Wenzel Jaksch
Wenzel Jaksch Nordmarktreffen.jpg
Wenzel Jaksch in 1963
Born(1896-09-25)25 September 1896
Died27 November 1966(1966-11-27) (aged 70)
NationalityGerman
OccupationPolitician
Political partySPÖ
DSAP
SPD

Wenzel Jaksch (25 September 1896 – 27 November 1966) was a Sudeten German Social Democrat politician and the president of the Federation of Expellees in 1964 to 1966.[1]

Biography

Jaksch was born in Langstrobnitz, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now Horní Stropnice, Czech Republic), and started to work as a construction worker in the age of 14 in Vienna. He joined the Austrian Social Democratic Party in 1913 and served in the Austrian Army in World War I, where he was badly wounded. After World War I he started to work as a journalist for a German language Social-Democratic newspaper in Czechoslovakia.[1]

In 1929 he was elected as a member of the Parliament of Czechoslovakia in Prague representing the German Social Democratic Workers Party in the Czechoslovak Republic, of which he became the chairman in 1938.[2] Jaksch opposed the growing influence of Nazis in Sudeten German Politics.[3] After Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Wenzel escaped to Poland, and after the German invasion of Poland to Great Britain, where he represented the interests of the Sudeten Germans in the Czechoslovak government-in-exile.[1][3] During the war Jaksch's relations with the Czechs became strained as he opposed to acknowledge the pre-Munich borders of Czechoslovakia of his homeland.[4] After World War II the Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia. Influenced by Edvard Beneš, the British Government refused to allow Jaksch's return to Western Germany until 1949.[5] In 1949 he became responsible for Refugee affairs in the Social-Democratic Party of Germany, in 1950-53 he became director of the Hessian State Office for Expellees, Refugees and Evacuees, and in 1951 he founded the Seliger-Gemeinde, an Association of Sudeten German Social Democrats. In April 1960 Jaksch regretted that West German politicians officially claimed only the 1937 borders of former Nazi Germany and declared that "No Sudeten German would go back to his homeland if he felt that he would belong to a minority", demanding annexation and union (Anschluss) of "German speaking territories" with Germany as a "sensible solution".[6] In 1957 he was elected a member of the Bundestag, in 1961 he became the Vice-President of the Sudeten German Federal Assembly and in 1964 he became the President of the German Federation of Expellees.[1]

Jaksch was the president of the German Foundation for European Peace Questions (Deutsche Stiftung für Europäische Friedensfragen) and a member of the Sudeten German Council.[1]

Jaksch died in a road accident in Wiesbaden.[2]

Awards

Publications

Sources

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Biography at spd-wiesbaden.de (in German)
  2. ^ a b Biography at Austrian SPÖ (in German)
  3. ^ a b c Biography at Friedrich_Ebert_Stiftung (in German)
  4. ^ The Making of a New Europe: R.W. Seton-Watson and the Last Years of Austria-Hungary,page 437m University of Washington Press 1981
  5. ^ Der tapfere Böhme Der Spiegel (in German)
  6. ^ Britain, Germany and the Cold War: the search for a European Détente, 1949-1967, page 77, R. Gerald Hughes, 2007 Routledge