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The Sudeten German Party ( , SdP, ) was created by Konrad Henlein under the name Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront (in English: "Front of Sudeten German Homeland") on October 1, 1933, some months after the state of Czechoslovakiamarker had outlawed the German National Socialist Workers' Party. In April 1935, the party was re-named Sudetendeutsche Partei following a mandatory demand of the Czechoslovak government. At the parliamentary election of May 1935, the SdP won about 80% of the German votes in Czechoslovakia, thus becoming the strongest of all parties in CSR (including the Czech parties).

In 1903, a group of Sudeten Germans created the German Workers Parties (DAP's) that developed under the old empire in Bohemia and Moravia, and it was they who originated and gave the impetus for Austrian National Socialism. The history of this party is centered on the cities of Eger (which is German for Chebmarker) and Aussig (which is German for Ústí nad Labemmarker). They formed the core of Austrian National Socialism before the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy. Hans Knirsch was their leader from 1918 to 1933. At the end of World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up into its constituent nation states, and the new Czech-dominated government considered the Pan-German party to be offensive. In 1933 the party decided to dissolve to prevent the imminent ban by the Prague government.

However, the newly established SdP did not see itself as a successor of the DNSAP; in fact, SdP leader Henlein sharply rejected the idea. In his earlier speeches (up until 1937), Henlein stressed his distance from German National Socialism, affirming loyalty to the Czechoslovak state and stressing approval of the idea of individual freedom. In 1935 Karl Hermann Frank became the deputy leader of the SdP. In 1938, the majority of the party advocated Anschluss with Germanymarker.

From 1935 some groups within the party were financed from Germany. From November 1937 the leaders of SdP coordinated the policy with Nazi leaders in order to separate the Sudetenland from the Czechoslovak state and reintegrate the German speaking parts of Bohemia and Moravia into the German Empire. This policy took the form of so-called "Grundplanung OA" (Basic planning) from summer 1938 and later in the interior policy of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

The policy of SdP succeeded in September 1938 with the annexation of Sudetenland by Nazi Germany (see: Munich Agreement). In late 1938 the party was officially disbanded and many of its members entered the Nazi Party.

See also



References

  • The German Dictatorship, The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism, Karl Dietrich Bracher, trans. by Jean Steinberg, Praeger Publishers, NY, 1970. pp 50–54.


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