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Essay/Term paper: The sudetenland

Essay, term paper, research paper:  World War

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on World War: The Sudetenland, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

On January 30, 1933, the Nazis acquired mastery of Germany when Adolf

Hitler was appointed chancellor. That evening Hitler stood triumphantly

in the window of the Reich Chancellery waving to thousands of storm

troopers who staged parades throughout the streets of Berlin. The Nazis

proclaimed that their Third Reich would be the greatest civilization in

history and would last for thousands of years. But the meteoric rise of

Hitler and national socialism was followed by an almost equally rapid

defeat; the Third Reich survived for a mere twelve years. But one of the

main causes of World War II was Hitler"s public justification for the

dismemberment of the Czech state through either war or diplomacy was the

plight of the 3.5 million ethnic Germans the Treaty of Versailles had

left inside Czechoslovakia. The main land that Hitler wanted to annex to

Germany was that of the Sudetenland, where most of the people living

there were of German origin. The land also bordered Germany to the South

East, and Germany was prepared to conquer this land at all cost.

"And now before us stands the last problem that must be solved and will

be solved It (the Sudetenland) is the last territorial claim which I

have to make in Europe, but it is the claim from which I will not

recede…" - Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin, September 26 1938, just

prior to the Munich conference.

Most of the German minorities live in Sudetenland, an economically

valuable and strategically important area along the Czech border with

Germany and Austria. The grievances of the Sudeten Germans against the

Czech state had led to the rise of a strong German nationalist movement

in the Sudetenland. By the mid -1930"s, this movement had the support of

almost 70 percent of the Sudeten German population. Their leader, the

pro-Nazi Konrad Heinlen, began demanding autonomy for this region Both

the real and contrived problems of the Sudeten Germans added credibility

to Hitler"s charge that they were denied the right of self-determination

and lived as an oppressed minority, which he was obligated to defend In

the spring of 1938, Heinlein was directed by Hitler to make demands that

the Czechs could not accept, thereby giving Germany a reason to

intervene. The Czech situation soon turned into an international crisis

that dominated the European scene for the rest of that current year.

The weekend which began on Friday, May 20, 1938, developed into a

critical one and would later be remembered as the "May crisis." During

the ensuing forty-eight hours, the Governments in London, Paris, Prague

and Moscow were panicked into the belief that Europe stood nearer to

war than it had at any time since the summer of 1914. This may have been

largely due to the possibility that new plans for a German attack on

Czechoslovakia called "Case Green" which were drawn up for him, got

leaked out. Hitler had begun to prepare an attack on the Sudetenland.

The target date was the beginning of October. He was prepared to employ

an army of ninety-six divisions. The Czechoslovak Government, aware of

Hitler"s intentions but uncertain when the blow would fall, ordered a

partial mobilization on May 21. Hitler was outraged, explaining to his

generals that he had offered no threat and was being treated with

contempt. He had been humiliated, and no one yet humiliated him with

impunity. His rage against Czechoslovakia increased, and on May 30 he

issued a secret directive to his high command: "It is my unalterable

decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future."

All through the summer Britain, France and the Soviet Union were aware

that Hitler planned to strike at the Sudetenland and perhaps the whole

of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovaks had an excellent intelligence

system with Germany and knew from day to day what Hitler was planning.

Germany also had an excellent intelligence system, and in addition it

had in Konrad Henlein, the National Socialist leader in the Sudetenland,

a man who would stop at nothing to produce an insurrection or an act of

deliberate provocation against the Czechoslovak Government. The German

newspapers were filled with accounts of mass arrests of innocent men and

women in the Sudetenland, and there were the inevitable circumstantial

stories "by our correspondent." Nonexistent people in nonexistent

villages were being slaughtered. The Czechoslovak Government attempted

to refute some of these stories but gave up in despair. Hitler ordered a

massive propaganda barrage against Czechoslovakia to prepare the German

people for the October invasion.

On September 12th at Nuremberg, Hitler went as close to declaring war

against Czechoslovakia as possible without actually signing the order to

his troops to advance into enemy territory. He cried out that the

Czechoslovak Government was using all of its means possible to

annihilate the 3.5 million Sudeten Germans. He claimed that these people

were being deprived of their rights, for example, they were not

permitted to sing German songs or to wear white stockings. If indeed

they went through with any of these crimes they were brutally struck

down. Although the tone was ferociously threatening, he gave no examples

of atrocities, perhaps because there were none. "The misery of the

Sudeten Germans is without end," he declared. He then went on to promise

that Germany would take care of her own and put an end to the continued

oppression of 3.5 million Germans. "I hope that the foreign statesman

will be convinced that these are not mere words," he added ominously.

This incredible declaration caused all of Europe to scramble and

mobilize its respective armies. Hitler was demanding the direct

annexation of the Sudetenland by the Reich, hinting that if necessary,

he would resort to war. The Prime Minister of Britain, Neville

Chamberlain was particularly distressed by the reports coming out of

Germany. Feeling that quick action was necessary, he sent off a

seven-line telegram to Hitler:

Having regard to the increasingly critical situation, I propose to visit

you immediately in order to make an attempt to find a peaceful solution.

I come to you by air and am ready to leave tomorrow. Please inform me of

the earliest time you can receive me, and tell me the place of meeting.

I should be grateful for a very early reply.

Neville Chamberlain

Hitler accepted Chamberlain and following an entire days talks with

Hitler, an exhausted Chamberlain flew back to London to consult with his

colleagues. Over the next week, Chamberlain met many more times with

Hitler. However, there was still a discrepancy over the exact date when

the evacuation would begin. On September 29th, 1938 the Munich

Conference was held. It was attended by representatives of France,

Italy, Germany and Britain. During the course of this conference a pact

was drawn up and signed by all the representatives of the respective


Secret Reich Affairs


reached between Germany the United Kingdom

France and Italy,

in Munich on 29 September 1938

Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, taking into consideration

the agreement, which has already been reached in principle for the

cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory, have agreed on the

following terms and conditions governing the said cession and the

measures consequent thereon, and by this agreement they each hold

themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure its


1. The evacuation will begin on the 1st October.

2. The United Kingdom, France and Italy agree that the evacuation of

the territory shall be completed by October 10th, without any existing

installations having been destroyed and that the Czechoslovak Government

will be held responsible for carrying out the evacuation without damage

to the said installations.


7. There shall be the right of option into and out of the transferred

territories, the option to be exercised within six months from the date

of this agreement. A German-Czechoslovak commission shall determine the

details of the option, consider ways of facilitating the transfer of

population and settle questions of principle arising out of the said


8.The Czechoslovak Government will within a period of 4 weeks

from the date of this agreement release from their

military and police forces any Sudeten Germans who may wish to be

released, and the Czechoslovak Government will within the same period

release Sudeten German prisoners who are serving terms of imprisonment

for political offenses.

Munich, September 29, 1938




The date set in the pact for the beginning of Czechoslovakian

evacuation of the territory was October 1st 1938, and German occupation

of four specified districts was to take place in successive stages

between October 1 and 7. Additional territories of predominantly German

population were to be specified by an international commission composed

of delegates from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and

Czechoslovakia, and those territories were to be occupied by Germany by

October 10th. The international commission was also to determine and

occupy areas in which plebiscites were to be held and fix a date for

such plebiscites no later than the end of November. The plebiscites,

however, were never held. It was also agreed that if the claims of

Hungarian and Polish minorities in Czechoslovakia were not settled in

three months, a new conference was to be convened. Great Britain and

France agreed, in an annex to the pact, to guarantee the new boundaries

of Czechoslovakia against aggression, as did Germany.

The night of the Munich conference Chamberlain slept in Munich, and in

the morning he called on Hitler to sign the Anglo-German agreement.

After all that Chamberlain had done for Hitler he felt that the least he

could demand of Hitler was a declaration of peaceful intentions toward

England. Hitler signed the document without any particular show of

interest, since for him the "method of consultation" was totally

meaningless. Chamberlain returned to England in triumph, waving the

letter to cheerful crowds, believing that the peace of Europe was

assured for a generation. The belief was not shared by Hitler who

despised Chamberlain as a weakling. "Our enemies are little worms," he

said a year later. "I saw them at Munich."

In conclusion, Hitler"s victory was complete: the Sudetenland was his.

While there were still a few minor details to sort out, Adolf Hilter had

gotten what he had come for. However, in March 1939, the Munich pact was

nullified when the Germans invaded Czecho-Slovakia and subsequently made

most of the country a German protectorate.


Payne, Robert. The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. Praeger Publishers

Inc., 1973. Library of congress catalog card number: 72-92891.

Shirer, William L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Simon &

Schuster, Inc., 1960. Library of congress catalog card number:


Bendersky, Joseph W. A History of Nazi Germany. Nelson-Hall Inc., 1985.

Library of congress catalog card number:


Microsoft Encarta. Munich Pact. Microsoft/Funk & Wagnall"s corporation,


Kohn, Hans. The Mind of Germany. Harper & Row Publishers, 1965. Library

of congress catalog number:


Bessel, Richard. Life in the Third Reich. Oxford University Press, 1987.

Library of congress catalog number:


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