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

By Radomír Luža | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8 Terror and Resistance

Retribution and ruthless police methods were applied by the Nazis from the beginning of the occupation?1. The first Czech reactions were expressed by a series of spontaneous mass manifestations on the occasion of various religious and national commemorations in the spring and summer of 1939, by many demonstrations of public anger and revolt, and by the appearance of a multitude of underground resistance groups.

The German repressive response did not immediately assume a mass character. With the outbreak of war, 8,000 Czech public figures were arrested as political hostages around Sept. 1, 1939.2. Czech resistance assumed sharper forms. Following the instructions of the underground movement, Prague became the center of anti-German demonstrations on the anniversary of Independence Day (October 28). Czech masses marched through the inner city singing the national anthem and shouting slogans. Groups of Germans began to

____________________
1.
A total of 4,639 persons were arrested in the period from March 15 to May 23, 1939 ( Král, Otázky, I, 24). At the end of June 1939, Prague Acting Mayor Dr. Otakar Klapka (executed in 1941) asked Henlein in an address: "I beg you to cooperate with me toward the general political amnesty. Mutual understanding would not be possible if there stood the barrier of a political prison between us" [Czechoslovak] Ministry of the Interior, Persekuce českého studentstva za okupace, p. 25; hereafter cited as Persekuce. The volume contains valuable documents and is indispensable for an understanding of the events of October and November 1939 in Prague).
2.
IMT, XXXII, 339; Král, Otázky, I, 24. The lists of hostages were prepared in August 1939 ( K. H. Frank, p. 61).

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