Forgotten town in Sudetenland
The Sudetenland is a historical area in the territory of modern Czech Republic and Slovakia. Since the Middle Ages, the mountainous regions of the Czech Kingdom have been predominantly populated by German populations from Bavaria and Saxony. The main occupations among the German population in these areas were animal husbandry and mining.
Modern Czech Republic for almost 400 years used to be a part of the Austrian and Autro-Hungarian empires. On the territory of the Empire with the capital in Vienna, Germans and Austrians (German-speaking population) considered themselves the main nation.
After the events of the First World War, the map of Europe changed. The young independent democratic state of Czechoslovakia appeared.Then there were problems. Several times even armed conflicts occurred between the Polish population of the eastern borders and the Sudeten Germans.
During the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany, a Sudeten German party is also being created in the Sudetenland.(Sudetendeutsche Partei) back to 1933.
According to the plan of Konrad Henlein, the chairman of the party, the Czechoslovak government was to give independence to the Sudetenland. He wanted branches of the entire Sudetenland with an area of 41 thousand square kilometers (this is more than half the area of modern Czech Republic!) The population of this region was 4.9 million people. Of course, Czechoslovakia would never fulfill such a daring demand.
Times changed, and after the Munich agreement and the partition of Poland between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1938, the Sudetenland was annexed to the German Reich. A year later, the Anschluss of Austria occurred. The world stood over the abyss of the most terrible War in the history of mankind.
After the War came to an end and most of Czechoslovakia was liberated by the Soviet troops, difficult times came for the Sudeten Germans.
The Czechoslovak president, who fled from the Czech Republic to London as early as 1938, decided to deal with the Germans living in his country once and for all.
All ethnic Germans and Hungarians who received German citizenship from Hitler during the War had to leave the borders of the Czech Republic and Slovakia forever. And although the president asked the people to resettle almost 3 million people as humanely as possible, more than 18 thousand people were killed.
Hundreds and thousands of small towns and villages remained empty. Some of them were settled by the local population, but at least 300 were plundered and destroyed.
Today I want to tell you about an amazing find that I made a few days ago in the territory of one of the destroyed German villages.
Among the picturesque mountains of the Slavkov Forest since 1551 was the small German town of Lauterbach Stadt. The population of this town ranged from 300 to 600 people. There were about 80 stone houses, grocery store, post office and city hall.
In the fall of 1945, the population was deported to Bavaria. And in 1947, during the exercises of the Czechoslovak army, Lauterbach Stadt was destroyed using heavy tanks and artillery.
“NSDAP Ortsgruppe Lauterbach Stadt Amt für Volksmohlfahrt”
National Socialist German Workers’ Party Local department of Laurebach Stadt People’s Welfare department. It was a social welfare organization during the Third Reich. The NSV was the second largest Nazi organization, second only to the German Labour Front. It had up to 4.7 million members and 520,000 volunteer workers.
A heavy enameled sign lay at a depth of 30 cm littered with bricks and stones. High-quality enamel has helped this iron sign survive in the earth for more than 70 years. Such a historical relic! Miraculously, I managed to discover this one of kind find. Of course, in the world there are still signs with the same text, but with the name of this city such a sign exists only in a single copy. It is difficult to estimate the value of this find, but for me its historical value is more important. It is possible that this is the last item with the name of this nonexistent town. This is a memory of the terrible events of World War II and the difficult fate of the Sudeten Germans.
Greg Part. 2020.