The German Chargé ( Thomsen ) to the Secretary of State 88


Mr. Secretary of State: Following my note of the 17th of this month, I have the honor to make known to Your Excellency, below, the [Page 52] preamble to the decree of March 16th of the Reich Government on the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. This preamble, which had not reached me before, forms an integral part of the decree mentioned. It reads as follows:

“For a thousand years the lands of Bohemia and Moravia belonged to the living area or the German people.

“Force and want of understanding arbitrarily tore them from their ancient historic surroundings and finally by their incorporation in the artificial structure of Czechoslovakia created the center of constant unrest.

“From year to year the danger increased that a new and terrible threat to the peace of Europe would come from this area, as it once did in the past.

“For the Czechoslovak State and its rulers had not succeeded in organizing the common life of the national groups arbitrarily united in it and thereby in arousing and maintaining the interest of all concerned in the maintenance of their common State.

“In that way, however, it displayed its internal incapacity for life and therefore it has now fallen into actual disintegration.

“The German Reich, however, cannot permit any continuous disturbances in these regions, of Such decisive importance to its own peace and security and to the general welfare and the general peace.

“Sooner or later it was bound, as the power most interested and sympathetically affected because of the historical and geographic situation, to have to bear the most serious consequences.

“It is therefore in keeping with the law of self-preservation if the German Reich has determined to intervene decisively for the restoration of the bases for a reasonable order in Central Europe and to take the measures arising therefrom.

“For it has already proved in its historical past of a thousand years that it alone is called to solve these problems, both because of the greatness and the characteristics of the German nation.

“Filled with earnest desire to serve the true interests of the peoples dwelling in this area, to safeguard the national individuality of the German and the Czech peoples, and to further the peace and social welfare of all, I therefore order the following, in the name of the German Reich, as the basis for the future common life of the inhabitants of these regions:”

Accept [etc.]

  1. The receipt of this note was acknowledged by the Acting Secretary of State in a note dated March 21, not printed.