Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Benes in the 1930s

By Igor Lukes | Go to book overview
Save to active project

OBVIOUSLY, NOT ALL SOVIET expectations were accurate. For instance, the Kremlin must have watched with a mixture of awe and horror as the Blitzkrieg swept through Western Europe and brought the Swastika all the way to Paris and to the English Channel. Yes, Stalin wanted a war of Hitler against Great Britain and France, but not such a quick one. Germany's swift and militarily brilliant victory in Western Europe was bound to strengthen the Führer's conviction that he was invincible and chosen by fate to rid the world of Bolshevism, his next target. Hitler's turn eastward meant that Stalin failed in his effort to stay out of the war, and the German military would come dangerously close to breaking the back of the Stalinist system. None of this was predictable. Even during the last days of September 1938 the Kremlin could not have foreseen future developments in highly volatile Central Europe with any degree of certainty. A year later it was still not clear what Great Britain would do or how well the French would fight should it come to a shooting war with Germany.

However, it is impossible to overlook the fact that the most accurate analysis of the European scene in the summer of 1938 had been made in the Kremlin. Great Britain stooped to coercing President Beneš and to designing such clumsy measures as the Runciman mission, which were unworthy of its democratic tradition. France dug a hole for itself by declaring its "solemn," "indisputable," and "sacred" obligations toward Czechoslovakia. In a matter of just a few weeks it would climb out of the hole on the ladder of betrayal. Eventually, just as Moscow had predicted, both countries would within a year get into the war they had hoped to avoid.

What happened to the second wave of socialist revolutions anticipated by the 7th Congress of the Communist International in 1935 and by Zhdanov in Prague three years later? It did not take place quite the way Moscow had hoped; in fact, World War II failed to fragment European societies into hostile classes, but instead bonded most nations involved in the fighting, on both sides. Therefore, the second wave of revolutions was actually launched in 1944 by the Red Army when it entered Eastern and Central Europe. Imposing communism with troops and secret policemen lacked elegance. It would have been nicer if Soviet-style regimes had grown organically from the suffering and upheavals caused by the latest capitalist war. They would have been more ligitimate and therefore also more self-reliant and stable. This technique had furthermore important geographic limitations because the Red Army's presence was a necessary (though not sufficient) precondition for the emergence of communist elites. Nevertheless, the second wave of proletarian revolutions would take place, if only in the portion of Europe under Stalin's control. It would come to a successful conclusion in February 1948 with the communist coup d'état in Prague, as Zhdanov had predicted in the same city a decade before. Into the ruins fertilized by Europe's war against Nazism Stalin would plant seeds that would yield his East European empire.


Notes
1.
Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939 (henceforth DBFP), 3d series. vol. 1 ( London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1949), document no. 494, 569.
2.
MHA-MOP, secret, 1935-39, general, 144/38. This is a memorandum from General Ludvík Krejčí to President Beneš, 31 May 1938.
3.
DBFP, 3d series, vol. 1, document no. 393, 463.
4.
DBFP, 3d series, vol. 2, document no. 590, 59. The view was embraced by Sir

-201-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Benes in the 1930s
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 322

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.