The Munich Agreement
The Munich Agreement confirmed the understanding reached between Chamberlain and Hitler at their first meeting in Berchtesgaden on 15 September 1938. At that meeting, Chamberlain agreed in principle to Hitler's demand that Czechoslovakia cede the Sudetenland to Germany. Chamberlain returned to London to impose this solution on the Czechoslovak Government. When he met Hitler again at Godesberg on 22 and 23 September, Hitler demanded that the transfer of the territory (marked on a map) be completed by 1 October. Chamberlain objected to the timetable and again returned to London without a firm agreement. Further diplomatic contacts between Britain and Germany resulted in the Munich conference, on 29 and 30 September, at which the following agreement was reached.
Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, taking into consideration the agreement, which has been already reached in principle for the cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory, have agreed on the following terms and conditions governing the said cession and the measures consequent thereon, and by this agreement they each hold themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure its fulfilment:
1. The evacuation will begin on 1st October.
2. The United Kingdom, France and Italy agree that the evacuation of the territory shall be completed by 10th October, without any existing installations having been destroyed and that the Czechoslovak Government will be held responsible for carrying out the evacuation without damage to the said installations.
3. The conditions governing the evacuation will be laid down in detail by an international commission composed of representatives of Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Czechoslovakia.
4. The occupation by stages of the predominantly German territory by German troops will begin on 1st October. The four territories marked on the attached map will be occupied by German troops in the following order: the territory marked No. I on the 1st and 2nd October, the territory marked No. II on the 2nd and 3rd October; the territory marked No. III on the 3rd, 4th and 5th October; the territory marked No. IV on the 6th and 7th October. The remaining territory of preponderatingly German character will be ascertained by the aforesaid international commission forthwith and be occupied by German troops by the 10th October.
5. The international commission referred to in paragraph 3 will determine the territories in which a plebiscite is to be held. These territories will be occupied by international bodies until the plebiscite has been completed. The same commission will fix the conditions in which the plebiscite is to be held, taking as a basis the conditions of the Saar plebiscite. The commission will also fix a date, not later that the end of November, on which the plebiscite will be held.
6. The final determination of the frontier will be carried out by the international commission. This commission will also be entitled to recommend to the four Powers, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, in certain exceptional cases minor modifications in the strictly ethnographical determination of the zones which are to be transferred without plebiscite.
7. There will be a right of option into and out of the transferred territories, the option to be exercised within six months from the date of this agreement. A German-Czechoslovak commission shall determine the details of the option, consider ways of facilitating the transfer of population and settle questions of principle arising out of the said transfer.
8. The Czechoslovak Government will, within a period of four weeks from the date of this agreement, release from their military and police forces any Sudeten Germans who may wish to be released, and the Czechoslovak Government will within the same period release Sudeten German prisoners who are serving terms of imprisonment for political offences.
Munich, September 29, 1938
The Munich Agreement itself was concluded at 2 a.m. on 30 September 1938. Later that morning, Chamberlain had a private meeting with Hitler at which the following declaration was signed.
We, the German Führer and Chancellor and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting to-day and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for the two countries and for Europe.
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.
We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe.
September 30, 1938
[Source: Documents on German Foreign Policy, (London, 1950), Series D, vol. II, nos. 675-6, pp. 1014-17.]