Final Solution of the Czech Question

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Declaration (Czech-language version) of the order for displacement of 33 municipalities on Drahan highlands.

The Final Solution of the Czech Question (German: Endlösung der tschechischen Frage) was the Nazi German plan for the complete Germanization of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. German sociologist and anthropologist Karl Valentin Müller asserted that a large part of the Czech nation was racially Aryan and could be Germanized. This was in stark contrast to Germany's Final Solution to the Jewish Question. However, Müller asserted that the Germanization should take place without coercion; instead, he suggested a system of social incentives.[1]

On 27 September 1941 Reinhard Heydrich was appointed Deputy Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (the part of Czechoslovakia incorporated into the Reich on 15 March 1939) and assumed control. The Reich Protector, Konstantin von Neurath, remained titular head but was sent on "leave" because Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich felt his "soft approach" to the Czechs had promoted anti-German sentiment and encouraged resistance via strikes and sabotage.[2] On his appointment, Heydrich told his aides: "We will Germanize the Czech vermin."[3]

Heydrich came to Prague to enforce policy, fight resistance to the Nazi regime, and keep up production quotas of Czech motors and arms that were "extremely important to the German war effort".[2] He viewed the area as a bulwark of Germandom and condemned the Czech resistance's "stabs in the back".

In the furtherance of his goals, Heydrich decreed racial classification of those who could and could not be Germanized. He explained: "Making this Czech garbage into Germans must yield to methods based on racist thought."[4] Racial surveys, conducted under the pretext of tuberculosis prevention, found the Czechs to be more Nordic than the Sudeten Germans, East Prussians, and many Austrians and Bavarians. These results were kept secret.[5] In 1940 Hitler agreed that around half of the Czech population were suitable for Germanization, while the "mongoloid types" and the Czech intelligentsia were not to be Germanized and were to be “deprived of its power, eliminated, and shipped out of the country by all sorts of methods.”[6][7][8]

Under Generalplan Ost, the Nazis had intended to displace the un-Germanizable population to Siberia. However, due to the war effort's need for labor, this plan was never implemented.[9]

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  1. ^ KUBŮ, Eduard: „Die Bedeutung des deutschen Blutes im Tschechentum“. Der ‚wissenschaftspädagogische‘ Beitrag des Soziologen Karl Valentin Müller zur Lösung des Problems der Germanisierung Mitteleuropas. In: Bohemia. Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Kultur der böhmischen Länder 45 (2004), pages 93–114.
  2. ^ a b Williams 2003, p. 82.
  3. ^ Horvitz & Catherwood 2006, p. 200.
  4. ^ Bryant 2007, p. 140.
  5. ^ Mastný, The Czechs under Nazi Rule, p. 131.
  6. ^ Anton Weiss Wendt, Eradicating Differences: The Treatment of Minorities in Nazi-Dominated Europe, p. 71.
  7. ^ Richard Weikart, Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, p. 67.
  8. ^ Chad Carl Bryant, Prague in Black: Nazi Rule and Czech Nationalism, p. 126.
  9. ^ Gumkowski, Janusz; Leszczynski, Kazimierz; Robert, Edward (translator) (1961). Hitler's Plans for Eastern Europe. Poland Under Nazi Occupation (First ed.). Polonia Pub. House. ASIN B0006BXJZ6. Archived from the original (Paperback) on 9 April 2011.