Munich Pact


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Related to Munich Pact: Munich Pact of 1938

Munich Pact,

1938. In the summer of 1938, Chancellor Hitler of Germany began openly to support the demands of Germans living in the Sudetenland (see SudetesSudetes
, Czech Sudety, Ger. Sudeten, mountain range, along the border of the Czech Republic and Poland, extending c.185 mi (300 km) between the Elbe and Oder rivers. It is continued on the W by the Erzgebirge and on the E by the Carpathians.
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) of CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia
, Czech Československo , former federal republic, 49,370 sq mi (127,869 sq km), in central Europe. On Jan. 1, 1993, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (see Slovakia) became independent states and Czechoslovakia ceased to exist.
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 for an improved status. In September, Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudetenland. Disorders broke out in Czechoslovakia, and martial law was proclaimed. Meetings between Hitler and Prime Minister Neville ChamberlainChamberlain, Neville
(Arthur Neville Chamberlain), 1869–1940, British statesman; son of Joseph Chamberlain and half-brother of Sir Austen Chamberlain. The first half of his career was spent in business and, after 1911, in the city government of Birmingham, of which he
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 of Great Britain, first at Berchtesgaden and then at Bad Godesberg, failed to achieve a satisfactory agreement. War seemed unavoidable. After appeals by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Benito Mussolini, a conference met at Munich (Sept. 29). Great Britain was represented by Chamberlain and Halifax, France by Edouard Daladier and Georges Bonnet, Italy by Mussolini and Galeazzo Ciano, Germany by Hitler and Ribbentrop. Neither Czechoslovakia nor the Soviet Union, which had offered aid to the threatened country under the terms of a 1935 treaty, was invited to the conference. England and France quickly surrendered to Hitler's demands, and the Munich Pact was signed Sept. 30 (but dated Sept. 29). It permitted immediate occupation by Germany of the Sudetenland, but also provided for plebiscites, which were never carried out. France and Britain guaranteed the new Czechoslovak boundaries. When Chamberlain arrived in London, he announced that he had secured "peace in our time." Abandoned by its allies, Czechoslovakia gave in to the terms, and President Beneš, the target of Hitler's most venomous attacks, resigned. Poland and Hungary, for whose minorities promises had been made at Munich, were allowed to seize, respectively, the TeschenTeschen
, Czech Tĕšín, Pol. Cieszyn, former principality (c.850 sq mi/2,200 sq km), now divided between the Czech Republic and Poland. Teschen was its chief town.
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 district and parts of SlovakiaSlovakia
or the Slovak Republic,
Slovak Slovensko , republic (2005 est. pop. 5,431,000), 18,917 sq mi (48,995 sq km), central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic in the west, by Austria in the southwest, by Hungary in the south, by Ukraine in the east,
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. The Munich Pact became a symbol of appeasement and shook the confidence of Eastern Europeans in the good faith of the Western democracies. World War II began about one year after its signing.

Bibliography

See J. W. Wheeler-Bennett, Munich: Prologue to Tragedy (1948, repr. 1966); studies by K. Eubank (1963), F. L. Loewenheim, ed. (1965), and D. E. Lee, ed. (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
After the Munich pact, Western statesmen voiced support for appeasement; President Roosevelt sent Prime Minister Chamberlain a simple congratulation for the agreement: "Good man.
Top of the lots was the ceremonial brass desk belonging to Hitler, which the Nazi leader used at the signing of the Munich Pact, which preceded the Second World War.
Today, the United States and Israel are striving to consummate a Middle East version of the Munich Pact that will sell out the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and a real independent state of their own.
Capek (pronounced Chupek) was a Czech nationalist of growing international stature during the brief twenty-year span when his country existed as an independent nation free of Hapsburg control and before the Munich Pact destroyed its autonomy by delivering it to the Nazis.
However, his popularity waned when Hitler reneged on the Munich pact and Chamberlain was accused of being naive and duped by Hitler who never had any intention of sticking to his non-aggression pact.
Some of his compelling lithographs of the 1920s and '30s were published without pay in the New Masses, for example the devastating ``Peace in Our Time,'' which shows Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Britain addressing Parliament after the Munich Pact as poison gas floods the chamber and he and all his listeners wear gas masks that make them look like skulls.
Photos of the desk set, video interviews with McConn, as well as actual footage from the Munich Pact signing showing the desk set can also be found on the website.