Russian troops enter Czechoslovakia

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Dictatorship in Europe: Dictatorship in Germany: Adolf Hitler: The Occupation of Czechoslovakia

  • The Czech republic was formed after the Treaty of Versailles
  • It has a population of about 14 million people who were former residents of Bohemia, Moravia and other smaller territories
  • Hitler wanted to attack and conquer the Czech republic through his Lebensraum (giving Germans a Living Space) policy and he also hated the fact that the state had been formed as a result of the treaty of Versailles which he hated
  • The Czechs were also regarded as allies of Russia and France who were Germany’s sworn enemies
  • The Czech government was also accused of ill-treating Germans in the Sudetenland and Hitler wanted to rescue them
  • The Sudeten Germany Party was formed in1933 and it lobbied for the independence of Germans
  • The party was Hitler’s brainchild and they got support from him
  • They were granted all their requests but they were not satisfied as they wanted to find an excuse for war
  • Tensions between the two countries began to build up and Hitler mentioned that he intended to crush the Czech republic
  • The British and French tries to come up with ways to avoid the war by adopting the Policy of Appeasement towards Hitler
  • When war could not be avoided Hitler was then given Sudetenland at a conference attended by many European leaders but Hitler was to respect Czech’s independence
  • Czech during the process lost 70% of her industries to Germany and uprisings began in Czech
  • Hitler took advantage of the situation and offered to help the Czech president to restore order in Czech
  • Resultantly Czech was occupied by Germany by invitation
  • France and Britain protested but could not take any action

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