The Sudeten Germans of Moravia and Bohemia, and the Carpathian Germans of Slovakia, by Maximilian Hartmund

[ GeoNative texts ]

The sudeten-germans:

During the 12th century German settlements began to be established in Moravia and Bohemia.

At the beginning of the First world war the ethnographic status of the region was one third Germans and the rest were Czechs. The german settlements were mainly located along the borders to Austria-Hungary and the German reich, so it would't have been a great deal to follow the 1918's demand of the nearly ethnically homogenous German provinces for re-connection with Austria or Germany, but the newly-formed Czechoslovak government announced that the historic boundaries of Bohemia and Moravia were the basis of the new state and under no circumstances to be altered. (Even thought they altered the boundaries by taking over a small part of Upper Austria in 1919)

Nearly 2 decades of Czech suppression followed for the german population.

They officially had minority rights ,but they existed only on paper. Antisemitic tendencies were rare ,the german-speaking jews of the region fought together with the Germans against their oppression ; in their land they were both just humans of second class.

In 1938 the ethnic composition of the CSR was 43% Czech 23% Germans (3,9Millions)

and 22% Slovak Hitler annexed the provinces with a German population of more than 50% and installed the "Reichsgau Sudetenland" with a czech proportion of 18% .

36.000 jews were immediately deported and 50.000 Germans refused to live under Hitler`s rule and emigrated .

After Hitler finally lost the war ,the Sudetenland was reintegrated into the new CSR .

they were forced to wear white armbands and were wantonly attacked and publically executed in NS-method style. Historians estimate the victims of Czech agression from about 100-250.000..

Their following expulsion was later legitimized by the Benes decrees, which accused all Germans of collective support of Hitler, but it was Benes himself who ordered the czech Resistance not to cooperate with German anti-Nazi groups, in order to create the illusionary picture that they supported him collectively. Now that 50 years have passed, the Benes decrees are still valid and many leading politicians, such as Milos Zeman, the premier-minister of the Czech-Republic, still defend them and believe in their correctness. The official number of germans in the czech republic today is about 51.000 while inofficial sources estimate their number at about 200.000


The Carpathian Germans of Slovakia:

German settlements in Carpathia were first established in the 11th century, especially Pressburg was a german city and the region of Zips, which had been completely autonomous until 1867 when Hungary took over control, suppressed the german-speaking population and closed all of its schools. As Slovakia became semi-independent in 1919 the 180.000 Carpathian Germans stayed people of Second class but their status had improved in comparision to hungarian rule, by having at least some minority rights, being 5% of the population; german schools were allowed to re-open. The capital became Pressburg, with its czechoslovak name "Bratislava" just established in 1919, due to the fact that it had never been a slovak city. (in 1850 the germans still counted 74,6% / Hungarians 17,9% . In 1910 slovaks made up 14,8% of ist population) During the time of the first Slovak Republic, founded in 1939 by Hitler`s mercy , its 5,1% Germans were exposed to an intensive pressure for assimilation, after the mainly magyar provinces were taken over by Hungary and Slovaks stated 85% of the population. After the war the anger at the Germans grew, about 23.000 were murdered but the majority was expelled Or deported. Most fled for Austria and Germany as well, all German property was confiscated. The census of`9 1 counted 5.629 germans but the inofficial number ranges about 15.000. The relation between Germans and Slovaks has improved a lot, unlike between Slovaks and the 570.000 Magyars. The Carpathian-Germans who stayed in Slovakia even got 20% of their long-time confiscated property back, while the Germans in the Czech republic received nothing, not even a gesture.


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