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Appeasing Russia would only make a bad situation worse

I am writing to clarify a point that was made in a March 7 editorial in which the current crisis in Ukraine was compared to Hitler’s takeover of Austria in 1938.

I think that a much more accurate parallel can be found in Hitler’s seizure of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia. Hitler claimed that his actions were necessary to protect ethnic Germans in the disputed territory. Russian President Vladmir Putin’s claims of protecting ethnic Russians in Crimea sound very similar.

Although the Sudetenland was ceded to Germany in October 1938, securing “peace in our time,” Germany conquered the remaining portion of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. It is obvious that there were other motives underlying his stated policy. Our European allies would do well to study their history.

Although tough economic sanctions against Russia would create some hardship at home, a policy of appeasement serves only to encourage aggression.

James Kolbe Tonawanda

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