What were the consequences?

What happened to the Sudeten Germans during the years of the Cold War?

The forced migration of huge numbers of people had a massive impact, both on the lands they left behind and on the countries such as Germany and Austria where they found new homes. This impact was complicated by the Cold War. From 1948 Czechoslovakia found itself within the Soviet Bloc. Communist propaganda encouraged a hostile view of the Sudeten German expellees. In West Germany and Austria however there were often strong sympathies with the new arrivals in their countries. 

The impact of the expulsions on the Sudeten border region was huge. Several hundred villages disappeared, many churches became ruins or remained dilapidated, and a large number of cemeteries were devastated. The arrival of a new population without links or roots in the region, meant that no-one was interested in developing the region. In addition a large part of the border region became a no-go zone where few had access and many settlements were destroyed on the grounds of military security.

‘Czech-German relations’, from www.czechkid.eu a website for Czech teachers


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