The Munich Agreement 1938

Many books have been written about all this, about Munich itself. But on the occasion of the 75th anniversary, it is worth taking a look at what the 1938 crisis was elsewhere in the world: because the international context was crucial. When Hitler continued to make incendiary speeches calling for the reunification of the Germans in Czechoslovakia with their homeland, war seemed imminent. However, neither France nor Great Britain felt ready to defend Czechoslovakia and both tried to avoid a military confrontation with Germany at all costs. In France, the popular Front government had ended and on 8 April 1938 Edouard Daladier formed a new cabinet without socialist participation or communist support. Four days later, Le Temps, whose foreign policy was controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published an article by Joseph Barthelemy, a professor at the Paris Law School, in which he scrutinized the 1924 Franco-Czechoslovakian Treaty of Alliance and concluded that France was not obliged to go to war to save Czechoslovakia. Earlier, on 22 March, the Times of London had stated in an editorial by its publisher G.G. Dawson that Britain could not wage war to preserve Czech sovereignty over the Sudeten Germans without anticipating its wishes; Otherwise, “Britain may well be fighting the principle of self-determination.” It is clear that the European leaders of the 1930s knew the book of Hitler Mein Kampf; and not just trust. This is believed to be the book that Chamberlain and Daladier kept in their appeasement of Hitler in 1938. Let Fuhrer realize his dream of “habitat” in the east in silence: the First World War will not happen again, there will be no second front in the West. On 29 and 30 September 1938, an emergency meeting of the major European powers was held in Munich – without Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Union, allied with France and Czechoslovakia.

An agreement was quickly reached on Hitler`s terms. It was signed by the leaders of Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy. On the military front, the Sudetenland was of strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defences were there to protect themselves from a German attack. The agreement between the four powers was signed with low intensity in the context of an undeclared German-Czechoslovak war, which had begun on 17 September 1938. Meanwhile, after 23 September 1938, Poland transferred its military units to the common border with Czechoslovakia. [2] Czechoslovakia bowed to diplomatic pressure from France and Great Britain and decided on 30 September to cede Germany to Munich conditions. Fearing a possible loss of Zaolzie to Germany, Poland issued an ultimatum to Zaolzie, with a majority of Polish ethnic groups, which Germany had accepted in advance and accepted Czechoslovakia on 1 October. [3] On 22 September, Chamberlain, who wanted to travel to Bad Godesberg for further conversations just before his plane to Germany, told the press who met him there that “my goal is peace in Europe, I am sure that this journey is the way to that peace.” [32] Chamberlain came to Cologne, where he received a big reception with a German band that played “God Save the King” and Germans who offered flowers and gifts to Chamberlain. [32] Chamberlain had calculated that full acceptance of the German annexation of all Sudetenland without reduction would force Hitler to accept the agreement.

[32] When Hitler heard, he replied, “Does this mean that the Allies have accepted the transfer of the Sudetenland to Germany?”, Chamberlain replied “Exactly,” to which Hitler replied by shaking his head, saying that the Allies` offer was insufficient. He told Chamberlain that he wanted Czechoslovakia to be completely dissolved and its territories redistributed to Germany, Poland and Hungary, and told Chamberlain to take them or leave them. [32] Chamberlain was upset by this statement. [32] Hitler added to Chamberlain that the assassination of Germans since his last meeting, on 15 Czechoslovakia, of which Hitler was part of the assassination of Germans, the unbearable situation for the Allemag

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