On 3 December 1945, the prosecution presented to the Tribunal a package of the Reich’s official documents which proved that the uprising in Czechoslovakia’s Sudeten region had been organised directly from Berlin. In September 1938, Nazi militants among the Sudeten Germans assaulted police stations and customs offices and murdered civil servants. The Czechoslovak authorities firmly suppressed the insurgencies, with many of the culprits being detained. Despite this, as a result of the British-French “policies of appeasement”, on 30 September, in Munich, the Munich Agreement (Munich Betrayal) was signed, whereby the Sudeten region was to come under German rule.
The last doubts about the Third Reich’s involvement in the pseudo-national uprising were dispelled by secret cables from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the embassy in Prague.
Berlin authorities took a number of Czechoslovak citizens of Czech ethnicity hostage, demanding that Prague free the Czechoslovak citizens of German ethnicity.
16 September 1938
“150 Czechoslovaks of Czech nationality were arrested in Germany last night. It came in response to the arrest of Sudeten Germans, made after the Fuehrer’s speech on 12 September. I’m requesting you to specify the exact number of Sudeten Germans detained after 12 September.”
17 September 1938
“Quite urgent. 1. I’m requesting to make this known to the local authorities without delay:
The Reich’s government has made the following decision:
a) Germany will promptly arrest as many Czechoslovak citizens of Czech descent , including Czech-speaking Jews, as there have been Sudeten Germans arrested in Czechoslovakia since the beginning of this week;
b) If any Sudeten Germans are executed after being sentenced to capital punishment, under wartime laws, the same number of Czechs will be shot dead in Germany.”
24 September 1938
“According to information we received, Czechs arrested two staffers of the border security, seven customs officers and 30 railway personnel. As a counter-measure, all the Czech personnel were arrested in Marchegg. We are ready to exchange the arrested Czech officials for the German ones. Please address the local authorities regarding the matter and report on the results.”
Later that day:
“Confidential. It stands to reason, the extradition of the Czech hostages is out of the question, as they were arrested in order to prevent the execution of death sentences that may be imposed on Sudeten Germans by military tribunals.”