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Vít Zelinka

Abstract

The Sudetenland has undergone a dramatic development in Czechia. Above all, the frontier regions of the then Czechoslovakia lost due to the decision on the displacement of the Sudeten Germans in 1945 almost 3 million native inhabitants, who left their settlement areas in several waves by 1947. This change affected up to 3 million hectares of agricultural land that became the state property. This had in many places eliminated the traditional way of farming and the disruption of ownership relations consequently led to the breaking of relations in the landscape. This case study focuses on the comparison of the development of the agricultural landscape of 4 selected cadastral areas on the border of Krkonoše and Jizera Mountains from the post-war period to the present. Selected areas of interest are pairs of comparable cadastres from areas affected by the displacement of the local German population and areas with a permanent population structure. This four sites covering a total area of 4052 ha were studied in Cool Landscape of Highlands and the Moderately Cold Landscape of Mountains. Historical and contemporary land-cover information was provided by aerial photographic images from 1953/1954 and aerial orto-photos from 1998 and 2015/2016. The results have shown that on all four of the areas there was a noticeable increase in forests on former agricultural land. However, the monitored areas differ in the continuity of agricultural land. Continuous agricultural land represents, in both areas affected by post-war displacement, approximately 55 % of the original agricultural land. Areas with a well-preserved population structure, on the other hand, show an overall continuity of agricultural land on about 71 % of the former area of agricultural land.