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Cleansing the Czechoslovak borderlands : migration, environment, and health in the former Sudetenland / Eagle Glassheim

Publication | Library Call Number: DB2500.S94 G53 2016
Book cover

"Prior to their expulsion in 1945, ethnic Germans had inhabited the Sudeten borderlands for hundreds of years, with deeply rooted local cultures and close, if sometimes tense, ties with Bohemia{u2019}s Czech majority. Cynically, if largely willingly, harnessed by Hitler in 1938 to his pursuit of a Greater Germany, the Sudetenland{u2019}s three million Germans became the focus of Czech authorities in their retributive efforts to remove an alien ethnic element from the body politic--and claim the spoils of this coal-rich, industrialized area. Yet, as Glassheim reveals, socialist efforts to create a modern utopia in the newly resettled 'frontier' territories proved exceedingly difficult. Many borderland regions remained sparsely populated, peppered with dilapidated and abandoned houses, and hobbled by decaying infrastructure. In the more densely populated northern districts, coalmines, chemical works, and power plants scarred the land and spewed toxic gases into the air. What once was a diverse religious, cultural, economic, and linguistic 'contact zone,' became a wastland according to many observers. As Glassheim's study reveals, the lessons drawn from the Sudetenland speak to the deep social traumas and environmental pathologies wrought by both ethnic cleansing and state-sponsored modernization processes that accelerated across Europe as a result of the great wars of the twentieth century."--Provided by publisher.

Pitt series in Russian and East European studies
Series in Russian and East European studies.
Glassheim, Eagle, author.
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, [2016]
Includes bibliographical references (pages 195-270) and index
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Record last modified: 2018-06-22 12:22:00
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