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

By Radomír Luža | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13 The Final Balance Sheet

German sources have indicated that between 200,000 and 500,000 Sudeten Germans lost their lives during the transfer.1. On June 14, 1952, Dr. Walter Becher2. published a statistical article in the two leading Sudeten weeklies3. wherein he attempted to prove that 304,000 Sudeten Germans were "victims of the unchained hatred." The gravity of the accusation and the fact that it represented the official opinion of the Sudeten German leadership4. necessitate its close scrutiny, taking into consideration the more recent statistical estimates published in the Sudetendeutscher Atlas,5. the official

____________________
1.
For example, Prof. Rudolf Schreiber, as quoted in Preidel, ed., p. 102; Deutschlands Ostproblem, p. 132; Die Vertriebenen, p. 176; Dokumentation, IV/ 1, 135.
2.
Former Bavarian provincial deputy for the German Refugee Party and now secretary general of the central organization of the Sudeten Germans, the Sudeten German Council.
3.
Der Sudetendeutsche and Die Sudetendeutsche Zeitung. The Sudeten leaders, Dr. Lodgman and deputies R. Reitzner and H. Schlitz, addressed a special memorandum to the Katyn committee of the American Congress in which they accused the Czechs of murdering 300,000 Sudeten Germans ( Der Sudetendeutsche, Dec. 19, 1952).
4.
Atlas (p. 54) estimated the losses at 302,445 Germans. See also the introduction by Turnwald in Documents on the Expulsion; ibid., Renascence or Decline of Central Europe. The Sudeten-German-Czech Problem, p. 67. Mr. Becher's figures were inserted by Rep. Usher L. Burdick into the Congressional Record, 84th Congress, 1st Session, April 25, 1955, p. A2709. Rep. B. Carroll Reece used them on April 22, 1958 (ibid., 85th Congress, 2nd Session, p. A3628).
5.
Atlas, p. 54.

-293-

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