The German-speaking population of the Bohemian lands has been the centre of political controversy for over a century. The success of the fascist Sudeten German Party in the 1930s led to the Munich Agreement of September 1938 - the event that was soon to signal the beginning of World War Two. After harsh years of Nazi German occupation, the Czechs and Slovaks expelled the great majority of the Sudeten Germans from their country at the end of the war. Although most of the expellees did well in the Federal Republic, their chief representative, the Sudeten Homelands Association, never ceased to wage a relentless campaign for the right of the Sudeten Germans to return to their ancestral lands. After the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, the leaders of the expellee associations insisted that Czech entry into the EU should be made conditional on meeting Sudeten German restitution demands - an issue that is still afflicting negotiations today.

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