Munich Agreement Images

The successful “annexation” of Austria in March 1938 convinced Hitler that the time was right for the invasion of Czechoslovakia, which he had planned for the past year. As military preparations for the planned attack of October 1, 1938 were being prepared, Hitler posed the so-called Sudeten crisis. On its instructions, the German Sudetenland party responded to the autonomy and reparations of the Czechoslovakian government, accused in a massive smear campaign of terrorizing and repressing the nearly three million Southtensions of Germany. Although the Nazi regime left no doubt about its aggressive intentions, the British government, in particular, hoped to avoid a European war through negotiation. But Hitler`s goal was not to reach a compromise, as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain discovered in September 1938 during numerous negotiating sessions. Every time Chamberlain made a concession, Hitler increased his claims. It was only when the war seemed inevitable that Hitler surprised Chamberlain by turning around and accepting a conference between the heads of government of Germany, France and The United States, organized by Goering and chaired by Mussolini. After thirteen hours of negotiations, these heads of state and government signed the munich convention on 30 September 1938. The agreement provides for the resignation of five German areas from the Sudetenland to the German Empire.

The Czechoslovakian government was not allowed to participate in these negotiations. On 1 October 1938, German troops, followed by the Gestapo and SD, invaded the area annexed to the Sudeten district. Photo by Heinrich Hoffmann. One aspect of the huge riots of the past two weeks must affect anyone who thinks about its history. In the three most powerful countries in Central and Eastern Europe, people had no right to know what was said and done outside. There seems to have been very little news in Russia. In Germany and Italy, the message was deliberately falsified while it was not repressed. The German people were not to know the embassy of President Roosevelt.

The Italian people were led to believe that Chamberlain agreed with Hitler and was only putting pressure on Benes. One of his speeches gave them a false version. The economic consequences of the Munich agreement will certainly be very severe for Czechoslovakia. The loss of industries, railwayheads, knots, etc., cannot help but cause a sharp loss of trade and unemployment. There is no doubt that Czechoslovakia becomes the object of quasi-colonial exploitation for Germany. London, FridayThe Munich agreement gives Hitler everything he wants (first), except to the extent that he may not be quite able to get it as quickly as he would have done under Godesberg`s full ultimatum. He will begin tomorrow the invasion of Czechoslovakia, as he threatened in his speech of 12 September. It is free to occupy all the regions where the Sudeten Germans are the majority, and this by leaps and bounds. On his way back from Munich, Chamberlain told an excited crowd at Heston airport: “It is peace for our time” and he praised the agreement he had signed with Hitler.