The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/french/foreign-office/yellow-book-documents.001


Archive/File: orgs/french/foreign-office/yellow-book-documents.001
Last-Modified: 1997/10/19
                              
                  PART ONE
     
            The Munich Agreement and its
                    Application
                              
       (September 29-October 4, 1938)
                              
                   No. 12
                              
    Agreement concluded at Munich, September 29,
      1938, between Germany, Great Britain, France and
                       Italy
                              
     GERMANY,  the United Kingdom, France and Italy,  taking
into  consideration the agreement, which  has  been  already
reached  in  principle for the cession  to  Germany  of  the
Sudeten German territory, have agreed on the following terms
and  conditions governing the said cession and the  measures
consequent  thereon, and by this agreement  they  each  hold
themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure its
fulfillment:
     (1) The evacuation will begin on 1st October.
     (2) The United Kingdom, France and Italy agree that the
evacuation of the territory shall be completed by  the  10th
October,  without  any  existing installations  having  been
destroyed, and that the Czechoslovak Government will be held
responsible  for carrying out the evacuation without  damage
to the said installations.
     (3)  The  conditions governing the evacuation  will  be
laid  down in detail by an international commission composed
of  representatives of Germany, the United Kingdom,  France,
Italy and Czechoslovakia.
     (4)  The  occupation  by stages  of  the  predominantly
German territory by German troops will begin on 1st October.
The  four  territories marked on the attached  map  will  be
occupied by German troops in the following order:
     The  territory  marked No. I on  the  1st  and  2nd  of
October; the territory marked No. II on the 2nd and  3rd  of
October;  the territory marked No. III on the 3rd,  4th  and
5th  of October; the territory marked No. IV on the 6th  and
7th  of  October. The remaining territory of  preponderantly
German character will be ascertained by the
     
[9]
                              
aforesaid international commission forthwith and be occupied
by German troops by the 10th of October.
     (5)   The  international  commission  referred  to   in
paragraph  3  will  determine the  territories  in  which  a
plebiscite is to be held. These territories will be occupied
by  international  bodies  until  the  plebiscite  has  been
completed.  The same commission will fix the  conditions  in
which  the  plebiscite is to be held, taking as a basis  the
conditions of the Saar plebiscite. The commission will  also
fix a date, not later than the end of November, on which the
plebiscite will be held.
     (6)  The  final determination of the frontiers will  be
carried  out by the international commission. The commission
will  also  be  entitled to recommend to  the  four  Powers,
Germany,  the United Kingdom, France and Italy,  in  certain
exceptional  cases,  minor  modifications  in  the  strictly
ethnographical determination of the zones which  are  to  be
transferred without plebiscite
     (7) There will be a right of option into and out of the
transferred  territories, the option to be exercised  within
six  months  from  the  date of this  agreement.  A  German-
Czechoslovak commission shall determine the details  of  the
option,  consider  ways  of  facilitating  the  transfer  of
population and settle questions of principle arising out  of
the said transfer.
     (8) The Czechoslovak Government will within a period of
four  weeks  from  the date of this agreement  release  from
their military and police forces any Sudeten Germans who may
wish  to  be released, and the Czechoslovak Government  will
within the same period release Sudeten German prisoners  who
are serving terms of imprisonment for political offences.

      Munich, September 29, 1938.
ADOLF HITLER,
                                                    NEVILLE
CHAMBERLAIN,
                                                    EDOUARD
DALADIER,
                                                    BENITO
MUSSOLINI.
g
                   No. 1
                              
           Annex to the Agreement
                              
     HIS  MAJESTY's GOVERNMENT in the United Kingdom and the
French  Government have entered into the above agreement  on
the  basis  that  they  stand by  the  offer,  contained  in
paragraph  6  of  the  Anglo-French proposals  of  the  19th
September, relating to an international guar-
     
[10]
     
antee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak State
against unprovoked aggression.
     When   the   question  of  the  Polish  and   Hungarian
minorities  in Czechoslovakia has been settled, Germany  and
Italy   for   their   part  will   give   a   guarantee   to
Czechoslovakia.

      Munich, September 29, 1938.
ADOLF HITLER,
                                                    NEVILLE
CHAMBERLAIN,
                                                    EDOUARD
DALADIER,
                                                    Benito
MUSSOLINI.
g
                   No. 2
     
                Declaration
                              
     THE HEADS of the Governments of the four Powers declare
that the problems of the Polish and Hungarian minorities  in
Czechoslovakia,  if  not  settled  within  three  months  by
agreement between the respective Governments, shall form the
subject  of  another meeting of the Heads of the Governments
of the four Powers here present.

      Munich, September 29, 1938.
ADOLF HITLER,
                                                    NEVILLE
CHAMBERLAIN,
                                                    EDOUARD
DALADIER,
                                                    Benito
MUSSOLINI.
g
                   No. 3
     
         Supplementary Declaration
                              
     ALL questions which may arise out of the transfer of
the territory shall be considered as coming within the terms
of reference to the international commission.
      Munich, September 29, 1938.
ADOLF HITLER,
                                                    NEVILLE
CHAMBERLAIN,
                                                    EDOUARD
DALADIER,
                                                    Benito
MUSSOLINI.
g
                   No. 4
     
          Composition of the International
                     Commission
                              
     THE four Heads of Governments here present agree that
the international commission provided for in the agreement
signed by them to-day
     
[11]
                              
shall consist of the Secretary of State in the German
Foreign Office, the British, French and Italian Ambassadors
accredited in Berlin, and a representative to be nominated
by the Government of Czechoslovakia.

      Munich, September 29, 1938.
ADOLF HITLER,
                                                    NEVILLE
CHAMBERLAIN,
                                                    EDOUARD
DALADIER,
                                                    Benito
MUSSOLINI.
g
                   No. 13
     
M. EDOUARD DALADIER, President of the Council, Minister
of National
   Defence and War,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Munich, September 30,
1938, 330 a.m.
g
     
     PLEASE transmit most urgently to Prague:
     The  text of the agreement which has been concluded to-
night by the four Powers in Munich has been communicated  by
the British Prime Minister and M. Daladier to M. Mastny. The
latter  will  leave this morning at 6 a.m. by aeroplane  for
Prague.
     M. Ashton Gwatkin, who accompanies M. Mastny, will give
you,  simultaneously with the French text of this  document,
the attached map.
     You  should as a matter of extreme urgency get in touch
with  M.  Benes  in order to make sure of his  agreement.  I
request you to express to him my deep emotion at the end  of
these  negotiations-and to assure him that it was not by  my
choice that no representative of Czechoslovakia was present.
I  have no doubt, however painful the sacrifices imposed  by
the present situation, that M. Benes will agree with me that
it is of the highest importance, whilst safeguarding for the
future  the  essential conditions enabling  his  country  to
retain  its  faith in its destiny, to save the  Czechoslovak
nation from the more redoubtable trial of war.
                   No. 14
                              
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. V. DE LACROIX, French Minister in Prague.
                                                 Paris,
October 2, 1938.
g
     PLEASE make an immediate communication to M. Krofta  to
express the sentiments of profound sympathy with which, from
hour to hour,
     
[12]
     
I  have  followed his noble and courageous personal handling
of  the situation during so painful a national trial. Please
assure  him of the admiration felt by myself and by  all  my
countrymen   for   the  strength  of   character   and   the
incomparable self-control shown by all Czechoslovak leaders,
whose  clear-sightedness has done so much to  protect  their
country from the horrors of war. Will you assure him  of  my
most loyal personal friendship and of my desire to help  him
to the best of my ability in the constructive task which now
lies  before him. The dignity and the self-abnegation  shown
by  the  entire  Czechoslovak nation  afford  proof  of  its
reserves of strength and vitality, the best safeguard of her
historical patrimony and of her proud and free destiny.



GEORGES BONNET.
g
                   No. 15
                              
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to all diplomatic posts.
                                                 Paris,
October 3, 1938.
g
     THE  answer given on September 27 by Herr Hitler to the
personal  message from Mr. Neville Chamberlain  conveyed  to
him  in  Berlin the day before by Sir Horace Wilson was  not
such  as to bring about a relaxation of the general tension.
Herr  Hitler refused to make any concessions, and maintained
his decision to send his troops into the territory inhabited
by  the Sudeten Germans on the 1st of October. Field-Marshal
Goering  still further emphasized this attitude by declaring
to  Sir  Nevile  Henderson  on September  27  that,  if  the
Czechoslovak  Government had not accepted the terms  of  the
Godesberg  memorandum on the next day, September  28,  by  2
p.m.,  measures of mobilization would immediately  be  taken
and followed by action.
     In  spite of this German intransigence, the French  and
British  Governments persevered in their efforts to  find  a
basis for a peaceful solution of the Czechoslovak question.
     In  the  evening of September 27, Sir Nevile  Henderson
presented  to  the German Government a new  plan  consisting
mainly  of  the occupation, on October 1, of the territories
of Eger and Asch.
     This   plan  not  having  been  accepted,  the   French
Ambassador  immediately  approached  Herr  Hitler   himself,
during  the  morning of September 28, with another  proposal
which,  while conforming with the procedure contemplated  in
the   British  plan,  considerably  enlarged  the  zone   of
territory  to  be occupied by the Germans from  the  1st  of
October.
     
[13]
                              
     As  a result of this conversation, which lasted a whole
hour  and  during  the course of which  the  Chancellor  had
behaved in a calm and almost friendly manner, our Ambassador
had  the impression that it might not be impossible to reach
an  agreement.  Without rejecting the French proposal,  Herr
Hitler   reserved  his  reply  with  a  view  to  a  written
communication.
     It  was in these circumstances that, as a result  of  a
suggestion made by Mr. Neville Chamberlain in agreement with
the  French  Government after President Roosevelt's  appeal,
and supported in Berlin by Signor Mussolini, Herr Hitler, in
the  afternoon of the 28th September, invited the  Heads  of
the  French, British and Italian Governments to meet on  the
29th September at Munich.
     After laborious negotiations, which began at midday  on
September  29, an agreement was signed during the  night  of
the 29th-30th of September.
     There  is  no need to summarize here the text  of  that
agreement,  which  was published on the 30th  of  September;
nevertheless,  it  seems  useful to  compare  the  principal
points of the agreement with the demands formulated by  Herr
Hitler at Godesberg on the 23rd September.
     (1)  At  Godesberg, the whole of the zone inhabited  by
the Sudeten Germans was to have been ceded to Germany on the
1st  October.  At Munich it was agreed that this  occupation
would  take place by stages, being spread over a  period  of
ten days.
     (2) At Godesberg, the new frontier was to be determined
by  a  unilateral decision of Germany alone. At  Munich,  an
international commission was to determine it finally.
     (3)  At  Munich,  Germany  gave  up  the  idea  of  the
plebiscite which had been insisted upon at Godesberg in  the
zone  inhabited by a strong majority of Sudeten Germans,  no
doubt  with  the  intention of creating  a  precedent  which
Germany might invoke in other cases.
     (4)   At  Godesberg,  Herr  Hitler  had  demanded   the
organization of plebiscites in certain regions with a strong
Czech  majority, but with German minorities. At  Munich,  he
abandoned  this  claim,  leaving  it  to  the  international
commission to decide upon the advisability, and to determine
the territorial limits, of any plebiscites.
     (5)  At Munich, Germany conceded to the population  the
right   of   option  "to  be  included  in  the  transferred
territories or to be excluded from them."
     (6)   Whilst,  in  the  Godesberg  plan,   the   German
Government    would   accept   only   one    plenipotentiary
representing the Czechoslovak Govern-
     
[14]

ment  and  Army as agent de liaison with the German  General
Staff,  it  has  now  agreed  to  the  presence  within  the
international commission of a Czechoslovak representative on
an equal footing with the German representative.
     (7)  The  German plan at Godesberg did not mention  any
project  of international guarantee. At Munich, Britain  and
France have undertaken unconditionally and without delay  to
participate  in  an  international  guarantee  of  the   new
Czechoslovak  frontiers  against any unprovoked  aggression;
Germany and Italy have undertaken to give their guarantee as
soon  as the question of the Polish and Hungarian minorities
shall be settled.
     (8)  Taken as a whole, the Godesberg plan resembled  in
many  respects  a  veritable armistice convention  concluded
after victorious military operations on the part of Germany;
the  Munich  agreement  as the character  of  a  settlement,
concluded  under  the  guarantee of  the  four  Powers,  the
execution  of  which is essentially under  the  control  and
even,  in  many  cases,  subject  to  the  decision  of   an
international commission.
     The  Czechoslovak  Government, with the  highest  self-
abnegation,  and in a spirit to which we must  pay  tribute,
has  accepted the agreement of the 29th September.  All  the
measures provided for in this agreement are now in course of
execution.
     


GEORGES BONNET.
g
                   No. 16
                              
FRAN€OIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                                Berlin,
October 4, 1938.
g
     THE  agreement  reached on September 29 at  Munich  has
been  received with no less relief in Germany than in France
and Great Britain.
     The  Chancellor's speech delivered on September 26  and
the  news of the military measures taken by France and Great
Britain had brought the prevailing anxiety to a high  pitch.
The  Chancellor  had burnt his boats.  It  was  felt  to  be
unthinkable  that  he  could retreat.  Contrary  to  general
expectations, the Western Powers appeared resolved to fight.
During  the days of the 27th and 28th September,  one  could
sense the hourly approach of the catastrophe. This state  of
mind was clearly visible in the expressions of the Berliners
who   had  been  urged,  during  the  evening  of  the  28th
September, to listen to a speech
     
[15]
                              
by Dr. Goebbels, the general opinion was that he was to
announce general mobilization.
     It was in this atmosphere that on Wednesday, towards 10
p.m.,   the   news  began  to  spread  that  the  Four-Power
Conference   was  to  open  the  next  day  at  Munich.   It
immediately  aroused  a  feeling  of  immense  satisfaction.
Nobody doubted for a moment that the imminent danger of  war
had  been averted. The miracle that all had ceased  to  hope
for had occurred.
     With  the exception of a few fanatics, very few Germans
thought  that the Sudetens were worth the risk of a European
war.  The  great  masses of the people knew nothing  of  the
Sudeten: they were in no way conscious that the Sudeten  had
ever belonged to the Reich; they were hardly more interested
in  their fate than in that of the Germans in Rumania.  They
would  have  been  quite pleased with a punitive  expedition
against  Czechoslovakia,  but  they  certainly  would   have
abandoned  the Sudeten rather than see the entire  world  in
arms against Germany.
     At the moment when the German-Czech conflict threatened
to  turn  into  a European conflagration, the atmosphere  in
Germany  was very different from the feverish and aggressive
atmosphere  of  August  1914. It is  certainly  without  any
feeling  of  enthusiasm that the German  people  would  have
followed their Fhrer into a general war
     Though these are the general reactions brought about in
the  country by the events of the last few days, it does not
appear  that unanimity reigns in the leading circles of  the
Reich  as  to  the lesson to be learnt from  them.  In  that
respect one can discern two separate schools of thought.
     The  more reasonable circles have been very much struck
by the resistance that the Fhrer's will has encountered for
the  first time In the face of the attitude adopted by Great
Britain and France, and; at the last moment, even by  Italy,
Adolf  Hitler  was not able to maintain in its entirety  the
position  he  had  assumed  at  Godesberg,  and  which   was
formulated  in  his  memorandum  of  September  23.  He  was
preparing  to  dictate  terms  to  Czechoslovakia  as  to  a
vanquished  country.  He  had, with  a  unilateral  gesture,
determined  on  a map the zone which German troops  were  to
occupy  from  the  1st  of  October  The  time  allowed  for
evacuation  was  so  short that the Czechs  could  not  have
retired  in an orderly fashion. The Fhrer had to compromise
on   all   these   points.  Even  though  he  has   obtained
satisfaction on the main issues, he was obliged to accept an
international procedure as
                              
[16]
     
regards  the  mode of execution, in spite of his  repeatedly
expressed dislike of such methods. He was not able to go  as
far  as  he  wished. He recognized that he had  reached  the
limit  beyond which foreign opposition threatened to  become
armed intervention.
     In  German  high political circles, and even among  the
most  convinced and influential Nazis, there is no  lack  of
counsels of moderation to the effect that the Germans should
be  satisfied, for the time being at least, with the results
obtained, that they should allow themselves a respite, relax
the  economic and financial tension, and seek to reach  some
arrangement  with the Western Powers. These are the  circles
which,  during the crisis of the 28th September,  influenced
Field-Marshal Goering and whose counsels prevailed over Herr
von Ribbentrop's.
     Yet  there are many who proclaim that one must continue
to go ahead and to take the utmost advantage of the military
superiority  which the Reich believes itself to  possess  at
present.  Their  influence is felt within the  International
Commission itself, where they assume the attitude of victors
who  have the right to formulate imperative demands. It  has
been  necessary  more  than once to  remind  them  that  the
agreement of September 29 was not a German "Diktat," but  an
international  arrangement. The annexation of  the  Sudeten,
following  the  Anschluss of Austria after  an  interval  of
seven months, has not satisfied their appetites. At the very
moment when the German army is occupying the mountains which
have  hitherto been the historic frontiers of Bohemia,  they
are  scanning  the  horizon  in search  of  new  demands  to
formulate, new battles to fight out, new prizes to conquer.
     Clearly  anxious to spare the feelings  of  France  and
Great  Britain,  to  allay mistrust and  awaken  hopes,  the
German Press has not ceased during these days to affirm that
the  Munich Agreement might become the keystone for building
a  new  Europe released from prejudices and mutual  hatreds,
ruled  by  respect for the vital rights of all  peoples  and
orientated  towards  a  harmonious cooperation  between  the
nations.  The  newspapers  of  the  Reich  are  prodigal  in
expressions  meant  to please France. They  have  repeatedly
stated  that  no  subject of contention now  exists  between
France  and Germany. They have been at pains to pay  tribute
to  the role played by M. Daladier at the Munich conference;
they  have  praised  him  as  an ax-serviceman  whose  chief
concern is to spare his country and Europe the horrors of  a
new  war. Quoting a remark of Field-Marshal Goering's,  they
have  written: "With a man like M. Daladier, politics become
a practical proposition."
     
[17]
                              
     Commenting on the declaration issued by the Fhrer  and
the   British   Premier   after  the   Munich   conference-a
declaration  which  has  been represented  here  as  a  non-
aggression  pact-they  have let it be  understood  that,  in
their  opinion,  there is no reason why France  and  Germany
should  not  come  to a similar arrangement.  Evidently  the
primary condition would be that France, adopting a realistic
policy,  should  draw certain conclusions  from  the  events
which had so profoundly shaken the whole of Europe.
     In  that respect, the Munich conference should serve us
as  a warning. In order that the agreement which assigns  to
Czechoslovakia  new  frontiers and a  new  place  in  Europe
should become the starting-point of a reorganization of  the
Continent  on  an equitable basis, it is indispensable  that
the  Western  Democracies should  draw  a  lesson  from  the
dramatic  events  of last week. It is necessary  that  while
continuing  to affirm their will to peace and neglecting  no
means  of  reaching an understanding with  the  totalitarian
States,  they  should nevertheless eliminate all  causes  of
internal  weakness, that they should fill up as  quickly  as
possible  any gaps in their armaments, and that they  should
give  to  the  outside  world tangible  proof  of  industry,
cohesion and strength. This is the price we must be prepared
to pay if Europe is not to undergo again, after a respite of
uncertain  duration, crises similar to  the  last  one  just
settled  at  the  Munich  conference after  threatening  for
several days to degenerate into general pandemonium.
     
FRAN€OIS-PONCET.
                            [18]


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.