September 30, 2018




The Munich Agreement was signed in the early hours of September 30, 1938 by Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain, and Daladier.  The leaders of Britain, France and Italy essentially agreed to permit Hitler to annex the Sudetenland (a portion of Czechoslovakia) on the condition that Hitler would not pursue further annexations. On the same day, Chamberlain returned to England, his plane landing at the Heston Aerodrome. And with smiles on his face he gave this speech.  The following is an excerpt from an archival video:   ".... The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, only this time he has told me that it is his intention to come halfway to meet me (he paused and smiled, as the crowd cheered and applauded)....(he waved a piece of paper triumphantly, smiling, then continued) "....some of you perhaps have already heard what it contains, but I would just like to read it to you....We regard the Agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German naval agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again...." (The speech was followed by roar of enthusiastic cheers from the crowd and more applause.) However, not all British welcomed this agreement.  On the same day about 15,000 gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest the agreement (consisting of three times more than the crowds who welcomed Chamberlain at 10 Downing Street.) But the world did not know this because Chamberlain censored the BBC so that the protest was not reported nor televised.  On March 15, 1939, the Germans invaded and occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia, and on September 1, 1939 invaded Poland, starting World War II.

Polish Ultimatum:  At noon on September 30, 1938 Poland issued an ultimatum to the Czechoslovak government, which demanded the immediate evacuation of Czechoslovak troops, and gave them a deadline of noon the next day.  At issue was an important railway junction city of Bohumín, which Nazi Germany originally demanded from Czechoslovakia.  Polish Colonel Józef Beck assessed that Warsaw would have to take quick action to forestall the German occupation.  At precisely 11:45 a.m. on October 1st,  the Czechoslovak foreign ministry contacted the Polish ambassador in Prague and agreed to the demands.  An area of 801.5 km² with a population of 227,399 people was annexed by the Polish Army under the command of General Władysław Bortnowski.  Germany was delighted with the outcome as it provided fodder for their propaganda machine. The Nazis quickly took the opportunity to  accuse Poland falsely of being accomplices in the partition of Czechoslovakia, in order to confuse the allies, and place the blame of hostilities on Poland.  (note: Poland never collaborated with the Nazi regime and fought against them throughout World War Two.)


The Polish Underground State (1939-1945), also known as the Polish Secret State,  was a collective term for the underground resistance organizations in Poland -  both military and civilian, that were loyal to the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile in London.  The Underground State was established during the final days of the German invasion of Poland. The Secret State was a legal continuation of the Republic of Poland (and all its institutions) that existed before the war. Its objectives were to wage an armed struggle against Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, as well as administer to civilian matters such as courts of law, education, culture and social services.  The Polish Underground had created the largest underground State in the world. The military sector consisted primarily of various branches of the Armia Krajowa (AK) and, until 1942, the Union of Armed Struggle. Their objective was to prepare all Poles for a future fight to liberate their country.  Their major activities dealt with underground armed resistance, sabotage, intelligence, training, and propaganda.  Polish intelligence operatives supplied valuable intelligence information to the Allies; 43 percent of all reports received by British secret services from continental Europe in 1939–45 came from Polish sources.  The total number of members of Armia Krajowa reached over 400,000, and was recognized as the largest resistance movement during the war.


Warsaw Uprising ended. Polish insurgents were taken prisoners by the Germans and evacuated to POW camps. The next day German troops marched into Warsaw.  After the remaining civilians were found and taken out of the city, the Germans began a systematic destruction of the city of Warsaw, block by block. They used explosives, bombs, and flamethrowers to demolish every house, and every building.  Among the city structures destroyed was an estimated number of 10,455 buildings, 923 historical buildings (94%), 25 churches, 14 libraries including the National Library, the Polish national archives, 81 primary schools, 64 high schools, University of Warsaw and Warsaw University of Technology, and most of the historical monuments. (Note: By January 1945, 85% of Warsaw was razed to the ground (25% as a result of the Uprising; 35% as a result of German actions during the Uprising, and the remainder due to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the September 1939 Campaign.)  About a million Polish civilians lost all their worldly goods. It is impossible to assess the exact value of the loss of private and public property, as well as loss of priceless works of art, historical monuments, cultural and scientific artifacts, but it was estimated to be about $30 Billion U.S. Dollars (at 1940 evaluation). In 2005 a reassessment was made that the loss had an estimated valued at $54.6 Billion.

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