In Crimea, echoes of Sudetenland [Letter]

March 06, 2014

In 1938, Adolph Hitler wanted to annex that portion of Czechoslovakia that bordered on Germany known as the Sudetenland which had a large German ethnic minority but which, much more importantly, contained the extremely strong border defenses of the Czech Army.

Hitler infiltrated Nazi agitators into the Sudetenland who created conditions wherein Hitler could claim he had to militarily occupy that portion of Czechoslovakia in order to protect ethnic Germans. Hitler then met with Italy's Benito Mussolini and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at Munich and promised in writing that if they would concur in this annexation he, Hitler, had no more territorial ambitions in Europe. Obviously, Hitler lied!

Would someone please explain to me how Russia's occupation of the Crimea by Vladimir Putin is any different than Hitler's occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938?

Marc Raim, Baltimore

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