The German Minority
Czechoslovakia was ethnically heterogenous. Besides the Czechs and Slovaks, who comprised, according to the 1930 census, 66-91 percent of the population, there was a wide variety of minority groups: 3.79 percent Ruthenians; 4.78 percent Magyars; a scattering of Poles and other nationalities; and Germans, with over 22 percent of the population. The Germans, politically, economically, and internationally the most significant group, provided yet another testing ground for what many Czechoslovak interwar intellectuals and statesmen perceived as the true meaning of the country's history.
One cannot speak of the origins of the German minority in the Sudetenland in any sense that implies a policy of imperialism. The boundaries between the neighboring German states and the Czech kingdom did not change significantly since the time of Charlemagne. In the tenth century, the Germans began to move into the Sudeten area, rich with minerals, and into towns, as miners, fi-