September 14-15, 1938 – Evaporating Assurances On The Czech/German Border – The Munich Crisis.
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September 14, 1938 – Fulton Lewis Jr. News – News Report from Radio Berlin – September 15, 1938 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
September 14-15, 1938 – Threatening to spiral out of control very quickly over the territorial dispute regarding an area of land situated close to the Czech/German border which Germany claimed was rightly theirs was verging on a military confrontation.
On 12 September, Hitler made a speech at a Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg on the Sudeten crisis in which he condemned the actions of the government of Czechoslovakia. Hitler denounced Czechoslovakia as being a fraudulent state that was in violation of international law’s emphasis of national self-determination, claiming it was a Czech hegemony although the Germans, the Slovaks, the Hungarians, the Ukrainians and the Poles of the country actually wanted to be in a union with the Czechs. Hitler accused Beneš of seeking to gradually exterminate the Sudeten Germans and claimed that since Czechoslovakia’s creation, over 600,000 Germans had been intentionally forced out of their homes under the threat of starvation if they did not leave. He alleged that Beneš’s government was persecuting Germans along with Hungarians, Poles, and Slovaks and accused Beneš of threatening the nationalities with being branded traitors if they were not loyal to the country. He stated that he, as the head of state of Germany, would support the right of the self-determination of fellow Germans in the Sudetenland. He condemned Beneš for his government’s recent execution of several German protesters. He accused Beneš of being belligerent and threatening behavior towards Germany which, if war broke out, would result in Beneš forcing Sudeten Germans to fight against their will against Germans from Germany. Hitler accused the Czech government of being a client regime of France, claiming that the French Minister of Aviation Pierre Cot had said, “We need this state as a base from which to drop bombs with greater ease to destroy Germany’s economy and its industry”.
On 13 September, after internal violence and disruption in Czechoslovakia ensued, Chamberlain asked Hitler for a personal meeting to find a solution to avert a war. Chamberlain arrived by plane in Germany on 15 September and then arrived at Hitler’s residence in Berchtesgaden for the meeting. Henlein flew to Germany on the same day. That day, Hitler and Chamberlain held discussions in which Hitler insisted that the Sudeten Germans must be allowed to exercise the right of national self-determination and be able to join Sudetenland with Germany. Hitler also expressed concern to Chamberlain about what he perceived as British “threats”. Chamberlain responded that he had not issued “threats” and in frustration asked Hitler “Why did I come over here to waste my time?” Hitler responded that if Chamberlain was willing to accept the self-determination of the Sudeten Germans, he would be willing to discuss the matter. Chamberlain and Hitler held discussions for three hours, and the meeting adjourned. Chamberlain flew back to Britain and met with his cabinet to discuss the issue.
Here are two news reports, one via Mutual as presented by commentator Fulton Lewis Jr. and the other a marginal quality shortwave broadcast from Radio Berlin. Both give a clue as to the air of apprehension hanging over Europe.
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