Czech Republic

Western Czech consists of the three westernmost Kraj or counties in the Czech Republic(Plzensky, Karlovarsky, and Ustecky).  There are around 1.6 million people in the region.   Plzen is the largest city in this region with a population of about 170,000.  It was established as a royal town in 1295 at the intersection of important trade routes and the confluence of four rivers.  The most interesting history concerning Western Czech has to do with it’s proximity to Germany.  Prior to World War II much of this region had a population that was more than 50% German.  Based on this fact Hitler claimed it for Germany.  The rest of Europe, trying to appease Hitler, conceded those parts of Czechoslovakia to Germany. Of course Hitler didn’t stop there.  He soon took control of the entire country.  Following the war the Czech government ordered all Germans out of the country.  Czechs living in other countries returned to take their place.  Many of the Baptist churches in the Czech Republic were established this way.