Sudetenland

Sudetenland was the name used before 1918 and in 1938-45 for the region inhabited by Sudeten Germans (German: Sudetendeutsche). The Sudeten mountains are directly adjacent to the Rudawy mountains. In 1918-38 and after 1945 the region was part of Czechoslovakia (from 1993, in the Czech Republic).

The land became known as Bohemia and part of Great Moravia, to where successive groups of Finno-Ugric and Slav language speakers had moved into. They became a part of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled via tributary relationships, marriages etc.

The later Habsburg imperial rulers inherited the land of Bohemia.

After the destruction of the Holy Roman Empire by 1806, Bohemia including the Sudeten or Bohemian mountains became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Because of the Czech national awakening movement, the German speaking people who lived in the Sudetenland then found themselves in an enclave of German people living in these Sudeten mountains and other areas of Bohemia. By the Versailles Treaty the land of Bohemia became part of the new state of Czechoslovakia.

Adolf Hitler forced the Munich Agreement which ceded the Sudetenland to Germany in 1939 and it was annexed to the Reich. After World War II the Sudeten Germans were brutally expelled from their country and many people murdered.

There are various organisations which represent the rights of the Sudeten people, most notably the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft and the Munich-based Verband der Sudetendeutschen (Sudeten-German Federation).

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