Nineteen-thirty-nine was a decisive year for Europe, as Hitler’s demands for more living space (Lebensraum) for the German people continued to dominate the European diplomatic arena. German expansion had already absorbed Austria and the Sudetenland, and the remainder of the Czech state would only enjoy a temporary independence after Poland and Hungary assisted in its dissection. The fate of Czechoslovakia had been sealed at the Munich Conference in September 1938, when Great Britain and France, in the face of Hitler’s blunt warning that Germany was prepared to take action, agreed to its dismantling. Encouraged by his success, and fully cognizant that the world depression and the fear of communism had weakened the capabilities of the two major western European powers to deal with a crisis that might demand a military response, Hitler seized upon the appeasement sentiment in certain political circles in Great Britain, to move to his next agenda: The Free City of Danzig and the Polish Corridor. However, no longer could the dictator’s arguments that he was only revising the injustices visited upon Germany by the Versailles Treaty be defended, and fi nally, in March 1939, Great Britain and France promised to defend Polish independence against all aggressors.