The Transfer of the Sudeten Germans: A Study of Czech-German Relations, 1933-1962

By Radomír Luža | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10 The End of the War

Under the double impact of the plan of transfer and the opposition of the Jaksch group to the Beneš conception of the Republic, the German exiles from Czechoslovakia split into two camps. The majority of those living in Great Britain met at their first national conference in London on Oct. 16-17, 1943.1. The representatives of the main German parties at this meeting courageously recognized the fact that the majority of their countrymen were supporting the Nazi regime;2. and they realized that the fate of the Germans in the Republic depended upon their stand in the present fight. They felt that only open resistance against the Nazis could restrict the full measure of the steps to be taken. Minister Ripka reiterated the official policy, declaring that the German democrats who stood by the Czechoslovak fight for freedom "will continue to be regarded . . . as citizens with full civic rights.''3. The conference elected the Sudeten German Committee as the highest body representing those German refugees who were willing to recognize the fact that the Sudeten Germans at home actively participated in the suppression of the Czech people.4.

____________________
1.
Sudeten Germans and Czechs. Condensed Report of the First National Conference of German Anti-Fascists from Czechoslovakia, passim.
2.
For example, the Social Democratic leader Josef Zinner made the following confession: "Our people stand--except for the active anti-Fascist minority--on the side of the forces of darkness" (ibid., pp. 25, 30).
3.
Sudeten Germans and Czechs, p. 30.
4.
The committee included 49 members of various political parties.

-252-

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