Title in original language: Historiografický obraz „velkých majetkových přesunů“ v českých zemích / Československu období konce 30. až konce 40. let 20. století
Author: EDUARD KUBŮ
Title in English: Historiographical perspectives on the “great property transfers” in the Bohemian lands/Czechoslovakia of the late 1930s to the late 1940s
Journal: Česko-slovenská historická ročenka 25, 2, 2023, pp. 153-192
Abstract: This paper offers the perspective of a historian of modern economic and social history on the development of historiography devoted to the turbulent property transfers made in the Bohemian lands/Czechoslovakia in the 1930s and 1940s. The author – who has long been widely involved in the subject – presents his interpretation of the development of the discourse, focusing on works that, in his opinion, significantly advance the understanding of these fateful decades for Czech and Slovak society. The literature on this topic is large and, at the same time, very sparse, as a lot of areas remain uncovered. The older literature, logically, has an ideological character, while the literature produced after the fall of the communist regime has a de-ideologised, descriptive, largely enumerative character. Historians have focused less on examining the mechanisms of property law changes, and even less on the actual ways in which they were implemented in specific cases. Current research has shown how varied and imaginative the Nazi occupation regime’s methods of operation were, and not only for large economic enterprises. The subsequent period was also not entirely uniform in the ways in which changes to property rights were implemented. The literature is unevenly divided between different periods of property transfers, demarcated by regime changes (1938–1939–1945–1948). It does not reflect too much the fact that economic change is not always delimited as sharply as political change. It is more “procedural”, except of course for spectacular actions, such as the nationalization of 1945. The expropriation of Jewish property dominates the examined works of historiography, while the expropriation of Czech property during and German property after World War II is almost entirely absent. What is missing is an examination of property transfers in agriculture during World War II. No one has, for instance, so far seriously examined the political administration of nationalised properties. There is no doubt that we are only at the beginning of research into most of the problems outlined in the paper.
Keywords: historiography, economic history, social history, Jews, asset transfers