Alongside the Dead of Auschwitz
BERLIN (Own report) - Yesterday the League of Expellees (BdV) opened a new exhibition right in the heart of Berlin with the German Chancellor in attendance. The project combines three exhibitions created by the BdV over the past few years for its "Center against Expulsions" Foundation. This exhibition depicts the history of "German ethnic minorities" (deutsche Volksgruppen) in numerous regions of Eastern Europe and their resettlement in the Federal Republic of Germany. This provides political support for official "Deutschtum" (Germandom) activities in eastern and southeastern Europe, instrumentalizing German-speaking minorities for Berlin's foreign policy. This is also a manifestation of Germany's official position concerning Germans' resettlement in the aftermath of the Second World War as "unjust," which is why the eastern neighboring countries can still be considered "guilty." In its presentation of the exhibition, the BdV refers to the many years of support from the new German President Joachim Gauck. One member of the scientific advisory panel of the "Center against Expulsions" Foundation, which uses Gauck's name in its publicity, is a international jurist, described in the rightwing press as "associated with rightwing extremist circles."
Yesterday, the "League of Expellees" (BdV) opened its exhibition "Homeland Sick." Sponsored by the "Center against Expulsions" Foundation, the exhibition will be on display in Berlin's Crown Prince Palace from today until June 24. The building is situated in the most frequented area of the German capital (Unter den Linden 3, directly opposite the unofficial German Historical Museum). BdV has used the premises already for two of its three predecessor exhibitions ("Compulsory Routes" and "The Called"). Yesterday's opening ceremonies were held at this year's annual BdV reception, with the German Chancellor in attendance, as has often been the case. Angela Merkel is in regular contact with the BdV and its president, Erika Steinbach (CDU). The BdV's previous exhibition ("Arrived" 2011) had been presented even in the German Bundestag's Paul Loebe House, with the German Minister of the Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) holding the welcoming address.
"Homeland Sick" combines the BdV's predecessor exhibitions "Compulsory Routes," "The Called" and "Arrived," recounting the histories of the German-speaking minorities ("deutsche Volksgruppen") in eastern and southeastern Europe from the beginning of their migrations, their resettlement during and following the Second World War up to their integration in the Federal Republic of Germany. The exhibition "The Called" is dedicated to Germandom in regions of eastern and southeastern Europe, where Germany is systematically reinforcing the resident German-speaking minorities. The Federal Republic of Germany uses these minorities to enhance its political and economic influence in foreign countries. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) The BdV's "Center against Expulsions" Foundation's "Compulsory Routes" exhibition depicts the resettlement of Germans in the aftermath of the Second World War - inscribed, in accordance with international law, in the 1945 Potsdam Agreements - as an alleged injustice and thereby expressing the official West German position that the resettlement had been a crime. This implicates that the countries overrun by Nazi Germany are "indebted." Interested circles are today still raising demands for reparations. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.)
The German government's support for the BdV and its exhibition projects disregards the fact that the league and its president have been sharply criticized for historical revisionist declarations and strong attacks on neighboring countries to the east and southeast. For example, on several occasions, BdV functionaries have suggested that Poland could share the blame for the beginning of the Second World War. BdV President Steinbach came to their defense in the ensuing controversy. Steinbach, herself, has not only alleged that the resettlement of the Germans constituted "genocide." For example, in reference to Germans, who, as POWs or in work camps, had to contribute to the reconstruction of the of the East European nations destroyed by Nazi Germany, she also declared that "Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe remained a gigantic region of slaveholders, many years after the war ended." Under Steinbach's responsibility, on various occasions, youth organizations from the BdV network of organizations have been associated with the extreme right - even the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). This is the case of the East Prussian Youth Union, which on various occasions has permitted a member of the well-known Institute for State Policy (IfS) leadership, a "new right" think tank, to speak at its seminars. This is also the case of the Silesian Youth, whose national directorate has been expelled from the Silesian Homeland Association because of its contacts to the NPD. A few years ago, one could read in an internet forum of a neo-Nazi clique that had organized with the Silesian Youth "East Trips" to Poland, "yesterday, I had a dream; a Pole was hanging from a tree" and "we are driving to Poland too, to kick the ass of the Jew."
Wannsee Conference and Stasi Headquarters
For nearly ten years, the current German President Joachim Gauck has been supporting the BdV and the "Center against Expulsions" Foundation led by Erika Steinbach. In 2002, Gauck made a speech at the BdV's "Homeland Day" festivities and has been since registered as a BdV Foundation supporter. In his speech, he made a plea for having the "Center against Expulsions" located in Berlin, "the site of the Wannsee Conference and the Stasi Headquarters, the former seat of government for brown and red despots," there where the Holocaust Memorial reminds of the Shoah, there should also be a "Center against Expulsions." Referring to efforts to come to terms with Nazi crimes, Gauck spoke of a "neurotic post-war era" where the "capacity for pity for and empathy with" the victims had been absent. An "equally neurotic counter movement" unfortunately replaced this. Gauck sees the "counter movement" as "our people (...) only being a people of culprits." Today, this has been overcome. As illustration, the current German president, who held a speech at the opening of the BdV "Compulsory Routes" exhibition at the Crown Prince Palace in Berlin in August 2006, quoted a resettled German as saying "the dead of Auschwitz, I believe, would have nothing against it, if I would lay the memory of the dead of Schweintochlowitz beside them." "The dead of Schweintochlowitz" is referring to Germans, who died in a Red Army work camp after the war.
No Statute of Limitations
An international jurist, characterized in the rightwing press to have "slipped down to the level of rightwing extremist circles"  is a member of the scientific advisory panel of the BdV "Center against Expulsions" Foundation. Alfred de Zayas, author of diverse publications on resettlement, declared in a work, republished in 2005, that the "expulsion of Germans," as a "crime against humanity" is "exempt of a statute of limitations" and implied "an internationally recognized right to reparations." Even though one cannot demand the restitution of the assets of the Nazi Reich, but one can demand the restitution of private assets, confiscated after the war. Poland and the Czech Republic are responsible for the "liquidation" of German private assets totaling "approx. 200 billion DM." "According to international law, such confiscations should be compensated." Recently the state government of Hesse distributed one of Alfred de Zayas brochures to several hundred institutions, including teacher training institutions and evening classes. In this brochure, de Zayas reiterated his demand that "the search must be intensified for feasible ways for (...) a just settlement, even on the controversial property issues." The author has received a multitude of honors from the individual homeland associations and the BdV, whose panorama on history, "Homeland Sick," was opened in the presence of the German Chancellor, in the close vicinity of the Reichstag. In a series over the next few days, german-foreign-policy.com will report more on the legal standpoint of the German state, which forms the basis of the close cooperation between the German government and the BdV, and on the resulting revisionist policies of the various German governments since the 1990s.
 see also German Settlements in the East
 see also Heute ist es das Gleiche and Proprietors in Waiting
 see also History à la Carte and Die eigentliche Provokation
 see also Sklavenhalter
 see also Die eigentliche Provokation
 see also Ostfahrten
 Joachim Gauck: Rede zum Tag der Heimat 2002; bund-der-vertriebenen.de
 Niemand stirbt in Deutschland ohne Registrierung; www.welt.de 13.02.2007
 Alfred de Zayas: Die Nemesis von Potsdam. Die Anglo-Amerikaner und die Vertreibung der Deutschen, München 2005
 see also Vom slawischen Drang nach Westen