Czechast About Lord Runciman's Mission to Czechoslovakia

Walter Runciman

This episode serves as a prologue to our upcoming discussions about the deep-rooted connections between Czechs and Britain, particularly through the lens of London.

It was the late summer of 1938, and the clouds of war loomed ominously over Europe. The Sudetenland, home to a significant German-speaking minority, became the flashpoint in an international crisis. These Czechoslovak citizens found themselves at the heart of a contentious debate: remain part of Czechoslovakia or join Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler’s aggressive demands threatened not just peace in our homeland but across the continent.

In a desperate bid to avoid conflict, Britain and France, though bound by treaties to support Czechoslovakia, were eager to appease Hitler. Into this tense atmosphere stepped a British diplomat—Walter Runciman, 1st Viscount of Doxford, or as he is commonly known, Lord Runciman.

Lord Runciman’s mission to Czechoslovakia was not just a diplomatic tour but a journey that would influence the course of history. And, interestingly, it has a personal connection to my own hometown of Žďár nad Sázavou in the picturesque Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. This small yet significant thread in the fabric of our national story offers a unique perspective on the monumental events of that era.

Author: Vít Pohanka
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  • Czechast

    Czechast is a regular RPI podcast about Czech and Moravian culture, history, and economy.