Wenzel Jaksch

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wenzel Jaksch (born September 25, 1896 in Langstrobnitz , Bohemia , † November 27, 1966 in Wiesbaden ) was a German-Bohemian social democratic politician.


At the age of 14 Jaksch left school and worked as a seasonal worker on construction in Vienna . A higher education was denied him. In what is now Vienna's Ottakring district, he learned the mason trade from 1910, joined the Association of Young Workers and in 1913 the SDAP . He was seriously wounded in the First World War . He then worked as a journalist for the German social democracy in Czechoslovakia . He was the editor of the Social Democrat , the Prague newspaper of the German Social Democratic Workers' Party in the Czechoslovak Republic (DSAP). In 1924 Jaksch was elected to the party executive committee of the DSAP and was deputy chairman since 1935.

Under Jaksch's leadership, a German national wing emerged in the DSAP from 1934 onwards , which invoked the “legacy” of party founder Josef Seliger and opposed party chairman Ludwig Czech . Jaksch developed a political approach that - shaped by pan-European and pan- Germanic concepts - placed the “national problem” at the center of considerations. In the DSAP Jaksch campaigned for the programmatic commitment to a “people's socialism” and the transformation of the “class party” into a “people's party”. Emil Franzel , who belongs to the Jaksch group and editor-in-chief of the central organ of the DSAP, propagated the Occidental Revolution in his work . Spirit and Fate of Europe (1936) an " occidental socialism " directed against the Soviet Union . This development was closely followed outside of Czechoslovakia. While left-wing social democratic observers rated and resolutely rejected Jaksch's advances as "the intrusion of an opponent's political ideology into our ranks" or as "symptoms of disintegration", they were supported by some German social democrats, including Wilhelm Sollmann . In 1937 the SdP politician Josef Pfitzner welcomed the fact that “a group of young social democrats, led by stewards Wenzel Jaksch and Emil Franzel, who did not come from Judaism , suddenly began to grapple with the importance of German nationality and the relationship between the German workers and them as in the time Seligers began to take care of things and represented views that were not so far different from those of National Socialism . "

At the end of March 1938 Jaksch was elected party chairman at the DSAP party congress in Prague , after Ludwig Czech on the grounds that he “disagreed with the direction that Comrade Jaksch represents as popular socialism” and with him “after the bitter experience of recent years Cooperation with Comrade Jaksch is impossible ”, had resigned. Immediately afterwards, on April 2, 1938 (according to other information on April 5), Jaksch met a representative of the Henlein Party (Josef Pfitzner) in Prague for a meeting arranged by Emil Franzel. According to Pfitzner's memorial protocol, which was found later, Jaksch is said to have stated that “this expression people's socialism was just another word for National Socialism” and that he was ready to become “the leader of the workers in the SdP”. In the following months, however, Jaksch quickly lost its importance and influence, as the DSAP increasingly had to struggle with disintegration.

After the Munich Agreement , Jaksch emigrated together with other functionaries such as Eugen De Witte and Richard Reitzner with British help. In London in 1939 he set up the Trust Community of Sudeten German Social Democrats and, before the war began, wrote a memorandum entitled What comes after Hitler? in which he developed a concept that was based on the recognition of the annexation of Austria and the Sudeten areas and postulated a " natural right to greater German unification " within the framework of a European federation. After the outbreak of the war, Jaksch refused to allow Sudeten German emigrants to join the Czechoslovak army abroad (and other allied armies) and, in autumn 1940, rejected the offer made by Edvard Beneš to join the Czechoslovak State Council (the provisional parliament in exile, see Czechoslovak government in exile ). Beneš had offered the DSAP six seats and Jaksch personally the position of Vice-President, but refused the guarantee of complete autonomy for the Sudeten Germans demanded here and later by the trust community . Jaksch's policy was felt by some Sudeten German emigrants to be increasingly adventurous and rejected. This current of around 170 people split off from the trust community in March 1941 and was constituted as a DSAP / foreign group under the chairmanship of Josef Zinner .

After the United Kingdom annulled the Munich Agreement on August 5, 1942, Jaksch wrote to the British, Canadian and American governments to protest against this “breach of law”. Thereupon the Czechoslovak government in exile refrained from any further negotiations with Jaksch. In the last years of the war Jaksch tried to create a new basis for his “Greater German” policy by invoking the Atlantic Charter and in 1944 insisted on the “inviolability” of the German pre-war borders.

During his time in exile in London, Jaksch repeatedly gave radio speeches on the BBC's international service , in which he called on the Sudeten Germans to remain loyal to the Czechoslovak state and to resist the National Socialists. However, these broadcasts were discontinued in the summer of 1942.

After the war Jaksch went from exile in Britain to West Germany, joined the SPD and took over its central refugee support in 1949. From 1950 to 1953 he headed the State Office for Displaced Persons, Refugees and Evacuees in Hesse . In the 1961 federal election campaign, he was part of the SPD government team that Erich Ollenhauer had presented on November 25, 1960 in Hanover in the event of a government takeover. He was intended to be the Federal Minister of Displacement. From 1964 until his death, Jaksch was President of the Association of Displaced Persons , having been Vice President of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft since 1961 . Along with Reinhold Rehs , who later converted to the CDU, he was the only Social Democrat in this office to date. His political work in the Federal Republic of Germany was shaped by his commitment to the refugees . He was also President of the German Foundation for European Peace Issues.

Jaksch also headed the Seliger community from 1951 until his death , the social democratic counterpart to the Catholic Ackermann community .

On November 27, 1966, he died as a result of a traffic accident.

The social democratic Seliger congregation commemorated its founding member on September 16, 2006 with the Wenzel Jaksch memorial service in the Sudeten German House in Munich.


From 1929 to 1938 Jaksch was a member of the Czechoslovak Chamber of Deputies . From 1953 until his death he was a member of the German Bundestag .


Jaksch was the recipient of the Great Cross of Merit with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the plaque of honor of the Association of Expellees . He was also awarded the letter of honor from the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft and the Rudolf Lodgmann plaque.

The Wenzel Jaksch Memorial Prize of the Seliger congregation (community of Sudeten German Social Democrats) is named after Jaksch .

In honor of his person, streets in Wiesbaden (where he himself lived), Nauheim , Bad Vilbel and Griesheim have been named after him.

In the 16th district of Vienna Ottakring , a memorial plaque at Lindauergasse 34–36 commemorates the great social democrats.


  • What comes after Hitler? In: Jitka Vondrová : Češi a sudetoněmecká otázka. 1939.
  • Can industrial peoples be transferred? - The future of the Sudeten population. Executive of the Sudeten Social Democratic Party (Ed.), London 1943.
  • Mass transfer of minorities. Article in: Socialist commentary. (4 pages), London, ca.1944.
  • Sudeten labor and the Sudeten problem - a report to international labor. Ed .: Executive of the Sudeten German Social Democracy Party, London 1945, 47 pp.
  • We demand a hearing - an important historical document for the reparation of expulsions contrary to international law. Petition to the United Nations / by Wenzel Jaksch (37 pages). Munich, publ. "Das Volk", 1948.
  • Benesch was warned! The final dispute between the Czechoslovak government in exile and the Sudeten Germans in London. Edited by Almar Reitzner. Munich 1949.
  • Social Democracy and the Sudeten Problem. (15 pages), Frankfurt a. M./Hochst 1949.
  • The stab in the back against peace - Subtitle: Richter's new legend. SPD leaflet, Bonn around 1950.
  • Homeland law. Claim and Reality. (with Erich von Hoffmann), publishing house of the old gentry of allied student associations, Erlangen 1957.
  • Europe's way to Potsdam. (533 pp.), 1958; 4th edition (with an obituary by Willy Brandt), Munich 1990, ISBN 3-7844-2304-3 (the main work by Wenzel Jaksch).
  • March 4, 1919 and the misery of German historiography. Publishing house of the Munich book trade house, Munich 1959.
  • German Ostpolitik - an experiment in objectivity. In: The New Society. No. 12/1965, pp. 800-802.
  • Thoughts on Ostpolitik. Verlag “Die Brücke”, Ed .: Seliger-Gemeinde, 32 pages, approx. 1966.


  • Walter Henkels : 99 Bonn heads , reviewed and supplemented edition, Fischer-Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main 1965, p. 138ff.
  • Martin K. Bachstein: Wenzel Jaksch and the Sudeten German Social Democracy. Munich 1974.
  • Martin Bachstein:  Jaksch, Wenzel. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5 , p. 326 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Detlef Brandes : The way to expulsion 1938-1945. Plans and decisions to transfer Germans from Czechoslovakia and Poland. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 2001.
  • Edmund Jauernig: Social Democracy and Revanchism. On the history and politics of Wenzel Jaksch and the Seliger community. German publishing house of the sciences, (East) Berlin 1968.
  • Hans-Werner Martin: "... do not disappear from history without a trace": Wenzel Jaksch and the integration of the Sudeten German democrats into the SPD after World War II (1945-1949). Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1996.
  • Friedrich Prinz : Benes, Jaksch and the Sudeten Germans. Stuttgart: Seliger Archive, 1975, 76 pp.
  • Emil Werner: Wenzel Jaksch. Bonn 1991.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See Kowalski, Werner (and others), History of the Socialist Workers International (1923–1940), Berlin 1985, p. 231 and Weger, Tobias, “Volkstumskampf” without end? Sudeten German Organizations 1945–1955, Frankfurt am Main 2008, p. 205.
  2. For the relevant basic assumptions see above all Jaksch, Wenzel, Volk und Arbeiter. Germany's European broadcast, Bratislava 1936.
  3. Quoted from Kowalski, Geschichte der Sozialistische Arbeiter-Internationale, p. 232.
  4. Jauernig, Edmund, Social Democracy and Revanchism. On the history and politics of Wenzel Jaksch and the Seliger community, VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften , Berlin 1968, p. 54.
  5. See Langkau-Alex, Ursula, Deutsche Volksfront 1932–1939. Between Berlin, Paris, Prague and Moscow. Second volume. History of the Committee for the Preparation of a German Popular Front, Berlin 2004, p. 17.
  6. ^ Pfitzner, Josef, Sudeten German unit movement. Becoming and fulfilling, Karlsbad-Leipzig 1937, p. 99.
  7. Quoted from Jauernig, Sozialdemokratie und Revanchismus, p. 81.
  8. See Weger, Volkstumskampf, p. 205.
  9. Quoted from Jauernig, Sozialdemokratie und Revanchismus, p. 50.
  10. Quoted from Jauernig, Sozialdemokratie und Revanchismus, p. 83.
  11. Quoted from Jauernig, Sozialdemokratie und Revanchismus, p. 99.
  12. See Jauernig, Social Democracy and Revanchism, pp. 115, 135.
  13. ^ See Jauernig, Social Democracy and Revanchism, pp. 117ff.
  14. See Jauernig, Social Democracy and Revanchism, p. 130.
  15. See Jauernig, Social Democracy and Revanchism, p. 122.
  16. See Jauernig, Social Democracy and Revanchism, pp. 122, 125.
  17. See Douglas, RM, Proper Transfer. The expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, Munich, 2012, p. 43ff
  18. spiegel.de: Died