Skip to comments.HENLEIN BREAKS OFF TALKS, RENEWING TENSION IN PRAGUE; NEW TROOP MOVES REPORTED (RT+70)
Posted on 05/25/2008 7:23:40 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Konrad Henlein, Sudeten German leader, departed from Prague yesterday, leaving his negotiations with Czech Premier Hodza hanging fire. At his Monday night talk, it was understood, he was not conciliatory and yesterday Pragues optimism decreased, particularly when new German troop movements were reported.
Berlin, smarting under a feeling of diplomatic defeat, concentrated first on getting Czechoslovakia to dissolve her troop concentrations and, second, on combating what was termed a new war guilt lie by asserting the Reich had no aggressive designs on its neighbor. The War Ministry denied the massing of troops at the border, but at the same time denied any troops had been withdrawn.
France has asked the United States to support the Anglo-French peace efforts, a Foreign Office spokesman said. But the American Embassy was cool to this approach.
No official information is procurable concerning the tone of their conference then, but the general view is that Herr Henlein showed no desire to compromise.
Ernst Eisenlohr, the German Minister, again called at the Foreign Office today, but no information could be obtained as to the object of his visit. The Cabinets political committee had a long session.
The general view here of the international situation is much less optimistic than yesterday, although there is no change in the Czechs calm determination to hold out whatever may be ahead.
The ostensible reason given for Herr Henleins departure from Prague is that he must attend tomorrow the funeral of his two followers who were shot Saturday as a result of their failure to halt in response to a Czech challenge.
The Sudeten German party has made every preparation to insure that the funeral will be an imposing propaganda demonstration. From Eger the bodies will be taken in a large procession to Franzensbad, where they will lie in state on a high catafalque during musical honors, three speeches by noted Henlein party orators and the playing of the German soldiers dirge, I Had a Comrade.
Herr Henlein himself will then lay two wreaths, one on his own behalf and one on the partys, after which the bodies will be carried amid the roll of muffled drums to the two mens native villages for burial.
Nothing that would help to convey the impression that this is the funeral of two heroes slain on the field of battle by the common enemy will be omitted.
Two wreaths arrived in Eger today inscribed respectively Adolf Hitler, adorned with a swastika, and The Adolf Hitler Standard Chancellor Hitlers bodyguard among the Elite Guard.
So large were the Nazi crowds eager to view these floral tributes, which were displayed in the German Consulate, that its doors had to be closed for a time.
Reports circulating in government quarters said that Chancellor Adolf Hitler was sending more German troops into Northeastern Austria, opposite the most vulnerable section of Czechoslovakias frontier.
These reports stated that yesterdays withdrawal of German troops from the border had taken place only in Saxony and that they had fallen back only about twenty miles.
The situation within Czechoslovakia continued quiet, but the authorities were taking special precautionary measures against possible disorders at Eger growing out of the funeral tomorrow of the two Sudeten Germans shot last Saturday. All businesses will be closed during the services.
When the political committee of the Cabinet met tonight to discuss the situation, Premier Hodza informed his colleagues of the nature of his conversations last night with Herr Henlein and also reported on conferences he had had with the British and French Ministers. He also conferred at length with President Eduard Benes.
As details of the talk between Herr Henlein and M. Hodza began to filter through the veil of official uncommunicativeness, the conversation, which at first had been described as encouraging, seemed anything but that.
Herr Henlein, it was learned, asked that Czechoslovak troops be withdrawn from the Sudeten German border regions as a preliminary to serious negotiations. He received a curt refusal from M. Hodza.
When M. Hodza later asked the Sudeten German leader whether he intended on that account to break off negotiations altogether, Herr Henlein replied, By no means. The Sudeten Germans, he said were as anxious for a peaceful settlement of the minority question as the government was, but felt that conversations would get nowhere as long as troops occupied their towns and freedom of public assembly was denied them.
The government point of view is that there are further elections next Sunday and June 12 and that to withdraw the troops would be to invite a resumption of disorders such as almost led to an international conflict last week-end before the first municipal elections.
After original plans for further conversations between the Premier and the Sudeten German leader had been abandoned and Herr Henlein had left Prague for Asch, a government spokesman said frankly that there was not a chance in the world that the troops would be withdrawn from the border regions during the present emergency.
Unofficially it was reported that, far from withdrawing troops from the border, the government last night had called an unrevealed number of additional technical troops to the colors.
In official quarters the one bright spot remained the demonstration of Anglo-French solidarity in the critical hours of last week-end. Czechoslovakias hopes of peace continued to be based on the firmness shown by Britain and France, confidence in the loyalty of Soviet Russia and complete reliance on the readiness of the Czechoslovak Army to fight for the integrity of the republics frontiers.
The fact that Colonel Beck felt able to keep his engagement was taken here as a sign that he considered the Central European situation at least temporarily relieved. The only alteration in the plans was a decision to travel by passenger ship and train instead of on a Polish warship.
Lord Perth left for a vacation afterward, which is taken to indicate that the Czechoslovak crisis now may be considered overcome.
Under the new order, Dr. Arthur Sess-Inquart remains Statthalter [Governor], but his Cabinet is reduced to the four following Ministers:
Interior, Major Hubert Klausner.
Commerce and Finance, Dr. Hans Fishboeck.
Agriculture, Anton Reinthaler.
Justice, Dr. Franz Hueber.
Several Under-secretaries of State were appointed as follows:
Police, Herr Kaltenbrunner.
Education, Herr Plattner.
Unification of Laws, Herr Wiemmer.
Art and Propaganda, Herr Muhlmann.
The Foreign Ministry and War Ministry disappear. Gau divisions will replace provinces and the name Oesterreich disappears. Each Gau represents the National Socialist party administrative unit.
The city of Vienna now includes a number of suburbs such as Moedling. Its Governor and Gauleiter is Herr Globscnik. Lower Austria becomes Niederdonau, with Krems as the capital Upper Austria becomes Oberdonau, with Linz the capital.
Salzburg, Carinthia and Styria retain their names and capitals. Vorarlbeg is now in Tyrol, while Burgenland goes to Styria and East Tyrol to Carinthia.
The former supreme leader of the Austrian Nazis, Captain Joseph Leopold, has been appointed a member of the staff of Rudolf Hess, deputy leader of the Nazi party.
Dr. Sigmund Freud, Vienna psychiatrist, left for England today with his family and several pupils.
VIENNA, May 24 (AP). A close friend of Kurt Schuschnigg said today that the former Austrian Chancellor suffered a nervous breakdown two days ago in Belvedere Palace, where he has been detained since the German annexation.
The property of the monastery of St. Lambrecht in Styria, belonging to the Catholic Order of St. Benedict, was confiscated today. No reasons were disclosed in the decree published in the official Wiener Zeitung.
The newspaper Neuigkeite Weltblatt expressed the belief that financial difficulties, which in recent years had led to sales of valuable art objects, were responsible for the confiscation.
FRANKFORT ON THE MAIN, May 24. The Supreme Labor Court ruled today that any employe of any organization may be dismissed without compensation if proved guilty of trading with a Jew or a Jewish firm. The decision was given in the case of an anti-Semitic employer who discharged as employe solely because he made purchases in a Jews store.
Herbert von Dirksen, the German Ambassador, called on Viscount Halifax, British Foreign Secretary, twice during the day. British official quarters, meanwhile went out of their way to emphasize that all the governments concerned in the crisis share credit for their self-restraint under extreme tension.
It is understood here that the conversation between Premier Milan Hodza and Konrad Henlein went off slightly better than might have been expected considering the circumstances under which they met. But the difficulties in the way of an agreement, particularly Herr Henleins demand that Czechoslovakia drop her alliance with Soviet Russia, remain formidable and a continuance of the tension is expected until some sort of settlement is reached.
Jan Masaryk, Czechoslovak Minister to London, is taking advantage of the lull here to return to Prague on Thursday to discuss the situation.
There has been a revival of interest in the Spanish question, which was crowded off the stage by the Czechoslovak crisis and it is hoped that Italy and Germany will agree to the Anglo-French compromise plan for reimposing frontier control on Spain and withdrawing volunteers.
It is understood that Italys first reaction to the plan has been favorable, while Germany is rather dubious. The meeting of the non-intervention subcommittee on Thursday will be most important, for its outcome will largely determine whether Italy and France can reach an agreement supplementing the Anglo-Italian understanding. If they cannot, much of the value of the agreement between Britain and Italy will be lost - a prospect all the more unwelcome to Mr. Chamberlain after the events of the past few days.
Mr. Stanley rejected the idea of higher tariffs on American goods while the talks were in progress, but his statement that a genuine trade treaty must provide for a fair expansion of trade in both countries seemed to suggest that a treaty must encourage the expansion of British exports to the United States if it is to be successful.
A treaty with the United States, when it comes, must be one which will stand on its own legs, which is fair to both countries and which leads to a fair extension of trade, Mr. Stanley declared. We can no longer afford to make unilateral gestures in trade matters.
He attributed the decline in trade this year to the fall in commodity prices, despite which, however, Britains adverse balance with all countries for the first four months increased ₤17,000,000 and gave more cause for alarm than the total of ₤52,000,000 for 1937, when import prices were higher.
The whole of the increase Mr. Stanley aid, was covered by extra imports from the United States, which, however, was due to certain fortuitous circumstances the good American wheat crop and bad Canadian wheat crop and increased imports of iron and steel to meet armament demands.
I used seperate threads today since two of the three are fairly long.
Yes, I'm certain of this. I read it as a boy ;-)