Thursday, August 25, 2005

Opponents only, no collaborators

Czech PM Paroubek apologized to Germans who were expelled in 1945 by Benes. Well, at least those Germans who were "anti-Fascists."
"We are correcting an injustice committed against our German co-citizens,'' Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said. The apology is for "the opponents of Nazism who were affected by measures taken by former Czechoslovakia against its so-called enemy citizens after WWII.''

"We are documenting that the Benes decrees did not refer to anti-fascists,'' Paroubek continued. "We are expressing our admiration, appreciation and apology to the significant minority of those Czechoslovak citizens of German descent,'' who "had remained faithful.''
The conditionality is delicious. Who are these loyal ethnic Germans, the Sudetenlaender who resisted the annexation, occupation, who did not benefit from the special privileges given to ethnic Germans over ethnic Slavs and Jews? What commission determined who they were?

The government promises to locate these people and to remunerate the loss of property, but I think that they will step into their own historiographic nightmare as they try to sort out what it meant to have collaborated and resisted. Good Luck!


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