Thursday, March 24, 2011

Preliminary Meetings for the Munich Conference

It was early in the morning on September 13th, 1938. The Cabinet and I were informed by some secret service sources that all German embassies were told that Germany would invade Czechoslovakia on September 25th. How could this happen?! I knew that the French wouldn’t fight. Therefore, I decided to implement what I liked to call, “Plan Z.” “Plan Z” basically said that if war seemed inevitable, I would fly to Germany and negotiate directly with Hitler. I later sent a message to Hitler saying that I was willing to come and negotiate with him. I flew to Berchtesgaden in Germany on the 15th of September. The face to face meeting with Hitler and I lasted a long and weary three hours. How I longed to go back and relax at home with Anne! Anyway, during the meeting, Hitler demanded the annexation of the Sudetenland. I questioned him thoroughly, and by the end I was pretty convinced that Hitler had no plans for the rest of Czechoslovakia and other German minority areas. On my return to London, I honestly believed that I preserved the peace. Due to my indefatigable efforts, I was able to get France and Czechoslovakia to agree to the requirements of the meeting. However, when I flew back to Germany on the 22nd, Hitler had the nerve to say that the previous proposals wouldn’t do anymore. He demanded the immediate occupation of the Sudetenland and the address of German territorial claims in Poland and Hungary. How dare he?! Does he not know that I had worked so hard to bring the Czechs and the French into line with Germany’s demands?! Nay, after my pleading, Hitler was unmoved. We met again late on the evening of September 23rd and our meeting lasted until the early hours of the morning. I didn’t know what to do. I simply said that Hitler’s demands should now be circulated with the French and the Czechs. Upon my flight back to London, my exact words were, “It’s up to the Czechs now.”
Chamberlain and Hitler leave the Bad Godesberg meeting, 1938 Hitler and I (I'm on the left) after the meeting on September 23rd. Notice how I'm not smiling -__-

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