Czechoslovak border fortifications

Border fortification in the Orlické hory © Ricky Yates

At the end of the First World War, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, President (1918-1935) of the newly declared independent nation of Czechoslovakia, was very keen that the western boundaries of the country should be the historic ones of Bohemia and Moravia which predominantly follow the ridges of the surrounding hills and mountains. This was for two main reasons. The first was to ensure that nearly all Czech speakers would be residing within the new nation. The second was to have borders that were relatively easy to defend, should conflict once more arise in the future.

However, as explained in a blogpost I wrote two years ago, one important consequence of the adoption of these borders was that many people of German ethnic origin were also incorporated within the new nation of Czechoslovakia. According to a . . . → Read More: Czechoslovak border fortifications

Sudetenland and the Sudetendeutsche

Map showing those areas with a majority German population in the 1930s, superimposed on an outline of the current Czech Republic. Fair use assumed as the map is from a now defunct website

Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, as part of the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the end of the First World War. The country’s first President, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, was very keen that the western boundaries of this new nation should be the historic ones of Bohemia and Moravia which predominantly follow the ridges of the surrounding hills and mountains. This was to ensure that the new nation had defendable borders and that also nearly all Czech speakers would be living within those borders.

However, one important consequence of the adoption of these borders was that many people of German ethnic origin were also incorporated into Czechoslovakia. According to a census taken in 1921, just . . . → Read More: Sudetenland and the Sudetendeutsche