Sunday, August 7, 2011

Betrayal for Peace: 1938 - 1945

Monument to German Occupation, 1938 - 1945 : Prague, CZ

In 1938, Germany's National Socialist Workers' Party, led by the dictator Adolf Hitler, began threatening war against then-Czechoslovakia for land bordering Germany known as the Sudatenland. Hitler had already taken over Austria and was threatening war in Europe. In an effort at appeasement, the British and the French, in a colossal betrayal of an ally that would prove fruitless in the end, signed over Czechoslovakia to Germany. The hope was, if Hitler was granted the Sudatenland, he'd cease his saber-rattling and be satisfied with the additional Lebensraum (living space) for Germany and Germans and quietly go away. The Czechs were not present at the signing of the Munich Agreement (or the Munich Betrayal, as it became known in Czechoslovakia) and, when they protested, the British and French told the Czechs, if they rose up against the Germans, the Brits and French would consider it an act of aggression and would come to Germany's defense. This monument memorializes Germany's occupation of Czechoslovakia from 1938 until 1945, when the country was liberated by Patton's U.S. Third Army.

Photo copyright: Janet M Kincaid, 7/11

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