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Ceské století (2013–2014): Season 1, Episode 2 - Den po Mnichovu (1938) - full transcript

Czech Television Presents



To win the War.

Defeat Evil.


Czech Century
according to Pavel Kosatk and Robert Sedlcek

In the main roles ...

"Firmly united, the Czech Communist Party and the People
in further successes in building a developed socialist society"

costumes / makeup

architect / camera

screenplay / direction


The most important event in the Czechoslovak crisis of 1938
did not take place in Munich, but a few days earlier in Prague.

After many months of increasing tensions, England and France
gave Prague an ultimatum, to cede to Hitler all territories

Where the German population exceded 50%,
and under pressure on September 21st Prague acceeded.

Wed, Sept 21, 1938, 4:30 PM, Prague Castle


Brother General!

Gentlemen, what's going on here? Not Capitulation, I hope?

-Does he have them all here?
-Brother General, go save the Republic!

The Government is giving in.

You're late. They've already decided.

If we accept it, there will be no mercy for us.
They will obliterate us,

If we must die, then honorably!
-We are from Brno, Mr. President,

Because we want to know
what is happening in the Republic.

Do you really want to give-up the districts with more
than 50% German population?

The President is explaining it to us.

They put me in front of a finished thing. This past night.

The Ambassadors came to wake the President at 2 AM.

This is how England and France are conducting Diplomacy these days.

France will not fight. Today they said it clearly.

So our fighting the Germans no longer makes sense.

We were to tie Hitler to ourselves
to allow France to mobilize and attack him from the West.

Without this combination, our fighting alone makes no sense.

France renounced its Alliance with us so suddenly?

You did not know about this before?

= Eduard Bene - President of the Republic =
You can not imagine what we tried with them.

I could not do otherwise than to accept it.

I tried everything.

I kept offering new solutions.

After our first plan, I offered a second. Then a third, a fourth.

The last was on advice of the British
just before the Nazi Congress in Nuremberg.

They told us: If you give them autonomy,
the world will see your good will.

So I added autonomy there.

But he wants territory. So I came up with a fifth plan.

Wed give them 5000 km2 of territory with a million Germans.

Let them go! Cheb, luknov, Frdlant.

We'd let them back home, as one does with vagrants.

It'd be a relief for us. But they still want more.

And do you agree with this? Without Parliament,
without support of the Nation?

I still thought that somehow it would work.

I was preparing the Republic first for a war with two enemies.

Germany and Hungary. When Austria fell,

I had to count on the attack from the south. But now, when

Poland is adding itself to our enemies,
nothing more can be done, gentlemen.

I can not fight all of them at once.

=Div. Gen Vojtech Lua, Dist. Armed Forces Commander Brno=
-Mr. President, forgive me, but what's really changed?

=Div. Gen Vojtech Lua, Dist. Armed Forces Commander Brno=
We've all been telling you for years that the situation is bad.

When we saw in France how their homeland
and morale is collapsing,

We took this to you right away. You said, If you do not believe
France, then trust me. I know France and the West.

So we believed you.

It was going from ten to five. But you assured us
that its the way it should be.

The British have made us hope:
Hang on till Fall, then Churchill will come in!

You have always winked at us,
as though everything was okay.

That you have it under control!

= Army Gen Lev Perchala, Dist. Army Commander Koice =
- I know now. You tried to keep it secret so long,

= Army Gen Lev Perchala, Dist. Army Commander Koice =
so that nothing could be changed!

And so you put us in front of a done deal

What else should I have told you?

The Truth.

Like you're doing now.

How grave the situation really is.
From at least the spring or even before.

That our Allies will not stand with us.

You would not believe me. You would not accept it.

You lied to us! You lied to us!

You acceded to putting the Republic into a vice.

For that they should lock you all up. The whole government!

You had no right to approve such a decision.

By the Constitution, you should have convened the Parliament.

There isn't time. Better to accept this
than to give Germany an excuse to invade.

You had plenty of time. And you knew that well!

And if not, you should have known!

You are responsible for the situation.
You need to find a solution.

Accepting autonomy is not a solution.
- What do you suggest?

You have to appoint a new Government. A War Government.

Put yourself at its head. And we mobilize!
That's what we want!

We have to show the world that we will fall apart.

They testing our strength. Do you not understand?

But we are weak now. Without France and Poland,
we are weak.

You yourself are weak!

You must not accept this.

Whoever does not want to be a slave must defend his honor.

It's just a piece of land. It means nothing.

The Land is the soul of the Nation.

Giving up that Land, we're getting rid of a million Traitors.
We will be smaller,

but we'll remain Independent. Further we'll be a free nation.

And alone in our own we can make our lives
better than before.

It will be a cripple, not a state.

How do you want to do foreign policy,

If you give them our fortresses?
Foreign policy is made with bayonets.

= Prokop Drtina, Personal Secretary to the President =
Mr. President, how will the Republic survive without

= Prokop Drtina, Personal Secretary to the President =
the industry that we have in the border regions?

= Prokop Drtina, Personal Secretary to the President =
And without raw material stocks that are there?

I do not see it as pessimistically as you.

Without the fortresses it's the end of Czechoslovakia.

Did anyone ask you for the General Staff's opinion?

Sure. But you know him. He does it all by himself.

Oh my God, I'll kill him! - Brother General!

I'll Kill him!

We are not like Hitler. If you think his methods work,

it still does not mean that we will imitate them.

But he is betraying the Republic! The President!

General, I order you to come back to your unit immediately!

And you will wait for orders in Koice. Do you understand me?

But he General!


= Army Gen. Ludvk Krejc, Chief the C.S. Army Gen Staff =


Mr. President, do you hear?
The Nation is marching on the Castle.

There are a quarter of a million people in front of Parliament.

The People are angry. Are the Soldiers to be silent?


The Nation wants the Army.

Thank you.

= Picture of T.G. Massaryk, Bene' mentor
and founder of the Country =

Friday, Sept 23, the evening just before Czech mobilization

THE RADIO: "In the postwar years we had to rely
on the help of our friends.

Unfortunately, when our greatest fears materialized
and when we were threatened by force,

it turned out that the European crisis was such a nature,
that our friends advised us to buy our peace and tranquility ..."

Hello! Will you fight? - Just wait, we'll be ready for them.


THE RADIO: "Both western European powers have warned us
France and England ..."

They keep repeating the same crap,
as if it's not enough to just say it once.

Why doesn't that Bene proudly say it himself?
He leaves it to the radio announcer.

It's too much for him now.
The day before,

when they announced that the government was giving up territory,
I said to myself: That's a big shithole mess.

But then Bene appointed a new government.
and sent the cowards away

And instead called in Syrov,
the general and hero of Zborov.

So I said to myself, U-RAH, there'll be War afterall!

But since then, another day wasted, and still nothing.

If Hitler attacked now, he could not
have picked a better moment.

The Border's not secured, the Army's without orders.

It'd be like putting a bayonet into butter.

Let Moravec speak. He has brain cells for it.

What do you think, Eman, really of Bene?

That he's the President.

I'll tell you how it was when I met him for the first time
with him as the President.


= Col. Emanuel Moravec, Prof. Prague War College =
They called me to Castle. I don't remember what for.

= Col. Emanuel Moravec, Prof. Prague War College =
I'm wandering about there, understand, corridors to the left, right,

Stairs up and down. And just when my dick started to shrink
from all that wandering, the door opened and behind them, him.

With all those windows looking out to Prague.

He was small, alone. Exactly the kind of guy that one thinks
to ask if he ever wore a uniform in his life.

Then he spoke. - What did he say?

I don't remember. I just remember that his voice did not fit him.

He spoke as a guy disguised as someone else.

So I said to myself, Why are you changing
your voice for me in this way?

You told him that, didn't you?
-- You can't say that to someone

He's Bene and the President.
-- It's true about his voice, it is odd.

When I talk to someone, I also watch it,
but Benes is something different.

I like how tenacious he is.

In local elections 90% of the Sudeten Germans are for Henlein
But Benes says, everything will go well.

He's been mixing it up since he's been in politics.
First, as Foreign Minister, now as President.

Hitler occupies the Rhineland in the first year,

Tears up the peace agreement in the second.
The third year bombs Spain.

Year after year Benes hangs onto a thinner rope,
And he keeps saying that it's okay.

- But that's politics. In this is his greatness.
In this is his greatness.

But he will keep repeating it,
even if bombs explode all around us.

He has become lost in his eternal optimism.
and with his need to be ahead of everyone else.

He thinks, that he's smarter than all of us put together.

He's a smart guy,
but we know what to do now.

And he does not.
-- What do you have against diplomats?

Everything. Just simply, how they continually lie,
how they play games.

Someone like him thinks, all is okay,
when the Heads of State presents a calm face.

- And no?

Grant me, that after they turn off his microphone
after everyone of his rosy blaboling speeches

They must give him a shower
(to wash off the crap).

What he's survived this year no one would.

But it's his own fault.

Who asked him to become caretaker of Europe?
His place is here.

It could have been enough for him.

He's a Democrat. They never see borders.
That what concerns him he wants to do across the world.

So why then did everyone come to ignore him?

Hitler turned away everyone he wanted to talk to.

the Italians, the Poles.

In the end, even the Slovaks will go against us.

He thinks he can come to an agreement with everyone.

But what if the other one
doesn't want to come to an agreement?

I think Bene can not even imagine that.

Why does Hitler want war?

He enjoys it. There's no other reason.

In such a situation Bene's reason is lacking.

Everybody's would be. You've heard
how Hitler screams on the radio.

And I remember the toughest thing Benes told him.

May I kiss your hand, Mr. Chancellor or something like that?

If you go too far, you must
count on international complications.

Yelling is a special thing. I recall how
they taught us at the Academy,

what Fredrich the Great used to yell
at his troops before battle:

You swine, do you want to live forever?

That's what Hitler is telling them now as well.

But we admired for their Frederick for that.

And I'm sure the German officers are eating it up now.

A commander who yells his soldiers into killing.

I do not need the commander to scream at me.

You didn't experience that? -No

Then you're a shit soldier. The Prussian
soldier has this going for him.

So his only task is to kill as many of those
on the otherside as possible.

What does that have to do with Bene?

I'm trying to explain to you that we
have a different commander than they have.

He does not even talk about shooting.

A soldier is about killing.

Bene wants to have soldiers with
brains of diplomats. And without balls.

And in slippers!

Benes knows the killing of the World War, right?

Yeah. But in Paris looking at accounting books
and with a pen in his hand.

Youre not yourself. You, usually go after the President.

I try imagine him thinking about how Hitler thinks.

I think he thinks Hitler's like him. A calculating man.

I will not go against a French-Russian
numerical advantage. I could lose that.

And because I do not want to lose,
I'd better not attack at all!

That's Hitler according to Bene.
-How is he according to you?

He's different. I think Hitler loves conflict.

But Bene can not understand this at all.

Hitler loves to gamble. Because of this, he's doing it all.

He never chooses the option that Benes calculates.

He always does something wild, cunning, surprising.

I think they are the same. Imagine one or
the other of them, telling a joke.

Headquarters. I'm listening.

I understand. I'll pass it on.


So they declared it.

Dude, he really did!

Hitler really pissed off the Brits.

Fuck, guys! There will be War!

See, Eman, how you were full of it?
Our Bene is not a pussy.

Friday, Sept 23, Evening, Prague Castle.


Can you please turn off the sound?

I feel strange.

I feel like I'm already dead.

I do not know, of course, how this may seem,
but I feel very strongly about something inside me saying:

You are dead.

Then I wake up alive and everything goes on.

= Hana Beneov, Edvard Bene' wife =
Those are just dreams. You should sleep more, Eddie.

It's an odd night.

It's warm almost like in May.

Do you think, Prokop, that nature
can somehow tell how people feel?

What do you mean, Mr. President?

When in 1915 I was leaving abroad it was also September.

I remember that day as if it were today.

I climbed the forest to the border

= Jaromr Smutn, Aide to the President =
and looked for a Bavarian Hof.

It came to me that never before,
maybe not even afterwards

was the sky as beautiful as on that day.

Maybe until today.

Even as world is crumbling.

Are you afraid, Prokop?
It seems to me that you are afraid.

I don't think so, Mr. President.

Please be honest. Your father has always been.

Mr. President, you know I've never been to this day

nor for a moment doubted the Security of our Republic.

But this morning I doubted.

It will pass.

We mobilized.

You are a bit like the foreign journalists.

They keep asking me the same thing,
even now, every day.

They ask if we're not scared here at the Castle,

If we Czechs are not afraid of Hitler?

I always show them Prague under the windows. They like it.

Some of them are even moved.

Then I always talk to them so that they leave satisfied.

They then write in their newspapers:
Bene is not afraid, the Czechs are not afraid.

Everytime it's like that.
-You've never been afraid. Of no one.

They do not understand that just the way it is in our country.

The Czechs have been in danger for over a thousand years.

All the time they exist. We got used to it.

This is how I've always liked you.

Under Austria, during the War, during the Republic.

I know you're not afraid even now.

It's about keeping the people unafraid.

They must not be in panic or psychosis,
in fear of War or Internal Disruption.

That's why we Mobilized.

I believe in democratic institutions.

One can't be a democrat and can not believe in democracy.
So I believe, Hana.

But it's getting harder.

You would not believe how difficult it is.

- I know.

They say that Europe is dividing into two spheres.

One turning to Moscow and the other to Berlin and Rome.

I think the division is different.

Between democracy and the rest,

whether it be Hitler or Stalin. I'm not a fool,

to put Moscow against Berlin and Rome.

It's all the same.

- They are the same.

The problem is,

that democracy is currently very sick.

By me, it's as if she had cancer.

They did not adapt to the fact that
interested in politics are now

millions of small people like us, Hanci.

They can not yet orient themselves in politics.

Therefore listen to the first who comes along. Hitler. Stalin.

How could they listen? They will not listen.

I always tell journalists that we are all
workers and peasants in our country.

Just the little ones, ordinary people.

We have all done and many are still doing in the field.

That's how it is.

I have eight siblings.

My two brothers work for the railroads,
two are teachers at school.

Another is a peasant. My two sisters are wives of peasants.

I live in the presidential palace, but my brothers and sisters

remain in the villages. In our country it is natural.

Half of the government is the sons of workers and peasants.

But above all calm.

One must radiate peace.

As soon as the other person feels
that you are afraid, it's over.

I'm not afraid.
- No.

Strong Nerves. At's all about this. Strong like ropes..

No one will ever see me down.

That I fall into depression. No one will see that.
- No one.

It's not worth giving people bad news.

There is no point in telling them how things really are.

Because if you tell them the truth,
they won't help you anyway.

They really want nothing but to have their illusions.

As long as possible. And from politicians like me,

They want us to take care of those illusions.

You are my smartest one.

You know everything and will tell them how to get it right.

What do you think? Will they bomb Prague tonight?

Or at dawn?

Come to sleep.

Those outside simply don't understand the situation.

Do you know when I realized France would not fight for us?

When I saw what was happening in Spain.

Hundreds of dead every month.

And in France they were happy that it didn't involve them.

But you have always been saying
everywhere you believe in France.

And what would I help if I told them the truth?

There is a double truth. The first real and the second political.

The first is that we all die once, many of us in pain.

So what? There is no reason to tell people.

Then come people like me, whose task is to make

life more tolerable by its political truth.

Don't worry about nothing.

Everything will end well. We have a situation under control.

We know what to do, and we'll do it.

-This is what you say to people during their whole life.

You do not think so?

I also believed you.

If France does not come to help us, who will?

Oh my God!

Have you been sleeping, my little piggy?

Did you not wait for me?

What did you come up with?

Will there be war?
-It's coming.

It's going to start in a few hours, I think.

And when are you getting divorced?

on 3rd or 4th October.

But I do not know how it will be when war is going on.

I love you, You know that?

Me too.

Am I only yours? Yes.

Afterwards we'll get married. -For the third time?

You are right. I won't have a maid. It's enough to fuck you.

To my folks, you came across as old.
-They are old.

You can not marry me anyway. Only in four years.

The Colonel chose a 16 year old.
-The Colonel chases little girls?

Will you support me me?
-You? Certainly, you're thin as a rail!

You said this would be your best year.

-It will be.

But you're going to war. What if they kill you?

-They will not kill me.

Big things will come.

Big things!

Minister of National Defense, I greet you!

Maybe we're seeing each other for the last time.

Maybe something terrible will befall us.

You have to endure.

I am strong.

Monday, Sept 26, afternoon, Moravia

Gentlement, what are you doing? You almost killed us.

What are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here.

BS! -This is a military road!

Who are we, Goddammit? Let us go!

Put this road in order. We're driving the General.

They thought they were seeing a German car.

Nerves. Soon it will be in order, General.

General, commander of the patrol here Private Vlas.

Soldiers, I beg you, we're expecting them any minute,

So please do not kill each other in the meantime.

Will you let us go?

So perseverance finally paid off?

Finally war, General.

You can not imagine what it took
to convince the men in Prague.

I hear they did not want the Mobilization
until the very last minute.

Do you know what Minister rmek told me
when the government finally decided?

Don't cheer too much.
Whom God loves, he visits with a Cross.

How did he mean it?
-I do not know.

When, do you think, General, it will start?

Today, when Hitler gives his speech in the Sportpalast.

They send bombers as he begins his speech.

How long will will take for them to fly here?

From Dresden they will be over Prague for eighteen minutes.

Here in Moravia immediately
- So let them come !

They made a mistake when they did not go right away.

I was afraid that they were going to drop bombs on our heads

Even during the mobilization,
we wouldn't be able to hide our aircraft.

Private Vejdvec, General.
What do you think, General?

Will they go straight for Prague?
Or will they will attack here through Moravia?

More likely the latter. From the North
and the South at the same time.

They will want us to cut off our troops in Bohemia.

No matter how they come. They'll get it right in the face.

Are you afraid, soldiers?
-I have to kill four Germans,

Before I buy it myself. But why not?
We will burn here,

But the Allies will eventually go to Berlin to get Hitler for us.

The Nation will survive even the greatest of catastrophes.

During the Great War, the Serbs lost a third of their population.

But in less than ten years
they had the same population as before the war.

Hey, I want to be a Serb!

I remember 1918.

The Politicians did not want the army at that time.

It had to be imposed on them by the French.

For them, our Republic without an Army was worthless.

People then thought that in the worst case
the Allies would fight.

Or all that was needed is a the militia like in Switzerland.

Every man would have a rifle at home under his bed,

And when war began, he'd say,
"Mother, where are my bullets?"

Everyone made fun of the Legionaries.
Ran said that one does not pay

for the validity of one's country!
That pissed me off.

Then they began to have troops out the kazoo.
but in reality they still were cheated.

You know what it was like to build an army
in a country where everyone

Just made fun of the army?
In a nation that never had an army?

The Blanik Army will awaken in our nation's darkest hour . .
But it's not arrived yet

General, Moravec is here
-Thank you.

Wed., Sept 28, 1938, afternoon, CS border at Znojmo.

General, Lieutenant Galas.

I brought Mr. Colonel Moravec.


Were you by him?

I'm coming from there.
-From the Castle?

I think that they were afraid of me.
I was the only one among them

In full field uniform. I was really pissed.

I said: "Out of the way, pussies!
A soldier of the Czechoslovak Army

has come to meet his Commander!"
- Good.

I rushed to him as I was.

Sitting there was also Syrov. It made me a little surprised.

I did not count on that. But I quickly recovered.

Did you tell him that his mobilization is not enough?

He did not tell him. I screamed it at him.
I was really angry.

It seemed he was afraid of me. He asked me to sit down.

But Syrov asked to stay standing.

What the hell did he add to the mix?

I was screaming, I was really screaming.

What are you still talking about?
Declare war! Otherwise, we are lost.

Was he listening?
-Yes. But not Syrov

What did he do?
-He dress me down, like a dog.

Colonel, where's your division? U Znojma?

So what are you doing here?
I will put you in front of a military court!

What'd you do?
-What could I do?

About a Civilian I wouldn't give a damn,
but Syrov is my commander.

Syrov! Bene' pawn, who pretends he's ika.

He is the prime minister. I could not yell at both of them.

They got you. Without a war, the Republic's in the shitter.

If shooting doesn't start, it'll end the way
Bene has it arranged from the beginning.

And what about you here? Nothing?

They're not coming?

Maybe they are not there at all.

They're there. Behind every tree,
at least one just as us over here.

But nothing will convince them to attack.

The English are negotiating for them.
Without flint, without blood.

But beyond the border, supposedly there's a lot of movement!

Paris mobilized and London is digging trenches.

But they are not digging them in Prague.

What about the Germans in the unit?
Are you worried about them?

They're keeping a low profile.

God knows what they're planning to do.

Every fifth soldier mobilized is Sudeten German

300,000 traitors with guns. Do you see this as normal?
to fight such an army? -And what else can we do?

Why should they have been given guns?

When it starts, I will not be able to see who shoots me.

Whether the German before me, or the German behind me.

If they stayed home, it would be much worse.

At least we know that here they can not outright help Hitler.

I've never had traitors in my unit.

- So start learning.

My God! Just let it start! This waiting is the worst!

-General General, important news! -War?

A new Conference, in Munich. Present will be all four Powers.
Bene was not invited.

Thurs, Sept 29, 1938, Morning, Prague.

I hate it here.

=Div.Gen. Silvester Blha, chief President's War Office=
I'm here more often than my unit. And that's no good.

You first told us that we're giving-up territory,

then you gave the order to mobilize.

You gave us hope. To all people.

And now you're taking it away again.
The second time in only a few days.

You can't do this to people!

We are ready for war, Mr. President!

No no no. It doesn't matter what we do.

They are talking to him all the time. Every day.

Even after recommending Mobilization.

Don't listen to them. Talk to us who we are willing
to lay down our lives for you.

All the while you think they're dealing with me,
they're talking to him.

The British are only interested in the timetable,
in which we will clear the border.

Last night I told them that we can not leave our territories,
revoke our Mobilization and give-up our Fortifications.

without receiving promised international guarantees.

And what do they say, for God's sake?

They complain that we're still laying down new conditions.

Do not listen to them!

Thank you. I expected you to say something like that.

It's to the honor of our army to be at its head today.

=Army Gen Jan Syrov, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense=
I know our people want the same thing.

Never in the history of our army and nation
were they so united in this the twelfth hour.

But, gentlemen, I'm in a different situation than you.

You say we have no Allies, but that's not true.

The Poles have not yet decided.

I wrote again to the Polish President Moszic.

His refusal came today.

The only thing Warsaw is interested in
is our withdrawal from the Ten region.

They wrote that?

They watch what Hitler does, and they
also want a piece of prey.

Now all our neighbors are against us.

All our borders, apart from a few kilometers
with Romania are now the Front.

-Just as in the time of the Hussites.
Against everyone!

Brother Chief of Staff, can we still move
some units to the Polish border?

Does anyone want to say anything?

Therefore, we have only two choices.

Either we can quickly make a deal with the Germans
and give nothing to the Poles,

Or make a deal with the Poles,
and give nothing to the Germans.

Czechoslovakia will cease to exist in either case.

We will be incorporated either into a Greater Germany
or a Greater Poland.

Either way it's new Bl Hora (White Mountain)
or a new Lipany. And without a war.

I've not been a soldier my whole life,

to avoid War.

But gentlemen, a War's coming

It's coming. But not now.

I promise you the biggest War that ever was.

And you will find your places in it.
In larger and more famous battles,

than those that might have erupted tomorrow.

And everyone who is destroying
our State today will be punished.

I promise you this.
- What happens now, Mr President?

Until the world wakes up, we must save our State.

But the State won't survive.
-But we have to save then what will remain of it.

But how will we do that?

Smaller and weaker. With the new frontiers.

That will be your and my task, gentlemen.

Thank you.

Can you imagine how to say this to the soldiers?

Do you know what my people are doing now?
On my orders they are digging trenches.

They putting up barbed wire.

I will never forgive you this.

We should not have done this with him.

So with whom?

= Army Gen. Sergej Vojcechovsky =
I don't know. With someone.

With someone who wants to fight.

It would have to be a politician again.

Someone with whom people would go. Not like the Syrov

What Zenkl? He is the only one
in the government who disagrees with Bene.

With the Mayor of Prague, that's a possibility..

Lda Ran would be good too. He takes after his father.

Guys, I hope that if something comes It's not just bullshit, right?

Friday, Sept 30, 1938, 6 AM. Prague Castle.

Mr. President!

Your Excellency, at the command of my Government,
I have the honor to hand to you

the text of the agreement
between the Reich Chancellor,

the Royal British Prime Minister,
the head of the Italian government

and the French Prime Minister.
that was in Munich reached.

The United Kingdom, France and Italy agree that,
the clearing out of territory be done by Oct 10, 1938.

Occupation of majority German districts by the German army
will be done in stages beginning on Oct 1, 1938.

Signed: Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain,
Benito Mussolini, Edouard Daladier.

Friday, Sept 30, 1938, 11:45 AM, Prague Castle.

Gentlemen, it's terrible.

The decision of the Munich Conference is terrible.

But it does not do us dishonor

We are simply acceding to the power of people,
who only a week ago advised us to mobilize.

I can do anything but recommend,
that we accept the ultimatum.

I do not know what to say.

It is a choice between murder and suicide.

We have to follow cold logic.

There is no reasonable hope for a successful defense.

Even considering any eventual Russian aid by ground forces.

The President is right.

As a soldier, I have to accept every political assessment,

which first informed us,

That in the first weeks we will face the German onslaught
without the support of England and France.

Then we learned that Hungary would come out against us.

Then we found out that Hitler would also attack from Austria,

which we considered in our original plans
as our own extended operating zone.

Finally, even promised assistance from the Soviet Union
has become very uncertain.

And now, as the President told us,
even Poland has turned its back.

As a person I am very unhappy with politics,
which caused this situation.

But as a soldier, I have to continue
to respect political leadership.

Thank you.

Mr. General?

=Div Gen Karel Husrek, Director of Fortification Construction=
The decision to fight is not made by soldiers, but by politicians.

We await on the order to fight against
an enemy four times our size.

But we will follow every decision of yours.

I know that many of you are putting hope in Soviet Russia.

Is there any hope that our Armies would be able to
breakthrough east to the Soviet Union?

Only with small units.

It's therefore decided.

You fool! You don't even ask for a vote?

We are acceding to a forced decision.

It's not our fault.

Even if Soviet Russia, as the only one, came to our aid.
a war would follow with everyone against Russia.

England would go against us.

Soldiers must obey the orders unconditionally.

RADIO: Our State will not become the smallest in the world.

There are others much smaller
and they are healthy and durable.

We still have space, which gives us hope for

At Munich met the Four Powers

who called on us to accept new borders,

which will separate the German regions from our State.

We had a choice between desperate
and unsuccessful defense,

Which would sacrifice not only the whole adult generation,
but also our women and children...


Where's my belt?

We wanted to contribute to peace.
We would have very liked to have contributed.

But not as it was forced upon us.

But we were optimistic. We were left alone.

Emane, these are the big things?

Hold on! Let it play out however it does! Bye!

Sunday, Oct. 2, 1938, afternoon, Prague

=Vclav Kopeck, member Politburo Central Committee CPC=
Tomorrow, Hitler will be in Karlovy Vary. I was born there.

= Hubert Ripka, foreign correspondant Lidov Noviny =
How far will they go?

Surely much further than decided in Munich.

The only ones deciding are they themselves.

The Army still holds the forts. As long as we have them,
we have not lost.

What does Bene say?

Forget about Bene and come and let's do something!

Dear Czechs, who of you loves this Ancient Kingdom

as much as I do?
-All of us!

And what are you willing to do for it?

= Petr Zenkl, Minister w/o Portfolio, Mayor of Prague =
Gentlemen, will anyone have some coffee?

What will you do as a soldier for the New Republic?

That Republic won't need an army.
It won't be possible to defend itself.

Guys, calm down! Why have we met
since the beginning of crisis?

Because we wanted to defend the Republic!

And we still want to do so!

Without Bene it is not possible!

Precisely without Bene.

All of their tactics depended on him, and he did not fail them.

I should have shot him. Shot him!

Man, he'd be capable of doing so.

When take care of Bene, for a moment there won't be anyone up on the castle to act.

= Klement Gottwald, Gen. Secr, Central Committee CPC =
And before they recover, we will attack. There's still time.

Gentlemen, disagreeing with Bene is one thing.

But removing him from power is different.

Yet it is necessary to do just that.

The people are ITCHING for a guy to come and say, I'm going in.

Everyone is waiting for something to happen!
That someone will come and do something.

They would carry him on their shoulders to the Castle,
if only someone like that appeared.

One woman stopped me in the street to cry.

Which generals besides you would go for this?

With Lua, all of Moravia. And with Vojcechovsky, Bohemia.

What of the lesser generals? Will they support you?

Rychtrmoc. Zmek.

That I don't know.

Ingr will go.
Ingr will occupy Prague with his own division.

And with that, that's almost all of the army!

It would be better if people were in the streets,
but they have gone away.

When they hear that the army is marching on Prague,
will they return?

They're waiting for nothing else.

Good. Who then will talk to Bene?

Who will tell him? That he needs to resign?

I do not! I'm not a soldier.

You're Peter, you're a rock.

I sit in the Syrovy's government,
but I have no influence.

It's not the government, that's the camouflage.
Bene doesn't give a damn about you.

Yes, it's a camouflage. That's why
on Thursday, September 29th,

Before Munich, gentlemen, I handed
the President my resignation.

And what did the President do?


I'd do it.

Do you have anyone other than me?

Does any of you want to go there?

Sunday, Oct 2, 1938, afternoon, Prague Castle

He's there, Counselor?
-Who are you thinking of?

Is he there?
-He is.

You can not imagine, what load I carry.

They're saying that I proceeded unconstitutionally,

that I surrendered without consulting the Parliament.

But I did so deliberately.

I took it on myself so that in the future it could be said:

He did not do it according to the Constitution, so it's not valid.

Bene's surrender does not mean anything.

How does that mean nothing? German tanks are in Bruntl

And Hitler is aiming for (Karlovy) Vary!

What do you want to do with the Powers
are deciding about you without you?

Mr. President, did you ever fight as a kid?

Did you ever get hit?

I hope that you don't want to fight now?

If you ever did fight, you'd know one thing.

With someone stronger, you come out okay
only if you convince him, to not even start.

You don't get it in the mouth only because the other
decides that it's not worth. Do you understand?

To shoot, to shoot. That's the only thing
you people can put together.

But that's exactly what he's waiting for.
So he could kill your mother, your wife, your family.

-You're still twisting things.

A defeat does not mean the death of people.
It's a death of ideas.

By the way, you killed yourself all on your own.

You pulled down your pants even before
they started loading their guns in Bavaria.

You can not offend me because you
do not know what you're talking about.

I will not lead the Nation to the chopping block
because of empty heroism.

Mr. President, what do you think the Army is for?

Why do you think a State has an Army?

Colonel, I would really...

The Army exists to show people not cut out for it,

that dying for a higher principle has purpose.

Choosing Life makes sense to me.

And if that Army goes up in flames,
every house, every family will have a hero.

A man who even in a hundred years
will be remembered as a hero.

And they will feel pain and they will feel admiration.

And millions of such feelings and admirations
put together a nation.

When take away their heroes,
you grind them into mincemeat.

And a nation will be reduced to simply a population.

I can not fight without Allies.

If they do not understand the strength that comes
from an Alliance, I have to wait until they do.

And the whole Nation must wait with you?

Of course! It will be a Battle for many years.

I'm the first to lead the fight against Hitler.

And I'll win back the Allies.
And ashamed they'll come back to me,

ashamed as no one has ever been ashamed of before.

And what if, when you win that War
after many years, it will be too late?

Your great and glorious victory over Adolf Hitler

will be useless because people will only remember
that in1938 they shit themselves.

Let's be honest, Colonel. It won't be the first time.

Do you know what I think?

That once one shits himself,
one remains shit-upon forever.

Until now, the people had the Legionnairies
as heroes before them.

Like a living courage in their backs.

Now you're taking that away from them.

Now we'll be little shits, who just bent their shoulders.

From now on we will not be a brave nation.

From now on, each will be thinking only as little shits do.
what will be most convenient for us.

And when they come to the conclusion that's easier to submit,

crawling on their knees, they'll do it.

Because their President did it as well.

You must understand that we're not talking here
of the mental health of a nation,

but about who will rule Europe
and whether it will be a rule that will be tolerable.

You're still trying to solve the whole world.

What about what you built here.

You're murdering it now!

Yes, I know I'm murdering it now.

Colonel, do you have children?

I have three sons.

What are their names?

Igor, Jura and Pavel.

Do you have their photos?

I do not have children.

I had this Republic.

If I tell you that she was my child,
please don't accuse me, of sentimentality.

You see. What I'm doing will not be
without consequences for me.

I'm murdering my child and know what I am doing.

You are not a normal person.

Neither are you.

The only thing we can do for the people,
is not to tell them this about each other.

Colonel, you like boxing and do not like chess, am I right?

War is like boxing.
-No war is like chess.

And life too. If you're just boxing through life,
you will not live to an old age

Have you ever heard a cannon?

I'm listening to the boxer's views now,
but behind the door of this room

begins a world in which people make things
more complicated than you are.

You are completely missing the point if you see this
as a dispute between Benes and Hitler.

This is a conflict between Hitler
and the world, the universe and God.

My problem is just that no one else understands me.

Few people understand you, right?

I also want a war. Maybe more than you.

But for your war, the nation has to capitulate.

Yes. Our nation is facing a difficult task.
It will have to bear it all,

and remain democratic.
-It's only that no nation will endure it.

Don't you trust the nation? Do not you trust yourself?
-This will take 300 years

And the Czechs do not have the moral strength to spare

You personally have already destroyed me.

Everyone destroys themselves.

Your war is over today. Mine is just starting.

Mr President, did something happen?
- I'm no longer President, Mr. Prokop.

On October 5, 1938, the Lidov Noviny published
a surprising op-ed piece by Emanuel Prokop

Readers were shocked mainly by the line:
"Whether we like it or not we have to get along with Germany."

The same day, Edvard Bene resigned
and later flew away to England.

Moravec became in the years following the greatest Collaborator
in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

Nov 30, 1942, Prague, Emanuel Moravec's Wedding.

Heil Hitler!

Heil Hitler!


Best wishes. Thanks.

Best wishes. Thanks.

Czech Subtitles Originals: Jaroslav Svagr Czech Television 2013
Translated into English: Fr. Dennis Zdenek Kr, OSM 2019

Editing and Synchronization by
Easy Subtitles Synchronizer