The Manchester Guardian’s attitude towards Germany

During the 1920s, the liberal journalists of the Manchester Guardian had taken a strong interest in the newly established Weimar Republic (Gannon 76). Like many other observers of the Paris Peace Conference, the Manchester Guardian considered the terms of the treaty to be overly harsh. Moreover, the Treaty seemed somewhat in contradiction with the principle of equality it promulgated. When Germany started to push for her right to rearmament, the Berlin correspondent at the time thus explained: “It is impossible to stop Germany from becoming a Great Power - in fact ‘equality’, at bottom, means that she has a right to become one” (Voigt to Croizer 07/03/1935). Probably in part because the Treaty was seen as unfair, the uncompromising line of the French government failed to find the approval of the Manchester Guardians staff. Like many of his contemporaries, Crozier was convinced that the British government should not commit to a close alliance with France, as doing so could drag Britain into a new war. This becomes clear in a telegram Crozier sent to Voigt after the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936 and the international crisis that followed: “[I]t will be of course extremely difficult to resist when the French call on us to go to war. We can make what stipulations we like about ‘unprovoked aggression, and still they won’t count for much when the French tell us that we are in honour bound to assist them” (Crozier to

Voigt, 25/03/1936). Crozier thought it unlikely that Germany would attack Britain given that Hitler was trying to gain support. Conversely, he feared that if Britain responded to the French demands of sanctioning Germany, the German leader would take this as an opportunity to launch an attack (ibid.). Voigt had a different opinion and insisted that the German peace offer following the remilitarisation was only camouflage; however, the article he wrote expressing this opinion was never published. “I am extremely sorry”, explained Crozier, “but I am afraid I cannot use your article to-night. There is a great deal in it that could be used if it were put rather differently, but the general tone is so far away from the questioning line, which I think we have to use in the paper regarding the Anglo-French military pact” (ibid.). This example illustrates that news translation flows can be interrupted as a result of differing political convictions or outlooks within a given newspaper.

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