Badenheuer: The Sudeten Germans

Konrad Badenheuer
The Sudeten Germans – an Ethnic Group in Europe (4th edition 2021)
4th edition 2021
Softcover in A 4 format (21.0 x 29.7 cm), 148 pages with about 400 illustrations, in German
ISBN 978-3-945127-339
19,90 €

Many do not even know that they ever existed: Almost 3.5 million German speakers lived until 1918 on the territory of today’s Czech Republic, in the border region of Bohemia and Moravia, but many also in the interior, for example in Prague, whose inner city had been German-speaking since the high Middle Ages.

The expulsion of the years 1945 to 1947 abruptly ended a history that goes back to the 12th century. How did the ethnic group of Germans in Bohemia, Moravia and Sudeten Silesia come into being? What was their path in 800 years and what is left of them more than 75 years after the break of the post-war period?

All these questions are answered in this book in a clear, detailed and very readable way. 400 maps and illustrations make everything clear, and black humor flashes again and again through the excitingly worded lines. Originally, this unusual book was an exhibition catalog. The publisher of the original 2007 edition was the Sudeten German Council, a coordinating body between the parties represented in the Bundestag and the associations of Sudeten Germans, and the book was sponsored at the time by the Federal Republic of Germany.

After the work had been out of print for some time, the publishing house Inspiration Un Limited has brought out a new edition. The book captures much of the fascination of a unique European region: in the Bohemian lands, the territory of today’s Czech Republic, the great contrasts of Eu-rope have clashed over the centuries: Catholicism and Protestantism, Germans and Slavs, mo-narchy and republic, National Socialism and communism, and finally, during the Cold War, tota-litarianism and democracy. Often the encounter of opposites led to fruitful cooperation with cultural and economic achievements, but twice – in the 15th and 20th century – also to violent escalation. An unusual book, not only for displaced persons and their descendants.