THE END OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA- MARCH 1939
The end of Czechoslovakia
(i) The Nazis began agitation within ethnic groups, for their own "liberation"
(ii) In February of 1939 the Slovak state grew restless and problematic.
(iii) On March 9th, the Czechoslovakian government dismissed the local
Slovak government, and troops prepared
to move in to keep order.
(iv) Hitler continued to recognize the independence of the Slovak
state, and kept stirring them up.
(v) On March 13th, Hitler's troops moved in to "aid" the Slovaks.
(vi) Hitler told the PM to sign away Czechoslovakian independence or face invasion. With no help coming, he signed.
March 15, 1939 Czechoslovakia became a German "protectorate."
As a result of the preceding events:
- Hitler lost all credibility as someone interested in peace.
- The British claimed their guarantee to Czechoslovakia was no longer valid, since the country no longer officially existed.
- The love of Appeasement was finished. There was an anti-appeasement
movement growing in Britain.
- Rearmarment started...slowly.
- Europe realized that future negotiations with
Hitler would have to be backed with force.
- The British and French would make promises to Poland because of shame over Czechoslovakia.
In October 1938 appeasement (according to Chamberlain) had
been a complete success.
Yet shortly after the takeover of Czechoslovakia Chamberlain would make his
famous confession that "everything that I had worked for in my
public life lies in ruins."
had been right all along - i.e. the way to deal with Hitler was with
The very word 'Munich' has become synonymous with
weakness and shame.