The Munich Agreement or Munich Betrayal was an agreement concluded at Munich, September 29, 1938, by Germany, Great Britain and Italy. It provided "cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory" of Czechoslovakia. Most of Europe celebrated because it prevented the war threatened by Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland, a region of western Czechoslovakia inhabited by 800,000 people German speakers. Hitler announced it was his last territorial claim in Europe, the choice seemed to be between war and appeasement. An emergency meeting of the main European powers – not including Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Union, an ally to both France and Czechoslovakia – took place in Munich, Germany, on 29–30 September 1938. An agreement was reached on Hitler's terms, it was signed by the top leaders of Germany, France and Italy. Militarily, the Sudetenland was of strategic importance to Czechoslovakia as most of its border defenses were situated there to protect against a German attack.
The agreement between the four powers was signed on the backdrop of a low-intensity undeclared German-Czechoslovak war that had started on 17 September 1938. Meanwhile Poland, relying on German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact moved its army units towards its common border with Czechoslovakia after 23 September 1938. Facing the combined force of Germany and Poland alongside most of its border, Czechoslovakia yielded to French and British diplomatic pressure and ceded the Sudetenland to Germany in line with the terms of the agreement; the Munich Agreement was soon followed by the First Vienna Award on 2 November 1938, separating Hungarian inhabited territories in southern Slovakia and southern Subcarpathian Rus' from Czechoslovakia, while Poland annexed territories from Czechoslovakia in the North. In March 1939, the First Slovak Republic was proclaimed, shortly by the creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Germany took full control of the remaining Czech parts; as a result, Czechoslovakia had disappeared.
Today, the Munich Agreement is regarded as a failed act of appeasement, the term has become "a byword for the futility of appeasing expansionist totalitarian states". Czechoslovakia was created in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I; the Treaty of Versailles recognized the independence of Czechoslovakia with a population that included three million German-speaking people, 24 percent of the total population of the country. The Germans lived in border regions of the historical lands of Bohemia and Moravia for which they coined the new name Sudetenland, bordering on Germany and the newly created country of Austria; the Sudeten Germans were not consulted about. Although the constitution guaranteed equality for all citizens, there was a tendency among political leaders to transform the country "into an instrument of Czech and Slovak nationalism"; some progress was made to integrate the Germans and other minorities, but they continued to be under-represented in the government and the army.
Moreover, the Great Depression beginning in 1929 impacted the industrialized and export-oriented Sudeten Germans more than it did the Czech and Slovak populations. By 1936, 60 percent of the unemployed people in Czechoslovakia were Germans. In 1933 Sudeten German leader Konrad Henlein founded the Sudeten German Party, "militant and hostile" to the Czechoslovakian government and soon captured two-thirds of the vote in districts with a heavy German population. Historians differ as to whether the SdP was from its beginning a Nazi front organization, or evolved into one. By 1935, the SdP was the second largest political party in Czechoslovakia as German votes concentrated on this party while Czech and Slovak votes were spread among several parties. Shortly after the Anschluss of Austria to Germany, Henlein met with Hitler in Berlin on 28 March 1938, where he was instructed to raise demands unacceptable to the Czechoslovak government led by president Edvard Beneš. On 24 April, the SdP issued a series of demands upon the government of Czechoslovakia, that were known as the Carlsbad Program.
Among the demands, Henlein demanded autonomy for Germans living in Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak government responded by saying that it was willing to provide more minority rights to the German minority but was reluctant to grant them autonomy. With tension high between Germans and the Czechoslovakian government, on 15 September 1938 President Beneš offered secretly to give 6,000 square kilometres of Czechoslovakian territory to Germany in exchange for a German agreement to admit 1.5 to 2.0 million Sudeten Germans which Czechoslovakia would expel. Hitler did not reply; as the previous appeasement of Hitler had shown, the governments of both France and Britain were intent on avoiding war. The French government did not wish to face Germany alone and took its lead from Britain's Conservative government of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain considered the Sudeten German grievances justified and believed Hitler's intentions were limited. Both Britain and France, advised Czechoslovakia to accede to Germany's demands.
Beneš resisted and on 19 May initiated a partial mobilization in response to possible German invasion. On 20 May, Hitler presented his generals with a draft plan of attack on Czechoslovakia codenamed Operation Green, insisting that he would not "smash Czechoslovakia" militarily without "provocation," "a favourable oppor
Czech Social Democratic Party
The Czech Social Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in the Czech Republic. It holds 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies following the 2017 legislative election, losing 35 seats; the party has been led by Jan Hamáček since 2018. It has been a junior coalition party within a minority cabinet since June 2018, was a senior coalition party from 1998 to 2006 and from 2013 to 2017; the ČSSD is a member of the Party of European Socialists, the Socialist International and the Progressive Alliance. Its members are divided into two prominent groups: a liberal wing consisting predominantly of progressive and pro-European members, a conservative wing described as social-conservative and left-wing nationalist; the Social Democratic Czechoslavonic party in Austria was a political group founded on 7 April 1878 in Austria-Hungary as a regional wing of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. It represented much of the Kingdom of Bohemia in the Austrian parliament, its significant role in the political life of the empire was one of the factors that led to the creation of an independent Czechoslovakia.
After the collapse of Austria-Hungary at the end of the First World War, the party became one of the leading parties of the first Czechoslovak Republic. Its members were split over whether to join the Comintern, which in 1921 resulted in the fracturing of the party, with a large part of its membership forming the new Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. During the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany, the party was abolished, but its members organized resistance movements contrary to the laws of the German-controlled Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, both at home and abroad. After the re-establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1945, the party returned to its pre-war structure and became a member of the National Front which formed a new governing coalition. In 1948, after the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia gained a parliamentary majority, the Czech Social Democratic Party was incorporated into the Communist Party. At the time of the Prague Spring, a reformist movement in 1968, there were talks about allowing the recreation of a Social Democratic party, but Soviet intervention put an end to such ideas.
It was only after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which came into effect on 1 January 1993, the ČSSD has been one of the major political parties of the Czech Republic, until October 2017 was always one of the two parties with the largest number of seats in the Chamber of Deputies. At the 1998 parliamentary election, the party won the largest number of seats but failed to form a coalition government, so formed a minority government under its leader Miloš Zeman. With only 74 seats out of 200, the government had confidence and supply from the Civic Democratic Party, under the so-called Opposition Agreement. At the elections of 2002, the party gained 70 of the 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, its leader Vladimír Špidla became prime minister, heading a coalition with two small centre-right parties, the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party and the Freedom Union – Democratic Union until he was forced to resign in 2004 after the ČSSD lost in the European Parliament elections of 2004 The next leader was Stanislav Gross, serving as leader from 26 June 2004 to 26 April 2005 and as prime minister from 4 August 2004 to 25 April 2005.
He resigned after a scandal. The successor of Gross as prime minister was Jiří Paroubek, while Bohuslav Sobotka became acting party leader from 26 April 2005 to 13 May 2006. Paroubek was elected as the new party leader in the run-up to the June 2006 elections, at which the party won 32.3% of the vote and 74 out of 200 seats. The election at first caused a stalemate, since the centre-right parties plus the Green Party and the centre-left parties each had 100 seats; the stalemate was broken when two ČSSD deputies, Miloš Melčák and Michal Pohanka, abstained during a vote of confidence, allowing a coalition of the Civic Democrats, the KDU-ČSL, the Green Party to form a government. Hence the ČSSD went into opposition. At the 2010 legislative elections on 28 and 29 May, the ČSSD gained 22.08% of the vote but remained the largest party, with 56 seats. Failing to form a governing coalition, it remained in opposition to a government coalition of the ODS, conservative TOP 09 and conservative-liberal Public Affairs parties.
Paroubek was succeeded by Sobotka. The Party remained the largest Party after 2013 legislative election of 25 and 26 October 2013 and in December formed a governing coalition with the populist ANO 2011 and the centrist Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party; the leader of ČSSD, Bohuslav Sobotka, became the new Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. The party suffered heavy losses in 2017 legislative election and was reduced to only 15 seats, the worst result in its history. Another defeat ČSSD suffered in Prague Municipal Election, 2018 Local elections and 2018 Senate elections. ČSSD lost all Prague deputies and more than half their local councillors. In economic matters, the ČSSD party platform is typical of Western European social democratic parties, it supports a mixed economy, a strong welfare state, progressive taxation. In foreign policy it supports European integration, including joining the eurozone, is critical of US foreign policy when in opposition—though it does not oppose membership of the Czech Republic in NATO.
Czech lands as part of Austria-H
Vrútky is a town in northern Slovakia, close to the city of Martin. It lies in the historic Turiec region; the town lies at the confluence of Váh and the Turiec, in the Turčianska kotlina, near the Malá Fatra mountain range. It is located 3 km north of the city of Martin, with which it shares a public transport system, 25 km from Žilina; the name is derived from a plural form of Proto-Slavic *vьrǫ tъkъ > vrútok meaning "a hot spring". The town was first mentioned in 1255 as villa Vrutk. However, a settlement had existed, had the old Slavic name vrutok. By the end of the 13th century, the settlement had been divided into Horné Vrútky. By 1332, the settlement gained independence and in 1809, had the town 300 inhabitants; the construction of the Košice-Bohumín Railway in 1870 and the Salgótarján in 1872, brought economic development and Vrútky gained the status of being a key railway junction. This new status was reflected in the increased number of inhabitants, which rose from 915 in 1869, to 1,944 in 1880 and 4,345 in 1900.
Between the years 1949-1954 and 1971-1990 the town was amalgamated with Martin under the name Martin-Vrútky. Vrútky regained independence in the year 1990, when it separated from Martin. According to the 2001 census, the town has 7,298 inhabitants; this same census shows that Roman Catholics account for 50.34%, people with no religious affiliation account for 24.86% and Lutherans account for 19.01% of the total town population. Vrútky is twinned with: Ján Bodenek – writer, translator Emanuel Böhm – politician, writer Radoslav Brzobohatý – film and television actor John D. Hertz – founded the Yellow Cab Company Zora Mintalová – Zubercová – ethnographer and museologist Hana Zelinová – prose writer and dramatist František Zvarík - film and theater actor Tomáš Galis – Bishop of Zilina Gymnázium Vrútky Official website
Zdeněk Fierlinger was a Czech diplomat and politician. He served as the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia from 1944 to 1946, first in the London-based exiled government and in liberated Czechoslovakia, his name is associated with the merger of his Social Democratic Party with the Czechoslovak Communist Party after the communist coup in 1948. He was the uncle of the famous animator for numerous PBS cartoons. Zdeněk Fierlinger came from an upper-class family, he graduated from business school in 1910 and worked as a sales representative in Russia. During World War I he joined the Czechoslovak Legion. For his bravery on battlefield Fierlinger was four times awarded by Order of St. George. Among other fights, he participated in the Battle of Zborov. After the war, Fierlinger joined the diplomatic service, he was successively ambassador to the Netherlands, the United States and Austria. During this period he was a close friend and collaborator of Edvard Beneš. In 1924 he joined the Czech Social Democratic Party.
Between 1937 and 1945 Fierlinger held the post of envoy to the USSR. During his period in Moscow Fierlinger was close to the leadership of the Czechoslovak Communist Party led by Klement Gottwald; this is evident, for example, when in 1943 when the Communists in conjunction with Fierlinger facilitated the signing of the Soviet-Czech peace treaty in Moscow on 12 December 1943 by Joseph Stalin and Edvard Beneš. Just before the end of World War II in April 1945 Fierlinger became the exile chairman of the Czechoslovak government and remained such until the 1946 elections, he became a leading figure in the "left-wing" social democracy movement which sought the closest possible ties with the Czechoslovak Communist Party. Between 1946 and 1948 Fierlinger was chairman of the Czech Social Democratic Party. After the communist coup in February 1948, Fierlinger acted as the chief proponent of the "unification" of the Social Democrats and the Communists. Through the unification of the party, he became a member of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party in 1948.
According to American journalist John Gunther, Fierlinger was subsequently nicknamed "Dr. Quislinger."Zdeněk Fierlinger subsequently served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1948 to 1953, Minister of the State Office for religious affairs from 1951 to 1953, Chairman of the National Assembly from 15 October 1953 to 23 June 1964 and Minister in charge of the State. He remained a member of the Central Committee until 1966. In 1968, among other things, one of his last public acts was to lead a delegation in protest outside the Soviet Embassy
Žilina is a city in north-western Slovakia, around 200 kilometres from the capital Bratislava, close to both the Czech and Polish borders. It is the fourth largest city of Slovakia with a population of 85,000, an important industrial center, the largest city on the Váh river, the seat of a kraj and of an okres, it belongs to the Upper Váh region of tourism. The name is derived from Slavic/Slovak word žila - a " vein". Žilina means "a place with many watercourses". Alternatively, it is a secondary name derived from Žilinka river or from the name of the local people, Žilín/Žiliňane; the area around today's Žilina was inhabited in the late Stone Age. In the 5th century, Slavs started to move into the area. However, the first written reference to Žilina was in 1208 as terra de Selinan. From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. In the middle of the 13th century, terra Sylna was the property of the Cseszneky de Milvány family; the city started to develop around 1300, according to records in 1312, it was a town.
In 1321, King Károly I made Žilina a free royal town. On 7 May 1381, King Lajos I issued Privilegium pro Slavis, which made the Slav inhabitants equal to the Germans by allocating half of the seats at the city council to Slavs; the town was burned in 1431 by the Hussites. During the 17th century, Žilina gained position as a center of manufacturing and education, during the baroque age, many monasteries and churches, as well as the Budatín Castle, were built. In the Revolutions of 1848, Slovak volunteers, part of the Imperial Army, won a battle near the city against Hungarian honveds and gardists; the city boomed in the second half of the 19th century as new railway tracks were built: the Kassa Oderberg Railway was finished in 1872 and the railway to Bratislava in 1883, new factories started to spring up, such as the drapery factory Slovena and the Považie chemical works. It was one of the first municipalities to sign the Martin Declaration, until March 1919, it was the seat of the Slovak government.
On 6 October 1938, shortly after the Munich Agreement, the autonomy of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia was declared in Žilina. During World War II, Žilina was captured on 30 April 1945 by Czechoslovak and Soviet troops of the 4th Ukrainian Front, after which it again became part of Czechoslovakia. After Second World War, the city continued its development with many new factories and housing projects being built, it was the seat of the Žilina Region from 1949–1960 and again since 1996. Today, Žilina is the third largest city in Slovakia, the third most important industrial center and the seat of a university, the Žilinská univerzita. Since 1990 the historical center of the city has been restored and the city has built trolleybus lines. Žilina lies at an altitude of 342 metres above sea level and covers an area of 80.03 square kilometres. It is located in the Upper Váh region at the confluence of three rivers: Váh, flowing from the east into the south-west, flowing from the north and Rajčanka rivers from the south, in the Žilina Basin.
The city is surrounded by these mountain ranges: Malá Fatra, Súľovské vrchy, Javorníky and Kysucká vrchovina. Protected areas nearby include the Strážov Mountains Protected Landscape Area, the Kysuce Protected Landscape Area, the Malá Fatra National Park. There are two hydroelectric dams on the Váh river around Žilina: the Žilina dam in the east and the Hričov dam in the west. Žilina has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. It is characterized by a significant variation between cold, snowy winters; the average temperature in July is 18 °C, in January, −4 °C. The average annual rainfall is 600–700 mm. Snow cover lasts from 60 to 80 days per year; the coat of arms of Žilina is a golden double-cross with roots and two golden stars on an olive-green background. The double-cross stems from Cyrillic-methodic tradition; this is one of the oldest municipal coat of arms, not only in Europe. It has been used as the city's symbol since 1378. Žilina has a population of 85,302, with the population of the urban area of 108,114 and the population of the metro area of 159,729.
According to the 2001 census, 96.9% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 1.6% Czechs, 0.2% Romani, 0.1% Hungarians and 0.1% Moravians. The religious makeup was 74.9% Roman Catholics, 16.7% people with no religious affiliation, 3.7% Lutherans. Žilina is the main industrial hub of the upper Váh river basin region, with a fast-growing economy as north-west Slovakia's business center with large retail and construction sectors. By far the biggest and most important employer is Korean car maker Kia Motors. By 2009, the plant had up to 3,000 employees. Kia Motors' direct investment in the Žilina car plant amounts to over 1.5 billion USD. In 2009 the Žilina car plant produced Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35 car models. Kia Motors is further upgrading its capacity to be ready to produce engines for a sister company, located near Ostrava in the Czech Republic with a planned investment of 200 million USD. Žilina is the seat of the biggest Slovak construction and transportation engineering company, Vahostav. The chemical industry is represente
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Ostrava is a city in the north-east of the Czech Republic and is the capital of the Moravian-Silesian Region. It is 15 km from the border with Poland, at the meeting point of four rivers: the Odra, Ostravice and Lučina. In terms of both population and area Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic, the second largest city in Moravia, the largest city in Czech Silesia, it straddles the border of the two historic provinces of Silesia. The population was around 300,000 in 2013; the wider conurbation – which includes the towns of Bohumín, Havířov, Karviná, Orlová, Petřvald and Rychvald – is home to about 500,000 people, making it the largest urban area in the Czech Republic apart from the capital, Prague. Ostrava grew in importance due to its position at the heart of a major coalfield, becoming an important industrial centre, it was known as the country's "steel heart" thanks to its status as a coal-mining and metallurgical centre, but since the Velvet Revolution it has undergone radical and far-reaching changes to its economic base.
Industries have been restructured, the last coal was mined in the city in 1994. However, remnants of the city's industrial past are visible in the Lower Vítkovice area, a former coal-mining, coke production and ironworks complex in the city centre which retains its historic industrial architecture. Lower Vítkovice has applied for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since the 1990s Ostrava has been transformed into a modern cultural city, with numerous theatres and other cultural facilities. Various cultural and sporting events take place in Ostrava throughout the year, including the Colours of Ostrava music festival, the Janáček May classical music festival, the Summer Shakespeare Festival and NATO Days. Ostrava is home to two public universities: the VŠB-Technical University and the University of Ostrava. In 2014 Ostrava was a European City of Sport; the city co-hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2004 and 2015. The city's coat of arms features a blue shield with a rearing silver horse standing on a green lawn.
The horse wears a red coverlet. At the top right of the shield there is a golden rose with a red core; the horse in the coat-of-arms wears no bridle. The oldest known depiction of this coat-of-arms is on a seal dating from 1426; the first coloured version dates from 1728. The horse is interpreted as a symbol of Ostrava's position on a major trade route, or as a figure taken from the coat-of-arms of Ostrava's first vogt, while the golden rose comes from the family coat-of-arms of the bishop of Olomouc Stanislav Thurzo; this explanation is supported by most modern literature. Another theory suggests that the Bishop granted Ostrava the right to use the horse in its coat-of-arms out of gratitude for the assistance that the town provided to the people of the Bishop's estate in Hukvaldy when the estate was being looted and pillaged; the help came so that the pillagers did not have time to attach bridles to their horses before making their escape. There is a legend which tells of a siege of Ostrava during which the besieged townspeople released unbridled horses to run in circles around the town.
This is said to have confused the attacking armies so much. In 2008, Ostrava's new marketing logo was unveiled. Designed by Studio Najbrt, the logo "OSTRAVA!!!" is used in public presentations of the city both in the Czech Republic and abroad. The three exclamation marks are meant to symbolise the dynamism and self-confidence of Ostrava and its people; the light blue colour of the city's name is based on the heraldic tradition, while the exclamation marks are a contrasting darker blue. The first written mention of Slezská Ostrava dates from 1229; the first mention of Moravian Ostrava describes it as a township. Ostrava grew up from which it took its name; this river still divides the city into two main parts: Silesian Ostrava. The settlement occupied a strategic position on the border between the two historical provinces of Moravia and Silesia, on the ancient trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic known as the Amber Road; this location helped the town to flourish. However, Ostrava began to decline in importance after the Thirty Years’ War, when it was occupied by Swedish forces from 1621–1645.
A turning point in Ostrava's history came in 1763 with the discovery of extensive deposits of high-quality bituminous coal on the Silesian bank of the Ostravice River. In 1828 the owner of the local estates, Archbishop Rudolf Jan of Olomouc, established an ironworks, named after him as the Rudolfshütte; the ironworks passed into the ownership of the Rothschild family, became known as the Vítkovice Ironworks. This company became the driving force behind Ostrava's industrial boom. By the second half of the 20th century the city was nicknamed the country's "steel heart". After the Second World War and the liberation of Ostrava by the Red Army, the city entered its greatest period of expansion; the new housing projects were on a small scale, focused on the Poruba district and featuring architecture in the Socialist realist style. The authorities built larger-scale developments of prefabricated apartment blocks in Poruba and created a series of satellite estates to the south of the city; the city centre was depopulated and people were moved out to the suburbs.
This was part of a long-term plan to