The week of October 1st 1938 marked the beginning of the German occupation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. The signing of the Munich agreement in days prior allowed this to occur.
In modern politics, the Munich Conference, held from September 29 to September 30, 1939, by Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Benito Mussolini and Édouard Daladier, remained a remarkable example of failed geo-political intentions to keep peace for the sake of small European nations. Appeasement of Nazi-German territorial expansion resulted in dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and by no means prevented the outbreak of the Second World War, one year later.
From 1918 to 1938, after disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and until October 1938, more than 3 million ethnic Germans lived in the Czech part of the newly created state of Czechoslovakia.
Konrad Henlein, pro-Nazi leader of Sudeten Germans, founded the Nazi-oriented Front of Sudeten German Homeland (SdP) in 1933. By 1935, the SdP became the second largest political party in Czechoslovakia. Shortly after the Anschluss of Austria, Henlein met with Hitler in Berlin on 28 March 1938, where he was instructed to raise demands unacceptable to the Czechoslovak government led by President Edvard Beneš. On 24 April, the SdP issued a series of demands upon the government of Czechoslovakia that were known as the Carlsbad Program.
On September 12th 1938, Hitler denounced Czechoslovakia as being a fraudulent state that was in violation of international law's emphasis of national self-determination, claiming that it was a Czech hegemony where neither the Germans, the Slovaks, the Hungarians, the Ukrainians nor the Poles of the country actually wanted to be in a union with the Czechs. Hitler accused Czechoslovakia's President Edvard Beneš of seeking to gradually exterminate the Sudeten Germans, claiming that since Czechoslovakia's creation over 600,000 Germans were allegedly intentionally forced out of their homes under the threat of starvation if they did not leave. Hitler accused the government of Czechoslovakia of being a client regime of France, claiming that the French Minister of Aviation, Pierre Cot had said "We need this state as a base from which to drop bombs with greater ease to destroy Germany's economy and its industry."
A deal was reached on September 29th at about 1:30 am on September 30th 1938 Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Benito Mussolini and Édouard Daladier signed the Munich Agreement. The agreement was officially introduced by Mussolini although in fact the so-called Italian plan had been prepared in the German Foreign Office. The German army was to complete the occupation of the Sudetenland by October 10th 1938 and an international commission would decide the future of other disputed areas.
Czechoslovakia was informed by Britain and France that it could either resist Nazi Germany alone or submit to the prescribed annexations. The Czechoslovak government, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, reluctantly capitulated (30 September) and agreed to abide by the Agreement. The settlement gave Germany Sudetenland starting 10 October and de facto control over the rest of Czechoslovakia as long as Hitler promised to go no further.
Czechoslovakian were greatly dismayed with the Munich Settlement. With Sudetenland gone to Germany, Czechoslovakia lost its defensible, well-fortified border with Germany. Czech sovereignty became more nominal than real.
Neville Chamberlain, announced the deal at Heston Aerodrome upon arrival to Great Britain as follows:
"... the settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: ' ... We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again."
Historians continue to speculate whether or not the war remained inevitable had Poland succumbed to German demands and ceded the Danzig Corridor to Germany in August of 1939.
From the events mentioned above, the following proverb fits this narrative: