Sudeten Crisis: NAZI Propaganda (September 1938)

Figure 1.--This example of Propaganda Minister Geobbels anti-Czech disinformation appeared in German newspaoers (September 15, 1938). Articles like this appeared almost daily in the German press. The caption here read, " Bilder klagenan! So liess der Tschechenstaat das Sudetenland zum Elendasgebeit werden!: Dies ist das Elend von Fiuschern. Die elegante Welt, die sich auf den Kurpromenaden von Karlsbad ergeht, anht nichts von der Not, die sich in der Vorstadt des weltberühmten Kurorts seit zwei Jahrzehntenverloren hat. In denBretterbaracken von Fuschern, notdürftig mit Dachpappe gedeckt innen nur mit Papier verklebt, vegetieren die Scharen von Arbeitslosen dahin. Wohn--, Schlaf-- und Esstube sind mit der Küche in einem einzigen Raum vereinight. Verheiratete erhalten 20 Kronen Unterstützung, Ledige 10 Kronen = 0,90 RM). Während in dieser Stadt und in allen anderen deutschen Orten Tausende zugewanderte Tschechen die Staatestellen bekleiden, während in neuerstandenen tschechischgen oder den Deutschen enteiugnetenFabriken tschechische Arbeiter ihren Erwerb nachgehen, schwillt die Masse der zu Not und Elend verdammten Deutschen von Jahr zu Jahr an." Source: Bei Abdruck nennen. Scherl Bilderdienst / 15.9.38 /AV.52047. That translates as something like, "Pictures complain! Thus the Czech state let the Sudetenland become a misery work!: This is the misery of Fiuschern. The elegant world of Karlovy Vary health resorts does not miss the hardships that have been lost in the suburb of the world-famous spa town for two decades. In the fortress of Fuschern, provisionally covered with roofing felt, glued inside only with paper, the flocks of unemployed people vegetate. Living, sleeping and dining are all in one single room with the kitchen. Married people receive 20 kroner support, only 10 kroner = 0.90 RM). Thousands of immigrant Czechs occupy the state offices in this city and in all other German places, while in newly established Czechoslovakia or factories demised by Germans, Czech workers are acquiring their property, and the mass of Germans condemned to misery and misery swells from year to year." Source: Call at impression. Scherl picture service / 15.9.38 /AV.52047. Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad is a spa town situated in western Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.

Czechoslovakia was the only democracy left in central Europe. It was a multi-ethnic country with the Germans as one if the ethnic minorities. All the various ethnic groups had proportional reprsentation in the Czech Parliament and legal protections. The Goebbels propaganda machine had for months been generating fictional accounts of Germans being terribly abused and mistreated by the Czechs. Gradually the charges were rachgeted up. Konrad Henlein led the Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront (Front of the Sudeten German Homeland--SH). This was actually the Sudeten NAZI Party. Hitler ordered Henlein to create incidents that Goebbels could use to twist and blow out of all proprtion to convince the German people that the Reich had to intervene to protect the Sudeten Germans. Immediately following Hitler's Nurrenberg Party Rally speech, a serious incident occured in the Sudentenland. Czech police searching a hotel for hidden weaopons were fired on by the SH. One of the SH men was killed immediately. The other managed to get away. The Czechs responded with armoured cars and motars. Another policeman was killed and eight of the 10 NAZIs in the hotel. Sudeten German mobs inflamed by Hitler's speech and Henlein's agitation poured into the streets. Czech authorities declared martial law. By nightfall 21 rioters had been killed and Henlein fled to Germany for prorection. Goebbels had the German press go into overdrive. Banner Heallines in bold print screamed out at German newspaper readers throughout the Reich condemning the Czechs as guilty if all kinds of lurid crimes. Along with reports on the incedent were many other reports on the Czechs abusing the Sudeten Germans. It was clear that a German invasion was imminent. Of course German and French diplomats reported all of this to their foreign ministries and the internatiional press reported in detail.


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Created: 4:59 AM 8/13/2018
Last updated: 4:59 AM 8/13/2018