Days of Aggression

AUGSBURG |

AUGSBURG (Own report) - This weekend the "Sudeten German Homeland Association" is celebrating its sixtieth "Sudeten German Day" with the active participation of prominent politicians and an extreme rightwing organization. As always, this mass meeting put on by the "Vertriebenen" ("Expellees") Association in Augsburg, Bavaria, is being billed as a protest against laws, with constitutional status, in two EU member states - the "Benes Decrees" of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The event will be honored with a message of greetings from the German Minister of the Interior. Also present will be the "Witikobund," which represents the radically ethnic chauvinist wing of the "Sudeten German Homeland Association" and maintains contact to rightwing extremists. A functionary of the NPD (the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany) is a member of the presidium of its youth organization. Notwithstanding, government support for this weekend's event is assured, because the German government declares the post-war resettlement of Germans an "injustice" and with the support of the "expellee" associations seeks to add emphasis to this opinion. For the same reason, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media just recently announced that the "Center against Expulsions" (Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation) has begun to function. Berlin is keeping its eastern neighbors under pressure with its legal opinion that German resettlement was an "injustice".

Mass Meeting

With a press conference and a wreath-laying commemoration ceremony, the "Sudeten German Homeland Association" will open its sixtieth "Sudeten German Day" today in Augsburg, Bavaria. Approximately 15,000 are expected to participate in this mass meeting, scheduled to close following the Bavarian Prime Minister, Horst Seehofer's (CDU), keynote address on Sunday. As always, the event will be centered on the protest against the Benes Decrees of Czechoslovakia, which still have constitutional status in the successor states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Benes Decrees served the reconstruction of the Czechoslovak state in the aftermath of German occupation, and laid the groundwork for the expulsion of the "Sudetendeutschen" (Sudeten Germans), which is the reason why the Homeland Association is still campaigning for their annulment today. The German Minister of the Interior is honoring this year's "Sudeten German Day" and its protest against the Benes Decrees, with a message of official greetings, while the presence of high-ranking Bavarian politicians are insuring extensive media coverage of the event.

NPD Functionary

As in the past, the "Witikobund" will also be participating in the "Sudeten German Day" and has announced the organization of an event with speeches and an information stand. The "Witikobund" was founded in 1948 by former SS and NSDAP party members. It represents the radically ethnic chauvinist wing of the "Sudeten Germans" and maintains contacts to the extreme right. A former long-standing chairman of the "Witikobund" was a "Republikaner", back when the "Republikaner" Party, was the leading party of the German extreme right. Today the links are to the NPD. Last year the chairman of the Regensburg county chapter of the NPD, Willi Wiener, was elected vice chairman of the "Witiko" national youth organization "Junge Witikonen". This led the Mayor of Regensburg, Hans Schaidinger (CSU) to refuse, in March, to attend the "Sudeten German Homeland Association's" event. He demanded that they publicly renounce their ties to the "Witikobund," and this not forthcoming, stayed away, in protest, from their event.[1]

Legal Interpretation

It is not to be expected that for, this weekend's event, similar stands will be taken by Bavarian politicians or the German Minister of the Interior. This is because of foreign policy interests. Germany insists on its legal interpretation, that the post-World War German resettlement constitutes an "injustice."[2] Therefore, events, in support of this contention, that draw extensive media coverage, such as the "Sudeten German Day," are desirable and will be supported by the government. For this same reason, Berlin has been pushing for the establishment of a "Center against Expulsions" [3] over the past ten years. The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media announced on May 13 that the "Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation's" board of directors has now been constituted. The "Center against Expulsions," which also declares that German post-war resettlement was an "injustice" will be created in Berlin under the same name. Remaining unclear, however, is whether this allegation, of German resettlement constituting an "injustice," opens the door to a lawsuit for restitution or compensation for former property of the resettled. The German government is still trying to keep these claims on the table.[4] In any case, this issue places Germany's eastern neighbors under pressure to the advantage of Berlin's foreign policy. A boycott of these "expellee" events, in protest of the far-right, appear therefore unattractive to power-conscious politicians.

"Silesia is not in Poland"

The event taking place in Augsburg this weekend will be followed by a similar event in Hanover (Lower Saxony), planned for the last weekend in June (June 26 - 28) this year's "Annual Meeting of Silesians". Christian Wulff (CDU), the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony is to present the keynote address; the Vatican's Apostolic Nuntius to Germany will hold mass.[5] The "Silesian Homeland Association" came under pressure at last year's "Silesian Annual Conference", because critics had pointed to its links to the extreme right. These accusations did not hamper the participation of Prime Minister Wulff. Before Wulff had delivered his speech, journalists had discovered such slogans on posters in the hall as "Silesia is not in Poland - the truth will set you free".[6] Given such slogans, the extreme right's participation can also be expected this year.

Extremist Forces

The chairman of the "Silesian Homeland Association", who will give his speech at the Annual Conference after Wulff, is also a leading activist of the "Prussian Trust" - an organization filing numerous claims against Poland for the return of property that had belonged to expellees.[7] The "Silesian Youth", the official youth organization of the "Homeland Association" is a forum also for "extremist forces", who "partially put the German constitution into question," according to some of its former members.[8] The "Silesian Youth" has also been invited to Hanover. The events in Augsburg and Hanover show a similar political constellation: officials at the highest state levels join with activists of the extreme right - in favor of an aggressive foreign policy against Germany's eastern neighbors.

[1] Sudetendeutsche sauer: Gedenktag ohne die Stadt; Mittelbayerische Zeitung 08.03.2009
[2] see also History Revision, Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt and Moralisch und materiell
[3] see also Sklavenhalter and An Educational Venue
[4] see also Umfassende Ansprüche, Duped, Heute ist es das Gleiche, Grenzfragen and Interview mit Christoph Koch
[5] Informationen Deutschlandtreffen 2009; www.schlesien-lm.de
[6] Ein Auftritt in heiklem Rahmen; die tageszeitung 02.07.2007
[7] see also Fristen (I), "Eigentümer an Grund und Boden" and "Geklautes Land"
[8] An die Freunde und Förderer der Schlesischen Jugend Landesverband Bayern; www.schlesische-jugend-bayern.de/html/info.html