Germany's Eastern Neighbours: Problems Relating to the Oder-Neisse Line and the Czech Frontier Regions

Germany's Eastern Neighbours: Problems Relating to the Oder-Neisse Line and the Czech Frontier Regions

Germany's Eastern Neighbours: Problems Relating to the Oder-Neisse Line and the Czech Frontier Regions

Germany's Eastern Neighbours: Problems Relating to the Oder-Neisse Line and the Czech Frontier Regions

Excerpt

This book has presented more difficulties than any work of the kind which I had previously attempted. In the first place, from the moment of beginning work, it became clear that if it were to serve any purpose it would be needed quickly, so that I have been obliged to sacrifice many things to speed. It was begun in the days when the Communists were still unsmiling. Both Polish and Czechoslovak authorities were approached but refused to interest themselves in my subject; it therefore seemed likely that to visit Poland and Czechoslovakia would prove almost wholly unrewarding, and I visited only Western Germany and Berlin.

I must apologize to all economic experts for my amateur efforts to deal with the many and important economic aspects of my theme. At the same time, for the benefit of my other readers, I must explain that it seems to be the general experience that the Communists keep to their own statistical conventions which are not, however, the same as ours; one example is the Communist classification of everything worn on the foot (apart from socks and stockings) as a shoe, regardless of the use or not of leather.

After various consultations I have allowed myself to presume that what the British public will want to know is what has really happened in and in connexion with the German-Slav borderlands until now, in order to form an opinion as to the best solution of their problems in the future. I have therefore deliberately neglected the legalistic aspect so greatly emphasized by many Germans today.

It was exceedingly difficult to decide what name to give to the territory in dispute between the Germans and the Poles, the land lying between the Oder-Neisse line and the western frontiers of Poland in 1939--this is eastern Germany to the Germans and western Poland or more frequently the western, or even the 'recovered', territories to the Poles. I found that I tended to use . . .

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