Sudeten Germans want Czechs to recognise transfer as injustice

KLOSTERNEUBURG • Sudeten Germans are appealing to Czech politicians to start a dialogue on the transfer of the German-speaking population from the former Czechoslovakia after World War Two, Munich-based Sudeten German Landsmannschaft deputy chairman Reinfried Vogler said today.

However, Sudeten Germans would also welcome it if the Czech Republic clearly describe the expulsion of Sudeten Germans as injustice, he said at a traditional public meeting on the occasion of the Sudeten German Days of Homeland, which took place in the Austrian town of Klosterneuburg near Vienna.

"I am appealing to the politically responsible personalities in the Czech Republic – stop to reject a dialogue. Let's try and find a new joint path in Europe through dialogue," Vogler said to the applause of some 300 people.

Sudeten Germans would like the Czech side to conduct a dialogue with them with the goal of achieving of legal reconciliation, he added.

"A large part of Czech political representatives are afraid to even pronounce the word 'expulsion,' talking about deportation instead. There is no sign of any condemnation of this deed in Czech politics," Vogler said.

He expressed regret that there was no talk about ethnic cleansing in connection with the deportation of millions of Sudeten Germans.

The event, organised on the occasion of the Sudeten German Days of Homeland, lacked the atmosphere of the past meetings and did not begin with a pompous parade of Sudeten Germans dressed in their national costumes as in the past.

In addition, the hall, in which the rally was held, was not even fully filled.

On the basis of the decrees issued by then President Edvard Benes, about 2.5 million ethnic Germans were transferred from post-war Czechoslovakia, mainly the border regions (Sudetenland), after the war and their property was confiscated. Most of them settled in Germany and Austria.

Some German and Austrian politicians say the decrees contradict EU legislation and have to be abolished before the Czech Republic's EU accession, scheduled for May 2004.

Autor:  CTK
18:13 - 21.09.2003