Friday, 13 April 2012


Map of the former ethnic German majority (highlighted in black) regions (popularly called Sudetenland during theinterbellum) on a territorial map of the current Czech Republic.

Sudeten Crisis :The increasing aggressiveness of Hitler prompted the Czechoslovak military to build extensiveCzechoslovak border fortifications starting in 1936 to defend the troubled border region.Immediately after the Anschluss of Austria into the Third Reich in March 1938, Hitler made himself the advocater of ethnic Germans living in Czechoslovakia, triggering the "Sudeten Crisis". The following month, Sudeten Nazis, led by Konrad Henlein, agitated for autonomy. On 24 April 1938 the SdP proclaimed the Karlovy Vary Programme (Karlsbader Programm), which demanded in eight points the complete equality between the Sudetengermans and the Czech people. The government accepted these claims on June 30, 1937.[In August, UK Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, sent Lord Runciman to Czechoslovakia in order to see if he could obtain a settlement between the Czechoslovak government and the Germans in the Sudetenland. Lord Runciman's first day included meetings with President Beneš and Prime Minister Milan Hodža as well as a direct meeting with the Sudeten Germans from Henlein's SdP. On the next day he met with Dr and Mme Beneš and later met non-Nazi Germans in his hotel A full account of his report — including summaries of the conclusions of his meetings with the various parties — which he made in person to the Cabinet on his return to Britain is found in the Document CC 39(38). Lord Runciman expressed sadness that he could not bring about agreement with the various parties, but he agreed with Lord Halifax that the time gained was important. He reported on the situation of the Sudeten Germans, and he gave details of four plans which had been proposed to deal with the crisis, each of which had points which, he reported, made it unacceptable to the other parties to the negotiations. The four were: Transfer of the Sudetenland to the Reich; hold a plebiscite on the transfer of the Sudetenland to the Reich, organize a Four Power Conference on the matter, create a federal Czechoslovakia. At the meeting, he said that he was very reluctant to offer his own solution; he had not seen this as his task. The most that he said was that the great centres of opposition were in Eger and Asch, in the north-western corner of Bohemia, which contained about 800,000 Germans and very few others. He did say that the transfer of these areas to Germany would almost certainly be a good thing; however, he did add that the Czechoslovak army would certainly oppose this very strongly, and that Dr. Beneš had said that they would fight rather than accept it
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden on 15 September and agreed to the cession of the Sudetenland. Three days later, French Prime MinisterÉdouard Daladier did the same. No Czechoslovak representative was invited to these discussions.Chamberlain met Hitler in Godesberg on September 22 to confirm the agreements. Hitler however, aiming to use the crisis as a pretext for war, now demanded not only the annexation of the Sudetenland but the immediate military occupation of the territories, giving the Czechoslovak army no time to adapt their defence measures to the new borders. To achieve a solution, Italian dictatorBenito Mussolini suggested a conference of the major powers in Munich and on September 29, Hitler, Daladier and Chamberlain met and agreed to Mussolini's proposal (actually prepared byHermann Göring) and signed the Munich Agreement, accepting the immediate occupation of the Sudetenland. The Czechoslovak government, though not party to the talks, submitted to compulsion and promised to abide by the agreement on September 30.The Sudetenland was relegated to Germany between October 1 and October 10, 1938. The Czech part of Czechoslovakia was subsequently invaded by Germany in March 1939, with a portion being annexed and the remainder turned into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The Slovak part declared its independence from Czechoslovakia, becoming the Slovak Republic (Slovak State), a satellite state and ally of Nazi Germany. (Ruthenian part — Subcarpathian Rus — made also an attempt to declare its sovereignty as Carpatho-Ukraine but only with ephemeral success. This area was annexed by Hungary.)Part of the borderland was also invaded and annexed by Poland
Read More about the Sudetenland @

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