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“Munich Betrayal” .. Will the Second World War scenario be repeated?

A series of diplomatic efforts are underway, including visits by Western leaders to Moscow, in the hope of persuading Russian President Vladimir Putin to back off any plot to invade Ukraine.

But to pundits and politicians, Western efforts do not appear drastic enough to deter Moscow from launching a massive attack on Ukraine.

Some fear a process of “accommodation” by Western countries by allowing Putin to control some areas of eastern Ukraine, which have been in conflict for a long time and are under the control of separatists, a scenario similar to the situation in Czechoslovakia before World War II.

Munich Treaty

The Munich Treaty is an agreement made in Munich on September 30, 1938, between Nazi Germany, Britain, France, and Italy, and it was a settlement that allowed Nazi Germany to annex the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia, in which German-speaking citizens lived, in an attempt by the Allies to contain Nazi Germany And avoid the outbreak of a world war.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss Adolf Hitler’s claims to the German-speaking Sudetenland, which had belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was annexed to Czechoslovakia after World War I.

After Adolf Hitler threatened to use force against Czechoslovakia to annex the Sudetenland, relations between the great powers in Europe soured, as Czechoslovakia had signed military alliance agreements with France and the Soviet Union, obligating them to defend Czechoslovakia militarily in the event of conflict.

The conference lasted 3 days, and in the end the Munich Treaty was signed. The result of this treaty was the partition of Czechoslovakia between Nazi Germany, Poland, and Hungary.

Czechoslovakia considered the agreement a clear “betrayal” by Britain and France, and called the “Munich betrayal” slogan on the fateful agreement.

Winston Churchill, who was not yet Prime Minister of Britain, opposed the agreement, and spoke on October 5, 1938, in the House of Commons, that the agreement was signed only to satisfy Adolf Hitler, and that it would cause him to demand more lands in Eastern Europe and then Western Europe, which would cause another world war .

Indeed, only 6 months after signing the treaty, Hitler reneged on his promise and ordered his army to capture the rest of Czechoslovakia.

After that, the Soviet Union lost confidence in Britain and France’s ability to keep the peace and concluded a unilateral agreement with Germany, to avoid war.

Hitler believed that Britain and France would not abide by their pledge to protect Poland, so he launched an attack on it in September 1939, and 4 days after the attack on Poland, Britain and then France declared war on Germany and the Second World War began.

The Munich Agreement became an example of a policy of appeasement and concession. After the Munich Agreement, the consideration of concluding agreements with aggressive countries became an invitation to war, not a reason to prevent it. Some such agreements are still called “other Munich”.

The situation in Ukraine

Western countries may find themselves repeating the same scenario, with Russia preparing to invade Ukraine, and this is what a British politician pointed out.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace likened Western diplomatic efforts to prevent a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine to appeasing Nazi Germany before World War II.

Wallace told the “Sunday Times” that Russian President Vladimir Putin could send his military buildup to Ukraine “at any time”, adding that Western countries, without specifying them, were not strict enough with Moscow.

He added, “It may happen that Putin stops the engines of his tanks and goes home. But there is something of the smell of Munich in the air, as some in the West see.”

Appeasing Putin may consist in giving him parts of eastern Ukraine, in order to prevent a major war, or evacuating Ukraine from NATO forces, and perhaps larger arrangements, but the result may be similar to what happened with Nazi Germany before, when control of the “Sudet” region turned into Control over the entire Czechoslovakia, followed by invasions that left a great impact and a black point in the history of the coalition countries.

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