Historický ústav akademie věd České republiky, v. v. i.

MODERNÍ DĚJINY
roč. 18, 2010, č. 2



OBSAH • CONTENT


STUDIE • STUDIES


Eduard KUBŮ – Jiří NOVOTNÝ – Jiří ŠOUŠA
Deutsche Agrarbank für Österreich, hospodářský instrument německého politického agrarismu v českých zemích (1912–1919)
[Deutsche Agrarbank für Österreich, an economic tool of German political agrarianism in the Bohemian Lands (1912/1919)]
s. 1–22

Lukáš NOVOTNÝ
Velká Británie a konference v Locarnu 1925
[Great Britain and the Locarno Conference 1925]
s. 23–49

Bohuslav LITERA
Centralistická politika komunistické strany a regiony v Sovětském svazu do počátku 30. let 20. století
[The centralization policy of the Communist Party and the regions in the Soviet Union until the early 1930s]
s. 51–84

Stanley B. WINTERS
General Harmon´s Headaches. Czech Resistance to the U.S. Administration of Western Bohemia in 1945
s. 85–107

Jan SLAVÍČEK
Problematika osídlování a socializace pohraničí na příkladu družstva „Sociakol“ v letech 1945–1950
[Resettlement and socialization of the border regions illustrated on the case of „Sociakol“ Cooperative in the years 1945–1950]
s. 109–144


MATERIÁLY • MATERIALS



Jan KUKLÍK – Jan NĚMEČEK
Československá exilová vláda, Britové a atentát na Reinharda Heydricha
[The Czechoslovak exile government, the British, and the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich]
s. 145–176


KRONIKA • CHRONICLE


Jindřich ZAJÍC
Agrární strana a její zájmové, družstevní a peněžní organizace
[The Agrarian Party and its interest-based, cooperative and financial organizations]
s. 177–179


RECENZE • REVIEWS


Helena KOKEŠOVÁ – Vlasta QUAGLIATOVÁ (ed.), Korespondence T. G.
Masaryk – staročeši, Praha, Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR, v. v. i. 2009,
367 s. ISBN 978-80-86495-59-0
(Petr Prokš)
s. 181–182

Jindřich Dejmek a jeho „Edvard Beneš“
Jindřich DEJMEK, Edvard Beneš. Politická biografie českého demokrata.
Část první: Revolucionář a diplomat (1884–1935), Praha, Univerzita Karlova
v Praze – Nakladatelství Karolinum 2006, 631 s.
ISBN 978-80-246-1224-0.

Jindřich DEJMEK, Edvard Beneš. Politická biografie českého demokrata.
Část druhá: Prezident republiky a vůdce národního odboje (1935–1948),
Praha, Univerzita Karlova – Nakladatelství Karolinum 2008, 790 s.
ISBN 978-80-246-1473-1
(Josef Harna)
s. 183–190

František ČAPKA, Odbory v českých zemích v letech 1918–1948, Brno,
Masarykova univerzita 2008, 288 s., obrazové přílohy.
ISBN 978-80-210-4797-6
(Josef Harna)
s. 190–193


SUMMARY


Eduard KUBŮ – Jiří NOVOTNÝ – Jiří ŠOUŠA
Deutsche Agrarbank für Österreich, an economic tool of German political agrarianism in the Bohemian Lands (1912/1919)

Deutsche Agrarbank für Österreich, based in Prague, was founded in June, 1911 and started business operations in April, 1912. The bank reflected the political and economic ambitions of the Deutsche Agrarpartei in Böhmen (German Agrarian Party in Bohemia) that wanted to expand to all Cisleithania. The bank was expected to be an important tool of German agrarian interests in all Austria. A typical feature of the social milieu that the bank was linked to was the „protective nationalism“ opposing the economic expansion of Slav nations, mainly Czechs, and the priviledged positions of Jews in economy. Although representatives of the German agrarian cooperatives in the Austrian Lands contributed to the foundation of the bank, the important positions were in the hands of members of the higher middle classes in the Bohemian Lands. The bank’s clientele reflected the membership base of the Deutsche Agrarpartei in Böhmen. In spite of that, Deutsche Agrarbank did not ignore small farmers, either. Its goals were based on the ideology of agrarianism requiring that the immense financial resources available in the country should be used for the development of rural areas and that their use by other social groups of capitalist business should be prevented. Deutsche Agrarbank had only two years to develop its business plans. During the First World War the Bank followed the practice of the other German national banks, which by subscribing war loans demonstrated their belief in the victory of the Central Powers: Germany and Austro-Hungary. The enormous quantity of Austrian state bonds held by the bank, whose value dramatically declined, undermined the position of the bank. Therefore, the bank entered the independent Czechoslovakia with a serious handicap, which was even increased by the fact that its political patron, Deutsche Agrarpartei, had disintegrated. Its successor, the Bund der Landwirte, focused already on a different type of clientele in the lower middle class and the middle class. The orientation on the agrarian sector failed to be a sufficient driving force for activities of the bank that tried to expand the field of its operations also to that of industry. As a result, the bank was renamed Deutsche Agrar- und Industriebank and its Statutes were amended. The bank could only very slowly cope with the problems caused by the war economy and postwar depression. It obtained support from the Czechoslovak state and also from the German Reich, and finally also from the General Bank System Recovery Fund. In spite of that, the bank remained on the brink of failure during the whole period of time between the two world wars.
Key words: History, 20th century, banking business, Germans, agrarianism


Lukáš NOVOTNÝ
Great Britain and the Locarno Conference 1925

In October, 1925 diplomatic representatives of Great Britain, France, Belgium, Italy and Germany met in Locarno, Switzerland; two meetings were also attended by repre-sentatives of Poland and Czechoslovakia. The main issue discussed at the Conference was the guarantee of Germany’s western border and, in addition, its membership of the League of Nations. The participants also tried to resolve the question of Germany’s eastern borders. The British delegation was led Foreign Minister Austen Chamberlain, whose position was not easy. For various reasons, an important part of the Conservative cabinet was reluctant to accept any obligations for London on the European Continent, which manifested itself, among others, in Britain’s refusal to ratify the Geneva Protocol. The head of the Foreign Office had good reasons to fear the opposition of some ministers to the goals of the British delegation in Locarno. He could not even be sure of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s full support, either. The only realistic concept that Great Britain was ready to discuss at the Conference was thus the guarantee of Germany’s western border. During the whole period of negotiations, with only one exception (Article 213 of the Versailles Peace Treaty according to which Germany was obliged to submit any of its weapons to the inspection by the League of Nations Council if requested by that body, as suggested by the German delegation on the eve of initialing the documents) no item arose that could make the Conference fail. The negotiations took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere, and thus clearly differed from the previous meetings attended by German representatives. All documents were initialed on October 16, 1925. The Conference was a great success of Great Britain and Germany. London could be happy about the new security pact guaranteeing the inviolability of borders between France, Belgium and Ger¬many, about the end of French-German antagonism prevailing in international relations in Europe since 1919 and, last but not least, about Germany’s joining the League of Nations. The Locarno Conference constituted also a change in the perception of the British Empire. Actually, London adopted a formal obligation to help any European country in case of an attack, even without a previous consent of dominions. As a result, Locarno is the first important evidence of the fact that Great Britain and the dominions did not share the same views on international questions.
Key words: History, 20th century, Great Britain, Locarno, collective security


Bohuslav LITERA
The centralization policy of the Communist Party and the regions in the Soviet Union until the early 1930s

The system of interrelations between the state’s center and its particular regions, the level of competences delegated by the center to regions, the position of regional elite, as well as other factors are among the most important attributes of every state, particularly of such a geographically large and diverse country as Soviet Russia after the October Revolution and the Civil War, and later of the Soviet Union where the axioms of the Bolshevist Party’s ideology were implemented. Of vital importance was the centralization of decision-making and control activities in all their aspects. In the 1920s, however, the Bolshevist Party failed to fully control the provinces. Nevertheless, what mattered was the fact that new Bolshevist elite groups were arising whose members derived their position within the system from their merits during the revolution and the civil war. Their middle and higher level cadres became well established in higher administration units, local governments, and later also in regions and particular Soviet republics. Although they were responsible for the state of their territories and for the implementation of Moscow’s policy, they also tried to enforce the particular needs of „their“ own regions that in some cases contradicted the policy and the interests of the center. Therefore, the top leaders of the Bolshevist Party headed by J. V. Stalin tried hard to enforce their political line in the regions and reduce the power of the local Bolshevist elite, whose influence and position dramatically increased with the start of what was called socialist industrialization and during the pro¬cess of forced collectivization. As a result, simultaneously with the increasing pressure from Moscow on the centralization of decision-making processes, the influence, power and responsibility of the regional elite also considerably increased. Its members occupied strong positions in the regions during the 1920s and applied a number of methods to oppose, or modify Moscow’s policy and adapt it to the situation in their particular regions. As some members of the elite were represented in the Central Committee of the Bolshevist Party, they were able to some extent to influence the center’s policy while enforcing the interests of their particular regions.
Key words: History, 20th century, Soviet Union, policy, collectivization


Stanley B. WINTERS
General Harmon´s Headaches. Czech Resistance to the U.S. Administration of Western Bohemia in 1945

The liberation of Western Bohemia by the American Army and the subsequent U.S. military administration constitute an important chapter in the final period of World War II in Central Europe. The presence of American troops and the several months of activity of US military administration in the liberated part of Czechoslovakia were of great importance for the clarification and subsequent deterioration of relations between the two major Allied Powers, the United States and the Soviet Union. This had also direct influence on the internal political developments in the liberated country, where immediately after the war a fierce fight started between the democratic forces and the Communists for Czechoslovakia’s postwar orientation. As a result, in spite of all neutral efforts, the American military administration got involved in all major struggles that determined the fate of Czechoslovakia for decades, namely: restoration of peace conditions, revival of normal civil administration, and functioning of basic infrastructure. There were fierce battles between the democrats and the Communists for important positions in the domestic civil administration. The democrats relied on assistance by the American military administration whereas the Communists immediately used any – even alleged – attempt of interven¬tion in the civil administration in their propaganda for attacks against the democrats and ultimately against the country’s foreign orientation to the USA and, on the other hand, for propagating absolute cooperation with the USSR. Moreover, the arising problems were complicated by the complex ethnic structure in Western Bohemia with its strong German minority. Immediately after the war, due to the tragic events during the Nazi occupation, there was much hate against the German population and strong revenge desire on the part of some radical Czechs. Therefore, the American military administration had to ensure “general” security and smooth transition to peacetime life without any violent excesses on either side: the Czech side, often incited by Communists to violence, and the German side, where the Nazi structures organized terrorist actions. The American Army could successfully cope with all the complex tasks owing to its experienced commander General E. N. Harmon, and thus largely contributed to the restoration of peace conditions and part-ly also of democracy in postwar Czechoslovakia.
Key words: History, 20th century, Czechoslovakia in 1945, American Army


JAN SLAVÍČEK
Resettlement and socialization of the border regions illustrated on the case of „Sociakol“ Cooperative in the years 1945–1950

The history of Sociakol consumer cooperative is discussed in the context of the general postwar atmosphere with the social pendulum moving to the left, growing socialization trends and rapidly rising political influence and power of the Communist Party. The author describes the evolution of the cooperative and its leaders, and shows the conditions under which fraudulent economic activities could develop in the border regions. The methods used by the cooperative management to enforce their interests are analyzed, such as, in particular: 1.) concentration of their supporters in one part of Děčín District to achieve majority in local factories and institutions; 2.) economic frauds by means of which the leading group generated means to „reward“ their supporters; 3.) links to and interconnection with the Communist Party. The author also explains the reasons of pro¬secuting and suing the leading managers of the cooperative in 1949–1950, which was particularly due to the new political, social and economic situation after the February coup when that group of people ceased to be useful for the Communist Party, which could now strengthen its positions directly by controlling the state‘s policy.
Key words: History, 20th century, Czechoslovakia, cooperative movement


Jan KUKLÍK – Jan NĚMEČEK
The Czechoslovak exile government, the British, and the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich

The study deals with the assassination of Acting Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich, its significance and consequences, such as, in particular, the second martial law in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the destruction of two Czech villages, Lidice and Ležáky, and the executions of Czech patriots. These acts outraged the international public and strongly contributed to the demand for punishing the Nazi war crimes. President Edvard Beneš and the Czechoslovak exile government in London played an important role in that respect and, supported by other exile governments, they tried to make the Allied Powers pay more attention to the opinion of their foreign representations. The study concentrates both on the Czechoslovak exile government in London discussing the situation in the Protectorate and on its subsequent activities in this matter in relation to the Allies, particularly those that contributed to Great Britain´s withdrawal from the Munich Agreement early in August, 1942. Part of the study is also the edition of important documents related to that matter, particularly the two declarations of the Czechoslovak government drawing the attention of the allied states to the Nazi persecution in the Protectorate. The whole campaign helped also the Czechoslovak exile government in London to successfully develop its negotiations with the Allied Powers about the restoration of independent Czechoslovakia after the victory in war.
Key words: History, 20th century, Czechoslovak foreign resistance 1939–1945, assassination of Heydrich