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

By Radomír Luža | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7 The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Forces of Germanization

The establishment of the Protectorate1. reflected the harsh element which the Germans injected into their dealings with the Czechs. Scrapping any idea of compromise, the Nazis tightened their control of the Bohemian area. The implications seemed clear enough: A period of intensified Czech-German conflict was in prospect with a new hardening of the Nazi policy throughout Europe.

Nazi policy was guided by the conviction that the Czechs had to be dominated. Any friendly attitude would be taken by them as a sign of weakness.2. The Nazi leaders were too steeped in brutality, too remote from moral sentiments, to be able to calculate the effect of their actions and policies. Even the conservative Neurath thought it necessary to show a firm hand, "for the Czechs were thick-skulled and treacherous."3. With the coming of war in 1939, it was in the Nazi interest that calm prevail, so that all possible profit could be garnered from the vast industrial potential of the Protectorate. Hitler decided to avoid anything which might provoke the Czechs, but stated clearly to Reich Protector Neurath that "any Czech defiance must be crushed

____________________
1.
According to the estimate of Oct. 1, 1940, there were 7,485,000 inhabitants in the Protectorate ( Statistisches]ahrbuch für das Deutsche Reich, p. 17). It was estimated that there were 226,720 Germans in the Protectorate on March 1, 1940, and 284,360 on April 1, 1944 (Statistický Zpravodaj[ Statistical Bulletin], VIII, 1945, 83-84). The Protectorate had an area of 48,925 sq km ( Sudetenland, p. 26). For different estimates, see Bohmann, Sudetendeutschtum, p. 194.
2.
K. H. Frank to Wilhelm Stuckart, state secretary in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, according to Stuckart's memo of May 2, 1939 ( TWC, XII, 894 ff.).
3.
DGFP, VIII, 723-24.

-187-

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