The Munich Agreement Cartoon

The New York Times made the front page of the Munich agreement: “Hitler receives less than his claims from the Sudetenland,” and reports that a “joyful crowd” had applauded Daladier on his return to France and that Chamberlain had been “wildly applauded” upon his return to the UK. [54] On September 15, 1938, In the face of high tensions between the Germans and the Czechoslovakian government, the heirs secretly proposed giving 6,000 square kilometres to Czechoslovakia to Germany, in exchange for a German accession agreement of 1.5 to 2.0 million South German Germans that would expel Czechoslovakia. Hitler did not respond. [13] The Munich quotation in foreign policy debates is also common in the 21st century. [107] During negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal by Secretary of State John Kerry, a Republican representative from Texas called the negotiations “worse than Munich.” In a speech in France, Kerry himself referred to Munich for military action in Syria: “This is our munich moment.” [108] The slogan “Above us, without us!” (Czech: O n`s bez n`s!) sums up the feelings of the Czechoslovakian population (Slovakia and the Czech Republic) towards the agreement. [Citation required] On its way to Germany, Czechoslovakia (as the state was renamed) lost its reasonable border with Germany and its fortifications. Without it, its independence became more nominal than more real. The agreement also caused Czechoslovakia to lose 70% of its steel industry, 70% of its electricity and 3.5 million citizens to Germany. [61] The Sudeten Germans celebrated what they saw as their liberation. The impending war, it seemed, had been averted. As the threats to Germany and the European war have become increasingly evident, opinions have changed. Chamberlain was awarded for his role as one of the “Men of Munich” in books such as the Guilty Men of 1940.

A rare defence of the wartime accord came in 1944 from Viscount Maugham, who had been the Lord`s chancellor. Maugham regarded the decision to establish a Czechoslovakian state with large German and Hungarian minorities as a “dangerous experiment” in the face of previous disputes and described the agreement, which stemmed mainly from the need for France to free itself from its contractual obligations in the face of its vagueness to war. [63] After the war, Churchill`s memoirs of that time, The Gathering Storm (1948), claimed that Chamberlain`s appeasement of Hitler had been wrong in Munich, and noted Churchill`s pre-war warnings about Hitler`s plan of attack and Britain`s folly of disarmament after Germany reached air parity with Britain. While acknowledging that Chamberlain was acting for noble reasons, Churchill argued that Hitler should have resisted in Czechoslovakia and that efforts had to be made to involve the Soviet Union. The agreement was widely welcomed. French Prime Minister Daladier did not believe, as one scholar put it, that a European war was justified “to keep three million Germans under Czech sovereignty.” But the same is true for Alsace-Lorraine, unlike the alliance between France and Czechoslovakia against German aggression. Gallup Polls, in Britain, France and the United States, said the majority of the population supported the agreement. In 1939, Czechoslovakian President Beneé was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. [52] On 22 September Chamberlain, who wanted to go to Bad Godesberg for further conversations just before his plane to Germany, told the press who met him there that “my goal is peace in Europe, I hope this journey is the way to that peace.” [32] Chamberlain came to Cologne, where he received a big reception with a German band that played “God Save the King” and Germans who offered flowers and gifts to Chamberlain. [32] Chamberlain had calculated that full acceptance of the German annexation of all Sudetenland without reduction would force Hitler to accept the agreement. [32] When Hitler found out, he replied, “Does this mean that the Allies have accepted the transfer of the Sudetenland to Germany?”

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