** German regional differences -- Sudetenland history

Sudetenland History: Reichsgau Sudetenland (1938-54)

Figure 1.--Thi photograph was described as ethnic German Sudeten children. It clearly was taken during World War II. The dealer described it as photograph taken by an Americn soldier durung the War, but this can not be because the portion of an insription in the back looks German nd the soldier stabding at the left is wearing what looks like a German uniform.<>/i>

The Sudentland was annexed by the Reich as the Reichsgau Sudetenland. The German annexation of the Sudntland and control of Czechoslovakia was a disater for the Czechs. Many Sudeten Germans, estatic that they were finally within the Reich behaved terrible toward their Czech neighbors. The NAZIs proceeded to begin to Germanize the population. Some Czechs were forcibly removed, although this was not persued anywhere to the extent that the NAZIs proceeded with the Germaninization of areas annexed from Poland. Perhaps this was because the Sudetenland was already heavily German. More likely it was because the Czechoslovakia wsas important to the German war economy and Hitler did not want any disruotions until he won the War. If the Germans had won the War, the Germinization of the Sudetenland would have ineviatably been conducted on a much wider scope. Many younger Czechs were forcibly conscripted recruited for slave labor in Germany. Conditions were terrible and many died. Some high class Germans were evacuated to Czechoslovakia beginning in 1943 because of the Allied bombing. These Germans were referred to as "Nation-guests". It was not permitted to call them Germans. The Czech people were required to take them in, give them a room, and feed them. They also served as informants for the Gestapo. Nearly all the ethnic Germans in the Czech lands were granted Reich citizenship. [Smlouva mezi ...] The Germans in Slovakia, however, became citizens of the Slovak state. The NAZI Party was wildly popular. Elections were held (December 4, 1938). Some 97 percent of the population voted NAZI. About 0.5 milliom Sudeten Germans joined the NAZI Party, over 15 percent of the population--about double the percentage in the Reivch. Because many Sudeten Germans spoke Czech, they were employed in the administration of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia which was designed to expoloit the Czrch economy to the fullest. They were also enlisted in NAZI security agencies like the Gestapo which found their languge skills and ardent NAZIism useful. The most notable was Karl Hermann Frank, the SS and Police general and Secretary of State in the Protectorate and close associate of Rinhard Heydrich. The Jews in Czechoslovakia including the Sudetenland were primrily German speaking. The Czechs were forced to cede the Sudetenland, the mostly German-speaking border areas of Czech lands, as a result of the British and French abandoing them at Munich (September 1938). The Jews there were thus immediately exposed to the full force of NAZI laws, entailing both persecution and expropriation of their property. A little more than a month after annexation, the NAZI pogram--Kristallnacht swept the Reich (November 9-10, 1938). Not yet aware of what they could do, the local Nazis were a little slower to join the violence (Novmber 10-11). They made ujp for lost ground and proceeded to vandalize synagogues and Jewish shops and homes. The Munich Agreement occurred so quickly that most Sudenten Jews did not have time to escape before the arival of German troops. The approrimately 27,000 Jews (1930 population) soon began escaping across the border. After Kristalnacht, most of the Jews who could escape did so. A German Census reported that there were only about 2,400 Jews left in the Sudentenland. Most were deported to ghettoes set up in Poland or directly to death camps. We do not yet have details on the deportations. Many of the elderly were sent to Thereisenstadt located at Terezín in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, but very close to the Sudetenlnd. (The Germans located all of the Ghettoes and camps for Jews outside the Reich.) Those that reched what was left of Czechoslovkia found only a brief respite because the Germans invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia (March 1939). Almost all Jews were interned by NAZI authorities, deported and murdered in the death camps estblished in occupied Poland. Very few Czech Jews survived the War. After the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, almost all Czechoslovak Jews, most of whom were primarily German-speaking, were deported and murdered by the authorities. For the Sudeten Germans, annexation to the Reich is an example of the old adage, be careful of what you wish for. As Reiuch citizens, the Sudenten Germans had the 'honor' of being conscripted into the Wehermcht and fighting in the NAZI military. This was not to onerous until the Germnsns invaded the Siviet Union (June 1941) and real casualtues began. Finally the Red Army reached the Sudentenland (May 1945). The sitution was a litle different in Slovakia wichch became a NAZI ally. The U.S. Third Army libersted twowns in the Sudentland, but were quickly withdawn after VE-Day because Czechoslovakia wasi n the Soviet zone of occupation.


Author unknown. "History of the Sudetenland".

Stueck, Rudi. E-mail message (June 23, 2003).

Smlouva mezi Česko-Slovenskou republikou a Německou říší o otázkách státního občanství a opce, law no. 300/1938 Sb.


Navigate the HBC German Related pages:
[German choirs] [German movies] [German school uniforms] [German royalty] [German youth groups]
[German sailor suits] [Lederhosen] [Ethnic] [Tights] [Long stockings]

Navigate the Children in History Website:
[Return to the Main Sudetenland history page]
[Return to the Main Sudetenland page]
[Return to the Main German regional page]
[Return to the Main Czecheslovakian page]
[About Us]
[Introduction] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Climatology] [Clothing] [Disease and Health] [Economics] [Freedom] [Geography] [History] [Human Nature] [Law]
[Nationalism] [Presidents] [Religion] [Royalty] [Science] [Social Class]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Children in History Home]

Created: 4:05 AM 5/23/2021
Last updated: 4:05 AM 5/23/2021