Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 03:30:47 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Erebus <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: NEWS: Germany challenges results WWII
/* Written 4:01 AM Apr 6, 1996 by peg:guardian in igc:p.news */
Germany challenges results WWII ---------- */
From: the guardian <email@example.com>
The government of German Chancellor Kohl has outraged progressive public opinion in the Czech Republic by openly espousing the cause of the former Sudeten Germans, in language eerily reminiscent of the Nazis.
Leading up to WW II, the German minority in the Czech border
region of Sudetenland was used by Hitler to foment civil unrest
as an excuse for German intervention in Czechoslovakia.
Sudeten question became the pretext for the
infamous Munich Agreement, by which the British and French
Governments betrayed Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, encouraged
Hitler and created the conditions for WW II.
After the War, the Potsdam Agreement between the victorious Allies (Britain, USA and USSR) provided for the removal of all Germans (except those with a proven anti-fascist record) from the Czech border regions to Germany itself.
This was a reaction to the complicity of the mass of Sudeten Germans in the crimes of the Nazis against the Czech people. It was also a preventative measure to forestall any future use of a national minority by an expansionist German government.
Now an emboldened German government has decided to
Potsdam decisions, on the amazing grounds that Germany was not a
party to the Potsdam talks! (As the instigator of fascist
aggression in Europe, Germany was obviously not party to the
German Foreign Minister Kinkel claims the Sudetens, now living in
unjustly expelled from what he called
Eastern Territories, an expression which sent a chill up the
spines of Czechs who remember these same words being used by the
Czech President Vaclav Havel, the anti-communist
president, is a noted Germanophile, and the government of Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus is desperate to gain German support for its
admission to the European Union.
The Czech and German governments have been holding talks on the
Sudeten question for months, but details of the talks have been
kept secret from the Czech people and subjected to a news
blackout in the Czech Republic. Opposition parties have had to
rely on German press reports and the BBC for news of what the
According to the BBC, the Klaus government has made concession
after concession in its efforts to gain favour with Bonn,
agreeing to all the main Sudeten demands including abolition of
the Benes decrees of 1945 implementing the Potsdam agreement, the
right of Sudetens to reclaim
their property in the Czech
Republic with compensation, and granting protected status for the
returnees as a national minority.
Rejection of the Potsdam Agreement has major implications for the whole of eastern Europe, whose borders were redrawn at Potsdam to prevent a future revival of German expansionism.
Former Havel associate and one-time Charter 77
Dienstbier, who was Czechoslovakia's first post-socialist foreign
minister from 1989 to 1992, has sprung to the defence of Herr
Kinkel and the Germans. Dienstbier actually twisted history
around, referring to the 1945 transfer of the Sudeten Germans as
Czech opposition parties have reacted angrily. The Communist
Party of Bohemia and Moravia has demanded an end to the secrecy
surrounding the Czech-German talks and to the
retreats of the Czech government in the face of the revanchist
forces of the German Federal Republic.
The leader of the Czech Social Democrats, Milos Zeman, called on
the Czech government to
clearly, unambiguously and decisively
fundamental shift in German policy, challenging the
very results of WW II.