The Czech Conspiracy. 
A Phase in the World-War Plot

George Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers


In the famous Declaration, signed by Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler, and drafted by the former at Munich on September 30th, it was formally recognised that the "question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for the two countries and for Europe...." The Four-Power Pact was regarded as "symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again...." Yet no sooner had the peoples' enthusiasm for the achievement of Peace begun to evaporate in the resumption of the routine of everyday life, than the "British" Press started to prepare the minds of the public for the idea that the danger of war was only postponed, that there must inevitably be another "crisis" sooner or later, that we must continue to re-arm, and that the imbecilities of A.R.P. must be resumed with ever-increasing vigour.

The Communists suddenly became fervid champions of British Imperialism, enthusiasts for re-armament, and against the return of any colonies to Germany. They also showed a significant enthusiasm for a crazy scheme, first disclosed in all its detail by the Home Office after the crisis was over, for evacuating "refugee" civilians and children from the cities and compulsorily billeting them, on slum-clearance lines, in the private houses of the helpless rural population; a scheme whose origins may be sought in the Political and Economic Planning of Mr. Israel Moses Sieff.

True English opinion was again squeezed out of the press, and a letter signed by a number of prominent Englishmen, to the Times, published on October 11th, was, significantly enough, held up for five days before the Times consented to publish it. I may, therefore, quote it as an indication of true English opinion. It was published as follows in the Anglo-German Review of October, 1938:

                "To the Editor of the Times.
          "The undersigned, who believe that real friendship and co-operation between Great Britain and Germany are essential to the establishment of enduring peace not only in Western Europe but throughout the world, strongly deprecate the attempt which is being made to sabotage an Anglo-German rapprochement by distorting the facts of the Czecho-Slovak settlement. We believe that the Munich Agreement was nothing more than a rectification of one of the most flagrant injustices of the Peace Treaty. It took nothing from Czecho-Slovakia to which that country could rightly lay claim and gave nothing to Germany which could have been rightfully withheld. We see in the policy so courageously pursued by the Prime Minister the end of a long period of lost opportunities and the promise of a new era compared to which the tragic years that have gone since the War will seem like a bad dream."

It bore the signatures of the following:

Lord Arnold.
Captain Bernard Acworth.
Professor Sir Raymond Beazley.
Mr. C. E. Carroll.
Sir John Smedley Crooke, M.P.
Mr. W. H. Dawson.
Admiral Sir Barry Domvile.
Mr. A. E. R. Dyer.
Lord Fairfax of Cameron.
Viscount Hardinge of Penshurst.
Mr. F. C. Jarvis.
Mr. Douglas Jerrold.
Sir John Latta.
Professor A. P. Laurie.
The Marquess of Londonderry.
Vice-Admiral V. B. Molteno.
Capt. A. H. Maule Ramsay, M.P.
Mr. Wilmot Nicholson.
Lord Redesdale.
Captain Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers.
Captain Arthur Rogers, O.B.E.
Major-General Arthur Solly-Flood.
Mrs. Nesta Webster.
Mr. Bernard Wilson.
                  (October 6, 1938.)

Among other signatures which arrived too late to be appended to the letter were those of Lord Rochdale, Major Herbert S. Pullar and Professor C. Sarolea.


Notes and References

1. War Memories of David Lloyd George, Vol. V., pp. 2573-2578.

2. Ibid., p. 2567.

3. Ibid., p. 2572.

4. Secrets of Crewe House, by Sir Campbell Stuart, K.B.E., cit. Chapter III, "Operations Against Austria-Hungary: Propaganda's Most Striking Success."

5. The Hapsburg Monarchy, by Henry Wickham Steed (1913), p. 239.

6. Ibid., pp. 172-4.

7. Cf. A History of the Jews in England, by Albert M. Hyamson, p. 238.

8. The Case of German South Tyrol Against Italy. Translation from the German, edited by C. H. Herford, Litt.D., 1927.

9. An illustrated quarto pamphlet entitled: "Don't Forget South Tyrol. The Lost Home," by Hans Fingeller (1938); with 40 illustrations and a page of maps. It bears the name of no publisher or printer, and its authors and printers are therefore liable to prosecution under English Law. Amongst the persons quoted in support is a reference to Professor Seton-Watson quoted from the Slavonic Review of London, 1935.

10. Black Hand Over Europe, by Henri Pozzi, translated by Francis J. Mott (1935), p. 16.
      In this connection see also the works of Mary Edith Durham, F.R.A.I., at one time correspondent of the Times, Manchester Guardian, etc. The Sarajevo Crime (1925); Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle (1920); High Albania (1909); The Burden of the Balkans (1905); and Through the Land of the Serbs (1905). Her private letter only is quoted in the text.

11. The Czechoslovak Nation's Struggle for Independence, by Jaroslav Papousek; published by the official Orbis Publishing House in Prague (1928).

12. Verrat an Europa, by Karl Vietz, 1938. There is an English translation. (High Treason Against Europe, Heath Cranton, Ltd.) On page 38 of the German edition is a facsimile reproduction of the Pittsburg Pact in the Slovakian language.

13. Société des Nations. Super-État Maçonnique, by Léon de Poncins. A facsimile reproduction is given in this book of the cover of the Congress Minutes of the "Maçonneries des Nations alliés et neutres," held on 28th-29th and 30th of June, 1917.

14. Verrat an Europa, by Karl Vietz, p. 26.

15. Czecho-Slovakia, by Dr. Josef Gruber. (Translated from Czech documents.) Chapter I. by Dr. Antonin Bohác.

16. The Slovak National Council, Should Great Britain go to War for Czecho-Slovakia?: An Appeal to British Common Sense for the sake of World Peace, 1937. The Slovak Council subsequently issued a further report in 1938.

17. A History of Europe, by H. A. L. Fisher, p. 1160.

18. Die tschechoslowakischen Denkschriften für die Friedenskonferenz von Paris, 1919/1920. Published by "Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht" in Berlin.

19. Souvenirs de Guerre et de Révolution (1914-1918) - La Lutte pour l'Independénce des Peuples, par Edouard Benes, Ministre des Affaires Étrangères de la République Tchécoslovaque, Vol. II.; see especially Chapters XIX and XX.

20. Black Hand Over Europe, by Henri Pozzi, p. 206.

21. Through Thirty Years, 1892-1922, by Henry Wickham Steed, Vol. II., pp. 124-125.

22. See The Czech Legions in Siberia, by General Constantin W. Sakharow, former Chief-of-Staff of the White Russian Army. This book was banned by the Czech Government.

23. The World Significance of the Russian Revolution, by George Pitt-Rivers, with a Preface by Dr. Oscar Levy, 1920. Now out of print.

24. See Nouvelle Révue de Hongrie, February 1937, "Les Rapports Russo-Tchécoslovaques."
      The 1931 statement of Benesh is contained, as a direct quote, in an inspired article from Prague by the Czech writer Paul Szvatko entitled: "Les Rapports Russo-Tchécoslovaques," p. 187. The editor of this review, in introducing the writer, comments: "L'un (des deux articles) qui nous vient de Prague, fait connâitre de quelle manière la co-opération politique russo-tchécoslovaque est jugée en Tchécoslovaquie." The writer of the article, Szvatko, hints that M Benesh repeated this statement of policy on more than one occasion, for he writes: "Cependant, dès 1931, M. Benesh écrivait çeci."

25. "Résponse au rapport du capitaine Pitt-Rivers concernant la Tchécoslovaquie," by Dr. A. Bohác, official Czech Statistician. This pamphlet was privately circulated by Dr. Bohác to members of the General Assembly of the International Population Union at Paris, July 1937, in reply to my Reports as Secretary-General.

26. The Truth About the Peace Treaties, by David Lloyd George, Vol. I. (1938), pp. 31-50.

27. The New Europe: The Slav Standpoint, by Thomas G. Masaryk, President of the Czecho-Slovak Republic. Issued for private circulation, Washington, October 1918; and printed by Eyre & Spottiswoode, Ltd., London, 1918.

28. Refugees: Preliminary Report of a Survey, by Sir John Hope Simpson, K.B.E., C.I.E., July 1938; issued under the auspices of The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, pp. 178-9 and p. 90.

29. Convention concerning the Status of Refugees coming from Germany. Parliamentary Paper, Cmd. 5780, Miscellaneous No. 5 (1938).

30. Minutes, August 1938, Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the General Council of the League of Nations Union, p. 60.

31. "La France devra-t-elle Faire La Guerre Pour La Tchécoslovaquie? Lettre ouverte à Monsieur la Président de la République, Messieurs les membres du Gouvernement et du Parlement," par Jean Montigny, Député de la Sarthe, Docteur en Droit Ès-Sciences Politiques; 19th September 1938.

32. "Report of Committee on Evacuation," with a covering memorandum by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Sir Samuel Hoare; Cmd. 5837; July 1938.

NOTE - See also White Papers, Miscellaneous Nos. 7 and 8 (1938); "Correspondence respecting Czechoslovakia, September 1938" Cmd. 5847; and "Further Documents respecting Czechoslovakia Including the Agreement concluded at Munich on September 29th, 1938," Cmd. 5848.

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The Czech Conspiracy
A Phase in the World-War Plot