Part 1 of 2: Read the information regarding the policy of Appeasement used by the allies in the years preceding World War II.
The British Prime Minister from 1937, Neville Chamberlain (seated left), believed in appeasement. The major aim was to avoid another European war.
In 1938, Germany and Austria joined together – this was known as the Anschluss. Hitler (seated middle) claimed he was uniting all German speaking people in one ‘greater Germany’. Seeing this, German speaking people in the Czechoslovakia (mainly living in an area known as the Sudetenland-shaded dark brown) began to demand they become part of Germany too. Hitler made sure these people received support from Germany. However, Hitler couldn’t just take over the area. Czechoslovakia was a powerful new country and had the backing of the Soviet Union.
In September 1938, Hitler demanded that German speakers in Czechoslovakia should be allowed to join his ‘greater Germany’. War between Germany and Czechoslovakia seemed likely. Everything depended on the actions of Britain, France and the Soviet Union.
Hitler promised not to take over any more land. Generally, it was believed that giving up the Sudetenland was a good price to pay for peace. Chamberlain was congratulated in Britain for avoiding war. Britain and France had given in to Hitler’s demands, but in return Hitler had promised to not take over any more land thus ensuring peace.
Part 2 of 2: Complete the following Questions
- Why were the countries of Europe so keen to avoid another war?
- What did Hitler claim when he united Germany and Austria?
- What was the part of Czechoslovakia where most German speakers lived called?
- Give two reasons why Germany could not just take over the Sudetenland?
- Which four countries were at the Munich conference?
- In your opinion, should any other countries have been invited? Why?
- What was agreed at the Munich conference?
- Why did many people feel giving in to Germany at Munich was a good idea?
- Translate source A, Chamberlain’s opinion of the Munich Agreement, into your own
- Using sources B and C, explain what Churchill thought of the Munich
- In your opinion, how do you think the people of Czechoslovakia felt about the agreement?