German Radio Reports Cause Fear and Confusion
Among German Population in Czechoslovakia
The German Charge D'affaires in Czechoslovakia
(Hencke) to the German Foreign Ministry:
No. 380 of September 17PRAGUE, September 17, 1938 - 3 p.m.
Received September 17, 1938 - 5:15 p.m.
Consulate Bruenn reports:
"Regard myself bound to telegraph the following:
As a result of German radio reports, widespread fear psychosis has arisen
among German population. Hence large-scale exodus, in particular of
women and children, although complete calm prevails in Moravia-Silesia,
of which I have received confirmation by personal communications from
agents from all parts of the district covered by the Consulate."
No incidents of any importance have occurred anywhere
for days; meetings of Germans and singing of German songs in a few places
have had no repercussions. Opinion frequently held among Germans that
radio grossly exaggerates. In this way belief in its reliability shaken,
especially as its inaccuracy established in individual cases by direct
information. On the other hand, as result of these radio reports Czechs
are very exasperated with German element here because of supposedly
false reports. Position and morale of Germans not strengthened but weakened
by radio. This view shared by leader of the Sudeten German Party here.
Source: "Documents on German Foreign Policy,"
Series D, Vol. II, pp. 824-825.