Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Bene%s in the 1930s / Edition 1

Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Bene%s in the 1930s / Edition 1

by Igor Lukes
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
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Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Bene%s in the 1930s / Edition 1

The Munich crisis of 1938, in which Great Britain and France decided to appease Hitler's demands to annex the Sudentenland, has provoked a vast amount of historical writing. The era has been thoroughly examined from the perspectives of Germans, French, and British political establishments. But historians have had, until now, only a vague understanding of the roles played by the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, the country whose very existence was at the very center of the crisis.

In Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler, Igor Lukes explores this turbulent and tragic era from the new perspective of the Prague government itself. At the center of this study is Edvard Benes, a Czechoslovak foreign policy strategist and a major player in the political machinations of the era. The work looks at the first two decades of Benes's diplomacy and analyzes the Prague Government's attempts to secure the existence of the Republic of Czechoslovakia in the treacherous space between the millstones of the East and West. It studies Benes's relationship with Joseph Stalin, outlines the role assigned to Czechoslovak communists by the VIIth Congress of the Communist International in 1935, and dissects Prague's secret negotiations with Berlin and Benes's role in the famous Tukhachevsky affair. The work also brings evidence regarding the so-called partial mobilization of the Czechoslovak army in May 1938, and focuses on Stalin's strategic thinking on the eve of the World War II.

Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was difficult for Western researchers to gain access to the rich archival collections of the East. Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler makes ample use of these secret archives, both in Prague and in Russia. As a result, it is an accurate and original rendition of the events which eventually sparked the Second World War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900195102672
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 06/28/1996
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

1Czechoslovak-Soviet Contacts from the End of World War I to Adolf Hitler's Machtergreifung, 1918-19333
The Hillerson Red Cross Mission in Prague7
Prague's Attitude toward the Bolsheviks11
From Diplomacy to Confrontation18
2Dangerous Relations: Benes and Stalin in Hitler's Shadow, 1933-193533
At Last: De Jure Recognition and Its Consequences36
Benes's Ostpolitik40
The Czechoslovak-Soviet Treaty of 1935 and Its Mysterious Stipulation44
Prague's Pact with Moscow50
The Aftermath of Czechoslovakia's Agreement with the Soviet Union51
Stalin's Wooing of Edvard Benes: The 1935 Trip to Moscow52
Stalin Was "Gracious, Thoughtful, Accommodating,"55
3Between the Agile East and the Apathetic West: Central Europe, 1935-193767
The CPC and the 7th Congress of the Comintern68
Czechoslovakia and the Frigid West79
"Lord Halalifax,"81
4Benes and the Tukhachevsky Affair: New Evidence from the Archives in Prague and Moscow91
Znamia Rossii and Other Tremors before the Earthquake92
Tukhachevsky and the Secret Negotiations between Prague and Berlin96
President Edvard Benes and the Tukhachevsky Affair99
5The Fateful Spring of 1938: Austrian Anschlu[beta] and the May Crisis113
From the Death of Thomas G. Masaryk to New Year's Day 1938116
The Anschlu[beta] of Austria119
Czechoslovakia after the Anschlu[beta]126
Moscow's Reaction to the Anschlu[beta]130
Konrad Henlein's Eight Points: Demand the Impossible139
May Day 1938: Gottwald in Moscow, Henlein in the Sudetenland141
The Partial Mobilization of May 1938143
The May Mobilization and Analysts of the Second Bureau148
6Lord Runciman and Comrade Zhdanov: Western and Soviet Policies Toward Czechoslovakia from June to Early September 1938173
France: Firm Statements of Support on Shaky Foundations174
Great Britain Takes Charge177
The British Intervention: Lord Runciman in Prague179
The Three-Pronged Soviet Strategy from June to Early September 1938190
7September 1938209
Hitler at Nuremberg and a State of Emergency in the Sudetenland209
Berchtesgaden: A Step to Munich214
The Franco-British Proposal218
Prague's Response to the Proposal and the Soviet Union223
The Franco-British Ultimatum and Its Consequences225
Godesberg: The Last Missed Opportunity233
Folding the Flag: From the Sportpalast to Munich242
The Yawning Affair at Munich249
Agony in Prague253
The Man Who Won at Munich: Stalin and the Four Power Act256
The Victims of the Munich Agreement260
Sources and Bibliography277

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