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"Heroes or cowards? Czechs in World War II" Topic

15 Posts

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755 hits since 11 Jul 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse11 Jul 2018 12:18 p.m. PST

"There are two widely held stereotypes of Czechs during the war: while some see a plucky little nation that heroically struggled to survive under the Nazi jackboot, others have argued that Czechs buckled and failed to resist the force of Hitler's Germany. But inevitably history is a great deal more complicated than the stereotypes, and in the course of today's programme, we'll be trying to unravel some of these complexities…."
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Huscarle11 Jul 2018 3:07 p.m. PST

You can't call any nation hero or coward; it all comes down to the individuals that make up that nation, there will be some heroes, some cowards, and most will just want to survive.
The allies gave away the Czechs natural defences to Hitler when they ceded the Sudetenland to them, and Hungary & Poland took a substantial part of the Czech defensive territories too.
Czechs fought both in the RAF and with the Soviets, not to mention the Heydrich assassination.

Aethelflaeda was framed11 Jul 2018 3:49 p.m. PST

Of course there was always the brave soldier, Svejk!

Frontovik12 Jul 2018 6:23 a.m. PST

As Huscarle says we sold them down the river in 1938 it then goes to omit things like November 17th 1939.

Stand in the crypt of Cyril & Metode and tell me they were cowards.

Legion 412 Jul 2018 7:02 a.m. PST

You can't call any nation hero or coward; it all comes down to the individuals that make up that nation, there will be some heroes, some cowards, and most will just want to survive.
Agree !

ScoutJock12 Jul 2018 8:35 a.m. PST

The Germans certainly appreciated the Czechs since the Czech arms industry provided them with everything from pistols to tanks.

I have a CZ pistol my late uncle took off a German POW.

Barin112 Jul 2018 8:48 a.m. PST

It is a complicated subject. There was no resistance on a scale of Jugoslavia, Slovakia, Poland or France. They were not allies of Germany as Romania or Hungary, who gave their troops to Hitler or unwiling ally as Bulgaria, who didn't.
The factories were running the whole war, and there was less production sabotaged than even in Germany (probably due to slave labour, implemented in Reich).
In the end, there was Czech uprising in May, 1945 but at that time even Vlasov army fought against germans.
Czechs were not cowards, but they have not fought and suffered as much as some other occupied nations.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse12 Jul 2018 10:33 a.m. PST

Agree with Barin 1….


Legion 412 Jul 2018 2:27 p.m. PST

Yes, that sounds about Barin …

Aethelflaeda was framed12 Jul 2018 4:38 p.m. PST

So none of you know who Svejk was and how this demeanor of Czech culture was a form of heroic resistance? Have you never seen, " Closely Watched Trains"?


Barin113 Jul 2018 4:09 a.m. PST

Svejk is WWI persona…there were several attempts to adapt him for WWII (I think I've seen one Soviet film, made in 1943), it had its propaganda purpose but of course it wasn't
as good as original.

Aethelflaeda was framed13 Jul 2018 5:34 a.m. PST

Yes, a WW1 character, written in the post war years, that became the archetype for the method of resistance by the Czechs. It even became a verb: to Svejk.

To call passive resistance to overwhelming force cowardice is unfair.

William Ulsterman23 Jul 2018 7:49 p.m. PST

Tell it in Warsaw and see how far you get.

Fighting to the death against the Germans in WWII was the only way – the Poles realised this, the Czechs didn't. That doesn't mean there was mass Czech cowardice, just an ignorance of what it was they were confronting – and they weren't the only ones.

Bill N24 Jul 2018 5:04 p.m. PST

I do not understand how anyone who was not a Czech living in Czechoslovakia in 1938 can in good conscience fault the Czechs for what they did.

In 1938 the Czechs were fully prepared to stand up and fight Germany even though the likely short term result would be the country being overrun, people killed and industry destroyed. Then the gutless wonder flew to Munich and at a conference the Czechs were not even permitted to participate in, he sold The Czechs out. Chamberlain knew when he was signing the Munich Agreement that he was signing away Czechoslovakia's ability to defend itself. In essence he was preparing Czechoslovakia's death warrant. In doing so he also absolved the Czechs from any further obligation to stand up to Hitler.

William Ulsterman24 Jul 2018 10:05 p.m. PST

What about Hacha's capitulation in 1939? That was as equally craven as Chamberlain's in 1938. If you want to label the Pommie as a gutless wonder then what does that make Hacha?

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