Comment by the Information and Press Department on Munich Betrayal anniversary

September 30, 2016

September 30 is one of the most tragic dates in the 20th century. On this day in 1938, the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and France Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier met with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich and signed a settlement on the transferring to Germany of the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia. The representatives of the latter country were only invited to be coerced into signing the pact. This notorious agreement became known as the Munich Betrayal. Poland and Hungary later occupied more areas of Czechoslovakia.

What the Munich Betrayal actually meant was the capitulation of the Western European countries in the face of Nazism. Their leaders chose not to join forces with the Soviet Union in the fight against Germany’s National Socialism, and opted instead to appease the aggressor in an attempt to deflect the threat and steer the German war machine to the East. On the same day, September 30, Chamberlain and Hitler signed a declaration of non-aggression, and a similar pact was signed by Ribbentrop and French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet-Etienne on December 6, 1938.

The appeasement allowed Hitler to launch the Second World War that resulted in incalculable suffering for humanity, particularly for the peoples of the former Soviet Union, and unprecedented violations of human rights and freedoms.

It took an enormous amount of effort on the part of all progressive forces and made it necessary to create an anti-Hitler coalition to fight and defeat Hitler, and liberate Europe. The Nazi misanthropic ideology and practice, incongruous with respect for human rights, was condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal. A reminder of the Munich Betrayal should serve as a warning of the consequences of flirting with Nazism and indulging Neo-Nazism that some European countries have seen a revival of.

Source: Foreign Ministry of Russia