Minutes of the Ninth Meeting of the International Commission

Ninth Session of The International Commission November 21, 1938, 6 p.m.

In the absence of State Secretary von Weizsacker, Ambassador Ritter acted as chairman and opened the meeting.

The chairman began by recalling the resolution of the International Commission on October 13 that the work of rectifying and finally delimiting the front should be begun at once by the German and Czechoslovak Governments. The negotiations had now resulted in an agreement which was embodied in memorandum signed by the leaders of both delegations on November 20, 1938.

He read this memorandum (appendix I).

The Czechoslovak Minister confirmed this statement. He recalled the words of State Secretary von Weizsacker at the opening of the first session of t International Commission when he expressed the wish that the deliberations this Commission should be conducted in a spirit of friendship and reconciliation This wish expressed by the State Secretary had greatly helped the work the Commission, and the Czechoslovak delegation would like to record that they too had been inspired by this spirit in the course of the negotiations. The Czechoslovak delegation naturally had had to defend their vital interests, while the same time taking into account that a state which gives up part of its population on the basis of the nationality principle has to sacrifice not only tar territorial but also economic interests. These sacrifices had been very heal and the Czechoslovak delegation could not conceal the feelings of deep grief which filled the hearts of the Czechoslovak people. In submitting to the stern necessities, however, the Czechoslovak delegation did not fail to appreciate that these sacrifices offered on the altar of peace dispelled the unrest of it past in order to bring peace in the future. The Czechoslovak delegation, the fore, looked more to the future than to the past. It was this spirit which h' inspired the Czechoslovak delegation in their work with the German delegation the result of which was now submitted to the International Commission. I had nothing to add to this result. He would, however, take the liberty of expressing the firm of the Czechoslovak Government that the sacrifices made by Czechoslovakia might contribute to establishing good neighborly relations as well as bonds of friendship and profitable cooperation with Greater Germany. (The French text of this statement is added as appendix II.)

The chairman expressed his thanks to the Czechoslovak Minister for having brought the negotiations on this important matter to a close in the same spirit of reconciliation and friendship in which State Secretary von Weizsacker had opened them. The members of the International Commission appreciated the remarks of the Czechoslovak Minister on the sacrifices made by the Czechoslovak State. He pointed out that Germany, too, compared with her expectations, had made sacrifices. It was also painful for Germany and the German race [Volkstum] that so many Volksdeutsche remained outside the frontiers of the German Reich. He agreed with the Czechoslovak Minister that the two states would render themselves and Europe the best service by now devoting themselves entirely to the tasks of the future. The Government of the Reich was prepared to enter into good neighborly and friendly cooperation with Czechoslovakia. The agreements on various subjects concluded in the last few days already gave proof of this willingness.

The chairman referred to paragraph 6 of the Munich Agreement. In the absence of statements to the contrary, he assumed that the frontier between the German Reich and Czechoslovakia could now be regarded as final. He proposed that this resolution be formally recorded in the minutes of the meeting in the following terms:

"The International Commission has today taken cognizance of the minutes of November 20, relating to the delimitation of the German-Czechoslovak frontier by the German and Czechoslovak delegations as well as of the maps appended to this record. It declares that the frontier marked on these maps is the final frontier within the meaning of paragraph 6 of the Munich Agreement."

The Italian Ambassador congratulated both Governments on having reached agreement. In the name of his Government, he signified agreement to the proposal after again outlining briefly the course of the negotiations during which the International Commission had agreed that the German and Czechoslovak Governments in direct negotiation should reach agreement on the delimitation of the frontier. This agreement had now been reached. The most important task of the International Commission was thus accomplished. The Italian ambassador referred to the third supplementary declaration to the Munich Agreement. The International Commission was available if the necessity arose.

The French and British Charges d'Affaires associated themselves in the name of their Governments with the remarks of the Italian Ambassador and at the same time expressed their satisfaction that direct agreement had been reached between the two Governments concerned.

The chairman thanked the delegates of the other states for their statements. He noted that the proposed test had been accepted. This test would be incorporated in the minutes of the meeting. Further, in accordance with a wish expressed by the Commission, the resolution was signed by the eve members of the International Commission.

The chairman stated that the maps appended to the German-Czechoslovak memorandum of November 20, 1938, had been signed by the German and Czechoslovak representatives for the frontier negotiations. In view of the fact that these maps had already been signed, the signatures of the members of the International Commission could be dispensed with on the maps.

The press communique attached as appendix III was approved.

The meeting closed at 7:30 p.m.

Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945
Series D Volume IV
United States Government Printing Office : Washington, 1955

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