In September of 1899 the Czech National Social Party issued a stern warning to parents in Prague as the school enrollment season approached: “Czech parents! Remember that your children are not only your own property, but also the property of the nation. They are the property of all of society and that society has the right to control your conduct!” Czech and German nationalists in the Bohemian lands were hardly alone in claiming that children comprised a precious form of “national property” (nationaler Besitz, národanímajetek) at the turn of the century. In an age of mass politics and nationalist demography, nationalists across Europe obsessed about the quantity and quality of the nation's children. They were, however, unique in their ability to transform this polemical claim into a legal reality. Between 1900–1945, German and Czech nationalist social workers and educational activists in the Bohemian lands attempted to create a political culture in which children belonged to national communities, and in which the nation's rights to educate children often trumped parental rights. In 1905, nationalists gained the legal right to “reclaim” children from the schools of the national enemy in Moravia, a right which they retained until 1938. By the time Ota Filip's father dragged him to the German school in Slezská Ostrava/Schlesisch Ostrau, children had become one of the most precious stakes in the nationalist battle, and a parent's choice of a German or Czech school had become a matter of unprecedented personal, political, moral, and national significance.