The Czech election

This is rather fun. One candidate in the current Czech presidential election is formally called:

Karl Johannes Nepomuk Joseph Norbert Friedrich Antonius Wratislaw Menas Fürst zu Schwarzenberg

Think the Duke of Buccleigh running for president of an independent Scotland.

Sorta. Or perhaps the Duke of Normandy for that of France (which would be a real pleasure to see happening actually).

He\’s said that perhaps the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans wasn\’t quite all that fair. Probably true in fact.

It was all rather understandable at the time but really rather unfair.

One of the mines we\’re interested in is actually right on that dividing line. The same deposit has two shafts into it. One on either side of the border. And if you were of German ancestry in 1945 and lived in the \”wrong\” village then you\’d be prodded by bayonet over to the other. As were 3 million others from all over the area. This city I\’m in, all the ones around, all the little villages: entirely ethnically cleansed.

16 thoughts on “The Czech election”

  1. Some ethnic cleansings just aren’t a fashionable topic – e.g. protestants from the Irish Free State. Or indeed non-ethnic cleansings e.g. Roman Catholics with the wrong views or employment histories from the Irish Free State.

  2. Some ethnic cleansings just aren’t a fashionable topic

    The Armenians would agree, not least because HMG still refuses to recognise what happened to them as genocide. Despite the actual word ‘genocide’ being, err, coined to describe what happened to the Armenians.*


    *Raphael Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, 1944: “First to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler”

  3. @ sam
    while agreeing with dearieme and sympathising with Armenians etc
    Genocide is thousands of years old. The treatment of the Armenians and the Holocaust are examples of *attempted* genocide (NB Auschwitz etc killed a larger % of the Roma population – more obviously “non-Aryan” and even more unpopular – than of the Jewish population)

  4. @ Diogenes
    He attempted to clean up the endemic corruption in a communist/post-communist environment but it was too overwhelming for an old man (he was a boy king before I was born and I am going grey).
    The better comparison is Otto von Habsburg who became a senior member of the EU (so-called European) Parliament. Interestingly he was awarded honorary citizenship by 1603 Austrian municipalities while in exile in the 1930s – one wonders just how many municipalities there can be in such a small country? The Nazis issued an order that he should be murdered immediately if captured (an honour not on record as being given to Churchill).
    We should ignore the smear by the less multi-lingual (his mother insisted that he had to speak all the main languages of the Austro-Hungarian empire, plus Latin, and he also learned English French and Spanish) Grauniad: when asked if he had watched the “Austro-Hungary” football match he answered “No, but how interesting: who were we playing?” pointing out the linguistic error – the Grauniad wrongly claimed he had said this when asked about the Austria-Hungary match.

  5. Karl Schwarzenberg is a bloody good bloke. He talks immense sense in lots of languages and is also obscenely rich, meaning that he doesn’t have to grub for cash with lobbyists like a lot of Austrian politicians. Like Vaclav Klaus he is independent minded and won’t take his job as just being a rubber stamp.

    He also talks German like you imagine Donald Sinden would.

  6. john77 – it reminds us that Prince Philip had some shared ancestry with these folk. he grew up surounded by French and German people…and yet speaks English rather better than his sons can speak any language at all.

  7. @ Diogenes
    Not sure that I agree with the shared ancestry for Otto: the Mountbatten/Battenburgs were Danish although he was a nth cousin of King Simeon via Prince Albert’s ancestors.
    I have a great deal of sympathy for Charles whose life, and especially education, has been thoroughly mucked up by courtiers looking at political gain instead of the child: I might not have got into Oxford if I had been taken out of school and dumped in Australia with a different syllabus for two years in my early teens. That he got an honours degree from Cambridge shows that he works hard and is intellectually well above average.

  8. @John77

    Genocide is thousands of years old.

    Oh, goodness me, yes. Sorry, wasn’t querying that. There’s a very good example somewhere of a meso-american race (I forget which – the Aztecs?) that was wiped out by the Spanish conquistadors, and everyone got very cross and post-colonial about it, until it was pointed out, not unreasonably, that that race had systematically and cold-bloodedly ethinically cleansed their competitors in a manner that made the holocaust look like amateur night.

    the only point I was making is that it’s a bit unreasonable to claim that something wasn’t a ‘genocide’ when the actual term ‘genocide’ was coined to describe it…

  9. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘And if you were of German ancestry in 1945 and lived in the “wrong” village then you’d be prodded by bayonet over to the other’.

    Of course if it hadn’t been for Hitler, Henlein and Heydrich the ethnic Germans would still be living in the Sudetenland, and in a Czechoslovakia which stayed democratic from 1938 to 1989.

    No Nazis, no mass eviction. End of.

  10. It is estimated that about 2.5 million Germans were killed in the aftermath of the war. The Poles, Czechs, Americans and French took part in this killing, and starvation, frenzy.

    The British is the only European nation that came out of this debacle with their reputations intact because, in the words of an American: They were preparing for the next war.

    For further read see for instance:-
    Poisoned Peace by Gregor Dallas
    After the Reich by Giles MacDonogh

  11. I imagine Her Grace the Duke of Normandy would do a far better job of French President than the current incumbent.

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