September 18, 1938 – As the Munich crisis continued, moving dangerously toward spiraling out of control. Czechoslovak Prime Minister Milan Hodza made an address to the Czech people, which in turn was broadcast via shortwave to the rest of the world. The address, which the translation was delayed, raising the drama level even higher, was finally broadcast. Hodza was adamant about not giving up the disputed territory, Sudetenland, but rather trying for negotiation in order to avert an armed confrontation. Citing the end of the previous war, and the vows made that it was the “War to end all wars”, Hodza appealed to the other European nations to find a settlement to the crisis. Hodza went on to express the conciliatory nature of Czechoslovakia’s response to Hitler’s demands, but that these overtures were rejected by the Nazi government, and in fact raised the level of disruption within the Sudenten German community. Those disruptions were threatening the domestic peace of Czechoslovakia, and were being used as a propaganda tool by the Hitler regime in order to gain sympathy for the Sudeten Germans. Germany accused Prague of establishing martial law in order to quell the violence and saw it as a provocation to bring about an armed response from Berlin. Prague, in turn indicated that, had there not been their response to the Sudeten uprising, things would have gone much worse and a civil war would have erupted. Previous attempts at using other methods to quiet the uprising were unsuccessful and that martial law was the only, and best alternative.
Hodza went on to reiterate his position that the Czech people were only interested in peace and that Czechoslovakia was determined not to get drawn into a war. And the fervor which Czechoslovakia was determined to preserve peace was now asked of from the other European nations.
Here is that translation broadcast by Radio Prague – following by a Mussolini address from Trieste and translation into English of that address – all on September 18, 1938.