The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Treaty Violations
(Part 10 of 11)

M. Assurances.

(1) Austria. On 21 May 1935 Hitler made a speech containing this assurance:

"Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the domestic affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to attach that country to her. The German people and the German Government have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of the simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent, that the right to self-determination should

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be guaranteed not only to foreign nations, but to the German people everywhere.

"I myself believe that no regime which is not anchored in the people, supported by the people, and desired by the people, can exist permanently." (TC-26)

Similarly, in the Agreement between the German Government and the Government of the Federal State of Austria, on 11 July 1936, paragraph one stated as follows:

"The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federal State of Austria in the sense of the pronouncements of the German Leader and Chancellor of 21 May 1935." (TC-22)

(2) Czechoslovakia. The German Assurance to Czechoslovakia is contained in the letter from M. Jan Masaryk to Viscount Halifax on the date of 12 May 1938 (TC-27). The first paragraph shows that Field Marshall Goering used the expression "Ich gebe Ihnen Mein Ehrenwort." That means, "I give my word of honor." The third paragraph shows that Goering had asked that there would not be a mobilization of the Czechoslovak Army. The fourth paragraph reads:

"M. Mastny was in a position to give him definite and binding assurances on this subject, and today he spoke with Baron von Neurath, who, among other things, assured him on behalf of Herr Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention concluded at Locarno in October 1925." (TC-27)

So that in 1935 Baron von Neurath was speaking on behalf of Germany on an agreement voluntarily concluded. Had there been the slightest doubt of that question, von Neurath gave the assurance on behalf of Hitler that Germany still considered itself bound by the German-Czechoslovakia Arbitration Convention on the 12 March 1938, six months before Dr. Benes made a hopeless appeal to it before the crisis in the Army in 1938.

Czechoslovakia's difficult position is set out in the pregnant last paragraph:

"They can not however fail to view with great apprehension the sequel of events in Austria between the date of the bilateral agreement between Germany and Austria, 11 July 1936, and yesterday, 11 March 1938." (TC-27)

On 26 September 1938, Hitler made an assurance to Czechoslovakia which contains important points as to the alleged German policy of getting Germans together in the Reich, for which the Nazi conspirators had purported to request a considerable time:

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"I have a little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I can not go back beyond the limits of our patience." ( TC-28)

(This occurred between the Godesberg Treaty and the Munich Pact).

"I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully, and without oppression, I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that, as far as I am concerned, I will guarantee it. We don't want any Czechs. But I must also declare before the German people that in the Sudeten German problem my patience is now at an end. I made an offer to Herr Benes which was no more than the realization of what he had already promised. He now has peace or war in his hands. Either he will accept this offer and at length give the Germans their freedom, or we will get this freedom for ourselves." (TC-28)

The Munich Agreement of 29 September 1938 (TC-23) was signed by Hitler, later by Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Daladier, and Mussolini. It is largely a procedural agreement by which the entry of German troops into Sudeten-Deutsche territory is regulated. That is shown by the preliminary clause:

"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 fulfillment." (TC-23)

Article 4 states that "The occupation by stages of the predominantly German territory by German troops will begin on 1 October." The four territories are marked on the attached map. Article 6 provides that "The final determination of the frontiers will be carried out by the international commission." (TC-23)

The agreement provides also for various rights of option and release from the Czech forces of Sudeten Germans (TC-23). That was what Hitler was asking for in the somewhat rhetorical passage previously referred to (TC-28).

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There is an annex to the Munich Agreement which is most significant:

"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 Proposal of the 19th September, relating to an international guarantee 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." (TC-23)

The provision concerns "the Polish and Hungarian minorities," not the question of Slovakia. That is why that the German action of the 15th of March was a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of that Agreement. (For fuller discussion see Section 4 of this Chapter relating to aggression against Czechoslovakia.)

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