61 years of the Munich betrayal and capitulation!

By Vratislav Santroch, Dialog Otazky Odpovedi (Dialogue Questions and Answers), reprinted in Northstar Compass, January 2000

The Munich betrayal which took place in September of 1938 takes on a very special significance today when the present day reactionaries with open government support from the ruling Social Democrats, is again betraying the national interests of this country. It is essential that the young generation be reminded that it was the workers and the farmers, tradesmen and progressive intelligencia, who together with the Communist party struggled against fascism. They stood for the defense of the Czechoslovak nation during 1930s, the Munich betrayal and the Second World War. They also actively participated in the resistance movement during the Second World War, against the Hitlerite Fascist occupation.

It was 61 years ago that Hitler, with the active support from world imperialism, more specifically from England and France, who were accelerating his preparations for the occupation of Czechoslovakia and the launching of the Second World War. These events were fully supported by the reactionary elements of the Czech and Slovak bourgeoisie and a majority of the German population residing in Czechoslovakia. The fifth column Henlein (name given to the Fascists in Czechoslovakia) putsch, in the month of early September 1938, legalized the terrorism which would be unleashed against Czechoslovakia, thus immediately was the beginning of the wholesale murder of all anti-fascist Czechs and Germans.

Standing at the head of all of these actions were the Communists. It is worth noting that both then and now, the betrayal of the nation was perpetrated by the most reactionary segments of the bourgeoisie, with the active support of the right-wing Social Democrats. Both England and France betrayed Czechoslovakia. Their representatives in September of 1938, in conjunction with Hitler and Mussolini, decided, without Czech consent or consultation, to allow the annexation by Germany of the borderlands diving the two nations. Only the Soviet Union was willing to honor its treaty obligations and come to the aid of Czechoslovakia (the other signatories such as France and England chose to renege on all their obligations). Our nation shall never forget that our regained freedom on May 9, 1945 was the result of the heroic struggle waged by the Soviet people and their Red Army in the Second World War. They carried the biggest burden in the fight to liberate humanity from Fascist slavery.

Comrade Gottwald on October 11, 1938 in this crisis, rose in the Czechoslovak parliament to accuse the ruling bourgeoisie of having surrendered the country without a fight, in spite of the fact that they did not lack the means with which to defend themselves.

He pointed out that both Ethiopians and the Spaniards had fought Fascism and that the Chinese were still continuing to fight. “Believe me”, he went on to say: “I, as a Communist, have always been proud of my Czech heritage with its Husite traditions. However, as a dedicated Communist, I cannot be proud of the actions taken on September 30th by this Government and of the resultant situation. All those, who have even a small part of self-respect within them, must feel ashamed of this action by this government.” When comrade Gottwald concluded his remarks, then the parliamentary vice-chairman, Soukup, a Social Democrat rose to deliver his response.

“As vice-chairman, I feel it incumbent on myself to express my very deep regret that MP (Gottwald), in the darkest hour of the Czechoslovak people and state, has chosen this moment to give voice to his attack and to censure this government. His attack, perhaps the most severe that he has ever voiced, accuses both levels of the present government and blames it in a most astonishing nature. His remarks are of such nature as to endanger the public tranquillity of this land and lead further to serious international conflicts. Therefore am obliged therefore as chairman to call to order MP Gottwald for his attacks and accusations and to reserve for censure his entire speech by the presidium of this assembly.”

The reactionary circles in this country were afraid of arousing the workers and so proceeded to outlaw the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC). During the years of German occupation, the Hitlerites violently murdered over 360,000 Czech patriots of whom over 25,000 were leading Communists. This testifies to the fact that Communists, even in the darkest hours of this country, struggled to defend the interests of the working people and the nation as a whole. At all times it was correctly emphasized by Zdenek Nejedly, that the Communists were the inheritors of the progressive traditions of this nation. It is the Communists who

are showing the way and direction to go in order to get out of the capitalist system and its exploitation. The dedicated Communists expose all the reactionaries and all collaborators who are trying to create a new Munich Pact betrayal on our nation.


According to the Associated Press based in Vienna, the following news item appeared in the capitalist press:

“A neo-Nazi group seeking the overthrow of the Austrian government has been uncovered. Over 60 of its ring-leaders have been questioned (not arrested or detained). This follows the right-wing revival in Austria. The present Austrian government is not too keen to make a big issue of this and trying to belittle its significance. All of these suspects have close contacts (according to the materials seized) with Nazis in Austria and specially with the formerly convicted Nazis in Austria and Germany. They cooperate with organized groups now in Germany, Britain and United States. The Austrian group, in cooperation with the above named countries had plans to set up training camps in the Czech Republic all in order to prepare for a “political coup”. This is happening because of Austria's right-wing government under the leadership of Mr. Haider and his Freedom Party, plus the political stance of the Vaclav Government in Prague.”


The above item should awaken the Communists in the Czech Republic to the danger. They cannot let history repeat itself! The Communists of the Czech Republic should already now be demanding the abolition of these Fascist groups. Getting into the Parliament is one thing, but nipping in the bud the approaching Fascists is a priority that should be number one item on the agenda. The spirit of Gottwald must be the number item on the political agenda!