A Letter to the Editor, from the April 11, 1939 issue of Look Magazine.
Some background information may be needed to appreciate Gert’s plea.
On March 15, 1939, Nazi forces pounded through Czechoslovakia. There was little resistance, no international outrage, no offer of aid or support. Gert, her family, her friends, and her country, were sacrificed for a ‘noble cause.’
The previous September, European leaders signed the Munich Pact. This agreement gave Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler. His rhetoric, that such an agreement would bring stability to their ramshackled continent, was enthusiastically gobbled up by the leaders of France, Great Britain and Italy. They willingly ignored the possible long term effects in favor of the short term promises this sacrifice would have. So they knelt, heads bowed with outstretched arms, holding a platter with 15 million Czechs upon it. It turned out to be a blood offering before Hitlers throne.
This foolish gesture to satiate Hitlers lust for land and power didn’t work – his well played strategy emboldened him. It was a clear signal that his opponents were too meek or too ignorant to make hard decisions. We all know the results.
As with all History, there are lessons to learn for those willing to learn them. No matter how “nobel” a decision may seem at a certain moment, long term consequences must be factored to make the proper decision. If a “Line in the Sand” is drawn it must be enforced. Sadly, as History teaches – this lesson will be ignored.