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Edvard Benes

President of Czechoslovakia from 1935 to 1938. After the Sudeten crisis and the German occupation, he moved to London.

Edvard Benes

President of Czechoslovakia from 1935 to 1938. After the Sudeten crisis and the German occupation, he moved to London.

I had my first conversation with Halifax in the Foreign Office. We briefly touched on the events of Munich and then my plans for the future were discussed in detail. Sir Orme Sargent was present. I asked Lord Halifax to give his consent to the formation of a Czechoslovak collective body which should represent a Government or become the actual Government. This body would be the apex of our whole diplomatic and consular service. Above all, it would stand at the head of our Army, which was then in a process of re-creation. From the very beginning Lord Halifax's attitude was encouraging and positive. He asked me to continue with the organisation of our action and to keep the Foreign Office informed regarding the progress of the whole movement.

09:30

At this moment in which the British people are obliged to a war imposed upon Poland, Great Britain and France by Germany I wish to express to Your Excellency with deen unalterable feelings of sympathy the desire and the decision of the Czechs and Slovaks to join your people without hesitation in this struggle for a free Europe.

Our country is invaded and occupied by the armed forces of Nazism and the whole nation is suffering under inhuman terror and oppression. Its forces, however, both moral and physical, remain intact. We Czechoslovak citizens consider ourselves as being also at war with the German military forces and we shall march with your people until the final victory and the liberation of our fatherland.