Czech Troops on the German Border - Radio Berlin Reports - 1938

Scene on the Czech-German Border - Amid a flurry of charges and counter-charges from Berlin, a war of nerves.

September 16, 1938 – Radio Berlin: “The Czech Army Is Infected By Bolshevism” – Creating Bad Situations From Thin Air.

Czech Troops on the German Border - 1938
Scene on the Czech-German Border – Amid a flurry of charges and counter-charges from Radio Berlin, a war of nerves.
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September 16, 1938 – News from Radio Berlin via Shortwave – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

September 16, 1938 – A tense situation only growing more tense with each passing hour. On September 15, Hitler met with Chamberlain and demanded the swift takeover of the Sudetenland by the Third Reich under threat of war. The Czechs, Hitler claimed, were slaughtering the Sudeten Germans. Chamberlain referred the demand to the British and French governments; both accepted. The Czechoslovak government resisted, arguing that Hitler’s proposal would ruin the nation’s economy and lead ultimately to German control of all of Czechoslovakia. The United Kingdom and France issued an ultimatum, making a French commitment to Czechoslovakia contingent upon acceptance. On 21 September, Czechoslovakia capitulated. The next day, however, Hitler added new demands, insisting that the claims of Poland and Hungary also be satisfied. Romania was also invited to share in the division of Carpathian Ruthenia, but refused, because of being an ally of Czechoslovakia.

The Czechoslovak capitulation precipitated an outburst of national indignation. In demonstrations and rallies, Czechs and Slovaks called for a strong military government to defend the integrity of the state. A new cabinet—under General Jan Syrový—was installed, and on 23 September 1938, a decree of general mobilization was issued. The Czechoslovak army—modern and possessing an excellent system of frontier fortifications—was prepared to fight. The Soviet Union announced its willingness to come to Czechoslovakia’s assistance. Beneš, however, refused to go to war without the support of the Western powers.

On this day, Berlin Radio was filling the air with false claims of genocide on the part of the Czech Army – that Sudeten Germans were being rounded up and herded into camps on the German/Czech border, and that Czech troops were on a murderous rampage.

And so went the war of nerves, this September 16, 1938 as reported by the English service of Radio Berlin shortwave.

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