Sudetenland Schools (19th-mid-20th centuries)

Figure 1.--We believe this photograph is part of Goebbels Propaganda Ministry's campaign to create the false idea that Germans were not allowed to control the schools even in German majority areas. The press caption read, "German Schools for Germans: Czechoslovakia's Sudetic Germans cling to German cusoms ans culture so jealously their children are sent to private German-finaced schools such this. A member of the Party [presumably the SDP] --in this case the lovcal cobblers--dinate the room. The Sudeten German destination comes from the Sudetic Mountains along the German border , but it applies geneally to all Germans in Czechoslovakia." THe photograph was dated April 27, 1938. We are not sure why the girls are all dressed a like. Notice only the boy is involved in shoe making. The girls are all sewing.

We have very limited information about schools in the Sudetenland. During the Austrian Empire era the schools would have been taught in German. Austrian cauthorities after the revolutions of 1848 began to make concessions to national etnic groups as ethnic nationalism increased. During the Austro-Hungarian Empire a reltive equality between Czechs and Germans in Bohemia. Each ethnic group in regions in which they were the majority, were permittef estabish control over their own affairs. Czechs and Germans generally maintained separate schools, churches, and public institutions. Even so, despite this etnic separation, mamy Germans understood some Czech and many Czechs spole some German. Major cities like Prague had more mixing between the different ethnicities. And there was also asunstatial Jewish population. In the Sudetenland with a substabtil German populations, the schools were taught in German. We are not sure what the situation was in Czechoslovakia after World War I. We think the Czechs allow the Sudeten Germans to have German-lasnguage schools, but we do not have details. One source reports tht Czech minority laws were most often applied in the Sudetenland and other German-spaking refgions to create new Czech schools, primrily for civil servants who had relocated to the area. Perhaps some Czech had to be taught. Most of the schools would have been primary scgools, but there were some secondary schools. Again we believe that classes were taught in German, but there may have been some Czech requirement. Hopefully readers will know more about this. After Hitler created the Sudeten crisis, the Germns attempted to perpetuate the idea that the Czechs did not permit the Sudetens to have German language schools.


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Created: 10:09 AM 8/13/2015
Last updated: 10:09 AM 8/13/2015