Ethnic Cleansing, Communism, and Environmental Devastation in Czechoslovakia's Borderlands, 1945–1989

TitleEthnic Cleansing, Communism, and Environmental Devastation in Czechoslovakia's Borderlands, 1945–1989
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsGlassheim, E
JournalThe Journal of Modern History
Volume78
Pagination65-92
ISBN Number0022-2801
Keywordsarticle, Borders, Communism, Czechoslovakia, Economic development, Environmental conditions, Environmental Degradation, Ethnic relations, ethnic violence, EXPULSION, GERMANS, History, IDENTITY, MEMORY, Minority &amp, Settlement Patterns, Social conditions &amp, State Power, trends
Abstract

The relationship between the deterioration of northern Bohemia, & the expulsion of Sudeten Germans is explored to identify the impacts of an unrelenting exertion of state power over land & people to serve the needs of the state & economic growth. The Heimat-deficit theory is questioned as a causal link between expulsion & the devastation of north Bohemia. Rather, the author argues that the Communist settlement planners considered the northern borderlands as a frontier laboratory of the emerging socialist order. A historical narrative of the expulsion & resettlement of Germans from the border area contextualizes the attempts to obliterate German cultural heritage, & promotion of productivity & industrial modernity. The assertions of a causative link between the resultant environmental crisis & lack of regional identity is concluded to be more of an issue of the political strength of the coal lobby, & the view by central officials of the area as a frontier ripe for utopian experimentation. References. J. Harwell