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Útěky a vyhánění z pohraničí českých zemí 1938-1939

Útěky a vyhánění z pohraničí českých zemí 1938-1939

Migrace z okupovaného pohraničí ve druhé republice

Benda, Jan

subjects: history – 20th century

paperback, 544 pp., 1. edition
published: april 2013
ISBN: 978-80-246-2119-7
recommended price: 400 czk



The publication covers the topic of migration from the border areas of the Czechoslovak state, which were ascribed to Germany based on the Munich agreement, and to Poland based on the Polish ultimatum. This is a topic, which hasn’t yet been presented in an aggregate form. The opening part tries to find an answer to the questions about the development of the refugee problem, which can be found in the rise of anti-Semitism in the spring of 1938. Following the Henlein party attempted coup d’état in the fall, not only the Jews started leaving the border areas, but the German anti-fascists and the Czechs as well. The migration current widened significantly during the stage hand-over of the border areas, which was caused firstly by the increase of negative behavior of the Henlein party (SdP) supporters towards German anti-fascists, Jews and Czechs; and secondly by the specific measures taken by the national socialist regime restricting the life conditions of these groups after the area has been taken over. These people were often subject to violence or were forced to leave. The administration of gen. Syrový tried to limit the migration current for economical and political reasons. The planned plebiscite in the border areas played an important role as well. Many of the refugees were returned to the border areas, a practice which ended based on an international impulse, and because of the plebiscite cancellation.
The second republic administrations took the question of refugees seriously since the beginning. They were forced to it by the international attention the problem had attained. The Syrový administration created conditions for the formation of the Refugee Help Committee, and founded the Refugee Help Centre. The Jewish refugees were taken care of mostly by the Jewish communities. The German anti-fascists were taken care of by their organizations, which were supported by the fund of the London mayor, from governments funding, and by self-help. The Beran administration issued a number of regulations aimed at creating jobs for the Czech refugees. The plan for German anti-fascists and Jews was immigration, but this was difficult to provide, due to a limited number of suitable destinations and for financial reasons. The British financial help in the form of a gift and a loan helped to solve this problem. The state and private refugee help consisted of supplying food; providing accommodation, healthcare, youth care, jobs, and fundraising. To help the Czech refugees was considered a patriotic duty. A very important role in the refugee help was played by the solidarity and help of inland citizens. This was an integral part of the refugee care.