Prosecutors charge Nazis browbeat Hacha to give up Czechoslovakia

December 05 1945
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NUREMBERG, Dec. 5, 1945 (UP) - American prosecutors introduced evidence today that Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering browbeat Dr. Emil Hacha into surrendering Czechoslovakia in March 1939, by threatening to bomb Prague and invade the country at 6 a.m. the following day.

They threatened Hacha so violently during the conference at Hitler's chancellery on March 15, 1939, that he fainted. He was revived by physicians whom Goering had ordered to wait outside the conference room.

Minutes of the meeting disclosed that Hitler told Hacha he was "almost ashamed" to admit that the Germans would use an entire division against every Czech battalion if the Czechs forced them to fight.

"The fuehrer stated that his decision was irrevocable and it is well known what a decision of the fuehrer meant," the document said.

The American prosecution presented its evidence of the Nazi moves to smash Czechoslovakia before turning over the case to the British prosecutors.

Evidence disclosed that the Hungarian government led by Adm. Nicholas Horthy played hand in glove with Hitler in applying pressure to Czechoslovakia.

U.S. Prosecutor Sidney Alderman introduced a letter from Horthy, presumably to Hitler, dated March 13, 1939, in which Horthy promised that "a frontier incident will take place which will be followed by the big blow on Saturday."

Horthy added that he would always remember this proof of friendship.

Hitler then called Dr. Joseph Tiso, president of Slovakia, to the chancellery and told him Hungarian troops were moving on the Slovak frontier.

If Tiso didn't turn over Slovakia without a fight, Hitler said he would leave the little country to the mercy of events for which he would not be responsible.

Tiso thanked Hitler and promised the fuehrer that he could rely on Slovakia.

On March 16, Hitler declared that Czechoslovakia had ceased to exist as a state. He sent troops into the country - already shrunken by the Munich agreement giving the Sudetenland to Germany - and established the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Slovakia, the eastern part of Czechoslovakia, became a republic under German protection.

Alderman said that Goering was highly conscious of the military and economic value of Czechoslovakia, and by building airfields there brought all the industrial area of Poland within bombing range.

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