Showing posts with label Wildenau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wildenau. Show all posts

The Sudetenland

Hitler crossing the border from Wildenau, just outside Selb, into the Sudetenland with his troops on October 4, 1938, half a mile from Asch and my bike parked outside the former customs building which still remains. That same day, German troops occupied the largest zone (Zone III, encompassing Eger-Karlsbad). On this occasion, Hitler used his three-axle, cross-country grey Mercedes for only the second time since the March 12 Anschluss of Austria again wearing his leather coat cut in a military fashion having had to leave his field-grey tunic hanging in the closet, which he had planned to wear for his campaign. Irving (131) writes that 
As he drove on, tumultuous crowds in the ancient marketplaces of Asch and Eger cheered his victory. ‘Its scale was brought home to me,’ he would crow, five weeks later, ‘only at the moment I stood for the first time in the midst of the Czech fortress line: it was only then that I realised what it means to have captured a front line of almost two thousand kilometres of fortifications without having fired a single shot in anger.’ ‘We would have shed a lot of blood,’ he conceded privately to Goebbels. 
 The first Sudeten town he entered was Asch, below its Hotel Löw (now Goethe) seen on Adolf Hitler Straße in a Nazi-era postcard and today.  After the fall of the monarchy of Austria-Hungary at the end of the Great War in 1918, a soldiers' council of the newly founded Czechoslovakia occupied the political power in Asch and rejected the demands of the German party from Eger for connection to Bavaria in memory of the affiliation of the area to the Nordgau. Inflation in 1923 and a global economic crisis in 1929 and 1930 made it difficult for the textile industry in Asch. Asch Aš Hitler StrasseIn the run-up to the Sudeten crisis, a Sudeten-German freikorps occupied the city in March 1938. In May 1938 the Sudeten-German party of Konrad Henlein, who had been a teacher for a long time in Asch, received the majority of the votes cast. According to the Munich agreement, Reichsdeutsche troops arrived in Asch on October 3, 1938 with Hitler himself coming over the border crossing Selb-Asch into the city. The occupation of this border town of Asch took place peacefully, because a Freikorps had already been founded by the 98% German population a fortnight before, and assumed power leaving a barrier against possibly advancing Czech troops at the narrowest point with only a few miles between Bavaria and Saxony in the Asch district.  The city subsequently came into the administrative district Asch, Regierungsbezirk Eger in the Reichsgau Sudetenland and was incorporated into the German Reich. Most of the ethnic Czech inhabitants who in 1930 counted 113 or 0.5% of the population left the city, which had about 23,000 inhabitants in 1939.
Hitler next visited Franzensbad, renamed today Františkovy Lázně. The town is famous for its spa, begun in 1792 with the support of Emperor Leopold II. The new foundation was given the name Kaiser-Franzensdorf in his honour in 1798, which was later changed to Kaiser-Franzensbad and then to Franzensbad. One of the most important medicinal springs was given the name Franzensquelle, shown here in a Nazi-era postcard when it was located at what was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz and my bike parked in front today. After Hitler entered Franzensbad welcoming with a cheering population, he and Himmler went inside the pavillion to sample the water, shown on the right with me filling my bike bottle with it. He then joined General v. Reichenau for lunch.
Franzensbad had a wealthy Jewish community. In 1884 it enjoyed a neo-Byzantine-style synagogue with two towers and domes built for members and spa guests of her faith at the lower end of the main street at lot number 166. 
On November 10, 1938, after the Munich Agreement and the Sudetenland was occupied by German troops, the synagogue in Franzensbad was burned down by Nazi supporters and the ruins were demolished after 1945. The Jewish residents of the town of Franzensbad escaped or perished. There is a report from that time in the Egerer Zeitung of September 22, 1938. The adjacent Jewish cemetery was superficially leveled. Until their expulsion in 1945 the majority of the population of the city was German- on December 1 1930, the city had 2,473 inhabitants of whom 74 were Czechs. By May 17, 1939 this was increased to 3,784 but by May 22, 1947 it was down to 2,282 when at the end of the war the spa was almost at a standstill. The influx of cash-paying spa guests remained unfulfilled. Due to the so-called Beneš decrees, a large part of the German-Bohemian landowners and property owners were expropriated and the spa facilities were nationalised. Those forcibly displaced left largely for Bavaria and Thuringia.
Hitler next proceeded to Eger, today renamed 'Cheb' although as seen in my GIF on the left as well as the others below, the former Adolf-Hitler-Platz is all but unchanged.
This was the site of the murder of Wallenstein in in 1634 which led to Butler being rewarded with the schloss that currrently serves as the site of where I teach at the Bavarian International School. After the foundation of Czecholsovakia, on December 16, 1918 at around 12.45 Eger was occupied by 500 men from the Czechoslovak 35th Infantry Regiment from Pilsen. The city surrendered only after the threat of artillery bombardment. It had been here on March 3, 1919 on the occasion of the elections held in Austria that a popular uprising led to the shooting dead of two people took place in Eger as a result of the terms of the 1919 Treaty of St. Germain which triggered civil unrest between the Sudeten German population and the new Czechoslovak administration, just as in the rest of the Sudetenland. As elsewhere, protests in the town, now officially renamed Cheb, were eventually suppressed by force. It was also here where, on October 1, 1933, Konrad Henlein founded the Sudeten German Home Front with the aim of “merging all Germans” in the Czechoslovak Republic. The party had to be renamed the Sudeten German Party in 1935 and became the strongest grouping in the border area in the parliamentary elections of the same year. In fact, Austrian National Socialism and hence German National Socialism can trace its origins to Eger when Franko Stein transferred a small newspaper, Der Hammer from Vienna to Eger in 1897. There he organised a German workers congress called the Deutschvölkischer Arbeitertag, which published the Nazis' 25-point programme.
In 1897 Cheb gave birth to German National Socialism, which later evolved into the Nazi party. Hitler visited here in 1938, just before German troops seized control of the surrounding Sudetenland. Payback came with the 1945 expulsion of Cheb’s German population of 30,000. Now, significant Vietnamese, Slovak and Roma populations reflect Central Europe’s evolving demography in this town that sits astride the traditional, historical and cultural fault line between Germany and the Czech Republic.
Lonely Planet (203)
Irving (131) writes how as, Hitler
drove on from Asch and Eger some towns looked as though a full-scale war had hit them: buildings were wrecked, telephone lines were down, there was broken glass everywhere, and there were food lines and mobile kitchens. The armed Free Corps irregulars that they met looked tough, to say the least – ‘not the kind of people to run into on a dark night,’ one German officer noted.
Already a mere day after the signing of the Munich Agreement, Eger was occupied by German troops on October 1, an event immortalised in this famous photograph of ethnic Germans in Cheb greeting Hitler with the Hitler salute after he crossed the border into the formerly Czechoslovak Sudetenland in 1938. Active History has an excellent lesson based on this photo- “The Mystery of the Crying Woman” – A Sourcework Analysis Starter. The American National Archives provides this cropped photo and this caption: "The tragedy of this Sudeten woman, unable to conceal her misery as she dutifully salutes the triumphant Hitler, is the tragedy of the silent millions who have been `won over' to Hitlerism by the `everlasting use' of ruthless force."  This History of the Sudetenland page has the same photo, but also another image (also cropped) which shows more of the original, and has this caption: "Overcome By Emotion — Three Sudetenlanders, one overcome with emotion as she raises her arm in a Nazi salute, pay homage as the Wehrmacht enters the border town of Cheb, October 1938."  A letter to Time Magazine (Nov. 12, 1945), written by Lieutenant Earle A. Cleveland, discusses the emotional state of the depicted woman: "The sobbing woman with arm outstretched in Nazi salute has been consistently interpreted as a symbol of forced obedience to the German conquerors of Czechoslovakia ... The picture was snapped by a German press photographer and first appeared in the Nazi newspaper, Völkischer Beobachter, in the fall of 1938, shortly after the Sudeten 'Anschluss.' The Nazi explanation was that here were portrayed the intense emotions of joy which swept the Sudeten Germans as Hitler crossed the Czech border at Asch and drove through the streets of the nearby ancient city of Eger, 99% of whose inhabitants were ardently pro-Nazi Sudeten Germans at the time. 
 Two days later when Hitler visited the city and was enthusiastically welcomed by the population he gave is first speech in the new annexed territory here in the market place:
Egerlanders! Today, for the first time, I may greet you as my Egerlanders! Through me, the entire German Volk greets you! At this moment, it not only greets you but the entire Sudeten German territories which will, in a few days’ time, belong to the German Reich in its entirety. This greeting is at the same time an avowal: never again shall this land be torn from the Reich! This Greater German Reich is protected by the German shield and by the German sword. You yourselves form part of this protecting umbrella. From now on, like all other Germans, you will have to do your part. It is a cause of great pride for all of us that each and every German son will participate not only in Germany’s joy, but also in our duties and, if need be, in our sacrifices as well. For you, this nation was willing to draw the sword! And you will all be willing to do likewise wherever German lands or the German Volk be threatened. In this community of will and fate, the German Volk will, from now on, mold its future. And no power on earth will ever be a threat to it again! And so all of Germany, from East to West, from North to South, stands prepared to stand up for each other. There is great happiness in all of Germany these days. Not only you feel this, it is felt by the entire nation which rejoices with you. Your happiness is the happiness of the seventy-five million who have made up the Reich until now, just as your sorrow was their sorrow until a few days ago. And thus you step forth onto the path leading to Germany’s great future! In this hour, let us thank the Almighty who has blessed our paths in the past, and let us pray to Him: may He lead us forth onto the path of righteousness in the future as well. 
Hitler shown walking down what is now Kostelní náměstí but was originally Kirchenplatz as he makes his way to the stage to give his speech about an hundred metres away. Christian-Social Mayor Andreas Prokisch was dismissed after five years in office and declared deposed on October 7, 1938 to be replaced by the previous local group leader of the Sudeten German Party, Ernst Haas. Prokisch would eventually be sent to Dachau for anti-German statements, where he died in March 1945. Siegbert Schneider would serve as mayor from 1939 to 1945; on April 9, 1945, he ordered that none was allowed to leave the town but that all should be ready to defend the city. However, he himself left for Bavaria on the night of April 10, 1945.
Jews in the town had long been targetted; in 1350 there had been a pogrom against the local Jews during which the Jewish community was almost completely wiped out. During the pogroms that took place in November 1938, the synagogue dating from 1893 was destroyed. That year saw the release of 
the cinematic portrait of a city titled Eger—eine alte deutsche Stadt (Eger—an Ancient German City, 1938), directed by Rudolf Gutscher, the camera focuses in on swastika motifs in a church dating back to the year 1310 as proof of the claim that Eger had always been a German city and that the time was long overdue for its return to the Reich.
Cycling through the market square and as it appeared in December 1938 when the the Reichsarbeitsdienst held a rally announcing the introduction of the RAD within the Sudetenland with the decree of December 6, 1938 (Reichsgesetzblatt IA 1719). Through it "[a]ll young Germans of both sexes are obliged to serve their people in the Reich Labour Service." § 3 (1) read: "The Führer and Reich Chancellor determines the number of conscripts to be called up annually and determines the length of service.” As with the rest of Germany, all young men before their military service were now liable to be called up for six months of labour service. From the beginning of the war, the Reich Labour Service was extended to young women. The RAD served as part of the German economy as well as forming a part of its education system. After the July Plot of 1944 and the subsequent handover to the Waffen-ϟϟ over command of the replacement army, the RAD was given six-week basic military training on rifles in order to shorten the training period for the troops.

Jiří Pujman and the so-called Czechoslovak Combined Section 'liberating' Eger in British uniforms and driving British tanks after crossing the border just after 10.00 on May 1, 1945 upon which it  stopped for a brief ceremony as the Czechoslovakian flag was raised and the national anthem was sung. The unit then continued and entered Eger at noon. The church tower of St. Nicholas is missing in the right background because the church was a victim of an April 1945 bombing attack.Geoffrey H. Stephenson, the British staff captain of 22 Liaison (Czech) HQ described Eger as being "not much of a place and is 100% German and pretty hostile ones at that". Whilst there the unit was attached to the 18th Infantry Regiment of the 1st American Division upon which the unit sent out patrols into the streets of the town, and during the next few days the men of the Token force took over responsibility for security in the town. Patrols were made by the half-tracks and carriers of the unit out to the surrounding villages, but without any serious fighting. Cheb was taken by the American 97th Infantry Division April 25, 1945.  Most of the German-Bohemian population was expelled in 1945 due to the Beneš decrees and their assets confiscated by decree 108, the property of the Protestant church was liquidated by the Beneš decree 131, and the Catholic city churches were expropriated in Czechoslovakia. Many new citizens from Central and South Bohemia, Moravia, Czech repatriates, Slovaks and Roma moved to Cheb. These new citizens and their descendants have since become the largest part of the population. In 1954, the city of Amberg in Germany took over the patronage for the displaced Sudeten Germans from the city and the district of Eger. In the time of the German division Cheb was the place of family meetings because of its geographical proximity to both German states.

Komotau (Chomutov)
I spent the day in Komotau exploring the town and cycling around the area which is a microcosm of what the Sudetenland had represented as seen in these GIfs, showing a German town today all but taken over by an alien popultion. In the 1930s the town had a population of up to 75% that was ethnically German. A very small Jewish population, 444 in 1930 (1.3% of the total population), came under increasing pressure, and Komotau was declared "judenrein" on September 23, 1938 by the increasingly pro-Nazi forces- this was a week before the Munich Agreement had even been announced. Some idea of the enthusiasm its inhabitants had of its absorption into the German Reich can be seen in these two GIFs showing cheering throngs welcoming the Wehrmacht into the town and entering Adolf-Hitler-Platz on October 19, 1938 and compared with the same site today.
A small congregation administered by the Usti nad Labem community was reestablished after the war. The Jewish poet Max Fleischer, a native of Komotau, died in an unidentified concentration camp. 

Marktplatz at the start of the Great War, July 29, 1914 and now
Fast forward to May 9, 1945 when Czech Revolutionary Guards and parts of the Svoboda Army invaded the city with the Red Army. On June 9, 1945, all 8,000 German-Bohemian men between the ages of 13 and 65 from Komotau and the surrounding villages were forced to gather at Jahnsportplatz. According to eyewitness reports, between twelve and 20 of them were shot there, including some members of the Waffen-ϟϟ. The rest were driven up the Erzgebirge to be handed over to the Soviets. When this failed, they then had to march to the labour camps of Maltheuern (Zaluzi) and do compulsory labour for up to 1 1/2 years. On the following march from Komotau to Maltheuern, some men were also shot because they could not follow the train. The march went along the route: Komotau - Görkau- Rothenhaus Castle - Kunnersdorf - Bartelsdorf - Eisenberg - Bergneudorf - Deutschneudorf (Saxony) - Nickelsdorf - Obergeorgenthal - Niedergeorgenthal - Maltheuern.
Schulplatz, now Husovo náměstí
In 2003 a first memorial stone was dedicated in Deutschneudorf, and on September 22, 2007 a second memorial stone was dedicated in the main cemetery in Chomutov in memory of this death march. A legal processing of the events has not taken place. Due to the "Amnesty Law" No. 115 of May 8, 1946, such crimes committed up to October 28, 1945 remained unpunished. The survivors had to rebuild the bombed hydrogenation plant in Maltheuern, now Záluží. Due to the Beneš Decree 108 of October 1945, the assets of the German-Bohemian population were confiscated and placed under national administration. The German population was expelled. Many new citizens from Central Bohemia, Slovakia, repatriates and Roma settled in Chomutov in the post-war period. 
The Gymnasium in 1935 and today

The Gymnasium in 1935 and today
Thus the Czechs copied the practices of the nazi concentration camps, told the Germans that they were being treated as they had treated the Jews, issued to them ration cards entitling them to the so-called Jewish rations, ordered the Germans to wear white arm bands with an N (or, in the case of party members, yellow bands with a swastika), forbade them to attend 'entertainments of all kinds, or cinema and theatre performances, or to make use of public bathing establishments, baths or recreational, athletic or sporting enterprises and institutions' (proclamation of 15 October, 1945).
Thus took place in June 1945 the 'march of death from Komotau (Chom Outov) to the frontier', during which everybody was shot who was unable to walk on and an estimated number of 6o to 75 people lost their lives, and in July 1945 the massacre ofUsti (Aussig), when-after an explosion in a factory-more than a thousand people were murdered by the soldiery. The large majority of the Germans were, in the months after the end of the war, driven directly across the frontier into the 'Reich', or put into improvised labour and internment camps where food and living conditions were of the lowest standards. Only former social democrats and communists were treated somewhat more leniently, and were in one memorable instance permitted to arrange the orderly emigration of their political friends, first to Thuringia, and later to western Germany.

Adolf-Hitler-Platz from a Nazi-era postcard and today. 
The former Sudetenland (referred in the Czech Republic today usually as Pohraničí - "border area"-  or simply as Sudety - "Sudeten") is an auxiliary designation used mainly after 1918 for a heterogeneous, non-contiguous area along the borders of what was then Czechoslovakia to Germany and Austria, in which lived predominantly Germans by language, culture and self-identification. The mountain range of the Sudeten, the northern border mountains of the Austrian states of Bohemia, Moravia and Sudeten Silesia to German Saxony and Silesia, gave its name to the topographical designation "Sudetenland" in the 19th century. This definition of the term was also followed by the naming of the Province of Sudetenland which had been founded on October 29, 1918 by German-speaking representatives from the region in accordance with the right of peoples to self-determination and Wilson's 14-point programme (the Austrian Province of Sudetenland was proclaimed a day later), with the aim of connecting to German Austria and the German Reich in order to evade foreign rule by the new Czechoslovakian state. However, their desire for self-determination couldn't be enforced against the victorious powers of the Great War; whilst the German soldiers disarmed, the Czechs founded the army of their new state and claimed it the historical borders of the crown lands of Bohemia, Moravia, and Austro-Silesia, the entire territory of which was to include the Czech part of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovak sovereignty was ultimately confirmed on September 10, 1919 by the Treaty of Saint-Germain. A referendum, as in Upper Silesia, for example, was not planned. At that time, only around 82,000 Czechs lived in what later became the Sudetenland. In the period between 1920 and 1935, around 237,000 Czechs settled in the Sudetenland, originally from the Czech-Slovakian border areas, from Poland and Hungary.
Ringplatz, now Kostel sv.Ignáce
Nevertheless, in the 1920s Czechoslovakia's German citizens voted overwhelmingly for pro-integration parties although many Sudeten Germans continued to refuse to belong to Czechoslovakia. On October 1, 1933, the Sudeten German Party (SdP) was founded around Konrad Henlein. Initially, the party only advocated greater autonomy for the Sudetenland, based on treaty assurances from Czechoslovakia. After consultation with Hitler, the party later increasingly oriented itself towards the Nazi Party in neighbouring Germany. The landslide electoral victories of Konrad Henlein's "Sudeten German Party" in 1935 and 1936 clearly showed that seventy to eighty percent of the population of the Sudeten region was under their influence.
In the 1935 national Czechoslovak election, the Sudeten German Party (SdP), which was inspired by admiration for Adolf Hitler and his policies, captured the majority of the German vote, and it became the largest single party in Czechoslovakia. There were 800,000 unemployed workers in Czechoslovakia at that time, and 500,000 of these were Sudeten Germans. Marriages and births were few, and the death-rate was high. It is not surprising that conditions changed after the liberation of the Sudetenland in 1938. The Northern Sudetenland (the three districts of Eger, Aussig, and Troppau: the two southern sections were assigned to Bavaria and German Austria) led all regions of Germany in the number of marriages in 1939 (approximately 30% ahead of the national average). The birth-rate in 1940 was 60% greater than the birth-rate of 1937. The period of Czech rule was a bad time for the Bohemian Germans, and conditions prior to the Munich conference became steadily worse. These people were patient, but they were not cowards, and the ultimate reaction was inevitable.  
 The church portal
November 1937 Hitler declared to the supreme commanders of the Wehrmacht that the annexation of Austria and the defeat of Czechoslovakia were the next steps on the way to "Lebensraum in the East" . In April 1938, Hitler confirmed his plan to the Wehrmacht to "smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the foreseeable future". The SdP was a willing partner on this path to the “solution to the German spatial question” that he proclaimed. Henlein was commissioned to confront the Czechoslovak government with maximum demands from the Sudeten Germans in order to fuel the domestic Sudeten crisis. Increasingly under pressure, Czechoslovakia announced mobilisation in May 1938, citing knowledge of an imminent German attack. Britain and France- the latter actually allied to Czechoslovakia by international treaty- were under pressure and announced their support. Germany, for its part, accelerated the crisis and put the Wehrmacht on standby. 
With the Munich Agreement concluded through the supposed mediation of Mussolini, the British government under Chamberlain prevented the transition to arms that Hitler was actually aiming for, but not the goal.
The former Café Habsburg
The Czechoslovak government of President Beneš was not involved in the negotiations. After the agreement was concluded on September 30, 1938, the incorporation of the Sudetenland was completed between October 1 to 10, 1938. The area had 3.63 million inhabitants, of which around 2.9 million were Germans and 0.7 million Czechs. Through the Munich Agreement (from the Czech side mainly referred to as the 'Mnichovský diktát', or "Munich Treason", (Mnichovská zrada) of September 29, 1938, the German population of the Sudetenland saw their right to self-determination, sought in 1918 but prevented by the Treaty of St. Germain, redeemed twenty years late. Indeed, the former state chancellor Karl Renner who had come from South Moravia, argued this in Vienna in March 1938. Certainly the annexation of the predominantly German-populated outskirts of Bohemia to the German Reich as the Reichsgau Sudetenland was accompanied by the approval of the vast majority of the population. The former Czech Prime Minister Miloš Zeman caused a political uproar in 2002 when he went so far as to speak of the fifth column of the Third Reich in connection with the Sudeten Germans. A few months after the conclusion of the Munich Agreement, the former President Edvard Beneš, who had now resigned and based in London, developed the first ideas aimed at regaining the areas that had been ceded by force and expelling the German population living there. 
Städtische Parksäle then, Městské divadlo now
As it turned out, the Germans weren't seen to have been advantaged by the acquisition. As Elizabeth Wiskemann wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in January 1939,
From an economic point of view Germany does not at first sight appear to have gained very much. She already has some thing of a food problem, and has now acquired three and a half million inhabitants living within a mainly mountainous territory which cannot supply their food. She requires raw materials and skilled workers, and she has acquired antiquated textile industries dependent upon imported cotton and a number of cottagers who are accustomed to making toys and fiddles and glass beads in their homes. Her mineral acquisitions consist of the lignite coal fields, and beyond that a little copper near Karlsbad, and the radium mine at Joachimsthal which is run at a dead loss; in Komotau, Teplitz-Sch?nau, Bodenbach and Eger she gains a number of metal-workers. So far the bargain appears not to be a good one. But with regard to timber on the one hand and gold reserves on the other Germany's expansion in October supplements her seizure of Austria in March. What she now gains in Bohemia and Czechoslovak Silesia in forest land amplifies the timber at her disposal in Austria, and at Krumau in Southern Bohemia she acquires the biggest paper mills in the old Hapsburg Monarchy. It would be natural to suppose that she would offer some compensation to the Czechoslovak State, which owned most of the forests; instead, she will rather demand payment for herself because they were once the property of some Austrian aristocrat- whose Hapsburg sympathies may meanwhile have sent him to Dachau!
Herrengasse, now Revoluční ul
 On April 14, 1939, the Reichsgau Sudetenland was created from most of the Sudeten German areas with 2.94 million inhabitants in 3,167 municipalities. The southern parts with 543 communities and about 690,000 inhabitants were added to the Gau Bayerische Ostmark in Bavaria and the Reichsgauen Oberdonau (Upper Austria) and Niederdonau (Lower Austria); The municipalities of Engerau and Theben near Pressburg / Slovakia also joined the Reichsgau Niederdonau. In the east, the 38 municipalities of the Hultschiner Ländchen with 52,967 inhabitants became the district of Ratiborin in the Prussian province of Upper Silesia. A month before the Reichsgau Sudetenland was constituted, the rest of Czechia was occupied on March 15, 1939, breaking the agreement made at Munich, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was established the following day. The border between the protectorate and the Sudetenland could only be crossed with so-called passage permits; however, the customs border to the protectorate was lifted on September 18, 1940.
Komerční Banka
After the war, Beneš promulgated the decrees ordering the dispossession and disfranchisement of the Sudeten Germans and Hungarians (the disfranchisement of the Hungarians was lifted in 1948). Germans who could not prove their anti-fascist sentiment beyond a doubt were marked with an "N" (for Němec = German) and forcibly evicted. Others were initially taken to labour camps to work in coal mines, graduation towers and on farms without pay and with minimal food. With regard to the Hungarians, only a partial population exchange was carried out against Slovaks from Hungary. Even Germans with demonstrable anti-fascist sentiments were often forced to leave the country “voluntarily”. A total of three million of the just over 3.2 million Sudeten Germans were expelled. The number of Sudeten German fatalities varies between 30,000 and 240,000, depending on the study, with the Federal Archives counting 60-70,000 dead in 1974. 
Hutbergwarte, now Hotel Partyzán
Hutbergwarte, now derelict Hotel Partyzán with 'Hans Kudlich' tower.
 According to various population balances, the number of Sudeten Germans fell by more than 200,000 between the beginning of May 1945 and the two censuses in the Federal Republic and the DDR in August and September 1950. The former Sudeten German, later Austrian communist Leopold Grünwald commented: 
The expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia was justified with an alleged collective guilt ... About the many facts that refute this legend - the anti-fascist resistance in the occupied Sudeten area and in the German-speaking areas of Slovakia during the war – nothing became known to the world public. In addition, the leaders of the Landsmannschaften, who were still often caught up in the German-national mentality, showed no interest in saving their honour through the deeds and sacrifices of the “journeys without a homeland”, the German Social Democrats and Communists... The injustice of the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from their homeland appears particularly blatant in the light of the balance sheet of the anti-fascist struggle in the Sudeten region. This shows that the number of victims of the resistance against the NS regime ... in relation to the population of the Sudeten area was far greater than in Germany or Austria. According to this ratio, the extent of the resistance movement in the Sudeten region was greater than in other German-speaking countries.

 During the war, Karlsbad was a military hospital and was internationally reported and marked as such. Despite this, the city was bombed by the USAAF in September 1944 and April 1945 . The station, in which two hospital trains, also marked with the Red Cross, were located at the time of the attack, was destroyed. Large parts of the city were destroyed, but the spa district was not affected. Karlovy Vary was taken by the Americans in May 1945 and handed over to the Red Army on May 11, 1945. After the war, there was increased and state-sponsored immigration, mainly from Central Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Repatriates and members of the Roma ethnic minority also moved to Karlovy Vary. The incorporations of 1939, like all municipal area changes that took place during the occupation, were rescinded after the end of the Second World War. The spa facilities were nationalised in 1946. In 1949 the municipalities of Karlovy Vary, Rybáře , Bohatice, Březová , Doubí , Drahovice, Dvory and Olšová Vrata were merged into the new municipality of Karlovy Vary. Since the end of the communist regime in 1989, the spa has again been geared towards an international audience and has received support measures to increase the number of spa guests.
Sokolov (Falkenau a. d. Eger)
At the former Adolf-Hitler-Platz, now Staré náměstí, and when it at the time when it flew Nazi flags. From 1938 to 1945 the town was one of the municipalities in Sudetenland. As a result of the Munich agreement Falkenau on the Eger became a part of the Reichsgaus Sudetenland. The town belonged to the same district of Falkenau on the Eger and was assigned to the new government district Eger with the seat of the government president in Karlovy Vary. On May 1, 1939, a reorganisation of the partly divided sections of the Sudetenland was carried out. After that, the district of Falkenau on the Eger remained in its previous borders. This state remained until the collapse of the German Reich at the end of the war. On October 16, 1940 bombs fell on Falkenau, which hit the cemetery instead of the chemical factory. In another air attack on April 17, 1945, some hundred Falkenauers died. Falkenau now received the name Falknov nad Ohří. During the Nazi era in Sokolov the concentration camp Falkenau was erected in Sokolov as the outskirts of the Flossenbürg concentration camp, the inmates of which were liberated by the American 1st Infantry Division on May 6, 1945. One of the main men of the division, the so-called "Big Red One," commanded fourteen citizens of the town, whose inhabitants claimed that they had not known anything about the outside camp, to retrieve, dress, and bury the corps found in the camp at the Dorffriedhof. The infantryman Samuel Fuller, later known as an actor, screenwriter and director, recorded these events with a 16mm camera into footage known as V-E +1 that was later integrated into the French documentary Falkenau: The Impossible (1988). In 2014, the footage was selected for the United States National Film Registry.
At the town centre and from a Nazi-era postcard, 'Adolf-Hitler-Platz' having been crossed out.  After the war as Czechoslovakia regained the areas occupied by Germany in the Munich Agreement, numerous German soldiers of the so-called "Kampfgruppe Mangold", who had set off on the Eger - Karlsbad retreat route at the beginning of May, reached Germany via the "Hoher Stein" mountain range (today's Vysoký kámen) via former smugglers' paths. Many German Bohemians fled across the border to Germany to escape the onset of acts of violence by self-proclaimed Revolutionary Guards and national militias. Others were driven across the border or interned in camps. A large part of the German population was expropriated in 1945 and expelled from the city. A large number of this part of the population was forcibly resettled in Germany and in 1948, this German-sounding name was changed to Sokolov ("Falke" = Czech "Sokol"). 
 Landskron (Lanškroun)
  The Gymnasium decorated in Nazi flags and the slogan 'Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer'.  It would later play a role in the horrific events after the war. On May 9, 1945, the day the war ended in Europe, Soviet troops entered the city. What resulted was now known as the 'Blutgericht von Lanškroun,' a people's court held in Landskron from May 17 to 21, 1945 against the predominantly German residents of the town and the surrounding villages. This people's court was conducted by Czech partisans from the nearby town of Vysoké Mýto (Hohenmauth). It is usually called 'blood court' in the German-language literature, since in many cases the death penalty was carried out immediately. It began on May 17, 1945 at around 11.00 when buses with Czech partisans arrived in Landskron's town square. After a speech by a Russian officer, the partisans dispersed throughout the city and rounded up the German residents in the town square. The people's court had set up itself in front of the district office and now imposed judgments in quick succession. Most of the sentences provided for corporal punishment, which was carried out immediately. Eyewitnesses report extreme viciousness in the treatment of the convicts, some of whom were killed by the beatings; others were shot on the town hall wall or hung from street lamps. On the first day, 24 were killed and well over an hundred were punished by beatings. An incident occurred on the second day when the owner of a shop adjacent to the town square set herself and her house on fire, interrupting the day's sentencing. On the third day, the German inhabitants of Thomigsdorf were taken to Landskron.
 Adolf Hitler Platz
On May 20, 1945, Whit Sunday , the court rested. On the following May 21, 1945, it was the turn of the residents from Lukau and Nieder Johnsdorf. From the Germans rounded up in Landskron during these days, 1,200 men were selected and interned here in the Landskron Gymnasium building. They were first taken to Auschwitz and from there to Siberia for forced labour. During this event, more than an hundred people committed suicide, some killing other family members beforehand. A legal review of what happened has never taken place. According to the " Amnesty Law " No. 115 of May 8, 1946, such acts committed up to October 28, 1945 are not punishable.
Today cemeteries throughout the area remain desecrated with graves vandalised and left forlorn.
After the approximately three million Sudeten Germans were expelled, the term Grenzland increasingly came into use in Czech, even if these areas were often relatively far away from the border or deep inland, as was the case with some earlier language islands. After the war, the Bohemian and Moravian outskirts were swept up in a radical change by the expulsion and immigration of a large number of new citizens. After the end of the largest migration movements, the population consisted of around one million newly settled Czechs from the Bohemian-Moravian interior, 600,000 Czechs who had already been at home before the war, 200,000 so-called repatriates - from abroad ( such as Volhynian Czechs from
the Ukraine), 200,000 newly settled Slovaks, 200,000 remaining Germans (now legitimised by the so-called Gottwald certificate ), many of whom emigrated in the following years, and several thousand members of other nationalities such as Roma, Hungarians and Romanians. Around 2.5 million inhabitants lived in the areas concerned, with some structurally stronger places experiencing very strong population growth, whilst other, more structurally weak places shrank or were not resettled at all. Most new citizens ended up in places with which they had no connection. They were awarded the respective property, which had previously been expropriated by Sudeten Germans or Hungarians, free of charge through a tendering process that the government conducted among the Czech and Slovak population. Individuals took possession of houses by force, even in the presence of the previous residents. Furthermore, about 44,000 Hungarians were deported to the abandoned Sudetenland for labour service. After a year or two, the Hungarians were allowed to return to southern Slovakia, which about 24,000 of them did. From the point of view of those in power, many new citizens were considered politically “unreliable” or “difficult to socialise”, whilst others were attracted by the prospect of a career advancement or opportunities for social advancement. One of the goals of the communist government was, among other things, to be able to form a population in the areas that was “unencumbered” by earlier bourgeois traditions, taking appropriate ideological aspects into account. The redistribution of the vacated properties resulted in a considerable increase in prosperity for many Czechs as compensation for injustice committed by the Nazis. To this day, this issue creates tensions between the governments of Austria, Germany and Hungary on the one hand and the Czech government on the other. On February 27, 1992, a treaty on friendly cooperation was signed between Czechoslovakia and Germany to defuse this point of conflict. After the completion of the extensive post-war migration process, the new society in the Czech borderland consisted on average of more than two-thirds of new settlers, which brought about a complete change in the ethnic , cultural and economic structure of the regions. To this day, there is a high fluctuation in the population. In the early years, there was a widespread and politically exploited view that life in the border area was temporary because one had to reckon with a return of the Sudeten Germans. As I noticed as I cycled throughout the area in July 2023 for this page, very many houses were not resettled and were either demolished or left to decay, especially if they were very close to the state border. Some places turned to weekend house settlements and were in restricted areas. After the opening of the border, there remains close to the border an economy geared towards rather undemanding shopping and gas tourism, with blatant prostitution and border crime amidst an above-average high unemployment level. 

Reichenberg Stadt (Liberec)
  This was the home town of the founder of the Sudeten German Party (SdP) Konrad Henlein, born in the suburbs of Liberec. Whilst he declared fidelity to the Republic, he secretly negotiated with Hitler. In 1937 he radicalised his views and became Hitler's puppet in order to incorporate the Sudetenland into Germany and destabilise Czechoslovakia, which was an ally of France and one of the leading arms producers in Europe.  The city became the centre of Pan-German movements and later of the Nazis, especially after the 1935 election, despite its important democratic mayor, Karl Kostka of the German Democratic Freedom Party. The final change came in Summer 1938, after the radicalisation of the terror of the SdP, whose death threats forced Kostka and his family to flee to Prague.  In September 1938, after two unsuccessful attempts by the SdP to stage a pro-Nazi coup in Czechoslovakia, which were stopped by police and the army, the Munich Agreement awarded the city to Nazi Germany and it became the capital of the Sudetengau region. Most of the city's Jewish and Czech population fled to the rest of Czechoslovakia or were expelled. The important synagogue was burned down. During a rally in December 1938, Hitler laid out the future of the Hitler Youth.
After the war the town again became a part of Czechoslovakia and nearly all of the city's German population was expelled following the Beneš decrees. The region was then resettled with Czechs. The city continues to have an important German minority, consisting of anti-Nazi Germans who were active in the struggle against Hitler, as well as Germans from Czech-German families and their descendants. Liberec also has a Jewish minority with a newly built synagogue and a Greek minority, originating from Communist refugees who settled there after the Greek Civil War in 1949.
The town house at Adolf-Hitler-Platz. It was here that, for the last time in his life, Hitler gave an election speech on December 2, 1938. He spoke on the topic of the upcoming December 2 supplemental elections to the Reichstag. Hitler arrived in the capital of the Sudetenland at around 14.00. First he toured the House of Trade and the city theatre, then continued on to the City Hall, where a reception was given in his honour. After a welcome by the Mayor, Hitler thanked him in a short address in which he emphasised his intention to transform Reichenberg, within a few years, into “a truly beautiful stronghold of the Movement.”
At a mass rally that evening, Hitler delivered his big election speech. He began with the obligatory “party narrative,” which even his regular listeners found comparatively long. However, he stood before thousands of Sudeten Germans, who heard him speak for the first time and adored him as though he were a godlike figure. They still possessed a faith in him which the people in the old part of the Reich had incrementally lost over the course of his six-year rule.
In front of the Sudeten Germans, Hitler could indulge once again in an orgy of verbosity. He listed his achievements of the past twenty years of his life, crowning his description with the following:
“National Socialism does not stand at the end of its road, but at the beginning!” 
Konrad Henlein Platz. Upon the German occupation he joined the Nazi Party as well as the ϟϟ and was appointed Reichsstatthalter of the Sudetenland in 1939. He was head of the German gymnastics movement (Deutsche Turnbewegung) in Czechoslovakia from 1923 until 1933, when he appeared as leader of the Sudeten-German Home Front (Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront), which became the second strongest party in the Czech chamber in 1935. On April 24, 1938, he unavailingly demanded autonomy for the Sudeten-German areas. He visited Adolf Hitler on September 1 and two weeks later, when a revolt broke out in the Sudetenland and martial law was ordered, presented the Czech government with an ultimatum for the withdrawal of that order. The Czech government having ignored his ultimatum, he issued a proclamation demanding the cession of the Sudeten-German territory to Germany; the government suspended his party for treasonable activities; Henlein fled to Germany to escape arrest and established a Sudeten-German “Free Corps,” which engaged in skirmishes along the frontier as the German-Czech crisis approached its climax. On Oct. 1, 1938, after the four-power conference at Munich had ceded the Sudeten-German areas to Germany, Henlein was appointed by the German government Reichskommissar for the Sudeten-German territory, later Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter of Sudetenland. At the end of the war, he committed suicide while in Allied custody by cutting his veins with his broken glasses. He was buried anonymously in the Plzeň Central Cemetery.

Varnsdorf (Warnsdorf)
The former Straße der SA. Prior to the end of the Great War, Warnsdorf was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Following the Great War, the official spelling of its name was changed from the German "Warnsdorf" to the Czech "Varnsdorf".  Great sympathy was shown to the Sudeten German Party led by Konrad Henlein. In 1935 Henlein spoke here to 12,000 people, followed the next year by Klement Gottwald who attracted less than half that. Konrad Henlein visited Varnsdorf 1938 at a time when he and his party increased their aggressiveness leading to skirmishes with members of the financial guard which saw on September 22, 1938 two of its members killed. The next day the Czechoslovak army entered Varnsdorf, the same day they withdrew behind the defensive line at Stožecká. September 30 1938 the Munich Agreement was signed leading, on October 2, 1938 to the German occupation. The war itself saw the city virtually untouched; in Varnsdorf saw no fighting and the town was never bombed, although from November 1944 daily air alarms were conducted. After 1943 Varnsdorf was flooded with refugees from bombed German cities and from the Eastern Front. Before the end of the war there was a public execution Rudolph Posselt, a German who refused to return to the German Army on the Eastern Front. By the end of the war Varnsdorf was the site of several hundred forced labourers; two of whom on April 11, 1945 were sentenced to death by hanging. 
Marienbad (Mariánské Lázně)
Adolf-Hitler-Straße then and now. Marienbad remained a popular destination between the wars even though the Great War meant a cut in numbers. However, from 1920 after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, the cure was revived and in 1929 the record number of 41,000 spa guests was reached. Until the middle of 1931, the Czechoslovak government carried out its plans to eliminate the sole power of the Tepl Abbey in Mariánské Lázně. The baths and baths were presented to a mixed commission of representatives of the state, the city and the Tepl monastery. After the occupation of the Sudetenland, Marienbad belonged to German troops as of October 1, 1938, as a consequence of the Munich Agreement, until the end of the war, to the Reichsgau Sudetenland. The war represented a decisive turning point since it meant the provisional end of international visitor demand. The synagogue built in 1884 was destroyed in the Reichskristallnacht with the site of the demolished synagogue remaining undeveloped ever since. On April 27, 1945, nearly 1,000 Jewish concentration camp prisoners from the Buchenwald camp in the Rehmsdorf concentration camp were killed in and around the Marienbad station, partly from exhaustion and partly from MG-firing from Soviet aircraft. The city wasn't destroyed during the war but after the ethnic German population of the town was forcibly expelled according to the Potsdam agreement, thereby emptying the town of the majority of its population. 

Nürschan (Nýřany)
The Church of Saint Procopius on Adolf Hitler Platz during the Nazi regime and today. Hitler's army began to occupy the city from October 1, 1938 to October 10, 1938 and on the last day the whole city was occupied although the Czech enclave was the majority; at the time only 18% of the Germans lived in Nürschan. The border between the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia was moved three times. First Nürschan was occupied up to the level crossing in the centre of the town, then up to the railway to Sulkov and finally the Germans closed the border crossing between Nürschan and Tlučná allowing the Germans to occupy all of Nürschan. For the border crossing you had to have a so-called “border ticket”. One of the reasons was also the fact that the munitions factory and mines were in the city. All Jewish residents were deported to concentration camps and their property was confiscated; the Jewish synagogue was located on the main street. She was on Kristallnacht set on fire on October 9, 1938 and burned down. A number of Czech families were also forced to leave the city; from 1938–1945 all Czech schools were closed and the children had to go to the German schools even though they couldn't speak German.  
 In 1939, Nürschan had 4,040 inhabitants. In the last days of the war in April 1945, on the railway line from Plzeň to Taus, deaths took place through the city with about 4,000 political prisoners in fifty to sixty closed and open wagons. Near the end of the war one transport of death was surprised by an airstrike and about hundred of prisoners managed to escape. They were chased by ϟϟ-Guards and local Germans and either killed on the spot or executed at the place called Humboldtka. On May 5, 1945, Nürschan was occupied by soldiers of the sixteenth division of the 3rd American Army.  

  Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary)
Unable to get the right angle to compare the photograph of Hitler at the head of a column involving an honor guard comprising of Pzkw. I and Pzkw. II tanks along what is now Nová Louka street with today, given the number of people and constrained space when I arrived. From the start, the German-speaking majority of Carlsbad protested at being forcibly incorporated into the new Czechioslovakia. A demonstration on March 4, 1919 passed peacefully, but later that month six demonstrators were killed by Czech troops after a demonstration turned unruly.
The Second World War brought the spa business to a standstill. During the war, Karlsbad was a military hospital and was internationally reported and marked as such. Despite this, the city was bombed by the USAAF in September 1944 and April 194 . The station, in which two hospital trains, also marked with the Red Cross, were located at the time of the attack, was destroyed. Large parts of the city were destroyed, but the spa district was not affected. Karlsbad was taken by the Americans in May 1945 and handed over to the Red Army on May 11, 1945 whereupon the vast majority of the people of Carlsbad were forcibly expelled from the city because of their German ethnicity. In accordance with the Beneš decrees, their property was confiscated without compensation.
View of the Imperial Hotel and Diana Tower during the Third Reich and today

Jägerndorf (Krnov)
Hermann Göring Platz (now Market square) and St. Martin church. One day before the proclamation of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918, the city was occupied by the Czechoslovak Army. With the establishment of the Czechoslovakian Administration, the town was officially named Krnov and became the administrative centre of the district of the same name. The Great Depression in the early 1930s led to the decline of many of the city's businesses. On 1 December 1930 there lived 23,464 inhabitants, of which 90 per cent were Germans. In the course of the Munich Agreement, German troops occupied the city in October 1938, which was then renamed Jägerndorf to become the seat of the county of the same name. This was in April 1939 subordinated to the newly formed Reichsgau Sudetenland. Until the census on May 17, 1939, the population had increased to 25,522.

Hitler came here on October 7, 1938 where he was greeted by Göring and Colonel General von Rundstedt upon his noon arrival. In this square the Führer spoke of his determination to fight to the end and emphasised the strength of the German Wehrmacht:
While one might rob three or six million Germans of their rights and oppress them, no one can, in this world, bend eighty million Germans to his will. [—]
On October 10, the swastika will fly over even the last morsel of the Sudetenland. Then this region will finally be freed, and it will be a Reichsgau and part of the German nation for all time to come!
After 1938, the Jewish community, which consisted of about 600 members, was expropriated with the help of a part of the German population and partly carried away in concentration camps. These included important personalities of the city, such as the textile manufacturers Wilhelm and Jakob Bellak, the textile traders Geiringer und Schulhaber, the producer of the herbal liqueur Altvater Siegfried Gessler, the teacher at the Staatsrealschule Siegmund Langschur, doctors and lawyers. About 80% of these have fallen victim to the Holocaust, and a small part has escaped. A retransfer of their property after the war was extremely difficult. In the 2001 census, not a single inhabitant of Krnov was admitted to the Jewish community. Expulsion of the German population On May 6, 1945, two days before the end of the war, Soviet troops occupied Jägerndorf, then the city returned to Czechoslovakia. After the end of the war there were anti-German measures by national Czech militia and revolutionary guards. In June some of the German inhabitants were interned in three camps, and most of them were expelled to Germany by 1946. Their assets were confiscated due to the Beneš decrees. Restitution of the confiscated assets has not been affected by the Czech Republic. The city was re-populated mainly by Moravians, Sinti, Roma and communist civil war refugees from Greece.

Orlau (Orlová)
Adolf Hitler Platz and today. After the Austro-Hungarian monarchy collapsed at the end of the Great War  the city became part of the newly founded Czechoslovakia. The distribution of nationalities was: 54% Poles, 27% Czechs and 18% Germans. The Poles disagreed with its incorporation into Czechoslovakia and in January 1919 there was a two-week border war. The area north of the Olsa River then became part of Poland, but the southern part of Orlová remained Czech. A generation later Poland took advantage of Czechoslovakia's seclusion after the 1938 Munich Agreement and occupied the city with the Olsa Territory. After Germany invaded Poland a year later on September 1, 1939, the area was incorporated into Germany whilst the Zaolzie region was annexed by Poland, administratively organised in Frysztat County of Silesian Voivodeship.
In 1946 the villages of Lazy (Łazy), Poruba (Poręba) and Horní Lutyně were administratively joined to the town. Widespread coal mining, especially during the communist era, had a devastating impact on the town, its buildings and architecture, especially in Lazy. Many buildings in Orlová were demolished, including the Polish grammar school built in 1909 leaving the architectural character of the town completely changed.

Leitmeritz (Litoměřice)German troops in parade formation in front of the castle October 12 1938. In the final stages of the war, German troops retreated to escape the advancing Red Army. Czech resistance took control of the castle on 27 April 1945, and after a few days they started negotiations with the German commander about the terms of his surrender. The Wehrmacht capitulated in the night after 8 May, but German troops fled on 9 May, just before Soviet troops entered the town on May 10, 1945. Most of the German population of the town was expelled by the so-called Beneš decrees in August 1945, along with about 2.5 million other former Czechoslovak citizens of German ethnicity. In Early April 1945 the ϟϟ evacuated thousands of Jews--mostly on foot--as Allied and Soviet forces pressed in from the east and west. Evacuees were taken to camps at Bergen-Belsen, Germany; Dachau, Germany; Ebensee, Austria; Leitmeritz, Czechoslovakia; and Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. The operation was rife with daily beatings and murders as well as deaths from starvation and typhus. Thirteen hundred Jews were eventually evacuated on foot from Vienna; only 700 reached their destination, the Gusen, Austria, camp, alive.
Adolf Hitler Ring, now the Marktplatz

Görkau  (Jirkov)
The stadtkirche in 1938 on the then-Konrad Henlein Straße and today. After the First World War, of the town's 5,830 inhabitants, 94% were German in 1921. It was forced to be part of Czechoslovakia through the Treaty of Saint-Germain. Measures taken in the interwar period, such as the land reform of 1919, the language ordinance of 1926, the resettlement and replacement of civil servant posts by people from the Czech ethnic group led to tensions in Görkau, but also in the country in general, and led to the so-called Sudeten crisis. From 1933 the Sudeten German Home Front (from 1935 the Sudeten German Party) began under the direction of Konrad Henlein to act more in the city until it reached its goal of integrating the Sudetenland into the German Reich when Görkau belonged to the district of Komotau, Aussig district , in the Reichsgau Sudetenland .
In 1945, after the expulsion of the German-Bohemian inhabitants, the town was settled with the Czech population.

 Wiesengrund (Dobřany)
Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today. After the Munich Agreement the town in the district of Mies became part of the Reichsgaus Sudetenland. Because of its importance as the seat of an administrative court, Dobrzan was one of the few places in the Sudetenland that received a new name. The German name Dobrzan earned the suspicion of Nazis because of their Slavic origin was replaced in 1939 by the fictitious name Wiesengrund. Children and adolescents with mental disabilities were murdered in the children's department of the town's psychiatric institution. In the night of April 16-17 1943, British bombers erroneously dropped bombs on the meadows in an attack on Pilsen. On May 6, 1945, troops of the 3rd US Army occupied the city.  After the end of the war the expulsion of the approximately 2000 German inhabitants to the western occupation zones, which was concluded on April 16 1946, took place. 
Teschen (Cieszyn)
Adolf Hitler Platz, now Marktplatz. 
During the Great War the army command, specially formed for the war, was set up here in the summer of 1914 under Archduke Friedrich of Austria-Teschen, the command centre of all Austro-Hungarian forces. At the end of November 1916, under the new Emperor Charles I, the focus of the fighting had now moved to the south of the double monarchy, into a Friedrichs castle in Baden near Vienna. At the end of the war Teschen fell between the fronts of the Polish-Czechoslovak border war. Both countries claimed the economically strong region without a regulation in the autumn of 1919 in the Treaty of Saint-Germain. Although the Teschen National Council had decided to join Poland in October 1918, and the Polish government had already issued the Sejm elections for the city of Teschen, Czech soldiers marched into Teschen on January 23, 1919, causing several deaths on both sides would have.  Only an arbitration by the victorious powers ended the conflict in July 1920. The city of Teschen was divided along the Olsa, the old town with the historic Burgberg came to Poland, Czechoslovakia had to settle for the western suburbs. The Polish part, Cieszyn, was integrated into the Autonomous Province of Silesia with the capital Katowice.  In 1921, Cieszyn had 15,268 inhabitants, of whom 9,241 (60,5%) of Poland, 4,777 (31,2%) Germans, 1014 (6,6%) Jews, 195 (1,3%) Czechs. In 1931, the city had 14.707 inhabitants, of whom 12.145 (82.7%) were Poles, about 12% were Germans and about 8% Jews.
The Munich Agreement  gave Poland the opportunity to occupy the Teschen territoryon October 1, 1938. Thus the divided city was reunited and designated as the administrative seat of the newly formed Polish county Cieszyn (Powiat cieszyński). However, Polish rule lasted only eleven months, because in the Polish campaign at the beginning of the Second World War, the Wehrmacht occupied the Teschen circle in September 1939. On October 26, 1939, the town of Cieszyn, now again called Teschen, was named Teschen. In spring 1945 the district was occupied by the Red Army. In the same year, the frontier of the Potsdam Agreement restored the division of the city into a Czech and a Polish part. 

Brünn (Brno)
Filmed at Šilingrovo náměstí 2 from the terrible American television production Hitler: Rise of Evil during which someone, for no discernible reason or logic, seems to be chased through the main railway station on Munich and somehow fall out a window from somewhere. 
Other scenes were filmed in the town centre, including a reenactment of the Beer Hall putsch attempt
Regardless, during the German occupation all Czech universities including those of Brno - the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia- were closed by the Nazis. The Faculty of Law became the headquarters of the Gestapo, and the university dormitory was used as a prison. After the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939 , the systematic persecution of the Jews also began in Brno. By the end of the war, 9,064 Jews from Brno were deported to various concentration and extermination camps, only about 700 of them survived. Since 2010, stumbling blocks and memorial stones have been laid in Brno in memory of the victims of the Nazis. During the German occupation, there was a German regional court in Brno from April 14, 1939, and from 1940 there was also a special court.During the war about 35,000 Czechs and some British and American prisoners of war were imprisoned and tortured there; about 800 civilians were executed or died. Executions were public. Between 1941 and 1942, transports from Brno deported 10,081 Jews to Theresienstadt concentration camp. At least another 960 people, mostly of mixed race, followed in 1943 and 1944. After Terezín, many of them were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, Minsk Ghetto, Rejowiec and other ghettos and concentration camps. Although Theresienstadt was not an extermination camp, 995 people transported from Brno died there. After the war only 1,033 people returned.
 After the war, the German-speaking population of Brno was forcibly expelled from the city, unless they lived in mixed marriages. Their assets were confiscated by Beneš Decree  108 , the assets of the Evangelical Church were liquidated by Beneš Decree 131, and the city's Catholic churches were expropriated. In the so-called Brno death march beginning on May 31, 1945, around 27,000 mostly old and young people had to start a march to the Austrian border, about fikfty miles away. According to the descriptions of those involved, around 5,200 people lost their lives; 2,000 deaths are “officially” documented. In 2015, the Brno city administration regretted the expulsion at the time and invited representatives of expelled associations to a joint commemoration .
 Industrial facilities such as arms factory Československá zbrojovka and aircraft engine factory Zweigwerk and the city centre were targeted by several Allied bombardment campaigns between 1944 and 1945. The air strikes and later artillery fire killed some 1,200 people and destroyed 1,278 buildings. After the city's occupation by the Red Army on 26 April 1945 and the end of the war, ethnic German residents were forcibly expelled. In the so-called Brno death march, beginning on May 31, 1945, about 27,000 German inhabitants of Brno were marched forty miles to the Austrian border. According to testimony collected by German sources, about 5,200 of them died during the march. Later estimates by Czech sources put the death toll at about 1,700, with most deaths due to an epidemic of shigellosis. At the beginning of the Communist era in Czechoslovakia, in 1948, the government abolished Moravian autonomy and Brno hence ceased to be the capital of Moravia. Since then Moravia has been divided into administrative regions and Brno is administrative centre of the South Moravian Region.

In 1938 the Sudeten German movement gained strength as a result of developments in the German Reich . As a result of the escalation, the border with Germany was blocked as part of the first Czechoslovak mobilisation on May 21, 1938. This was accompanied by the proclamation of a ban on going out, the ban on working in the fields and the construction of bunkers, positions and machine gun nests. From October 1st, the Czechoslovak army withdrew and the Wehrmacht moved in to the cheers of the population. As a result of the conformity through the annexation to the German Reich, numerous associations were dissolved, so the trade unions went into theGerman labour front over, the military veterans association was attached to the Reichskriegerbund. From June-July 1945, the first wild expulsions of the German-Bohemian Peterswald population began. From April 1946, the systematic removal of the German-Bohemian population and the settlement of Czechs from the interior of the country as well as Roma took place within the framework of the Beneš decrees .


 At the end of the First World War, the Czech military occupied the Aussig district authority and the imperial double-headed eagle disappeared from Peterswald forever. Already with the outbreak of the war, the town's industry fell massively due to the lack of exports, the end of the war and the resulting lack of exports to Germany did the rest. The global economic crisis wiped out the industry almost completely and the savings and advance cash association Peterswald was so badly affected that only the connection to the Allgemeine Volkskreditanstalt in Pragueremained. 
In 1936, the German-Bohemian relay runner Hermann Jeswick shown here with the torch handed over the Olympic flame to German athletes on the way to the Olympic Games in Berlin in a Nazi ritual that continues to this day. Immediately behind the border on the German side, a 1.5 tonne memorial stone on the circular part commemorates this event. It was inaugurated on June 13, 1957. The memorial stone was subject to decay over time, and it wasn't until the Czech Republic prepared to join the EU that it properly refurbished.