Foreign Office, britské vyslanectví v Praze a sudetoněmecká otázka v roce 1936
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FOREIGN OFFICE, BRITISH LEGACY IN PRAGUE AND SUDETEN GERMAN ISSUE IN 1936
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At the end of World War I and in the 1920's, Great Britain and its Foreign Office had a rather optimistic view of relations between Czechs and Germans in Czechoslovakia. The situation only changed in the following decade. The British Foreign Office began increasingly lean toward the opinion that the successor states, including Czechoslovakia, did not contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in Central Europe. Reports from the British legation in Prague, mostly marked by their Germanophile orientation and negative perspective on the Czechoslovak government's policy toward the German minority, played an important role in the Foreign Office's perception of the Sudeten German issue. Adolf Hitler's accession to power in 1933 did not change London's efforts to achieve agreement with Berlin. However, according to the responsible British politicians, a more permanent reconciliation with Germany was only possible if some injustices done, in Britain's view, after 1918 were remedied. With respect to Central Europe, this meant an increased interest by the Foreign Office in ethnic situation in the Czechoslovak Republic, particularly after the formation of the Sudeten German Party in April 1935. The perception of the Sudeten German issue by the British legacy in Prague was clearly unfavourable for the Czechoslovak Republic in 1936. In terms of a wider context of British foreign policy, agreement with Berlin became one of the basic foreign political axioms in 1936, especially after German occupation of the Rhineland in March. At the end of 1936, leading representatives of the British Foreign Office came to the conclusion that the key to solve the German-Czech argument was an agreement between Sudeten Germans and the Czechoslovak government. In their opinion, a path to such an agreement had to be grounded in a pressure on Prague to accommodate the German minority. The Foreign Office was afraid that Sudeten Germans would otherwise radicalize in their effort to join Germany, which would consequently threaten peaceful arrangement in Central Europe. British politicians thus convinced themselves that the situation could only be saved by a positive approach to the German minority.
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