“When the Germans Invaded Czechoslovakia” – Hearing this slanderous and hateful remark on my favourite “New Classical FM” in a commercial for the Blue Mountain Winter Sport Resort in Collingwood during the Christmas season, when people all over the world celebrate peace and joy, spoiled this holy time for me tremendously and came as a personal insult because I was born in 1931 in just this area in question. I thought I am calloused enough to be immune against this sort of German-bashing but all of a sudden my 87-year-old heart was aching and rebelling , urging me to fight back. It was the last straw and I will tell you who the real invaders were.
Sudetia, my homeland: since 300 before Christ this area had been Germanic settlement territory. For two thousand three hundred years, it was ours. Later, Czechs INVADED Sudetenland and soon subjugated the native Germans with the intent to wipe them out because the Czechs wanted the land for themselves. The living conditions were catastrophic: unemployment, no food, (babies were given black malt coffee instead of milk), no clothing, no medical care. There was a Czech doctor, Dr Stransky in Reichenberg, my hometown, who gave Germans seeking help the cynical advice:
the best for you is to throw yourself into the Neisse
(river running through Reichenberg), or
have you tried this?
~ and he motioned hanging.
I heard this from my mother – never to forget it. And when this genocide was reported abroad, silence was the answer. Then, in 1938, Hitler came to our rescue. He did not come as an invader, he came as our saviour. I owe him my survival. That was the “Sudetenland-Anschluss”.