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美国国家公共电台 NPR In 'Munich,' Neville Chamberlain Gets The Best Of Hitler

时间:2019-05-23 06:59来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This story takes us back to 1938, the days before World War II. We say now it was before the war. But, of course, people were not sure the war was coming then. In September 1938, German leader Adolf Hitler demanded to take over parts of neighboring Czechoslovakia. He threatened to invade. But at a meeting in Munich, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain negotiated what Chamberlain called peace for our time.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN: The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved, is, in my view, only the prelude1 to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace.

INSKEEP: History was not kind to Chamberlain. He avoided war only through appeasementnegotiations3 formed the backdrop for a new work of fiction. The British novelist Robert Harris wants us to rethink those talks between Hitler and Chamberlain.

ROBERT HARRIS: You couldn't get two figures in history more unalike. And yet, contrary to popular myth, I think it's Chamberlain that got the better of Hitler at Munich. Hitler did not want to be there. He wanted to be at the head of his army advancing on Prague.

INSKEEP: Robert Harris is a journalist as well as a novelist. And his historical fiction often seems to comment on current events. His novel, "Munich," tells the story of September 1938 through two young men at the Munich negotiations. One is a low-level German official, and the other is a British aid to Chamberlain. Both are trying to find a way to do right in a time of rising fascism. And we see the leaders through their eyes.

HARRIS: Chamberlain was a man of peace as much as Hitler was a man of war. He was determined4 to try and avoid it. And I have sympathy for him. The British had lost three-quarters of a million men only 20 years before in the First World War. And you've really got to think yourself back to how that felt.

And we were still rearming in Britain. It was to be another couple of years before we had a sufficient air force to take on the Germans. We only had 20 operational Spitfires in September 1938.

INSKEEP: Oh, the most modern British fighter planes - there were hardly any of them working, you're saying?

HARRIS: Yeah, no. We were armed with biplanes. So, you know, this was the backdrop to the novel.

INSKEEP: So I'm just thinking of the popular image of this - the references to it in political culture even today. Appeasement is considered really bad. Chamberlain is considered really bad. What more is out there that you think people are missing?

HARRIS: Well, I think people are missing almost everything, to be perfectly5 honest, in particular, for some reason, in America, where Munich is even a dirtier word - and appeasement and Chamberlain - than they are in Britain. And the best witness for my view, which is - I admit, challenges the popular conception, the best witness is Adolf Hitler.

And one of the reasons I wanted to write the novel was I came across a diary kept by Joachim Fest, the German historian who ghost-wrote Albert Speer's memoirfoul7 mood for weeks after Munich. And at a dinner party, it all came pouring out. He said the German people have been duped and by Chamberlain of all people.

And even at the end of his life, in 1945, Hitler was saying we should have gone to war in 1938. September 1938 would have been the perfect time. And I think if the British and the French had gone to war in September 1938, Hitler might well have survived a lot longer and be much more triumphant8.

INSKEEP: You describe Hitler in this novel - in this fictionalauthentic10 historical sources on this?

HARRIS: Well, I've spent a lot of time on its stage, to be honest, perhaps, more than is healthy. I made a documentary for the BBC 30 years ago to mark the 50th anniversary of Munich. And right back then, I wanted to write a novel about it even before I had written my first novel. I researched everything that I could about that momentousHolocaust12...

INSKEEP: All the things that came afterwards, yeah.

HARRIS: Yes. To say this is what it would've felt like at that moment before hindsight.

INSKEEP: You have each of your main characters - these young men in their late 20s - recognize that they are in dark times, turbulent times, that things may get far worse before they get better. And each in his own way is asking, how can I measure up to the age? How can I do something that is large enough for the terrible moment that I'm in? Do you ask yourself that question sometimes in this period, which many people do consider to be a difficult time?

HARRIS: Yes, very much so. As I said, I'd been thinking of writing a novel about Munich for 30 years. And it was only in the last year that I found the story and found the resonanceembark14 upon it.

And you're right that for a young man - these two young men - my - the protagonistOxforddoomed17. They are trapped on opposing sides, and there is nothing they feel that they can do about it - that there are forces at work in the world driving it towards an abyss. And even though a lot of people can clearly see where everything's going, no one seems able to stop it.

And I think that there is a sense in the world now that something is going on and that it's very hard for any of us to stand up against it. And I feel, therefore, a great deal of empathy with these two young men who are doomed to fight. And it's like a kind of madness, a sickness that's going to work itself through.

And there's a scene in the novel where Hartman (ph), my German character, finds himself alone with Hitler on Hitler's train as they're heading towards Munich. And he realizes if he had a gun, if he brought it up and pointed18 it at Hitler, he still wouldn't be able to pull the trigger. And I think that was how a lot of people felt in Germany. You know, there was - something was playing through, and it couldn't be stopped.

INSKEEP: Robert Harris' latest novel is called "Munich." Mr. Harris, thanks very much.

HARRIS: Thank you, been a pleasure.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOU MAY DIE IN THE DESERT'S "TRUE NORTH")


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 prelude 61Fz6     
n.序言,前兆,序曲
参考例句:
  • The prelude to the musical composition is very long.这首乐曲的序曲很长。
  • The German invasion of Poland was a prelude to World War II.德国入侵波兰是第二次世界大战的序幕。
2 appeasement nzSzXo     
n.平息,满足
参考例句:
  • Music is an appeasement to shattered nerves. 音乐可抚慰受重创的神经。
  • There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. 对残暴行为是不能姑息的。 来自演讲部分
3 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
协商( negotiation的名词复数 ); 谈判; 完成(难事); 通过
参考例句:
  • negotiations for a durable peace 为持久和平而进行的谈判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 谈判未能达成任何妥协。
4 determined duszmP     
adj.坚定的;有决心的
参考例句:
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
5 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
6 memoir O7Hz7     
n.[pl.]回忆录,自传;记事录
参考例句:
  • He has just published a memoir in honour of his captain.他刚刚出了一本传记来纪念他的队长。
  • In her memoir,the actress wrote about the bittersweet memories of her first love.在那个女演员的自传中,她写到了自己苦乐掺半的初恋。
7 foul Sfnzy     
adj.污秽的;邪恶的;v.弄脏;妨害;犯规;n.犯规
参考例句:
  • Take off those foul clothes and let me wash them.脱下那些脏衣服让我洗一洗。
  • What a foul day it is!多么恶劣的天气!
8 triumphant JpQys     
adj.胜利的,成功的;狂欢的,喜悦的
参考例句:
  • The army made a triumphant entry into the enemy's capital.部队胜利地进入了敌方首都。
  • There was a positively triumphant note in her voice.她的声音里带有一种极为得意的语气。
9 fictional ckEx0     
adj.小说的,虚构的
参考例句:
  • The names of the shops are entirely fictional.那些商店的名字完全是虚构的。
  • The two authors represent the opposite poles of fictional genius.这两位作者代表了天才小说家两个极端。
10 authentic ZuZzs     
a.真的,真正的;可靠的,可信的,有根据的
参考例句:
  • This is an authentic news report. We can depend on it. 这是篇可靠的新闻报道, 我们相信它。
  • Autumn is also the authentic season of renewal. 秋天才是真正的除旧布新的季节。
11 momentous Zjay9     
adj.重要的,重大的
参考例句:
  • I am deeply honoured to be invited to this momentous occasion.能应邀出席如此重要的场合,我深感荣幸。
  • The momentous news was that war had begun.重大的新闻是战争已经开始。
12 holocaust dd5zE     
n.大破坏;大屠杀
参考例句:
  • The Auschwitz concentration camp always remind the world of the holocaust.奥辛威茨集中营总是让世人想起大屠杀。
  • Ahmadinejad is denying the holocaust because he's as brutal as Hitler was.内贾德否认大屠杀,因为他像希特勒一样残忍。
13 resonance hBazC     
n.洪亮;共鸣;共振
参考例句:
  • Playing the piano sets up resonance in those glass ornaments.一弹钢琴那些玻璃饰物就会产生共振。
  • The areas under the two resonance envelopes are unequal.两个共振峰下面的面积是不相等的。
14 embark qZKzC     
vi.乘船,着手,从事,上飞机
参考例句:
  • He is about to embark on a new business venture.他就要开始新的商业冒险活动。
  • Many people embark for Europe at New York harbor.许多人在纽约港乘船去欧洲。
15 protagonist mBVyN     
n.(思想观念的)倡导者;主角,主人公
参考例句:
  • The protagonist reforms in the end and avoids his proper punishment.戏剧主角最后改过自新并避免了他应受的惩罚。
  • He is the model for the protagonist in the play.剧本中的主人公就是以他为模特儿创作的!
16 Oxford Wmmz0a     
n.牛津(英国城市)
参考例句:
  • At present he has become a Professor of Chemistry at Oxford.他现在已是牛津大学的化学教授了。
  • This is where the road to Oxford joins the road to London.这是去牛津的路与去伦敦的路的汇合处。
17 doomed EuuzC1     
命定的
参考例句:
  • The court doomed the accused to a long term of imprisonment. 法庭判处被告长期监禁。
  • A country ruled by an iron hand is doomed to suffer. 被铁腕人物统治的国家定会遭受不幸的。
18 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
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TAG标签:   NPR  美国国家电台  英语听力
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