Sudetendeutsches Freikorps

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Sudeten German Free Corps
Sudetendeutsches Freikorps
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1986-042-14, Anschluss sudetendeutscher Gebiete.jpg
Volunteers of the Sudetendeutsches Freikorps in the city of Eger
Active 1938 to 1939
Country  Czechoslovakia
Allegiance  Nazi Germany

Sudetendeutsches Freikorps (Sudeten German Free Corps, also known as the Freikorps Sudetenland, Freikorps Henlein and Sudetendeutsche Legion) was a paramilitary nationalist organization founded by Konrad Henlein[1] composed of Czechoslovak ethnic Germans, with pro-Nazi sympathies who operated in Czechoslovakia from 1938 to 1939. They played a part in Hitler's successful effort to occupy Czechoslovakia and annex the region known as Sudetenland into the Third Reich[2] and were engaged in terrorist acts against Czechoslovakia.[3][4][5][6]


A 1938 terrorist action of Sudeten German Voluntary Force
Henlein speaking in Carlsbad, 1937

Members of Freikorps were trained and hosted in Nazi Germany[7] but operated across the border in Czechoslovakia attacking the infrastructure, administrative, police and military buildings and personnel, as well as the pro-government and antifascist civilians. They committed assassinations, robberies and bombing attacks. They murdered more than 100 and kidnapped for delivery to Germany more than 2000 Czechoslovak personnel, political opponents or their family members.[8] During September 1938 the Free Corps would fight a low level conflict on Czechoslovakia's border with the Czechoslovak State Defense Guard.

They halted their operations after the Nazis took control of the rump of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.[2]


  1. ^ Hoffmann,P (1996) History of the German Resistance, 1933-1945, McGill-Queen's Press, P52
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II By David Faber page 316 "His chosen method was the establishment of the Sudeten German Freikorps, a terrorist organization which brought together and armed all those Sudeten Germans who had fled Czechoslovakia for Germany"
  4. ^ The Surreal Reich - Page 144 Joseph Howard Tyson 2010 Political agitator Konrad Henlein, with the collusion of Nazi secret service agencies, engaged in terrorism against Prague's government. Over one hundred of his Freikorps irregulars had been killed in two-hundred-some “commando raids
  5. ^ Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler - Page 212 Igor Lukes 1996 The party's specialists in low-level warfare, the Sudetendeutsches Freikorps, were among those who eagerly awaited an opportunity to attack. 14 They had been trained in the art of terrorism by Wehrmacht, SS, and SA instructors
  6. ^ Canaris: The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster - Page 134 Michael Mueller 2007 to guarantee the protection of the Sudeten Germans and maintain the unrest and disturbances; terror squads were to be formed from the Freikorps's sub-unit to create constant unrest in the border region
  7. ^ Lukeš, I (1996) Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler, The Diplomacy of Edvard Beneš in the 1930s, Oxford University Press, P212
  8. ^ Zimmermann, Volker: 'Die Sudetendeutschen im NS-Staat. Politik und Stimmung der Bevölkerung im Reichsgau Sudetenland (1938-1945). Essen 1999. (ISBN 3884747703)