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Zaolzie[za'?l] is the Polish name for an area now in the Czech Republic which was disputed between interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia. The name means "lands beyond the Olza River"; it is also called ?l?sk zaolzia?ski, meaning "trans-Olza Silesia". Equivalent terms in other languages include Zaol?í (Zaol?í) in Czech and Olsa-Gebiet in German. The Zaolzie region was created in 1920, when Cieszyn Silesia was divided between Czechoslovakia and Poland. Zaolzie forms the eastern part of the Czech portion of Cieszyn Silesia. The division did not satisfy any side, and persisting conflict over the region led to its annexation by Poland in October 1938, following the Munich Agreement. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the area became a part of Nazi Germany until 1945. After the war, the 1920 borders were restored.
Historically, the largest specified ethnic group inhabiting this area were Poles. Under Austrian rule, Cieszyn Silesia was initially divided into three (Bielitz, Friedek and Teschen), and later into four districts (plus Freistadt). One of them, Frýdek, had a mostly Czech population, the other three were mostly inhabited by Poles. During the 19th century the number of ethnic Germans grew. After declining at the end of the 19th century, at the beginning of the 20th century and later from 1920 to 1938 the Czech population grew significantly (mainly as a result of immigration and the assimilation of locals) and Poles became a minority, which they are to this day. Another significant ethnic group were the Jews, but almost the entire Jewish population was murdered during World War II by Nazi Germany. (Full article...)
?ech began his senior career at Chmel Bl?any in 1999, where he played sporadically for two seasons prior to relocating to Sparta Prague in 2001. At age 19, ?ech became a first team regular, and his single campaign with the club saw him register a league record of not conceding a goal in 903 competitive minutes. This led to his first move abroad, when he relocated to France to join Ligue 1 side Rennes for a fee of EUR5.5 million (£3.9 million) in 2002. (Full article...)