Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Tensions rise in Ukraine as Russian aggression increases.
To fully understand the crisis in Ukraine, the history of the Sudetenland prior to World War II will provide insight into the motivations behind Russia’s aggression.
In September of 1938, the Third Reich under the rule of Adolf Hitler forcefully annexed Czechoslovakia’s northern and western regions, known collectively as the Sudetenland.
According to a census conducted in years prior, over 3.1 million native German speakers lived in Czechoslovakia; the majority of whom were living in the Sudetenland at the time.
Hitler with his ambitious thirst for expansion used this as a pretense for a land grab.
He began negations with Britain's then prime minister William Chamberlin over the Munich agreement, which would be a settlement permitting Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia.
Hitler claimed the native German speakers living in Czechoslovakia were not only being oppressed but were also being murdered because of the anti-German incitement being promoted by the Czech government.
Through theses allegations, Hitler demanded the swift takeover of the Sudetenland by the Third Reich under threat of war.
Hitler promoted his expansionist aggression under the guise of protecting native germans that were, in his own words, being “slaughtered” by the Czechs.
Despite there being no evidence of such oppressive actions from the Czech’s towards the native germans living in the Sudetenland, Chamberlin accepted Hitlers terms and allowed Nazi Germany to invade Czechoslovakia, taking control of the Sudetenland without firing a single shot.
This was a clear example of the quote penned by Edmund Burke when he said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Chamberlin’s failure to stop Hitlers aggression only encouraged nazi Germany’s aggressive expansion.
Undeterred by the rest of Europe and gaining confidence from the lack of resistance he received, Hitler the very next day demanded new additions to the Munich agreement, insisting that Germany’s claims of Poland and Hungary also be satisfied.
What then followed were months of false flag negations and political maneuvering to gain more land before Nazi Germany, on September 1, 1939 at 04:40 attacked the Polish town of Wieluń, in what was the beginning of the second World War in which over 70 million people would lose their lives.
In the same deceptive manner of Nazi Germany’s Hitler, Vladimir Putin has illegally annexed part of Ukraine under the pre tense that Russian speaking citizens were oppressed and in harms way because of the anti-Russian climate that the Ukrainian government created.
The accusations were completely fabricated and had more to do with the ousting of Russian sympathetic president Viktor Yanukovych, which left Russia’s strategic naval base on the baltic sea in jeopardy.
Despite the current conflict in Crimea, this is not Ukraine’s first experience with an oppressive Russia.
In 1932 during the peak of a Soviet famine and food shortage, Russia induced a famine in Ukraine, using troops to forcefully remove all sources of food from Ukraine resulting in mass starvation in the following months and years.
The starvation of the Ukrainian people in what most UN countries consider a genocide by the Russians, saw what official estimates state as upwards of 7.4 million people killed through starvation in what is now known as the Holodomor, or “Death by Hunger” in Ukrainian.
Despite confirmation of Russian troops in Ukraine and their continued aggression, there has been minimal resistance from the West.
The primary deterrence against Russia has mostly been the imposing of sanctions, when in reality, little is deterring Putin from further movement into Ukraine.
Using history as a guide for the future, it is very clear that more needs to be done to deter Russia and its aggressive moments into Ukraine to prevent a more widespread conflict on a global scale.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. As George Gordon Byron writes, “History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jozef Lalka is a former Infantryman with the Canadian Armed Forces and founder of War Doll. Since releasing from the military, Jozef continues to rigorously train and expand his knowledge of a variety of weapons platforms and tactics.
Having earned a diploma in Media & Video production, Jozef works as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer while pursing a passion for current global conflicts and how they relate to historical events.