The Treaty of Lana

The "treaty of Lana" is mentioned in several history books, but doesn't seem to exist with that name! It's a convenient shorthand for at least two treaties, in several languages, which in 1921-22 settled the borders between what had become the Republic of Austria and the Czechoslovak Republic and finally dealt with the Sudetenland Question. Well, finally until the 1930s...

Lana has had numerous name variations, eg Lahna Böhmen in 1869, Lahna-Lana in 1878, and Lány v Cechách in 1918. By 1920 it was Lány (according to the Czech Monografie volume 20). It's about 20 miles from Prag, and boasts the official summer residence of the Czech President.

We have found two treaties: the heads-of-state agreement, and the senior civil servants' detailed text. Two confusing contemporary but irrelevant-here treaties are The Treaty of Brno (deals with stateless and/or orphan children) and the Treaty of Venice (13 Oct 1921) which is the detailed arrangements for the West Hungarian Plebiscite.

The details came first, negotiated between senior civil servants. The Austrian edition, in parallel German and Czech, is 1922 BGB396. There's also a League of Nations Treaty Series version, with useful translations into English [V9 pp 333ff]. The River Thaya and its proposed hydroelectric scheme are followed by details of where the border is to be; provisions to regulate cross-border traffic in goods, animals and people; railways which to get from A to C in one country have to pass through B in the other; and how disputes would be resolved. This was signed in Prag on 10 March 1921; ratified on 11 August 1921; final documents exchanged in Prag on 30 March 1922; and published on 8 July 1922.

Austrian Chancellor Schober and Czechoslovak President Benes after negotiating in Lana agreed: to recognise the Treaties of St Germain and Trianon; to accept the boundaries fixed therein; and to share copies of all treaties each had made with neighbouring states. Signed (2 copies) by both at Prag on 16 Dec 1921; ratifications exchanged 14 February 1922; effective 15 March 1922; published 30 March 1922. The Austrian edition, in parallel French and German, is 1922 BGB173 [and in English LofNat V9 page 247ff].

© Andy Taylor. Last updated 14 April 2023