Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Prime Minister of Bavaria on the Sudeten Germans

The Prime Minister of Bavaria has addressed a conference of the Sudeten Germans, saying that only dialogue with Prague will resolve the “problems” which still exist over the issue between Germany and the Czech Republic. Like other groups of ethnic Germans expelled from Eastern Europe after 1945, the Sudeten Germans continue to campaign for restitution of their property. They specifically attack the so-called Beneš decrees, a series of over one hundred legislative acts which provided the legal structure for the mass expropriation and expulsion which we would nowadays call ethnic cleansing. They overlook the fact that these decrees were themselves signed as a result of the executive decision taken by the Allies at Potsdam to cleanse Central Europe of Germans. The Sudeten Germans, of course, were the cause of the Munich conference in 1938, when France and Britain agreed to carve up Czechoslovakia and hand the Sudetenland to Hitler.

The fact that the Bavarian Prime Minister addressed the conference, which some 8,000 people attended, shows how closely linked the Bavarian conservatives are with the expellees. The organisation also campaigns – together with support from the Bavarian government – for other issues related to Expellees, for instance for the inclusion of the Expellees president, Erika Steinbach, in the governing council of the new Museum of Expulsion to be set up in Berlin, and for the maintenance of German language tuition in German schools in Romania, where there was a community of 250,000 ethnic Germans until 1989. Their numbers are now greatly reduced to some 100,000. [Handelsblatt, 11 May 2008]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

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