Churchill Photo

The Speeches of Winston Churchill

TO THE PEOPLE OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA

11th September 1940. Broadcast

Today is the second anniversary of the Munich Agreement, a date which the world will always remember for the tragic sacrifice made by the Czechoslovakia people in the interest of European peace.

The hopes which this agreement stirred in the heart of civilised mankind have been frustrated. Within six months the solemn pledges given by unscrupulous men who control the destiny of Germany were broken, and the agreement destroyed with a ruthlessness which unmasked the true nature of their reckless ambitions to the whole world.

In this hour of your martyrdom I send you this message: The battle which we in Britain are fighting today is not only our battle. It is also your battle, and, indeed, the battle of all nations who prefer liberty to soulless serfdom. It is the struggle of civilised nations for the right to live their own life in the manner of their own choosing. It represents man's instinctive defiance of tyranny and of an impersonal universe.

Throughout history no European nation has shown a greater will to survive than yours, and today again your people have given countless proofs of their courage in adversity. Here in Britain we have welcomed with pride and gratitude your soldiers and airmen who have come by daring escape to take part with ever-increasing success in that battle for Britain which is also the battle for Czechoslovakia.

It is because we both are fighting for the fundamental decencies of human life that we are determined that neither our struggle nor your struggle shall be in vain. It is for this reason that we have refused to recognise any of the brutal conquests of Germany in Central Europe and elsewhere, that we have welcomed a Czechoslovakia Provisional Government in this country, and that we have made the restoration of Czechoslovakia liberties one of our principal war aims.

With firmness and resolution, two qualities which our nations share in equal measure, these aims will be achieved. Be of good cheer.The hour of your deliverance will come. The soul of freedom is deathless. It cannot and will not perish.