In September 1938 Britain, France, Italy and Germany reached an agreement that allowed Nazi Germany to annex the Sudetenland, an area of Czechoslovakia inhabited by ethnic Germans. This was the 'appeasement' that was vilified after the war and viewed as a betrayal by the Czechs - especially as they had not even been invited to the Munich conference where the agreement about their country was made.
The deal, of course, did not stop Hitler's ambitions. With Czechoslovakia now severely weakened and forced to make concessions to its enemies, Adolf Hitler took his chance and broke the Munich Agreement by seizing the rest of the country.
He summoned the Czech President Emil Hácha to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin on March 15, 1939. Here he threatened the President with an air raid on Prague and convinced him to order the capitulation of the Czech army. Hácha suffered a heart attack during the meeting, and was later forced to sign an oath of allegiance to Hitler. Germany occupied Czechoslovakia hours later, setting the stage for World War II.
Date taken: March 15, 1939
Location taken: Berlin, Nazi Germany
- 1939-03-15 Reneging on his pledge in the Munich Agreement, Adolf Hitler and Germany occupy and annex Czechoslovakia
- 1939-03-15 Adolf Hitler summons Czech President Emil Hácha to a meeting in Berlin and informs him of the impending attack by Germany; Hácha suffers a heart attack and later capitulates