German tragedy of destiny

Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia







3,273,000 people were driven out of Sudetenland as well as Bohemia and Moravia, of which 273,000 lost their lives on the way.


In these areas once lived 3,474,000 Sudeten Germans in 674 settlements.


 Major cities:

Reichenberg, Aussig, Brünn, Brüx, Eger, Gablonz, Karlsbad,

Leitmeritz, Marienbad, Olmütz, Teplitz-Schönau, Tetschen,

Trautenau, Troppau and Znaim



Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia in a nutshell


The Sudetenland with the Bohemian Forest and South Moravia was greater than Hessen and Saarland together.


The German Bohemia, part of the Habsburg Empire, by its German-speaking majority played a leading role within the total population.


That changed after the end of World War I through the establishment of the new Czechoslovak state.


Suddenly, they became a minority within the Czech and Slovak ethnic groups - despite their considerable number of 3.5 million people.


This situation was not acceptable by the Germans in Bohemia and Moravia and they called for annexation to German Austria. However, the Allies rejected this aspiration.


It was followed by the Sudeten crisis, the Munich Agreement and in October 1938 the annexation to the Greater German Reich.


Return to the motherland [no sound]


Immediately after the occupation by the troops of the Red Army began the massacre and forced expulsion of the German population which was accompanied by looting, violence and lynching.




 History of Sudetenland



Settlement by Germanic tribes, Marbod's Kingdom, reduction of the population during the great migrations.


By the 6th century

Settlement by Eastern tribes.



Campaign by Charles the Great against Bohemia.



Otakar I obtained the hereditary kingship in Bohemia and suzerainty over Moravia.


12th century

A large number of German monks enter the country, founded monasteries and managed large estates.



Battle of the March Field and expansion of the Habsburg power in Bohemia and Moravia.



Emperor Charles IV makes in 1346 the "golden" Prague to German capital, in 1348 he founded the first German university and the imperial regalia was kept in the Karlstein Castle near Prague.


1618-1648 Hussite Wars

The Defenestration of Prague in 1618 starts the Thirty Years' War.



Congress of Vienna. The Sudetenland stays until 1914 in Austria-Hungary.



Initial planning of "Czechoslovakia" in Allied circles, with territorial claims against Austria, Bavaria, Silesia, Brandenburg and Saxony.



Disintegration of the Habsburg monarchy and the founding of Czechoslovakia. The Sudeten Germans want the annexation to German Austria.



The Czech military occupied the Sudetenland. Dissolution of the German-Bohemian regional government, oppression of the Sudeten Germans.



Four-power conference with inclusion of the Sudetenland into the German Reich.



Flight and expulsion of 3,000,000 Germans from their homeland.







The expellees were marked with swastika...



Flight and expulsion


Immediately after the arrival of the Red Army in Bohemia and Moravia began the brutal displacement of the German population.


Thus, the victorious Allied Powers were to be provided with a fait accompli.


Atrocities against the German minority [no sound]


The expulsion was accompanied by lynchings, mass executions, brutish violence and rape by both the Soviet occupation army as well as the Czech population. Full horror and hatred were the Czechs to the defenseless Germans.


Czech civilians greet the Americans marching in, at their feet a slew German


In the so-called Brünn death march about 26,000 women, children and elderly had to walk to the Austrian border. Hundreds died of exhaustion and dehydration.





The able-bodied German men were sent to camps and forced into hard labor.


A quarter million Germans didn't survive the violence and atrocities, the labor camps.


Over 3 million Sudeten Germans lost forever their home.


435,000 dead



Contemporary report on the expulsion


Important personalities of Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia


Famous names; who knows their Sudeten German roots?


 Hellmut Diwald - Schattau/South Moravia, 1929-1993, historian


 Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach - Zdislavic/Moravia, 1830-1916, poet


 Sigmund Freud - Freiberg, 1856-1939, psychoanalyst


 Kurt Gödel Gödel - Brünn, 1906-1978, mathematician


 Anton Günther - Gottesgab/Bohemia, 1876-1937, dialectical poet


 Franz Kafka - Prague, 1883-1924, writer


Gustav Mahler - Kalischt/Bohemia, 1860-1911, composer 


 Johann Balthasar Neumann - Eger, 1687-1753, architect


 Wilhelm Pleyer Pleyer - Eisenhamm/Egerl., 1901-1974, writer


Ferdinand Porsche - Maffersdorf/Bohemia, 1875-1951, inventor


Rainer Maria Rilke - Prague,

1875-1926, poet


Herwig Schopper - Landskron,

1924-, nuclear physicist


Alois Senefelder - Prague,

1771-1843, inventor of lithography


 Adalbert Stifter - Oberplan, 1805-1868, poet, painter, pedagogue


Baroness Bertha von Suttner - Prague, 1843-1914, writer (Nobel-Laureate)


Albrecht von Wallenstein - Hermanitz, 1583-1634, generalissimo


Franz Werfel - Prague,

1890-1945, writer