| The War That Came Early |
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
|Type of Appearance:||Contemporary and posthumous references|
|Nationality:||Czechoslovakia (born in Austria-Hungary, presumably)|
|Date of Death:||1938|
|Cause of Death:||Execution|
In September 1938, the Munich Conference was held, where British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Premier Edouard Daladier were preparing to accede to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler's demands for the secession of the Sudetenland, and impose this demand on Czechoslovakia, their ally.
Czechoslovakia itself was pointedly excluded from the conference which would determine its fate. Representatives of the Czechoslovak Government were reduced to waiting passively and helplessly for the German, Italian, British and French leaders to inform them of what was decided.
Against this backdrop, Stribny followed Henlein, whose behalf Hitler was making his territorial demands, to Berlin, and fatally shot him.
News of Stribny's act came just as Britain and France was forcing Czechoslovakia into capitulation. Hitler was, in fact, not happy with this conclusion, since he regarded Chamberlain and Daladier's attitude as proof that the UK and France were weak and could be easily beaten; however, he had no pretext for starting a war. Stribny had provided the pretext. Hitler immediately declared that negotiations were at en end and that his army would invade Czechoslovakia immediately. Both Chamberlain nor Daladier believed Hitler had engineered the assassination. Hitler had not, but was happy to let them believe so. Thus, much as Gavrilo Princip had inadvertently started the First World War, Jaroslav Stribny started the second. Hitler took great delight in noting both assassins were Slavs.