Národnostní problematika v Československu očima americké diplomacie (1933–1938)
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THE ETHNIC PROBLEMS OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA THROUGH THE EYES OF AMERICAN DIPLOMACY (1933-1938)
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The American Embassy in Prague closely monitored the political development in Czechoslovakia as of the late 1920s and in its reports analyzed the main hot issues. Apart from the aggravated international political situation in the region, the economic depression and the growth of autonomist trends in Slovakia the American diplomats saw the ethnic problems as the most important ones, particularly the relations between Czechs and Germans and the Czechoslovak-Hungarian problem. The attitude of the German speaking population to the Czechoslovak Republic and to the luring by Nazi Germany was considered by the State Department as of 1934 as 'a problem of utmost importance for the current and future development in the Central European region'. The Americans were particularly interested in the personal features and political views of the leader of the Sudeten German Party, Konrad Henlein, and they considered the rejection of Nazi and separatist requirements by the German minority as a necessary precondition of preserving the integrity of the Czechoslovak State; this, however, failed to happen. Reports sent by U.S. charge d'affaires a. i. J. Webb Benton and later by Ambassador Wilbur Carr informed in detail about the events leading to the Czechoslovak crisis in 1938. As the information submitted by American diplomats was based on interviews with Czechoslovak politicians (particularly with Tomas Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Benes) as well as with members of the German minority coming from 'all its layers', and also on their visits to the border areas, it provides an analytical view 'from outside'. This source, however, has failed so far to be used for research into this problem.
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