There’s every reason to assume that US President Barack Obama has never heard of the pre-WWII demagogic question “Why die for Danzig?” The same can be as safely assumed regarding his Secretary of State John Kerry.
Oddly enough, however, their policy appears to draw inspiration from the same ideological wellspring that gave the world the above rhetorical tease.
The slogan, very famous (or infamous) in its day, made its debut on May 4, 1939 as the title of an op-ed in the Parisian newspaper L’Œuvre. Its author was French socialist Marcel Déat and his message was that another follow-up appeasement of Adolf Hitler is mandatory in order to prevent war.
That was already half-a-year after the September 1938 Munich agreement which wrested the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia and awarded it to Hitler to satiate his appetite. That, in the words of Britain’s then-Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, guaranteed “peace for our time.”
When he landed at Heston Aerodrome right after the deal was done, Chamberlain told the cheering crowd that awaited him:
“The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine… We regard the agreement signed last night as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.”