When Hitler continued to make incendiary speeches calling for the reunification of the Germans in Czechoslovakia with their homeland, war seemed imminent. However, neither France nor Great Britain felt ready to defend Czechoslovakia and both tried to avoid a military confrontation with Germany at all costs. In France, the popular Front government had ended and on 8 April 1938 Edouard Daladier formed a new cabinet without socialist participation or communist support. Four days later, Le Temps, whose foreign policy was controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published an article by Joseph Barthelemy, a professor at the Paris Law School, in which he scrutinized the 1924 Franco-Czechoslovakian Treaty of Alliance and concluded that France was not obliged to go to war to save Czechoslovakia. Earlier, on 22 March, the Times of London had stated in an editorial by its publisher G.G. Dawson that Britain could not wage war to preserve Czech sovereignty over the Sudeten Germans without anticipating its wishes; Otherwise, « Britain may well be fighting the principle of self-determination. » « In the summer of 1938, Nazi construction against Czechoslovakia was progressing rapidly; And it was in September that the famous Munich crisis occurred, which shook Europe to the core. With the details of this crisis – Chamberlain`s meeting with Hitler in Bad Godesberg, his dramatic flight to Munich, his concession that Hitler should have the sudetens of Czechoslovakia, the Czech capitulation, the fall and flight of the Czech government, the occupation of much of Bohemia and Moravia by the Germans and the reduction of what remained of the Czechoslovakian Republic on the state of defenceless dependence of Germany – we are familiar. European history is no more tragic than Munich`s. I still remember it very well; because I was in Prague at the time, and I will never forget the sight of people crying in the streets when the news of what had happened came on the loudspeakers. George F. Kennan was Director of the State Department`s Policy Planning Staff from 1947 to 1949. In his book Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin (1960), he wrote about the Munich Agreement: « The Munich Agreement was a tragically misunderstood and desperate act of appeasement at the expense of the Czechoslovakian state, led by Chamberlain and The French Prime Minister Daladier, in the vain hope of satisfying Hitler`s turbulent ambition and thus guaranteeing a peaceful future for Europe.
We now know that this was not necessary – useless because the Czech defence was very strong, and if the Czechs had decided to fight, they could have resisted significantly; Even more useless, because the German generals, aware of Germany`s relative weakness at the time, were in fact prepared to attempt Hitler`s impeachment at the time and there, if he persisted stubbornly in doing things until the war. It is the fact that the Western powers and the Czechoslovakian government gave in at the last moment and that Hitler again won a bloodless triumph, depriving the generals of any excuse for such an approach. We see again, as is often the case in history, that it is sometimes worth dealing with one`s own problems, contemptuous of man, even if there is no certain victory in sight. Before leaving Munich, Chamberlain and Hitler signed a document in which they explained their common desire to settle disputes through consultations to ensure peace. Daladier and Chamberlain both returned home to welcome exhilarating and acclaimed people, relieved that the danger of war had passed, and Chamberlain told the British public that he had « achieved peace with honour. I believe that this is peace for our time. His words were immediately defied by his greatest critic, Winston Churchill, who declared: « They had a choice between war and dishonour. You chose the disenchred, and you`re going to go to war. Indeed, Chamberlain`s policy was discredited the following year, when Hitler annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia in March, and then triggered World War II with the invasion of Poland in Sept.