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Should Ukraine Seek Peace with Russia? Remember March 15, 1939

Anyone suggesting that Ukraine sue for peace with Russia needs to remember what happened on March 15, 1939: Adolf Hitler's armed forces invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia, illustrating the futility of the 1938 Munich Pact. Signed by Germany, Italy, France and Britain, the pact allowed Hitler to not only annex the Sudetenland territory (historically occupied by German-speakers), but to take over even more of Czechoslovakia as long as he would not seek further expansion. The Czech government was told that it could challenge Hitler to war, but it would do so without any support.

Despite the Czech government's offers to appease Hitler's expansion -- such as suspending all Jewish teachers in ethnic-German-majority schools, and dissolving the Czech Communist Party, on the evening of March 14, Czech President Emil Hácha was summoned to Berlin to meet with Hitler. Hitler kept him waiting for hours while he watched a film. At 1:30 am on March 15, Hitler finally met with Hácha and told him that German troops were about to invade Czechoslovakia. Hácha was given only two options: cooperate with Germany, in which case the "entry of German troops would take place in a tolerable manner" and "permit Czechoslovakia a generous life of her own, autonomy and a degree of national freedom..." or face a scenario in which "resistance would be broken by force of arms, using all means."

Hácha, Hitler and Göring at the meeting in Berlin. wikipedia

According to German historian Joachim Fest, Hácha had a heart attack at the meeting when Hitler's #2, Hermann Göring, threatened to bomb Prague, the Czech capital. By 4:00 am, Hácha conceded. German troops began pouring in, and, by evening, Hitler made a triumphant entry into Prague.

Nazis invade Prague - wikipedia

Appeasement of expansionist dictators -- like Hitler and Putin -- never leads to peace.


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