The amalgamation with Germany

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18. The amalgamation with Germany

On September 12, 1938, Hitler declared at the Reichsparteitag (party rally) in Nuremberg: "The poor Palestinians are defenseless and perhaps they are forlorn. The Germans in Czechoslovakia are neither defenseless nor forlorn. This should be taken into consideration". On September 25, 1938, Lord Runciman, special mediator appointed by the British Government for the Czechoslovakian controversy, wrote to the Prime Minister: "… Czechoslovak rule in the Sudeten areas for the last twenty years … has been marked by tactlessness, lack of understanding, petty intolerance, and discrimination, to a point where the resentment of the German population was inevitably moving in the direction of revolt. … A very large majority of their inhabitants desire amalgamation with Germany." On September 15, Henlein addressed the Sudetengermans in a broadcast on German radio: "Without ever relinquishing our demand for autonomy, we did our utmost with great sacrifices to sustain our livelihood in the Czech state. All our efforts for a just settlement have been in vain. We want to live as a free German people! We desire that peace and employment return to our homeland! We want to go home to the Reich!" Wenzel Jaksch, chairman of the German Social-Democratic Party of Czechoslovakia, made a final appeal: "Sudetengermans! You all must now make the decision: Equality through peace or extinction through war … Take heed: decide for the peaceful course!"

Towards the end of 1938 the move was on Henlein with his Sudetengerman Party and Hitler with his National-Socialists. On September 22, Czechoslovakia proclaimed mobilization. 1½ million soldiers stood under arms. Five days later, all radio-receivers were confiscated, 20,000 Sudetengermans taken hostage, more than two-hundred bridges blown up, long stretches of railroad made useless, tunnels blasted. On September 29, the Munich-Agreement was signed.


On October 30, Hitler proclaimed creation of the "Reichsgau Sudetenland" (district of Germany) with administration in Reichenberg, and the incorporation of southern regions of Bohemia and Moravia to districts of Bavaria and Austria, and of the "Hultschiner Ländchen" to Silesia. Henlein was installed as "Gauleiter" (head-administrator) of the Sudetengau. The Reichsgesetz (country-wide law) of November 21, states: "The amalgamated Sudetengerman regions are constituent parts of the German Reich." On the same day, the international committee declared the Munich-Agreement as being fulfilled since the stipulations had been met.

And what came after the entry of the German Military? From October to December of 1938 as many as 2,500 Sudetengermans were taken to the concentration camp of Dachau alone. Altogether about 20,000 arrests and "relocations" took place. Approximately 30,000 Sudetengermans emigrated to the West. Hence the year 1938 did not exult in jubilation alone; deep concerns and soberness took hold. In March of 1939 Hitler took possession of the remaining parts of Bohemia and Moravia, thereby depriving the Czech people of their freedom and independence in violation of the law for self-determination on which he had pleaded for the Sudetengermans. He established the "Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia".


Copyright © by  I n g e  S c h w a r z 1997 (Heimatstelle Maffersdorf) 
Copyright © by Anton Möller • 2005

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