Post-blogging the Sudeten crisis

Tomorrow I'm starting a bit of an experiment, an idea I had after doing a post on Human Smoke a few months back. We're coming up on the 70th anniversary of the Sudeten crisis, which, as I noted recently, was a crisis long before Munich had anything to do with it. Long before. The Munich Conference was on 29 September 1938, but the Sudeten issue was already prominent in British newspapers a full month earlier, and didn't start to fade until early October.

So, what I thought I'd do is put up a post every day showing how the crisis was unfolding in the press on the same date 70 years ago. Hopefully this will convey something of the steady rise -- and sharp decline -- of tension: from concern, to anxiety, to fear, to intense relief. I'll start with 29 August 1938 and go through to 8 October (six days out of every seven, at least -- I haven't looked at any Sunday papers), and will draw on The Times, the Manchester Guardian and the Daily Mail, as well as a couple of weeklies, the Spectator and the New Statesman. (George Orwell started keeping his diary in early August 1938, so I'll be keeping an eye out for his thoughts on the crisis too.) I'm not exactly sure how I'll write the posts, but they won't be very dense, at least at first: maybe just the headlines, to show what a not-particularly interested reader might pick up just by flicking the pages. We'll see how it evolves.

This means that my more usual fare will be thin on the ground for the next 5 or 6 weeks, so apologies to those wanting more aeroplanes and bombs!

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13 thoughts on “Post-blogging the Sudeten crisis

  1. This sounds like a great idea to me. I have started a site a few months ago myself where I publish letters my grand-parents sent to each other in 1931 exactly 77 years after they were written. I plan to run it for at least 14 years from now (i.e. until 1945). It should be interesting to see how the events of that time looked like from a “normal” German family:
    http://www.77jahre.de

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  3. Agreed. I’ve often played around with the idea of doing this — seems like a wonderful extension of blogging tools to illuminate history. I’m looking forward to these posts!

  4. Inspired. Perhaps at another time someone could provide the counter-point … German media. I wonder what “the other side” were thinking and saying at the same time/s?

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    Helga, assuming Google Translate isn’t lying to me I’m puzzled by your comment — I have no ancestors or relatives from Germany or the Sudetenland.

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