Reliability and the Border. Czech Borderlands Discourse, 1945–49

Matěj Spurný

Abstract

Immediately after the World War II, the new borderlands population in Czech Lands was confronted with the notion of a community of ‘reliable citizens’ capable of protecting the frontier and, consequently, the security of the nation and the state. Its logical counterpart was the cleansing and removal of all unwanted and unreliable inhabitants. This was not only state policy: Even more radical demands for cleansing and resettlement where articulated by the local Czech-speaking population, especially by the new settlers in the borderlands. In the first two post-war years, these demands were directed mostly against the remaining Germans and other non-Slav ethnic groups. With time, however, it also affected other citizens and social groups. The rhetoric of recomposing society and eliminating alien elements remained the same after the Communist takeover in February 1948. From this perspective, the Communist dictatorship was not an import, but rather an answer to a demand for purification, which had been articulated by a large part of the society.

Schlagworte

borderlands, communist dictatorship, ethnicity

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