1938 Agreement Signed At Munich

The American historian William L. Shirer estimated in his “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” (1960) that Czechoslovakia, although Hitler was not bluffing about its intention to invade, could have resisted considerably. Shirer believed that Britain and France had sufficient air defence to avoid severe bombing of London and Paris, and could have waged a swift and fruitful war against Germany. [66] He quotes Churchill as saying that the agreement means that “Britain and France are in a much worse position than Hitler`s Germany.” [61] After personally inspecting the Czech fortifications, Hitler privately told Joseph Goebbels that “we shed a lot of blood” and that it was fortunate that there had been no fighting. [67] A certified photocopy of Agreement 3 signed by Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier and Mussolini can be found in the National Archives. The file in which the agreement appears contains additional elements, including a note interpreting the meaning of certain terms used in the German version. 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. This was the culmination of the policy of appeasement. Six months later, Hitler stopped his promises and ordered his armies to invade Prague. Within a year, Britain and France were at war with Germany. The Czechoslovakians were appalled by the colony of Munich. They were not invited to the conference and felt betrayed by the British and French governments. Many Czechs and Slovaks describe the Munich agreement as a Munich diktat (Czech: Mnichovska diktéta); in Slovak: Mnechovska diktét).

The phrase “Munich betrayal” (Czech: Mnichovska zrada; In Slovak: Mnechovska zrada) is also used because Czechoslovakia`s military alliance with France proved useless. This is also reflected in the fact that the French government, in particular, had considered that Czechoslovakia would be held responsible for any European war that would result if the Czechoslovak Republic defended itself by force against German abuses. In 1938, the Soviet Union was allied with France and Czechoslovakia. In September 1939, the Soviets were in every respect a fighter with Nazi Germany, due to Stalin`s fears that a second Munich agreement with the Soviet Union would replace Czechoslovakia. Thus, the agreement indirectly contributed to the outbreak of war in 1939. [60] The British public expected an imminent war and Chamberlain`s “statesman`s gesture” was initially applauded. He was greeted as a hero by the royal family and invited to the balcony of Buckingham Palace before submitting the agreement to the British Parliament. The general positive reaction quickly re-established despite the royal patronage. However, there was resistance from the beginning. Clement Attlee and labor rejected the deal in alliance with the two Conservative MPs Duff Cooper and Vyvyan Adams, who until then had been seen as a hard and reactionary element in the Conservative party. Adolf Hitler welcomes Neville Chamberlain upon the arrival of the British Prime Minister in Munich on 29 September 1938. Chamberlain (1869-1940), British Prime Minister from May 1937 to May 1940, was the British leader in the appeasement of Nazi Germany in the late 1930s.