What Are Two Reasons Kennan Felt The Munich Agreement Was Unnecessary
“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. “The Munich Agreement was a tragically misunderstood and desperate act of appeasement at the expense of the Czechoslovakian state, led by Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Daladier, in the vain hope of satisfying Hitler`s turbulent ambition and thus securing 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. 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.” 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 Accords: on 22 September, Chamberlain flew again to Germany and met Hitler in Bad Godesberg, where he learned with dismay that Hitler had hardened his demands: he now wanted the Sudetenland and Czechoslovaks, occupied by the German army, to be evacuated from the area by 28 September. Chamberlain agreed to submit the new proposal to the Czechoslovaks, who rejected it, as did the British cabinet and the French.