Learn more about the most prominent historian of the 20th century at Wikipedia.
Meeting with Adolf Hitler
While on a visit in Berlin in 1936 to address the Nazi Law Society, Toynbee was invited to have a private interview with Adolf Hitler, at Hitler’s request. Hitler emphasized his limited expansionist aim of building a greater German nation, and his desire for British understanding and cooperation. Toynbee believed that Hitler was sincere and endorsed Hitler’s message in a confidential memorandum for the British prime minister and foreign secretary.
Toynbee was troubled by the Russian Revolution, for he saw Russia as a non-Western society and the revolution as a threat to Western society. However, in 1952 he argued that the Soviet Union had been a victim of Western aggression. He portrayed the Cold War as a religious competition that pitted a Marxist materialist heresy against the West’s spiritual Christian heritage—a heritage that had already been foolishly rejected by a secularized West. A heated debate ensued; an editorial in the London Times promptly attacked Toynbee for treating communism as a “spiritual force.”