Cover: Prague in Black: Nazi Rule and Czech Nationalism, from Harvard University PressCover: Prague in Black in PAPERBACK

Prague in Black

Nazi Rule and Czech Nationalism

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$39.00 • £28.95 • €35.00

ISBN 9780674034594

Publication: September 2009

Short

384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

20 halftones, 6 maps

World

In September 1938, the Munich Agreement delivered the Sudetenland to Germany. Six months later, Hitler’s troops marched unopposed into Prague and established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia—the first non-German territory to be occupied by Nazi Germany. Although Czechs outnumbered Germans thirty to one, Nazi leaders were determined to make the region entirely German.

Chad Bryant explores the origins and implementation of these plans as part of a wider history of Nazi rule and its consequences for the region. To make the Protectorate German, half the Czech population (and all Jews) would be expelled or killed, with the other half assimilated into a German national community with the correct racial and cultural composition. With the arrival of Reinhard Heydrich, Germanization measures accelerated. People faced mounting pressure from all sides. The Nazis required their subjects to act (and speak) German, while Czech patriots, and exiled leaders, pressed their countrymen to act as “good Czechs.”

By destroying democratic institutions, harnessing the economy, redefining citizenship, murdering the Jews, and creating a climate of terror, the Nazi occupation set the stage for the postwar expulsion of Czechoslovakia’s three million Germans and for the Communists’ rise to power in 1948. The region, Bryant shows, became entirely Czech, but not before Nazi rulers and their postwar successors had changed forever what it meant to be Czech, or German.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2008 Hans Rosenberg Book Prize, Conference Group for Central European History
  • Honorable Mention, 2008 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
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