After the World War, the War Crimes were being punished from every aspect. The Czechs felt that Germans from Sudetenland were responsible for the situation in the Protectorate. Edward Beneš returned from his London exile in May 1945 and decided to restore order with presidential decrees. Most of them were organizing the government in the new republic, but a special part was dedicated to punishing the supporters of Nazism.
A big wave of nationalism swept the country resulting in the so-called “wild transfer”, which was practically a crime against humanity that was never punished. It happened in May 1945, before any conference dealing with the issue was held. German men were being killed, their wives and children were dying of hunger. The wild transfer resulted into deaths of at least 15 000 people, but some historians talk about 30 000.
The new Czech and Slovak Federative Republic was to exist in its full form, including the area that was separated by the Munich Dictate. The idea of transfer was confirmed by the Potsdam conference in 1945, which ordered the expulsion of 11 million ethnic Germans from Poland, former Czechoslovakia and Hungary, resettling them in the “occupation zones” set up in post-war Germany. The Soviet Union played a major role in the new Czech and Slovak state – Stalin himself didn’t believe in such radical punishment, but later saw the economical and ideological benefits of the transfer and supported it. During the organized and internationally accepted transfer in 1946, 3 million Sudet Germans lost their citizenships and property, mostly because they couldn’t prove that they opposed Nazis during war.
Edward Beneš was the mastermind of this historical process and his decrees are surrounded with controversy. After the fall of Communism, many Germans who lost their citizenship and had to leave homes, have claimed compensation for their lost property, but mostly in vain. Czechs in general see the German transfer as an error, but are reluctant to allow restitution.