Adolf Hitler - memorandum of September 23, 1938



Memorandum Reports which are increasing in number from hour to hour regarding incidents in the Sudetenland show that the situation has become completely intolerable for the Sudeten German people and, in consequence, a danger to the peace of Europe. It is therefore essential that the separation of the Sudetenland agreed to by Czechoslovakia should be effected without any further delay. On the attached map (the map will be brought along by the delegation) the Sudeten German area which is to be ceded is shaded red. The areas in which, over and above the areas which are to be occupied, a plebiscite is also to be held are drawn in and shaded green.


The final delimitation of the frontier must correspond to the wishes of those concerned. In order to determine these wishes, a certain period is necessary for the preparation of the voting, during which disturbances must in all circumstances be prevented. A situation of parity must be created. The area designated on the attached map as a German area will be occupied by German troops without taking account as to whether in the plebiscite there may prove to be in this or that part of the area a Czech majority.


On the other hand, the Czech territory is occupied by Czech troops without regard to the question whether, within this area, there lie large German language islands, the majority of which will without doubt avow their German nationality in the plebiscite. With a view to bringing about an immediate and final solution of the Sudeten German problem the following proposals are now made by the German Government:


1. Withdrawal of the whole Czech armed forces, the police, the gendarmerie, the customs officials, and the frontier guards from the area to be evacuated as designated on the attached map, this area to be handed over to Germany on October 1.


 2. The evacuated territory is to be handed over in its present condition (see further details in appendix). The German Government agrees that a plenipotentiary representative of the Czech Government or of the Czech Army should be attached to the headquarters of the German military forces to settle the details of the modality of the evacuation.


3. The Czech Government discharges at once to their homes all Sudeten Germans serving in the military forces or the police anywhere in Czech State territory.


4. The Czech Government liberates all political prisoners of German race.


5. The German Government agrees to permit a plebiscite to take place in those areas, which will be more definitely defined, before at latest November 25.


Alterations to the new frontier arising out of the plebiscite will be settled by a GermanCzech or an international commission. The plebiscite itself will be carried out under the control of an international commission. All persons who were residing in the areas in question on October 28, 1918, or who were born there prior to this date will be eligible to vote. A simple majority of all eligible male and female voters will determine the desire of the population to belong to either the German Reich or to the Czech State. During the plebiscite both parties will withdraw their military forces out of areas which will be defined more precisely. The date and duration will be settled by the German and Czech Governments together.


6. The German Government proposes that an authoritative German-Czech commission should be set up to settle all further details.


Godesberg, September 23, 1938 Appendix The evacuated Sudeten German territory is to be handed over without destroying or rendering unusable in any way military, commercial, or traffic establishments (plants). These include the ground organization of the air service and all wireless stations.


All commercial and transport materials, especially the rolling stock of the railway system, in the designated areas, are to be handed over undamaged. The same applies to all public utility services (gas works, power stations, etc.).


Finally, no foodstuffs, goods, cattle, raw material, etc. are to be removed.