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There are various communities of Germans in the Czech Republic (Czech: Německá menšina v Česku, German: Deutsche in Tschechien). In the 2001 census, 39,106 Czech citizens, or around 0.4% of the Czech Republic's total population, declared German ethnicity. Government statistics also showed 14,157 German citizens living in the CR as of October 2009[update].
Ethnic Germans form a minority of the residents in Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. They are mostly descendants of those Sudeten Germans who were not expelled after World War II (officially all anti-Nazis could stay, the reality was often different). However, neither the Czech government nor the majority of Germans there still see themselves as Sudeten Germans. After the Second World War, the Germans were under great pressure to assimilate to general Czech society; as a result, many members of this group, especially the younger generation, are now completely assimilated.
German or German-sounding surnames with Czech spelling are very common in the Czech Republic, as well as in Slovakia, for example. According to a recent study carried out by students from the University of South Bohemia, the proportion of German surnames in individual regions in the Czech Republic varies from 17 to over 32 percent, depending on the distance from the German or Austrian border.
A German sounding surname in the Czech Republic historically mean a person at least should had a German or Austrian roots many centuries ago. Especially from their father line who had an ancestors who firstly began those surnames for their children. They are descendent of German peasants which had migrated and lived in many parts of this country for centuries. Also some of them were the heredity of German nobility people of German Hohenzollern Kingdom and also of Austrian Emperor which ruled Czech lands for centuries.
Some opinions also said that few centuries ago, some Czech & Slovak people used to translate their Czech & Slovak surnames into German to show they had climbed up the social ladder a bit. But there was no real evidence about it, regarding no records mentioned it.
But for the Jews people in the Czech lands, during the reign of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, required to adopt German surnames in exchange for some religious freedoms.
According to the Czech censuses, the number of self-identified Germans in the Czech Republic fell from 160,000 in 1950 to under 40,000 by 2001. Over the decades, many older Germans died, and the younger generations grew up often speaking only Czech. In addition, when Germans married Czechs, their children were almost always counted as Czech in the census. Lastly, as many Czechs carry German surnames, the assimilated Germans are not particularly noticeable.