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Letter: Chamberlain's guilt was exaggerated

A watercolor of Munich's old city hall believed

A watercolor of Munich's old city hall believed to have been painted by Adolf Hitler was sold for 130,000 euros -- that's $162,000 -- at an auction in Germany on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Credit: AP

A letter writer stated that Newsday's Aug. 6 editorial "The Iran deal and echoes of WWII" "should have raised the specter of Neville Chamberlain's ill-fated appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich, which precipitated World War II". Your decision to publish that letter ["Iran nuclear deal: a hot debate," Aug. 13] does your readers a disservice.

Simple analogies are often misleading, and his is no exception. The writer grossly overstates the Munich Agreement's causal relationship to the outbreak of war in September 1939. It's simply bad history.

To be sure, popular history has treated Chamberlain poorly, and though he was an inadequate wartime leader, he bought Britain -- and dare I say, the civilized world -- a precious year and a half to boost the production of wartime ordnance, particularly aircraft. This helped, if not enabled, that country to survive the German onslaught.

The nuclear deal will at least postpone Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon and give the West time to contrive means to cope with, if not prevent, such an eventuality.

Jack K. Feirman, Dix Hills