Disinfo: The Munich Agreement triggered World War II

Summary

The partition of Czechoslovakia was brutal and cynical. Munich destroyed even the formal, fragile guarantees that remained on the continent. It showed that mutual agreements were worthless. It was the Munich Agreement that served as a “trigger” and made the great war in Europe inevitable.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism which attempts to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive, to blame the West for the outbreak of World War II, to relativise and erode the disastrous historical role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union) by stating that other countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler throughout the 1930s, and to argue that it was the Munich Agreement that triggered WWII.

According to the best historical research, it was clearly the Molotov-Ribentropp Pact (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators), signed on August 23, 1939,  that triggered  World War II.  Its secret supplementary protocols  divided Eastern and Central Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. The signing of this Pact enabled the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in the occupation of this country by Germany and USSR, triggering the beginning of World War II.

Moreover, it is impossibile to compare the Munich Agreement to the Ribbentropp-Molotov Pact or to establish any kind of moral equivalence between them. The Munich Agreement has always been a symbol of cowardly “appeasement policy” and a diplomatic disaster. Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France, without inviting Czechoslovakia decided that, for the sake of peace in Europe, the Sudettenland region, which was predominantly inhabited by Germans, must be surrendered to Germany. However, the Munich Agreement was not a secret and did not mean the liquidation and division of Czechoslovakia as a state, because the British and French had the illusion that Hitler would “calm down” and the war in Europe would be prevented.

When Germany itself destroyed the Munich Pact and occupied Prague in March 1939, Anglo-French policy towards Nazi Germany changed fundamentally from appeasement to resistance.

By contrast, the secret protocols to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact definitely provided for the division of the territories of other countries between Germany and the USSR. The Nazi-Soviet Pact enabled the German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler and the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to start the war by assaulting their neighbours and to create a situation where “territorial and political restructuring” occurred, followed by the wide seizure of foreign territories and the elimination of independence in neighbouring countries. Read more about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: The Night Stalin and Hitler Redrew the Map of Europe (RFERL).

Read previous cases claiming that Western countries revise the history of the Second World War in order to get rid of repsonsibility for allowing Hitler to gather strength for the attack against the USSR and that Western democracies are primarily responsible for the outbreak of World War II.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 203
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Italy, UK, USSR, France
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Historical revisionism, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Europe, Joseph Stalin

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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