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Coordinates: 50 °  N , 14 °  E

Československá republika
Czechoslovak Republic
Flag of Czechoslovakia
Coat of arms of Czechoslovakia
flag coat of arms
Motto : The truth wins!
( Czech Pravda vítězí , Slovak Pravda víťazí , from 1989 in Latin : Veritas Vincit )
Official language Czech , Slovak and Ukrainian

Regional German , Hungarian , Polish

Capital Prague
State and form of government Parliamentary Republic (1948–1990 one-party rule )
Head of state President of Czechoslovakia
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

Václav Havel
Head of government Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia
Karel Kramář

Jan Stráský
surface (1921) 140,800 km²
(1991) 127,876 km²
population 15.8 million (1992)
Population density (1921) 96.9 inhabitants per km²
(1991) 123 inhabitants per km²
gross domestic product $ 180 billion (1991)
Gross domestic product per inhabitant $ 1,800 (1938) $
18,657 (1991)
currency Czechoslovak crown
founding October 28, 1918
resolution December 31, 1992
National anthem Kde domov můj and Nad Tatrou sa blýska
Hymn in German in 1918–1938
Time zone UTC +01: 00 (winter)
UTC +02: 00 (summer)
License Plate ČSR (until 1960)
CS (no longer existed)
ISO 3166 CS, CSK, 200
Internet TLD .cs (no longer exists)
Phone code +42
Area and population refer to the years 1921 and 1991
Situation of Czechoslovakia in a changed Europe before and after the Second World War
Situation of Czechoslovakia in a changed Europe before and after the Second World War
Template: Infobox State / Maintenance / NAME-GERMAN

The Czechoslovakia ( Czech Československo ; Slovak Česko-Slovensko , the longest-standing official name Czechoslovak Republic , Czechoslovakia ) was a 1918 existing to 1992, landlocked country in Central Europe in the field of modern states Czech Republic , Slovakia and part of the Ukraine . Czechoslovakia was one of the successor states of Austria-Hungary and consisted of Bohemia , Moravia , Silesia , Slovakia and (until 1946) Carpathian Russia (today: Carpathian Ukraine).

Czechoslovakia was on 28 October 1918 in the new capital of Prague as a free and democratic and social constitutional state on the Western model proclaimed . After the Munich Agreement and the First Vienna Arbitration Award in 1938, the republic had to cede the Sudetenland to the German Empire and parts of southern Slovakia to Hungary . In March 1939 the Slovak state broke away from the Czecho-Slovak Republic , while the so-called "rest of Czech Republic " was occupied by the Wehrmacht a short time later and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was established. The republic, restored after World War II , had to cede Carpathian Ukraine to the Soviet Union in 1946 . After the February revolution in 1948, it came under the rule of the Communist Party and was integrated into the Eastern Bloc , which was dominated by the Soviet Union . The rule of the Communist Party lasted until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. On December 31, 1992, the state was dissolved and the Czech and Slovak Republics were founded.

Czechoslovakia was a founding member of the League of Nations in 1920 , the United Nations in 1945 , the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance in 1949 and the Warsaw Pact in 1955, and joined the Council of Europe in 1991 . It was allied with France and Great Britain from 1924 to 1938 and with the Soviet Union from 1935. Czechoslovakia was a highly developed industrial state that was way ahead of its neighbors until 1938. The economy recovered quickly after World War II, but fell significantly behind the West due to the communist takeover in 1948. After the gross domestic product , Czechoslovakia was at times the largest economy in the Eastern Bloc .


Czechoslovakia had several official country names. These were changed several times for ideological reasons. While the names Czecho-Slovak Republic or Czecho-Slovak State were used in the provisional constitution of 1918 , the constitution of 1920 established the name Czechoslovak Republic (Československá republika) without a hyphen. In October 1938, after the Munich Agreement, the name was changed to the Czecho-Slovak Republic .

After 1945, the old name of the Czechoslovak Republic was reverted to, which was retained even after the February coup in 1948. In 1960 the name was changed to Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (Československá socialistická republika). After the fall of the regime in 1989, the name was briefly changed to the Czechoslovak Federal Republic , and in 1990 to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic . The dispute between Czech and Slovak politicians in the early 1990s over the spelling with or without hyphen has come to be known as the dash war .

State symbols

flag and emblem

The republic long considered which flag the new state should have. Various forms of the traditional white and red Bohemian flag have been used tentatively since 1918 . In 1918 it was declared the flag of Czechoslovakia. The re-established Poland, however, carried almost the same flag. The only difference between the two flags was the aspect ratio of 5: 8 instead of 2: 3. Two years later, on March 30, 1920, a blue isosceles triangle for Slovakia was added to the left edge of the flag . The blue comes from the Slovak flag. According to other sources, the blue color is taken from the coat of arms of Moravia . The flag is used today (as the legal successor of Czechoslovakia) as the flag of the Czech Republic.

After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary and after provisional arrangements in the first two years of the republic, three coats of arms were constructed in the constitution of February 29, 1920 , whereby the great coat of arms was officially the sole coat of arms of the First Czechoslovak Republic. In the Second Republic, the middle coat of arms was used as the state coat of arms and in 1945 the smallest coat of arms. With the new "socialist" constitution, the small coat of arms was replaced in 1960. In 1990 the last coat of arms was constructed and used until the country was divided in 1992.

National anthem

From 1918 to 1992 " Kde domov můj " (Where is my home) and " Nad Tatrou sa blýska " ( Lightning over the Tatras) were the national anthems of Czechoslovakia.

After the peaceful partition of Czechoslovakia, Kde domov můj became the national anthem of the independent Czech Republic and Nad Tatrou sa blýska that of Slovakia .


Czechoslovakia consisted of the Czech , Slovak and until 1946 the Carpathian-Ukrainian part of the country ( Podkarpatská Rus , Carpathian Ukraine, Carpathian Ukraine).

The Czech part was formed from the countries of Bohemia , Moravia and Silesia . This in turn consisted of the former Austrian Silesia and the previously Prussian area around Hultschin , but without a strip of territory east of Teschen , which fell to Poland after the Polish-Czechoslovak border war , the so-called Olsa area .

The character of the landscape in the individual parts of the country was very different. The western area was part of the north-central European uplands.

Czechoslovakia had borders with Austria , Hungary , Ukraine (from 1991, before 1945–1991 with the Soviet Union ), Romania (until 1946), Poland and Germany (or 1949–1990 with the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany ).

Physical map of Czechoslovakia

The borders of the Czechoslovak state were still undefined when it declared independence in 1918. Only in the treaties of Saint-Germain in 1919 were the borders of Czechoslovakia fixed for the time being. In 1920 Austria had to cede two small areas of Lower Austria separately . After the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, Carpathian Ukraine was annexed to the new state and the border with Hungary was laid. In 1920 Germany had to cede the Hultschiner Ländchen ( Hlučínsko in Czech ) after the Treaty of Versailles . In 1919 a border war broke out with Poland over the disputed Olsa area , which Czechoslovakia won in 1920. The area of ​​Czechoslovakia was 140,446 km² until 1920. With the Kingdom of Romania, in the course of the Treaty of Sèvres, there was a small exchange of territory in Carpathian Ukraine (1921); an area on the border with the Slovak part of the country was exchanged for an area further east. The new state thus had an area of ​​140,800 km² from 1921 to 1938 and was about three and a half times the size of Switzerland and, with a length of 820 km, almost as long as Italy . At its widest point the land was 250 km and at its narrowest only 80 km.

With the Munich Agreement in 1938, Czechoslovakia lost around 14% of its national territory. In 1938, Hungary received 11,882 km² of southern Slovakia through the First Vienna Arbitration . Poland acquired the city of Teschen and its surroundings (about 906 km²) and two smaller border areas in northern Slovakia, the regions of Spiš and Orava (226 km²). The area of ​​the loss of territory totaled 41,442 km² (about a quarter of the national territory). In 1939 Czechoslovakia had only 99,348 km² left.

After World War II , the republic was restored to its 1937 borders; The so-called Pressburger bridgehead near Bratislava was enlarged in 1946 and a 4,400 km² large strip of land in the east was acquired at the expense of Hungary . The area controlled by Czechoslovakia now had an area of ​​144,846 km² and meant for the country the largest expansion in its history. In 1946, Carpathian Ukraine was ceded to the Soviet Union under an agreement of 1945 . The national territory lost 12,777 km² and until 1992 comprised 127,876 km².

On its territory, Czechoslovakia had numerous raw materials and the largest uranium deposits in Europe. In the Czech part of the country there was hard coal and lignite, kaolin , clay, graphite, limestone, quartz sand and uranium near Dolní Rožínka and in Pilsen . There were deposits of copper and manganese ore in the Slovak Ore Mountains . Lead and zinc ore were found near Kutná Hora and Příbram . In the Ore Mountains there were still small amounts of mercury, antimony and tin. There were larger salt reserves in Slovakia and oil in the south and in Carpathian Ukraine. There was graphite near Ceske Budejovice and kaolin near Pilsen and Karlovy Vary .

Czechoslovakia was in the temperate climate zone , with strong differences between the individual parts of the country. The warmest and driest areas were in the south. In the mountains and especially in the Carpathian Ukraine, temperatures were low almost all year round. In what is now Vígľaš- Pstruša, Slovakia, temperatures of −41 ° C were reached on February 11, 1929. In the flat areas, rainfall was generally concentrated in summer.

Spring usually started at the beginning of April and was mild and quite sunny. In the relatively cool summer, cool air came from Eastern Europe. Autumn set in at the end of August. The winter in Czechoslovakia was very cold and dry and the longest season.

Cities and towns

Prague 1990

In 1931 there were over 800 cities and thousands of smaller towns in Czechoslovakia. City status was given to localities by the Czechoslovak Ministry of the Interior.

Larger cities of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1930 were Prague (849,000 inhabitants), Brno (265,000 inhabitants), Ostrava (125,000 inhabitants), Bratislava (124,000 inhabitants), Pilsen (115,000 inhabitants), Olomouc (66,000 inhabitants), Košice (58,000 inhabitants), Ústí nad Labem (44,000 inhabitants), Budweis (44,000 inhabitants) and Liberec (39,000 inhabitants). In Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Bratislava and Kosice lived before the Second World War the German or Hungarian or karpatorussische and Czechoslovak population together in part. The largest German-populated city was Olomouc; the largest city inhabited by Magyars was Košice. In general, many members of national minorities lived in the big cities of the Czechoslovakia. Prague, for example, was the center of Czechoslovak Jewry.

In addition to the cities, there were several thousand villages and communities in Czechoslovakia. Most of them were in Bohemia or Slovakia . In the Carpathian Ukraine , there were very few towns; the part of the country had 100 smaller settlements and the three cities of Khust , Mukachevo and the regional capital Uzhhorod .

With famous health resorts such as Karlsbad , Marienbad or Franzensbad, Czechoslovakia had by far the largest number of health resorts in Europe. Most of the health resorts were in Bohemia .

Administrative structure

Countries of Czechoslovakia 1928

When the Czechoslovak Republic was founded, the administrative structure was closely based on the administrative structure of Austria-Hungary. Municipalities belonged to political districts (politické okresy ) and these to districts ( Kraje ) . This classification did not change formally during the occupation from 1938, when the areas of the First Czechoslovak Republic came under German sovereignty. However, the administrative structure in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was similar to that in the German Reich, with political districts divided into regional districts. For the annexed Reichsgau Sudetenland , the German administrative structure with urban and rural districts as well as administrative districts applied. In 1945 the old structure was restored. District national committees were introduced in 1948.


The Czechoslovak state was divided into five historical countries (země) in 1928 . All countries were divided into circles. This administrative structure remained in place until the Munich Agreement in 1938, after which the countries Slovakia and Carpathian Ukraine became autonomous states within the federalized Czecho-Slovakia. After the Second World War, the countries were re-established and the Carpathian Ukraine ceded to the Soviet Union in 1946. The remaining four countries were dissolved in 1949 and divided into new smaller regions.

Countries of Czechoslovakia 1921
country Capital Area in km² Residents
Bohemia Prague 52.065 6,668,518
Moravia Brno 22,233 2,649,323
Silesia Opava 4,459 602.202
Slovakia Bratislava 49,036 2,989,361
Carpathian Ukraine Uzhhorod 12,777 592.044
Czechoslovakia as a whole Prague 140,800 13,410,750

Administratively, the area of ​​Silesia (or Czech Silesia or Moravian Silesia) was combined with Moravia in 1928 to form the country Moravian Silesia ( země Moravskoslezská ) and then formed (until 1948) next to Bohemia, Slovakia and Carpathian Russia one of the four countries in the area of ​​the Czechoslovakia.


The countries of Czechoslovakia were divided into several Kraje (districts) in 1920 after almost two years of debate in parliament and the failed attempt to create counties. Bohemia was divided into nine, Moravia into four, Silesia into one, Slovakia into six and Carpathian Ukraine into one great Kraj. This order was maintained until 1948.

With the enactment of the law establishing the counties and regional offices in the Czechoslovak Republic , the Kraje was officially anchored in the constitution. Each Kraj had its own parliament and was de jure autonomous. In 1923 there were elections for the district councils in Slovakia.

The 21 and 20 (after 1921) Kraje of Czechoslovakia were:

No Name (cz) Name (de) location
(I) Praha Prague Capital, Central Bohemia
(II) Pardubice Pardubice East Bohemia
(III) Hradec Králové Königgrätz East Bohemia
(IV) Mladá Boleslav Jungbunzlau Central Bohemia
(V) Česká Lípa Bohemian Leipa North Bohemia
(VI) Louny Whim North Bohemia
(VII) Karlovy Vary Carlsbad West Bohemia
(VIII) Plzeň Pilsen West Bohemia
(IX) České Budějovice Ceske Budejovice South bohemia
(X) Jihlava Iglau South Moravia
(XI) Brno Brno South Moravia
(XII) Olomouc Olomouc North Moravia
(XIII) Uherské Hradiště Hungarian Hradisch East Moravia
(XIV) Ostrava Ostrau North Moravia
(XV) Bratislava Pressburg Western Slovakia
(XVI) Nitra Neutra Western Slovakia
(XVII) Zvolen Old sole Central Slovakia
(XVIII) Martin St. Martin Northern Slovakia
(XIX) Liptovský Mikuláš St. Nicholas in Liptov Northern Slovakia
(XX) Košice Košice Eastern Slovakia
(XXI) Těšín Teschen Silesia (dissolved in 1921)


The direct historical forerunners of the Okres were the " Political Districts " ( translated as politický Okres , Pl. Politické Okresy ), introduced in the Austrian monarchy in 1850 , which were designed quite differently, especially after 1867 ( Austro-Hungarian settlement ) in the later Czechoslovak territory (cf. Political Districts in Bohemia , Political Districts in Moravia , Counties of Hungary in today's Slovakia ). In the newly formed Czechoslovakia, the old Austrian term for a district was essentially adopted in 1922. In 1927, Bohemia was divided into 103, Moravia and Silesia into 79 and 45, Slovakia into 12 and Carpathian Ukraine into one okres.

During the time of the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia , the political districts largely continued to exist, while districts were introduced in the Reichsgau Sudetenland .

In 1946 the subdivision of the Okres unit was partially restructured. On February 1, 1949 and April 11, 1960, a major territorial reform took place in Czechoslovakia, in which the number of districts was reduced. Since the division of Czechoslovakia in 1992, the districts have continued to exist in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia .


Population development

Language map of Czechoslovakia based on the 1930 census

Czechoslovakia was one of the densely populated countries in Europe and was a multi-ethnic state from its foundation in 1918 to 1945 , where national minorities such as Jews , Germans , Magyars , Poles , Ukrainians , Ruthenians and Romanians made up about 35 percent of the population. In a 1921 census, the state comprised 8.761 million Czechs and Slovaks as well as 3.1 million Germans (23%), which exceeded the number of Slovaks. Large cities such as Prague , Brno , Ostrava , Bratislava and Uzhhorod were both the cultural centers of these minorities and the titular nations of the Czechs and Slovaks .

In 1945, Czechoslovakia was re-established as a state of the Slavic peoples. The so-called Beneš decrees in 1945/46 resulted in the expulsion of the Germans from Czechoslovakia and a Czechoslovak-Hungarian population exchange.

In 1992 the Czechoslovak state had 15.8 million inhabitants.


The official languages since 1945 have been Czech and Slovak .

Nationalities of Czechoslovakia 1921
nationality Residents proportion of
Czechoslovak a 8.761 million 64.35%
German 3.123 million 22.94%
Hungary 0.745 million 5.47%
Russians b 0.461 million 3.38%
Jews 0.180 million 1.32%
Foreigner c 0.238 million 1.74%
Poland and others 0.102 million 0.75%
Total population 13.613 million 100%
aof which 1.967 million members of the "Slovak branch of Czechoslovak nationality ", d. H. Slovaks (of which 1.942 million in Slovakia); this information was only subsequently published by the authorities on the occasion of the 1930 census
bGreat Russians, Ukrainians and Carpathians, d. H. in today's terminology Russians , Ukrainians and Russians
c thereof 94,400 Germans, 34,200 Poles, 16,400 Hungarians and 58,700 Czechoslovaks (returned emigrants as well as children and women of foreigners)

Jewish population

In 1938 there were about 400,000 Jews in Czechoslovakia, which corresponded to about 2.7% of the then total population of 15.247 million. The Jewish population was among the largest in Europe. The largest Jewish community in the country was based in the capital Prague. According to the 1930 census, there were 136,737 Jews in Slovakia, 120,000 in the Bohemian lands and 95,008 in Carpathian Ukraine.

After the anti-German riots in the capital in 1920, the Jewish town hall in Josefov was stormed and the inventory was badly damaged.

The first newspaper for Jews appeared in 1919 and Prague received the first Jewish school in 1920, where Franz Kafka's sister Valli Pollak was one of the first teachers to teach. In 1922 the historian Samuel Steinherz (1857–1942) was elected rector of the German Karl Ferdinand University in Prague and held this office until 1928.

A deportation train of Jews from Carpathian Russia reached Auschwitz in May 1944.

After the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the German Wehrmacht on March 15, 1939, Adolf Hitler announced the establishment of the " Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia " the next day . Almost the entire Jewish population of the Protectorate was interned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp and from there mostly deported to Auschwitz . Of around 82,000 Jews deported from the Protectorate, only around 11,200 survived. Individuals tried to save their fellow Jewish citizens from persecution and murder. More than 100 Czechs were later awarded the title Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Memorial . In the Slovak state , the deportations of Slovak Jews began in 1942 according to several anti-Jewish laws. During the time of the Slovak National Uprising, the anti-Jewish laws were suspended in the areas of central Slovakia controlled by the Slovak insurgents from August 29 until the suppression on October 27, 1944. In the parts of Slovakia occupied by the German Wehrmacht, Jews were deported again from September 1944. Of the nearly 120,000 Jews in Carpathian Ukraine, around 90% were murdered in the Holocaust .

About 15,000 Carpathian Jews, 30,000 Slovak Jews and 24,395 Czech Jews survived the Holocaust. In the post-war period , however, the returning Jews were sometimes even hostile. Bureaucratic obstacles were placed in the way of the Jews when they wanted to leave their country and when they wanted to get their property back so that they would not have to give their property back to them. Between 1945 and 1950, 24,000 Jews emigrated to Israel and overseas.

In 1952, the Deputy Prime Minister Rudolf Slánský ( KSČ ) was arrested and charged with high treason. The arrest was probably initiated by Klement Gottwald , who saw Slansky as a potential rival. There were also anti-Semitic motives, as eleven of the 14 defendants in the Slansky trial were Jews. In this trial Slansky was sentenced to death and executed with ten co-defendants. In 1963 he was legally rehabilitated, and in 1968 by the party.


Czechoslovakia 1918–1939

Czechoslovakia emerged as a state in 1918 through the breakup of Austria-Hungary at the end of the First World War . The legal basis was the law on the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak state of October 28, 1918. Czech politicians in exile had received the support of the Triple Entente since 1916 to establish their own state after the war in the sense of national self-determination . This was proclaimed by the first president on October 28, 1918 in Prague . In the treaties of Saint-Germain and Trianon , with which the winners of the war carried out the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the recognition of the Czechoslovak Republic was laid down. The first president of Czechoslovakia was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk .

Czechoslovakia was proclaimed a parliamentary democracy, introduced women's suffrage in 1920 , and after 1933 remained the only functioning democracy in Central Europe besides Switzerland . It stamped its previous kroner banknotes from the monarchy at the beginning of 1919 and thus created the Czechoslovak krona, which was stable until the Second World War . Finance Minister Alois Rašin was a driving force until his assassination in early 1923.

The new republic achieved an upswing that was in stark contrast to the enormous inflation in Germany and Austria . This was due to the fact that Czechoslovakia had the most abundant coal deposits in the Austria-Hungary area and also had highly productive agricultural areas.

The steadily increasing dissatisfaction of the German Bohemians and German Moravians with their situation in the new state was underestimated. The Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler supported mainly by its power in 1933 in the German Reich , the Sudeten German Party , Konrad Henlein and thus exacerbated the conflicts among the nationalities in Czechoslovakia. When Hitler considered annexing the areas with a majority of German-Bohemian populations , the great Western powers France and Great Britain, through the mediation of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, reached an agreement in the Munich Agreement to cede the areas with a German-speaking population to Germany, which had a German-speaking majority at the 1911 census . The Czechoslovak government was not present at the negotiations, but under the chairmanship of Edvard Beneš it approved the results.

From October 1, 1938, these areas were occupied by the Wehrmacht and incorporated into the territory of the German Reich as Reichsgau Sudetenland . The British and French governments hoped to avert war by satisfying Hitler's territorial claims in line with the appeasement policy . In the First Vienna Arbitral Award , representatives of the German and Italian governments transferred southern Slovakia and Carpathian Ukraine to Hungary in November 1938. The Teschen area was occupied by Poles .

The now politically Second Republic called Czechoslovak state on the remaining territory - the "Nachmünchener" Czechoslovakia in October 1938 to the occupation by Germany - was for these assignments only briefly. On March 15, 1939 , German troops occupied what is known as the rest of Czech Republic and placed it under German sovereignty as the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia . The day before, under direct pressure from Hitler, the Slovak state had been formed under “German protection” in the Slovak part of the country ; the Carpathian Ukraine was annexed by Hungary.
Parts of the Czechoslovak government had fled abroad and, under Edvard Beneš , formed a government-in-exile in London from 1940 . On the side of the Western Allies and the Red Army , Czechs and Slovaks fought from abroad for the liberation of their country. In August 1944, the Slovak National Uprising began by parts of the Slovak army and partisans against the invasion of the Wehrmacht in the Slovak state and its collaborating government. The uprising was put down after two months.

Rudolf Schránil was one of the leading (and balanced) legal scholars in Czechoslovakia .

Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Slovak State (1939–1945)

After the secession of Slovakia on March 14, 1939, the Czechoslovak President Emil Hácha and Foreign Minister František Chvalkovský signed a protectorate treaty on the night of March 14-15, 1939 under massive German pressure. The Wehrmacht marched in in the early morning hours of March 15 (the so-called " smashing the rest of the Czech Republic "). The occupied area was then annexed . The resulting Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia comprised the parts of Bohemia and Moravia predominantly inhabited by Czechs. The government under President Emil Hácha was under the supervision of a Reich Protector.

Re-establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic and the February Revolution (1945–1948)

Location of Czechoslovakia in Europe between 1949 and 1990

After the end of the war in 1945, Czechoslovakia was reborn within the borders from the time before the Munich Agreement, with the exception of Carpathian Ukraine, which had to be surrendered to the Soviet Union . The German population, especially in the Czech Republic, was largely expelled or resettled.

After the February revolution in 1948, the ČSR followed the Stalinist policy of the USSR without reservation . Because Beneš did not want to sign the new constitution of May 1948, he resigned and Klement Gottwald , who had headed his second government since February 1948 , became president . In the following years there were show trials in the style of Stalinist purges . B. the above-mentioned against Rudolf Slánský, who, as general secretary of the KSČ, was instrumental in the February coup. As a satellite state of the USSR, the country was now part of the Eastern Bloc and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance , and from 1955 a member of the Warsaw Pact .

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1960–1990)

In the constitution of 1960, the state adopted the name Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (ČSSR) and the communist claim to leadership was enshrined there.

In 1968, under the chairman of the Communist Party, Alexander Dubček, an attempt was made to “humanize” the communist state. The Prague Spring was supposed to create “socialism with a human face”, but was suppressed by the Soviet Union and the other Eastern Bloc states allied in the Warsaw Treaty as a counter-revolution with armed force. The federalization of the ČSSR was implemented as an aftereffect of the reform program that was lost . This was proclaimed on October 28, 1968, the 50th anniversary of Czechoslovak independence . From then on, two republics, the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic , formed the ČSSR. However, there were also severe restrictions on this reform from the Soviet side: there was a Slovak, but not a Czech Communist Party . The central committee of the KPČ in Prague and its presidium remained responsible for the all-important party line .

After the suppression of the “Prague Spring” in 1968, a deep resignation spread across the country. Artists, intellectuals and politicians of the Prague Spring formed a civil rights movement that was often persecuted by the regime . It published the Charter 77 petition in 1977 , called itself the same from then on, and called for political action since 1988, but remained largely ineffective politically.

In November 1989, under the influence of Mikhail Gorbachev's reform program in the Soviet Union, there were demonstrations lasting several days in Prague, Bratislava and other cities. After days of protests, the communist leadership resigned. With this " Velvet Revolution ", a non-violent uprising of the people, the sole rule of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia ended. At the beginning of December 1989, a predominantly non-communist government was formed under the reform communist Marián Čalfa . At the end of December, the civil rights activist Václav Havel was elected President. The first free parliamentary elections since 1945 took place in June 1990 . The winner was the Czech Občanské fórum (Citizens' Forum, OF) and the Slovak Verejnosť proti násiliu (Public Against Violence, VPN), which together formed the government.

Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (1990–1992)

After the end of the communist dictatorship, it soon became apparent that the federal state of Czechoslovakia would no longer exist in the long term. The first quarrels arose during the so-called " war of dashes " over the name of the country. From April 1990 to the end of 1992 the country was called the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (ČSFR; occasionally also referred to as the Czechoslovak Federal Republic ) with the short forms Czechoslovakia in the Czech Republic and Czecho-Slovakia in Slovakia. Emerging conflicts of interest between the two parts of the country led to the end of Czechoslovakia in 1992. Without a referendum, the Federal Assembly of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic resolved on November 25, 1992 to dissolve the federation on December 31, 1992 and thus the formation of the two new states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993.


The Czechoslovak Army , founded in 1918, was renamed the Czechoslovak People's Army in 1954 . She joined the Warsaw Pact in 1955 . In 1990 it changed its name back to the Czechoslovak Army , and in 1993 it was split into the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic and the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic .


Game between the ČSR and Germany at the 1938 Ice Hockey World Championship

Soccer was a popular sport in Czechoslovakia. The greatest successes of the Czechoslovak national soccer team were the European championship title in 1976 , as well as the finals at the world championships in 1934 and 1962 . The team also won Olympic gold in Moscow in 1980 . At the national level, the Prague clubs Sparta , Slavia and Dukla dominated , together winning 45 of the 70 championship titles. But the Slovak clubs Slovan Bratislava and Spartak Trnava were able to win eight and five championships respectively. Slovan Bratislava was also the only Czechoslovak club to win a major European title with the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1969 .

Another very popular sport was ice hockey. The Czechoslovak national ice hockey team won six world championships. She also won four silver and four bronze medals at the Olympic Games . This made it the most successful national team from the Eastern Bloc after the Soviet Union . After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, both the Czech and Slovak national ice hockey teams, both of which became world champions, were able to build on these successes . At the national level, the most successful teams were LTC Prague and Dukla Jihlava with twelve titles each, and RH Brno with eleven titles.

Czechoslovak athletes were also able to celebrate numerous successes at the Olympic Games. In total, they won 168 medals (including 51 gold), with the largest part (143) being medals at the Summer Games. They were most successful at the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki and 1968 in Mexico City, where they won seven gold medals and a total of thirteen medals. The most successful Olympic athlete was gymnast Věra Čáslavská , who won seven gold and four silver medals at the three games in the 1960s. The most successful Olympian was the long-distance runner Emil Zátopek , who won four gold and one silver medal in the 1950s.

Numerous famous tennis players such as Ivan Lendl , Miloslav Mečíř , Hana Mandlíková and Martina Navrátilová were born in Czechoslovakia.


In the interwar period, Czechoslovakia was one of the most progressive countries in Europe. It was one of the strongest industrial countries on the continent, with heavy industry being located in the interior of the country, while light industry predominated in the border region, which was predominantly inhabited by Germans . Above all, the country's arms production enjoyed world renown . Even before 1918, the Bohemian lands were the most industrialized area of ​​the Danube monarchy . However, Slovakia was economically significantly weaker than the western part of the country until the 1960s. The Carpathian Ukraine, which was annexed by the USSR in 1945 and incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR , was a practically industry-free area in 1918 with a high proportion of illiterate people in the population. The Great Depression also hit Czechoslovakia from 1929 to 1933. The number of unemployed was around one million.

See also

Portal: Czechoslovakia  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of Czechoslovakia


  • Pocket dictionary ČSSR. Bibliographical Institute, in collaboration with the Encyclopedia Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science Prague (ČSAV), Leipzig 1983
  • Rudolf Chmel. In: Ludwig Richter, Alfrun Kliems (Hrsg.): Slovak culture and literature in self and external understanding , Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-515-08676-5 (=  research on the history and culture of eastern Central Europe , volume 22, p. 13 ff. )
  • Stephan Dolezel, Karl Bosl (ed.): The democratic-parliamentary structure of the First Czechoslovak Republic. Munich and Vienna 1975, ISBN 3-486-44381-X (lectures at the conference of the Collegium Carolinum in Bad Wiessee am Tegernsee from November 28th to December 1st, 1974)
  • Jörg K. Hoensch : History of Czechoslovakia . 3. Edition. Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-17-011725-4
  • Rüdiger Kipke, Karel Vodička: Farewell to Czechoslovakia. Causes and consequences of the Czech-Slovak separation. Cologne 1993, ISBN 3-8046-8803-9
  • Christoph Kotowski: The peaceful end of Czechoslovakia. Why there was no war between Czechs and Slovaks after the end of real socialism . Munich 2013, ISBN 3-656-55523-0

Web links

Commons : Czechoslovakia  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Czechoslovakia  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Hardt, John Pearce; Kaufman, Richard F. (1995), East-Central European Economies in Transition, ME Sharpe , ISBN 1-56324-612-0
  3. Act 11/1918 Sb. (Reception Act for the Establishment of the Republic), online  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed Oct. 3, 2009; Law 121/1920 Sb. (Constitution of 1920), online ( Memento of March 14, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on October 3, 2009; Law 101/1990 Coll. (Change of country name in 1990), online  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed on Nov. 10, 2009 (all in Czech)@1@ 2Template: dead link /  @1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  4. Milan Majtán: názvy obcí Slovenskej Republiky , Bratislava 1998th
  5. ( Memento from December 5, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Předpis č. 3/1949 Sb.
  7. Předpis č. 36/1960 Sb.
  8. sources of the census results: Československá republika - obyvatelstvo in: Otto's encyclopedia nové doby (early 1930s) ( Memento of 22 February 2009 at the Internet Archive ) and
  10. ^ Jad Adams: Women and the Vote. A world history. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-870684-7 , p. 437.
  11. United Nations Development Program: Human Development Report 2007/2008 . New York, 2007, ISBN 978-0-230-54704-9 , p. 343
  12. ↑ The crown is still the name of the national currency in the Czech Republic today.
  13. Alice Teichova et al. (1996): Austria and Czechoslovakia 1918-1938: The Economic Reorganization in Central Europe in the Interwar Period , p. 256 ( online ).
  14. ^ Rüdiger Alte: The Foreign Policy of Czechoslovakia and the Development of International Relations 1946-1947 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2003, p. 35 limited preview in the Google book search.
  15. See literally in Heiner Timmermann , Emil Voráček, Rüdiger Kipke (eds.), The Beneš Decrees. Post-war order or ethnic cleansing: can Europe provide an answer? (Documents and writings of the European Academy Otzenhausen; Vol. 108), LIT Verlag, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-8258-8494-5 , limited preview in the Google book search; see Jörg K. Hoensch , Studia Slovaca. Studies on the history of the Slovaks and Slovakia (= publications of the Collegium Carolinum; Vol. 93), Oldenbourg, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-486-56521-4 , pp. 18f. limited preview in Google Book search