Monday, April 13, 2015

ADSS 1.2 Cesare Orsenigo, Germany to Cardinal Maglione - Germans have entered Czechoslovakia

ADSS 1.2 Cesare Orsenigo (1), Germany to Luigi Maglione (2).

Reference: Telegram 316 (AES 1037/39)

Location and date: Berlin, 15.03.1939

Summary statement: Entry of German troops into Czechoslovakia

Language: Italian


German troops have occupied Prague, and it appears that they will occupy the entire Czech territory during the course of today. (3)

Hitler and Foreign Minister have already left for occupied territory. (4)

Nothing is known regarding future settlement; Slovakia will be granted autonomy; Czechs may be absorbed but Anchluss not yet proclaimed.

(1) Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo (1873-1946), Nuncio to Germany 1929-45.
(2) Cardinal Luigi Maglione (1877-1944), Secretary of State to Pope Pius XII 1939-44.
(3) Hitler summoned Czech president Emil Hacha (1872-1945) to Berlin on 14.03.1939 and delivered an ultimatum that Czechoslovakia surrender to Germany or endure invasion.  Hacha suffered a heart attack during the meeting and was kept awake until he accepted Hitler’s terms.  Hitler had earlier met with Slovak leader, Jozef Tiso and promised Slovak independence. 

(4) Hitler arrived in Prague on 16.03.1939 and proclaimed the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.  Joachim Ribbentrop (1893-1946) was foreign minister 1938-1945.

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