The SUDETEN GERMAN PARTY (German : _Sudetendeutsche Partei_, SDP,
Czech : _Sudetoněmecká strana_) was created by
Konrad Henlein under
the name _Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront_ ("Front of Sudeten German
Homeland") on October 1, 1933, some months after the state of
With the rising power of
Nazi Party in Germany , the Sudeten German
Party became a major pro-Nazi force in
* 1 Background * 2 SHF * 3 Konrad Henlein * 4 Annexation * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
In 1903, a group of Sudeten Germans living in the Bohemian crown lands of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy created the German Workers\' Party (DAP). Influenced by the ideas of Pan-Germanism and Anti-Slavism , they opposed the Czech National Revival movement advocated by the Young Czech Party . The history of this party is centered on the cities of Eger (German for present-day Cheb) and Aussig (Ústí nad Labem), it originated and gave the impetus for Austrian National Socialism . German settlement areas (pink) of Austria–Hungary, 1911
At the end of
World War I , the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up into
several nation states . The DAP was renamed German National Socialist
Workers' Party on 5 May 1918 and after the proclamation of
The SHF was founded on October 1, 1933. The party entered into an alliance with the Carpatho-German Party (KdP) in the same year.
Henlein speaking in Karlsbad , 1937
However, the newly established SdP did not see itself as a successor of the DNSAP; in fact, SdP leader Konrad Henlein sharply rejected the idea. At first he advocated the _Ständestaat_ concept of the Austrofascist movement according to the ideas of Othmar Spann and would have rather preferred the affiliation with the Federal State of Austria than with Nazi Germany . In his earlier speeches (until 1937), Henlein stressed his distance from German National Socialism, affirming loyalty to the Czechoslovak state and stressing approval of the idea of a cantonal system and individual freedom. He later described his contact to Nazi leaders as merely tactical. In 1935 when Karl Hermann Frank became deputy leader, the SdP gradually adopted the DNSAP tradition and became more radical.
In the parliamentary election of May 1935 , the SdP with 1,249,534
(15.2%) of the votes became the strongest of all parties in
Czechoslovakia. The party had won about 68% of the German votes, thus
surpassing the German Social Democratic Workers Party , the German
Christian Social People\'s Party and the Farmers\' League . Meanwhile,
the influence exerted by the German Nazi dictatorship became stronger
and after 1935 several groups within the party were financed by
Germany. In November 1937
Adolf Hitler openly declared - according to
Hossbach Memorandum - his intention to separate the Sudetenland
from the Czechoslovak state. The SdP officially coordinated this
policy with Nazi leaders in order to integrate the German-speaking
parts of Bohemia and Moravia into the
After the Austrian _ Anschluss _ Henlein first met Hitler on 28 March 1938. His policy was the so-called "Grundplanung OA" (Basic planning) of summer 1938 and later in the interior policy of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia . In March 1938 the Farmers League joined the SdP, as well as many Christian Social deputies in the Czechoslovak parliament. At a convention in Carlsbad on April 24 the majority of the party advocated the demand of the Sudeten Germans as an autonomous ethnic group, the separation of a self-governing German settlement area and the freedom to decide for the _Anschluss_ to Nazi Germany. At this time the SdP had about 1.35 million members.
In September 1938 the policy of SdP succeeded in the German
Sudetenland according to the
Munich Agreement (see:
German occupation of
As of October 1938 the SdP/KdP parliamentary club had 52 members from the Chamber of Deputies, and their joint Senate club had 26 members. On October 30, 1938 the parliamenary mandates of 46 deputies and 22 Senators of SdP and KdP were annulled.
The SdP branches in areas that remained in
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