April 15th, 2021

What Did Churchill Think Of The Munich Agreement


Again, what happened in Warsaw? The British and French ambassadors visited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Colonel Beck, or attempted to visit him to demand some weakening of the harsh measures taken against Czechoslovakia with regard to teches. The door was closed to them, the French ambassador did not even receive an audience and the British ambassador received a very curious response from a political director. The whole is described in the Polish press as a political indiscretion of these two powers, and we read today the success of Colonel Beck`s coup. I do not forget, I must say that it has been less than twenty years since the British and French bayonets saved Poland from the bondage of a century and a half. I think this is indeed a sad episode in the history of this country, for the freedom and rights of which so many of us have had warm and long sympathy. When I think of the right hopes for a long peace, which was still before Europe in early 1933, when Mr Hitler first took power, and all the possibilities of stopping the growth of the Nazi power thrown away, when I think of the immense combinations and resources that have been neglected or wasted, I cannot believe that there is a parallel in the course of history. On 29 September, when Chamberlain travelled to Munich for the third time to meet Hitler, he entered a 14-hour hearing in the middle of the night. As part of the agreement, the German-speaking regions of the Sudetenland should be admitted to the Empire and hire an international plebiscite commission elsewhere along the border. Chamberlain and Hitler also signed the Anglo-German declaration affirming “the desire of our two peoples never to go to war again.” The Prime Minister has returned home as a national hero. This week 1938, Winston Churchill gave one of the most remarkable speeches of the twentieth century, his condemnation of the Munich Accords. In the agreement, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreed to allow Adolf Hitler`s Germany to annex the Sudetenland, a German-dominated province of Czechoslovakia.

Hitler had already revealed his hatred of the Jews and his imperial ambitions in Europe. But Chamberlain believed that the admission of Hitler`s claims could help prevent another catastrophic European war that ravaged the continent two decades earlier. (The FDR privately condemned Chamberlain`s weakness, but publicly assured Hitler that the United States had no intention of intervening.) Churchill`s great disagreements with John Simon and Chamberlain necessitated war with Germany to defend Czechoslovakia.

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