Runciman Mission of 1938

Runciman Mission of 1938

 

an unofficial British mission headed by Lord Runciman to Czechoslovakia from Aug. 3 to Sept. 16, 1938.

The Runciman mission mediated the negotiations between the Czechoslovak government and the Sudeten German fascist party founded by K. Heinlein, which led to the partition of Czechoslovakia. Runciman supported Heinlein and his followers, who collaborated with Hitler, in their demand for autonomy for the Sudetenland. On Sept. 7, 1938, he secured the Czechoslovak government’s acceptance of a plan that would create German and Hungarian regions within Czechoslovakia, a plan that seriously undermined Czechoslovakia’s integrity.

After his return to Great Britain, Runciman, in his report to N. Chamberlain, head of the British government, insisted that the Sudetenland—an age-old Czech area—be ceded to Germany. The Runciman mission was a link in the appeasement policy that led to the Munich Pact of 1938 and that allowed the fascist bloc to unleash World War II.

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