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Travelling by Train between Czechoslovakia and Germany after the Munich Agreement

Abstract: The following study attempts to analyse an almost unknown aspect of Czechoslovakian-German relations during the so called “Second Republic” (October 1938 – March 1939), namely the railway traffic between the two countries. It is necessary to realize that railway traffic was the most common means of transport for both people and goods at this time and that it was in both countries‘ interests to keep it functioning. This paper focuses on the situations and problems that everyday passengers faced. Their experiences were the main factor on which public opinion of the railways was based. The contributory role of freight transport is also analysed in short because of its importance to the functioning of the economy. An important question, which this study attempts to answer as well, is the nature of relations between Czechoslovakian railway employees and their German counterparts. Did these relations copy those in “high politics” at the time? Or, could the professionals on both sides of the new borders cooperate to keep the traffic flowing? With the use of several examples, descriptions are given of experiences with colleagues on the other side of the border that were often positive and whereby both sides understood that it was necessary to keep the traffic flowing. Unfortunately, these efforts were on occasion disrupted by the decisions of political or military leaders.

 

Authors: Martin Liška
Keywords: railway traffic, Munich Agreement, Second Czechoslovak Republic, CzechGerman relations
Volume: 9
Issue: 3
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