 1938. At the beginning of the following October he presented himself for the finals, for which some people (though admittedly not the most able) allow themselves two years. He had to read 7,000 pages and write ninety-five short essays in a month. To improve his chances, he came over to London about 12 August and remained there almost continuously until the examination, working twelve hours a day and living in Lionel Curtis’ flat near St James’s Square. Curtis himself was in New Zealand and at Oxford the Long Vacation was at its zenith Helmuth therefore was able to realise his intention of being left very much to himself, though he usually went down to the country at the week-end to stay with one friend or another.* It thus came about that he was out of Germany, and virtually dependent for his information on the newspapers, when the Munich crisis came to a head. This makes it hard to believe that he was much involved in any plots against Hitler, but it also means that the passages in his letters which are interesting are those showing his own reactions or his assessment of British opinion.


British Opinion Original Opinion Small Nation English People Decent Form 
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  1. 1.
    Cabinet Minutes, quoted in I. Colvin, The Chamberlain Cabinet (1970), p. 43.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. MacLachlan, In The Chair (1971), p. 233.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Balfour and Julian Frisby 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Balfour
    • 1
  • Julian Frisby
  1. 1.University of East AngliaUK

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