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Prague Refuses Apology to Sudeten Germans

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by kerrd5, Jun 14, 2011.

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  1. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    "The Czech Republic and a group representing those Germans who were expelled from then-Czechoslovakia after World War II -- the Sudeten Germans -- have been working for decades to reconcile their uncomfortable past. But over the Pentecost holiday weekend, the process suffered a serious blow after the two sides exchanged barbs.

    "During the 62nd annual meeting in the southern German city of Augsburg, Franz Pany, the leader of the Sudeten German organization, effectively demanded that Prague apologize for expelling the ethnic German populace. His comments were not well-received.

    "During a speech on Saturday, Pany referenced Queen Elizabeth II's historic visit to Ireland last month, where she expressed remorse over the violent past shared between Britain and its close neighbor. 'What prevents a republican head of state such as the President of the Czech Republic from expressing something similar to the expelled and disenfranchised Sudeten Germans?' he asked."

    Expellee 'Provocation': Prague Refuses Apology to Sudeten Germans - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    The Czech Republic has nothing to apologize for.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    While syscom3's post may be a little blunt, I have to agree with his point. The Czech people suffered over 6 years of Nazi occupation with all that it entails. One of the dirty little secrets of WWII, the kind of thing that does not make it into the High School history book, is that many ethnic groups used the pretext of the war to settle old scores and improve their lot at the expence of others 'who are not like us'. Germany used these ethnic divisions to their advantage, and even the allies operated on the principle of 'the enemy of my enemy is my freind'. As bad as the Holocaust was, Germany did not have a monopoly on what we now call ethnic cleasning. On the balance scale of atrocity the forced expulsion of a people perhaps 100-200 miles is rather negligble and understandable in the context that the Czech people did not wish to have the same nightmare repeated a generation or two.
     
  4. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Ethnic cleansing is a pretty horrible process for those who suffer it and is never morally acceptable. IMO it doesn't solve any issue unless it escalates to "final solution" levels, utterly destroying the capability of the victims to strike back. What is significant about the news item is that after 62 years it's still an open wound.
    If it worked the Balkans would be the world's most peaceful areas, after all they have been practicing "ethnic cleansing" since the dissolution of the Austrian and Turkish empires. IMO putting a spoke in the reconciliation process is a very bad idea but I would need to read the originals of Mr Pany's speech and of the Czech response to know who is most to blame for "pouring oil on the fire", nuances make all the difference in this sort of thing, but I don't speak either language.
     
  5. baupionier419

    baupionier419 Member

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    EXCUSE ME ! Not even blunt this is not well educated. You did not know the whole story so you would write different. give me one reason why the czechs acted til 1955 hostile and do it even today. Why are the benesch Dekrete ( the rules about to deal with germans ) still valid ? why are still the war criminals after 1945 with no punishment ? they killed serveral hundred thousand sudetengermans without any purpose at the war end. don't tell me they do not have to apologize.
    In my familiy ( yes we are sudeten germans) we lost several familiy member AFTER May 1945 in czech konzentration camps ! go to Welcome! Willkommen! and read the horrible eyewitness storys and than come back and start to discuss with me.

    Martin
     
  6. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    baupionier,
    At any rate yours (?) is an interesting site. I for one will look at it more closely as time permits and discuss it with you in the future. I have only read the introduction. The articles look interesting. I know about Dresden and don't know exactly what to think. Decisions were made by Generals and Air Marshalls and Politicians with much more information at hand than we have. Can you imagine, though, the fear in England of what new tactical weapons could be loaded onto V-2s and shot into their cities? The rumors were wild about new "secret weapons" that were coming down the pike.
    I know there are many other points to consider in your position. More on those later.

    Here is some of what you can find on this forum to look at / comment upon. I am sure there is more.

    http://www.ww2f.com/wwii-today/29734-dresdens-wwii-death-toll-18-000-25-000-a.html
     
  7. baupionier419

    baupionier419 Member

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    Dear rkline56
    This is not a website of mine. actually it's located outside of German Territory. Why ? Because the German Goverment tries to use force to cencorship this website. it is located in USA.

    and to be precise for the czech theme

    Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans: Survivors speak out.


    to the Dresden Topic. I will place a reply about that
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    Marti, are you forgetting who stated the war? Life is unfair at times and the horrors that the Germans inflicted upon Europe dictated that sometimes, payback is a just solution.

    "killed serveral hundred thousand ". Yeah, right.
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    While it is true the Czech suffered terribly under the Nazi rule , they should clean their own doorstep . I have terrible accounts from suriving Sudeten civilians who were murdered or raped or slaughtered (with the Soviets closing their eyes and the allies pretending not to be aware about their ordeal). Some may know know the meaning of the word "German torch" which was an expression used in Prague in 1945. An entire population ,which after all was the majority in the Sudeten, was displacd from their ancestral homelands regarless of Wilson's generally accepted conception to have populations dispose of their own fate. Not many voices were heard to help the million of innocents because it was politically incorrect.
    The victims of the Nazis should be remembered, the displaced Germans should be remembered too. they are indirectly victims of the Nazis as well.
     
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  10. baupionier419

    baupionier419 Member

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    my dear syscom3.

    very interesting point of you. But you have some mistakes in your line of argument.

    ever heard of 1919 ? of the Nation Deutsch-Österreich? even of the austrian hungarian monarchy ?
    Sudetengermans were not members of the german state before the first world war, not during the first world war and not after the first world war until Oktober 1938. by the way the munich agreement was to solve the suppressing problems from the sudetengermans with the czechs. maybe you should have a closer look who agreed to give the sudetengerman areas to the third reich !


    Sudetengermans did not start a war . It was the german third Reich. From 1919 til 1938 the czech first republic oppressed the sudetengermans severly, even if you do not know or believe it. Therefore the radicalism under the sudetengermans from 1919 til 1938 arised into nationality directions. And therefore adolf hitler was fanatically welcomed in sudetengerman areas to push the suppressing czechs back. And why starting the war in these unstable politic days is another topic. so it is not helpful to mix these topics. It is the typical reaction to bring down the discussion when the truth is coming out. Your next argument will be that I am a right wing member... I know how those discussions ends...

    remember the wilson 14 point plan ? to give every ethnic and people the same rights to form a state after the WWI? but not to the österreich sudeten germans. even worse, the Nation Deutsch - Österreich was established in 1919 in Reichenberg and was smashed from the czech with french authority. Ever heard of this fact ? so who started again a war ??

    it is disgusting that you welcome the death of several hundred thousand innocent Sudeten Germans and I pity you for not being better informed in history. If you like I can give you a long long list of books so you can have a better look into this matter before writing such a tremendous statement, so think before or better read before you write !

    Martin
     
  11. Mehar

    Mehar Ace

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    And what about the persecutions suffered by the Sudetens following World War I? What justification can you find then? What about terrorism in the Middle East, is it just as well because of "Western influence"? For centuries this way of thinking was used as a justifications by members of the Church to support antisemitism and its policies (the theory that Jews killed Jesus so this was just). No offense but I really hate this excuse/line of thinking as it does nothing but help perpetrators sleep at night and give motive/justification for future oppression.

    I don't think all Czech, Germans, etc are to blame, only those that are responsible. It might be difficult to pick out individuals unless they were key figures and this is perhaps why governments are an easier target. In the case of the pre war Czech government they can perhaps be indirectly tied to the rise of patriotic feeling among its German population (if you have a party that doesn't look after your needs and then another one rises that does, it's not that far fetched to side with the party that looks after you) but where would one draw the line in regards to what those policies led to?
     
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  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    The statement that 'several hundred thousand' Sudeten-Germans were killed by Czech's during the imediate aftermath of V-E day seem to be contridicted by the 1995 German-Czech commission on the matter that post a figure of 15-30,000 deaths. These includes murders, suicides, starvation, illness, captivity and natural causes. Considering the chaos and distuption of the era not excessive in my opinion. I am reminded of the comment by Stalin that a single death a tragedy, and a million deaths merely a statistic.


    We should also remember that the forced expullsions of Germans was mandated by the Potsdam aggreements, and was done to prevent a new war based on the same premiss of 'bringing all German people together again'. Also the Czech nation was under the control of the USSR at the time. No doubt the Soviet veiw of Germans had a influence on the events.

    Did the Sudeten-germans suffer an injustice, perhaps. But so too the Czech's. The German occupation of the Sudetenland led to 750,000 Czechs being gobbled up as well, and forcing 150,000 of them to flee to the rump of czech nation. In Dec. 1938 97% of the Sudeten-Germans voted for the NASDAP, while this might be put down to Nazi propaganda vote inflation, the fact that over a half million of them joined the Nazi party representing over 17% of the adult population (in Germany the percentage at the time was under 8%) seems to support the contention that the Suedeten-Germans were one of the most pro-nazi regions of the Third Reich. Did the Sudeten-Germans start the war, NO Hitler did, but the Sudetenland Germans were enthusiastic supports of the Third Reich.

    All sides did things that we look on today as cruel, harsh, even evil. But some did much worse than others. Our current world is far from perfect, but one based on German-Italian-Japanese victory would be an infinitely worse one. There comes a point where you must put aside the perception that because somebody in the past hurt somebody in my family or of my people, I must have compensation. At some point we must set aside the hatred and recrimination and embrace the the idea that we are all human, and that we can live with the idea that others are different from us, and that we need not hate them for that difference.
     
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  13. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Don't know anything about this issue and I am not qualified to take a side, I am adding it to my list of things to learn, but I do applaud the last paragraph of your post, belasar, and I am saluting you for that reason.
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    The only ethnic Germans who can claim to be victims are the ones who took a stand against the Nazi's.
     
  15. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    Yes that is a great observation. Past hatreds run deep as we observed during the Serbia - Bosnian conflict of recent years that still smolders. The trouble began there in the early Ottoman Empire Occupation Period (circa 1463) and remains somewhat controlled but volatile.

    Danis Tanović's No Man's Land recommended.

    Wikipedia - After the end of WWII the majority of Germans from Czechoslovakia were expelled. The expulsion was often accompanied with violence. See overview of expulsion of Germans after World War II and details of explusion from Czechoslovakia.

    File:Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1986-042-14, Anschluss sudetendeutscher Gebiete.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://www.ww2f.com/prelude-war-poland-1939/50952-sudeten-germans-why-did-they-support-hitler.htm
     
  16. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Hi Syscom , I understand the fact that Nazism triggered revenge reactions and the one eye for an eye policy, but should we really close our eyes and justify the 1945 atrocities and then talk about Nuremberg and the Right of men which say ALL men should be equal? Either we should condemn all crimes or none at all , at least we'd be coherent.

    What about women and children, farmers who never took part in politics , wives , mothers ? Were they to be killed raped, deported etc... just because of their nationality? Shouldn't they have rights and freedom and dispose of themselves? Wasn't this precisiely what the free world fought for?

    I have a deep respect for the Czechs and am well aware of the horrors perpetruated by Heydrich and Nazis at Lidice etc... But that is no excuse for doing the same to a slain enemy. One cannot condemn a crime if you commit similar ones yourself . This is why Nürneberg was created, precisely to seperate those who were guilty from the innocents and not consider an entire people guilty for war crimes commited by some of them, not all. The 1945 crimes were as bad as the ones commited by the SA in the 1930s and after. None should be justified. There is no difference, it's just that power swithched sizes, and both massacres were untolerable.

    I think the Czechs would gain a lot by admitting this was wrong too.
     
  17. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    I know the Germans started the war, but hate being met with more hate is never pleasant. Germany has been working tirelessly to rectify it's war guilt, paying reparations, establishing friendly relations with Russia and Israel, Ect. However, the expulsion of Germans after the war, especially from previous historic German territories given away after the war, is a tragedy. It was sanctioned genocide, pure and simple, and the victims deserve AT LEAST an apology. War makes criminals of everyone involved, even the apparently infallible allies, and both sides do wrong by the civilian population. The fact is, most Germans did not ask for the war, they were pushed into it by hitler and other politicians, so be careful how some of you place blame before you know the entire situation.
     
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  18. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    "Ethnic cleansing" is not genocide, but the differences are sometimes blurry, forcible relocation of ethnic groups are always a tragedy and often form the seeds for the next war a few generations later, people have very long memories about this sort of thing. So stating it was done "to solve the problem once and for all" is ridiculous, the main reason is either to grab the property of the loosers or to destroy the ethnic group as a viable political entity, and the second comes pretty close to genocide.
    It takes a lot of time and effort to defuse the results, IMO any politician that tries to capitalize on those feeelings is a rabble rouser even though not all are as dangerous as Hitler proved to be.
     
  19. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    it was not just ethnic cleansing, many innocents were massacred or died of exhaustation or commited suicide. I agree on the term and wouldn't call it a genocide (technically at least) as the killings were not systematic, but they were not sporadic either and happened on large scale with consent of the Czech authorities . Murders they were and "forgotten" ones too
     
  20. Rittervon

    Rittervon Member

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    Yes! Prague should apologize!Here I’ll apologize again for Germany. Sorry. All of Germany is sorry for the war. There! Now you go ahead and apologize Prague! You will feel better and we can move on.I was born here in the United States. My mothers side of the family fought for the USA. My fathers side fought for Germany. My father was one who was expelled from Eger/Cheb. How is it someone can be soooooo proud as not to say sorry? What kind of love is that. I’ve been married to my wife for 25 years. How many times do you think we have both said “sorry”? Germany and the Czech Republic are married by a common border. We need to both say sorry so we can move on with our relationship!By the way all in my fathers family was expelled. But my father was five! Five years old. When he was put on a different train from his mom, grand mother and grand father. They were sent west he was sent by himself north. He was in a hospital when he was found beaten, abused. Did I mention he was five? Germans didn't do this to him. Humans did it to him. He had pictures forever burned into his mind. He is still tormented by dreams at least once a month. Yes my Father just wants to move on. When he talks about it he crys. So I guess, untill he dies he won't have peace. So for others it's easy. Just move on they say. For me.... I just want peace.
     
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