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The Munich
Munich
Agreement was a settlement permitting Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
along the country's borders mainly inhabited by German speakers, for which a new territorial designation, the "Sudetenland", was coined. The agreement was signed in the early hours of 30 September 1938 (but dated 29 September) after being negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe, excluding the Soviet Union. Today, it is widely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Germany. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of the Sudetenland in the face of demands made by Adolf Hitler. The agreement was signed by Germany, France, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Italy. The Sudetenland
Sudetenland
was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses and banks were situated there,[1][2] as well as heavy industrial districts.[3] Because the state of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
was not invited to the conference, it considered itself to have been betrayed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and France, so Czechs
Czechs
and Slovaks
Slovaks
call the Munich
Munich
Agreement the Munich Diktat (Czech: Mnichovský diktát; Slovak: Mníchovský diktát). The phrase " Munich
Munich
Betrayal" (Czech: Mnichovská zrada; Slovak: Mníchovská zrada) is also used because the military alliance Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
had with France
France
proved useless. The slogan "About us, without us!" (Czech: O nás bez nás!) summarizes the feelings of the people of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
(now Slovakia
Slovakia
and the Czech Republic) towards the Agreement. Today the document is typically referred to simply as the Munich
Munich
Agreement (Mnichovská dohoda).

Contents

1 Background

1.1 Demands for autonomy 1.2 Sudeten crisis

2 Resolution 3 Reactions

3.1 Opinions about the agreement

4 The "ghost of Munich" 5 Consequences of the Munich
Munich
agreement

5.1 Pertaining to the territories of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
after the Munich Agreement

5.1.1 The first Vienna Award to Hungary 5.1.2 German invasion of the remainder of Czechoslovakia 5.1.3 Strengthening of Wehrmacht's armament 5.1.4 The birth of German resistance within the military

5.2 Pertaining to international politics

5.2.1 Italian colonial demands from France

6 Quotations from key participants 7 Legal nullification 8 Legacy 9 See also 10 References

10.1 Notes 10.2 Bibliography 10.3 Further reading

11 External links

Background[edit] Demands for autonomy[edit]

Czech districts with an ethnic German population in 1934 of 25% or more (pink), 50% or more (red), and 75% or more (dark red)[4] in 1935

Konrad Henlein, leader of the Sudeten German Party
Sudeten German Party
(SdP), a branch of the Nazi Party of Germany
Germany
in Czechoslovakia

Edvard Beneš, the second President of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and leader of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile

Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
was created in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire
at the end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles recognized the independence of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
with a population that included three million German-speaking people, 24 percent of the total population of the country. The Germans
Germans
lived mostly in an area called Sudetenland
Sudetenland
bordering on Germany
Germany
and the newly created country of Austria. The Sudeten Germans
Germans
were not consulted about whether they wished to be citizens of Czechoslovakia. Although the constitution guaranteed equality for all citizens, there was a tendency among political leaders to transform the country "into an instrument of Czech and Slovak nationalism".[5] Although some progress was made to integrate the Germans
Germans
and other minorities, they continued to be under-represented in the government and the army. Moreover, the Great Depression
Great Depression
beginning in 1929 impacted the highly-industrialized and export-oriented Sudeten Germans
Germans
more than it did the Czech and Slovak populations. By 1936, 60 percent of the unemployed people in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
were Germans. [6] In 1933 Sudeten German leader Konrad Henlein
Konrad Henlein
founded the Sudeten German Party (SdP) which was "militant, populist, and openly hostile" to the Czechoslovakian government and soon captured two-thirds of the vote in districts with a heavy German population. Historians differ as to whether the SdP was from its beginning a Nazi front organization or instead evolved into becoming one.[7][8] By 1935, the SdP was the second largest political party in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
as German votes concentrated on this party while Czech and Slovak votes were spread among several parties.[7] Shortly after the Anschluss
Anschluss
of Austria
Austria
to Germany, Henlein met with Hitler
Hitler
in Berlin
Berlin
on 28 March 1938, where he was instructed to raise demands unacceptable to the Czechoslovak government led by president Edvard Beneš. On 24 April, the SdP issued a series of demands upon the government of Czechoslovakia, that were known as the Carlsbad Program. [9] Among the demands, Henlein demanded autonomy for Germans
Germans
living in Czechoslovakia.[7] The Czechoslovak government responded by saying that it was willing to provide more minority rights to the German minority but it refused to grant them autonomy.[7] With tension high between Germans
Germans
and the Czechoslovakian government, on 15 September 1938 President Beneš offered secretly to give 6,000 square kilometres (2,300 sq mi) of Czechoslovakian territory to Germany
Germany
in exchange for a German agreement to admit 1.5 to 2.0 million Sudeten Germans
Germans
which Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
would expel. Hitler
Hitler
did not reply.[10] Sudeten crisis[edit] See also: Sudetendeutsches Freikorps As the previous appeasement of Hitler
Hitler
had shown, the governments of both France
France
and Britain were intent on avoiding war. The French government did not wish to face Germany
Germany
alone and took its lead from Britain's Conservative government of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain considered the Sudeten German grievances justified and believed Hitler's intentions were limited. Both Britain and France, therefore, advised Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
to concede to Germany's demands. Beneš resisted and on 19 May initiated a partial mobilization in response to possible German invasion.[11] On 20 May, Hitler
Hitler
presented his generals with a draft plan of attack on Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
codenamed Operation Green,[12] insisting that he would not "smash Czechoslovakia" militarily without "provocation," "a particularly favourable opportunity" or "adequate political justification."[13] On 28 May, Hitler
Hitler
called a meeting of his service chiefs where he ordered an acceleration of U-boat construction and brought forward the construction of his first two battleships, Bismarck and Tirpitz, to spring 1940, and demanded that the increase in the firepower of the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau be accelerated .[14] While recognizing that this would still be insufficient for a full-scale naval war with Britain, Hitler
Hitler
hoped it would be a sufficient deterrent.[15] Ten days later, Hitler
Hitler
signed a secret directive for war against Czechoslovakia, to begin not later than 1 October.[11] On 22 May, Juliusz Łukasiewicz, the Polish ambassador to France, told the French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet
Georges Bonnet
that if France
France
moved against Germany
Germany
in defense of Czechoslovakia: "We shall not move." Łukasiewicz also told Bonnet that Poland
Poland
would oppose any attempt by Soviet forces to defend Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
from Germany. Daladier
Daladier
told Jakob Surits, the Soviet ambassador to France: "Not only can we not count on Polish support but we have no faith that Poland
Poland
will not strike us in the back."[16] Hitler's adjutant, Fritz Wiedemann, recalled after the war that he was "very shocked" by Hitler's new plans to attack Britain and France 3–4 years after "deal[ing] with the situation" in Czechoslovakia.[17] General Ludwig Beck, chief of the German general staff, noted that Hitler's change of heart in favour of quick action was due to Czechoslovak defences still being improvised, which would no longer be the case 2–3 years later, and British rearmament
British rearmament
not coming into effect until 1941/42.[15] General Alfred Jodl
Alfred Jodl
noted in his diary that the partial Czechoslovak mobilisation of 21 May had led Hitler
Hitler
to issue a new order for Operation Green on 30 May, and that this was accompanied by a covering letter from Keitel stating that the plan must be implemented by 1 October at the very latest.[18] In the meantime, the British government demanded that Beneš request a mediator. Not wishing to sever his government's ties with Western Europe, Beneš reluctantly accepted. The British appointed Lord Runciman, the former Liberal cabinet minister, who arrived in Prague on 3 August with instructions to persuade Beneš to agree to a plan acceptable to the Sudeten Germans.[19] On 20 July, French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet, told the Czechoslovak Ambassador in Paris that while France
France
would declare her support in public to help the Czechoslovak negotiations, it was not prepared to go to war over the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
question.[19] During August the German press was full of stories alleging Czechoslovak atrocities against Sudeten Germans, with the intention of forcing the Western Powers into putting pressure on the Czechoslovaks to make concessions.[20] Hitler
Hitler
hoped the Czechoslovaks would refuse and that the Western Powers would then feel morally justified in leaving the Czechoslovaks to their fate.[21] In August, Germany
Germany
sent 750,000 soldiers along the border of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
officially as part of army maneuvers.[7][21] On 4 or 5 September,[19] Beneš submitted the Fourth Plan, granting nearly all the demands of the Munich
Munich
Agreement. The Sudeten Germans
Germans
were under instruction from Hitler
Hitler
to avoid a compromise,[21] and after the SdP held demonstrations that provoked police action in Ostrava
Ostrava
on 7 September in which two of their parliamentary deputies were arrested,[19] the Sudeten Germans
Germans
used this incident and false allegations of other atrocities as an excuse to break off further negotiations.[19][22]

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
greets British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
on the steps of the Berghof, 15 September 1938

On 12 September, Hitler
Hitler
made a speech at a Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg on the Sudeten crisis in which he condemned the actions of the government of Czechoslovakia.[7] Hitler
Hitler
denounced Czechoslovakia as being a fraudulent state that was in violation of international law's emphasis of national self-determination, claiming it was a Czech hegemony where neither the Germans, the Slovaks, the Hungarians, the Ukrainians, nor the Poles
Poles
of the country actually wanted to be in a union with the Czechs.[23] Hitler
Hitler
accused Czechoslovakia's President Edvard Beneš
Edvard Beneš
of seeking to gradually exterminate the Sudeten Germans, claiming that since Czechoslovakia's creation over 600,000 Germans were intentionally forced out of their homes under the threat of starvation if they did not leave.[24] He claimed that Beneš' government was persecuting Germans
Germans
along with Hungarians, Poles, and Slovaks, and accused Beneš of threatening these nationalities with being branded traitors if they were not loyal to the country.[23] He claimed that he, as the head of state of Germany, would support the right of the self-determination of fellow Germans
Germans
in the Sudetenland.[23] He condemned Beneš for his government's recent execution of several German protesters.[23] He accused Beneš of being belligerent and threatening behaviour towards Germany
Germany
which, if war broke out, would result in Beneš forcing Sudeten Germans
Germans
to fight against their will against Germans
Germans
from Germany.[23] Hitler
Hitler
accused the government of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
of being a client regime of France, claiming that the French Minister of Aviation Pierre Cot
Pierre Cot
had said "We need this state as a base from which to drop bombs with greater ease to destroy Germany's economy and its industry".[24]

Chamberlain greeted by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
at the beginning of the Bad Godesberg meeting on 24 September 1938

On 13 September, after internal violence and disruption in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
ensued, Chamberlain asked Hitler
Hitler
for a personal meeting to find a solution to avert a war.[25] Chamberlain arrived by plane in Germany
Germany
on 15 September and then arrived at Hitler's residence in Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden
for the meeting.[26] The Sudeten German leader Henlein flew to Germany
Germany
on the same day.[25] On that day, Hitler
Hitler
and Chamberlain held discussions in which Hitler
Hitler
insisted that the Sudeten Germans
Germans
must be allowed to exercise the right of national self-determination and be able to join Sudetenland
Sudetenland
with Germany; Hitler
Hitler
also expressed concern to Chamberlain about what he perceived as British "threats".[26] Chamberlain responded that he had not issued "threats" and in frustration asked Hitler
Hitler
"Why did I come over here to waste my time?".[26] Hitler
Hitler
responded that if Chamberlain was willing to accept the self-determination of the Sudeten Germans, he would be willing to discuss the matter.[26] Chamberlain and Hitler
Hitler
held discussions for three hours, after which the meeting adjourned and Chamberlain flew back to the UK and met with his cabinet to discuss the issue.[26] After the meeting, French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier
flew to London
London
on 16 September to meet British officials to discuss a course of action.[27] The situation in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
became more tense that day with the Czechoslovak government issuing an arrest warrant for the Sudeten German leader Henlein, who had arrived in Germany
Germany
a day earlier to take part in the negotiations.[28] The French proposals ranged from waging war against Germany
Germany
to supporting the Sudetenland being ceded to Germany.[28] The discussions ended with a firm British-French plan in place.[28] Britain and France
France
demanded that Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
cede to Germany
Germany
all those territories where the German population represented over fifty percent of the Sudetenland's total population.[28] In exchange for this concession, Britain and France would guarantee the independence of Czechoslovakia.[28] The proposed solution was rejected by both Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and opponents of it in Britain and France.[28]

A 1938 terrorist action of Sudetendeutsches Freikorps

Czechoslovak Army soldiers on patrol in the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
in September 1938

On 17 September 1938 Hitler
Hitler
ordered the establishment of Sudetendeutsches Freikorps, a paramilitary organization that took over the structure of Ordnersgruppe, an organization of ethnic- Germans
Germans
in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
that had been dissolved by the Czechoslovak authorities the previous day due to its implication in a large number of terrorist activities. The organization was sheltered, trained and equipped by German authorities and conducted cross border terrorist operations into Czechoslovak territory. Relying on the Convention for the Definition of Aggression, Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš[29] and the government-in-exile[30] later regarded 17 September 1938 as the beginning of the undeclared German-Czechoslovak war. This understanding has been assumed also by the contemporary Czech Constitutional court.[31] On 18 September, Italy's Duce
Duce
Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
made a speech in Trieste, Italy, where he declared "If there are two camps, for and against Prague, let it be known that Italy has chosen its side", with the clear implication being that Mussolini
Mussolini
supported Germany
Germany
in the crisis.[26]

General Hans Oster, deputy head of the Abwehr
Abwehr
met with other German military officers on 20 September 1938 to discuss final plans of a plot to overthrow the Nazi regime.

On 20 September, German opponents to the Nazi regime within the military met to discuss the final plans of a plot they had developed to overthrow the Nazi regime. The meeting was led by General Hans Oster, the deputy head of the Abwehr
Abwehr
(Germany's counter-espionage agency). Other members included Captain Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz, and other military officers leading the planned coup d'etat met at the meeting.[32]

Protest in Prague
Prague
against German aggression, 22 September 1938

On 22 September, Chamberlain, about to board his plane to go to Germany
Germany
for further talks, told the press who met him there that "My objective is peace in Europe, I trust this trip is the way to that peace."[28] Chamberlain arrived in Cologne, where he received a lavish grand welcome with a German band playing "God Save the King" and Germans
Germans
giving Chamberlain flowers and gifts.[28] Chamberlain had calculated that fully accepting German annexation of all of the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
with no reductions would force Hitler
Hitler
to accept the agreement.[28] Upon being told of this, Hitler
Hitler
responded "Does this mean that the Allies have agreed with Prague's approval to the transfer of the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
to Germany?", Chamberlain responded "Precisely", to which Hitler
Hitler
responded by shaking his head, saying that the Allied offer was insufficient. He told Chamberlain that he wanted Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
to be completely dissolved and its territories redistributed to Germany, Poland, and Hungary, and told Chamberlain to take it or leave it.[28] Chamberlain was shaken by this statement.[28] Hitler
Hitler
went on to tell Chamberlain that since their last visit on the 15th, Czechoslovakia's actions, which Hitler
Hitler
claimed included killings of Germans, had made the situation unbearable for Germany.[28] Later in the meeting, a prearranged deception was undertaken in order to influence and put pressure on Chamberlain: one of Hitler's aides entered the room to inform Hitler
Hitler
of more Germans
Germans
being killed in Czechoslovakia, to which Hitler
Hitler
screamed in response "I will avenge every one of them. The Czechs
Czechs
must be destroyed."[28] The meeting ended with Hitler
Hitler
refusing to make any concessions to the Allies' demands.[28] Later that evening, Hitler
Hitler
grew worried that he had gone too far in pressuring Chamberlain, and telephoned Chamberlain's hotel suite, saying that he would accept annexing only the Sudetenland, with no designs on other territories, provided that Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
begin the evacuation of ethnic Czechs
Czechs
from the German majority territories by 26 September at 8:00am. After being pressed by Chamberlain, Hitler agreed to have the ultimatum set for 1 October (the same date that Operation Green was set to begin).[33] Hitler
Hitler
then said to Chamberlain that this was one concession that he was willing to make to the Prime Minister as a "gift" out of respect for the fact that Chamberlain had been willing to back down somewhat on his earlier position.[33] Hitler went on to say that upon annexing the Sudetenland, Germany
Germany
would hold no further territorial claims upon Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and would enter into a collective agreement to guarantee the borders of Germany
Germany
and Czechoslovakia.[33] Meanwhile, a new Czechoslovak cabinet, under General Jan Syrový, was installed and on 23 September a decree of general mobilization was issued which was accepted by the public with a strong enthusiasm - within 24 hours, one million men joined the army to defend the country. The Czechoslovak army, modern, experienced and possessing an excellent system of frontier fortifications, was prepared to fight. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
announced its willingness to come to Czechoslovakia's assistance, provided that the Soviet Army would be able to cross Polish and Romanian territory. Both countries refused to allow the Soviet army to use their territories[34] In the early hours of 24 September, Hitler
Hitler
issued the Godesberg Memorandum, which demanded that Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
cede the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
to Germany
Germany
no later than 28 September, with plebiscites to be held in unspecified areas under the supervision of German and Czechoslovak forces. The memorandum also stated that if Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
did not agree to the German demands by 2 pm on 28 September, Germany
Germany
would take the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
by force. On the same day, Chamberlain returned to Britain and announced that Hitler
Hitler
demanded the annexation of the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
without delay.[33] The announcement enraged those in Britain and France
France
who wanted to confront Hitler
Hitler
once and for all, even if it meant war, and its supporters gained strength.[33] The Czechoslovak Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Jan Masaryk, was elated upon hearing of the support for Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
from British and French opponents of Hitler's plans, saying "The nation of Saint Wenceslas will never be a nation of slaves."[33]

Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
with Benito Mussolini, September 1938

On 25 September, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
agreed to the conditions previously agreed upon by Britain, France, and Germany. The next day, however, Hitler
Hitler
added new demands, insisting that the claims of ethnic Germans in Poland
Poland
and Hungary
Hungary
also be satisfied. On 26 September, Chamberlain sent Sir Horace Wilson to carry a personal letter to Hitler
Hitler
declaring that the Allies wanted a peaceful resolution to the Sudeten crisis.[33] Later that evening, Hitler
Hitler
made his response in a speech at the Sportpalast in Berlin; he gave Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
a deadline of 28 September at 2:00pm to cede the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
to Germany
Germany
or face war.[33] On 28 September at 10:00am, four hours before the deadline and with no agreement to Hitler's demand by Czechoslovakia, the British ambassador to Italy, Lord Perth, called Italy's Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano to request an urgent meeting.[33] Perth informed Ciano that Chamberlain had instructed him to request that Mussolini
Mussolini
enter the negotiations and urge Hitler
Hitler
to delay the ultimatum.[33] At 11:00am, Ciano met Mussolini
Mussolini
and informed him of Chamberlain's proposition; Mussolini
Mussolini
agreed with it and responded by telephoning Italy's ambassador to Germany
Germany
and told him "Go to the Fuhrer at once, and tell him that whatever happens, I will be at his side, but that I request a twenty-four hour delay before hostilities begin. In the meantime, I will study what can be done to solve the problem."[35] Hitler
Hitler
received Mussolini's message while in discussions with the French ambassador. Hitler
Hitler
told the ambassador "My good friend, Benito Mussolini, has asked me to delay for twenty-four hours the marching orders of the German army, and I agreed. Of course, this was no concession, as the invasion date was set for 1 October 1938. "[36] Upon speaking with Chamberlain, Lord Perth gave Chamberlain's thanks to Mussolini
Mussolini
as well as Chamberlain's request that Mussolini
Mussolini
attend a four-power conference of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy in Munich
Munich
on 29 September to settle the Sudeten problem prior to the deadline of 2:00pm. Mussolini agreed.[36] Hitler's only request was to make sure that Mussolini
Mussolini
be involved in the negotiations at the conference.[36] When United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
learned the conference had been scheduled, he telegraphed Chamberlain, "Good man".[37] Resolution[edit]

Sequence of events following the Munich
Munich
Agreement: 1. Germany
Germany
occupies the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
(October 1938). 2. Poland
Poland
annexes Zaolzie, an area with a Polish plurality, over which the two countries had fought a war in 1919 (October 1938). 3. Hungary
Hungary
occupies border areas (southern third of Slovakia
Slovakia
and southern Carpathian Ruthenia) with Hungarian minorities in accordance with the First Vienna Award
First Vienna Award
(November 1938). 4. On March 15, 1939, during the German invasion of the remaining Czech territories, Hungary
Hungary
annexes Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia
(which had been autonomous since October 1938). 5. Germany
Germany
establishes the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
with a puppet government, on March 16, 1939. 6. Meanwhile, during the German invasion of Czech territories, a pro- Hitler
Hitler
Catholic-fascist government splits off the remaining territories of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and declares the Slovak Republic, an Axis client state.

From left to right: Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured before signing the Munich
Munich
Agreement, which gave the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
to Germany.

A deal was reached on 29 September, and at about 1:30 am on 30 September 1938,[38] Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Benito Mussolini
Mussolini
and Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier
signed the Munich
Munich
Agreement. The agreement was officially introduced by Mussolini
Mussolini
although in fact the Italian plan was nearly identical to the Godesberg proposal: the German army was to complete the occupation of the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
by 10 October, and an international commission would decide the future of other disputed areas. Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
was informed by Britain and France
France
that it could either resist Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
alone or submit to the prescribed annexations. The Czechoslovak government, realizing the hopelessness of fighting the Nazis alone, reluctantly capitulated (30 September) and agreed to abide by the agreement. The settlement gave Germany
Germany
the Sudetenland starting 10 October, and de facto control over the rest of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
as long as Hitler
Hitler
promised to go no further. On 30 September after some rest, Chamberlain went to Hitler
Hitler
and asked him to sign a peace treaty between the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Germany. After Hitler's interpreter translated it for him, he happily agreed. On 30 September, upon his return to Britain, Chamberlain delivered his controversial "peace for our time" speech to crowds in London.[39]

The Führerbau in Munich, site of the 1938 Munich
Munich
Agreement

Present-day view of the Hitler's office in the Führerbau where the 1938 Munich
Munich
Agreement was signed. Note the original fireplace and ceiling lamp.

Reactions[edit]

Czechs
Czechs
expelled from the border looking for new home, October 1938 .

Sudeten Germans
Germans
cheering the arrival of the German Army into the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
in October 1938.

Though the British and French were pleased, as were the Nazi military and German diplomatic leadership, a British diplomat in Berlin
Berlin
claimed he had been informed by reliable sources that soon after the meeting with Chamberlain Hitler
Hitler
had furiously said: "Gentlemen, this has been my first international conference and I can assure you that it will be my last". The British diplomat claimed his sources relayed that Hitler viewed Chamberlain as "an impertinent busybody who spoke the ridiculous jargon of an outmoded democracy."[40] In his postwar memoirs, Winston Churchill, a staunch opponent of appeasement, lumped Poland, and Hungary, both of which subsequently annexed parts of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
containing Polish and Hungarian nationals, with Germany as "vultures upon the carcass of Czechoslovakia."[41] The agreement was generally applauded. Prime Minister Édouard Daladier
Daladier
of France, did not believe, as one scholar put it, that a European War was justified "to maintain three million Germans
Germans
under Czech sovereignty." Gallup Polls in Britain, France, and the United States indicated that the majority of people supported the agreement. President Beneš of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1939. Even Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
was reported at the time as commenting that he would have done the same as Chamberlain.[42] The New York Times
The New York Times
headline on the Munich
Munich
agreement read " Hitler
Hitler
gets less than his Sudeten demands" and reported that a "joyful crowd" hailed Daladier
Daladier
on his return to France
France
and that Chamberlain was "wildly cheered" on his return to Britain.[43] Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons said "We owe heartfelt thanks to all responsible for the outcome, and appreciate very much the efforts of President Roosevelt and Signor Mussolini
Mussolini
to bring about the Munich
Munich
conference of the Powers at which a united desire for peace has been shown."[44]

A political cartoon from Poland
Poland
depicts The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in the form of "Ivan" being kicked out of Europe: "It seems Europe has stopped respecting me"

Czech refugees expelled from the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
at the Refugees Office October 1938

Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
was upset by the results of the Munich
Munich
conference. The Soviets, who had a mutual military assistance treaty with Czechoslovakia, felt betrayed by France, who also had a mutual military assistance treaty with Czechoslovakia. The British and French, however, mostly used the Soviets as a threat to dangle over the Germans. Stalin concluded that the West had actively colluded with Hitler
Hitler
to hand over a Central European country to the Nazis, causing concern that they might do the same to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in the future, allowing the partition of the USSR between the western powers and the fascist Axis. This belief led the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
to reorient its foreign policy towards a rapprochement with Germany, which eventually led to the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
in 1939.[45] The Czechoslovaks were greatly dismayed with the Munich
Munich
settlement. With Sudetenland
Sudetenland
gone to Germany, Czecho- Slovakia
Slovakia
(as the state was now renamed) lost its defensible border with Germany
Germany
and its fortifications. Without them its independence became more nominal than real. In fact, Edvard Beneš, the President of Czechoslovakia, had the military print the march orders for his army and put the press on standby for a declaration of war. Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
also lost 70% of its iron/steel industry, 70% of its electrical power and 3.5 million citizens to Germany
Germany
as a result of the settlement.[46] The Sudeten Germans
Germans
celebrated what they saw as their liberation. The imminent war, it seemed, had been avoided. Before the Munich
Munich
Agreement Hitler's determination to invade Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
on 1 October 1938 had provoked a major crisis in the German command structure. The Chief of the General Staff, General Ludwig Beck, protested in a lengthy series of memos that it would start a world war that Germany
Germany
would lose, and urged Hitler
Hitler
to put off the projected war. Hitler
Hitler
called Beck's arguments against war "kindische Kräfteberechnungen" ("childish force calculations"). On 4 August 1938, a secret Army meeting was held. Beck read his lengthy report to the assembled officers. They all agreed something had to be done to prevent certain disaster. Beck hoped they would all resign together but no one resigned except Beck. However his replacement, General Franz Halder, sympathised with Beck and they both conspired with several top generals, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris
Wilhelm Canaris
(Chief of German Intelligence), and Graf von Helldorf (Berlin's Police Chief) to arrest Hitler
Hitler
the moment he gave the invasion order. However, the plan would only work if Britain issued a strong warning and a letter to the effect that they would fight to preserve Czechoslovakia. This would help to convince the German people
German people
that certain defeat awaited Germany. Agents were therefore sent to England to tell Chamberlain that an attack on Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
was planned, and of their intention to overthrow Hitler
Hitler
if this occurred. However, the proposal was rejected by the British Cabinet and no such letter was issued. Accordingly, the proposed removal of Hitler
Hitler
did not go ahead.[47] On this basis it has been argued that the Munich
Munich
Agreement kept Hitler
Hitler
in power, although whether it would have been any more successful than the 1944 plot is doubtful.

Map of the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Reichsgau

Opinions about the agreement[edit] The British population had expected imminent war and the "statesman-like gesture" of Chamberlain was at first greeted with acclaim. Chamberlain was greeted as a hero by the royal family and invited on the balcony at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
before he had presented the agreement to Parliament. The generally positive reaction quickly soured despite royal patronage. But there was opposition from the start; Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
and the Labour Party opposed the agreement, in alliance with two Conservative MPs, Duff Cooper
Duff Cooper
and Vyvyan Adams, who had been seen up to then as a die hard and reactionary element in the Conservative Party. As the threat of Germany
Germany
and a European war became more evident, opinions changed. Chamberlain was excoriated for his role as one of the "Men of Munich", in books such as the 1940 Guilty Men. A rare wartime defence of the Munich
Munich
Agreement came in 1944 from Viscount Maugham, who had been Lord Chancellor at the time. Maugham viewed the decision to establish a Czechoslovak state including substantial German and Hungarian minorities as a "dangerous experiment" in the light of previous disputes and ascribed the Munich
Munich
Agreement largely to France's need to extricate itself from its treaty obligations in the light of its unpreparedness for war.[48] After the war, Churchill's memoir of the period, The Gathering Storm (1948), confirmed the view that Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler
Hitler
at Munich had been wrong, and recorded Churchill's pre-war warnings of Hitler's plan of aggression and the folly of Britain's persisting with disarmament after Germany
Germany
had achieved air parity with Britain. Although Churchill recognized that Chamberlain acted from noble motives, he argued that Hitler
Hitler
should have been resisted over Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and that efforts should have been made to involve the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
on their side. Daladier
Daladier
believed Hitler's ultimate goals were a threat. He told the British in a late April 1938 meeting that Hitler's real aim was to eventually secure "a domination of the Continent in comparison with which the ambitions of Napoleon were feeble." He went on to say: "Today it is the turn of Czechoslovakia. Tomorrow it will be the turn of Poland
Poland
and Romania. When Germany
Germany
has obtained the oil and wheat it needs, she will turn on the West. Certainly we must multiply our efforts to avoid war. But that will not be obtained unless Great Britain and France
France
stick together, intervening in Prague
Prague
for new concessions but declaring at the same time that they will safeguard the independence of Czechoslovakia. If, on the contrary, the Western Powers capitulate again they will only precipitate the war they wish to avoid."[49] Perhaps discouraged by the arguments of the military and civilian members of the French government regarding their unprepared military and weak financial situation, as well as traumatised by France's bloodbath in the First World War that he was personally a witness to, Daladier
Daladier
ultimately let Chamberlain have his way. On his return to Paris, Daladier, who was expecting a hostile crowd, was acclaimed. American historian William Shirer, in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Third Reich
(1960), took the view that although Hitler
Hitler
was not bluffing about his intention to invade, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
would have been able to offer significant resistance. Shirer believed that Britain and France
France
had sufficient air defences to avoid serious bombing of London and Paris
Paris
and would have been able to pursue a rapid and successful war against Germany.[50] He quotes Churchill as saying the Munich agreement meant that "Britain and France
France
were in a much worse position compared to Hitler's Germany".[46] After Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
personally inspected the Czech fortifications, he privately said to Joseph Goebbels, "we would have shed a lot of blood" and that it was fortunate that there had been no fighting.[51]

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
drives through the crowd in Cheb, October 1938.

The "ghost of Munich"[edit] In the United States and the United Kingdom, the words "Munich" and "appeasement" are synonymous with demanding forthright, often military, action to resolve an international crisis and characterizing a political opponent who advocates negotiation as "weak." In 1950, President Truman invoked "Munich" to justify his military action in the Korean War. "The world learned from Munich
Munich
that security cannot be bought by appeasement," he said.[52] Nearly every subsequent crisis has been accompanied by cries of "Munich" from politicians and the media. In 1960, conservative Senator Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
used "Munich" to describe a domestic political issue, saying that an attempt by the Republican Party to appeal to liberals was "The Munich
Munich
of the Republican Party.[53] In 1962, General Curtis LeMay told President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
that his refusal to bomb Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis was "almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich."[54] In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson, in justifying increased U.S. military action in Vietnam said, "We learned from Hitler
Hitler
and Munich
Munich
that success only feeds the appetite for aggression."[55] Citing Munich
Munich
has continued to be commonplace into the 21st century, especially for opposition politicians and conservatives. During negotiations for the Iran nuclear agreement by Secretary of State John Kerry a Texas Republican congressman characterized the negotiation as "worse than Munich." Kerry himself invoked Munich
Munich
in a speech in France
France
advocating military action in Syria by saying, "This is our Munich
Munich
moment."[56] " Munich
Munich
and appeasement," in the words of scholars Frederik Logevall and Kenneth Osgood, "have become among the dirtiest words in American politics, synonymous with naivete and weakness, and signifying a craven willingness to barter away the nation's vital interests for empty promises." They commented that the success of U.S. foreign policy often depends upon a president withstanding "the inevitable charges of appeasement that accompany any decision to negotiate with hostile powers." Those presidents who challenged the "tyranny of Munich" have often achieved policy breakthroughs and those who had cited Munich
Munich
as a principle of U.S. foreign policy had often led the nation into its "most enduring tragedies."[57] Consequences of the Munich
Munich
agreement[edit] On 5 October, Beneš resigned as President of Czechoslovakia, realising that the fall of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
was inevitable. Following the outbreak of World War II, he formed a Czechoslovak government-in-exile in London. On 6 December 1938, the French-German non-aggression pact was signed in Paris
Paris
by the French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet
Georges Bonnet
and the German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop.[58] Pertaining to the territories of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
after the Munich Agreement[edit] The first Vienna Award to Hungary[edit] Main article: First Vienna Award

Admiral Horthy
Admiral Horthy
during the Hungarians' triumphant entry into Košice, November 1938

Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
annexed the Zaolzie
Zaolzie
area of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Poles, October 1938.

"For 600 years we have been waiting for you (1335-1938)." Ethnic Polish band welcoming the annexation of Zaolzie
Zaolzie
by the Polish Republic in Karviná, October 1938

In early November 1938, under the First Vienna Award, which was a result of the Munich
Munich
agreement, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
(and later Slovakia)—after it had failed to reach a compromise with Hungary
Hungary
and Poland—was forced by Germany
Germany
and Italy to cede southern Slovakia (one third of Slovak territory) to Hungary, while Poland
Poland
independently gained small territorial cessions shortly after (Zaolzie). As a result, Bohemia, Moravia
Moravia
and Silesia lost about 38% of their combined area to Germany, with some 2.8 million German and 513,000-750,000[59][60] Czech inhabitants. Hungary, in turn, received 11,882 km2 (4,588 sq mi) in southern Slovakia
Slovakia
and southern Ruthenia; according to a 1941 census, about 86.5% of the population in this territory was Hungarian. Slovakia
Slovakia
lost 10,390 km2 (4,010 sq mi) and 854,218 inhabitants for Hungary
Hungary
(according to a Czechoslovak 1930 census about 59% were Hungarians
Hungarians
and 31.9% were Slovaks
Slovaks
and Czechs[61]). Meanwhile, Poland annexed the town of Český Těšín
Český Těšín
with the surrounding area (some 906 km2 (350 sq mi), with 250,000 inhabitants; Poles made up about 36% of the population - a drop from 69% in 1910[62])[63] and two minor border areas in northern Slovakia, more precisely in the regions Spiš
Spiš
and Orava. (226 km2 (87 sq mi), 4,280 inhabitants, only 0.3% Poles). Soon after Munich, 115,000 Czechs
Czechs
and 30,000 Germans
Germans
fled to the remaining rump of Czechoslovakia.[according to whom?] According to the Institute for Refugee Assistance, the actual count of refugees on 1 March 1939 stood at almost 150,000.[64] On 4 December 1938, there were elections in Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Sudetenland, in which 97.32% of the adult population voted for NSDAP. About a half million Sudeten Germans
Germans
joined the Nazi Party which was 17.34% of the German population in Sudetenland
Sudetenland
(the average NSDAP participation in Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
was 7.85%). This means the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
was the most "pro-Nazi" region in the Third Reich.[65] Because of their knowledge of the Czech language, many Sudeten Germans were employed in the administration of the Protectorate of Bohemia
Bohemia
and Moravia
Moravia
as well as in Nazi organizations (Gestapo, etc.). The most notable was Karl Hermann Frank: the SS and Police general and Secretary of State in the Protectorate. German invasion of the remainder of Czechoslovakia[edit] Main article: German occupation of Czechoslovakia In 1937, the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
had formulated a plan called "Operation Green" (Fall Grün) for the invasion of Czechoslovakia[66] which was implemented as "Operation Southeast" on 15 March 1939. On 14 March Slovakia
Slovakia
seceded from Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and became a separate pro-Nazi state. On the following day, Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia
proclaimed independence as well, but after three days was completely occupied by Hungary. Czechoslovak president Emil Hácha
Emil Hácha
traveled to Berlin
Berlin
and was left waiting, while orders to invade were already given. During the meeting with Adolf Hitler, Hácha was threatened with the bombing of Prague
Prague
if he refused to order Czech troops to lay down their arms. This induced a heart attack, from which he was revived by an injection from Hitler's doctor. He then agreed to sign the communique accepting the German occupation of the remainder of Bohemia
Bohemia
and Moravia
Moravia
"which in its unctuous mendacity was remarkable even for the Nazis".[67] Churchill's prediction was fulfilled as German armies entered Prague and proceeded to occupy the rest of the country, which was transformed into a protectorate of the Reich. By seizing Bohemia
Bohemia
and Moravia
Moravia
the Third Reich
Third Reich
gained all the skilled labour force and heavy industry placed there as well as all the weapons of the Czechoslovak army. At the time of Hitler's later attack on France, roughly 25% of all German weapons came from the protectorate Böhmen und Mähren. The Third Reich
Third Reich
also gained the whole Czechoslovak gold treasure, including gold stored in the Bank of England. Of a total 227 tons of gold found after the war in salt mines, only 18.4 tons were returned to Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
in 1982, although most of this gold came from Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was also forced to "sell" to the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
war material for 648 million of pre-war Czechoslovak crowns. This debt was never repaid. Germans
Germans
even took the precaution of sending their troops over borders as early as the afternoon of 14 March, causing an incident between 13th (Silesian) Czechoslovak Battalion and the 8th Infantry Division of the Nazi army in Místek. After a while the Germans
Germans
decided to pull out as the escalation could endanger "peaceful" takeover. Chamberlain[68] claimed the Prague
Prague
annexation was a "completely different category", moving beyond the legitimate Versailles grievances. Meanwhile, concerns arose in Great Britain that Poland
Poland
(now substantially encircled by German possessions) would become the next target of Nazi expansionism, which was made apparent by the dispute over the Polish Corridor
Polish Corridor
and the Free City of Danzig. This resulted in the signing of an Anglo-Polish military alliance, and the consequent refusal of the Polish government to accept German negotiation proposals over the Polish Corridor
Polish Corridor
and the status of Danzig. Prime Minister Chamberlain felt betrayed by the Nazi seizure of Czechoslovakia, realizing his policy of appeasement towards Hitler
Hitler
had failed, and began to take a much harder line against the Nazis. Amongst other things he immediately began to mobilize the British Empire's armed forces to a war footing. France
France
did the same. Italy saw itself threatened by the British and French fleets and started its own invasion of Albania in April 1939. Although no immediate action followed, Hitler's invasion of Poland
Poland
on 1 September officially began World War II. Significant industrial potential and military equipment of the former Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
had been efficiently absorbed into the Third Reich. Strengthening of Wehrmacht's armament[edit] Since most of the border defenses were located in the territory ceded as a consequence of the Munich
Munich
Agreement, the remaining part of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
was entirely open to further invasion, despite having relatively large stockpiles of modern weaponry. In a speech delivered in Reichstag, Hitler
Hitler
expressed the importance of the occupation for strengthening of German military, noting that by occupying Czechoslovakia, Germany
Germany
gained 2,175 field guns and cannons, 469 tanks, 500 anti-aircraft artillery pieces, 43,000 machine guns, 1,090,000 military rifles, 114,000 pistols, about a billion rounds of small-arms ammunition and three million rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition. This amount of weaponry would be sufficient to arm about half of the then Wehrmacht.[69] Czechoslovak weaponry later played major part in the German conquest of Poland
Poland
and France, the latter country having urged Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
to surrender to Germany
Germany
in 1938. The birth of German resistance within the military[edit] Main article: Oster Conspiracy In Germany
Germany
the Sudeten crisis led to the so-called Oster Conspiracy. General Hans Oster, deputy head of the Abwehr, and prominent figures within the German military who opposed the regime for its behaviour that was threatening to bring Germany
Germany
into a war that they believed it was not ready to fight, discussed overthrowing Hitler
Hitler
and the Nazi regime through a planned storming of the Reich Chancellery
Reich Chancellery
by forces loyal to the plot. Pertaining to international politics[edit] Italian colonial demands from France[edit] In October 1938 in the aftermath of the Munich
Munich
Agreement, Italy demanded concessions from France
France
to yield to Italy: a free port at Djibouti, control of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad, Italian participation in the management of Suez Canal Company, some form of French-Italian condominium over Tunisia, and the preservation of Italian culture in French-held Corsica with no French assimilation of the people.[70] Italy opposed the French monopoly over the Suez Canal because under the French-dominated Suez Canal Company
Suez Canal Company
all Italian merchant traffic to its colony of Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa
was forced to pay tolls upon entering the canal.[70][71] Mussolini
Mussolini
hoped that in light of Italy's role in settling the Munich
Munich
Agreement that prevented the outbreak of war, that Britain would react by putting pressure on France
France
to yield to Italy's demands to preserve the peace.[70] France refused to accept Italy's demands as it was widely suspected that Italy's true intentions were territorial acquisition of Nice, Corsica, Tunisia, and Djibouti and not the milder official demands put forth.[70] Relations between Italy and France
France
deteriorated with France's refusal to accept Italy's demands.[70] France
France
responded to Italy's demands with threatening naval maneuvers as a warning to Italy.[70] As tensions between Italy and France
France
grew, Hitler
Hitler
made a major speech on 30 January 1939 in which he promised German military support in the case of an unprovoked war against Italy.[72] Quotations from key participants[edit]

'The Funeral of British Honour' To the Editor of the Manchester Guardian Sir, The flowers piled before 10, Downing Street are very fitting for the funeral of British honour and, it may be, of the British Empire. For sheer degradation the frenzies of last Friday beat even the night of Mafeking. I appreciate the Prime Minister's love of peace. I know the horrors of war – a great deal better than he can. But when he returns from saving our skins from a blackmailer at the price of other people’s flesh, and waves, laughing with glee, a piece of paper with Herr Hitler’s name on it, if it were not ghastly, it would be grotesque. No doubt he has never read Mein Kampf in German. But to forget, so utterly, the Reichstag fire, and the occupation of the Rhineland, and 30 June 1934, and the fall of Austria! We have lost the courage to see things as they are. And yet Herr Hitler
Hitler
has kindly put down for us in black and white that programme he is so faithfully carrying out. (For he keeps his threats, though not his promises.) Alliance with Italy and England; the annihilation of France; the conquest for the German plough of the Ukraine; a Reich of 250,000,000. And then? I may be wrong. No one can tell. There are no sure prophecies in politics, as even Bismarck owned. But just because all roads lead none knows whither, all the more reason to keep the straight path of honour. This is the really unpardonable thing in the conduct of Mr. Chamberlain. Even if what he did were the right thing to do, this was not the way to do it. Any really great man who had felt forced to sacrifice a small nation that trusted in him would at least have returned full of anguish and of shame. But Mr. Chamberlain, though he had good intentions, has no finer sense of honour. He lent himself with complacency to the shrieking adulation of a London
London
that had lost all dignity, without one thought for the agony of Prague. Leaders should have some touch of finer mettle. Mr. Chamberlain, canting of "peace with honour," has debased the moral currency of England. And not for the first time; and not, I fear, for the last. Meanwhile, the past is past, however shameful. What now? If we have any respect we shall remedy at once that outrageous omission by which all Sudetens in Czech prisons are to be liberated, while no word is said of the Czechs
Czechs
dragged across the frontier into German captivity or arrested in Germany. Secondly, we shall compensate Czechoslovakia for the property we have forced her to leave to the invader – the machinery in Czech-owned factories, the fortifications, and their artillery, – which belonged to the Czech State as a whole, not to the Sudetens, as indefeasibly as the very streets of Prague. Thirdly, unless we propose to barricade ourselves behind pieces of paper kindly autographed by Herr Hitler, we shall look a little better to our defences, even if it means conscription in the near future.

[From a letter by F. L. Lucas
F. L. Lucas
of King's College, Cambridge, British anti-appeasement campaigner, to the Manchester Guardian, 4 October 1938]

German occupation of Prague, 15 March 1939

Protectorate of Bohemia
Bohemia
and Moravia

The daily newspapers carried long columns of the names of the executed Czechs, 1944.

Germany
Germany
stated that the incorporation of Austria
Austria
into the Reich resulted in borders with Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
that were a great danger to German security, and that this allowed Germany
Germany
to be encircled by the Western Powers.[73] Neville Chamberlain, announced the deal at Heston Aerodrome
Heston Aerodrome
as follows:

... the settlement of the Czechoslovak problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: ' ... We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.'[74]

Later that day he stood outside 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
and again read from the document and concluded:

My good friends, for the second time in our history a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany
Germany
bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time." (Chamberlain's reference to Disraeli's return from the Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
in 1878)[74][75]

Chamberlain in a letter to his sister Hilda, on 2 October 1938, wrote:

I asked Hitler
Hitler
about one in the morning while we were waiting for the draftsmen whether he would care to see me for another talk….I had a very friendly and pleasant talk, on Spain, (where he too said he had never had any territorial ambitions) economic relations with S.E. Europe, and disarmament. I did not mention colonies, nor did he. At the end I pulled out the declaration which I had prepared beforehand and asked if he would sign it. As the interpreter translated the words into German, Hitler
Hitler
said Yes, I will certainly sign it. When shall we do it? I said "now", and we went at once to the writing table and put our signatures to the two copies which I had brought with me."[citation needed]

Winston Churchill, denouncing the Agreement in the House of Commons [5 October 1938[76]], declared:

We have suffered a total and unmitigated defeat ... you will find that in a period of time which may be measured by years, but may be measured by months, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
will be engulfed in the Nazi régime. We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude ... we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road ... we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: "Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting". And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.

Prior to the conference on 13 August 1938 Churchill wrote in a letter to Lloyd George:[77]

England has been offered a choice between war and shame. She has chosen shame, and will get war.

Legal nullification[edit] During the Second World War, British Prime Minister Churchill, who opposed the agreement when it was signed, became determined that the terms of the agreement would not be upheld after the war and that the Sudeten territories should be returned to postwar Czechoslovakia. On 5 August 1942, Foreign Minister Anthony Eden sent the following note to Jan Masaryk:

In the light of recent exchanges of view between our Governments, I think it may be useful for me to make the following statement about the attitude of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
as regards Czecho-Slovakia. In my letter of the 18th July, 1941, I informed your Excellency that the King had decided to accredit an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Dr. Beneš as President of the Czecho-Slovak Republic. I explained that this decision implied that His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
regarded the juridical position of the President and Government of the Czecho-Slovak Republic as identical with that of the other Allied heads of States and Governments established in this country. The status of His Majesty's representative has recently been raised to that of an Ambassador. The Prime Minister had already stated in a message broadcast to the Czecho-Slovak people on the 30th September, 1940, the attitude of His Majesty's Government in regard to the arrangements reached at Munich in 1938. Mr. Churchill then said that the Munich
Munich
Agreement had been destroyed by the Germans. This statement was formally communicated to Dr. Beneš on the 11th November, 1940. The foregoing statement and formal act of recognition have guided the policy of His Majesty's Government in regard to Czecho-Slovakia, but in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding, I desire to declare on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
that as Germany
Germany
has deliberately destroyed the arrangements concerning Czecho- Slovakia
Slovakia
reached in 1938, in which His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
participated, His Majesty's Government regard themselves as free from any engagements in this respect. At the final settlement of the Czecho-Slovak frontiers to be reached at the end of the war they will not be influenced by any changes effected in and since 1938.

To which Masaryk replied as follows:

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 5th August, 1942, and I avail myself of this opportunity to convey to your Excellency, on behalf of the Czecho-Slovak Government and of myself, as well as in the name of the whole Czecho-Slovak people who are at present suffering so terribly under the Nazi yoke, the expression of our warmest thanks. Your Excellency's note emphasises the fact that the formal act of recognition has guided the policy of His Majesty's Government in regard to Czecho-Slovakia, but, in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding, His Majesty's Government now desire to declare that, as Germany
Germany
has deliberately destroyed the arrangements concerning Czecho- Slovakia
Slovakia
reached in 1938, in which His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
participated, His Majesty's Government regard themselves as free from any engagements in this respect. At the final settlement of the Czecho-Slovak frontiers to be reached at the end of the war, they will not be influenced by any changes effected in and since 1938. My Government accept your Excellency's note as a practical solution of the questions and difficulties of vital importance for Czecho-Slovakia which emerged between our two countries as the consequence of the Munich
Munich
Agreement, maintaining, of course, our political and juridical position with regard to the Munich
Munich
Agreement and the events which followed it as expressed in the note of the Czecho-Slovak Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the 16th December, 1941. We consider your important note of the 5th August, 1942, as a highly significant act of justice towards Czecho-Slovakia, and we assure you of our real satisfaction and of our profound gratitude to your great country and nation. Between our two countries the Munich
Munich
Agreement can now be considered as dead.[78]

Following Allied victory and the surrender of the Third Reich
Third Reich
in 1945, the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
was returned to Czechoslovakia, while the German speaking majority was expelled. Legacy[edit] The West German politics of staying neutral in the Arab–Israeli conflict following the Munich
Munich
massacre and the subsequent hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 615
Lufthansa Flight 615
in 1972, rather than taking the decided pro-Israel position of earlier governments, led to Israeli comparisons with the Munich
Munich
Agreement and the Appeasement.[79] See also[edit]

Appeasement
Appeasement
of Hitler Neville Chamberlain's European Policy German occupation of Czechoslovakia Lesson of Munich Treaty of Prague
Prague
(1973) Western betrayal Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Medal Causes of World War II

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ William L. Shirer
William L. Shirer
(11 October 2011). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. Simon and Schuster. pp. 382–. ISBN 978-1-4516-5168-3.  ^ William L. Shirer
William L. Shirer
(11 October 2011). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. Simon and Schuster. pp. 421–. ISBN 978-1-4516-5168-3.  ^ William L. Shirer
William L. Shirer
(11 October 2011). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. Simon and Schuster. pp. 422–. ISBN 978-1-4516-5168-3.  ^ Statistický lexikon obcí v Republice československé I. Země česká. Prague. 1934.  Statistický lexikon obcí v Republice československé II. Země moravskoslezská. Prague. 1935.  ^ Douglas, R. M. (2012), Orderly and Humane, New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 9 ^ Douglas, pp. 7-12 ^ a b c d e f Eleanor L. Turk. The History of Germany. Westport, Connecticut, USA: Greenwood Press, 1999. ISBN 9780313302749. Pp. 123. ^ Douglas, pp. 12-13 ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, pp. 100–101, Vol. 3. ^ Douglas, p. 18 ^ a b Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 102, Vol. 3. ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 101. ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 1001–1002. ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 102. ^ a b Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 104. ^ Paul N. Hehn (2005). A Low, Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930-1941. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 89.  ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 102-3. ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 104, Vol. 3. ^ a b c d e Bell 1986, p. 238. ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 201. ^ a b c Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 105. ^ Noakes & Pridham 2010, p. 105, Vol. 3. ^ a b c d e Adolf Hitler, Max Domarus. The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2007. ISBN 9780865166271. Pp. 626. ^ a b Adolf Hitler, Max Domarus. The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2007. ISBN 9780865166271. Pp. 627. ^ a b Bell 1986, p. 239. ^ a b c d e f Santi Corvaja, Robert L. Miller. Hitler
Hitler
& Mussolini: The Secret Meetings. New York, New York, USA: Enigma Books, 2008. ISBN 9781929631421. Pp. 71. ^ Santi Corvaja, Robert L. Miller. Hitler
Hitler
& Mussolini: The Secret Meetings. New York, New York, USA: Enigma Books, 2008. ISBN 9781929631421. Pp. 71–72. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Santi Corvaja, Robert L. Miller. Hitler & Mussolini: The Secret Meetings. New York, New York, USA: Enigma Books, 2008. ISBN 9781929631421. Pp. 72. ^ President Beneš' declaration made on 16 December 1941 ^ Note of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile
Czechoslovak government-in-exile
dated 22 February 1944 ^ Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(1997), Ruling No. II. ÚS 307/97 (in Czech), Brno  Stran interpretace "kdy země vede válku", obsažené v čl. I Úmluvy o naturalizaci mezi Československem a Spojenými státy, publikované pod č. 169/1929 Sb. za účelem zjištění, zda je splněna podmínka státního občanství dle restitučních předpisů, Ústavní soud vychází z již v roce 1933 vypracované definice agrese Společnosti národů, která byla převzata do londýnské Úmluvy o agresi (CONVENITION DE DEFINITION DE L'AGRESSION), uzavřené dne 4. 7. 1933 Československem, dle které není třeba válku vyhlašovat (čl. II bod 2) a dle které je třeba za útočníka považovat ten stát, který první poskytne podporu ozbrojeným tlupám, jež se utvoří na jeho území a jež vpadnou na území druhého státu (čl. II bod 5). V souladu s nótou londýnské vlády ze dne 22. 2. 1944, navazující na prohlášení prezidenta republiky ze dne 16. 12. 1941 dle § 64 odst. 1 bod 3 tehdejší Ústavy, a v souladu s citovaným čl. II bod 5 má Ústavní soud za to, že dnem, kdy nastal stav války, a to s Německem, je den 17. 9. 1938, neboť tento den na pokyn Hitlera došlo k utvoření "Sudetoněmeckého svobodného sboru" (Freikorps) z uprchnuvších vůdců Henleinovy strany a několik málo hodin poté už tito vpadli na československé území ozbrojeni německými zbraněmi. ^ Nigel Jones. Countdown to Valkyrie: The July Plot to Assassinate Hitler. Pp. 73-74. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Santi Corvaja, Robert L. Miller. Hitler
Hitler
& Mussolini: The Secret Meetings. New York, New York, USA: Enigma Books, 2008. ISBN 9781929631421. Pp. 73. ^ Haslam, Jonathan (1983). Soviet Foreign Policy, 1930-33. The Impact of the Depression, New York, 1983. New York: St. Martin's Press.  ^ Santi Corvaja, Robert L. Miller. Hitler
Hitler
& Mussolini: The Secret Meetings. New York, New York, USA: Enigma Books, 2008. ISBN 9781929631421. Pp. 73–74. ^ a b c Santi Corvaja, Robert L. Miller. Hitler
Hitler
& Mussolini: The Secret Meetings. New York, New York, USA: Enigma Books, 2008. ISBN 9781929631421. Pp. 74. ^ Dallek, Robert (1995). Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945: With a New Afterword. Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 9780199826667.  ^ Gilbert & Gott 1967, p. 178. ^ http://www.britannia.com/history/docs/peacetime.html ^ Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick
Ivone Kirkpatrick
1959, p. 135. ^ Winston S. Churchill (2002). The Gathering Storm: The Second World War, Volume 1. RosettaBooks LCC. p. 289-290.  ^ Douglas, pp. 14-15 ^ The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0930.html#article, accessed 10 Jan 2018 ^ "Empire Comment on the Agreement". The Manchester Guardian. 1 Oct 1938. p. 7. We owe heartfelt thanks to all responsible for the outcome, and appreciate very much the efforts of President Roosevelt and Signor Mussolini
Mussolini
to bring about the Munich
Munich
conference of the Powers at which a united desire for peace has been shown.  ^ Klaus Hildebrand 1991. ^ a b Shirer, William L. 1960. ^ Terry Parssinen 2004. ^ Viscount Maugham 1944. ^ Shirer, William L. 1969, p. 339–340. ^ Shirer, William L. 1960, p. 520. ^ See Joseph Goebbels diary, 2 Oct 1938, p. 2. ^ "The Munich
Munich
Analogy-The Korean War,' Encyclopedia of the New American Nation http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/E-N/The-Munich-Analogy-The-korean-war.html. accessed 11 Jan 2018 ^ "The Conservative 1960s" (December 1995), The Atlantic, p. 6, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1995/12/the-conservative-1960s/376506/, accessed 11 Jan 2018 ^ Wheatcroft, Geoffrey, (3 December 2013), "On the Use and Abuse of Munich," https://newrepublic.com/article/115803/munich-analogies-are-inaccurate-cliched-and-dangerous, accessed 11 Jan 2018 ^ Logevall, Fredrik and Osgood, Dennis (July-August 2010, "The Ghost of Munich: America's Appeasement
Appeasement
Complex," World Affairs,http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/ghost-munich-americas-appeasement-complex, accessed 11 Jan 2018 ^ Wheatcroft ^ Logevall and Osgood ^ France
France
Signs "No-War" Pact with Germany, Chicago Tribune, 7 December 1938 ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 December 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.  ^ http://www.bohumildolezal.cz/texty/u074-08.htm ^ http://www.forumhistoriae.sk/documents/10180/70153/hetenyi.pdf ^ Irena Bogoczová, Jana Raclavska. "Report about the national and language situation in the area around Czeski Cieszyn/Český Těšín in the Czech Republic". Czeski Cieszyn/ Český Těšín
Český Těšín
Papers. Nr 7, EUR.AC research. November 2006. p. 2. (source: Zahradnik. "Struktura narodowościowa Zaolzia na podstawie spisów ludności 1880-1991". Třinec 1991). ^ Siwek nd. ^ Forced displacement of Czech population under Nazis in 1938 and 1943, Radio Prague ^ Zimmermann, Volker 1999. ^ Herzstein, Robert Edwin 1980, p. 184. ^ Noakes, J. and Pridham, G. (eds) (2010) [2001] Nazism 1919-1945, Vol 3, Foreign Policy, War and Racial Extermination, University of Exeter Press, Exeter, p.119 ^ McDonough, 2002, p.73 ^ Motl, Stanislav (2007), Kam zmizel zlatý poklad republiky (2nd ed.), Prague: Rybka publishers  ^ a b c d e f H. James Burgwyn. Italian Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period, 1918-1940. Westport, Connecticut, USA: Praeger Publishers, 1997. p182-183. ^ "French Army breaks a one-day strike and stands on guard against a land-hungry Italy", LIFE, 19 Dec 1938. pp. 23. ^ H. James Burgwyn. Italian Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period, 1918-1940. Westport, Connecticut, USA: Praeger Publishers, 1997. p185. ^ Reinhard Müller 1943, p. 116-130. ^ a b The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations ^ "Neville Chamberlain". UK government. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2008.  ^ "National Churchill Museum". Retrieved 1 October 2016.  ^ > "The Churchill Center". Retrieved 1 October 2016. [permanent dead link] ^ League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 378–380. ^ "Deutsche Feigheit". Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
(in German). 11 November 1972. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

Books

Noakes, J.; Pridham, G. (2010) [2001]. Nazism 1919–1945: Foreign Policy War, and Racial Extermination. 2 (2nd ed.). Devon: University of Exeter Press.  Noakes, J.; Pridham, G. (2010) [2001]. Nazism 1919–1945: Foreign Policy War, and Racial Extermination. 3 (2nd ed.). Devon: University of Exeter Press.  Bell, P. M. H. (1986). The Second World War
Second World War
in Europe. Harlow, Essex: Longman.  Gilbert, Martin; Gott, Richard (1967). The Appeasers. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.  Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick
Ivone Kirkpatrick
(1959). The Inner Circle. Macmillan.  Shirer, William L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Pan.  Shirer, William L. (1969). The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France
France
in 1940. De Capo Press.  Klaus Hildebrand (1991). Das Dritte Reich (in German). München: Oldenbourg Grundriss der Geschichte.  S.36 Terry Parssinen (2004). The Oster Conspiracy
Oster Conspiracy
of 1938: The Unknown Story of the Military Plot to Kill Hitler. Pimlico Press. ISBN 1-84413-307-9.  Viscoumt Maugham (1944). The Truth about the Munich
Munich
Crisis. William Heinemann Ltd.  Zimmerman, Volker (1999). Die Sudetendeutschen im NS-Staat. Politik und Stimmung der Bevölkerung im Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Sudetenland
Sudetenland
(1938–1945) (in German). Essen. ISBN 3-88474-770-3.  Reinhard Müller (1943). Deutschland (in German). München
München
and Berlin:: Sechster Teil, R. Oldenbourg Verlag.  Herzstein, Robert Edwin (1980). The Nazis. World War II
World War II
series. New York: Time-Life Books.  McDonough, F. (2002). Hitler, Chamberlain and Appeasement. Cambridge: Cambridge
Cambridge
University Press. 

Web

Siwek, Tadeusz (n.d.). "Statystyczni i niestatystyczni Polacy w Republice Czeskiej" (in Polish). Wspólnota Polska. 

Other

League of Nations Treaty Series. 204. 

Journals

Dray, W. H. (1978). Concepts of Causation in A. J. P. Taylor's Account of the Origins of the Second World War. 17. History and Theory. JSTOR 2504843. 

Jordan, Nicole. "Léon Blum and Czechoslovakia, 1936-1938." French History 5#1 (1991): 48-73. Thomas, Martin. " France
France
and the Czechoslovak crisis." Diplomacy and Statecraft 10.23 (1999): 122-159.

Further reading[edit]

Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright
with Bill Woodward, Prague
Prague
Winter: A personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948, Harper, 2012 Peter Bugge, Czech Democracy 1918–1938. Paragon or Parody?, in Bohemia, Vol 47, no. 1 2006/2007 Cole, Robert A. "Appeasing Hitler: The Munich
Munich
Crisis of 1938: A Teaching and Learning Resource," New England Journal of History (2010) 66#2 pp 1–30. Faber, David. Munich, 1938: Appeasement
Appeasement
and World War II
World War II
(2009) excerpt and text search Miller,Daniel E. Forging Political Compromise: Antonín Švehla and the Czechoslovak Republican Party, 1918–1933, University or Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Orzoff, Andrea. Battle for the Castne: Myth of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
in Europe, 1914–1948, Oxford University Press, 2009 Riggs, Bruce Timothy. "Geoffrey Dawson, editor of "The Times" (London), and his contribution to the appeasement movement" (PhD dissertation, U of North Texas, 1993) online, bibliography pp 229-33.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Munich
Munich
Agreement.

The Munich
Munich
Agreement – Text of the Munich
Munich
Agreement on-line The Munich
Munich
Agreement in contemporary radio news broadcasts – Actual radio news broadcasts documenting evolution of the crisis The Munich
Munich
Agreement Original reports from The Times British Pathe newsreel (includes Chamberlain's speech at Heston aerodrome) (Adobe Flash) Peace: And the Crisis Begins from a broadcast by Dorothy Thompson, 1 October 1938 Post-blogging the Sudeten Crisis – A day by day summary of the crisis Text of the 1942 exchange of notes nullifying the Munich
Munich
agreement Photocopy of The Munich
Munich
Agreement from Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts in Berlin
Berlin
(text in German) and from The National Archives in London
London
(map). Map of Europe during Munich
Munich
Agreement at omniatlas Dr. Quigley explains how Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
seized a stronger Czechoslovakia

v t e

Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
in World War II

Political representation

Czechoslovak government-in-exile Cabinet of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile

Military units and formations

Czechoslovak legions RAF Squadrons: 310 311 312 313 1st Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade Czechoslovak 11th Infantry Battalion First Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps

Resistance members

Adolf Opálka Jan Kubiš Jozef Gabčík Miloš Hájek Josef Mašín Jan Opletal Alois Eliáš František Moravec Karel Pavlík Josef Balabán Václav Morávek Abrahám Pressburger Josef Matoušek Jaroslav Čihák Otakar Jaroš Ján Golian Rudolf Pernický Bedřich Reicin Richard Tesařík Rudolf Viest Ludvík Svoboda Marie Ljalková

Resistance groups

Out Distance Three Kings

Resistance operations

Czech resistance to Nazi occupation Operation Anthropoid

Royal Air Force

Josef František František Fajtl Karel Kuttelwascher Alois Vašátko František Peřina Otto Smik Karel Janoušek

Battles

Syria-Lebanon Campaign Siege of Tobruk Battle of Sokolovo Battle of Kiev Battle of the Dukla Pass Slovak National Uprising Siege of Dunkirk Prague
Prague
Uprising Battle for Czech Radio Prague
Prague
Offensive

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 192819380 GND: 4170659-6 NDL: 00567914

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