Hello. Welcome to solsarin. This post is about “invasion of sudetenland“.
The Sudetenland (/suːˈdeɪtənlænd/ (listen) soo-DAY-tən-land, German: [zuˈdeːtn̩ˌlant]; Czech and Slovak: Sudety) is the historical German name for the northern, southern, and western areas of former Czechoslovakia which were inhabited primarily by Sudeten Germans. These German speakers had predominated in the border districts of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia since the Middle Ages. Sudetenland had been since the 9th century an integral part of the Czech state (first within the Duchy of Bohemia and later the Kingdom of Bohemia) both geographically and politically.
The word “Sudetenland” did not come into being until the early part of the 20th century and did not come to prominence until almost two decades into the century, after the First World War, when Austria-Hungary was dismembered and the Sudeten Germans found themselves living in the new country of Czechoslovakia.
The Sudeten crisis of 1938 was provoked by the Pan-Germanist demands of Germany that the Sudetenland be annexed to Germany, which happened after the later Munich Agreement. Part of the borderland was invaded and annexed by Poland. Afterwards, the formerly unrecognized Sudetenland became an administrative division of Germany. When Czechoslovakia was reconstituted after the Second World War, the Sudeten Germans were expelled and the region today is inhabited almost exclusively by Czech speakers.
The word Sudetenland is a German compound of Land, meaning “country”, and Sudeten, the name of the Sudeten Mountains, which run along the northern Czech border and Lower Silesia (now in Poland). The Sudetenland encompassed areas well beyond those mountains, however.
Parts of the now Czech regions of Karlovy Vary, Liberec, Olomouc, Moravia-Silesia, and Ústí nad Labem are within the area called Sudetenland.
The areas later known as the Sudetenland never formed a single historical region, which makes it difficult to distinguish the history of the Sudetenland apart from that of Bohemia, until the advent of nationalism in the 19th century.
The Celtic and Boii tribes settled there and the region was first mentioned on the map of Ptolemaios in the 2nd century AD. The Germanic tribe of the Marcomanni dominated the entire core of the region in later centuries. Those tribes already built cities like Brno, but moved west during the Migration Period. In the 7th century AD Slavic people moved in and were united under Samo’s realm. Later in the High Middle Ages Germans settled into the less populated border region.
In the Middle Ages the regions situated on the mountainous border of the Duchy and the Kingdom of Bohemia (Crown of Saint Václav) had since the Migration Period been settled mainly by western Slavic Czechs. Along the Bohemian Forest in the west, the Czech lands bordered on the German Slavic tribes (German Sorbs) stem duchies of Bavaria and Franconia; marches of the medieval German kingdom had also been established in the adjacent Austrian lands south of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the northern Meissen region beyond the Ore Mountains. In the course of the Ostsiedlung (settlement of the east) German settlement from the 13th century onwards continued to move into the Upper Lusatia region and the duchies of Silesia north of the Sudetes mountain range.
The annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany was, to a large degree, prepared by the Sudeten Germans, who—after accepting with great reluctance the Treaty of Saint-Germain, which had placed them under Czechoslovak rule in 1919—responded with increasing approval to the German nationalist, anti-Czech, anti-Semitic propaganda disseminated by the Sudeten German (or Nazi) Party during the mid-1930s. That party, led by Konrad Henlein, exploited the dissatisfaction of unemployed workers in the Sudetenland, where the heavily industrialized economy had come almost to a standstill as a result of the Great Depression. The party also capitalized on discontent over the ethnic discrimination practiced in the region by Czech officials.
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In the parliamentary elections of May 1935, the party received almost two-thirds of the Sudeten German vote and sent the second largest bloc of representatives to the Czechoslovak Parliament. Afterward, the Sudeten Nazis increased their activities, which basically aimed at uniting the Sudetenland with Germany and included hostile outbreaks and provocative incidents. They not only succeeded in embarrassing the Czechoslovak government but also convinced Great Britain and France that the situation in the Sudetenland was highly inflammatory and that the Czechoslovak leaders must persuaded to take extreme action, even ceding the region to Germany, to avoid a war.