German Social Democratic Workers Party in the Czechoslovak Republic

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German Social Democratic Workers Party in the Czechoslovak Republic
Leader Josef Seliger
Founded 1919
Dissolved 1939
Ideology Social democracy
International affiliation Labour and Socialist International

The German Social Democratic Workers Party in the Czechoslovak Republic (DSAP, Deutsche sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei in der Tschechoslowakischen Republik; Czech: Německá sociálně demokratická strana dělnická v Československé republice) was a German social democratic party in Czechoslovakia. It was founded as the Bohemian provincial organization of the Social Democratic Workers Party of Austria separated itself from the mother party.[1] The founding convention was held in Teplice in 30 August – 3 September 1919; the first leader of the party was Josef Seliger.

In the First Czechoslovak Republic, DSAP was the most important German party, which aimed at giving the German people a place in the republic. At first the party's leadership was politically and socially radical; the Czechoslovak State was regarded as a "creation of Allies' Imperialism" and the Czechoslovak Constitution as "suicide of democracy". However, these politics were shortly changed as the radical left-wing led by Karl Kreibich left the party (and joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia) in October 1920. Eventually the number of members fallen dramatically in 1921–1926 from 120,000 to 60,000.[2]

Some notable members of the party started talks with President Masaryk who—in vain—tried to persuade the party to join the government. It agreed finally in 1929, when its leader Ludwig Czech became Minister of Public Affairs.

During the years of the great economic crisis, the party lost many of its Sudeten German supporters, and the Sudeten German Party (SdP) gained importance. As after the Munich Agreement the troops of Nazi Germany began occupying the Sudetes areas (on 1 October 1938), only some of the anti-Nazi opposition members could retreat into remaining Czechoslovakian territories. Immediately after the entry of the Nazi troops, the persecution of the Social democrats and other opponents of Nazism began. From October to December 1938, 20,000 members of the Social Democratic Party were arrested; 2,500 Sudeten Germans were sent to the Dachau concentration camp alone. Around 30,000 people managed to flee to the West. On 22 February 1939 the DSAP leadership decided to stop all activities in the territory of the Czechoslovakian Republic and to continue working abroad as "Treuegemeinschaft sudetendeutscher Sozialdemokraten". The group began publishing the monthly bulletin Sudeten-Freiheit from Oslo.[3]

The party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923 and 1938.[4]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas Keller (October 2012). Emil Franzel (1901 ? 1976): Biografie eines sudetendeutschen Intellektuellen. Diplomica Verlag. p. 22. ISBN 978-3-8428-8726-8. 
  2. ^ Šebek 2000, 268.
  3. ^ Labour and Socialist International. The Socialist Press - The press of the parties affiliated to the Labour and Socialist International. Series 4 - No. 2. Brussels, August 1939. p. 61
  4. ^ Kowalski, Werner. Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923–19. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften, 1985. p. 328

References[edit]

  • Šebek, Jaroslav (2000). "Německé politické strany v ČSR 1918-1938". In Pavel Marek et al. Přehled politického stranictví na území českých zemí a Československa v letech 1861-1998. Olomouc: Katedra politologie a evropských studií FFUP. pp. 266–278. ISBN 80-86200-25-6.