Munich Pact(redirected from Munich Agreement)
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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.
..... Click the link for more information. ) 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. district and parts of SlovakiaSlovakia
or the Slovak Republic,
Slovak Slovensko , republic (2015 est. pop. 5,439,000), 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,
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
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).