Monday, July 16, 2012
the last book I ever read (Madeleine Albright's Prague Winter, excerpt four)
from Madeleine Albright's Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948:
Four days after German troops entered the Sudetenland, Beneš abdicated; two weeks later, he left for London. His successor, Dr. Emil Hácha, a sixty-six-year-old former Supreme Court justice, was in poor health and greatly preferred art to politics. Reluctantly, the cautious jurist tried to steer his government of holdovers, second raters, and collaborators in a direction that would pacify the Germans while still preserving national independence. It was a hopeless task.
The Sudetenland is commonly understood to be the northern slice of the country, but under Munich, it was far more than that. As defined by the agreement, the occupied areas extended along the entire western border and also the southern edge most of the way to Slovakia. On the map, the occupied region resembled an open mouth poised to swallow what little remained of T. G. Masaryk’s democratic republic.