Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012. 352 pp. isbn : 978-0674046160. Language: English. Cornwall’s book is part of a recent flourishing of research into the late Habsburg Monarchy and Czechoslovakia, as a Czech nation-state, posing new questions to the old topic of nationalism, thereby revising past findings. It focuses on the transition from empire to nation-state in one part of the so-called linguistic border, paying special attention to the activities of the German minority in the Sudetenland. Mark Cornwall centers his narrative about the Sudeten nationalist movement around one of its most prominent figures: Heinz Rutha. He was a pioneer of the nationalist youth program and from the mid-1920s was a key mentor to Konrad Henlein. He quickly became a taboo subject after his early death in 1937, at the age of 40, following a scandal concerning his homosexuality. By opening up the history of youth and sexuality in Central Europe, Mark Cornwall sets out to revise the history of the German minority, which is usually described as the Sudeten Germans’ “betrayal” of democratic Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler. He seeks rather to understand “Sudeten German nationalism in its own terms” (9), with its eminent völkisch orientation, strong focus on
East Central Europe – Brill
Published: Dec 3, 2014
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