Das mehrsprachige Abgeordnetenhaus der Tschechoslowakei in seiner parlamentarischen Praxis 1920–1938
The Multilingual Chamber of Deputies of Czechoslovakia in its Parliamentary Practice, 1920–1938
In addition to the two official languages of Czech and Slovak, German, Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish were allowed to be spoken as secondary languages in the lower house of Czechoslovakia’s parliament in 1920 in order to increase the acceptance of the new republic by the deputies of all national minorities. By swearing the oath in one of these languages, a deputy obtained the right to use this language in parliament. This article examines in which situations and how often members of parliament of minority descent took advantage of this right, regardless of their political convictions. The paper finds that although minority deputies, especially Hungarian or Polish ones, intensively took advantage of their right to participate in the debates in their languages, the use of German among German-speaking deputies progressively declined over the 1930s. This corresponded to the growing self-disintegration of Germans, especially after 1935.
Keywords: Czechoslovakia; Czechoslovak-German relations; 1918–1938; national minorities; language