Munich Agreement 1938 (Part One)

On the 30th of September, the Czech Republic commemorates a very sad event in the Czech history and that is the signing of Munich Agreement in 1938. Seventy years have passed already since this dreadful moment. It may seem as a century already but people in the Czech Republic will probably never forget this moment. In fact, this Munich “Agreement” is rather called Munich Dictate or Munich Betrayal by many Czechs. Why? And what was this agreement about?

On the 29th of September, 1938, the representatives of four major European powers at that time met in Munich, Germany. Present were French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini and the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. Those guys came all the way to Munich to discuss and solve the territorial demands the Nazi Germany wanted from Czechoslovakia. Surprisingly enough, no one from the Czechoslovak government was invited to this meeting.

Hitler required the so called Sudetenland, which was a Czechoslovak territory all along its borders where Germans had lived peacefully for centuries together with Czechs and Slovaks. Czechoslovak government naturally did not want to give up the Czechoslovak territory. Actually, Czechoslovak people were ready to fight for its territorial sovereignty. However, Czechoslovak army was too small to face Nazi Germany by its own. That is why Czechoslovak leaders counted with the help from France, with which they had an alliance. Unfortunately for the Czechs, appeasement was the policy number one at that time.

Both Daladier and Chamberlain wanted to avoid another war at any costs. They believed that Sudetenland was the last Hitler’s territorial demand and that by agreeing to Hitler’s proposal, there will be peace in the whole Europe. This was, of course, a very false assumption. The war came in just a few months afterwards.

Munich Agreement Part Two

© 2008 |