Munich Agreement, concluded on September 29, 1938 in Munich between the German Reich, Great Britain, France and Italy, on September 30 by A. Hitler, A. N. Chamberlain, É. Daladier and B. Mussolini signed a contract. He ended the “Sudeten Crisis” and initially removed thedanger of war that had arisenfrom Hitler’s ultimate threats to Czechoslovakia (ČSR). It regulated (without the participation of the ČSR) the German occupation (between October 1st and October 10th) and cession of the predominantly German-inhabited border areas of Bohemia and Moravia (above all the “Sudetenland”, according to themotorcyclers, 78% of which formed the later Reichsgau) to the German Reich (28 643 km 2with 3.63 million residents, d. H. a fifth of the total area and a quarter of the population of the ČSR). As a result, the ČSR also had to cede parts of the territory to Poland (Teschen / Olsa region) and Hungary (including Carpathian Ukraine). For this, the existence and security of the rest of the Czechoslovakia should be guaranteed by the signatory states, a promise that Hitler (like the other signatories) did not keep.
Background: When the ČSR was founded on October 28, 1918, the Germans in Bohemia and Moravia (Sudeten Germans) saw themselves included in the new state against their will and felt economically and politically disadvantaged compared to the Czechs, especially after the Great Depression (1929). The Sudeten German Party (SdP) under K. Henlein, supported by National Socialist Germany, was for Hitler an instrument of politics against the ČSR.
After Austria’s forced “annexation” to the German Reich (March 1938), the SdP, on instructions from Berlin, demanded full equality in its Karlovy Vary program (April 24, 1938), and finally “incorporation” into the German Reich. For Hitler these demands were only a tactical transit station for the intended annihilation of the ČSR.
Negotiations: Berlin’s threats and ultimate demands exacerbated international tensions and prompted Great Britain and France, which were not prepared for a military conflict, to undertake mediation actions and concessions (politics of appeasement). In the course of the May Crisis (May 20/21, 1938) and in connection with Lord Runciman’s posting as a mediator to Prague on August 3, 1938 and during his meeting with Hitler in Berchtesgaden (September 15, 1938) British Prime Minister Chamberlain clearly that he was only prepared to make concessions on the Sudeten question if no force was used against the ČSR. On the basis of the Runciman report, the British and French governments recommended on September 19, 1938 to the Czechoslovak government under M. Hodža the cession of the Sudeten areas without a referendum against a border guarantee. Chamberlain’s second negotiation with Hitler on March 22–24. 9. 1938 in Bad Godesberg failed because of Hitler’s new demand for the occupation of the Sudeten area by German troops from September 28th. On the mediation of Mussolini, the meeting in Munich took place on September 29th.
Consequences: The ČSR not only lost economically and strategically important areas, the Munich Agreement also triggered an internal dissolution process of the so-called Second Czechoslovak Republic, supported by Berlin. With the Munich Agreement, the territorial revision of the Paris suburban treaties (1919) was concluded and the Greater German nation-state demands appeared to have been met. But it was Hitler in reality not about the right of the Germans to self-determination, but about the smashing of the ČSR, which was sealed with the invasion of German troops on March 15, 1939 and the establishment of the Slovak “protective state” the day before. The Munich Agreement did not banish the danger of war in Europe; it is now regarded as the epitome of false indulgence towards the aggression of a dictatorship (“Munich dictate”). – On August 5, 1942, in an exchange of letters between the British Foreign Minister A. Eden and the head of the Czechoslovak government in exile, E. Beneš, the Munich Agreement was declared to be repealed; also the French National Committee under C. de Gaulle declared in 1942 that it considered the Munich Agreement null and void. – In the “Prague Treaty” between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Czechoslovak Republic of December 11, 1973, the Munich Agreement was only declared “null and void in accordance with the provisions of this treaty”; Even with the “German-Czechoslovak Neighborhood Treaty” (February 27, 1992) and the “German-Czech Declaration” (January 27, 1997), the different points of view regarding the legal validity or invalidity of the treaty were not completely eliminated.
Transportation: Munich is an important intersection for traffic. Several long-distance railways and seven motorways meet here. Local traffic is served by the S-Bahn (eight S-Bahn lines with a total of 434 km; 150 S-Bahn stations, of which 8 are tunnel stations) and the U-Bahn (103 km route length); Tram and bus lines take care of the tangent and distribution traffic. An outer motorway ring for long-distance motor vehicle traffic, which is intended to relieve Munich of through traffic, has been partially completed. The expanded middle ring is intended to channel inner-city traffic; the Altstadtring keeps long-distance traffic away from the city center and enabled the expansion of a pedestrian zone (1972).
The new Munich Airport in Erdinger Moos has been in operation since 1992 and was used by 45.6 million passengers in 2017.