Posts Tagged ‘Munich Pact’
The Taiwanese Parliament, upholding the tradition that won it the igNobel Peace Prize in 1995, when their citation read:
The Taiwan National Parliament, for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations.
As we prepare for the weigh-ins before the November elections, we might recall that it was on this date in in 1938 that Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact– and sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany. Back in Britain, Chamberlain declared that the meeting had achieved “peace in our time.”
Rather, by formally ceding the Sudentenland, the Pact granted Hitler and the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia’s coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power, and thus, in short order, control of all of Czechoslovakia– which, by the time Poland was invaded, a year later, had disappeared as an independent nation.
Chamberlain, who had thought Hitler’s territorial demands were “not unreasonable,” and Hitler, a “gentleman,” was ruined as a political leader. He was hounded from office, to be replaced by Winston Churchill who later observed, relevantly to both subjects of this missive:
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
– speech in the House of Commons (November 11, 1947)